Biological Sciences

Awards honor outstanding faculty, staff, and students

Undergraduate awards Twenty-three outstanding seniors, each representing a degree program offered in the College of Arts and Sciences at WSU Pullman, will be honored at a separate medallion ceremony on Friday, May 3, the day before commencement. By College of Arts and Sciences for WSU Insider.

Group photo of College of Arts and Sciences award winners on stage.

The 2024 Seattle Experience highlights resiliency

After a successful pilot launch in 2023, the Seattle Experience, a faculty-led alternative spring break program hosted by the College of Arts and Sciences, kicked off the first of a three-year donor-funded series this March. This year’s cohort brought together 12 undergraduate students from several majors across five WSU campuses. The students spent five days in […]

Seattle Experience students pose for a picture in March.

Genes identified that allow bacteria to thrive despite toxic heavy metal in soil

Some soil bacteria can acquire sets of genes that enable them to pump the heavy metal nickel out of their systems, a study has found. This enables the bacteria to not only thrive in otherwise toxic soils but help plants grow there as well. A Washington State University-led research team pinpointed a set of genes […]

A mostly green hill with a strip of barren rock and soil.

Top research coverage of 2023

Whisky, contraception, cannabis: many of the Washington State University studies that garnered the most attention from news media in 2023 seemed to involve human pleasures—and their consequences. That focus may say something about the global mood in the first post-pandemic year, but it also speaks to the real-world impact of WSU’s research enterprise. Three initiatives […]

Whisky being poured into a glass with ice on a wooden table. Two other glasses are in the background.

Potential link found between high maternal cortisol, unpredicted birth complications

A snippet of hair can reveal a pregnant person’s stress level and may one day help warn of unexpected birth problems, a study indicates. Washington State University researchers measured the stress hormone cortisol in hair samples of 53 women in their third trimester. Of that group, 13 women who had elevated cortisol levels later experienced […]

Close-up of pregnant woman in a white shirt sitting on the side on the sofa, holding a hand on her stomach.

Tasmanian devil die‑off appears to be affecting genetics of fellow predator

Population declines in the Tasmanian devil, a top predator species, caused by a transmissible cancer, may be affecting the evolutionary genetics of a subordinate predator species, the spotted-tailed quoll, research published in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution reports. Top predator declines are occurring globally and have cascading ecological effects, one of which is to reduce competition and […]

Close up of a quoll a rodent-like animal with brown fur and light spots on its coat

McDowell recognized as a Highly Cited Researcher

Nathan McDowell, a PNNL researcher with a joint faculty appointment in the School of Biological Sciences, has been added to the list of the world’s most Highly Cited Researchers. He and six other WSU faculty recognized this year join five other WSU faculty previously recognized for studies most often cited in their fields. This recognition […]

Washington State University Cougars logo and Clarivate logo.

Elk hoof disease likely causes systemic changes

Elk treponeme-associated hoof disease, previously thought to be limited to deformations in elks’ hooves, appears to create molecular changes throughout the animal’s system, according to epigenetic research from Washington State University. The findings, published in the journal Scientific Reports, also suggest those changes may be heritable. It remains to be seen though whether this means subsequent […]

A Roosevelt elk bull with large antlers standing in a green field.

Meet the new faculty of 2023

The breadth of scholarly interests and teaching expertise of the college’s newest faculty—from environmental humanities and many-body physics to economic globalization and the history of visual storytelling—enriches and expands the arts and sciences across the WSU system. Click “read more” to learn a little about each of these new faculty members. Arts & Humanities | […]

Washington State University. College of Arts and Sciences.

Seed Grants for CAS faculty

Five College of Arts & Sciences received a 2023 New Faculty Seed Grant from the WSU Office of Research. The grant program supports junior faculty in developing research, scholarly, or creative programs that lead to sustained professional development and external funding. The program is sponsored by the Office of Research and the Office of the […]