Anne Walter, Ph.D.
Department of Biology
St. Olaf College

Anne WalterÕs training is in comparative physiology, physiology and pharmacology with emphasis on the properties of membranes. Most of her teaching revolves around physiology and cell biology. She also co-directs the Biology in South India Program with Gene Bakko. You can find her in Sci Cen 266 or in the fluorimeter room next to the ecology lab. Email to waltera@stolaf.edu is one of the best ways to catch her.


Cellular Biology and Genetics for the Interim (Bio 125).

This class is designed primarily for first year students who are taking the first year chemistry sequence and who are ready to start biology and continue into Bio 126 during the second semester (i.e., you have completed Calc II or your language requirement). It will be assumed that each student knows the fundamental of atoms and molecules and bonds and orbitals and a few chemical techniques. The class is limited to 24 students. The class will cover the same material as the regular semester-long sections but will be different in a few respects. First, we will study biology all day long! We will have a mix of lecture, lab and self-directed exercises all in the biology 125 lab. Some material will be learned by exploring scientific or practical problems in peer group and discussion. We will learn to write as scientists in formal lab reports and short analyses of topics we are discussing. We work very hard and we have fun.

Cell Physiology (Bio 241-WRI)

Cell physiology addresses all the processes needed to sustain life in unicellular organisms and that form the basis for the physiology of multicellular organisms. By understanding this level of biological organization, we can address issues such as nutrient limited growth in plants, the basis for drug action and the adaptations needed for different cellular environments (osmotic, temperature and pressure). Major topics covered are metabolism, membrane transport, intracellular trafficking, signaling mechanisms, cytoskeleton and motility. We will learn how these fundamental cell processes can be modified or arranged to create cells and tissues with specialized functions. The class time will be spent in a mix of lecture and discussion. The 3 hour laboratory will emphasize methods for measuring basic physiologic processes using modern tools including blotting techniques, electrophoresis, microscopy, and subcellular fractionation. Emphasis will be on designing and carrying out your own specific experiments. Formal lab reports and a major research paper are central to the course.


This neurophysiology class is a 300-level seminar course for biology, psychology, chemistry and physics majors interested in the specific details of neural communication. We focus on the ion channels responsible for the electrical properties of neurons, the secretory steps at the synapses between neurons and target cells and then how neurons form communications networks. We have a text and read from the primary literature--often from the last few months. Class time is devoted to discussion and making sure we understood what we read. Each student will write a major paper based on the most current literature, propose a research project and present it to the class.

Off-Campus Semester for Biology

Biology in South India

Fall semester studying culture and doing two independent biology projects (health, ecology, environmental) is what you could be doing if you participate in the Biology in South India Program. Approximately 10 students are chosen per year to work at a leprosy clinic, rural development projects or studying unique plants and wildlife (e.g., tigers, elephants and frogs). Applications are due in early March for the upcoming fall. They may be picked up in the International Studies Office. Please come by my office for examples of previous work, books and answers to your questions about the program and travel plans.

PICTURES FROM THERE link to green sheet

Recent papers include:

Research (link)

My research centers around properties of biological membrane lipids (PICTURE). I am particularly interested in why we have so many different types of lipids and why they are distributed in very specific ways in the cell. Our specific research ranges from fusion among membranes to reconstitution of membranes using detergents. Most recently we have formed the "Surfaces Group" an interdepartmental research team to study the spontaneous distribution of lipids, proteins and other amphiphiles. We use atomic force microscopy (AFM), other types of scanning probe microscopic techniques, fluorescence and uv/vis spectrotroscopy and cyclic voltametry to study a variety of samples.

There are numerous opportunities to work in the lab. I welcome students who wish to do independent study, independent research or carry out the research component of their scholarship programs. We also have some workstudy positions. Please check the "Surfaces" Research Page LINK to find the rationale of our work and the recent projects. The most current work is on the boards outside of my door (Sci Cen 266). e mail him to set up a date.

Here are some of Kjell's favorite sites: