Chad Heins

Associate ProfessorBiology Department

Prof. Chad J. Heins is an Associate Professor in the Biology department.


  • M.S. in Biology from Minnesota State University-Mankato:
    • Thesis: A Floral Survey and Taxonomic Key to the Vascular Plants of the Marvin M. Schwan Retreat and Conference Center near Trego, Wisconsin
  • B.S. in Communication and Biology from Wisconsin Lutheran College

Research Interests:

I am very interested in biodiversity and biogeography, probably as a result of my childhood fascination with field guides and checklists. My primary research involves collecting and identifying spiders from around the state of Minnesota in an attempt to better understand species’ distribution in the state. While doing some biological inventory work with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service several years ago, I discovered that there was no published list of spiders for the state.  It appeared to be a hole in our collective knowledge that I could fill; I just didn’t know how big the hole was.  In the process of learning about spider identification, I managed to become a regional expert.  I currently serve as a contributing editor on BugGuide and manage a project that collects data from observations of Minnesota’s spiders submitted to iNaturalist.  The result of my work has been a preliminary checklist to Minnesota’s spiders which I have made available online. I try to involve students in my research through coursework or independent research projects. I am also interested in raptor migration and serve as the coordinator for the Bethany Hawkwatch which has a count site on the Bethany campus.  Thousands of raptors migrate over the campus each fall as they pass through the Minnesota River Valley.  Learn more about this project by visiting Hawkcount. I am flexible to my students’ research interests and have been blessed to assist with research on aquatic macroinvertebrates, reptiles, amphibians, plants, spiders, owls, loons, etc.


  • Ehmann, William J., Chad Heins, Diana Jacobsmeyer, Julia Moravec, and Matthew Sandrich.   New records for Minnesota jumping spiders (Araneae: Salticidae) including Habronattus spp., with consideration of future state Special Concern and Threatened species listings.  Technical Report for the Minnesota DNR.
  • Heins, Chad. Flycatchers Disabled by Mud. The Loon 85 (3): 150-151.

Personal Information:

I’ve been teaching at Bethany since January of 2000. My wife is a part-time librarian and we have four children. When I'm not teaching, I spend my time birding, collecting spiders, exploring wild places, taking pictures and reading history books.

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