Natural Science Department Faculty

School of Arts & Sciences

Natural Science Faculty

Pictured above are the men and women who are the faculty in the Department of Natural Science.

Dr. Jenny Sattler, Chair

Dr. Jenny SattlerChair, Department of Natural Science
Associate Professor of Physics

Department of Natural Science
Phone: (580) 327 - 8568
Office: SC 107-B
Laboratory: SC 108 and SC 110


  • Ph.D. East Carolina University (Biomedical Physics) 2013
  • M.S. East Carolina University (Medical Physics) 2013
  • M.S. University of North Dakota (Physics) 2005
  • B.S. University of North Dakota (Physics) 2003

Courses Taught:

  • General Physics I and II
  • General Astronomy
  • Radiation Biology
  • General Physical Science
  • Earth and Space Science
  • Modern Physics
  • Classical Mechanics
  • Nuclear Physics
  • Optics

Research/Scholarly Interests:

  • Cancer biology
  • Radiation biology
  • Astronomy

Northwestern Roles/Activites:

  • BEST Robotics
  • Science Fair
  • Study Abroad

Dr. Jason Abrams

Dr. Jason AbramsAssistant Professor of Chemistry

Department of Natural Science
Phone: (580) 327-8559
Office: SC 100-A


  • Ph.D. Florida State University (Chemistry)
  • M.S. University of Minnesota (Chemistry)
  • B.S. University of Florida (Chemistry)

Courses Taught:

  • Chemistry for Non-Majors
  • Organic Chemistry I and II
  • Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry Lab

Research/Scholary Interests:

  • Organic Methodology and Multi-Step Synthesis

Career Highlights/Recent Publications:

  • Abrams, J. N. “Design, Synthesis, and In Vitro Mitotic Evaluation of 3-Amino-Isoquinolinones as Anticancer Agents.” ChemistrySelect 2022, 7, e202202861.
  • Abrams, J. N. “Alternative Method for the Synthesis of Triazenes from Aryl Diazonium Salts.” Tetrahedron 2021, 89, 132185. 
  • Abrams, J. N.; Chi, B. K. “Gold-Catalyzed Cross-Coupling of Arene Diazonium Salts with Alkynoic Acids.” Russ. J. Org. Chem. 2020, 56, 1236-1244.
  • Abrams, J. N.; Zhao, Q.; Ghiviriga, I.; Minaruzzaman “Palladium(II)-Catalyzed Enyne CyclizationStrategies toward the Podophyllotoxin Ring System.” Tetrahedron 2012, 68,


  • Eating lunch/dinner at Chartwells Coronado Cafe
  • Feeding a local community tabby cat


Dr. Nicholus Ledbetter

Nicholus LedbetterAssistant Professor of Biology 

Department of Natural Science
Phone: (580) 327 - 8673
Office: SC 201-A


  • Ph.D. University of Tulsa (Biology) 2021
  • B.S. University of Central Arkansas, Conway (Biology) 2016

Courses Taught:

  • General Zoology 
  • Natural History of the Vertebrates 
  • Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy 
  • Mechanisms of Animal Development 
  • Animal Physiology Lab 
  • Cell and Molecular Biology Lab 

Research/Scholarly Interests:

  • Macroevolution 
  • Evolutionary Morphology 
  • Evolutionary Development 
  • Phylogenetics 
  • Limb Reduction 
  • Herpetology 

Career Highlights:

  • Authored Seven Publications 
  • Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) at Kansas State University 
  • Research Grant from the American Museum of Natural History 


  • Herping aka catching/observing reptiles and amphibians 
  • Nature photography 
  • Video/trading card games 

Dr. Rebecca MacKay

Dr. Rebecca MacKayAssistant Professor of Biology

Phone: (580) 327-8566
Office: Science Building 201-B


  • PhD in Biological Sciences, Bowling Green State University, 2022
  • MS in Marine Sciences, Savannah State University, 2018
  • BS in Zoology, University of Florida, 2015

Courses Taught

  • General Biology
  • Ecology
  • Biology Seminar
  • Limnology
  • Field Techniques

Scholarly Interests

  • Parasitology
  • Animal Behavior
  • Ecology
  • Aquatic Systems

Career Highlights

  • Author on multiple publications
  • Many grants from Local and National Agencies
  • Teaching experience at 5 different universities


  • Cooking and watching people cook on TV
  • Traveling anywhere I haven't been
  • Board games (and DND!)
  • Snuggling with my dogs
  • Being in the water


Dr. Venkata Moorthy

Professor of BiologyVenkata Moorthy

Phone: (580) 327-8565
Fax: (580) 327-8556
Office: SC 201C


  • PhD - Mycorrhizal Interactions, University of Oklahoma 
  • MS – Botany, University of Mysore, India
  • BS - Botany, Zoology and Chemistry, St. Philomena’s College - affiliated to Mysore University, India


