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K-State Today

October 12, 2020

Mark Ungerer named director of Division of Biology

Submitted by Malorie Sougey

Mark Ungerer is the new director of the College of Arts and Sciences' Division of Biology.

Ungerer began his time at K-State as an assistant professor in 2003 after completing a postdoctoral position in the Department of Genetics at North Carolina State University and receiving a doctorate from Indiana University Bloomington in 2000.

His research program is focused on ecological and evolutionary genetics and genomics in plants, work that largely has been supported by the National Science Foundation. Ongoing research projects include investigations of the evolution of nuclear genome size and content in wild sunflowers in the genus Helianthus and studies of stress responses in grasses, including those to drought and freezing temperatures.

Ungerer has published more than 50 peer-reviewed papers, including publications in high-profile journals such as Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and Current Biology. He has served as an associate editor for three different scientific journals during his time at K-State.

Before his appointment as director, Ungerer served as an associate director and graduate program director in the Division of Biology where he provided leadership in the division and oversight of the graduate program of approximately 65 doctoral and master's students. In 2016, he was an inaugural winner of the College of Arts and Sciences Ron Gaches Undergraduate Teaching Award.

"We are thrilled to have Dr. Ungerer become the head of the Division of Biology as its director," said College of Arts and Sciences Dean Amit Chakrabarti. "He will undoubtedly lead the division to new growth in research, student and faculty success, and service."

The director of the Division of Biology is responsible for providing leadership and support for the division's continued excellence and growth in research, teaching and service, including safeguarding and promoting the division's ability to attract and support world-class research programs; overseeing the division's undergraduate and graduate academic degree programs and guaranteeing the quality of student experiences; coordinating academic advising; working productively with all entities within the Division of Biology and college and university administration; maintaining close ties with alumni, benefactors and other constituents on issues related to the enhancement of the division; equitable, efficient and strategic administration of the division budget; and fundraising efforts on behalf of the division and the College of Arts and Sciences.

The Division of Biology has three undergraduate degree programs, three graduate degree programs, and research programs that span the breadth of biological sciences. The division has a budget of approximately $20 million and a staff size of more than 180 faculty, classified staff, unclassified professionals and graduate students.