Biology News Archive

  • Dr. Cara Wall-Scheffler honored with scientific research award

    Nov 14, 2022

    At the annual Murdock College Science Research Conference November 11-12, 2022, in Vancouver, WA, Dr. Cara Wall-Scheffler, Professor of Biology, who was honored with the 2022 Lynnwood W. Swanson Scientific Research Award. This award recognizes outstanding, nationally-recognized research that extensively involves undergraduate student researchers.  Congratulations to Dr. Wall-Scheffler!

  • Sarah Daman presents at Wildlife Society conference

    Nov 14, 2022

    Sarah Daman (BS Ecology 2021) presented research done in collaboration with Enoch Tham (BS Ecology 2019) and Professors of Biology, Ryan Ferrer and Eric Long, at the annual meeting of the Wildlife Society in Spokane, WA, November 7 - 10, 2022. The research, titled “Forest succession induces long-term decline in an island population of black-tailed deer", documented the long-term impact of changes in forestation and foraging on the density of deer on Blakely Island, WA.

  • Dr. Cara Wall-Scheffler publishes article in Anthropology News

    Sep 27, 2022

    In a new article published in Anthropology News, "Walking Women Evolve", Dr. Cara Wall-Scheffler, Professor of Biology, describes the efficiency of locomtion in women, in which women expend less energy when carrying loads (such as children). Dr. Wall-Scheffler argues that the ability of women to carry loads over distances ("endurance mobility") has been instrumental is shaping human evolution.

  • SPU alumnus featured in Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation video

    Sep 27, 2022

    Sarah Daman (BS Ecology, 2021) has been working with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and New Mexico Game and Fish employees to study the impact of gray wolves on the elk population in the Gila National Forest. In a video posted by RMEF on September 23, 2022, Sarah is shown weighing and tagging newborn elk calves. Calves will be monitored to better understand the dynamics of the elk herd. Sarah can be seen in the video from timestamps 6:55 – 7:41 and at 10:10.

  • Applications to the BioCORE Scholars program now open

    Sep 26, 2022

    The Biology department is happy to announce that applications for the BioCORE Scholars program are now open. The application form is available online and should be completed by Oct. 28, 2022. Questions about the program may be directed to Dr. Elena Brezynski, program director, at

  • Students participate in coral reef restoration in Bali, Indonesia

    Aug 31, 2022

    A group of SPU students, led by Professors of Biology, Dr. Tim Nelson and Dr. Janet Bester-Meredith, are participating in a new Global Studies program in Bali, Indonesia. In this three-week study abroad program, students are learning from Indonesian conservationists about efforts to restore coral reef habitats damaged by climate change and other factors. Students have participated in SCUBA dives to collect and transplant new coral, are analyzing data from ongoing studies, and are participating in cultural experiences during their trip.

  • Two publications from Biology faculty

    Aug 31, 2022

    Two Biology faculty were co-authors on research published this summer. Dr. John Douglass, Assistant Professor of Biology, was a co-author on a paper published in the International Journal of Molecular Science in June 2022. This study, in collaboration with the Thaler Lab at the University of Washington, investigated the neuroscience of susceptibility to obesity. Dr. Janet Bester-Meredith, Professor of Biology, was a co-author on a paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B in July 2022. This study, in collaboration with researchers at Pomona College, investigated the relative contributions of environmental and biological factors toward sex-specific song development in wrens.

  • 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.