Department of Biological Sciences
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!
This all-day event gave scientists, educators, and students from across the state an opportunity to share their research in a fun and collegial environment.
One of the highlights of this year's OAS meeting was the “Wichita Mountains Symposium.” Several prominent state scientists, including Dr. Charles Gilbert of the Oklahoma Geological Survey, Dr. Robert Brooks, the State Archeologist, Dr. Bruce Hoagland of the Oklahoma Natural Heritage Inventory, and Dr. Gary McManus, the Associate State Climatologist, showcased the Wichita Mountains--one of the oldest exposed mountain ranges in the world.
The Oklahoma Microscopy Society's display of entries in the 2013 Ugly Bug Contest was fantastic addition to the day's festivities.
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.
Dr. Mike Husak receives the Bhattacharya Endowed Lectureship for Excellence in Research Award
Dr. Husak is being honored with this award in recognition of the “strong and prolific undergraduate research program” that he has developed, according to the nominator. Husak’s approach to research “is built around a collaborative learning model in which the students as well as mentors make new discoveries as collaborative learners.” One of his students remarked, “Dr. Husak has been the most influential person during my undergrad education at Cameron University. Since meeting him, I have been doing research every chance I get. He has shown me that I have the ability to pursue my true calling in biology. I went from my freshman year being unsure about what my goals were to my senior year knowing 100 percent that I’m on the right path in my life.”
This award was established in 2008 by Cameron alumnus Sanjit Bhattacharya to advance the quality of research and creative and scholarship activity at Cameron University and in Southwest Oklahoma. Dr. Husak teaches biology, ecology, mammalogy, ornithology and zoology in Cameron's Department of Biology.
Dr. Carla Guthridge receives the University of Choice Award
The “University of Choice” Award recognizes a current staff or faculty member who is making outstanding contributions toward making Cameron the “University of Choice” by providing students a top quality education. Dr. Carla Guthridge, Professor and Chair of the Department of Biological Sciences, is the 2012-2013 recipient.
Nominations can be made by CU faculty, staff, or students. One nominator noted that Dr. Gurthridge has been influential in several key projects, including the current development of two new degree programs and the construction of teaching laboratories at the CU-Duncan campus. Another nominator - a student - remarked, “I am thankful for Dr. Guthridge’s continual faith in her student’s success and her ability to recognize and develop her students’ strengths that will lead to success. She is an amazing inspiration and gift to those she surrounds.”
Biology students and faculty attend Southwestern Association of Naturalists meeting in Lake Charles, Louisiana
CU Biology students Jared White, Alexandria Lamle, and Jessica White travelled to the annual meeting in April, along with faculty and staff members Mike and Mandy Husak and CU alumnus Diane Landoll.
Jared White presented a poster highlighting his gecko research titled "New county records and comments for southwestern Oklahoma expansion of the Mediterranean house gecko, Hemidactylus turcicus." Dr. Husak and Diane Landoll gave oral presentations titled "Migratory patterns and wintering areas of individual Tyrannus flycatchers breeding in the Great Plains of North America" and "Environmental constraints on extra-pair paternity: linking variable weather conditions to the presence and frequency of extra-pair young in the nests of Scissor-tailed Flycatchers," respectively.
Outstanding students inducted into Honor Society
Juniors who are in the top 7.5% of their class and the top 10% of seniors and graduate students are being inducted into the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. Congratulations to the new inductees from the Biology Department: William Schlecht, Jetta Trammell, Heesook Alarcon, Rochelle Mayers, Kaci Clippinger, Julie Conatser, Bolanie Adebayo, Oluwatomisin Atolagbe, Rushna Shrestha, Johna Romero, Mary Schiffinger, Sarah Vria.
Student Jared White represents Cameron University at Research Day at the Capitol
OK EPSCoR Research Day at the Capitol is an annual event that is held in the State Capitol. It was created to inform the legislature and the public about the high-quality research being conducted at Oklahoma colleges and universities. Outstanding undergraduate students from Oklahoma's colleges and universities are selected by their institutions to participate in the prestigious program.
This March, Jared White represents Cameron University as he presents a poster on his work documenting range expansion of Mediterranean geckos in southwestern Oklahoma.
Students attend Texas Society of Mammalogists meeting
CU students Bryce Geiger, Alexandria Lamle, Jared White, Mona Bevington, and Jessica Roy attended the annual Texas Society of Mammalogists meeting in Junction, TX, February 15-17, along with faculty Mike Husak, Brandon McDonald, and Matt van Sant.
Bryce Geiger won runner-up for the best overall undergraduate oral presentation for his research on kangaroo rat UV vision.
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.