Profile of a Professor: Dr. Jeffery Stratford Biology; from the field to the classroom

Toni Pennello, Staff Writer

Dr. Jeffrey Stratford is an associate professor of biology at Wilkes. He teaches Conservation Biology, Bio Stats, Field Zoology, introductory Biology labs, and helps with Population Evolution.

Originally from the small town of Washington, New Jersey, Stratford received his Bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University, his Master’s from Southeastern Louisiana University, and his PhD from Auburn University.

Stratford’s home life led to a love of nature and an interest in the field of biology.

“Despite it being New Jersey, I grew up in a very rural part. I was the youngest child with two older sisters, so I spent a lot of time alone walking through the woods,” he explained.

Most of his research deals with birds, indicative of this interest in nature. He recently spent some time in the Tropics, and had two papers come out regarding his research. He hopes to go back, and take students with him to participate in research.

He often invites his students to come off campus with him to experience research hands-on in the field.

“I know that most of them are going into the health profession, and once they get into that they won’t have many of these opportunities,” he said.

He also boasts a good relationship with his students.

“It’s respectful, but very light and very funny. I try to make it fun, and do different things that students don’t normally do, like go snow-shoeing.”

For him, the most rewarding aspect of his teaching career is watching his students succeed.

“It’s a long term thing, so I like seeing students come in, and then seeing them become successful five, six, seven, or eight years later,” he said.

Even in his free time, Stratford likes to do things that relate to his interest in biology, such as hiking, fishing, and mountain biking; he also likes reading science fiction.