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College of Arts and Sciences Biological Sciences

E-DNA detection could cut pathogens in pet trade

Salamander.As SARS-CoV-2 puts new focus on zoonotic pathogens, WSU disease ecology researcher Jesse Brunner  has developed a method using environmental DNA (eDNA) to detect disease in the vast international trade of aquatic animals.

The problem with monitoring the pet trade is one of magnitude: every year more than 225 million live animals are imported into the U.S. alone, with the majority destined for » More …

Interdisciplinary research on COVID-19 impact

Mother holding sleeping baby.Fifteen faculty and graduate student researchers from multiple colleges and campuses across the University recently joined forces to form the WSU COVID‑19 Infant, Maternal, and Family Health Research Collaborative.

Spanning a variety of disciplines, including biological sciences, anthropology, and psychology, the collective already has a half dozen studies lined up to address critical questions related to the impact of COVID‑19 on the health of mothers, babies, and families. » More …

SBS director earns WSU leadership honor

Carter.Listen to Pat Carter, recipient of the 2020 WSU Outstanding Chair/Director award, talk about the School of Biological Sciences for a few minutes and you’ll be ready to jump online and register for every course the school offers.

“I see the role as creating an environment where students, faculty and staff can be successful” said Carter. He tries to keep all three aspects of WSU’s land-grant mission — to advance knowledge, to extend » More …

Mt. St. Helens: next generation of research

Mount St. Helens.When Mount St. Helens erupted on May 18, 1980, it leveled more than 230 square miles of forest, but it also opened a rare scientific opportunity to study how an ecosystem responds after an extreme disturbance.

WSU ecologists John Bishop and Mark Swanson have been involved in Mount St. Helens long-term research for decades and are preparing for the next generation of work. They each focus on different areas affected by the blast. No matter how severe the damage on the landscape, life has found a way to return and brought valuable » More …

Amphibian study shows stress increases vulnerability

Some frog.Even the anti-freeze frog is not invulnerable to stress, according to a new study led by WSU biological sciences researchers.

“We’re seeing these mass mortality events in wildlife that are often due to infectious diseases; while at the same time, we notice an association with some kind of environmental change,” said Emily Hall, the lead author on the study, which was part of her PhD dissertation. » More …

Biology, music senior headed to Wales as Fulbright Student

Thomas LeClair.Senior biology and music double major Thomas LeClair received a prestigious, nationally competitive Fulbright Student Award that will fund his master’s degree studies in marine biology at Bangor University in Wales.

“Studying and being in Bangor for a year will allow me to plug into both halves of my life. I’ll be able to gain the skills and knowledge I’ll need to succeed while » More …

Faculty recognized for teaching excellence

CAS logo on white with borderSeventeen CAS faculty members from 9 academic areas and 3 campuses are among the newest members of the WSU President’s Teaching Academy, the institution’s premier organization dedicated to teaching excellence.

Members “are all committed to delivering outstanding teaching experiences to our students and advancing the practice of great teaching,” said Clif Stratton, chair. » More …

Six CAS seniors in WSU Top Ten

6 of the 2020 WSU Top Ten Seniors.For more than 80 years, WSU has recognized ten of the top seniors in each graduating class. The class of 2020 honorees includes six College of Arts and Science students: Morgan Atwood, Elyse Bennet, Ana Karen Betancourt Macias, Kathryn “Katie” Doonan, Thomas LeClair, and Colin Taylor.

These women and men represent the highest standards in specific aspects of the college experience, including campus involvement, community service, athletics, and visual and performing arts.

Learn more about our Top Ten seniors and their plans for the future: » More …