The Dr. Myrle Burk and Vera Burk Will Endowed Chair in Biology
Established in 1988 to honor sisters Dr. Myrle Burk and Vera Burk Will
Dr. Roy M. Ventullo serves as professor of biology and director of undergraduate research. He has held the Dr. Myrle Burk and Vera Burk Will Chair in Biology since his appointment to the Wartburg faculty in 1994.
He earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in biology and zoology, respectively, from the State University of New York-Brockport and a Ph.D. degree in microbiology from the University of Georgia in Athens.
Before coming to Wartburg, Ventullo was a senior scientist in the Environmental Science Department at the Procter & Gamble Company. He also served on the biology faculty at the University of Dayton and was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada.
His research interests include biofilm microbiology, antibiotic resistant bacteria, biodegradation of dyes by white rot fungi, and the microbiology of Bromeliads. Ventullo and his student and faculty research partners have presented their findings at academic conferences across the country.
Myrle Burk and Vera Burk Will were sisters who grew up in Black Hawk County and eventually returned to the Waterloo area to operate the family farm. Dr. Myrle Burk earned a Ph.D. in biology from the University of Illinois and was a former president of the Iowa Chapter of the Nature Conservancy and the Waterloo Audubon Society. Vera Burk Will pursued a career in business advertising and investment management.