William W. BurnetteAdjunct Professor, Communication
- MSC, Northwestern University
- BA, University of Dubuque
I was introduced to aquatic and evolutionary biology while earning my B.S. and M.S. in Ecology and Field Biology from St. Cloud State University in central Minnesota, where I was drawn to the important but largely neglected world of freshwater microalgae. Taking this love of evolution and microalgae I worked on projects as diverse as the effects of estrogenic compounds in our waterways, nutrient pollution and its effect on the primary production community, and the fluid dynamic pressures driving shape evolution in my favorite group of algae, diatoms. The greatest lessons I took away from this time was the critical importance of basic research in evolution and diversity when approaching any applied biological question.
After leaving Minnesota to move west, I was able to continue exploring the intersection between basic biological research and application during my Ph.D. at the University of Colorado Boulder. At CU I utilized molecular and comparative phylogenetic techniques to examine evolutionary patterns in ecology and oil accumulation within diatoms, with an emphasis on the production of biofuels and high value lipid products.
Before coming to CMC I was a research faculty at St. Cloud State University where I participated in the development of the campus Bioenergy and Biomass Sustainable Energy Facility. A facility that creates renewable energy from campus cafeteria waste while mitigating energy waste streams through the production of high value algae.
My current research interests include genetic studies in algal taxonomy and systematics, the evolutionary patterns and timing of ecological shifts within algal lineages, and diversity studies within unique Colorado habitats.
I can trace my own passion for science and biology directly to many of the laboratory and field experiences during my undergraduate education. These lessons directly inform how I approach the courses that I offer with an emphasis on hands-on learning that strives to include actual research in class activities.
Married to Sylvan and blessed with two sons, Ryder and Aksel.