Our biology faculty members have been trained across the continent—and their experiences vary as much as their expertise. Of course, a Christian focus is one thing these award-winning scholars have in common.


Get to know us.

Dr. Brian Joyce
Natural Sciences Department Chair, Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies

Dr. Brian Joyce earned his B.S. in Forest Science, his M.S. in Forest Resources, and his Ph.D. in Ecology from Penn State University. He also spent five years at Penn State as a research assistant and worked in the Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry as a forester. After working as an instructor of forestry at Penn State for a year and a half, Dr. Joyce came to Montreat College in 1996 to teach environmental studies.

Dr. Joyce believes that educators “make the material applicable to students’ lives. Students will not only understand it, but retain it.” Because Montreat provides smaller class sizes, Dr. Joyce enjoys the opportunity it gives him to get to know his students. Outside of the classroom, he likes to hike, hunt, and fly fish. He also enjoys seeing the world through the lens of a camera. His interests lie in plant and water relations, ecophysiology, plant hydraulic architecture, forest ecology, and forest growth modeling.

Dr. Brad Daniel
Professor of Biology, Environmental Studies, and Outdoor Education, Outdoor Education Department Co-Chair

Dr. Brad Daniel has been on the faculty of Montreat College since 1984. He earned his B.S. from Appalachian State University in biology and experiential education, his M.A. in biology with an emphasis in ecology, and he also holds an M.S. in outdoor education from Northern Illinois University. Dr. David received his Ph.D. in environmental studies at Antioch University. While teaching at Montreat, Dr. Daniel also worked as an adjunct faculty at Antioch University from 1998–2005. His work experience also includes chairing the Christian Wilderness Leadership Coalition Board and cofounding Blue Ridge Backcountry, a Christian wilderness program.

On teaching, Dr. Daniel shares, “Teaching is the art and craft of engaging the heart and mind in order to encourage the full realization of God-given potential. It extends beyond the facts and figures. It is more than just mastery of content. It is the act of investing one’s life in students in order to encourage their mental, emotional, and spiritual growth.”  

As someone with a passion for teaching, Dr. Daniel has received multiple honors and awards, including the 2011 Professor of the Decade Award (2001–2010) at Montreat College; the 2008 Montreat College Dean’s Award; the 2003 David Park’s Distinguished Professor Award; the 1996, 1997, and 2006 Who’s Who Among America’s College Teachers; and the 1985, 1988, 1991, 1995 Teacher of the Year Award at Montreat College, which is given by both students and faculty. Dr. Daniel has also published numerous articles. His most recent publication is titled Nighttime Adventures: Exploring and Appreciating the Mysteries of the Night by Leading Walks After Dark, which was published in Green Teacher, Issue 93.

Mr. Lloyd Davis
Professor Emeritus of Mathematics and Physics

Professor Lloyd Davis has been teaching at Montreat College since 1979. Prior to working at Montreat, he taught physics and math at numerous other educational institutions, including Dayton Christian Schools, Kent State University, and Asbury College. Professor Davis received his M.S. and B.A. in physics from Miami University. He has completed additional graduate study in physics at the University of Kentucky, Kent State University, and Texas A&M University (nuclear engineering). He also has undertaken graduate study in mathematics at Western Carolina University.

When not in the classroom, he enjoys hiking, traveling, and sports. However, his favorite activity is being a grandfather. He enjoys his time at Montreat College and says that, “It is a special place where students are encouraged to think Christianly about everything they do.” Even in the science lab, Professor Davis encourages students to think through their faith, saying, “We in science have the opportunity to study nature for what it can tell us about itself and about its Creator.”

Dr. Mark Lassiter
Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies

Dr. Mark Lassiter has been on the faculty of Montreat College since 1992. He assisted in the development of the Environmental Studies major at Montreat, one of the most popular programs at the college. Dr. Lassiter earned his B.S. and M.S in biology at the College of William and Mary. He attained his Ph.D. from North Carolina State University in insect physiology (biochemistry and toxicology). Dr. Lassiter has also been the organic chemistry and biology instructor at North Carolina State University and the head science instructor at Carlisle School. Part of Dr. Lassiter’s teaching philosophy is to “challenge and develop a student’s Christian faith and vocation.”

Dr. Lassiter is affiliated with the United States Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, has been awarded the David L. Parks Distinguished Professor Award, and is on the Academic Advisory Council of the Au Sable Institute. He says, “Montreat College, tucked in thousands of acres, at the foot of Mt. Mitchell, is in a fabulous, unique place, surrounded with God’s glorious gift of a tremendous environmental setting.” Dr. Lassiter enjoys exploring the Montreat mountain cove while hiking and birding. He also enjoys photography and music.