Office Address:
Department of Biology
Vanguard University of Southern California
55 Fair Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Phone: (714) 619-6469
Fax: (714) 966-6316

Tara M. Sirvent, PhD. (’96) is Associate Professor of Biochemistry appointed jointly in the Departments of Chemistry and Biology. Dr. Sirvent completed her undergraduate education at Vanguard University in Costa Mesa, California in chemistry and biology before earning her Ph. D. at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY in 2001. Since completing her doctoral studies, she has held a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research in Ithaca. Her work has centered on isolating and characterizing natural products from several plant pathogenic fungi as well as elucidating the biosynthetic pathway of various anthraquinone and naphthoquinone products which function as pigments and/or toxins within the plant. Since 2001, she has also taught in the Department of Chemistry at Tompkins Cortland Community College in Dryden, NY. In 2003 she was on the faculty at the University of West Florida in the Department of chemistry. Dr. Sirvent will teach courses in biochemsitry as well as participate in the teaching program at the freshman/sophomore level.

She is very interested in natural products chemistry and intends to continue her research interests in anthraquinone biosynthesis, and the role these compounds play in plant secondary metabolism.

In addition to regularly scheduled class and laboratory times, She is available on campus on Mondays from 1:00pm to 4:00pm. If questions arise at other times, you may contact her via email or by telephone to make other arrangements by appointment.


Ph.D. 2001 Cornell University (Ithaca, NY)
BA 1996 Vanguard University (Costa Mesa, CA), summa cum laude


2000-ongoing Professor of Biology, Vanguard University
2007-2010 Chairperson
2002-2007 Associate Professor of Sociology, Vanguard University
2005-ongoing Project review for Office of Research, California Department of Biology
2002 Manuscript reviewer for State University of New York Press
1997-2002 Assistant Professor of Biology, Vanguard University
1996-1997 Lecturer, UC Riverside
1996-1997 Special Advisor


Plant Physiologist Field Biology
Botany Microbiology
Genetics Nitrogen Fixation


  • “From Plants to People” in Plant Biology, Jane Smith (ed.). (In progress) Translation Publishing.
  • “Microbiology and the World” Science Journal, John Smith (ed.). Carolina Academic Press. 2003.
  • With Jon Doe. “Genetics, Plants, People” Genetics Journal, Jon Doe, (eds.). McGraw-Hill. 1998.


  • “Re-presenting Biology.” Footnotes-Newsletter of the American Biology Association 34 (1). January 2006.
  • “Nitrogen Fixation in Early Stages.” The Botany Journal 18 (1). 2001.
  • “Plant Physiology and Time.” Journal of Bontany and Genetics 5 (1 & 2). 2001.


  • “Reaching the World with Botany.” University of Colorado Biology Studies Seminar. May 22, 2007.
  • “Bringing Nitrogen Fixation Into the Classroom.” University of Washington. May 19, 2007.
  • “The Plant is the Thing.” Biologist Association. Vanguard University. May 11-13, 2007.


  • Biologist Honor Society
  • Microbiology Leadership Honor Society
  • Pacific Plant Physiologist Association


  • National Honor Society, Honorary Member, 2001
  • Academic Research Grant, Vanguard University, June 2000