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

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Jessica Beard - Outstanding graduate teaching assistant 2014

Congratulations to Jessica Beard who this year is one of two Outstanding GTA award winners for the entire university.  Jessica was nominated by the department for the College award, and then by the College for the University Award. Jesscia has been a GTA in the General Biology class, but recently has been the instructor for Animal Behavior and Entomology.

Erin Heller - Grad Student in Biology collects awards _UPDATED

Erin Heller, a Masters student in the lab of Dr. Eric Walters is a 2014 recipient of a National Science Foundation Graduate ResearchFellowship. Erin competed with over 14,000 other applicants for this prestigious award. The award provides a stipend and tuition support for 3 years towards a PhD. Upon completing her Masters degree on the effects of urbanization on the relationship among birds, ticks, and tick-borne disease pathogens here at Old Dominion University, Erin plans to continue her studies in avian ecology and behavior at the doctoral level. More about this here.

Erin also won the Virginia Society of Ornithology's J.J. Murray Research Award.  The award is designed to promote graduate and undergraduate research, and the research must consist of current or projected field studies on Virginia birds.  Proposals will be judged for their scientific merit and the likelihood that the work will make a meaningful contribution to our understanding of Virginia avifauna.

Erin Heller has been awarded a Champion of Diversity award by the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity.

Since originally posted Erin has recieved yet another couple of awards:

Erin was awarded a 2014 Old Dominion University Alumni Association Outstanding Scholar Fellowship.

Erin was awarded the Best Student Oral Presentation by a graduate student at the annual meeting of the Virginia Academy of Science for her paper entitled “The effects of urbanization on the relationship among birds, ticks, and tick-borne pathogens.”

Congratulations, Erin!


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Monarchs for Monarchs project

Tatyana Lobova co-ordinates a joint effort between the Department of Biological Sciences , ODU student botanists, the Orchid Conservatory, the ODU grounds department and Norfolk Botanical Garden.  Check out what the program is all about:  Monarchs for Monarchs, Monarch project milkweed, Milkweed planting on campus.

Butler at Caribbean Fisheries Forum

Professor Mark Butler attends Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) meeting where his years of study on lobsters moves beyond pure science into policies related to fisheries management. Read more here

Honey Bees or Mason Bees

Check out the latest work of Dr Horth and her students on bees and strawberries...
honeybees decline - mason bees eyed

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Bees and UV cues

Check out the latest work by Associate Professor Lisa Horth on the effect of floral UV cues in attacting bees to flowers just published:
Horth, L., L. Campbell & R. Bray. 2014.  Wild bees preferentially visit Rudbeckia flower heads with exaggerated ultraviolet absorbing floral guides. Biology Open (2014) 3, 221–230 doi:10.1242/bio.20146445
This research demonstrates for the first time that floral guides are not just important in directing pollinators to floral reward, but also in recruiting pollinators to flowers from a distance.

The ultraviolet absorbent floral guides found on black eyed susans were manipulated to be larger and smaller than they typically are in nature. 

This ultraviolet absorbent pattern forms a 'bullseye' around the center of the flower where pollen and nectar rewards are located.

In this study the size of that bullseye was diminished and enlarged. Bees preferred enlarged cues and recruited to flowers from a distance more often when this cue was big.