My Story

I’m an introvert, and for as long as I can remember I’ve enjoyed taking long hikes in big wilderness landscapes and trying to comprehend the smallest and most obscure biological entities at the level of molecular interactions. On a good day I get to do both at the same time. The more I throw myself into the minutiae of molecular biology, the more I seem to learn about biological identity, altruism, free will, purpose, and meaning. There is nothing like grappling with life at the sub-microscopic level to challenge my misconceptions and fire up my imagination. That’s what I think good science is supposed to do. Among the things I have had the pleasure of encountering in my path through science are: slime molds, African trypanosomes, RNA trans-splicing, flagellar basal bodies, behavioral plasticity in sensitive plants, and brain altering parasites of mammals. I’ve been quite lucky.

Jeff Holmes mouse
Forest canopy


  • B.A. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, UC Santa Barbara
  • M.A. in Cell Biology, UC Santa Barbara
  • Ph.D. in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder

Research Interests

  • Toxoplasma gondii in shrew mortality and behavior
  • Learning in the sensitive plant, Mimosa pudica
  • Planctomycete bacteria

Courses Taught

  • BIO 2080: Cell Biology
  • BIO 3220: Genetics
  • BIO 4500: Microbiology

Crews and Other Activities

  • Faculty Clown in the WWC Circus

Contact Dr. Holmes

(828) 771-3070
Witherspoon 106
WWC CPO 6275

PO Box 9000

Asheville, NC 28815-9000
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