New Faculty: Jennifer Hyder joins SMC as Professor of Biology

Jennifer Hyder joins SMC as Professor of Biology


I enjoy giving undergraduate students tools to succeed not only in my class, but in their other classes and even in their careers.”

Growing up in western New York state, Dr. Jennifer Hyder enjoyed spending time outdoors in the foothills of the Allegany Mountains. “It fostered an appreciation and curiosity for both plants and animals,” she said. “Biology has been my passion since I was a child.”

Hyder went on to earn a doctoral degree in biology from the University of South Florida, where she also worked as an instructor prior to joining the SMC faculty as professor of biology in August. She brings a strong background in scholarship and research to her role, along with a love for teaching undergraduate students.

“It’s very rewarding to make biology concepts tangible, allowing students to apply what they learn to their everyday lives,” she said. “I enjoy giving undergraduate students tools to succeed not only in my class, but in their other classes and even in their careers.”

Hyder teaches general and introductory courses in biology and has particular interest in conservation biology and community ecology. “While I enjoy teaching all facets of biology, I am particularly interested in how environmental variability mediates species interactions in threatened ecosystems. My research tested the Stress Gradient Hypothesis and investigated the effects of tidal increases on salt marsh and terrestrial fringe plants in coastal Florida by examining the interplay between physical stress and plant interactions.”

The biology department at SMC fulfills general education requirements for nonmajors while preparing majors who go into medicine and other areas of healthcare, research, teaching and more. Hyder is impressed by what she has seen at SMC so far. “When I first arrived at SMC, I was immediately struck by a deep sense of community,” she said. “SMC is blessed to have such dedicated faculty and staff, as well as a beautiful campus with so much history. SMC provides such a wonderful learning environment for students.”

Hyder said she has found the Spartanburg community to be warm and welcoming. “I’m happy to call Spartanburg home,” she remarked.

Hyder is a member of the Entomological Society of America, the Florida Entomological Society and the Ecological Society of America. She has won research grants and awards and has authored portions of numerous textbooks for McGraw-Hill Education. Away from work, she enjoys yoga, gardening, cooking and spending time with her family.

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