Dr. Kelly Major

Dr. Kelly Major

Department Chair,
Professor, and Co-Director UTeach South


B.A.  1990 - Biology and Education, Minor in Botany
Elmira College

Ph.D.  1995 Biological Sciences
University of Maine

Research Interests
Algal Biology and Plant Physiological Ecology
For more details, go to her research page.

Recent Publications

Lafabrie, C., Major, K.M., Major, C.S., Miller, M.M. & Cebrian, J. 2011. Comparison of morphology and photo-physiology with metal/metalloid bioaccumulation in Vallisneria neotropicalis. Journal of Hazardous Materials. 191: 356-365.

Miller (Mintz), M.M., Phipps, S., Major, C.S. & Major, K.M. 2011. Non-point source (NPS) nutrient pollution and its influences on submerged aquatic plant community structure and biological invasion in the Weeks Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (WBNERR). Estuaries and Coasts. 34: 1182–1193.

Lafabrie, C., Major, K.M. Major, C.S. & Cebrian, J. 2010. Arsenic and mercury bioaccumulation in the aquatic plant, Vallisneria neotropicalis. Chemosphere. 82: 1393-1400.

Plutchak, R., Major, K.M., Cebrian, J., Foster, C.D., Miller, M-E.C., Anton, A., Sheehan, K.L., Heck, Jr., K.L. & Powers, S. 2010. The impact of oyster reef restoration on nutrient dynamics and primary productivity in tidal marsh creeks of the North Central Gulf of Mexico. Estuaries and Coasts. 33: 1355-1364.

See More

Biology of Algae  (BLY 332) 

This course encompasses the diversity, evolution and ecology of chloroxybacteria, algae, bryophytes and protistan fungi. It is designed to meet the needs of students majoring in biology and/or disciplines in plant biology. Emphasis will be placed on the fundamentals of algal and plant classification (including taxonomy & some molecular systematics), morphology, physiology and ecology.

(Plant Physiology (BLY 431) is recommended but NOT required) 

Plant Physiological Ecology  (BLY 534)

This course is an investigation into the field of physiological ecology (i.e., the study of how plants function in their environment) and is designed to meet the needs of students majoring in biology, ecology and/or various disciplines in plant biology.  This course explores plant physiology and ecology in an evolutionary context.  Emphasis will be placed on the following questions:

  • What can plants do to ensure survival, given both physiological and environmental constraints?
  • How do plants tolerate stress?  How do plants avoid or ameliorate stress?
  • How do plants acquire and allocate resources?  What are the ecological consequences of such strategies?
  • To what extent do physiological characteristics enhance and/or ensure ecological success?

Although topics presented herein are primarily of a botanical nature, plant-animal interactions are discussed in detail to include plant defense mechanisms, symbiosis, parasitism and other ecological relationships.  

Professionalism in Science (BLY 510)
The overall goal for this course is to convey to students expectations and important “survival skills” required to succeed in the competitive world of science.  The three major objectives for this curriculum are to:  

  1. provide insight into the navigation of graduate school and the scientific community,
  2. convey important skills [outside of academic performance] required for success in science, and
  3. acquaint students with the art of being a professional.