M.S. Wildlife and Fisheries Resources Management, West Virginia University – 1999
Ph.D. Animal and Nutrition Sciences, West Virginia University – 2015
Assistant Professor of Biology, West Liberty University – 2015 – present
Director of Wildlife Ecology, the Wilds – 2012 – 2015
Curator of Animals, Oglebay’s Good Zoo – 2002 – 2012
Registrar and Manager of Animal Husbandry, Oglebay’s Good Zoo – 2000 – 2002
Animal Keeper, Oglebay’s Good Zoo – 1999 – 2000
Research and Interest
Dr. Greathouse’s research has focused on topics including the amphibian chytrid fungus, reptile and amphibian conservation with special emphasis on the Eastern hellbender salamander, integration of zoo animal management and wildlife conservation programs, and mid-sized carnivore habitat use of altered landscapes.
Dr. Greathouse and the staff at Oglebay’s Good Zoo were the first in the world to hatch eggs from the Eastern hellbender in a zoo or aquarium, and he was the first to perform a translocation of hellbenders reared in human care to a stream or river where the species had been extirpated in the wild. During his career at the Good Zoo and at the Wilds, each institution was awarded the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Commitment to Conservation Award annually for 5 consecutive years.
Dr. Greathouse has placed a strong emphasis on training future zoo and conservation professionals throughout his career, mentoring over 400 interns over his 16 year zoo career. Many of these students have gone on to careers with wildlife conservation agencies, zoos and aquariums, and to be veterinarians.
Karen Kettler, Ed.D.
Chair, Department of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
B.S. Biology – Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania – 1998
M.S. Biology – California University of Pennsylvania – 2002
Ed.D. Curriculum and Instruction (concentration: Science Education) – 2013
Chair of the Department of Natural Sciences and Mathematics – 2014 – present
Associate Professor of Biology – 2015 – present
Assistant Chair of Biology Program – 2013 – 2014
Assistant Professor of Biology – 2011 – 2015
Instructor of Biology – 2008 – 2011
Research Specialist (melanoma clinical trials) – 2001 – 2003
Primate Behavior and Biology Research – 2000
Biological Technician -1999 – 2000
Aark Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, volunteer animal care – 1998
Research and Interest
Dr. Kettler’s current research interests focus on science education, in the areas of self-efficacy of preservice elementary teachers, perceptions of preparedness to teach, and improving science content knowledge and science process skills in K-12 students.
Dr. Kettler enjoys designing and implementing new strategies to improve learning experiences for higher education students, particularly with problem-based and inquiry-based learning experiences in various biology courses. While science education has been her focus for the past several years, Dr. Kettler’s first love is wildlife, particularly primates.
Her research efforts have included sea urchin biology, coastal wetland ecology, and primate behavior and biology, researching the variations in the locomotion of adult male and female howling monkeys (Alouatta palliata). Her future research efforts will include improving observer bias in animal behavior studies. Dr. Kettler will also be involved in the development of future conservation and zoo education outreach programs.
Zachary Loughman, Ph.D.
Co-Director, Zoo Science Program
B.S. Biology, West Liberty State College – 2002
M.S. Biology, Marshall University – 2005
Ph.D. Ecology and Evolution; Biology, Indiana State University – 2011
Associate Professor of Biology, West Liberty University – 2015 – present
Assistant Professor of Biology, West Liberty University – 2011 – 2015
Instructor of Biology, West Liberty University – 2008 – 2011
Natural History Research Specialist – West Liberty University 2006 – 2008
Natural History Research Specialist – Oglebay Institute Schrader Environmental Education Center – 2005 – 2006
Animal Keeper and Zoo Educator – 1999 – 2001
Research and Interest
Dr. Loughman’s current research focuses on the taxonomy, natural history, and conservation of freshwater crayfish. Loughman and his students work hand in hand with both state and federal level conservation agencies to ensure crayfish conservation remains a priority at both the state and regional level.
Since the inception of his laboratory at WLU in 2006, Dr. Loughman and his students have completed crayfish conservation assessments in ten states, sampled over 4,000 streams, rivers, and wetlands, and published over 25 peer reviewed articles, including descriptions of 5 new species of crayfish. Currently Loughman is working on the development of captive husbandry techniques for imperiled stream dwelling Appalachian crayfish, as well as continuing to do crayfish surveys and species descriptions.
Loughman has won several awards for his teaching abilities, including Faculty Merit West Virginia Professor of the Year for 2014. Early in his career Loughman completed research on amphibians and reptile natural history and conservation, and with the initiation of the Zoo Science Major plans to maintain his crayfish research effort, as well as return to his roots and begin a research program focused on reptile captive husbandry techniques and conservation.