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Peter Milligan
Associate Professor of Biology

Office: 102A Jewett Hall, Augusta Campus
Phone: (207) 621-3228
Email: peterm@maine.edu
Office Hours:

pmilligan

 

About

Education

B.A., Northeastern University, 1986
M.S., Rutgers University, 1995
Ph.D., Rutgers University, 1998


 

I want my students to come away from my classes with increased ability to understand, evaluate and interconnect complex biological concepts. By building analytical, written and oral skills, I help students obtain the confidence to learn new material. This material is essential for understanding the basis for life on the planet and the multiple roles science plays in our society. My goal is to lay the groundwork for life-long learning while preparing students for careers they desire.

My teaching philosophy embraces the concept that students learn by working through material and overcoming conceptual obstacles. As a teacher my primary responsibility is to lead the student to a place where they can obtain insight and depth of knowledge. When students actively work towards learning rather than memorize rote lists of information, they enhance their ability to think critically and increase their opportunities for future education.

 

Research

I am interested in the microbial ecology of polluted environments, with a focus on anaerobic systems and the effects of different electron acceptors for microbial respiration have in these systems.
 
Currently, students in my research lab have investigated the effects of microbial populations on Arsenic in groundwater (drinking water) using molecular techniques. The influence of arsenic in our environment is an issue of national concern, and of particular importance in Maine, which has high levels of naturally occurring arsenic in groundwater and well water.
 
Employing a range of skills from fieldwork to microbial and molecular characterization, students have investigated the ways in which microbial populations act on arsenic. The process of data collection and analysis is designed to get students to think critically beyond the classroom, and prepare them for a career in science after graduation.