Wednesday, March 31, 2010

AU students hear about ecological research in Puerto Rico

About 50 students attended a recent Biology Department Research Symposium to hear Dr. Jamie March of Washington and Jefferson University talk about his research on tropical freshwater shrimps in Puerto Rico. Dr. March described how his efforts to understand freshwater shrimp ecology has helped the Puerto Rican government design dams and reservoirs that help to sustain commercially important species in the Country. Students from our Marine Biology and Organisms, Adaptations and Diversity courses were also able to see the concepts they have been learning in the classroom applied to real-world issues.  And they got a taste of field ecology research in the tropics.

Our next visiting speaker, Dr. Hans Thewissen, will be presenting:

From Land to Water: the Origin of Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises
April 6th @ 4pm
Kettering room 131

Monday, March 29, 2010

Summer research positions available at Ashland University

The Biology and Chemistry departments at Ashland University share a research grant from the Merck Foundation and AAAS that funds collaborative student research projects with faculty from each department.  There are two available student research positions for this summer.

Any interested Ashland University science students should apply for this research opportunity by April 9th. These research positions include on-campus room and board as well as a stipend of $3,250.

You can download the application here.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Summer Research Opportunity in Biotechnology

Western Kentucky University seeks talented science students to participate in its summer National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program in investigative biotechnology. Rising juniors and seniors (younger students with research experience will be considered) who have completed core courses in the science curriculum at their home institutions and have demonstrated a curiosity and passion for science will be given preference.

Over 13 faculty members in Biology, Chemistry, and Mathematics and Computer Science will serve as mentors to accepted students. Students will be trained in research techniques, participate in research (students can chose from over eighteen projects), and gain valuable presentation skills. Students will also attend a series of workshops exploring ethics and preparing students to apply for and succeed in graduate school. Practically, students will receive a stipend of $460 per week, free housing, meal and travel allowances, and lab supplies.

Applications are due by 5 PM CST on April 5, 2010.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Summer 2010 Research Opportunity For Undergrads

REU Program at The University of Tennessee-Knoxville

Theme: Sensing and Signaling
Dates: June 7 through July 30
Benefits: $3200 stipend, housing, insurance and travel allowance
Contact: Dr. Daniel M. Roberts, PhD (
Application deadline extended until April 7

Program Information
The aim of this program is to provide research experiences for undergraduate students majoring in the sciences with an introduction to cutting edge research in the broad area of “Sensing and Signaling”. The team of REU investigators represents a multidisciplinary ensemble of Cell Biologists, Geneticists, Biochemists, and Biophysicists who are taking modern approaches to the analysis of how signals are perceived and transduced in myriad biological systems.

This opportunity is available to Freshman, Sophomore and Junior undergraduate science majors. REU Fellowships will be awarded to qualified students on a competitive basis. Each Fellowship will include a $3,200 stipend as well as an allowance for cost of living, travel, and research supplies. To be considered, applicants should complete the online application form available at the link below, and should arrange to have two letters of recommendation and a college transcript sent to:

The University of Tennessee
BCMB Department
Dr. Dan Roberts, Professor
M407 Walters Life Sciences
Knoxville, TN 37996-0840

Friday, March 12, 2010

Ashland science students present at toxicology meeting

Three Ashland science students, Nicole Genco (Biology), Daphne Guinn (Toxicology) and Zach Il'Giovane (Biochemistry) presented their research this week at the annual meeting of the Society of Toxicology in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Their research on the effects of chemical mixtures on living systems was conducted with Dr. Doug Dawson, professor of Biology/Toxicology, who also presented at the meeting.  This project is funded by the National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences.

Dr. Dawson's research provides opportunities for students to gain experience in toxicological testing, and contributes to Ashland University's undergraduate Toxicology program, one of only a few in the country.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

New REU Opportunity in Chemistry at University of Toledo

The University of Toledo Chemistry Department has just received a grant from the National Science Foundation for a summer REU program titled "Exploring Structures of Molecules and Materials” The program runs June 1 through August 6, 2010. For further information, contact program faculty by email at: or

Friday, March 5, 2010

New gene analysis equipment obtained with biotechnology grant

The Department of Biology/Toxicology is excited to have a new piece of research equipment.  This new machine from Applied Biosystems is used for real-time PCR, a technique that measures levels of gene expression, or how much certain genes are being "read" by cells to make specific proteins.  This new machine will allow us to examine the changes in gene expression associated with disease, as well as the normal changes that occur during development.  Dr. Steve Fenster (pictured) has co-authored a book chapter on real-time PCR, and is training Ashland undergraduate research students to use the technique in their investigations of nervous system development.

This new equipment was purchased as part of a federal grant to the Bioscience Consortium of Northeast Ohio, of which Ashland University is a member.  Grant funds for this machine, as well as for some additional molecular biology equipment, are being used to support our department's new Biotechnology program.  This Fall we will be offering a new Introduction to Biotechnology course, and students in our Cell Biology and Molecular Biology courses will have the opportunity to get hands-on experience examining gene expression using this new machine.

Ashland University successfully partnered with members of the Bioscience Consortium in winning a Choose Ohio First Scholarship grant from the Ohio Board of Regents that will help provide scholarship funds to students pursuing degrees in Biology, Biochemistry, Environmental Science and Toxicology.