Diara Spain, PhD

Dr. Spain joined the department as an Assistant Professor 2002 and became an Associate Professor in 2008. During this time she served as the Vice Chair for three years. Currently, starting her fourth year as the Director of the Honors Program. Dr. Spain holds a Bachelor of Science degree in biology, with a minor in education from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in Greensboro, North Carolina. Her Ph.D. is in biology, with an emphasis in marine invertebrates, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Spain’s biological science research focuses on functional morphology and locomotion in echinoderms and the mechanical properties of crustacean exoskeleton. Additionally, she serves as the Coordinator for Freshman Research Rotations and has an ongoing project investigating written and oral communication skills in undergraduate science classes. Dr. Spain has taught Organismal Biology, Research Methodology, Neuroanatomy, Animal Physiology, Histology, Human Anatomy, and Human Physiology.


Diara Spain 2013 Color

Office:  Science Center #100
Lab:  Science Center #123

Academic Area


Educational Background

  • PhD Biology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC
  • BS Biology Education, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Greensboro, NC

recent Publications

  • Visiting National Parks for Health: A Case Study at Point Reyes National Seashore in Northern California, USA. Diara D. Spain, Steven Borish, Mietek Kolipinski, John Dell’Osso4 David Ramirez III, Moyukh Ghosh, Manuel Montalban, Peg Henderson, William King, and Sibdas Ghosh. Proceedings from International Healthy Parks Healthy People Congress. Melbourne, Australia (June 2010) - in press
  • Parks Promoting Physical Activity: Synthesis of Findings From Interventions in Seven National Parks  Christine M. Hoehner, Ross C. Brownson, Diana Allen, James Gramann, Timothy K. Behrens, Myron F. Floyd, Jessica Leah , Diara Spain, Daniel R. Tardona, Nicholas Ruthmann, Rachel L. Seiler, Byron W. Yount. Journal of Physical Activity and Health. Volume 7, Supplement 1 (March 2010) pages S67–S81
  • Spain, D. and Kier, W.M. 2003. Peristaltic locomotion in holothuroids. SICB. Toronto, Canada. American Zoologist. 39: 34.3.
  • Spain, D. and Kier, W. M. 2001.  Peristaltic locomotion and habitat in holothuroids. Gulf of Mexico Science. Vol. 19(2): 176
  • Spain, D. and Kier, W. M. 2000. Links between dermal morphology, locomotor mode and lifestyle in holothuroids. SICB. Atlanta, GA. American Zoologist. 39: 39A.

recent Presentations

  • International Healthy Parks Healthy People Congress (4/10)
  • Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (1/10, 1/06, 1/05, 1/04, 1/03, 1/00)
  • Workshop on Teaching Strategies and Educational Resources, Dominican University of California (10/09)
  • Panel Member at Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Award Conference (IRACDA), UCSF (June 7-9, 2009)