Rodney Scott, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Genetics
On Faculty since 1989

Phone: (630)752-5304
Fax: (630)752-7278


Ph.D. University of Tennessee Botany 1986-89. Knoxville, Tennessee

M.S. University of Tennessee Botany 1983-86 Knoxville, Tennessee

B.S. University of West Florida Biology 1981-83 Pensacola, Florida

About Rodney Scott

In addition to my research (see below), my professional interests include learning about other model systems, and developing laboratory activities for various purposes. I have led several workshops at the meetings of the Association for Biology Laboratory Education, published a laboratory manual for General Genetics, and developed a kit for Carolina Biological Supply Company that uses microsatellite markers to study Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium in Drosophila.

My personal interests begin with my family, my lovely wife Donna, and my two adult kids, Janeen and Phillip, along with Phillip's wife Emma. Although my kids no longer live nearby, we enjoy spending time together whenever we can. My wife and I enjoy doing all kinds of things ranging from simple things, birdwatching or playing Frisbee golf, to big things like taking trips together. I also enjoy my involvement in a local church, where I serve on various teams, and participate in other ways, including accountability and mentoring relationships with other men. Some of my favorite leisure activities include hiking in the woods, reading, jogging, cross country skiing, eating (hence the jogging the skiing), and dabbling in small art projects.

Courses Taught

  • BIOL 241 College Biology I
  • BIOL 242 College Biology II
  • BIOL 201 Principles of Biology 
  • BIOL 252 Introduction to Biological Research - Model Research Systems
  • BIOL 356 Genetics
  • BIOL 494 The Integrated Biologist

Membership in Professional Societies

  • American Scientific Affiliation


I began my career as a botanist, however, in recent years I have shifted my research activities to studies related to the conservation genetics of animal species. These studies involve the characterization of a type of genetic marker called a microsatellite marker as well as the use of an approach called DNA "barcoding".

In one study, I am collaborating with an ecologist from the DuPage County Forest Preserve District to study mating patterns in an endangered species of turtle called the Blanding’s turtle. We hope that our study will both provide greater insight into the basic biology of this organism, and will also strengthen ongoing attempts to restore populations of this turtle in DuPage County. I have also initiated a population genetics study focused on two species of freshwater turtles in Costa Rica where I did a sabbatical in 2012. In another study, I am working with a fish biologist from the Shedd Aquarium to define the geographical range of a cryptic species of minnow found in Northern Illinois. and lastly, I am working on a project using molecular markers to characterize genetic variability in a bird called the Green Aracari using samples I have obtained from Zoos.


Scott, R.J. 2016. So, Do You Believe in Evolution? In Kathryn Applegate and Jim Stump, eds., How I Changed My Mind About Evolution: Evangelicals Reflect on Faith and Science (pp. 159-166). InterVarsity Press. Downers Grove, IL.

Scott, R.J. 2014. The Gene Tool Box, in The Behemoth, Issue 6, October 2, 2014. 
Published by Christianity Today

Scott, R.J., and R.E. Phinney. 2012. Relating Body and Soul: Insights from Developmental and Neurobiology. Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith. 64(2):90-107.

Scott, R.J. 2008. Contemporary Genetics Lab Manual. Bent Tree Press. Reno NV.

Scott, R.J., G.J. Gastony, J.W. Weatherford, and T. Nakazato. 2007. Characterization of four members of the alpha-tubulin gene family in Ceratopteris richardii. American Fern Journal. 97(2):47-65.

Scott. R.J., 2000. Using A Molecular Marker to Study Genetic Equilibrium in Drosophila Melanogaster. Tested Studies for Laboratory Teaching: Proc. Of the 22nd Workshop/Conference of the Association for Biology Laboratory Education. 22:19-42

Scott, R.J., 1994. Pollen tube formation and the central dogma of biology. Tested Studies for Laboratory Teaching: Proc. of the 16th Workshop/Conference of the Association for Biology Laboratory Education. 16:121-134.

Cooke, T.J., L.G. Hickok, W.J. Vanderwoude, J.A. Banks and R.J. Scott, 1993. Photobiological characterization of a spore germination mutant dkg1 with reversed photo-regulation in the fern Ceratopteris richardii. Photochem. and Photobiol. 57(6):1032-1041.

Scott, R.J., and L.G. Hickok, 1991. Inheritance and characterization of a dark-germinating, light-inhibited mutant in the fern Ceratopteris richardii. Can. J. Bot. 69:2616-2619.

Warne, T.R., L.G. Hickok, and R.J. Scott, 1988. Chararterization and genetic analysis of antheridiogen-insensitive mutants in the fern Ceratopteris. Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 96:371-379.

Scott, R.J., and L.G. Hickok, 1987. Genetic analysis of antheridiogen sensitivity in Ceratopteris richardii. Amer. J. Bot. 74(12):1872-1877.

Media Center