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Dr. Denise Ludvik


“I hope to inspire in my students wonder at the natural world’s beauty and order.”

The talented Dr. Denise Ludvik is in her second year at St. Ambrose, teaching biology to our freshmen. Denise is eager to share with her students her passion for learning the intricacies of how living organisms work, down to the smallest details of God’s creation, and enjoys teaching the scientific method of solving problems.

Denise currently is a staff scientist at the University of Wisconsin. She studies bacterial symbiosis, how animals and bacteria form relationships. A highlight of her research experience is traveling to Hawaii to collect squid for her lab work! She holds a PhD in microbiology from Northwestern University and a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Notre Dame. While there, she also minored in theology to continue to learn about her faith at a higher level.

In previous years, Denise was a substitute teacher for St. Ambrose for Life Science and Biology, and guest taught a bacteriology experiment for Life Science. She also was a teacher’s assistant for a graduate-level class in microbiology and has participated in local science expos for outreach. As part of her normal research work, she mentors undergraduate and first-year graduate students in the lab. 

When not in the classroom, Denise is part of the Fides et Ratio discussion group hosted by St. Paul’s Catholic Center where she has led talks on biology, bioethics, and related topics. Denise also leads a bible study on campus and is part of the Society of Catholic Scientists.

In her free time, Denise enjoys playing soccer, board games, and kayaking.