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February Open House Canceled Print
The College of Arts and Sciences Open House scheduled for Monday, February 17 has been canceled due to weather-related issues.  Please consider attending the Accepted Student Days on Saturday, March 8th or Saturday, April 5th.  Invitations to these events were included in your acceptance packet.

We hope that you continue to feel excited about West Chester University and we wish you a safe winter season!
 
WCU Biology Students take Silver for Algal Biofuel Experiment. Print
On December 23, 2013, Biology Undergraduate Students Joe R. Mossman and William (Billy) Schultz and Graduate Student Zehra Zaybak took the Silver Medal at the international science competition sponsored by Bluesens Company of Germany for their entry: “Enhanced waste-to-fuel conversion with a bioelectrochemically controlled autotrophic bioreactor”. Oil rich algae are considered by many companies to be an ideal domestic replacement feedstock for imported petroleum. Algae are also rich in protein and can be used as an animal feed after oil extraction. However, in conjunction with light intensity, the very low concentration of CO2 in the air (0.04%) can severely limit algal growth rates. Their invention used a mild voltage to bacteriologically accelerate the release of CO2 during the treatment of organic waste in order to facilitate the growth of green algae.  With their prize money, the WCU team plans to further develop this promising technology for overcoming limitations imposed by low CO2 concentrations. The silver medalist team worked under the guidance and direction of Assistant Professor of Biology Dr. John M. Pisciotta. Funding for initial device construction and testing was provided by a WCU College of Arts and Science Faculty Development Grant.
 
Biology Highlights 2014 Print

Dr. Frank Fish presented two invited seminars for the Goldstein Lecture Series to the Technion Autonomous Systems Program at the Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, Israel on March 4 and 5, 2014. (1) “Lessons from animals and the development of a highly maneuverable AUV” and (2) “Biomimetics: Determining engineering opportunities from nature for efficient AUV propulsion.” 

Biology Undergraduate Student Joseph R. Mossman and Dr. John M. Pisciotta made the following presentation "Antiviral Water Filtration System" at the American Society for Microbiology’s annual Biodefense and Emerging Diseases Research Meeting in Washington DC on January 29th, 2014. 

Dr. Oné R. Pagán published the following book "The First Brain The Neuroscience of Planarians". 2014. Oxford University Press.

Dr. Frank Fish, Paul Legac, Terrie Williams, and Tim Wei published: “Measurement of hydrodynamic force generation by swimming dolphins using bubble DPIV” in the Journal of Experimental Biology 217(2): 252-260 (2014). 

Dr. Frank Fish and Dr. John T. Beneski published the book chapter “Evolution and bio-inspired design: Natural limitations” in Biologically Inspired Design: Computational Methods and Tools. 2014. (A. Goel, D. A. McAdams and R. B. Stone, eds.), Springer-Verlag, London, pp. 287-312. 

Biology Graduate Student Steven Bukowski and Dr. Josh R. Auld published the following article: Bukowski, S.J. & J.R. Auld. 2014. The effects of calcium in mediating the inducible morphological defenses of a freshwater snail, Physa acuta.  Aquatic Ecology 48:85-90.  

Dr. Josh R. Auld published the following articles: (1) Murren, C.J., H.J. Maclean, S.E. Diamond, U.K. Steiner, M.A. Heskel, C.A. Handelsman, C.K. Ghalambor, J.R. Auld, H.S. Callahan, D.W. Pfennig, R.A. Relyea, C.D. Schlichting & J.G. Kingsolver. 2014. Evolutionary change in continuous reaction norms. American Naturalist in press; and (2) Willis, C.G., C. Baskin, J. Baskin, J.R. Auld, D.L. Venable, J. Cavender-Bares, K. Donohue & R. Rubio de Casas. 2014. The evolution of seed dormancy: environmental cues, evolutionary hubs, and diversification of the seed plants.  New Phytologist in press.

Dr. Frank Fish presented the followng invited seminars: (1) "Biomimetic applications from the natural technologies of whales, at the STEM Education Series – Innovative Concepts in Engineering Design (ICED-T)" held at Bentley Systems in Lionville, PA on February 19, 2014; (2) "Biomimetic designs: Advances in technologies based on marine megafauna" at the Mechanical Engineering Department of Clarkson University on February 7, 2014; and (3) “Biomimetic applications from the natural technologies of whales for efficient propulsion” as the EvMorph Speaker of the Department of Organismal Biology and Anatomy of the University of Chicago January 23, 2014. 

Dr. Fish made the following presentations at the  Annual Meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, Austin, TX, January 3-8, 2014: (1) “The ‘dog paddle’: Stereotypic swimming gait pattern in different dog breeds” with co-author Nicole DiNenno (biology undergraduate); (2) “Body density of batoids in relation to ecology: Morphological control of buoyancy” with co-authors Janet Fontanella (biology undergraduate), Molly Gabler (biology graduate student) and, Medhi Saadat of the University of Virginia; (3) “Pectoral fin muscular architecture of batoids in relation to ecological lifestyle” with Molly Gabler (biology graduate student) and Dr. David Coughlin; and (4) “Aquatic burst locomotion by hydroplaning and running in Common Eiders (Somateria mollissima)” with William Gough and Stacy Farina of Cornell University. 

Cool Previous Biology Highlights (2013) 

 
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