New BIOS Head – Welcome Eric Stabb and thank you Janet Richmond

janet richmond and eric stad

Starting today, Professor Eric Stabb is Head of Biological Sciences. He will be on campus beginning on Monday but has a full slate of meetings next week. We hope that you can stop by the picnic on Thursday and the department retreat on Friday to welcome him. He will be located in the head’s office in SES 3240 and will have a lab in MBRB.

We want to thank Janet Richmond for serving as Head of Biological Sciences for the last five years, the first woman to serve in this role.

Under her stewardship, the department greatly enhanced the undergraduate student experience. One of the biggest improvements to the student experience was the renovation and modernization of 9 teaching labs. Janet also oversaw the revision of the undergraduate Biological Sciences curriculum. Students now have the choice of three different concentrations and will be able to more easily take upper level classes because the number of course credits required at the lower level have been reduced. All these changes have resulted in a more updated and modernized undergraduate experience. In addition, Janet has helped guide the launch of the Integrated Health Studies degree which grows bigger every year.


Over the past 5 years, Janet was not only able to maintain financial stability during the worst financial crisis but also more than doubled the departmental pool of funds from grant returns by making difficult but fiscally responsible decisions. This can be attributed to Janet successfully navigating us through a very tumultuous financial climate.

Janet has also helped update and beautify common spaces. The seminar room and journal club room were renovated and now display graduate student research photos. Janet is also finishing the installation of artwork in the SEL Oasis as a result of being awarded $27,000 in John N. Chester Estate Funds. In addition, seven other offices or rooms were renovated or created.

Janet substantially improved the department’s method of evaluating our faculty members’ performance. She devised metrics for research, teaching, and service that allow each faculty member to track their performance from year to year and to compare their performance in each area with the average performance. Having these metrics in hand has improved our department’s applications for awards.

Amazingly, she was able to accomplish all these tasks while continuing as a full time researcher on C. elegans, publishing 9 papers, being awarded 3 grants and completing 4 half Iron Man races.

Please join us in thanking Janet for her amazing service to our department.