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Biology Department's Latest News


 

Post-doctoral researcher Dr. Shawn McCracken and Dr. Michael Forstner, Professor of Biology, recently published a study in PLOS ONE demonstrating the negative effect of limited access oil roads in Ecuador’s Yasuni Biosphere Reserve on the unique frog community that inhabits the bromeliads occupying the high canopies of the Amazon forest. Their research also further illustrates the global conservation significance of the Yasuni National Park and the dangers of continued and new access roads within the park and its buffer zone. For more information, please see the PLOS ONE press release.

 

Dr. Shawn McCracken, post-doctoral researcher, and Dr. Mike Forstner, Professor of Biology, recently presented at the Tropical Forest Research and Education Conference: Yasuni Day in Mindo, Ecuador. Their talk was entitled “Do limited access rainforest oil roads = limited disturbance? Impacts on amphibians of the high canopy and the consequent genetic implications at the landscape scale” and has received considerable media attention about the “most biological diverse” spot on the Earth and the dangers of drilling in this region. For more information about Yasuni and its biodiversity, please click here and here.

 

Laura Alberici da Barbiano, post-doc in the Department of Biology, along with fellow post-doc Zachariah Gompert and faculty members Drs. Andrea Aspbury, Dr. Caitlin Gabor, and Dr. Chris Nice recently published a paper entitled “Population genomics reveals a possible history of backcrossing and recombination in the gynogenetic fish Poecilia formosa” in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. For more information, please click here.

 

Departments of Anthropology and Biology just received a Major Research Instrumentation grant from the National Science Foundation to purchase a high-resolution CT Scanner.  The instrument will be used to support research and education in Forensic Anthropology, Archeology, Paleobotany, and related disciplines.

The first Christmas Mountains Research Symposium

The first Christmas Mountains Research Symposium, sponsored by the four universities of the Texas State University System, was held May 13-15 (Monday through Wednesday), 2013 at the headquarters of Terlingua Ranch in Brewster County, Texas.  The symposium talks covered a wide range of topics related to Chihuahuan Desert geology, ecology, botany, wildlife, archaeology, and history. The Symposium also included multiple field trip opportunities within the Christmas Mountains and several social gatherings throughout the 3 day event. For more information, click here. 

Dr. Chris Nice Dr. Chris Nice was recently promoted to Professor of Biology.
 Dr. Floyd (Butch) Weckerly Dr. Floyd (Butch) Weckerly was recently promoted to Professor of Biology.
 Bob-McLean Dr. Robert McLean, Regents’ Professor in the Department of Biology, was recently appointed as the Homer E. Prince Professor of Microbiology. Please extend your congratulations to Dr. McLean.
 Michael-Forstner Dr. Michael Forstner, Department of Biology, was recently honored with  the title of University Distinguished Professor. This award honors individuals whose performance in teaching, research, and service has been exemplary and recognized at the state, national and international levels. Please extend your congratulations to Dr. Forstner.
 Ryan close up Dr. Ryan Luna, a spring 2013 graduate of the Aquatic Resources Doctoral Program accepted a tenure-track position in the Department of Natural Resource Management at Sul Ross University in Alpine, Texas.  Dr. Luna will begin his new career this upcoming Fall semester. Congratulations Ryan!
 Ruben Tovar, M.S. graduate student Ruben Tovar, M.S. graduate student in the lab of Dr. Dana Garcia was awarded the 2013 Jones-Lovich Award in Southwestern Herpetology from the Herpetologist' League. For more info, please click here.
 
Ruben Tovar, M.S. graduate student in the lab of Dr. Dana Garcia, was also awarded the prestigious Howard McCarley Student Research Award from the Southwestern Association of Naturalists. For more info, please click here.
  Chelsea Blake, Ph.D. Student  and Jon Richey, M.S. Student Chelsea Blake, Ph.D. Student (Dr. Caitlin Gabor, advisor) and Jon Richey, M.S. Student (Dr. Gary Upchurch, Advisor) were recently awarded National Science Foundation Graduate Student Fellowships. The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program is highly competitive and students receive a yearly stipend of $30,000 and $12,000 for school related fees. For more information, please click here.