Allan L. Markezich
Professor – Biology
Ph.D., Illinois State University
Office: Building 2, Room 267
Allan L. Markezich, Professor of Biology, was born in Chicago and received his Bachelor of Science (1971) and Master of Science (1976) degrees from the University of Illinois at Chicago and Ph.D. from Illinois State University (1987). He has been a faculty member at Black Hawk College since 1984 and currently instructs General Biology I and II (Biology 105, 106), Zoology (Biology 190), and Medical Terminology (Biol. 150).
Dr. Markezich is a scientist interested in the conservation biology, evolution, and ecology of reptiles and amphibians and has done extensive research in Venezuela, Tobago, and various areas in the United States. He has made numerous contributions to human knowledge as evidenced by over twenty publications in scientific journals and periodicals such as the Journal of Herpetology and Natural History magazine; his research has also been mentioned in National Geographic magazine. He holds a Research Associateship position at a University in Guanare, Venezuela.
His work in the tropics was motivated by the high and exponentially increasing rates of extinction and deforestation there and has generally involved primary faunal explorations of biologically poorly known areas and the delineation of ecological hot spots where severe threats currently face tropical ecosystems. Among other things, his research has led to the discovery of new species of lizards, including one of the smallest known species in the world, and also to the discovery of a lizard species which was predicted to exist by his colleagues in the Amazonian area of Venezuela. In 1998, he received a grant from the National Geographic Society to study the diversity of reptiles and amphibians in the lower Andes of western Venezuela in the spring of that year.
More recently, he has been studying the conservation biology, evolution, and ecology of various reptilian and amphibian species in Illinois, Iowa, and coastal South Carolina. Specifically, this work involves biodiversity and its relations to specific biotic communities in various fragmented and relictual ecosystems. He is also working on the molecular genetics and phylogeography of various reptilian species in Tobago and the U.S.
Dr. Markezich is a member of numerous professional societies and has given numerous talks and seminars to universities, colleges, museums, and other organizations. His scientific work has been the topic of numerous local newspaper articles, and he has been interviewed on radio and television programs as well.
Dr. Markezich serves as the primary advisor to biology majors in the Department of Natural Sciences & Engineering at Black Hawk College.
A major interest and concern of his outside of his scientific research is the deterioration of standards and quality of science education and scientific literacy in the U.S.
Courses Currently Taught at Black Hawk College
Biology 105 – General Biology I
Biology 106 – General Biology II
Biology 150 – Medical Terminology
Biology 190 – Zoology