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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.

 
New study-abroad course, Spring 2015 Print

Tropical Biology

BIO 435: Course Topics in Biology - Tropical Ecology: An intensive field-based exploration of Puerto Rico's ecosystems.

The Department of Biology is offering a new, 3 credit, study-abroad course next spring for junior and senior Biology majors who have successfully completed BIO 270, General Ecology. 

The course will be offered by Dr. Jessica Schedlbauer and will consist of four 2-hour course meetings on the WCU campus, as well as a 7-day trip to Puerto Rico over Spring Break 2015. 

The Puerto Rico trip will very intensive, often requiring 10+ hours of student time in the field per day.  Students will visit and learn about a variety of ecosystems on the island and also learn about local conservation in practice.

Contact Dr. Schedlbauer ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) if you are interested or have any questions.

 
Research on Underwater Propulsion funded by MURI Grant Print

Dr. Frank Fish received a grant from the Office of Naval Research (ONR) for $1,055,297 for the Multi-University Research Initiative (MURI) program. The proposed research is a collaboration with the University of Virginia, Princeton University, Harvard University, Lehigh University and West Chester University. Over the next five years, the research team will receive $1.5 million per year to investigate the Hydrodynamics of Non-Traditional Propulsion.

The research team's project is titled "Bio-inspired Flexible Propulsors for Fast, Efficient Swimming: What Physics Are We Missing?" The project will look at fast swimmers with flexible flukes (dolphins, whales, tuna and trout) to explore the possibility of a system that could replace propellers for underwater propulsion.

The Army Research Office, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and the Office of Naval Research solicited proposals for 24 research projects that directly support the DOD and the military services. Initially, 361 white papers were received, 88 of which were selected for more detailed proposals. The highly competitive MURI program complements other DOD basic research efforts by supporting multidisciplinary teams with larger and longer-term awards in carefully chosen research topics identified for their potential significance and sustainable progress. MURI awards provide strong support for the education and training of graduate students in cutting edge research. The 24 research proposals selected in the fiscal 2014 competition will include participation by 64 different academic institutions.

 
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