Dr. Hans T. Beck, Ph.D.

Hans Beck

Associate Professor of Biology

Office Location: Stephens Hall, Room 100-B
Telephone: 630-844-3827
Fax: 630-844-3852
Email Address: hbeck@aurora.edu

I am a first-generation American and first in my family to go to college, where I studied biology and conservation. In my career as a field based-research biologist and ethnobotanist, I have traveled throughout Asia, Europe, Africa, and the Americas.  I can think of few experiences more rewarding than sharing the wonder of science through education.  My goal is to teach my subjects with passion and commitment, and I hope that my students will tell me they want to learn even more.  I focus on developing critical reading and thinking skills in my students.  From my global experiences, I promote understanding, tolerance, and respect for cultural diversity.  I enjoy learning and imparting the knowledge I have gained to my students.  By sharing my love for science and learning, I expect to support the success of all my students.


Ph.D. Biology (Plant Sciences).  City University of New York Graduate School
M. Phil. Biology.  City University of New York Graduate School
B.A. Biology: Environmental, Population, and Organismal.  University of Colorado, Boulder
B.A. Geography: Environmental Conservation.  University of Colorado, Boulder

Areas of Specialization

Botany (Plant Systematics, Economic Botany, Ethnobotany, Natural Products)
Ecology (Environmental Science, Conservation Biology, Landscape Ecology)
Science Education (Nature of Science, Biological Inquiry, Experimental Design, Biostatistics)

Courses Taught

Biology of Cells
Biology of Organisms
Comparative Botany
Plant Physiology
Conservation Biology
Research in Biology
Nature of Science
Understanding Wellness 
Research and Writing Methods in Natural Sciences
Human Biology
Highlights of Publications, Honors and Professional Contributions:

Balick, M. J. & H. T. Beck.  1990.  Useful Palms of the World: A Synoptic Bibliography. Columbia University Press, New York. 724p.  Received American Library Association Oberly Award for 1991: Judged best American science bibliography for 1990-91.  

Monographs (invited, peer-reviewed)
Beck, H.T.  2005.  Paullinia (Sapindaceae).  Pp. 320-329.  In: Berry, P.E. et al. (Vol. Eds.). Flora of the Venezuelan Guayana, Volume 8.  Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis.

Beck, H.T.  2004.  Sapindaceae.  Pp. 339-341. In: Smith, N. et al. (eds.).  Flowering Plants of the Neotropics.  Princeton University Press, Princeton.  

Book Chapters (invited, peer-reviewed)
Beck, H.T.  2005.  Caffeine, Alcohol, and Sweeteners.  Ch. 10, Pp. 173-190.  In: Prance, G.T. (ed.).  The Cultural History of Plants.  Routledge Press, London.

Scientific Research Journal Articles (peer-reviewed)
Lötter, M.C. & Beck, H.T.  2004.  Inventory and classification of indigenous afromontane forests on the Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve, Mpumalanga, South Africa.  BMC Ecology 4:9-18.

Highlights of Campus Involvement

Work with students to grow plants in the greenhouse.
Serve as College of Arts & Sciences Representative on University Graduate Affairs Committee.
Work with AU Institute for Collaboration on Illinois Math and Science Partnerships.
Nominated for the Aurora University Student Association's Student Advocate Award in 2007.
Work with middle and high school science teachers on student research and science fair.