Thanks for visiting the website of the School of Biological Sciences (SBS).
Our faculty and students are engaged in exciting research, insightful education, and important public outreach that cover widely the range of biology.
- For undergraduate students, SBS is the home to majors in biology and zoology, and each of those majors includes various options. Those options provide opportunities for students interested in health sciences, including pre-medical, pre-dental, pre-veterinary, and pre-physical therapy tracks.
- For graduate students, SBS offers M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in botany and zoology. We have excellent educational and research facilities.
- Using the links on this homepage you can discover more about experiences in SBS and the education and research opportunities we offer. We hope you will explore our website and please feel welcome to visit us on campus.
SBS Seminar Series
Fall 2014 schedule
All seminars are in Abelson Hall Room 201 at 4:10 pm.
PhD Fellowships available
NSF IGERT Program
Nitrogen Systems: Policy-oriented Integrated Research and Education (NSPIRE). Interdisciplinary research focused on nitrogen cycle processes in the environment integrated with experiential learning of public policy.
News from SBS
Professor Hubert Schwabl received new NSF funding for 3 years to continue a field project on red-backed fairy-wrens in Australia and white-shouldered fairy-wrens in Papua New Guinea in collaboration with Mike Webster, Cornell U. and Jordan Karubian, Tulane U. The paper is titled, “Collaborative Research: Social Environment Effects on Hormones and the Integrated Behavioral Phenotype.” This research has been continuously funded by NSF since 2003 and supported several now graduated SBS PhD students, Claire Varian Ramos, Willow Lindsay, Douglas Barron. The new funding allows for the study of hormonal mechanisms of sexual dimorphism in behavior and morphology and includes a subcontract with Manfred Gahr of the Max-Planck-Institute for Ornithology, Germany to investigate gene expression in the brain.
Congratulation to School of the Environment students Angela Kroon, James Moore, Joe Pitkin, and Rachel Glaeser who recently completed their MS degrees under the supervision of SBS Professor John Bishop and SBS Associate Professor Cheryl Schultz. Angela Kroon’s thesis (supervised by Prof. Bishop) was titled "Trophic interactions between birds, arthropods, and willows during primary succession on Mount St. Helens"; James Moore's thesis (co-supervised by Prof. Bishop and former SoE Asst. Prof. Jahi Chappell) was titled "The ecological context and personal valuation of backyard food gardens in Portland, OR"; Moore entered SBS’s Zoology PhD program in August. Joe Pitkin's thesis (supervised by Prof. Bishop) is titled "Does The Early Worm Get the Herb? Correlates of Lupinus Lepidus Herbivory on Mount St. Helens”; and Rachel Glaeser’s thesis (supervised by Prof. Schultz) is titled “Characterizing a contentious management tool: the effects of a grass-specific herbicide on the silvery blue butterfly”.
Professor John Bishop delivered the keynote address at the banquet of the WSU Master Gardener Advanced Education Conference on September 19th in Tacoma, WA, with a talk entitled "The Paradox of Enrichment and Other Stories of Colonization from Mount St. Helens’ Pumice Plain”. [Updated 09/29/2014]
Professor Asaph Cousins published numerous articles this year in the The Journal of Aquatic Botany, the Journal of Experimental Botany, Plant Physiology, Photosynthesis Research, New Phytologist, and Plant Cell and Environment.
Professor Donna Holmes
had three articles published in the third edition of the Encyclopedia of Human Biology
. Holmes, D.J. and A.C. Cohen. 299. Overview. Aging and Gerontology. In M. Simon and J. Abelson, Editors. Encyclopedia of Human Biology, 3rd Edition
. Elsevier Press, Oxford (in press). A.C.
Cohen and D.J. Holmes. 666. Aging: Evolution. In M. Simon and J. Abelson, Editors. Encyclopedia of Human Biology, 3rd Edition
. Elsevier Press, Oxford (in press).
Holmes, D.J. 319. Sex and gender differences in health, longevity and aging. In M. Simon and J. Abelson, Editors. Encyclopedia of Human Biology, 3rd Edition
. Elsevier Press, Oxford (in press).
In 2014, Professor Donna Holmes
was elected the 2016 Chair-elect of the Biological Sciences Section of the Gerontological Society of America and will visit with them in Washington, DC in November. She will begin organizing the annual meeting of GSA in fall of 2015. She was also appointed to the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the American Aging Association and attended their annual meeting in San Antonio, TX. She was the Keynote Speaker at the Graduate Student Awards Reception at Bowling Green State University in Ohio and presented at BGSU on “Human aging and health in evolutionary medical perspective.”
Dr. Michael Skinner
was awarded the Eastlick Distinguished Professorship.
