Ketia Shumaker, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Biology
Station 7
Bibb Graves 201B
(205) 652-3406
Degrees: Ph.D., Jackson State University, 2004
M.S., Alcorn State University, 2000
B.S., Alcorn State University, 1998
Employment Date: August 2004
Professional Biography:

Dr. Ketia L. Shumaker has been a part of the UWA’s Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences since 2004. She teaches courses in biology and environmental science, while also serving as the Student Success Coordinator for the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.  Her research interest lies in the field of phytoremediation (an innovation green technology that uses plants to remove contaminates from soil and water) water quality monitoring, molecular biology and plant genetics. In addition to her research focus, Dr. Shumaker mentors and recruits undergraduate students for summer research internships.  Since 2009, Dr. Shumaker has been able to take undergraduate students with her to Pennsylvania State University to participate in a ten-week long paid summer research program. Funding for these summer programs have been provided by grants from The Natural Science Foundation (NSF) and The United States Department of Agriculture. Although Dr. Shumaker travels during the summer, she enjoys her southern living.  She was born in a small town called Ackerman, Mississippi. She completed both her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biology Pre-medicine and Masters of Science degree in Biology at Alcorn State University in Lorman, Mississippi (  By age 28, she had earned her doctoral degree in environmental science from Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi ( She has participated in several academic and research support programs throughout her education; such as Upward Bound, Ronald E. McNair Scholars program, the Alliance for Graduate Education in Mississippi, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Millennium Scholarship programs.

Classes usually taught:

BY 101 - Introduction to Biology I and labs
BY 102 – Introduction to Biology II and labs
EN 100 – Introduction to Environmental Sciences and labs
BY  307 - Directed Studies in Water Quality & Phytoremediation
BY 408 - Selected Topic in Plant Genetics
EN/BY 441 – Environmental Health & Toxicology
EN/BY 541 – Environmental Health & Toxicology
BY 587- Selected Topics in Phytoremediation
ED 597- Independent Study in Educational Assessment      
BY 592 Online – Biological Sciences for Elementary Teachers

Academic / Research Interests:

Studies in molecular biology, plant genetics, and phytoremediation

Recent Publications:

Shumaker, K.L., S. Ghosh and M.S. Zaman.  2011.  Phytoextraction of Cadmium and Responses of Indian Mustrad Plants to Cadmium Contaminated Soil.  Adv. Sci. Tech. 5: 1: 70-75.
Brantley, Susan, Mary Ann Bruns, Ketia Shumaker (2011) Thirteen Hypotheses to Test How Biology, Weathering and Erosion Interact within the Critical Zone.   Geobiology. DOI: 10.1111/j.1472-4669.2010.00264.x

Shumaker, K. L. and Begonia, G. 2005. Heavy Metal Uptake, Translocation, and Bioaccumulation Studies of Triticum aestivum Cultivated in Contaminated Dredged Materials. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2:1-2.

Zaman, M. S., C. P. Jennings, and K. L. Shumaker. 2003. Chelator Induced Phytoaccumulation of Cadmium in Brassica juncea grown in Cadmium Contaminated Soil. J. Mississippi Acad. Sci. 48:1:13.

Shumaker, K. L., E. I. Hamadain, and C. Rhyne. 2002. Challenging Three Potential Phytoaccumlators for Lead in Contaminated Dredged Material. J. Mississippi Acad. Sci. 47:1:16.

Shumaker, K., A. M. Powell, and M. S. Zaman. 2002. Bioaccumulation of Cadmium and Lead in Indian Mustard Grown in Metal Contaminated Soils. J. Mississippi Acad. Sci. 47:1:15.

Zaman, M.S., K. L. Shumaker, and A. M. Powell. 2001. Chlorosis in Brassica juncea: An Assessment of Plant Tolerance to Metal Pollutants in Soil. J. Mississippi Acad. Sci. 46:1:13.

Shumaker, K.L., M. S. Zaman, V. Boyd and A. M. Powell. 2000. Responses of Indian Mustard in Soil Cadmium and Lead Pollution. J. Mississippi Acad. Sci. 45:1:14.

Shumaker, K. L., M. S. Zaman, V. Boyd, L. Johnson, and A. M. Powell. 2000. Tolerance of Indian Mustard (Brassica juncea) to Soil Metal Pollutants. Proc. 7th Biennial Symposium on Minorities, The Medically Underserved and Cancer 60-61.

Funded Grants:

Natural Science Foundation (NSF) Hardwood Genomics Grant

United States Department of Agriculture Grant on Plant Detection of Herbivore Feeding Cues  

United States Department of Education Project Engage Grant

NSF supplemental grant on the functional genomics of flowering in the woody perennial Populus tree

UWA Faculty Research Grant