Biology News Archive


  • Biology Lab Coordinator Daniel Wright named Staff of the Month

    Jan 14, 2019

    Congratulations to Biology Lab Coordinator and adjunct professor, Daniel Wright, who was named Staff of the Month for January by SPU's Staff Council!!  Since joining the Biology department in July 2017, Daniel has played an integral role in supporting academic and research labs in our department, and teaching some of those lab sections, too.

  • Biology department welcomes new BioCORE Scholars

    Nov 30, 2018

    On November 29, 2018, the Biology Department proudly welcomed 15 new BioCORE Scholars to our program.  Led by BioCORE Scholars director, Dr. Elie Brezynski, the welcome ceremony included brief messages from Dr. Sandy Mayo (Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion), Dr. Bruce Congdon (Dean, College of Arts and Sciences - Sciences Division), Dr. Derek Wood (Chair, Biology Department) and Mary Jayne Allen (Center for Learning).  After introductions, Scholars met with their Peer Mentors and Learning Assistant.  The BioCORE Scholars Program aims to promote academic success and networking opportunities, and to foster community for first generation students and those traditionally underrepresented in biological and biomedical sciences. The new Scholars represent the fourth cohort of BioCORE Scholars, and is the largest group to date. 

  • Response Magazine features BioCORE Scholars Program

    Nov 19, 2018

    SPU's BioCORE Scholars Program is featured in November's issue of Response Magazine.  The profile, written by Tori Hoffman, includes interviews with BioCORE Scholar and current Learning Assistant, Leslie Rodriguez-Salas (SPU '19), former Peer Mentor, Diana Cabrera (SPU '17) and Biology faculty, Dr. Elie Brezynski and Dr. Derek Wood.

  • SPU students present research at annual Murdock Conference

    Nov 15, 2018

    11 students from the Department of Biology, along with students from the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry and Department of Physics, presented their research at the annual Murdock College Science Research Conference, Nov. 9 - 10, in Vancouver, Washington. Students' projects covered a broad range of research areas, including human physiology, neuroendocrinology, microbiology, ecology, and population genetics. Dr. Derek Wood, Professor of Biology, served as SPU's faculty representative at the conference.

  • BioCORE Scholars Program is accepting new applications

    Oct 25, 2018

    The BioCORE Scholars Program is now accepting applications for students to join its fourth cohort, beginning Winter 2019 quarter.  Applications are due by 3 pm on Thurs., Nov. 1, 2018.  The BioCORE Scholars Program is a leadership program to build community, promote academic success and create mentoring networks for first-generation college students and students from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in the biological sciences.  A profile of the BioCORE Scholars Program was featured in The Falcon, SPU's student newspaper.  The article, "BioCore encourages community", was written by Lu Aleman and appeared on Oct. 24.

  • Dr. Wall-Scheffler quoted in The Scientist

    Oct 24, 2018

    Professor of Biology Cara Wall-Scheffler was interviewed by The Scientist for an article describing a new study on the evolution of the human birth canal. The article was published October 24.

  • New study published in PeerJ by Dr. Cara Wall-Scheffler and Leah Bouterse (BS Physiology '17)

    Sep 19, 2018

    Research conducted by SPU alumna Leah Bouterse (BS Physiology '17) and Professor of Biology Cara Wall-Scheffler has uncovered significant differences in human walking speeds in groups and when carrying children.  Comparisons of populations in the United States and in Uganda revealed that these differences are dependent upon cultural and environmental conditions.  The study, "Children are not like other loads: a cross-cultural perspective on the influence of burdens and companionship on human walking", was published in the peer-reviewed journal PeerJ on September 12, 2018. This study has garnered national attention, including coverage in The New York Times.

  • Biology and PPHS students honored for academic achievements

    Jun 2, 2018

    Congratulations to the following students who were honored for their achievements at the annual Biology-Chemistry BBQ on June 1, 2018!

    • Twenty-One Hundred Award (top student performance in BIO 2101, 2102 and 2103): Jeanne Coyle
    • PPHS Award (in recognition of service/leadership in the PPHS program): Nick Lee
    • Cellular and Molecular Biology Award (top MCB SPU laboratory research student): Cibelle Nassif (research advisor: Dr. Rick Ridgway)
    • Evolutionary Ecology Award (top SPU research student who has also done well in Ecology and Evolutionary Mechanisms courses): Alia Zieg (research advisor: Dr. Eric Long)
    • Physiology Award (top SPU research student who has also done well in A&P and physiology courses): Azariea Bonner-Harris (research advisor: Dr. Cara Wall-Scheffler)
    • TA Award (significant service by a teaching assistant): Alia Zieg
    • Service Award (exemplary service to the Biology department): Christina Childs
    • Leadership Award (a student who has served as a leader and mentor within the department): Lola Sosanya
    • Causey Scholarship: Kara Eckley
    • Matthew Kelley Scholarship: Luke Harrison
    • A. Kenneth Moore Scholarship: Minh Dang
    • Joy Rusher and Lois Samuelson Scholarship: Erica Bunge
    • Cindy Fitch-Steenson Scholarship: Mirko Farruggia and Emma Reisman

  • Biology students present at UW Research Symposium

    May 18, 2018

    Biology students Emily Stohler (BS Cellular and Molecular Biology, 2019) and Nicholas Lee (BS Cellular and Molecular Biology, 2019) presented their project, "Human Walking Behavior at Crosswalks," at the 21st University of Washington Undergraduate Research Symposium on May 18, 2018.  The lead author was Azariea Bonner-Harris (BS Physiology, 2018), and their research was mentored by Dr. Cara Wall-Scheffler, Professor of Biology.  Congratulations to Emily and Nick on representing SPU!

  • Biology students earn Erickson Conference awards

    May 13, 2018

    At the 16th Annual Erickson Undergraduate Research Conference on May 11, 2018, three Biology students were recognized for outstanding project presentations.  Azariea Bonner-Harris (BS Physiology, 2018) was awarded Best Oral Presentation during the Biology session.  Her research analyzed human walking behavior in crosswalks, and was advised by Dr. Cara Wall-Scheffler, Professor of Biology.  Cibelle Nassif (BS Cellular and Molecular Biology, 2018) and Kara Eckley (BS Ecology, 2019) were two of the Best Poster Presentation awardees.  Cibelle's research examined the localization of dopamine expression within a species of green algae, and was advised by Dr. Rick Ridgway, Associate Professor of Biology.  Kara's research analyzed the effect of salinity on the ability of sea anemones to excrete alarm pheremones, and was advised by Dr. Ryan Ferrer, Associate Professor of Biology.  Congratulations to Azariea, Cibelle and Kara on their outstanding work!

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