Biological Sciences Newsletter
Departmental: Polymer Science Auditorium, begins at 11:00 am
MCM (Molecular, Cellular, Microbiology ) Brown Bag: JST 201, begins at noon
E3 (Ecology, Evolution, Environment) Brown Bag: JST 214, begins at noon
*Details for specific seminars are posted around JST and WSB
Have something to share for the newsletter?
You can send your information to:
Dr. Shiao Wang (Interim Chair) Shiao.Wang@usm.edu
118 College Drive, Box #5018
New Additions to the Department
This semester we welcome two new faculty.
Dr. Alex Flynt – came to USM from Sloan Kettering Institute and does research on post transcriptional regulation of gene expression and non-coding, regulatory RNAs
Dr. Dmitri Mavrodi – came to USM from Washington State University and does research on the ecology of antibiotic-producing and plant-associated bacteria.
Also, several new graduate students are starting their graduate degrees with us.
Anna Nicole Long-Aragon (Alford lab)
Justin Batte (Elasri lab)
Aubin St. Clair (Halverson lab)
Rebekah Bullard (Karim lab)
Jaclyn Williams (Karim lab)
Janiece Rawalt (Kuehn lab)
Kendrick Buford (Leal lab)
Petra Visic (Leal lab)
Krystyn Davis (Wang lab)
Steven Everman (Wang lab)
Sushmitha Vijaya Kumas (Xu lab)
Recent Grants and Awards
Dr. Mac Alford received funding from the National Science Foundation and the Department of Defense
Dr. Carl Qualls received funding from the National Science Foundation
Drs. Glen Shearer and Moe Elasri received funding for their MS-INBRE Phase III project for 2013-2018
Dr. Jake Schaefer received funding from BP and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Dr. Jennifer Walker received the 2013 Butch Oustalet Distinguished Professorship Award in Teaching at the Gulf Coast campus
Dhritiman Samanta (Elasri lab) received a travel award to attend the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy organized by the America Society for Microbiology in Denver, CO this month.
Promotions and New Positions
Dr. Mo Elasri was promoted to Full professor beginning the 2013 academic year
Dr. Davida Crossley (formerly in the Shearer lab) has accepted a position in the faculty at Alcorn State University
Kimberley Lewis, who recently completed her M.S. degree in the Wang lab, is now a Ph.D. student at Dartmouth
NEW PREPROFESSIONAL ADVISOR FOR 2013-14
Dr. Jeffrey Evans has been appointed as the Healthcare Preprofessional Advisor for 2013-14. Ms. Machell Haynes continues as the Preprofessional Assistant. Please do not hesitate to contact them for advice if you are a preprofessional student: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Lake Thoreau Events
The center is open to the public from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm Saturdays and Sundays or by appointment. In addition, there are several events planned for the fall.
20 – 21 Sept…Nights at Thoreau – 6:00 pm to 8:00 am (Sat-Sun)
Sleepover at the Natural Sciences Collections Building for 4th-6th grade kids
28 Sept…Wildflower Walk – 9:00 am – 12:00 pm, led by Dr. Mac Alford
12 Oct…Rattler Ramble 5K Trail Run and 1 Mile Fun Run – 3:00 to 6:00 pm
More details about Lake Thoreau can be found here.
In the News…
Professor Emeritus Stephen Ross has completed his book, Ecology of North American Freshwater Fishes, published by University of California Press. The book is now available on Amazon.com and other outlets.
Kristina Paxton (Moorelab) presented at a joint meeting of the American Ornithologists’ Union and the Cooper Ornithological Society held in Chicago 14 – 17 August.