Graduate students Jamie Gehring
and Kim Rigano
co-authored an article with Professor Charlie Robbins
, that was published as the cover piece for Cell Metabolism: "Grizzly Bears Exhibit Augmented Insulin Sensitivity while Obese Prior to a Reversible Insulin Resistance during Hibernation," http://www.cell.com/cell-metabolism/abstract/S1550-4131(14)00316-7 . WSU Drs. Nelson, Jansen, and Robbins were authors on the paper, as were Kim Rigano and I. The story was covered by over a dozen agencies, including NPR, the BBC, the London Times, CNBC and the Guardian.
A study led by Professor Elissa Schwartz
on the 2009 H1N1 influenza epidemic in Pullman was featured in the Fall 2014 issue of Washington State magazine entitled “Nasty Epidemic, Neat Science” (located at http://wsm.wsu.edu/s/index.php?id=1133). Coauthors of this study include SBS graduate student Therese Jones, Mathematics Professor Sergey Lapin, and Mathematics graduate students Lydia Miller and Mindy Morgan. Professor Schwartz was invited to speak on this work this summer at the Society for Mathematical Biology annual meeting in Osaka, Japan and presented a talk entitled “Individual-based computational model used to explain 2009 pandemic H1N1 in rural campus community” (pictured below).
Professor Schwartz also published the paper “Identifying the conditions under which antibodies protect against infection by equine infectious anemia virus.” in Vaccines 2:397-421, available at http://www.mdpi.com/2076-393X/2/2/397.
Graduate student Bobbi Johnson
, Dr. Brian Kemp
, and Dr. Gary Thorgaard
recently received a $24,000 award from Washington Sea Grant, in conjunction with NOAA, to expand their work investigating Chinook salmon using ancient, historic, and modern genetic samples.
Professor Erica Crespi
and her graduate student Maggie Unkefer recently published an invited article, titled Development of food intake controls: neuroendocrine and environmental regulation of food intake during early life, in the Energy Homeostasis in Context issue of Hormones and Behavior that came out in June 2014 Vol.66(1):74-85. doi: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2014.04.004.
She co-authored, with graduate student Marietta Easterling, on a recently published article that resulted from a symposium lead by Crespi at the North American Society for Comparative Endocrinology 2013 annual meeting: Comparative endocrinology of leptin: Assessing function in a phylogenetic context, was co-authored by Londraville RL, Macotela Y, Duff RJ, Easterling MR, Liu Q, Crespi EJ. General and Comparative Endocrinology doi: 10.1016/j.ygcen.2014.02.002. [Epub ahead of print]
, a PhD candidate working in the lab of Erica Crespi, was awarded a highly competitive EPA Science to Achieve Results (STAR) Graduate Fellowship, which funds Emily's stipend, tuition, and research expenses for 2 years. Emily's proposal, titled "The effects of road salt on amphibian disease dynamics in Northeastern US," was one of the few awarded from the Safe and Healthy Communities: Ecosystem Services--Aquatic Systems Ecology section of the National Center for Environmental Research.
Dr. Michael Skinner
published several articles over the summer and his research has been highlighted in the online journal, Science
Kabasenche WP, and Skinner MK (2014) DDT, Epigenetic Harm, and Transgenerational Environmental Justice. Environmental Health 13:62.
Michael K. Skinner (2014) Environmentally Induced Epigenetic Transgenerational Inheritance: Ancestral Ghosts in your Genome. Scientific American Vol. 311, Issue 2.
Mohan Manikkam, M. Muksitul Haque, Carlos Guerrero-Bosagna, Eric E. Nilsson, Michael K. Skinner (2014) Pesticide methoxychlor promotes the epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of adult onset disease and sperm epimutations through the female germline. PLOS ONE 9(7)e102091.
Professor Dave Evans
co-authored two publications, along with former SBS post-docs, Koyama
. Evans, R.D., A. Koyama*, D.L. Sonderegger*, T.N. Charlet, B.A. Newingham, L.F. Fenstermaker, B. Harlow, V.L. Jin*, K. Ogle, S.D. Smith and R.S. Nowak. 2014. Greater ecosystem carbon in the Mojave Desert after ten years exposure to elevated CO2. Nature Climate Change. 4:394-397.
Adam et al. 2014. BioEarth: Envisioning and Developing a New Regional Earth System Model to Inform Natural and Agricultural Resource Management. Climatic Change. Published online April 2014.
Botany PhD candidate, Justin Poinsatte
, along with professor Dave Evans, received a National Park Service grant for $12,500, for community-specific biogeochemical responses to atmospheric nitrogen deposition in subalpine ecosystems of the Cascade Range.