Department News

Program lets undergrads help teach classes and engage students

January 23, 2018

As an undergraduate assistant called a TA-squared, Taylor Bailey (center) helps students in an introductory biology lab. A program at Colorado State University is helping undergrads get more involved in the classroom – as students and as instructors. The Institute for Learning and Teaching (TILT) calls it the learning assistant, or LA, program. It lets undergraduates who […]

Biology Professor Alan Knapp named fellow of American Geophysical Union

January 18, 2018

Alan Knapp, a professor in the Department of Biology at Colorado State University, was inducted as a 2017 fellow in the American Geophysical Union, a scientific organization dedicated to studying and communicating earth and space sciences. The designation recognizes Knapp’s lifelong work on grassland ecology and climate change, and was presented in December at the organization’s 2017 fall […]

Are amoebae safe harbors for plague?

Fluorescent confocal images of amoebae after experimental co-culture with Yersinia pestis. Credit: David Markman/Colorado State University Amoebae, single-celled organisms common in soil, water and grade-school science classrooms, may play a key role in the survival and spread of deadly plague bacteria. New Colorado State University research shows that plague bacteria, Yersinia pestis, not only survive, but thrive and replicate […]

Fall 2017 – Winter 2018 Biology Department Newsletter

January 11, 2018

It was a busy year, one that’s slipped by, with our attention focused on completing and moving into the Biology Building. But that’s not all that’s been happening — we’ve kept going on the other parts of being a comprehensive research and teaching department. We continue to take in record numbers of undergraduate students (about […]

Plague research wins award for CSU graduate student

Fundamental questions about one of history’s deadliest diseases, plague, still remain unanswered. And David Markman, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Biology at Colorado State University, is working to answer some of those questions. For his work in this area, Markman won a Young Investigator Award at the 2017 annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene […]

In Antarctic dry valleys, early signs of climate change-induced shifts in soil

There are no plants, birds or mammals in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, which are located in the largest region of the Antarctic continent. Photo: Ashley Shaw In a study spanning two decades, a team of researchers led by Colorado State University found declining numbers of soil fauna, nematodes and other animal species in the McMurdo Dry […]

Biology faculty member discusses science and philosophy with Dalai Lama

December 20, 2017

Following up on her recent summer trip, Colorado State University Associate Professor of Biology Meena Balgopal returned to India to teach science workshops for 40 Tibetan Buddhist monastics in December. During this trip, she had the opportunity to speak with the Dalai Lama as well. “In this photo, he’s telling me that Indian philosophy plays an important role […]

CSU alum helps sequence ancient and massive redwood tree genome to study its mutations

November 21, 2017

Decades before Zane Moore was born, his grandfather planted a redwood tree in the backyard of his San Jose, California home. Moore spent his childhood looking up at that tree and hiking through redwood forests in the mountains nearby. After years of gazing up in awe at one of the largest living things in the […]

CSU professor teaches biology to monks in India

Some of us spent our summers hiking, studying, or working. Colorado State University Associate Professor of Biology Meena Balgopal spent part of hers teaching biology to Buddhist monks in India. With support from the Emory-Tibet Science Initiative (ETSI), a program sponsored by Emory University and Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, Balgopal taught first-year biology to 105 Buddhist monks. […]

CSU’s Diana Wall inducted into California Academy of Sciences

October 26, 2017

Diana Wall is a University Distinguished Professor, and the director of the School of Global Environmental Sustainability.Diana Wall, a Colorado State University professor in the Department of Biology and director of the School of Global Environmental Sustainability, was inducted into the California Academy of Sciences on Oct. 10. The esteemed soil ecologist, also recognized as a University Distinguished […]

Making tastier tomatoes at this year’s CSU Thornton-Massa Lecture Nov. 12

October 18, 2017

You know the experience: You slice into a red, juicy, store-bought tomato, take a bite and…nothing. This familiar, flavorless experience might someday be less common thanks to the work of Harry Klee, professor of horticultural sciences at the University of Florida and featured speaker at this year’s Thornton-Massa Lecture, 3:30 p.m. Nov. 12, at the Lory Student […]

Grand opening celebration for new Biology Building and Chemistry Research Building

Colorado State University celebrated the grand opening of the new Biology Building and the new Chemistry Research Building on Oct. 12 with a ribbon cutting ceremony and tours of both buildings. “It’s been a long time coming,” said Jan Nerger, dean of the College of Natural Sciences. “It took many dedicated and stalwart people to make it happen.” The state-of-the-art buildings […]

New Biology Building

Biology is DONE! We moved in to begin the Fall 2017 semester!

Almost two years after breaking ground on October 15, 2015, we started move-in July 20, 2017, with some milestones along the way (setting the last beam in May 2016, substantial completion in June 2017… Our Grand Opening opening was during Homecoming week on October 12,

The latest images and time-lapse (from Thanksgiving 2015 to the present) can be seen on the New Biology Building link on this page.

And of course, we appreciate the support of the students of Colorado State University who approved a Facilities Fee to finance much of the construction costs. The project was completed on time and on budget, and we thank our partners at CSU Facilities Management, Haselden Construction, and Hord Coplan Macht architects. DISCOVERY BEGINS HERE!

Advancing algae for better biofuels: CSU shares in $3.5 million project

October 4, 2017

Algae ponds at Arizona State University’s Arizona Center for Algae Technology and Innovation. CSU-developed new algae strains will be tested in collaboration with ASU scientists as part of a project led by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Credit: AzCATI at Arizona State University Colorado State University scientists are partners in a three-year grant of up […]

For STEM students interested in a teaching career, CSU offers scholarships, research

Colorado State University’s Robert Noyce Scholarship, a grant supported by the National Science Foundation, awards $10,000 to undergraduate STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) majors who are considering a career in teaching. In return for every year of funding they receive, students commit to teaching two years at a high-need school after they graduate. In the past […]

CSU biology professor investigates plant genomes with two new grants

September 27, 2017

Mitochondria can be bad dance partners. So bad, in fact, that they can cause male sterility – in plants at least. Studying the causes and effects of mitochondria and chloroplast misconduct is the theme of two research grants recently awarded to Colorado State University Assistant Professor of Biology Dan Sloan in the College of Natural Sciences. One grant […]

Women & Gender Collaborative awards grant to high-impact STEM project

Cori Wong, director of the Women & Gender Collaborative; Colleen Webb, director of Graduate Degree Program in Ecology The Women and Gender Collaborative is providing a two-year grant for a faculty-student mentoring program designed to encourage women to pursue advanced STEM careers and follow a path to become future leaders in their disciplines. The project, “Research […]

Take a tour of the new CSU Biology Building [VIDEO]

September 22, 2017

The new Colorado State University Biology Building offers welcoming study spaces, inspiring displays, state-of-the-art classrooms, and cutting-edge research laboratories. Thanks to funding by the student-led University Facility Fee Advisory Board, it was built with a forward-looking, student-friendly design. The building opened its doors in time for the start of the fall semester this year and houses the […]

Biology professor will study leopard seals in Antarctica with NSF grant

As a kid, Shane Kanatous dreamed of becoming the next Jacques Cousteau. Now, after six trips to Antarctica and an upcoming project to study leopard seals on the ice, the associate professor of biology at Colorado State University believes his work might actually be even a littler cooler than Cousteau’s. “He was observing the animals and filming them,” Kanatous […]

Biological science major learns about bears, career goals during summer internship

Colorado State University biological science major Caitlyn Lenz’s summer internship at Yellowstone Bear World was a mixed picnic basket. As an animal keeper, Lenz learned how to care for wild animals like bears, elk, mountain goats, and bison. She also taught visitors about the different animals, and worked closely with the bears – often close enough to touch. “Getting […]

Biology duo work on research, travel and learning longbow

September 1, 2017

Biology department duo Professor Marinus Pilon and Professor Elizabeth Pilon-Smits share their complementary skills, lab space, and coffee breaks as they work together as co-professors, researchers, and mentors. As professors, each has their own area of research and each teaches different classes. Pilon teaches Cell Biology and Plant Metabolism, while Pilon-Smits teaches Phytoremediation and Plant […]

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Monday, August 14, 2017-Training Seminar for New Graduate Teaching Assistants.

July 27, 2017

Required training for incoming Graduate Teaching Assistants will be held on Monday, August 14th at the Lory Student Center Grand Ballroom, Sign In  and Continental Breakfast from 8:30- 9:00 AM –  Training Program 9:00- 4:00 pm. More information. Contact Info: Debora Colbert -Director 491-2645    

Congrats to our graduates!

