News

These Microbes ‘Eat’ Electrons for Energy

| Read Story

Arpita Bose, PhD, of Washington University in St. Louis, is interested in understanding the metabolism of ubiquitous microorganisms, and putting that knowledge to use to address the energy crisis and other applications.

NSF funds research on nitrogen fixation

| Read Story

Pakrasi, collaborator awarded $1.2 million to study cyanobacteria for crop improvement amid climate change

Brain tunes itself to criticality, maximizing information processing

| Read Story

Researchers long wondered how the billions of independent neurons in the brain come together to reliably build a biological machine that easily beats the most advanced computers. All of those tiny interactions appear to be tied to something that guarantees an impressive computational capacity.

Postdoctoral Research Associate Position available with Living Earth Collaborative

| Read Story

LEC Postdoctoral Fellows will be an essential part of the Living Earth Collaborative and are expected to develop an independent research or conservation program that engages with multiple members of the Living Earth Collaborative Community—projects that involve LEC Biodiversity Fellows.

Brave new world Simple changes in intensity of weather events "could be lethal," researcher says

| Read Story

Faced with unprecedented change, animals and plants are scrambling to catch up — with mixed results. A new model developed by Carlos Botero, assistant professor of biology in Arts & Sciences, and Thomas Haaland, formerly a graduate student at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, helps to predict the types of changes that could drive a given species to extinction.

How Cities Reshape the Evolutionary Path of Urban Wildlife

| Read Story

Kristin Winchell studies lizards that are native to Puerto Rico. “People didn't think animals could adapt on human time scales,” she says. “So people are excited that some animals are dealing with what we're doing to them.”

Faculty Spotlight: Barbara Kunkel, Professor of Biology

| Read Story

Dr. Kunkel always knew she wanted work in some sort of biological field, but it was never medicine, never human medicine at least. She credits her various courses and professors at UC Davis for exposing her to different areas of biology and helping her discover that she wanted to do research as a career. After her postdoc, she and her husband, also a biologist, Michael Nonet started looking for permanent positions, hoping to end up at the same university. Washington University provided such an opportunity, and offered them both assistant professor positions. They joined the faculty here in spring of 1994, Dr. Nonet in the Department of Neuroscience (then it was the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology) at the med school and she in the Biology Department on the Danforth campus.

Hiding in plain sight: Early rice farmers unwittingly selected for weedy imposters, Arts & Sciences biologists find

| Read Story

“In Asia, rice farmers have traditionally planted and weeded their paddies by hand. Any weeds that stick out are easily detected and removed,” said Kenneth Olsen, professor of biology in Arts & Sciences. “Over hundreds of generations, this has selected for some strains of barnyard grass that specialize on rice fields and very closely mimic rice plants. This allows them to escape detection.” Olsen collaborated on data analyses and interpretation for the new study. He is working with the study’s corresponding author, Longjiang Fan of Zhejiang University, on other research related to rice evolutionary genomics and agricultural weed evolution. This study sequenced the genomes of rice-mimic and non-mimic forms of the weed as a step towards understanding how this process has occurred.

Recognizing excellence in teaching and service

| Read Story

On Sept. 10, Dean Barbara Schaal presented the annual Arts & Sciences faculty awards. This year's awardees were Stan Braude, Lerone Martin, Elizabeth Borgwardt, Steve Fazzari, and Adrienne Davis.

Can we kill superbugs before they kill us?

| Read Story

Most of today's antibiotics have come from a surprising source: bacteria. In fact, just one type of bacteria — Streptomyces and their cousins — produce two out of three antibiotics now in use. “Bacteria are constantly waging chemical warfare with other microbes, so they’ve evolved all kinds of weapons that we can use,” explains Joshua Blodgett, PhD, a biologist at the University of Washington in St. Louis.

Stan Braude: Stories from the Classroom

| Read Story

Stan Braude, professor of the practice of biology, was awarded the Arts & Sciences Distinguished Teaching Award. Braude is ever deserving of this award – an award he is receiving because he was nominated by numerous students. The impact he has had on the students he has taught and mentored over the years is impossible to measure. Read some of their stories.

Meet our new faculty: Natural sciences and mathematics

| Read Story

Learn about new Biology faculty members Swanne Gordon, Michael Landis and Andrés López-Sepulcre.

newsletters

Explore our department's BIOrhythms and Biologue newsletters.