Kristen Covino, (Moore lab) delivered an invited oral presentation at the annual meeting of the American Ornithologists’ Union and the Cooper Ornithological Society held in Chicago 14 – 17 August
Dr. Herron’s (USM) summer field course, BSC 504, was set within the context of the Pascagoula River Watershed. Graduate students in Science Education gained first-hand experience and field knowledge of one of the most unique and fragile ecosystems on Earth: the last natural (unimpounded) watershed in the continentalUnited States. Exploration and field studies began with the upper tributary of the Chunky River and ended near the mouth of thePascagoulaRiverat Hwy 90. Some points of interest included: Dunn’s Falls, MerrillBridge, Josephine Sandbar, Wilkerson Ferry Oxbow Lake, the Pascagoula Audubon Center and the MS Sandhill Crane Refuge. As we canoed or kayaked the Chunky, Leaf, Black Creek, andPascagoulaRivers, we collected hydrologic, land cover, soil, and atmosphere data to input into the GLOBE database. A photo of the trip was published in the Hattiesburg American (below)
University of Mississippi Medical Center Info
The UMMC has begun a MS Health Sciences Mentoring Program. The goal of this program is to connect students at UMMC with undergrads from around the state of Mississippiin one-on-one mentor-mentee relationships. An undergraduate student will be paired with a UMMC student who is in a program in which the undergraduate has an interest. The list of Professional Schools at UMMC include:
Medicine – Doctoral Program leading to a M.D. degree
Dentistry – Doctoral Program leading to a D.D.S. degree
Pharmacy – Doctoral Program leading to a Pharm.D. degree
Nursing – Includes Bachelor’s (B.S.N.) and Master’s (M.S.N.) Programs in Nursing, as well as the Doctoral (D.N.P) Program in Nursing Practice
Graduate Studies – Includes M.S. and Ph.D. Programs in Anatomy, Biochemistry, Biomedical Material Science, Biomedical Sciences, Clinical Health Sciences, Pharmacology, Microbiology, Neuroscience, Nursing, Pathology, and Physiology
Health Related Professions – Includes Programs in Physical Therapy (D.P.T.), Occupational Therapy (M.O.T.), Cytotechnology (B.S.), Healthcare Administration (M.H.A.), Dental Hygiene (B.S.), Radiologic Sciences, Medical Laboratory Science (B.S.), and Health Informatics and Information Management (B.S.)
To sign up, send the following info by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org:
Year in School
Professional School of Interest (from list above)
Jill Gautreaux, an MS student (Moorelab), successfully defended her thesis entitled “Spring landbird migration along the northern coast of theGulf of Mexico: Multi-scaled investigation of stopover ecology within an urbanized landscape” on May 27th
Kristina Paxton, a doctoral student inMoorelab ,successfully defended her dissertation titled, “Connecting the Dots: Understanding Migration in the Context of Other Periods of the Annual Cycle” in August
Outreach and Presentations
Mike Davis (USM), Mac Alford (plant systematist), Daniel McNair (Alford grad student), and Heather Sullivan (Mississippi Museum of Natural Science botanist) led a field trip to Buttercup Flats and Mars Hill in the DeSoto National Forest for the International Botanical Society of America meeting, which was held in New Orleans in late July. Participants included 39 scientists from around the world, including China, Japan, Austria, and Slovakia. Buttercup Flats is one of the largest contiguous patches of pitcher plant bog in the world. Participants saw pitcher plants, sundews, butterworts, orchids, sabatias, milkweeds, and almost 100 species of plants.
Mars Hill is a dry sandhill, and participants saw longleaf pine, turkey oak, and saw palmetto; at a seepage area below the sandhill, participants were excited to see the uncommon Gordonia in bloom, a tree-sized relative of tea and camellias that is native to Mississippi. Also of note, Daniel McNair (Alford lab) is working on a compilation of all the vascular plants (flora) in Wayne County, MS. One of his spring finds was an unusual lycopod in the genus Isoetes ("quillworts") that caught the interest of several internationally-renowned botanists. Lycopods are similar to the earliest land plants; they have no seeds and have highly simplified vascular tissue and leaves. Mississippi is home to only four federally threatened or endangered plants, and one of the four is an Isoetes. The group visited southeast MS for three days in June (including the “River of Isoetes”, photo above).
Undergraduate and Graduate students, interested in working in Nature?
Sign up to participate in a Free Naturalist Professional Development workshop at theLakeThoreauEnvironmentalCenterSeptember 20 & 21, 2013.
You will learn how to provide fun and interesting informal science education programs to groups. You will then be eligible to volunteer at theLakeThoreauEnvironmentalCenterand theBiologicalSciencesLearningCenter.
This opportunity is open to any major!
For questions or to sign up, email Michael Sellers.
- Lake Thoreau Environmental Center is open Saturday and Sunday from 8-5!
BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES LEARNING CENTER
Need help with a class? Go to the Biological Sciences Learning Center in Mississippi Hall Basement 004. FREE tutoring assistance for Students enrolled in Biological Sciences Lecture Courses: BSC 103, BSC 107, BSC 110, and BSC 111. Find a time that works for you! Their hours are: Mon, Tues, Wed 5-7PM; and Thurs 3-5PM.
There is a suggestion box located right outside the Biological Science Departmental office (Johnson Science Tower 720). If you have a constructive comment, concern, problem, etc.; please feel free to write us a note (anonymously if you wish) and drop it into the box.