Associate Dean, College of Science
James Luken, Ph.D., is a professor of biology and serves as associate dean of the Gupta College of Science. He came to CCU in 2001 as chair of the Department of Biology and served in that position until 2005. From 2008 to 2011 he was associate dean in the College of Science, charged with oversight of the master’s program in coastal and marine wetland studies. He served as associate provost of Graduate Studies from 2011 to 2018. Luken has directed universitywide graduate programs and initiatives, which led to the establishment of the College of Graduate Studies and Research in 2018.
He received the HTC Distinguished Teacher-Scholar Award in 2007. He is a botanist/ecologist and has worked with both undergraduate and graduate students in efforts to understand and preserve rare endemic plants, inlcuding the Venus flytrap, and plant communities of the southeastern United States. Luken has established a national reputation in restoration, community ecology and population biology of plants in coastal systems, providing Coastal students with unique research opportunities. Luken is also the co-author of "101 Wild Things Along the Grand Strand."
Luken earned a bachelor's degree in zoology from Southern Illinois University, a master's degree in biology from Western Washington University and a Ph.D. in botany from Duke University.