Dr. Paul Olson

Dr. Paul Olson - Headshot

I started teaching in the Department of Biology in 2007 and celebrated 10 years of service at UCO. 
The courses taught range from General Biology to Evolutionary Medicine.  Like many
in the department, I have a love for the outdoors and trying to find out “the meaning of Life”. 
Born in Chicago, I have lived in Omaha, Boston, Kansas City, and Fort Collins, Colorado. 
However, I call Oklahoma my true home.  If I was not spending time playing outdoors
when I was younger, I was involved in sports.  Eventually I settled on competitive golf
which turned out great as it offered an excellent opportunity to not only learn the taxonomy,
but the morphology and anatomy of trees.  As a result of golf, my career as a biologist
was already in motion.  I completed my B.S. and M.S. in Biology at UCO with an emphasis
on plant physiology and ecology.  I continued my interests in environmental biology at the
University of Oklahoma while working on the bioremediation and restoration of industrial hazardous
waste near Houston, Texas.  After earning a Ph.D. in Botany at OU, I worked as a post-doctoral
fellow on an U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sponsored project (ecological restoration of
polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon-contaminated soils
) in a dual appointment in the Departments of
Biology and Engineering at Colorado State University.  Today, I enjoy working with students
on topics in environmental biology including microorganisms involved in pollution
biodegradation, isolation of bacteriophages, and even questions involving “why do we get sick
(evolutionary medicine).   I live in Edmond with my wife and 2 sons on own little organic
parcel, where there are always trees to trim and mindless mowing to keep me connected to Mother Nature.    


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