The department has teaching and research interests in many aspects of Biology from the cellular and molecular level to organismal to global ecological and conservation issues

Thursday, October 24, 2013

More ODU birding news

Eric Walters' bird work makes the news as part of migration tracking study being conducted in the area. Andrew Arnold is a MS student working with Dr Walters on this study. Check out the story in the pilot...Tracking migratory birds

Ocean acidificiation affects clams

Biology faculty member Dr Lisa Horth and her graduate student Rebecca Walawender examine the effects of ocean acidification as part of a wider study led by Professor R. Zimmerman from the Department of Ocean, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at ODU. Check it out.....Eelgrasses, Clams, and Ocean Acidification.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Dr. Walters featured in new documentary film

Blackfish, an award winning documentary about the captive killer whale industry hit theaters nationwide on July 26th. The films focuses on Tilikum, the world's largest captive killer whale, who has taken the lives of 3 humans during his 30 years of captivity. Tilikum is currently housed at Sea World Orlando and was involved in the death of a Sea World trainer in 2010. Dr. Walters, an assistant professor in our department, is featured in the film. He worked with Tilikum as a whale trainer from 1987 to 1989 and so the film makers wanted his perspective on Tilikum's early years in captivity. Because of Dr. Walters' experience working with Tilikum, combined with many years conducting research on wild killer whales in his native British Columbia, he was called as an expert witness in 1991after Tilikum was implicated in the death of a whale trainer, the first human death ever attributed to a killer whale.

Read more about this at News@ODU

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Tick Robot

What is the first thing you thought about with the title ... a robotic tick?  Well think again, this is a robot that may help us eliminate the pesky ticks that inhabit our playgrounds, be it the home back yard or a public park area. Check out what ODU faculty, Dr Holly Gaff  and Emeritus Professor Dan Sonenshine have been up to with a team of engineers from VMI.....

Tick killing robot
ABC News
Check out the video

Edible Plants

Lytton Musselman, Eminent Professor and the Mary Payne Hogan Professor of Botany,has a new book out on edible plants (The Quick Guide to Wild Edible Plants) in which the authors discuss wild produce that is reasonably easy to prepare and tastes good. So if you are looking for something different or new, may be go for a hike and pick up dinner while you are doing so. For more check out this article in News@ODU.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Clean City Heroes

On 06/14/13, the Norfolk Environmental Commission held it's annual "Clean City Cookout" to honor Norfolk's Clean City Heroes. Receiving the "Rivers and Watershed Protection Award" were Todd Egerton, Matthew Muller, and Matthew Semcheski, representing the phytoplankton lab, for their continuing efforts and participation in local wetland restoration projects. 
Matthew Muller, and Matthew Semcheski (not pictured: Todd Egerton)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Larval Lobster Tracking

Check out the latest research of Mark Butler, Professor and Eminent Scholar of Biological Sciences

In his words:

Larval Lobster (From Butler website)
The article describes a very sophisticated biophysical modeling project in which, for the first time, we were able to predict the origins and destinations of spiny lobster larvae throughout the Caribbean.  This is important because the Caribbean spiny lobster is THE most important fishery in the Caribbean and its larvae disburse for many months in the plankton, thus moving among the 30+ countries of the region.  With this publication, we can now begin working with fishery managers around the Caribbean on a Caribbean-wide cooperative management of this important resource.

For the science behind the press check out the PLoS one article: http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0064970

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

ODU graduate student Alexis Kordis wins prestigious ASM travel award

Alexis A. Kordis, Department of Biological Sciences, is one of only 6 students in the nation to be awarded the prestigious 2013 Richard and Mary Finkelstein Student Travel Grant, which funded her travel to the 113th General Meeting of the American Society of Microbiology in Denver, Colorado on May 18-21, 2013.  The most important selection criterion for the award was the scientific quality of the submitted abstract.  The grant also qualified her to present a poster and give a short oral presentation of the abstract, “Evidence for the contribution of toxAvapA to the survival of nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae during infection”, authored by Dabin Ren, Alexis A. Kordis and Dayle A. Daines.

Following is a synopsis that Alexis wrote about her experience at the meeting: “When I arrived in Denver for the 2013 American Society for Microbiology (ASM) General Meeting, I was surprised to find that there were over 7,000 attendees, with an overwhelming amount of seminars to attend and posters to read.  It was fascinating to learn about current research in the field and how technology is advancing to help investigators answer life’s most important questions.  The other amazing part of this meeting was the opportunity to talk to other researchers with similar interests.  This served as a seminal learning experience for me and inspired me to look at my work and planned future studies more critically.  One requirement of being awarded the Richard and Mary Finkelstein Student Travel Grant was that I give an oral presentation about the work in our lab.  This was a great opportunity to present our research to the ASM membership.  I was also fortunate to be able to meet Dr. Richard Finkelstein, the scientist who discovered cholera toxin.  This meeting allowed me to experience the entire process of being a researcher, from gathering data to presenting our results at a distinguished conference.  I am very thankful for this experience and encourage anyone who has the opportunity to attend an international scientific meeting to do so with enthusiasm."
The work presented by Alexis was conducted in the lab of Dr Dayle Daines, Assistant Professor of Biology.  Ms Kordis is a graduate student in the MS in Biology program. 

Walters lab - awards and more

Eric Walters, Assistant Professor of Biology, and is students had a very eventful year.
Starting in November his Ornithology class students identified a Northern Lapwing, a bird never recorded in Virginia until then (http://www.odu.edu/news/2012/11/northern_lapwing_sig).
Recently, Erin Heller an MS student working under the guidance of Dr Walters got credit for sighting a Dusky Flycatcher at the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk, another first for the area (http://www.odu.edu/news/2013/3/odu_student_adds_dus).
Dr Walters also mentored LaCheryl Ball in a study of Virginia Zoo Monkeys that won national award from the Charles H. Turner Program of the Animal Behavior Society and the Center for Integrative Study of Animal Behavior (http://www.odu.edu/news/2013/3/_very_special_biolog).  To top this off, LaCheryl  also received the highest honor given to a graduating ODU students, the Kaufman prize (http://www.odu.edu/news/2013/5/kaufman_award).
Yet another of Eric’s students (Jame Kling) a freshman in the CMC LEAP program was recognized as the ODU Student Employee of the Year (http://blue.odu.edu/ao/ia/insideodu/20130425/kudos1.php).
Eric's work shows that the Biology Department attracts the best and brightest, and that we have great faculty who are willing to go the extra distance for their students. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Dr Timothy Motley

On March 28, 2013 the Biology Department lost a valuable and cherished faculty member, Associate Professor Tim Motley,  the J. Robert Stiffler Distinguished Professor of Botany at Old Dominion University and director of science at the Norfolk Botanical Garden .
Dr Motley will be missed by all - faculty, students, and the many other he has interacted with over the years.

A memorial service will be held at Norfolk Botanical Garden  May 17th, at 3PM.
The family suggests donations to benefit Anton via www.gofundme.com/motley in lieu of flowers.

For more information on Dr Motley:

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Gaff gets Math Service Award

Holly Gaff recieves Service Award from the Association for Women in Mathematics for "helping to promote and support women in mathematics through exceptional voluntary service to the association."  Read more about Holly and her award  here.

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