July 20, 2017

The Department of Biology graduated over 200 students this year! We’re so proud of all of our graduates, and are excited to share some of their stories with you! Amanda Lark, B.S. Biological Science Recent biology department graduate Amanda Lark worked with Associate Professor Dhruba Naug. She investigated the correlations between different modalities of learning […]

Biology Professor Greg Florant honored by NIH group for minority researchers

June 2, 2017

CSU Biology Professor Gregory Florant (center) received a Network of Minority Health Research Investigators bronze medallion award. He is pictured here with Dr. Lincoln Edwards, president of Northern Caribbean University and chair of the NMRI planning committee (left), and Dr. Griffin Rodgers, director of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (right). […]

Biology Associate Professor Kim Hoke named Monfort Professor

April 21, 2017

Each year, Colorado State University celebrates the teaching, research and service achievements of CSU students, alumni and friends, academic faculty, administrative professionals and classified staff. Click on the name of the award to see more information on this year’s teaching honorees, and scroll down to see even more outstanding members of the Ram Family honored with […]

Biology Professor Alan Knapp named University Distinguished Professor

Each year, Colorado State University celebrates the teaching, research and service achievements of CSU students, alumni and friends, academic faculty, administrative professionals and classified staff. Click on the name of the award to see more information on this year’s teaching honorees, and scroll down to see even more outstanding members of the Ram Family honored with […]

Francis Commerçon, Kiloaulani Kaawa-Gonzales named Truman Scholars

April 14, 2017

They thought they were meeting with a Colorado State University alumnus who was interested in providing scholarships to undergraduates. Instead, Francis Commerçon and Kiloaulani Kaawa-Gonzales learned Monday that they were recipients of a Truman Scholarship, a highly competitive federal award granted to college juniors for demonstrated leadership potential and a commitment to public service. CSU […]

Google Street View cars are eyes on the ground for urban methane leaks

March 22, 2017

A set of Google Street View mapping cars, specially equipped with cutting-edge methane analyzers, are allowing Colorado State University researchers to “see” invisible methane leaks from natural gas lines beneath our streets. The technical and computational challenges of measuring methane, and the complex methodologies used to collect, analyze and publicize the data, are detailed in […]

‘Spectacular-looking’ endangered frog species discovered in Ecuador’s cloud forests

CSU’s Chris Funk, USFQ’s Juan M. Guayasamin, and colleagues have discovered a new species of frog, which they’ve named the Ecuadorian rainfrog. Credit: Centro Jambatu     It’s not every day someone gets to say, “I’ve discovered a new species.” It’s a claim that Colorado State University biologist Chris Funk can happily make. Funk and his […]

Zookeeping is destiny for Carson Jones

March 20, 2017

Professional science master’s student Carson Jones with Bodhi, one of three elephants at Denver Zoo’s Toyota Elephant Passage.  Many people don’t know what they want to be when they grow up. Others, like Carson Jones, have always known. “My parents would tell you I’ve wanted to be a zookeeper since I was about 2 years old,” […]

SoGES Director Diana Wall receives top honor from Ecological Society of America

March 2, 2017

Colorado State University Distinguished Professor Diana Wall was recognized March 1 by the Ecological Society of America, which announced that she will receive its highest honor, the 2017 Eminent Ecologist Award, at the society’s annual meeting in August. The award honors a senior ecologist for an outstanding body of ecological work or sustained ecological contributions […]

Young Investigators Award goes to Ph.D. grad Sarah Fitzpatrick

February 17, 2017

A recent Ph.D. graduate of the Department of Biology, Sarah Fitzpatrick, received a Young Investigators Award from the American Society of Naturalists for her work studying the effects of gene flow on wild animal populations. Now an assistant professor at Michigan State University, Fitzpatrick said: “I am extremely honored to receive the ASN Young Investigators […]

CSU wormherders in action in Antarctica

January 11, 2017

A research team led by Diana Wall, director of the School of Global Environmental Sustainability at Colorado State University, started off the new year at McMurdo Station, the largest Antarctic research center on Ross Island, the southernmost island reachable by sea. CSU’s Walter Andriuzzi, a post-doctoral researcher, and graduate student Ashley Shaw are blogging about […]

Associate Professor, Chris Funk, receives $2 million grant from Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to fund sustainability science projects in partnership with Colorado Global Hub of Future Earth

December 15, 2016

A team led by Josh Tewksbury, director of the Colorado Global Hub of Future Earth, and W. Chris Funk, director of the Global Biodiversity Center at Colorado State University’s School of Global Environmental Sustainability, recently received a $2 million grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to fund sustainability science projects. The increasing prominence […]

Assistant Professor, Tai Montgomery, awarded Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award

November 28, 2016

Dr. Tai Montgomery, Assistant Professor in the Biology Department, was awarded the Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award! The National Institute of General Medical Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health, created a new way of funding science in 2015 that allows researchers the freedom to take on ambitious challenges and approach problems creatively, without many […]

Biology Professor and Chair, Dr. Mike Antolin, elected Fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science

November 21, 2016

Two Colorado State University faculty members, Michael Antolin and Carmen Menoni, have been elected fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Election as a AAAS fellow is bestowed on association members by their peers. Antolin, professor and chair of the Department of Biology in the College of Natural Sciences, was cited for […]

