Biology News Archive

  • Honoring the Class of 2022

    May 30, 2022

    As another academic year draws to a close and we prepare for our first in-person graduation ceremony since 2019, the Biology Department has created a website to recognize and honor the 73 students who will graduate in 2022 with a Biology degree. Through the pandemic and other significant personal and social challenges, these students have persevered to complete their degrees. The Biology faculty are very proud of the Class of 2022, and look forward to seeing what they do next! Congratulations, Class of 2022!

  • SPU alumna publishes research study

    May 20, 2022

    Laarni Aquila (BS Cellular and Molecular Biology, 2019) is the first author on a new study conducted in the lab of Dr. Gwendolyn Wood in the Department of Medicine at the University of Washington. The study, published in the journal Infection and Immunity, extends previous research to establish an animal model to study the pathology of infection by the sexually-transmitted bacteria, Mycoplasma genitalium. Laarni, who was a member of the BioCORE Scholars Program at SPU, will begin graduate school in the fall, in the PhD in Microbiology program at the University of Washington.

  • The Biology Department is seeking applicants for the Biology Lab Coordinator position

    Apr 28, 2022

    The SPU Biology Department has an opening for a Biology Laboratory Coordinator (our current BLC is starting a PhD program in the fall!) The BLC plays an essential role in supporting our teaching labs, ensuring lab safety, maintaining lab equipment and facilities, and training and supervising teaching assistants and preppers. More information and an application are available on the SPU Employment Opportunities website.

  • Dr. Cara Wall-Scheffler is co-author on running speed study

    Apr 28, 2022

    Dr. Cara Wall-Scheffler, Professor of Biology, is co-author of a new research study, "Running in the wild: energetics explain ecological running speeds", that examined whether human running speed is influenced more by the task (such as running distance) or energy demands. The study, published in the journal Current Biology, involved a collaboration between Dr. Wall-Scheffler and researchers at Queen's University (Ontario, Canada), Stanford University and Lumo Bodytech Inc.  The laboratory data reported in the study was collected by Dr. Wall-Scheffler and her students over the past several years.  The study demonstrated that human running speed is optimized to minimize energy expenditure, with larger implications for understanding the impact of environment and lifestyle on human locomotion.

  • Biology alumna contributes to whale strandings study

    Mar 7, 2022

    Jennifer Olson, who earned her BS in Biology from SPU in 2009 and is now a research associate at The Whale Museum in Friday Harbor, WA, is a co-author on a major study investigating the causes of marine mammal strandings in the Pacific Northwest. The study, published March 2, 2022 in the peer-reviewed journal Frontiers in Marine Science, provided evidence that multiple environmental and oceanographic factors have contributed to marine mammal strandings in the past 20 years. This data has important implications for long-term monitoring of marine mammal health and responses to global climate change.

  • Dominique Barragan visits with BioCORE Scholars

    Feb 16, 2022

    Dominique (Garcia) Barragan, who earned a BS Physiology degree from SPU in 2013, was the featured speaker at the BioCORE Scholars' quarterly meeting on February 16, 2022. Dominique, who earned a Masters in Cultural Studies at the University of Washington, is the Executive Director of the Seattle Clinical Research Center, where she oversees clinic operations. Dominique shared her experiences as a first-generation college student and woman in STEM, and described her path from a traditional pre-med track to her current profession. Dominique's words of encouragement and inspiration was greatly appreiciated by our BioCORE Scholars!

  • Dr. Eric Long to give Weter Lecture

    Feb 13, 2022

    Dr. Eric Long, Professor of Biology, will present the 2022 Weter Lecture, Priests of a Fallen Creation: The Temple, Natural Theology, and Ecology in Dialogue, on February 22, 2022 at 7:00 PM in Upper Gwinn and livestreamed. In this presentation, Dr. Long will present an interdisciplinary approach to our understanding of God's creation and our role in creation care.

  • Sign up for PPHS mock interviews by January 31

    Jan 24, 2022

    Students planning apply to dental, medical, or veterinary school should sign up to participate in the PPHS Mock Interview process. Participation in the mock interview process ensures that a committee letter can be submitted on the student's behalf as part of their application to professional school. Please contact Dr. Charlotte Pratt, Director of the PPHS program, at no later than Monday, January 31, 2022.Updated information about the PPHS committee process and some other useful documents at PPHS student info can be found here (link requires SPU login).

  • Sophia Chilczuk nominated for Sports Star of the Year

    Jan 18, 2022

    Congratulations to Sophia Chilczuk (BS Applied Human Biology, 2021), who was nominated by the Seattle Sports Commission for the 87th Annual Sports Star of the Year Award in Women's Sports. In addition to graduating Summa Cum Laude with a BS in Applied Human Biology, Sophia was a star forward on the SPU women's soccer team. The Women's Sports category is one of three open for public vote, and voting is open until January 23. Awardees will be announced on May 26.

  • Dr. Janet Bester-Meredith publishes research paper with student co-authors

    Oct 27, 2021

    Dr. Janet Bester-Meredith, Associate Professor of Biology, and six undergraduate student researchers (all SPU alumni) just published their peer-reviewed article, “Blocking olfactory input alters aggression in male and female California mice (Peromyscus californicus)”, in the journal Aggressive Behavior The student co-authors are: Jennifer Burns (BS Physiology 2015), Ngan Dang (BS Physiology 2020), Alexandrea Garcia (BS Physiology 2014), Grace Mammarella (BS Physiology 2016), Melissa Rowe (BS Cellular & Molecular Biology 2015) and Christine Spatacean (BS Biochemistry 2020).