Dr. Shane Sarver

CCBR Scientific Director

Phone: 605-642-6058

Email: Shane.Sarver@BHSU.edu

Dr. Shane Sarver is the director of CCBR. He earned his PhD from Louisiana State University and was a post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Miami and the University South Carolina. Dr. Sarver has worked at Black Hills State University since 1996. Dr. Sarver has current research projects on bear conservation genetics and a continuing research interest in bison genetics and conservation. Dr. Sarver has a new research interest in the biodiversity of organisms from habitats in the Sanford Underground Research Facility. During his free time, Shane enjoys traveling, spending time outdoors. Dr. Sarver loves music and can play a bit of blues on the guitar.

Dr. Cynthia Anderson

CCBR Associate Director

Phone: 605-642-6519

Email: CynthiaAnderson@BHSU.edu

Dr. Cynthia Anderson is CCBR’s associate director. Cynthia earned her PhD in plant pathology, with an emphasis on molecular genetics of host-pathogen interactions, from Montana State University, Bozeman. She has been teaching at Black Hills State University since 2000. Most recently, she has been collaborating with medicinal chemist Dr. John Dixon who synthesizes novel compounds to test for antimicrobial activity. Dr. Anderson’s lab tests his compounds against fungi that cause diseases such as ringworm and athlete’s foot, as well as pathogenic yeasts. With a couple of successful compounds identified, her lab has been using molecular genetic techniques to understand how the fungi alter their gene expression patterns. Outside of work, Cynthia spends her time hiking in the Black Hills, and she enjoys learning to fly-fish with her husband.

Oxana Gorbatenko

Research Associate


Email: Oxana.Gorbatenko@BHSU.edu

Oxana Gorbatenko is as a Researcher II in the CCBR. She earned her bachelor’s degree in both biology and chemistry back home in Ukraine, and earned a Master of Science degree in Integrative Genomics in 2018 from Black Hills State University. Oxana assists graduate and undergraduate students with technical aspects of their research projects, and provides research services and lab management to support faculty research endeavors. In her own research, her main focus is on the genetics of dermatophytic fungi. During her time away from work, Oxana enjoys travelling with her family and being outdoors. Oxana is fluent in three languages: Ukrainian, Russian and English.

Bethany Reman

Research Assistant & Graduate Student


Email: Bethany.Reman@YellowJackets.BHSU.edu

Bethany Reman is a research assistant at the CCBR. She received her bachelor’s of science in biology along with a minor in chemistry from Black Hills State University. Bethany’s research interests include invertebrates, especially the microscopic variety. Her current research has taken her a mile below the surface at Sanford Underground Research Facility to investigate environmental biofilms. Outside of the lab Bethany enjoys honing her home renovation skills, frolicking in nature, and finding ways to entertain her dog. She has recently decided to use her knowledge of biology to become a novice gardener. Fun fact: at the age of 8, she won reserve grand champion at the Oregon state fair for her 3-ingredient cookies.

Dr. Justin Ramsey

Assistant Professor


Email: Justin.Ramsey@YellowJackets.BHSU.edu

Dr. Justin Ramsey is assistant professor of plant biology and curator of the BHSU herbarium. Justin completed his PhD in Botany at the University of Washington (Seattle) and was an NSF Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Guelph (Ontario, Canada). He served on the biology faculty at the University of Rochester before moving to BHSU in 2014. Justin’s research focuses on ecological adaptation and systematics of North American yarrows (Achillea millefolium aggregate), a polyploid complex that inhabits diverse climatic and soil environments; he also collaborates with Tara Ramsey on studies of polyploidy in ivies and directs conservation-focused projects on forest and grassland habitats. Justin teaches intro and upper-level plant biology courses at BHSU and, outside of work, enjoys dog sports with Hiesey the border collie.

Dr. Tara Ramsey

Research Associate & Adjunct Instructor


Email: Tara.Ramsey@YellowJackets.BHSU.edu

Dr. Tara Ramsey is research associate and adjunct instructor of biology at BHSU. Tara completed her graduate studies in Botany at Miami University of Ohio (MSc) and the University of Washington (PhD). Tara’s research is focused on the invasion biology and taxonomy of ivy (Hedera spp., Araliaceae), an ornamental vine that has become an aggressive weed in coastal North American forests; she also collaborates with Justin Ramsey in studies of ecological adaptation in wild yarrow. Tara coordinates Ramsey Lab educational outreach and conservation-related activities, including K-12 teacher workshops and an inventory of wild and cultivated trees on the BHSU campus. Tara teaches introductory and upper-level plant biology courses at BHSU. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with Siamese cats Clausen and Keck.