Department of Biological Sciences
Each year, the Cameron University Alumni Association seeks to recognize outstanding junior and senior students who have excelled in their programs and their extracurricular activities. Selection of award recipients is based on three areas: academic achievements/honors; career-related experience, and extracurricular activities. Outstanding Aggies of Tomorrow epitomize the true value of a Cameron Aggie.
Dunn’s nomination cited the breadth of his accomplishments as a faculty member, including outstanding student evaluations of teaching, mentoring undergraduates in research and scholarly activities, mentoring students in carrying out service learning projects that benefit community partners, service to the university, service to the profession and an array of accomplishments in the area of scholarship, including continuously seeking external support for research that involves undergraduate students.
“I love teaching because I enjoy passing on the knowledge, concepts and questions that continually evolve in the dynamic science of biology,” Dunn says of his teaching philosophy. “I believe we are all students, and with patience, imagination and guidance, we can learn for the rest of our lives. As a teacher, I enjoy the role of guide, and I love the challenge of finding ways to reach all students, regardless of their backgrounds, interests or abilities, and as a student, I continue to learn by conducting original research. It is my sincerest hope that through this combination of teaching and discovery, I might inspire our students so that they too may experience the joys of life-long learning.”
Research Day at the Capitol is an annual event that is held in the State Capitol to inform the legislature and the public about the high-quality research conducted at Oklahoma's institutions of higher learning. Each year outstanding undergraduate students are selected to participate in this prestigious program.
This year, CU biology major Kathryn Parsley will present her paleobotanical research on a fossil lycopsid from a salt marsh that existed approximately 342 million years ago in present-day northern Alabama. Kathryn's research, conducted in collaboration with CU's Dr. Mike Dunn, will provide valuable data and insight on the dispersal of pollen and spores during the poorly documented Mississipian Period of plant evolution.
Research Day at the Capitol 2015 will be held on March 31. Posters will be on display from 8 am to 1:20 pm in the State Capitol building. The event is sponsored by OK EPSCoR, Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education and the National Science Foundation.
Dr. Mike Dunn, in collaboration with Debra Baker from the Museum of the Great Plains, re-opened the mammoth site near Grandfield, OK and one tusk was excavated. That site has been closed for now. During the fall Dunn hopes to take part in an excavation of Bison sp. materials exposed in Elmer Thomas Park in Lawton, OK.
Cameron biology student begins internship at the Museum of the Great Plains
Kathryn Parsley, a senior organismal biology student in the Department of Biological Sciences, will begin a year-long paid internship at the Museum of the Great Plains. Her work will involve sorting and cataloguing prehistoric human remains that have been collected by U.S. Bureau of Reclamation archeologists in various locations in the central United States. Many of the remains come from U.S. Corps of Engineers facilities and have been exposed due to low lake levels caused by the long drought in the southwest U.S. Kathryn’s internship is being funded by the Bureau of Reclamation and developed out of the longstanding relationship between the Department of Biological Sciences and the Museum of the Great Plains.
Cameron biology professors present their research at national meetings
Dr. Mike Husak will be presenting at the upcoming joint meeting of the American Ornithologists Union/Cooper Ornithological Society/Canadian Society of Ornithologists in Estes Park, CO. His presentation is titled: "Comparing Nesting Success and Predation Rates of Scissor-tailed Flycatchers among Three Habitat Types.”
Dr. Husak will also be giving an invited seminar at Kennesaw State University titled: "Sexual Selection versus Functional Morphology in a Social Monogamous Passerine: Scissor-tailed Flycatchers as a Model Organism," and another invited seminar at Missouri State University.
Dr. Mike Dunn was an invited speaker in "The Miocene Vegetation and Environment of Western North America" colloquium at the Botanical Society of America meetings at Boise, Idaho.
Cameron University Biology professor Mike Husak assists National Geographic Photo Ark project
Mike Husak, associate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences assisted photographer and journalist Joel Sartore with his National Geographic Photo Ark project this summer. Mike is one of a handful of researchers in the world who can consistently trap Scissor-tailed Flycatchers, which were the subject of Mr. Sartore’s photography during his recent trip to Oklahoma.
Cameron biology student has article accepted for publication
Jared White, a recent organismal biology graduate, has had an article based on the undergraduate research he conducted with Mike Husak accepted for publication. The citation is as follows: White, J.W., and Husak, M. S. In Press. New county records and range expansion of the Mediterranean gecko (Hemidactylus turcicus) in southwestern Oklahoma. Southwestern Naturalist.
Biology students inducted into Phi Eta Sigma
Phi Eta Sigma is an honor society for students with a GPA of at least 3.75. We congratulate the following students from the Biology Department who received this prestigious honor this year:
Biology majors: Omobolanle Adams, Agnes Ajose, Lauren Barrett, Brianna Hall, Oluwatoyin Kayode, Sijalu Paudel, Jacob Quickle
Allied Health majors: Heather Bivans, Skyler Hudson
IDS Pre-Nursing major: Shae James, Beverly Perou, Nisha Wagle
Medical Technology major: Susan Pustejovskey
The 12th Annual Cameron Darwin Day Celebration will feature a special presentation by Dr. Neil Shubin. Dr. Shubin is the author of The Universe Within and Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body. Your Inner Fish was chosen by the National Academy of Sciences as the best book of the year in 2009 and is the inspiration behind this spring's three-part series on PBS of the same name. This free presentation will be February 6 at 7 pm in the University Theater. Arrive early; this will be a popular event!
The Sciences Complex building gets energized with the addition of artwork by CU Art student Sarah Darling
The monochromatic walls of the Sciences Complex building have received a much needed boost with the addition of artwork by CU Art major Sarah Darling. Sarah's artwork gravitates towards physics themes, in particular her admiration of physics superstars Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, and Stephen Hawking.
Sarah's work was the first selected in a new effort to make the Sciences Complex more luminous by a fusion of art and science. We invite you to come to the first floor of the Sciences Complex to look and reflect.
Cameron University hosts Science Detectives Science Academy
Forty middle and high school students from across the state conducted scientific research on antibiotic-resistant bacteria this summer at CU as part of the Science Detective Summer Academy. CU Biology professors Dennis Frisby and Tahzeeba Frisby helped the students learn about the scientific method and some real-life research techniques. The students gathered fecal samples from bison and longhorn cattle from the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, isolated coliform bacteria from the samples, and tested them for antibiotic resistance. Afterwards, the students conducted DNA testing to locate the genes responsible for the antibiotic resistance.
CU Biology Education majors Kaci Clippinger and Kelsy Hebert have constructed educational tree tours as part of their senior projects. Clippinger designed a 10 tree tour at the Environmental Education Center at the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. Hebert’s tree tour features 15 trees at the Nature Sanctuary at MacArthur Middle School.
Cameron’s biology education degree was established in 2007. As a part of the requirements for graduation, candidates are required to design and complete a biology education project.
The mission of the Biological Sciences Department is to provide high quality instruction to students at the undergraduate level with emphasis on active learning, problem solving, and critical thinking. The department is committed to improve knowledge in various fields of biology through research and scholarly activities and to transfer that knowledge to our students and colleagues. Our vision is to achieve excellence in education through creative use of traditional and innovative instructional methods, technology, and research. The faculty participates in outreach to the state and nation through services to the university community, to public, to governmental and industrial sectors, and to professional societies.