Associate Professor Joe von Fischer maps natural gas leaks in Pittsburgh

November 15, 2016

Associate Professor Joe von Fischer recently traveled to Pittsburgh, PA to map natural gas leaks in the city. Read more about his time there, his partnership with the Environmental Defense Fund, and his findings in the Pittsburgh-Post Gazette‘s article “Mapping the city’s natural gas leaks – via lasers”

17th Annual Thornton-Massa Lecture: Sunday, November 13, 2016

November 4, 2016

Please join us for the 17th Annual Thornton-Massa Lecture on Sunday, November 13, 2016 from 3:30 – 5:00 pm in the Lory Student Centre Theatre! This event is free and open to the public, and is sponsored by the College of Natural Sciences and the College of Agricultural Sciences. Visit the Thornton-Massa webpage for more information! […]

Associate Professor Shane Kanatous and “Cultural experiences, marine biology combine in Todos Santos”

Shane Kanatous is developing teaching and research collaborations with Dr. Tania Zenteno-Savin from the CIBNOR marine lab in La Paz, Mexico. CIBNOR is one of the main federal marine biology and oceanography labs in Mexico. La Paz is about 30 miles north of Todos Santos, Baja California Sur, where CSU’s Todos Santos Center is located.

Herbarium Collections Manager, Jennifer Ackerfield, featured on Alien Plantation Blog

Jennifer Ackerfield, Herbarium Collections Manager in the Biology Department, was recently featured as a guest blogger on Alien Plantation. Ackerfield wrote about the importance of herbaria in the 21st century and beyond in a blog titled “Botany is not dead, but this plant is”. Read her guest blog here:    

Professor Greg Florant Named Director of CSU’s Graduate Center for Diversity and Access

September 15, 2016

The Graduate School at Colorado State has appointed Professor Dr. Greg Florant as the director of the Graduate Center for Diversity and Access (GCDA).

Record Incoming Class for Fall 2016

Fall census has been published by the university, which shows a record-sized incoming class of first-year and transfer students in Biology!

Summer/Fall 2016 Newsletter!

September 13, 2016

Here we are again, starting another academic year and welcoming record numbers of new undergraduate and graduate students. We’ve had a busy year – busier than usual because of construction on the new Biology Building. We’ve also had a year of accolades with faculty recognitions and a record number of graduate student fellowships and grants and undergraduate scholarships. Our department has seen great success and growth in our graduate program, and we are offering new programs at Colorado State University’s Todos Santos Center. Read more about these exciting developments, as well as the many adventures and opportunities our students experience through internships and research projects in the full newsletter.

Perspectives article on sustainable management of dammed streams by Prof. LeRoy Poff in SCIENCE

September 12, 2016

Dr. LeRoy Poff published a perspective on managing the stream flows below dams to promote biodiversity and ecosystem health, in SCIENCE, September 9, 2016.

Dr. Steve Stack, Long-time Professor of Botany, Retires

August 24, 2016

After 47 years with Colorado State University, Dr. Steve Stack retired in May 2016. The biology department celebrates his time at the university and honors his
service and investment in the faculty, staff, and students. He will continue his work (at a slightly reduced pace) as Professor Emeritus.

Biology dives deep at CSU’s Todos Santos Center in Mexico

August 12, 2016

This summer term, seven eager undergraduate students spent nearly three weeks in the field – and on the water – in the first Field Marine Biology course at CSU’s Todos Santos Center in Baja California Sur, Mexico. The study abroad course brought students to the biologically rich area, where they could experience animals and ecosystems […]

Janice Moore recognized for pioneering parasitology, animal behavior work

August 10, 2016

Professor Janice Moore received the 2016 Exemplar Award from the Animal Behavior Society as recognition of her “major long-term contribution in animal behavior.” She was honored at the Animal Behavior Society annual meeting that took place July 30 – August 3 in Columbia, MO.  Read the full SOURCE story here: She is also co-author of one of […]

Biology Dept. Professor Diana Wall named to British Ecological Society

August 9, 2016

This year, Colorado State University Distinguished Professor Diana Wall joins the likes of Sir David Attenborough, Edward O. Wilson, and other scientific luminaries as an Honorary Member of the British Ecological Society. Wall is a College of Natural Sciences biology faculty member and director of CSU’s School of Global Environmental Sustainability. Read the full story […]

Congratulations to our graduates 2015-2016!

May 31, 2016

Twice a year, in December and in May, we celebrate commencement, a time of great joy and satisfaction, reconnection between students and their families, looking both back in time and forward to exciting futures.

Topping Out Ceremony of New Biology Building

May 19, 2016

The new biology building is going up quickly! On Friday, May 6th, the final beam was set in the building and Haselden Construction hosted the Department of Biology, CSU’s Board of Governors and faculty and staff from the College of Natural Sciences for a celebratory BBQ and Topping Out Ceremony. Prior to the celebration, leadership, faculty […]

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2016 Biology Department Annual Awards Ceremony

On May 3, 2016, the Biology Department held their Annual Awards Ceremony. Dr. Mike Antolin, Chair and Dr. Mark Simmons, Awards Committee Chair, honored faculty, staff and students for the many awards and accomplishments earned, and the department celebrated the success of hard work and the excitement of future opportunities!  Biology continues its path to […]

Nate Lemoine featured in SOURCE article, “Are invaders ‘different?’ Nope, says CSU biologist”

One of Biology’s Research Scientists, Nate Lemoine, was featured in a recent SOURCE article about his study of non-native, or invasive, plant species and their introduction into new environments. He began this study as a graduate student at Florida International University, working in association with the Smithsonian Institute. Read the full SOURCE article here:

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Graduate School Orientation Spring 2016

December 16, 2015

1/14/2016 9:30 – 11 am Morgan Library Event Hall rm 167 Orientation for new graduate students with a continental breakfast at 9 am. Contact Sandy Dailey at 970-491-6817 with questions. Registration not required.

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Prof. Cameron Ghalambor Elected as Fellow of American Ornithologist Union

December 4, 2015

At the 133rd annual meeting of the American Ornithologist Union (AOU) this past July, Professor Cameron Ghalambor was elected as a Fellow. Only 15 Fellows and 2 Honorary Fellows were inducted this year. Fellows and Honorary Fellows are nominated and elected by their peers into one of the oldest professional scientific organizations in North America, […]

Biology Graduate Students Win Campus Awards

December 2, 2015

Please join us in congratulating our graduate student award winners from the recent Grad Student Showcase. We are so proud of the hard work they do! GREAT MINDS IN RESEARCH AWARD Presented in collaboration by the Graduate School and the Office of Vice President for Research • Honorable Mention:$100- Lindsay Martin • Molting Gland De […]

Dr. Joe von Fischer’s Methane Detection Spurs Utility Upgrades in New Jersey

November 30, 2015

Dr. Joe von Fisher’s work with methane detection has real-world benefits.

Biology Student Wins Mountain West Cross Country Championship, named All-American after top-20 finish at NCAA Division 1 National Championships

Cross country runner and Biological Sciences sophomore Jerrell Mock has made a name for himself as a MW Champion and NCAA Dvisoin I All-American.

New Scholarship Supports Undergraduate Research

November 19, 2015

Dr. Greg Florant was only doing his job. A sophomore student interested in research started working in his lab to learn about being a scientist. Her grades were not stellar, but she showed a “fire in the belly,” and after bringing her on board in his lab, he began to lay the foundation of how […]

Drs. Anderson and Stack journey to St. Petersburg Russia for International Collaboration

October 20, 2015

Drs. Lorinda Anderson and Stephen Stack will travel to St. Petersburg, Russia later in October to present two seminars each at St. Petersburg State University. Dr. Stack will focus his talks on the lab’s extensive work in the sequencing of the tomato genome and on genetic recombination in maize, and Dr. Anderson will focus her […]

Fall 2015 Chair Welcome

September 30, 2015

Where did the summer go? Welcome back for another academic year after an eventful summer that saw progress on the new Biology Building, many students get their diplomas and many new students arriving, faculty, post-doc and graduate student awards, new funding for research and other updates about the Biology program at Colorado State University!

Welcome to Associate Professor Meena Balgopal

September 28, 2015

It is with great pleasure that we welcome Dr. Meena Balgopal to the Department of Biology as an Associate Professor of Science Education. Dr. Balgopal focuses her research on understanding how students learn through writing, and how teachers develop both their base of knowledge and ability to effectively communicate with students. For the College of Natural Sciences, her hire helps us meet our goal of increasing the number of DBER’s (dee-burrs, Discipline-Based Education Researchers) across departments.

Recent Research Funding to the Biology Department

Faculty in the Biology Department have scored success in research grants from many sources, in an increasingly competitive and challenging research funding atmosphere. The richness and breadth of research in Biology spans from molecular biology and biotechnology, to evolution, physiology and behavior, and to ecosystem studies.

Prestigious Post-Doctoral Research Fellowships Awarded in Biology

Post-doctoral researchers continue their training while working in the laboratories of faculty in the Biology department. Many are supported by research grants of their mentor/sponsors, but we are fortunate to also attract highly skilled post-docs who gain their own support. This year two have been awarded to post-docs in Biology, to Dr. Justin Havird and to Dr. Denis Jallet.

Cameron Ghalambor and Kim Hoke published in NATURE

The Trinidadian guppy is a model for evolutionary studies in natural settings, where this tiny fish is able to evolve its color, behavior and breeding patterns in response to different predator regimes. Along with several others in Biology’s Guppy Group, Cameron Ghalambor and Kim Hoke have extended the experiments demonstrating evolution in wild populations of guppies to genomic analyses of which genes are turned on and off during the evolutionary process.

Biology Faculty and Student Award Winners

July 15, 2015

Once again, the Department of Biology demonstrates excellence by receiving a long list of awards.  Please join us in congratulating the 2014-15 award winners and the 2015-16 scholarship recipients: DEPARTMENT OF BIOLOGY AWARDS FOR EXCELLENCE IN TEACHING AND MENTORING Faculty Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching: Dr. Debbie Garrity Faculty Excellence in Graduate Education and Mentoring: Dr. […]

Ken Kassenbrock: Mushroom Stalker and Fungi Forager

June 29, 2015

A wet spring is not only welcome for our gardens, it also causes the mountains to spring forth mushrooms in abundance. It’s a mycologist’s dream. Dr. Ken Kassenbrock, who teaches Mycology (BZ333) for the Department of Biology, is especially happy with our wet spring as he plans to once again teach mushroom hunting classes at […]

Jennifer Ackerfield and Flora of Colorado Book Launch

June 26, 2015

Ask Jennifer Ackerfield about blood and she pales; ask her about plants and you’ll feel the flood of enthusiasm wash over you.  Jennifer knew she wanted to work with plants from early on when her kindergarten teacher pointed out buds on trees.  Jennifer said, “I thought it was the coolest thing ever!” Growing up on a […]

Asst. Professor Tai Montgomery named a Boettcher Investigator for 2015-2018

June 10, 2015

It is our great pleasure to report that Assistant Professor Tai Montgomery has been honored by a 3-year, $225,000 award as Colorado State University’s 2015 Boettcher Investigator.  Dr. Montgomery joined the Biology Department in Fall 2013, and studies molecular genetic regulation of cellular processes via micro-RNA’s, using the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans as a model. Please […]

CSU and Ecuador: Collaboration and Scientific Inquiry on Two Continents

June 2, 2015

You could think of Ecuador as the southern branch of the CSU Department of Biology. Five faculty members have established research sites in that exquisitely beautiful country to study ecology and evolutionary biology. (For more on their research, scroll to the end of this article and click on the links to their labs.) When all […]

Treva Creed Retires

May 28, 2015

Click here for a Photo Gallery of Treva’s Retirement Party: For those of you who have been in the Department of Biology for any length of time… you know the building will likely fall down soon – Treva Creed has retired! She began her time at CSU in Civil Engineering back in 1989. What […]


May 20, 2015

It is with a great sense of pride that we can announce that all of our faculty nominees for tenure and promotion during this academic year succeeded!

Harold Harrington’s Legacy as Curator of the Colorado State University Herbarium

May 18, 2015

by Jennifer Ackerfield Harold David (H.D.) Harrington developed his deep love of and respect for plants during his childhood on a farm. He was born in De Motte, Indiana, on Mar. 14, 1903, living there until 1909 when the the family moved to Mitchell, South Dakota.  They moved yet again in 1911 to Graettinger, Iowa, […]

Clancy and Sparky: Biology Department Mascots!

April 9, 2015

And speaking of herpetology:  Clancy and Sparky are two razor-backed musk turtles who line in the freshwater tanks in the lobby of the Anatomy/Zoology Building east wing, and are FaceBook celebrities!

Classroom Press with Jess: Herpetology Featured in the Rocky Mountain Collegian!

Here’s a great article about the BZ 329 Herpetology class currently being offered by Drs. Rachel Mueller and Jennifer Neuwald. It’s really great to see something we love so much being shown to be such fun! Congrats to Rachel and Jennifer!

Fall/Winter 2014/2015 Biology Buzz Newsletter is here!

February 24, 2015

Dear Alumni, friends and colleagues, Our latest newsletter is now published and ready for viewing, filled with all kinds of great stuff: If you would like a copy mailed to your address, please contact Administrative Assistant Reneka Hall (970-491-7011), To view an archive of previous Biology Buzz newsletters, see:

Professor June Medford’s Perspective on Synthetic Biology in Science magazine

February 22, 2015

Professor June Medford and colleage Dr. Ashok Prasad (Chemical and Biological Engineering) published a perspective article on the burgeoning field of synthetic biology in Science (October 10, 2014), “Plant synthetic biology takes root : Applying the basic principles of synthetic biology to plants shows progress” (Science, October 10, 2014) . Synthetic biology integrates analysis of mathematical […]

Recent PhD graduate Katie Langin’s Santa Cruz Island Scrub Jay study makes waves

February 17, 2015

Dr. Katie Langin carried out her doctoral research on Santa Cruz Island, one of the Channel Islands off the cost of southern California, studying endemic populations of the Island Scrub Jays.  While island endemics are usually expected to have little genetic diversity, and thus little potential for evolution, she found quite the opposite.  Birds that […]

Professor Steve Stack Honored by Secretary of the US Department of Agriculture for groundbreaking work on the tomato genome.

January 28, 2015

Prof Steve Stack and his research group are among the recipients of a prestigious 2014 Secretary’s Honor Award for Increasing Global Food Supply from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).  The winners were formally recognized at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, November 6, 2014.  The Secretary’s Honor Awards are among the highest accolades […]

Chris Funk named Leopold Leadership Fellow

January 16, 2015

Chris Funk, an associate professor in the Department of Biology in the College of Natural Sciences, is one of 20 researchers from across North America selected for the Leopold Leadership Program, which is based at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. Funk is also the Chair of the Biodiversity Working Group at CSU’s School […]

Cary Fowler, 15th Annual Thornton-Massa Lecture

October 16, 2014

Colorado State University is honored to have world-renowned Cary Fowler visit campus and share his expertise. Dr. Fowler has produced and implemented some of the most important research on crop diversity. Come experience his insights. Produced the UN’s rst global assessment of the state of the world’s crop diversity while leading the International Conference and […]

Associate Professor Chris Funk to study infectious diseases of Pumas

July 28, 2014

Chris Funk, along with Sue Vandewoude from the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, and Kevin Crooks from the Warner College of Natural Resources, has been awarded a  $2 million grant to study diseases and pathogen transmission in pumas, from the Ecology of Infectious Diseases program from the National Science Foundation.   More details […]

Botany undergraduate extraordinaire Zane Moore helps save “albino” redwoods in California (interview on NPR)!

Zane Moore, Botany undergrad and recipient of the College of Natural Sciences Marilyn & Ron Tuttle Undergraduate Research Scholarship for the upcoming year, was interviewed by National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” on July 28, 2014.           Zane standing next to the second tallest tree on earth, a 376′ redwood!       […]

Joe von Fischer in the News: Environmental Defense Fund and Google Earth project on mapping methane!

July 17, 2014

Our own Joe von Fischer has found fame in finding methane!  A broader description of the project is published online at CSU Today: The EDF put together a really nice web page describing the project:  The story was picked up broadly and already appeared in the Washington Post, Bloomberg, and Scientific American.  Some other […]

New Funding for Assistant Professor Dan Sloan!

July 16, 2014

Assistant Professor Dan Sloan was awarded a research grant from the National Science Foundation (Molecular and Cellular Biosciences) for “Co-Evolving Genomes: The Impact of Mitochondrial Genome Instability on the Nucleus”. In this 3-year, $330,000 project, Dr. Sloan will make among-species comparisons of nuclear genes that influence genome size, mutation rates, and gene function in mitochondrial […]

Professor Emeritus Bill Marquardt Has Passed

On the morning of June 19, 2014 William C. (Bill) Marquardt III passed away from pancreatic cancer, while being comforted by family members in Fort Collins.  Born in Fort Wayne, Indiana on October 9, 1924, Bill was 89 years old, the third child and only son of Lucy Pluess and William C. Marquardt Jr.  Bill attended Northwestern University […]

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The Award-winning Department of Biology!

July 9, 2014

The Biology Department strives for excellence, and we deliver.  Please look over the long list of accomplishments this year in Biology, at all levels from undergraduates to Professors, from departmental awards to international recognition!   Department of Biology Awards for Excellence in Teaching and Mentoring: Graduate Student Excellence in Teaching:  Corey Handelsman and Jenna McAleer […]

Biology Emeritus Faculty David Pettus has Passed

April 20, 2014

                    Dr. David Pettus, who was a member of the Department of Biology until 1989, passed away on April 2,  2014.   At Colorado State, Dr. Pettus began his work on ecology and evolution of amphibians in the Zoology Department  in College of Science and Arts in […]

Biology Emeritus Faculty Richard Ward has Passed

                    Dr. Richard T. Ward, who was a member of the Department of Biology until 1990, passed on April 9,  2014.   At Colorado State, Dr. Ward began his work on ecology of alpine and arctic plant ecosystems  in the Botany and Plant Pathology Department in […]

Univeristy Distinguished Professor Diana Wall inducted into the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame

March 13, 2014

Dr. Diana Wall, University Distinguished Professor in Biology, the Natural Resources Ecology Lab, and founding Director of Colorado State’s School of Global Environmental Sustainability has been recognized by the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame.  She, along with five other contemporary women and four historical figures, will be honored during the Hall of Fame 2014 Induction […]

Assistant Professor Kim Hoke Awarded Two Research Grants from the National Science Foundation, Totalling $1.4M!

March 4, 2014

Assistant Professor Kim Hoke received not just one, but two research grants to support her research for the next five years!     The first is a prestigious CAREER award “Flexibility, constraints, and selection in repeated ear loss and regain in toads” ($809,000), which funds  comparative studies of ear morphology, neurobiology and genomics of Andean frog species […]

Post-flood Study Funded by the National Science Foundation

March 3, 2014

Biology Department scientists LeRoy Poff and Chris Funk have received a grant that extends their NSF-funded EvoTrac project.  The proposed research, “RAPID – Effects of an Extreme Disturbance Event on Genomic Variation and Community Organization of Stream Insects” provides funds to re-sample aquatic insects from a number of streams along the Front Range that were sampled last […]

Dr. Anireddy Reddy Awarded $1.4M from DOE for Biofuels Research

February 27, 2014

Dr. Reddy’s laboratory group, in collaboration with Dr. Asa Ben-Hur from Computer Sciences, will be examining how gene expression changes in response to drought in sorghum.  The goal is to produce varieties that could be grown in lands that are marginal for other kinds of agriculture.  See the full article describing the project in CSU’s […]

Biology Students Succeed at the Front Range Student Ecology Symposium

February 26, 2014

The annual Front Range Student Ecology symposium, hosted by the Graduate Degree Program in Ecology, was held February 18-19.  Numerous graduate and undergraduate students from the Biology Department participated, and several gained awards in the following categories: Oral Presentation Graduate      Dale Broder ($500 travel award from  GDPE)      Keziah Katz and Mike […]

Department of Biology Winter 2014 Newsletter

February 14, 2014

I’m excited to share our Department of Biology Winter 2014 newsletter with you. Please take a few moments to review some of our recent happenings. Biology Departmental Newsletter – Winter 2013/2014

Greg Florant and Baby Star In PBS Documentary

January 30, 2014

Baby, a marmot CSU researcher Greg Florant has raised since birth, is starring in an upcoming PBS documentary on home-building mammals. Greg Florant is no stranger to media. The Colorado State University professor is known for his research on how hibernating mammals – particularly marmots – use fats and other nutrients to hibernate. Reporters often […]

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Annual Holiday Potluck highlights cooking talents

December 18, 2013

Every year the department sponsors a Holiday Potluck celebration to end our semester with time for social interaction and to compete for bragging rights for preparing the best dishes.  Highly sought after prizes such as candy canes and goofy note pads are awarded to those with the highest number of votes collected by secret ballot.  […]

Chinese academy taps Alan Knapp to lead review

November 21, 2013

Dr. Alan Knapp is leading an international review of research and graduate programs at the Institute of Applied Ecology in China. Alan K. Knapp, a professor of biology and a senior ecologist with the Graduate Degree Program in Ecology at CSU, is chairing the review panel, which includes scientists from Canada, Denmark, Hong Kong, the […]

Diana Wall selected for Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame

November 14, 2013

Wall and five other contemporary women, along with four historical figures, will be honored during the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame 2014 Induction Gala on March 20 at the Denver Marriott City Center. Diana H. Wall, world-renowned ecologist, Antarctic researcher, and University Distinguished Professor at Colorado State University, has been named one of the 10 […]

Graham Peers featured in the “Meet the Professor” series in the Fort Collins Coloradoan

November 6, 2013

Question: When did you start at CSU and in what capacity? Answer: I just celebrated my two-year anniversary in the biology department last month! Q: What does your work look like? A: My work is a mix of teaching and research. I’m teaching two courses. One is an upper-level course on algae with a dozen […]

Diana Wall receives highest honor from Soil Science Society of America

November 4, 2013

Diana H. Wall, founding director of the School of Global Environmental Sustainability (SoGES) at Colorado State University, will be presented with the Soil Science Society of America’s highest honor, the Presidential Award, at the organization’s 2013 annual meeting on Nov. 4 in Tampa. SSSA annual awards honor outstanding contributions to soil science through education, national […]