Jennifer Bennett, Associate Professor & Department Chair, Biology & Earth Science

Jennifer Bennett

Phone
614-823-1857

Email
jbennett@otterbein.edu

Office
Science Center, 224

Jennifer Bennett is a member of Otterbein’s Experts Bureau. To speak with an expert, please contact Director of Communications Jenny Hill at jhill@otterbein.edu or 614-370-3221.

Expert Profile

Dr. Bennett is a microbial geneticist who teaches courses in cell biology, microbiology, microbial genetics and bioinformatics. Students in her research program identify new genes involved in bacterial development and antibiotic production using a multi-disciplinary approach which incorporates microbiology, molecular biology, biochemistry, analytical chemistry and bioinformatics. Dr. Bennett has also served as the chair of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) national science teaching fellows program designed to train doctoral students and post-doctoral fellows for careers as professors at primarily undergraduate institutions. She is the faculty advisor for the Otterbein ASM student chapter, Women in Science and Global Medical Brigades.

She established a new microbial genetics research laboratory at Otterbein, where she works with undergraduate students to study novel developmental genes in a pharmacologically important bacterium. Her research program uses microscopy, genetics, biochemistry, bioinformatics and statistics to study the new genes her students have identified. The regulation of antibiotic production and biofilm formation by bacterial signaling pathways are of special interest. Bennett teaches Microbiology, Molecular Genetics, Cell Biology and Senior Seminar.

Areas Of Expertise

  • Bacterial Signaling Pathways
  • Biochemistry
  • Microscopy
  • Microbial genetics
  • Genetics
  • Bioinformatics

Education

  • Ph.D. in Biological Sciences (concentration in Microbial Genetics/Cell and Molecular Biology) from Duquesne University.
  • M.S. in Biological Sciences
  • B.S. in Biology and Chemistry from La Roche College

Research, Creative, & Professional Work

During the past four years, Jennifer has established a new microbial genetics research laboratory. Jennifer continues to work with undergraduate students at Otterbein to study novel developmental genes in a pharmacologically important bacterium. Her research program uses microscopy, genetics, biochemistry, bioinformatics and statistics to study the new genes her students have identified. The regulation of antibiotic production and biofilm formation by bacterial signaling pathways are of special interest. Jennifer teaches Microbiology, Molecular Genetics, Cell Biology and Senior Seminar.

Publications

  • Bennett J, Saunders C. 2019. A virtual tour of the cell: impact of virtual reality on student learning and engagement in the stem classroom. J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. 20(2): doi:10.1128/jmbe.v20i2.1658
  • Bennett, J. A., Kandell, G. V.*, Kirk, S. G.*, McCormick, J. R. 2018. Visual and Microscopic Evaluation of Streptomyces Developmental Mutants. J. Vis. Exp. (139), e57373, doi:10.3791/57373.
  • Saunders, C. P. and J. A. Bennett. The Immersive Experience - How Virtual Reality Can Support Student Learning. Educational Media and Technology Yearbook. Invited Book Chapter Accepted to Educational Media and Technology Yearbook.
  • Hull, T.D.*, Min-Hyung Ryu, M. J. Sullivan*, N.T. Klena*, R.C. Johnson*, R.M. Geiger, M. Gomelsky and J.A. Bennett. 2012. C-di-GMP Phosphodiesterases RmdA and RmdB are Involved in Regulating Colony Morphology and Development inStreptomyces coelicolor. J. Bacteriology.194:4642-51.
  • Bennett, J. A. and J. R. McCormick. Identification of novel developmental genes using a high efficiencyin vivotransposon system inStreptomyces coelicolor. Manuscript in final revision prior to submission to J. Bacteriology.
  • Bennett, J.A. Successfully Combining Start-up Faculty Research with Undergraduate Research. Fall 2010. Invited article published in CURQ Focus on the Web.31:1-4.
  • Bennett, J. A., J. Yarnall^, A. B. Cadwallader*, R. Kuennen*, P. Bidey*, B. Stadelmaier*, and J. R. McCormick. 2009. Medium-dependent phenotypes ofStreptomyces coelicolorwith mutations inftsIorftsW. J. Bacteriology.191:661-664.
  • Bennett, J. A., R. M. Aimino* and J. R. McCormick. 2007.Streptomyces coelicolorgenesftsLanddivICplay a role in cell division, but are dispensable for colony formation. J. Bacteriology.189:8982-8992.
  • Bennett, J. A. and J. R. McCormick. 2001. Two new loci affecting cell division identified as suppressors of anftsQ-null mutation inStreptomyces coelicolorA3(2). FEMS Microbiology Letters.202:251-256.

(*Indicates Undergraduate Co-Authors and ^ Master of Science Student Co-Author)

Affiliations & Awards

  • La Roche College 50th Anniversary Distinguished Alumni Circle
  • Chair, American Society for Microbiology National Science Teaching Fellows Training Program
  • 2013 Nominee for Otterbein University New Teacher of the Year Award
  • Graduate Teaching Award for the Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Member, American Society for Microbiology, National and Ohio Branch
  • Member, American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology