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BIO 435: Course Topics in Biology - Tropical Ecology Print

Students Explore the Ecosystems of Puerto Rico

Eleven students enrolled in BIO 435, spent Spring Break 2015 exploring the ecosystems of Puerto Rico with Dr. Jessica Schedlbauer, as part of the Department of Biology’s first study abroad course.

Students explored high elevation, cloud-shrouded, elfin forests in the Luquillo Mountains, visited the mangrove ecosystems that line the island’s coasts, kayaked at night through a bioluminescent bay, and hiked through rare coastal dry forests.  

The class also met with faculty from the University of Puerto Rico-Utuado to learn about organic coffee production and coffee grading, a process used to improve the quality of coffee produced on the island.  

Students also had the opportunity to meet with a non-profit organization focused on watershed protection with the goal of improving water quality in the rivers and coastal ecosystems of Puerto Rico.

 
Biology Highlights 2015 Print

Dr. One Pagán published the following: Evidence of Nicotine-Induced, Curare-Insensitive, Behavior in Planarians. Pagán OR, Montgomery E, Deats S, Bach D, Baker D. Neurochem Res. 2015 Jan 23. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 25614180. In addition, Dr. Pagán had the following articles posted on-line: (1) A Toxic Tale: This Scorpion Can Make Two Kinds of Venom; (2) 13 Things You Didn't Know About Planarians ; (3) People Behind the science and (4) NTN 24 Science news (part 1part 2)

Dr. Jessica Schedlbauer published the following paper: Malone, S.L., C. Keough, C.L. Staudhammer, M.G. Ryan, W.J. Parton, P. Olivas, S.F. Oberbauer, J. Schedlbauer, & G. Starr. 2015. Ecosystem resistance in the face of climate change: a case study from the freshwater marshes of the Florida Everglades. Ecosphere 6(4):57. http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/ES14-00404.1

Dr. Frank Fish published the following paper: “Estimation of shape of the sea lion for hydrodynamic analysis. Response to ‘Cambered profile of a California sea lion’s body’.” Journal of Experimental Biology 218: 1271-1272 (2015). 

Dr. Jessica Schedlbauer published the following: J.L. Schedlbauer. Serpentine ecosystem responses to varying water availability and prescribed fire in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic region. Ecosphere in press

Dr. Frank Fish presented the following: (1) an invited seminar "Underlying physics derived from nature: Examination of mobuliform swimming and the development of a high-performance AUV" at the Biology Department of Adelphi University on March 27, 2015; (2) an invited symposium talk “Flying fish and swimming birds: adaptations for locomotor performance at the air-water interface” at the Founders Symposium of the Western Interior Paleontological Society on Fossils and Flight at the Colorado School of Mines Green Center in Golden, CO on March 15, 2015; and (3) an invited talk “Anatomical and performance attributes of thunniform propulsors” at the Office of Naval Research-MURI Meeting: Hydrodynamics of non-traditional propulsion bio-inspired flexible propulsors for fast, efficient swimming: What physics are we missing? That was held at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA on March 2, 2015. 

Dr. Josh Auld published the following: Murren, C.J., J. R. Auld, H. Callahan, C. Ghalambor, C. Handelsman, M. A. Heskel, J. G. Kingsolver, H. Maclean, J. Masel, H. Maughan, D. Pfennig, R. A. Relyea, S. Seiter, E. Snell-Rood, U. K. Steiner & C. D. Schlichting. 2015. Constraints on the evolution of phenotypic plasticity: Limits and costs of phenotype and costs of plasticity. Heredity in press.

Dr. Frank Fish was a co-organizer with Dr. Paolo Domenici of the National Research Council of Italy for the symposium “Unsteady Aquatic Locomotion with Respect to Eco-Design and Mechanics” held at the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology Meeting in West Palm Beach, FL., January 3-7, 2015 . At the same meeting Dr. Fish presented “Stability design and response to waves by batoids” with West Chester University Biology graduate student Jessica Hoffman, and “Swimming turned on its head: Stability and maneuverability of the shrimpfish (Aeoliscus punctulatus)” with Dr. Roi Holzman of Tel Aviv University and co-authored “Development of a batoid-inspired autonomous underwater vehicle” with Dr. Hilary Bart-Smith of the University of Virginia, “Understanding the role of fin flexion in rays’ forward swimming” with Dr. Haibo Dong of the University of Virginia, and “Unsteady forces form in flapping foils and depend on fluid-solid coupling in water but not in air” with Dr. Thomas Daniel of the University of Washington. 

Cool Previous Biology Highlights (2014) 

 
New BioFaculty: Fall 2014 Print

Sullivan-brown

 We welcome Dr. Jessica Sullivan-Brown as a new assistant professor in the Department of Biology. She received her Bachelor's degree in Biology from James Madison University in 2000 and her Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from Princeton University in 2008.

Her research interests include studying the cellular and molecular mechanisms of embryonic development and how defects in development result in disease. As a postdoctoral researcher at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, she studied the genetic components involved in neural tube defects, a common and severe type of birth defect.  

She will continue this research at West Chester University using both the worm Caenorhabditis elegans and the frog Xenopus laevis as model systems.  She is excited about teaching biology classes at West Chester University and working with students to develop independent research projects.  In addition to her interests in research and teaching, she enjoys communicating science to a broad audience through science outreach activities.

 
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