The Harden Lab at Benedictine University conducts integrative ecological research on reptiles and amphibians. Our lab’s central research questions revolve around of how these organisms function and interact with their increasingly modified environment, by studying them on a physiological, behavioral, and spatial/temporal level. We use field-based and laboratory-based approaches to investigate how abiotic factors influence the physiology, behavior, and habitat preferences of these ectothermic vertebrates, with applications to their conservation and management.


August 2018: Congrats to Harden Lab’s Rebecca Weber and Macy Andlinger for winning this summer’s Outstanding Group Presentation for the BenU 2018 Natural Science Summer Research Program!

August 2018: Harden Lab alum Tim Benjamin publishes his first paper (as first author no less!) in Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology along with Dr. Harden, Steve Midway (LSU) , Rebecka Brasso (Weber State), and Dan Thompson (DuPage Forest Preserve)! Congrats, Tim!

July 2018: Dr. Harden, Steve Midway (LSU) and the Milanovich Lab publish their research on ornate box turtle seasonal physiology in Journal of Wildlife Diseases!

May 2018: Congratulations to lab members Tim Benjamin and Sumaiya Shahjahan on their graduation from BenU! Tim has taken as job as a Natural Areas Maintenance Technician at Integrated Lakes Management in West Chicago and Sumaiya is applying to medical school!

April 2018: Lab students present their research at BenU’s Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Arts (URSA) conference as well as at the Associated Colleges of the Chicago Area undergraduate research symposium.

February 2018: Dr. Harden and the Jurica-Suchy Nature Museum are awarded a Chicago Herpetological Society grant entitled: Rebounding Blanding’s: Conservation-Based Outreach and Education!

January 2018: Lab student Tim Benjamin presents his research investigating Hg levels in endangered, adult Blanding’s turtles at the 2018 Midwest Fish & Wildlife Conference.

October 2017: Lab students Alex Karwowska, Sumaiya Shahjahan, and Tim Benjamin present their summer research on Blanding’s turtles at the BenU College of Science Open House.

September 2017: Rebecca Weber, a sophomore at BenU, joins the Harden Lab!

May 2017: The Harden Lab’s collaborative Blanding’s turtle research with the Milanovich Lab and the Forest Preserve District of DuPage Co. is featured in the Daily Herald and NCTV17!

April 2017: The Harden Lab is featured in the Spring Edition of Voices, a BenU publication.

January 2017: Dr. Harden, Dr. Milanovich, Brock Struecker, and Stan Warcholek published their research on Ornate box turtle hibernacula in Wildlife Biology!