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joelle laing
By Appointment

Joelle Laing

Assistant Professor of Biology


On Faculty Since 2023

Curriculum Vitae

In the Covenant College Ecology and Environmental Science concentration, students explore the wonder of God’s creation and begin partnering with Him to steward what He has made. Together, we learn how He expresses His characteristics in the intricately designed natural world and embark on further scientific inquiry of its properties. At Covenant, students have the unique opportunity to learn hands-on field and research skills in the diverse forest ecosystems of Lookout Mountain. Additionally, by participating in the summer study program at Au Sable Institute, students experience a wide range of field study opportunities in topics such as freshwater and marine biology, botany, wildlife management, and conservation. Please come and join us as we learn how to care for the natural world and use our faith to engage with science! 


  • Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Ecology, University of Florida
  • M.S. in Natural Resources: Restoration Ecology, North Carolina State University
  • B.S. in Biology, Berry College

Interests / Specialization

  • Restoration Ecology
  • Botany
  • Wetlands and Freshwater Ecosystems

Selected Professional Work

  • Laing, J.M. 2016. Relationships between sediment redox potential and vegetation characteristics in Florida spring systems: Implications for restoration. Ph.D. Dissertation. University of Florida, Gainesville, FL.
  • Laing, J.M. and Frazer, T.K. 2016. Restoration strategies for submerged aquatic vegetation on sites high in sediment organic matter. Poster presented at the 6th National Conference for Ecosystem Restoration. Coral Springs, FL. April 2016.
  • Arnold, T.E.; Henson, W.E.; Laing, J.M.; Reijo, C.J.; Weinkam, G.B.; Nealis, C.P. 2015. Enhancing introductory hydrology curriculum by integrating perspectives from multidisciplinary graduate fields of study. Poster presented at the 47th annual meeting for the American Geophysical Union. San Francisco, CA. Dec. 2015.
  • Reijo, C.; Arnold, T.E.; Burkett, V.; Henson, W.R.; Laing, J.M.; Weinkam, G. 2012. Characterization of nutrient uptake kinetics in a spring-fed north Florida stream. Poster presented at the 3rd Annual University of Florida Water Institute Symposium: Nutrient Dynamics, Policy, and Management in Watersheds. Gainesville, FL. Feb. 2012.
  • Laing, J. M., Shear, T. H., & Blazich, F. A. (2011). How management strategies have affected Atlantic white-cedar forest recovery after massive wind damage in the Great Dismal Swamp. Forest Ecology and Management, 262, 1337–1344.

Get to know your professor

Q. If you could compete in an olympic sport, what would it be and why?
A. Flatwater kayaking- can't beat the scenery while you compete!

Q. Favorite local restaurant?
A. Still exploring, but I love a good breakfast a First Watch in Chattanooga.

Q. Favorite food?
A. Anything Middle Eastern. And rhubarb pie. 

Q. What is one thing that instantly makes your day better?
A. An interesting conversation with a student.

Q. If you could teach any other major, what would it be?
A. Sustainable Agriculture or Psychology

Q. Personal Interests/Hobbies
A. Hiking, growing my own food, cooking ethnic cuisine, paddling, my cat Zoe, spending time with family and friends.