News

  • She's at it again! Graduate student Sarah Eddy and former postdoc Sara Brownell published a paper in CBE Life Science Education on gender and how it effects gaps in achievement and participation. The study focused on introductory biology classes, which sees a greater ratio of females to males compared to the other STEM subjects. Their research shows that closing the gender gap in science education may require more than just recruitment alone.

    Congratulations on not only publishing the paper, but also for being mentioned in this issue of Science - Editor's Choice!

     

    Mon, Oct 13 at 11 AM
  • Jennifer Day, graduate student in Prof. Sam Wasser's lab, started a crowdfunding campaign in support of their jaguar conservation project in Mexico. The campaign will last until Oct 31st. Please consider the impact you could have on their ability conduct such important research!

    "The goal of our project is to improve connectivity of jaguar habitat in southern Mexico, an area of highly threatened rainforest and a critical wildlife movement corridor. Our methods are completely noninvasive. Conservation Canines detection dogs locate scat samples for DNA/hormone analyses. Our goal will improve jaguar welfare and the ecosystem beneath this top predator, as well as the human societies that live alongside them."

    Conservation Canine, Scooby, gets his reward from Jennifer for a succesful scat find - play time!

    Mon, Oct 6 at 12 PM
  • Looking at the past to help us in the future. Associate Chair of Biology, Carl Bergstrom, was published in Science along with eight other international scientists on the importance of evolutionary biology in solving many of today’s problems. This includes insect-resistant crops, anti-biotic resistant bacteria, and even climate change! Read more in this UW Today article.

     

    Fri, Oct 3 at 11 AM
  • Biology Graduate student Tracy Larson is first author in the Sept. 23 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience and is featured in this UW article for her research on neural signaling pathways in the brains of songbirds. Their cells die in the fall and signal new cells to grow in the spring. The surge of new cells increases the size and quality of their songs during breeding season to attract mates. Treatment to neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's could be on the horizon if this pathway is exploited into human brain tissue. 

     

    Gambel's white-crowned sparrows are about 7 inches in length.

    Tue, Sep 23 at 4 PM
  • Sarah Eddy was interviewed by USA Today about her recent article with Kelly Hogan in CBE-Life Science Education about how active learning can help close achievement gaps. Read the interview here.

    She is published as first author in the CBE-LSE article Getting Under the Hood: How and for Whom Does Increasing Course Structure Work? Read the article here.

     

    Congratulations on a wonderful accomplishment Sarah!

    Fri, Sep 19 at 9 AM
  • National Geographic hails Prof. Sam Wasser as an elephant hero. He has dedicated more than 20 years to conservation, including developing a DNA analysis technique that rivals poaching. In his profile, he speaks of the things that inspire him, recalls fond memories from past field studies, and explains the importance of elephants in ecotourism and our environment.

    Read more here.

    Thu, Sep 11 at 9 AM
  • Sarah Eddy is first author of an article published in the New York Times about how actively structured courses significantly decreases the achievement gap for disadvantaged students, who arrive in college with poorer study skills. It is the first study to break down such improvements by demographic groups, showing that test score increases were doubled for African American and first generation students in classrooms that required active student participation.

    Read the article here.

    Wed, Sep 3 at 1 PM
  • Prof. Parichy and co-authors identified the roles of thyroid hormone (TH) in pigment cell development and patterning using zebrafish and a related species. By demonstrating critical functions for TH in determining pigment patterns and cell differentiation, their research has significant evolutionary and biomedical translations – human melanoma has been linked to a higher rate of hyperthyroidism.    

    Read the Science article here.

    TH is required for xanthophore development and melanophore repression

    Tue, Sep 2 at 9 AM
  • Prof. Horacio de la Iglesia collaborated with colleagues in Seattle Children's Research Institute to discover an area of the brain that motivates its owner to exercise! De la Iglesia helped genetically engineer mice with blocked signals to this portion of the brain and it led to lethargy and lack of running. Read more about the study here.

     

    Mice without a functioning dorsal medial habenula didn't feel like running in their wheels.
    Kaytee Rlek Flickr
    Fri, Aug 29 at 9 AM
  • The Parichy lab recently received a $1.24M grant from the National Institutes of Health to study thyroid hormone signaling mechanisms in pigment cell development and melanoma biology. Their research could lead to major biomedical breakthroughs. Read more about the Parichy lab here.

     

    Congratulations to Dave and his team!

    Tue, Aug 26 at 1 PM
  • The Riffell laboratory has recently been awarded more than $1.5M by NSF to study the insect sense of smell. Two projects were funded by NSF: the first project will examine the neural basis of learning and olfactory behavior in the Manduca sexta moth. And the second project, in collaboration with Eli Shlizerman in Applied Mathematics, will seek to create a computational model of the insect olfactory system, with a goal towards elucidating how neural networks operate to mediate behavior.

    In addition, a BBC series entitled "Superhuman Animals" will feature the Riffell lab on an episode focused on the sense of smell. Tune in Tuesday, September 9th at 6PM PST, on BBC America. 

     

    Congratulations Jeff and his team!

    Thu, Aug 21 at 12 PM
  • Many of the world's 18 species of penguins have experienced substantial declines during the past two decades. In a recent article co-authored by UW professor of biology Dee Boersma, scientists are calling for marine protected areas and partially protected areas to help penguins cope with the interference of human activity. Read the article here.

     

    A Magellanic penguin and two chicks

    A Magellanic penguin and two chicks. Photo credit: U of Washington

    Wed, Aug 13 at 10 AM
  • It was announced today that Asst. Prof. Lauren Buckley and her team have received a $1.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation to fund computational and visualization tools for translating climate change into ecological impacts.

    From the abstract: “This proposal aims to develop an interactive web application, Mapping Environmental Stress on Organisms (MESO) and disseminate it to researchers, educators, and the public. MESO will enable visualizing the predicted body temperatures of ectotherms and regions in which the ectotherms will experience thermal stress; the incidence of extreme thermal stress events; indicators of development rate; and population growth rate for focal insects.” 

     

    Congratulations Lauren!

    Wed, Aug 6 at 3 PM
  • The seafaring dog Tucker and the Conservation Canine team lead by Prof. Wasser was recently featured on the front page of the Wall Street Journal! The dogs are rescued and trained as invaluable scientists, using their acute sense of smell and delirious work ethic to track animal scat. This article highlights his work in the PNW, tracking orcas. Read more about Tucker and the team here.

     

    Deborah Giles, left, prepares to board a research vessel with colleague Elizabeth Seely, center, and whale scat detection dog Tucker on San Juan Island, Washington. David Ryder for The Wall Street Journal

    Fri, Aug 1 at 1 PM