Faces: Johannes Schul

Monday, April 25, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 4:07 p.m. CDT, Sunday, July 20, 2008

Johannes Schul says he loves his job and Columbia’s laid-back college town atmosphere.

Schul, who teaches evolution and graduate courses in biology at MU, grew up in the state of Hessen, a rural area of Germany.

He worked in northern Bavaria at the University of Erlangen before moving to Columbia in 2000.

The animal behavior and evolution program drew Schul to MU.

“I like teaching evolution because it is one of the most fascinating topics in biology,” Schul says.

“Everything in biology is based on the comprehension of evolution. I can relate it to everything, which is fun.”

Schul was at ease moving to the United States. He had visited the country and, in the late 1990s, was part of a research collaboration in the biology department.

“University town settings in both the United States and Germany are similar,” Schul says.

“The atmosphere in Columbia was similar to Erlangen, and that is why it was easy to come here.”

Although Schul was accustomed to college towns and the United States, he still encountered the unexpected.

“When I first came to the United States, I ordered chicken fried steak at a restaurant,” Schul says. “I thought it was the oddest chicken I had ever had in my life. I later learned what it really was.”

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