Pam Lopez, Ph.D.



Department of Biology


Contact Information

Office: Strain Science

   Building 206


Phone: 503.352.2734




B.S. Biology, Columbus State University

Ph.D. Biology, University of California at Los Angeles (Go Bruins!)


Courses that I teach

Teaching Interests

I genuinely enjoy sharing my knowledge with my students, challenging them to think critically and apply their knowledge to novel situations, and teaching them how to locate and critically evaluate biological information on their own.  I am also committed to enhancing all of my students’ understanding and appreciation of the natural world.  Each of my class sessions is rich with interactive Q&A, demonstrations, examples, case studies, photographs and video snippets.  Labs in my upper division courses include field and lab work, observational and experimental investigations that allow students to apply and test their knowledge from lecture, and independent research projects.  In Tropical Rainforest Biology we spend three weeks in Costa Rica during January with a focus on students conducting independent research projects in lowland tropical rainforest.

During my career I have been honored with several teaching awards, including the Oregon Academy of Science Outstanding University Teacher Award (1996) and the Pacific University S.S. Johnson Foundation Award for Excellence in Teaching (2005).  I was also nominated for the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching U.S. Professors of the Year Program by Pacific University in 1996 and 2001.



Research Interests and Student Research

My primary research interest is the behavioral ecology of amphibians.  My recent research focuses on amphibians in the Pacific Northwest (PNW), but I have worked extensively with tropical amphibians (and reptiles) in Puerto Rico, Brazil and Costa Rica.  I have also conducted research on the ecological development of mitigated wetlands in the PNW, with my primary focus on vertebrate and aquatic macro invertebrate communities.  My students and I are currently immersed in two research projects:

Topics that my research students and I have investigated during the past 10 years are shown below.  Some of these projects were conducted as independent research (Biol 495, indicated with an *) by my students. 



My students and I present our research at a variety of regional and national conferences.  Recent abstracts (* indicates student authors) include:



Publications and Technical Reports (* indicates student authors)