• Prof. Bille Swalla, Director of Friday Harbor Labs, was recently featured on KPLU's Sound Effect, Episode 14: Creatures. Check out the audio here (about 31 minutes in) 

    The ancestors of comb jellies such as Mnemiopsis leidyi may have been among the earliest creatures in the animal kingdom. PC: William Browne/Univ. of Miami 

    Mon, Apr 13 at 4 PM
  • Prof. Keiko Torii was selected by the American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) to receive a 2015 Fellow of ASPB Award! Additionally, Keiko is currently serving on the ASPB Early Career Award Committee. Congratulations Keiko!

    The full award announcement can be found here.

    Dr. Keiko Torii, Howard Hughes Medical Institute and University of Washington, Seattle For the past 15 years, Keiko has been studying the role of receptor-like kinases in plant development and the mechanisms controlling stomata formation. Her research on stomata formation has greatly improved our understanding of how plant cells coordinate proliferation and differentiation to generate specific patterns during organ morphogenesis. In addition to her research accomplishments, she is a monitoring editor for PlantPhysiology and editor-in-chief of The Arabidopsis Book (TAB).

    Thu, Apr 9 at 9 AM
  • Graduate student from the Hille Ris Lambers Lab, Elinore Theobald, and members of the Biology Education Research Group were published in the April 2015 issue of Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. A great example of interdisciplinary and collaborative spirit of the Biology Department!

    Women learn more from local than global examples of the biological impacts of climate change (full text)

    Elinore J TheobaldAlison CroweJanneke HilleRisLambersMary P Wenderoth, and Scott Freeman


    Are students influenced more by analyzing local or global examples of the biological impacts of climate change? Using a randomized trial in a large, introductory undergraduate biology course, we found that a single in-class activity led to a 45% increase in the frequency of correct answers on a test of conceptual understanding. Additionally, after completion of the activity, students more strongly believed that climate change would alter their lives, were more willing to modify their own behavior, and indicated more support for government action to address climate change. There was also a robust gender effect on the influence of local versus global examples: females learned better if they studied local examples. Women reported greater willingness to alter their behavior than men, and students with higher university grades were more likely to support government action to mitigate climate change. Our findings support the use of local examples in curricula and illustrate the power of large, randomized trials in determining effective methods in climate-change education.


    Fri, Apr 3 at 11 AM
  • UW News featured a new paper out by Jim Murray (Oceanography) and many other UW students, staff and faculty, including Biology Prof. Emily Carrington and first year grad Molly (Emily) Roberts. Our inland waters at FHL are naturally high in CO2, with current levels as high as those projected for the open ocean 100 years from now. Read more about it here.


    Measurements were collected from the dock at Friday Harbor Labs, which also is used for experiments that simulate future ocean acidification levels. Water was also collected from the pumphouse, the small brown building in the background on the left.J. Meyer 

    Tue, Mar 17 at 9 AM
  • Chair, Toby Bradshaw presented the pre-design for the new Life Sciences Complex at the first Organizational Excellence Showcase. In addition to LSC, Principal Lecturers Mary Pat Wenderoth and Alison Crowe presented well-attended posters on active learning and the “Bio-Core” principles taught across the Biology undergrad curriculum.

    Way-to-go Biology! Read the article here

    Toby Bradshaw shows the designs for the new Life Sciences Building, set to begin construction in 2016.Quinn Brown/University of Washington

    Wed, Mar 11 at 8 AM
  • The Leopold Pollen and Seed Laboratory, headed by Prof. Emeritus Estella Leopold, took the top spot as the "greenest lab" in the 2014 - 2015 UW College of Arts & Sciences Green Laboratory Competition!

    Check out their feature here. Congratulations, we're so proud to have such amazing people in our Department!

    Tue, Mar 3 at 10 AM
  • In a series of interviews with profiles of prominent biologists featured in Current Biology, University of Maine Prof. Bob Steneck names Biology's Prof. Emeritus Bob Paine as his "Scientific Hero"!

    "Bob Paine tops my list. He taught me how to ‘read’ natural ecological systems. He has made a career out of finding generally important phenomena from small-scale observations. His work, his students and those (like me) who were influenced by his approach, have changed how we see natural communities and ecosystems."

    We're so proud to have such amazing faculty!  Check out the full interview here.

    Mon, Mar 2 at 9 AM
  • Greenhouse Collections Assistant and Museology graduate student, Kate Nowell, has received the American Public Gardens Association's Emerging Professionals Travel Award to attend the 2015 Longwood Graduate Symposium at Longwood Gardents, Kennett Square, PA.

    What a timely topic to explore as we transition to a new Building and Greenhouse!

    Congratulations Kate!


    To Preserve or Change: Redefining Heritage to Guide the Future

    New institutions have a responsibility to craft a meaningful story to pass on to future generations. Established institutions have a responsibility to maintain their time-honored traditions for the benefit and enrichment of the public. Or do they?

    The 2015 Longwood Graduate Program Symposium, To Preserve or Change: Redefining Heritage to Guide the Future, will explore revisiting a public garden or related institution’s heritage and planning for the future. Is it appropriate to maintain values set forth by previous generations, or reinterpret them to remain relevant?






    Wed, Feb 11 at 1 PM
  • Assistant Prof. Bingni Brunton has published in Nature, contributing both data collection and modeling work to a paper on decision making. The research involved recording the firing rates of neurons in rats performing decision-making tasks and suggests that contrary to current views, the premotor activity in the frontal cortex does not have a role in the accumulation process, but instead has a more categorical function. 

    Read the article here


    Figure 2Computing tuning curves that describe the relationship between neural activity and accumulated evidence

    Fri, Jan 23 at 1 PM