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Associate Professor of Biology, Director CUI Marine Lab

Curriculum Vitae

Sean Bignami

Dr. Sean Bignami, Ph. D., graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara with a B.S. in Aquatic Biology and minor in Athletic Coaching, and the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science with a Ph. D. in Marine Biology and Fisheries. His doctoral research investigated the effects of ocean acidification (ocean pH change) on larval marine fishes. Dr. Bignami is the founder and Director of the CUI Marine Lab , which supports CUI classes, student and faculty research, and a mobile touch-tank educational outreach program. His current research interests span a range of areas in the marine sciences, including experimental, ecological, and fisheries/conservation biology. Current projects include the study of ocean acidification, impact of sea star wasting disease on intertidal communities, and assessment of Pismo clam populations in southern California. Dr. Bignami also serves as the advisor of Concordia’s Epsilon Chi Delta Chapter of the Beta Beta Beta National Biological Honor Society. He especially enjoys including and advising students in research and outreach programs, and providing an opportunity for them to explore their faith as it intersects with their passion for science.


Ph.D.- Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami, 2013
B.S.- University of California Santa Barbara, 2006

Associate Professor of Biology
Chair - Biology Department

Scott E. Gaines

Dr. Scott Gaines (M.S, Ph.D.) has been at Concordia University Irvine since 2012 teaching subjects such as Biomechanics, General Biology, Integrated Biology, and Human Anatomy & Physiology. Professor Gaines has earned a B.S. in Biology from the University of California, Irvine, a M.S. in Human Movement from A.T Still University in Arizona and a Ph.D. in Education from Curtin University in Australia. Prior to coming to Concordia, Professor Gaines worked as an educator for health and fitness professionals for over 20 years. He is an author and national speaker on a wide range of topics such as biomechanics and cardiovascular-based program design. Professor Gaines also has a special interest in innovative teaching techniques, and is the faculty advisor for the CUI chapter of the International Medical Fraternity, Phi Delta Epsilon

Degrees Earned

  • A.T. Still University, Mesa, AZ, M.S. 2008
  • Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia, PhD, 2021

Associate Professor of Biochemistry
Chair - Chemistry, Biochemistry, Physics and Engineering

Dr. Lindsay Kane-Barnese

Dr. Lindsay Kane-Barnese (Ph.D.) graduated from Concordia University Irvine with B.A. in Biology and a B.A. in Chemistry. She obtained her Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Kane-Barnese’s doctoral work and current research interests involve a protein involved in some cases of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig’s Disease. She teaches a variety of classes, ranging from introductory to advanced biology and chemistry courses. Dr. Kane-Barnese also advises students in research pertaining to ALS or other biochemistry or molecular biology related research. She enjoys working with students to learn complex biological and chemical topics in their classes and research and helping them explore the intersection of faith and science in their chosen field.


Ph.D. - University of California, Los Angeles, 2010

Professor of Biology

Dr. Sarah Karam

Dr. Sarah Karam (Ph.D.) graduated from Concordia Irvine, in 2004 with a B.A. in Biology. She then earned a M.S. in Natural Resources & Environmental Science and a Ph.D. in Ecology, Evolution, & Conservation Biology from the University of Nevada, Reno. Her graduate research focused on interactions between plants, fire, and the greater environment in two beautiful locations: Lake Tahoe and Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge in the Mojave Desert. Her current research focuses on how humans influence the distribution of native plants around Concordia Irvine. In addition to her teaching and research in the biology department, she also serves as faculty-in-residence for the Honors Living Learning Community. Living in this community provides the opportunity to extend conversations she has with students in the classroom.


  • Ph.D. - University of Nevada, Reno, 2013
  • M.S. - University of Nevada, Reno, 2011

Professor of Biology

Dr. Roderick Soper (M.S., Ph.D.) has been at Concordia University for 20 years and has a background in large mammal nutrition and wildlife and fisheries ecology. Prior to coming to Concordia, Dr. Soper was a biologist and manager of environmental affairs for private consulting firms and worked as an in-house environmentalist for telecommunication companies. He has worked on endangered species (plant and animal) habitat restoration, wetland biology mitigation, riparian habitat management and wide variety of species-specific projects. Currently, Dr. Soper has taken an interest in the history and philosophy of science focusing primarily on epistemological questions and the interaction of faith and science issues.


Ph.D. - Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia, 2009

Assistant Professor of Biology, Director CUI Heritage Garden

Tyler Zarubin

Professor Tyler Zarubin (M.S.) graduated from the University of California at San Diego with a B.S. in Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution, and a minor in Latin American Studies. He earned his M.S. in Zoology from Colorado State University, where his research focused on elucidating the biological function of Crustacean hyperglycemic hormone. Professor Zarubin has an extensive background in education, most recently at Sage Hill School, where he taught several advanced biology courses, led international travel courses, and developed opportunities for student research in molecular genetics. He enjoys the opportunity to share his love of the natural world with students, but also engage with and guide them in scientific research, and bring his love of Jesus and his love of science into the classroom where a deeper understanding of the Creator and His creation will flourish. Professor Zarubin also serves as the Director of the CUI Heritage Garden, where students, faculty, and the local community have the opportunity to ecosystem gardening.

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