Faculty Profile

Mitchell Cruzan
Biography: 
Dr. Cruzan conducts research on the processes of adaptation and speciation in plants at Portland State University. He graduated with Bachelors and Masters of Arts degrees in Biology from California State University, Fullerton. He obtained his Ph.D. from the Department of Ecology and Evolution at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. After receiving his Ph.D. he completed post-doctoral research fellowships in the Department of Botany at the University of Toronto, and in the Department of Genetics at the University of Georgia. He was an assistant professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He has been an associate professor of biology at Portland State University since 2002. His research on broad ranging topics in ecological genetics has produced more than fifty scientific publications. His current research focuses on the ecological genomics of invasive species and hybridization as an evolutionary stimulus. Teaching interests reflect Dr. Cruzan’s research activities with a strong focus on evolutionary biology. Courses he offers includes a core course for biology majors (Evolution; Bi358), an advanced undergraduate/graduate course on plant evolutionary biology (Plant Diversity and Evolution; Bi432/532), an introductory course in evolutionary biology (Evolution and the Diversity of Life; Bi203), and a graduate course on evolution (Principles of Evolution; Bi526). He also offers two senior capstones for students with natural science majors; Research and Society focuses on science communication and post-graduate planning, and Nature in the Neighborhood focuses on the development, execution, and reporting of student research projects on urban ecology and the ecology of invasive plants. Professional and service activities by Dr. Cruzan includes his roles as an editor for two peer-reviewed scientific journals, and his participation in the planning of scientific conferences (Evolution 2010 in Portland Oregon – 2,000 attendees; and Evolution 2013 in Snowbird, Utah – 1,500 attendees expected). Community outreach includes participation as a member of the Natural Resources Advisory Committee for the Tualatin Hills Parks and Recreation Department, and public lectures on the nature of science and evolution.
Contact Number: 
(503) 725-8391
Office: 
SRTC 404