Texas Tech University

Jennifer Burns

Jennifer BurnsTexas Tech University's College of Arts & Sciences is proud to welcome Jennifer Burns, Ph.D., as chair of the Department of Biological Sciences. She assumed the position effective June 1.

As chair of the Department of Biological Sciences, Burns leads more than 40 tenure-track faculty and research/teaching professionals, a strong cohort of adjunct and affiliate professors and scientists, a graduate program that counts more than 120 students, and an undergraduate program of some 1,600 undergraduate student majors.

Dr. Burns, who joined Texas Tech from the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA), brings with her more than two decades of research exploring the linkages between physiology, nutrition, and performance in mammalian systems.

At UAA, Burns' lab studied the physiological ecology of marine mammals—primarily those in the polar regions—and the challenges those species face to obtain food in a highly seasonal environment. She will continue her relationship with UAA as an affiliate professor.

Her many leadership roles include, most recently, two positions in the National Science Foundation's Office of Polar Programs: program director of Antarctic Integrated System Science and co-program director of Antarctic Organisms and Ecosystems.

Burns earned her Ph.D. from the University of Alaska Fairbanks Institute of Marine Sciences and her M.S. from the University of Washington, School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences.