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Michele G. Wheatly

Michele G. Wheatly

Michele G. Wheatly

Professor of Biology, Former Provost


342 Life Sciences Complex
Office: 315.443.6123


  • ACE Institute for Chief Academic Officers (2012-2013)
  • Executive Training, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University (2007)
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Calgary (1980-1983)
  • Ph.D., Comparative Physiology, , Birmingham University, U.K. (1980)
  • B.Sc., Biological Sciences, Birmingham University, U.K. (1977)

Social/Academic Links

Courses Taught

BIO 323 Integrative Physiology and Ecology

BIO 479/679 Mind the Gap: Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility in STEM

Biographic Overview

Michele G. Wheatly is Professor of Biology at Syracuse University. She currently serves on the Air University Board of Visitors (2022-2025, following appointment by the Secretary of Defense) as well as the External Advisory Committee of the ADVANCE Resource and Coordination Network and an eBoard of the Association for Women in Science.

She has served as Chief Academic Officer and Provost at two successive Research 1 universities, most recently at Syracuse University (2016-2020) and prior to that at West Virginia University (2009-2014). At both institutions she advanced academic rankings, led comprehensive academic strategic planning, led successful accreditation exercises, and grew faculty ranks through establishing research clusters.

Prior to WVU, Dr. Wheatly was dean of science and math (2002-09) and chair of biology (1994-2002) at Wright State University. Dr. Wheatly ascended the academic ranks at the University of Florida (1984-1994) after completing postdoctoral training at the University of Calgary, Canada, (1980-1984). She earned both a Ph.D. (1980) and B.Sc. (1977) at Birmingham University in the United Kingdom. Born and raised in London, she became a naturalized US citizen in 2003.

An internationally recognized scholar/educator (and presidential medalist in 1988), Professor Wheatly has been continuously funded by NSF ($29.5 million over 30 years) and has contributed to her academic field of comparative physiology (112 papers, 192 abstracts, 29 colloquia, 22 research students). Her scholarship interests include the comparative physiology of crustaceans, the logic of epithelial Ca transport, biologically inspired adaptive interfaces, bio complexity, access to STEM careers for members of underrepresented groups and women in higher education leadership. She has traveled widely in pursuit of her research agenda, including studying as a Fulbright Scholar in the Middle East, and serving as an EPCOR delegate to Ireland.

Dr. Wheatly is recognized as a national thought leader on building partnerships around education, economic development, and healthcare (keynoted at the UEDA and CICEP). She is known nationally for her passion and advocacy for inclusive excellence, promoting access for and the success of women, people of color, and people with disabilities in the knowledge economy. Her work on universal access to STEM has received Congressional recognition (2004) and has been supported through multiple grants from the National Science Foundation. Dr. Wheatly’s signature legacy programs have included establishment of a Women in Science Giving Circle at Wright State University, the Women’s Leadership Initiative at West Virginia University and leading a successful online pivot of the Women in Leadership initiative at Syracuse University (2020-2021).

Research Interests
  • Comparative physiology of decapod crustacea.
  • Gas exchange, ion and acid-base regulation in response to environmental changes including salinity, temperature, dissolved gases, exercise, and the advance from aquatic to terrestrial existence.
  • Cellular and molecular biology of epithelial (branchial/renal) ion motive proteins.
  • Temporal and spatial regulation of genes coding for Ca2+ transporting proteins.
  • Biologically inspired adaptive interfaces.
  • Biocomplexity.
Educational Interests
  • Access of underrepresented groups to STEM careers.
  • Women in higher education leadership.
Honors and Recognitions
  • Diversity Award (COSM), Wright State University (2009)
  • Ohio Women's Hall of Fame, Governor of Ohio (2008)
  • Dayton's Ten Top Women, Dayton Community (2007)
  • Quest Community Award (CLASS), Wright State University (2004)
  • Outstanding Faculty Member, Wright State University Board of Trustees (2000)
  • Outstanding Collaborative Unit, Wright State University Presidential Award (1999)
  • L'ship in Women's Advancement, Wright State University (1997)
  • Teaching Incentive Program, University of Florida (1993)
  • Presidential Medal (early career), Society for Experimental Biology (1988)
Professional Associations
  • Society for Experimental Biology
  • Canadian Society of Zoologists
  • Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology
  • American Physiological Society
  • Crustacean Society
  • Sigma Xi
  • International Association of Astacology
  • Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory
  • Ohio Academy of Sciences
  • Ohio Physiological Society
  • American Association of University Women
  • Council for Undergraduate Research
  • Association for College and University Biology Educators
  • Association for Women in Science
  • National Association of Biology Teachers
  • National Science Teachers Association
  • Phi Beta Delta Honor Society
  • Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences
  • Council of Arts and Sciences in Urban Universities
  • Association of Public and Land-grant Universities: Council on Academic Affairs
  • Education Advisory Board: Provost's Roundtable
  • Big XII Provosts
  • American Council on Education (ACAO)
Selected Publications
  • Wheatly, M.G., L.N. Reed, M. Garland, and C.C. Jackson. 2023. Lessons learned from the pandemic: Syracuse University women embraced the online pivot in leadership education. Journal of Leadership Studies, 16 (4), 1-7.
  • Corsbie-Massay, C.L., and M. G. Wheatly. 2022. The role of media professionals in perpetuating and disrupting stereotypes of women in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. Frontiers in Communications. DOI: 10.3389/fcomm.2022.1027502.
  • Rohrback, S., M. G. Wheatly, and C. M. Gillen. 2015. Calcium binding to Procambarus clarkii sarcoplasmic calcium binding protein splice variants. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, 179B, 57-63.
  • White, A. J., M. J. Northcutt, S. E. Rohrback, R. O. Carpenter, M. M. Niehaus-Sauter, Y. Gao, M. G. Wheatly, and C. M. Gillen. 2011. Characterization of sarcoplasmic calcium binding protein (SCP) variants from freshwater crayfish Procambarus clarkii. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, 160B, 8-14.
  • Gao, Y., C. M. Gillen, D. R. Whalen, F. M. Vigo, A. E. Golshani, and M. G. Wheatly. 2009. Expression of genes encoding Ca2+ exporting proteins in freshwater crayfish Procambarus clarkii during cold acclimation. Journal of Thermal Biology, 34, 144-151.
  • Gao, Y., C. M. Gillen, and M. G. Wheatly. 2009. Cloning and characterization of a calmodulin gene (CaM) in crayfish Procambarus clarkii and expression during molting. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, 152B, 216-225.
  • Gillen, C. M., Y. Gao, M. M. Niehaus-Sauter, M. R. Wylde, and M. G. Wheatly. 2008. Elongation factor 1Bγ (eEF1Bγ) expression during the molting cycle and cold acclimation in the crayfish Procambarus clarkii. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, 150B, 170-176.
  • Wheatly, M. G., Y. Gao, and C. M. Gillen. 2007. Paradox of cell calcium homeostasis during vectorial transfer in crayfish kidney. General and Comparative Endocrinology, 152, 267-272.
  • Gao, Y., and M. G. Wheatly. 2007. Molecular cloning of an epithelial Ca2+ channel (ECaC) like gene from crayfish Procambarus clarkii. Journal of Experimental Biology, 210, 1813-1824.
  • Wheatly, M. G., Y. Gao, L. M. Stiner, D.R. Whalen, M. Nade, F. Vigo, and A. E. Golshani. 2007. Roles of NCX and PMCA in basolateral calcium export associated with mineralization cycles and cold acclimation in crayfish. New York Annals of Science, 1099, 190-192.
  • Gao, Y., C. M. Gillen, and M. G. Wheatly. 2006. Molecular characterization of the sarcoplasmic calcium-binding protein (SCP) from crayfish Procambarus clarkii. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, 144B, 478-487.
  • Zanotto, F. P., and M. G. Wheatly. 2006. Ion regulation in invertebrates: molecular and integrative aspects. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology, 79, 357-62.
  • Wheatly, M. G., and Y. Gao. 2004. Molecular biology of ion motive proteins in comparative models. Journal of Experimental Biology, 207, 3253-3263.
  • Gao, Y., and M. G. Wheatly. 2004. Characterization and expression of plasma membrane Ca2+ ATPase (PMCA3) in crayfish, Procambarus clarkii, antennal gland during moulting. Journal of Experimental Biology, 207, 2991-3002.
  • Zanotto, F. P., M. G. Wheatly, C. L. Reiber, A. T. Gannon, and E. Jalles-Filho. 2004. The allometry of postmolt net ion uptake, ventilation and circulation in the freshwater crayfish Procambarus clarkii: intraspecific scaling. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology, 77, 275-284.Wheatly Appendix, Page 5
  • Zanotto, F. P., and M. G. Wheatly. 2003. Calcium balance in crustaceans: nutritional aspects of physiological regulation. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, 133A, 645-660.
  • Stiner, L.M., Z. Zhang, and M. G. Wheatly. 2002. Localization and molecular characterization of the crayfish NCX. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 976, 77-80.
  • Chen, D., Z. Zhang, M. G. Wheatly, and Y. Gao. 2002. Cloning and characterization of the heart muscle isoform of sarco/endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ ATPase (SERCA) from crayfish. Journal of Experimental Biology, 205, 2677-2686.
  • Wheatly, M. G., F. P. Zanotto, and M. G. Hubbard. 2002. Calcium homeostasis in crustaceans: subcellular Ca dynamics. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, 132B, 163-178.
  • Wheatly, M. G., M. G. Hubbard, and A. Corbett. 2002. Physiological characterization of the Na+/Ca2+ exchanger (NCX) in hepatopancreatic and antennal gland basolateral membrane vesicles isolated from the freshwater crayfish Procambarus clarkii. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, 131, 343-361.
  • Wheatly, M. G., Y. Gao, N. Freire, and F. P. Zanotto. 2001. Subcellular calcium homeostasis during transepithelial calcium flux associated with crustacean molting: what role do SERCAs and PMCAs play? In: Proceedings of the 3rd International Satellite Symposium on the Comparative Endocrinology of Calcium Regulation. (Eds. C. V. Gay, C. G. Dacke, J. A. Danks and P. A. Cox).
  • Gannon, A. T., M. G. Wheatly, and K. E. Everson. 2001. Infestation rates of the ectocommensal gill barnacle, (Octolasmis muelleri), on blue crabs, effects of salinity and the impact of the barnacle on crab mortality. In: V. Guillory, H. M. Perry, and S. J. VanderKooy (eds.) Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission-Proceedings of Blue Crab Mortality Symposium. Publ. No. 90. Pp. 61-68 Ocean Springs, Mississippi.
Current Federal Funding

NSF (ADVANCE: Increasing the Participation and Advancement of Women in Academic Science and Engineering Careers); “Commemorating 20 years of ADVANCE: design thinking sessions for a digital exhibit and archive”; H. M. Metcalf, M. G. Wheatly, S. T. Smith and B. Mitchneck (2022-2023)