COVID-19: Essential Information
Dec. 2: Colin Howe Thesis Presentation

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

12:40 pm-1:30 pm EST via Zoom*

"Host Competence of Two Cryptic Peromyscus Species for Borrelia burgdorferi, the Lyme Disease Agent, in Central Vermont"

Register in Advance:  Click HERE

Dec. 4: Dr. Krista Sherman, Perry Institute of Marine Science

Dec. 4:  Dr. Krista Sherman, Perry Institute of Marine Science
"Integrative Approaches for Nassau Grouper Research & Conservation"

Nassau grouper are globally critically endangered and a key fishery species in The Bahamas and parts of the Caribbean, with an urgent need for better management and conservation. Population genetics and acoustic telemetry were used to determine how genetically diverse and connected Nassau grouper populations within The Bahamas are and to explore whether human activities have impacted their genetic health. Nassau grouper from Exuma and Long Island appear to have genetic signatures that differ from other islands and from an active fish spawning aggregation. DNA analyses revealed impaired genetic health and patterns of spatial structure and genetic connectivity not reflected by telemetry data alone. Collectively, these findings provide novel information on the intraspecific population dynamics of Nassau grouper within The Bahamas. These data are useful to assess spatial and temporal changes in the health of Nassau grouper, inform national fisheries management strategies, and direct future research and monitoring.

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Oct. 23, Dr. Lisa Baik: "Circadian clock modulation of attraction and avoidance behaviors in mosquitoes"

Oct. 23:  Dr. Lisa Baik. Yale University 

"Circadian clock modulation of attraction and avoidance behaviors in mosquitoes"

Dr. Lisa Baik is an insect neurobiologist investigating the sensory system of mosquitoes. Dr. Baik received her PhD from University of California Irvine. Her PhD thesis focused on the circadian clock, light sensing mechanisms, and behaviors in Drosophila melanogaster and mosquitoes. Dr. Baik is currently a postdoctoral scholar at Yale University in the Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology. Current project focuses on the chemosensory system of dangerous mosquito species.

Oct. 29-30: Dr. Luis De Leon, U Mass, Boston (Saul Lectures)

GEORGE B. SAUL II Lecture Series

10/29 at 5pm:  "Unveiling human impacts on evolution in the Galapagos"

Public talk:   Human development is influencing patterns of biological evolution in unprecedented ways. In this talk, I discuss how these effects are playing out in the iconic Darwin’s finches of the Galapagos. This example illustrates how humans are a novel and potent evolutionary force in nature.

10/30 at 12:40pm:  "Understanding human impacts on evolution in Darwin's finches"

Science Talk:  Darwin’s finches represent a classic example of adaptive radiation. However, human activities in the Galapagos are starting to affect this iconic group of birds. Here, I show how human development is eroding the very ecological and evolutionary processes that promote and maintain adaptive radiation in Darwin's finches.


Nov. 13, Melissa B Davis, PhD: "Genetic Ancestry in Breast Cancer Disparities"

Assistant Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology Dept of Surgery and Scientific Director of ICSBCS,  Weill Cornell Medicine in New York, NY

"Genetic Ancestry in Breast Cancer Disparities"

Melissa B. Davis, PhD is an Assistant Professor (Interim) of the Department of Surgery and Scientific Director of the International Center for the Study of Breast Cancer Subtypes (ICSBCS) at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York, NY. She is holds adjunct faculty appoints in the Department of Genetics at the University of Georgia in Athens, GA and in the Department of Population Health Sciences at Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, MI.

Dr. Davis received her Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics at the University of Georgia (Athens, GA, USA) and her postdoctoral training was completed at Yale School of Medicine and University of Chicago where she completed groundbreaking genomics work related to steroid hormone functions during development. At the University of Chicago she also trained at the U-Chicago Center for Interdisciplinary Health Disparities, where she began her current research program: To identify biological determinants/mechanisms underpinning racial disparities in cancer risk and clinical outcomes of cancer diagnoses. The Davis lab has produced findings that have proven that unique genetic signatures in both breast and prostate tumors of African and African American patients are enriched for mechanisms that correlate with aggressive tumor progression, which generate novel opportunities for precision medicine applications in minority populations. She will present findings emerging from her breast cancer research, where she has identified that and African-Ancestry allele, and the recently discovered tumor expression, of a gene named DARC (ACKR1) is linked to the tumor-specific immune/inflammatory response.

Past Events

Sept. 18:   Summer Student Research Showcase

Oct. 2:  Dr. Cissy Ballen, Auburn University

"Barriers to participation in biology: where they are and what you can do about them"

If you are community member interested in these talks, please reach out to the Department  Coordinator for more information. 

All talks take place Fridays, from 12:40-1:30pm EDT unless otherwise noted.

Department of Biology

McCardell Bicentennial Hall
276 Bicentennial Way
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753