  • 12.5 years teaching experience at St. Joseph’s College, Bangalore, India
  • 4.5 years of teaching experience at University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma
  • 23 years of teaching experience at Northwestern Oklahoma State University, Alva, Oklahoma

Courses Taught:

  • BIOL 3315 Microbiology
  • BIOL 4115 Pathogenic Microbiology and Immunology
  • BIOL 4323 Immunology
  • BIOL 4213 Virology
  • BIOL 4233 Human Parasitology
  • BIOL 4273 Mycology
  • BIOL 4470 Independent Study
  • BIOL 3352 Genetics Lab
  • BIOL 3174 Plant Physiology
  • BIOL 4214 Ecology
  • BIOL 1124 Botany
  • BIOL 4021 Senior Seminar
  • BIOL 4001 Junior Seminar

Research/Scholarly Interests:

  • Mycorrhizal Fungi-Plant interactions
  • Bacteria and Human interactions

Career Highlights:

  • Educators Leadership Academy; Outstanding professors Academy Award: 2008-2009
  • John Barton Distinguished teaching and Service Award: 2009
  • Oklahoma Higher Education Excellence in Teaching Award(NESU): 2010

Family Information:

Spouse: Sudha Moorthy, Director at Tiny steps Montessori Preschool, Alva, Oklahoma

Daughter: Dr. Ganga Moorthy, Pediatrician at Duke Medical Center, Durham NC

Son: Gagan Moorthy, Senior at University of Oklahoma


  • Gardening
  • Yoga
  • Traveling

Favorite Quote:

“Study without thinking is worthless; thinking without study is dangerous” – Confucius.

Motto I Live By:

“But better to be hurt by the truth than comforted with a Lie” - Khaled Hosseini

Dr. Piper Robida

Dr. Piper RobidaAssistant Professor of Biology

Phone: (580) 327-8563
Office: Science Building 100-D



  • Ph.D., University of South Carolina School of Medicine (Biomedical Science) 2017
  • B.S., Metropolitan State College of Denver (Biology) 2011


  • 2018-2019   Adjunct Assistant Professor of Biology, North Central College
  • 2017-2019   Postdoctoral Research Assistant, Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, Department of Allergy and Immunology
  • 2012-2017   Teaching Assistant, University of South Carolina, Department of Biological Sciences

Courses Taught:

  • Human Anatomy (BIOL 3184)
  • Human Physiology (BIOL 3194)
  • Cell & Molecular Biology (BIOL 3363)
  • Pathophysiology (BIOL 4503)

Research/Scholarly Interests:

  • Mast cell biology
  • Allergy and Immunology
  • Atopic dermatitis

Career Highlights:

  • American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, Travel Scholarship (2019)
  • Southeastern Regional Lipid Conference, Travel Scholarship (2016)
  • SC-INBRE Bioinformatics Pilot Project Grant – Co-PI (2014)
  • Rocky Mountain Branch – American Society of Microbiologists, Presentation Award (2012)


  • Cooking
  • Homesteading
  • Traveling
  • Outdoor activities

Dr. Jason Wickham

Dr. Jason WickhamProfessor of Chemistry

Department of Natural Sciences
School of Arts and Sciences
Science Building 100-C
(580) 327-8560

Curriculum Vitae


  • Postdoctoral Research Assistant at Washington University in Saint Loius (WUSTL) 2007-2008
  • Ph. D of Inorganic Chemistry from the University of Oklahoma (OU) 2007
  • B. S. of Chemistry from Southwestern Oklahoma State University (SWOSU) 2002

Courses Taught:

  • Chemistry for Non-Majors
  • General Chemistry I
  • General Chemistry II
  • Classical Chemical Analyzes
  • Instrumental Chemical Analyzes
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Physical Chemistry I
  • Physical Chemistry II
  • Chemistry Seminar

Research/Scholarly Interests:

  • Iodine quantity and distribution in brine waters
  • Solid Polymer Electrolyte materials
  • Nanomaterials
  • Surface modification chemistry

Career Highlights:

  • OCAST research and development internship project grant - 2017
  • Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education Partnership Award - 2017
  • OCAST research and development internship project grant - 2014


  • Native American artifact and history
  • Fishing
  • Hunting
  • Baseball
  • Restoring cars

University Clubs/Professional Organizations:

  • Co-Sponsor of the Chemistry Club
  • Member of the American Chemical Society
  • Treasure of the Oklahoma Section of the American Chemical Society
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Phone: (580) 327-1700

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