Interview with Dr. Burt Lidgerding

Hi!  My name is Laura Bradel, a biology major at Shepherd University, and below is my Q&A with one of my professors, Dr. Burt Lidgerding:

1) What is your postion at Shepherd University? – Associate Professor of Biology

2) Where are you originally from? – Minnesota

3) What are your favorite hobbies? – Bicycling, racquetball, reading, cooking, and foreign travel

4) Where did you receive your undergraduate degree? – Winona State University in Winona, Minnesota

5) Your graduate degree? – Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon

6) How long have you been teaching at Shepherd University? – since 1991

7) Have you had any previous professions? – Yes, Post-doctoral position in cancer research at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, KY; Cell physiologist for the U. S. Department of Fish and Wildlife at the Fish Health Research Lab in Kearneysville, WV; Chief of Hybridoma Research and Cell Culture for the U. S. Department of the Army at Ft. Detrick in Frederick, Maryland

8) What courses do you teach at Shepherd University? – Cell biology, Principles of Biological Research, Virology, Immunology, and General Biology

An image taken during a recent cell biology lab. In In this cell biology experiment, chromatin was digested by nuclease and the histone-DNA component (nucleosomes) were separated by electrophoresis.

9) How many students do you teach per semester? Between 100 – 120.

10) What particular field of science interests you most? I would say Cell Biology and Virology. I’m also interested in the history of science and the interaction of science and society.

11) What has been your most exciting science experience or Shepherd experience? Developing the virology and immunology courses.

12) What advice would you give incoming students interested in going into the field of Biology? If they don’t have a passion asking and answering questions then perhaps biology and science in general is not the career for you. Science should become a “habit of mind” or “a way of thinking” not merely a job or profession.

13) What about to a student interested in taking your courses? Again, they need to want to learn not merely attend class, memorize material and pass the course.

14) 5 things or as many as you can list that students don’t know about you?

– My wife is a graduate of Shepherd in biology

– My father never completed high school

– I have no brothers or sisters

– My first experience in research was living in Alaskan Tundra in 1967 and trapping small mammals as part of studies in preparation for the Alaskan pipeline.

– My first scientific publication was in the Minnesota Academy of Sciences Journal in 1968



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