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College of Arts and Sciences Biological Sciences

Dr. Universe: What can I do to help stop ocean pollution?

Dr. UniverseOne of the most important things we can do to prevent more pollution is to keep our garbage, especially plastic, out of the ocean. That’s what I found out from my friend Richelle Tanner, a marine biologist and researcher at WSU.

Tanner said it’s a lot easier to keep plastic out of the ocean than to get it out of the water. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimates the amount of garbage humans put into the ocean every year is equal to about 90 aircraft carriers, those big ships » More …

Top Ten Senior Awards include five from CAS

For more than 80 years, WSU has recognized ten seniors in each graduating class. These women and men represent the highest standards in specific aspects of the college experience, including academics, athletics, campus involvement, community service, and visual and performing arts.

Meet the five CAS seniors selected for Top Ten recognition: » More …

A look at research in two SBS laboratories

Five people standing in front of shelvingVice President for Research Chris Keane, along with Mike Kluzik, director of the Office of Research Assurances, recently toured the Kelley and Cornejo laboratories in the School of Biological Sciences.

Research in the Kelley Laboratory focuses on evolutionary genomics and adaptation to extreme environments. The lab is interested in understanding how populations diverge and adapt to the environments they encounter. To identify and characterize specific genes » More …

Study shows generational toxicology of popular weed killer

molecular structureIn the first study of its kind, WSU researchers found a variety of diseases and other health problems in the second- and third-generation offspring of rats exposed to glyphosate, the world’s most popular weed killer. The researchers saw descendants of exposed rats developing prostate, kidney and ovarian diseases, obesity and birth abnormalities.

Michael Skinner, professor of biological sciences, and his colleagues call this phenomenon “generational toxicology” and they’ve seen it over the years in fungicides, pesticides, jet fuel, the plastics compound bisphenol A, the insect repellant DEET and » More …

Annual awards honor faculty, staff, student achievement

group photo on the stageSixteen faculty, six staff, and six graduate students were honored for outstanding achievement at the 2019 College of Arts and Sciences Appreciation and Recognition Social earlier this month.

Professor Mechthild Tegedar, an international leader in plant biology, and Gary Collins, a pioneer in the study of material defects, received the top two faculty awards. Chuck Cody and Paul Wheeler, both in » More …

Tri‑Cities professor honored for teaching excellence

Allan FelsotA curiosity for the world and the yearning to know how it works is what brought Allan Felsot to the world of science. It also inspired his interest in teaching and his passion for sharing his knowledge with students.

The academic director for the CAS math and science sector at WSU Tri-Cities and professor of entomology, Felsot was recently honored with the Entomological Society of America’s Pacific branch award for excellence in teaching. » More …

Mentors make the difference

woman at microscope by WSU TriCities Demi Galindo, a master’s student at WSU Tri-Cities, recently received a call that would change the course of her life.

She had been accepted to medical school. Better yet, she had received a tuition waiver for her four years of medical education, with the exception of two semesters during her third and fourth years – an acceptance package that is incredibly rare. » More …

Doctoral students pack years of research into three minutes

11 faces and 3MT logoFrom creating voice-responsive materials, to enabling regrowth of lost fingers and limbs, to reducing stress on caregivers of autistic children, to unearthing cultural history in Puget Sound, a wide range of high-impact research topics were expeditiously explained in the recent CAS Three Minute Thesis contest.

Eleven Pullman-based doctoral students competed for valuable fellowship prizes by presenting their years of dissertation work in three minutes or less, using just one visual slide, and in language anyone could understand. » More …

Powerful new microscope adds versatility to research

Daniel Mullendore and Valerie Lynch‑Holm work with the Apreo VolumeScope.The WSU Franceschi Microscopy and Imaging Center has acquired a microscope so powerful and versatile that Michael Knoblauch, the center director, compares it to a pig capable of making wool, milk and eggs. Or, to quote his native German, an eierlegende Wollmilchsau.

Technically, it’s an Apreo VolumeScope, and it brings a suite of imaging techniques, including the piecing together of detailed three‑dimensional images with a resolution of 10 nanometers, or about 1/10,000th of the width of a human hair. » More …

Where sharks want to be

Charles Bangley releases a live shark into the ocean from the side of a boat.Charles Bangley, an international expert in shark ecology and conservation, presented the 2019 Robert Jonas Lecture in Biological Sciences on Tuesday, Feb. 5, at WSU Pullman.

His talk, titled “Where sharks want to be: Using tracking technology to define important habitat,” showcased efforts to conserve and manage sharks and rays, which is difficult because of their wide‑ranging habitats. Many sharks and rays undergo » More …