November 16, 2015

Alexander Urry has been awarded a Richter-ASP grant for his project Guatemala City, Guatemala, 1/8-21/2016: An Examination of the Effects of Dicton Vitamin A Deficiency and Infant Mortality with project advisor Shana Goffredi. Congratulations Alexander!

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November 6, 2015



Seven additional biology students have been awarded ASP grants for the 2015 Fall semester! Congratulations are in order for the following students and mentors:

Morgan Bennett-Smith | Gary Martin

Madeline Gillman | Gretchen North


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October 30, 2015

Here is the full schedule for the Fall 2015 Biology Senior Comps Presentations:

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October 22, 2015

The 2015 Fall Biology Department Seminar Series concludes with Dr. Louis Santiago's talk: Assessing drought survival strategies in woody plant species

For centuries, scientists have studied how the environment affects plants. Only recently, with climate change threatening plant communities, have researchers begun to ask how plants affect their environment. My research examines the relationship between plants and their environment. I would like to understand how plant productivity is determined by the availability of resources such as water, light and nutrients, and how the complex variation of resources along environmental gradients combines to mediate vegetation processes. Understanding how plant processes are structured by environmental resource availability is critical for predicting the responses of plants to environmental change, as well as subsequent effects on natural resource use by humans. In our...

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October 14, 2015

The Biology Department Seminar Series continues with Kris Kaiser's talk: Urban impacts on herpetofauna: evidence from species from four countries and three continents

Urban landscapes are growing quickly: by 2030, and as a result, globally, urbanization has become one of the largest causes for habitat degradation and loss; habitat that remains is dramatically altered with respect to a variety of parameters, including light, noise, temperature, and precipitation regimes.  Here I present three sets of studies investigating these impacts on the behavior and physiology of reptiles and amphibians: 1) a field study of the impact of urban noise on tropical frog behavior; 2) a lab investigation of the impact of urban noise on tropical frog physiology; and 3) a combination of lab and field studies on the...

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October 14, 2015

Join me in congratulating the following five students for their achievements in the biology department!


Emma White, recipient of the Kurata Award

Michaela Tsuha and Heidi Aronson, recipients of the Selle Award

Marvin Browne, recipient of the Pereyra Award

Dana Michels, recipient of the McMenamin Award

October 2, 2015

Sixteen biology students have been awarded $300 ASP grants for the 2015 Fall semester. Congratulations are in order for the following students and mentors:

Jasmine Chen | Roberta Pollock

Gregory Chisholm | Roberta Pollock

Catherine Conlon | Roberta Pollock 

Jessica Fay | Gary Martin

Henry Franscioni | Cheryl Okumura

Laila Hamzai | Kerry Thompson

Jessica Kim | Cheryl Okumura

Hing Ting Connie Li | Roberta Pollock

Hannah Munkacsi | Shana Goffredi

Stephanie Peacock | Cheryl Okumura

Sarah Pike | Roberta Pollock

Nisha Ramesh | Gary Martin

Jessica Roginsky | Joseph Schulz

Ryan Whalen | Cheryl Okumura

Isabelle Yuen | Cheryl Okumura

Kelvin Zheng | Cheryl Okumura



October 1, 2015

The Biology Department Seminar Series continues with Travis Longcore's talk: Spatial Insights for Applied Ecology: Found Data, Large-Scale Synthesis, and Mapping

Spatial tools are now ubiquitous in ecological research. In this talk, I present case studies that illustrate some trends emerging as a result of the availability and application of these tools to better understand pattern and process on the landscape. These studies include: 1) using “found” data to answer fundamental ecological questions (that is, data that existed but were not georeferenced and may have been collected by non-scientist observers), 2) synthesizing large datasets with many other individual studies to produce an estimate of the number and spatial variation of migratory birds killed at tall communication towers, and 3) scaling up spatial tools to the hemispherical scale to predict neotropical bird migration routes solely from...

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September 23, 2015

The Biology Department Seminar Series continues with Heather Watts' talk: Environmental cues and the timing of annual schedules in birds

Heather Watts is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biology at Loyola Marymount University. She got her undergraduate degree from Duke and her PhD from Michigan State where she worked with Kay Holekamp on integrative biology of hyenas. Dr. Watts has published in Animal Behavior, Animal Conservation, Current Biology, and Proceedings of the Royal Society, among other journals. She will be discussing how appropriate timing of life history events (e.g., reproduction and migration) coincide with suitable environmental conditions, with important consequences for the survival of organisms. Many animals use environmental cues to time these events. Although photoperiod is the best studied of such environmental cues, animals may also use other cues...

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September 15, 2015

The Biology Department Seminar Series continues with George Sakoulas' talk: Discovery of Novel Antibiotic Treatment Strategies: A Bedside to Bench Approach



Dr. Sakoulas is an active infectious diseases clinician evaluating patients on the inpatient consult service and in outpatient clinics based at Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego.  He lectures extensively on topics such as the global implications of methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) and discovering better treatment options for severe infections. Working as an Associate Adjunct Professor in the Nizet laboratory, Dr. Sakoulas' major interests are the pharmacodynamic interactions of the various classes of antistaphylococcal and antienterococcal antibiotics with each other and with innate host defense molecules such as cathelicidin and platelet-derived antmicrobial peptides.

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