Dr. Justin Merry

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Justin Merry Profile Image

Position: Associate Professor of Biology, Chair of Biology

Department: Biology

Office: Science Center 109


About Dr. Justin Merry


  • B.S., Ohio University
  • M.S., Ohio University
  • Ph.D., Arizona State University


Dr. Merry is a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, and completed his undergraduate and master's degree at Ohio University. From there, he attended Arizona State University for his Ph.D., where he studied the evolution of compound eyes under Dr. Ronald Rutowski. He joined the faculty of Saint Francis University in 2008, and has taught a variety of courses. These are highlighted by BIOL 208 Animal Behavior and NEUR 279 Introduction to Neuroscience. He also regularly teaches Introductory Biology (BIOL 111), Human Anatomy & Physiology (BIOL 205/206), and courses in the general education curriculum.


The evolution of sensory systems and behavior are the primary focus of Dr. Merry's research interests. A significant line of his research is focused on the question of how limitations of sensory systems affect an animal's behavior. During his dissertation, he conducted selection experiments, dietary manipulations, and comparative studies to evaluate how size limitations affect compound eye structure and performance. This is an ongoing line of research in Dr. Merry's lab. Nevertheless, he encourages students to pursue research projects that are focused on their own research questions. Past and current students in his lab have researched color change in Anolis lizards, the effects of herbicide on amphibian development, soft drink-induced enamel decay, sea urchin visual acuity, inferences of eye performance among extinct hominids, larval damselfly diversity in acid mine drainage sites, and the effects of dietary manipulations and crowding on insect development.

Dr. Merry is a member of the Society for Evolution and the Animal Behavior Society. His hobbies include baseball history and analysis, hiking, birding, and gaming. He lives in Duncansville with his wife and two daughters.


Courses Taught

  • BIOL 111 - Biology I
  • BIOL 111L - Biology I Lab
  • BIOL 205 - Anatomy and Physiology I
  • BIOL 205L - Anatomy and Physiology I Lab
  • BIOL 206 - Anatomy and Physiology II
  • BIOL 206L - Anatomy and Physiology II Lab
  • BIOL 208 - Animal Behavior
  • BIOL 208L - Animal Behavior Lab
  • BIOL 412 - Special Topics in Biology: The Biology of Human Health
  • NEUR 279 - Introduction to Neuroscience
  • NEUR 450 - Neuroscience Seminar
  • SCI 101 - Science for Active Citizenship