Dr. Laurie Achenbach serves as our Dean. She received her B.S. in biology from Northern Michigan University where she majored in biology and physics. She continued her studies at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she earned her Ph.D. for her research on the evolutionary relationships of hyperthermophilic organisms. We welcomed her to the Carbondale community in 1990 as an Assistant Professor in Microbiology. During her tenure here, she has inspired students and her research has resulted in over 50 scientific publications, countless articles in the popular press, and several local television interviews. She was promoted to Full Professor in 2002 and became Associate Dean in 2007.