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SBS Stories

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Welcome to SBS Stories

Dr. Heather Watts

School of Biological Sciences is excited to have Dr. Heather Watts joining us at our Pullman location. Dr. Watts specializes in behavior ecology and behavioral endocrinology, focusing on songbirds as models for her research. One of the songbirds is the pine siskin, found in the Palouse. She’s looking forward to being close to her research subjects. She has lived all over the country getting her B.S. at Duke University and her Ph.D. from Michigan State University. WSU has a tradition of great research on avian biology; Dr. Watts aspires to continue that and to share her research with the community. She hopes that her students come away from her courses with a better understanding of how to think like a scientist and to approach questions scientifically. One of her goals is to help students connect what is being taught in her courses to their everyday lives. They’ll leave her courses more informed about the topics that are relevant for their lives today or in the future.
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School of Biological Sciences hosted a very rewarding Research Night on Thursday, October 5th. Research Night was an opportunity for faculty and undergraduate students to come together to find shared research interests. The night included five faculty presentations as well as free pizza and mingling between faculty and undergrads. The faculty who presented was Dave Evans, Erica Crespi, Joanna Kelly, Jesse Brunner, and Wes Dowd. Undergraduate research experience is a priority at SBS as a R1 PAC 12 research school. Students were interested in learning how to get started in research labs and the first steps that need to be taken. “Undergraduates contribute immensely to my research programs looking at how the environment affects early development. Having undergrads in my research lab benefits myself, but also the students because it helps teach them how to think critically. I have had many undergrad students as co-authors on my papers and then go off and do great things,” said Dr. Crespi. Since the first Research Night had such a successful turnout of about 50 students, there will be another Research Night sometime in the near future. It will be bigger with more faculty lab presentations, and different research opportunities.