Biology Lecture Series

in Memory of Dr. Donald J. Ross Sr.


J. Alan Clark, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Department of Biological Science at Fordham University - September 27, 2017

Coloniality, Socially Facilitated Behavior, and Conservation: A Focus on Penguins

Joshua Cordeira, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences at Western Connecticut State University - October 25, 2017

Staying Up all Night is Not Alright:  Understanding the Cognitive Consequences of Sleep Loss

Katie Sullivan Beski '11, Ph.D. University of Connecticut Health Center - November 29, 2017 - Lecture Cancelled

AMPKa2 Promotes Breast Cancer Cell Survival by Modulating Metabolic Stress

Juliana Ansari, Ph.D. University of Connecticut - November 29, 2017

Fragments of Life:  Detecting Microbes and Disease by Molecular Singatures

Meghan Dancho Addorisio '06 Research Associate in Biomedical Science at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research-Northwell Health - January 31, 2018 (presenting sponsor: Richard T. and Christine Ross Earls '79, P'11, P'15)

Neuronal Control of Inflammation


Andrea Ward, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Biology at Adelphi University - February 28, 2018

Fish Out of Water: How Body Shape Affects Terrestrial Locomotion in Aquatic Vertebrates

Shannon Gerry, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Biology at Fairfield University - March 28, 2018

Evaluating Form-Function-Fitness Relationships in Polyphenic Bluegill


Patrick Skelly, Ph.D. Professor/Associate Chair, Molecular Helminthology Laboratory, Department of Infectious Disease and Global Health, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University - September 28, 2016

How Schistosome Parasites Survive in the Human Bloodstream

Nabil Abraham, Ph.D. Howard Hughes Medical Research Post-doctoral Associate, Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine - October 26, 2016 (presenting sponsor: Brian P. Monahan, MD, MACP, '82, P'14, P'18, the Attending Physician, Congress of United States & United States Supreme Court)

Divide and Conquer:  Antivirulence and Antimicrobial Synergism of a Tick-borne Protein

Kelly Moran-Crusio '98, Ph.D. Post-doctoral Fellow, New York University School of Medicine - November 30, 2016

The Role of Somatic Mutations in Stem Cell Transformation

Kekoa Taparra '12, Ph.D.Department of Radiation Oncology, Cellular and Molecular Medicine (CMM), Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine - January 25, 2017 (presenting sponsor: Richard T. and Christine Ross Earls '79, P'11, P'15)

Elucidating the Bitter-Sweet Progression of Lung Cancer

Goudarz Molaei, Ph.D. Research Scientist, Center for Vector Biology & Zoonotic Diseases, The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station - March 8, 2017

New Threats and Old Enemies:  Vector-Host-Pathogen Interactions and the Emergence and Expansion of Arboviruses

Joshua Gendron, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology at Yale University- March 29, 2017

Circadian Clocks in Plants

Anita Fernandez, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Biology at Fairfield University - April 26, 2017

What Sterile Worms Can Teach Us About Genetic Collaboration


Michael Bell, Ph.D. Professor, Department of Ecology and Evolution, Stony Brook University - September 30, 2015

Vertical Integration of Evolutionary Mechanisms:  Pelvic Reduction in the Threespine Stickleback Fish (This presentation was not recorded)

Deanna Mele '01, Ph.D. Senior Scientist, AstraZeneca - October 28, 2015

Utilizing Small Molecules to Inhibit Epigenetic Regulators to Alter T cell Fate:  Implications in Autoimmunity and Cancer

Karen Kiontke, Ph.D. Senior Researcher in Fitch Laboratory, Department of Biology at New York University - November 18, 2015

What Worm Tails Teach Us About Timing of Development

*Clinton Moran, Ph.D. Post-doctoral Researcher in Gerry Laboratory, Department of Biology at Fairfield University - January 27, 2016

A Fish Tail:  Using Functional Morphology to Conserve Arizona's Native Fish Legacy

*Ashley Helton, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Department of Natural Resources and the Environment & the Center for Environmental Sciences and Engineering at the University of Connecticut - February 24, 2016

Wetlands at the Leading Edge of Climate Change:  The Effects of Saltwater Intrusion on Carbon and Nitrogen Cycling in Freshwater Wetland Ecosystems

*Annie Murphy '07, Ph.D. candidate at Virginia Institute of Marine Science, The College of William & Mary - March 30, 2016

Mud, Mollusks, and Microes...Oh my!  Effects of Clam Aquaculture on Nitrogen Dynamics in Shallow Coastal Ecosystems

Elena Levantini, Ph.D. Instructor of Medicine at Harvard University - April 27, 2016

Targeting the Oncogene Bmi1 in Lung Cancer: From Murine Models to Patients (Lecture Cancelled)

* denotes 2014-2016 Water Focus


Jennifer Matos '03 Ph.D. Post-Doctoral Fellow at Hackensack University Medical Center - September 24, 2014

Immunotherapeutic Approaches to Combat Graft-versus-Host Disease

Shirin Bahmanyar Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Molecular Cellular and Developmental Biology at Yale University - October 29, 2014

Using C. elegans to Dissect Nuclear Envelope Dynamics

Erin Daly '05, Ph.D. Recent Post-Doctoral work at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital - November 19, 2014

Probing Tubulin Interactions with Epothilone D Analogues as a Segue to a Career in Patent Law

Emily Mis '05, Ph.D. Postdoctoral Associate in the Department of Pediatrics at Yale University School of Medicine - February 11, 2015 (postponed from 1/28/15)

Building the Body: Using Mice and Frogs to Understand Birth Defects

*Robyn Smyth, Ph.D. Assistant Professor at the Center for Environmental Policy at Bard College - February 25, 2015

Bio-physical Modeling of Photosynthesis in the Southern Ocean: Implications for Carbon Sequestration?

*Gary LeCleir '98, Ph.D. Research Scientist, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville - March 25, 2015

Using Next Generation Sequencing Technology to Answer Questions in Aquatic Microbial Ecology

*Janine Caira, Ph.D. Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor in the Department to Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Connecticut - April 29, 2015

The Denziens of the Deep Revealed: A Global Look at Shark and Ray Tapeworks (Not recorded)

* denotes 2014-2016 Water Focus


Kristen Desy Soto '05 MPH Field Epidemiologist for the Northwest region at the Connecticut Department of Health - September 25, 2013

Solving Food borne illness Mysteries: An Investigation of a Multistate Outbreak of Salmonella bareilly and Salmoonella nchanga
Listen to an Audio Recording of this presentation.

Matthew Rockman, Ph.D. Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology and at the Center for Genonics and Systems Biology, New York University - October 30, 2013

What Happens When Worms Evolve Hermaphroditism?
Listen to an Audio Recording of this presentation.

Sarah Kopac '08, Ph.D. candidate at Wesleyan University - November 20, 2013

Tough Times in Death Valley Soils:  Geochemical Stressors Associated with Diversification of the Bacillus subtilis-B.licheniformis Clade in Death Valley, USA

David Richardson, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Biology at State University of New York, New Paltz - January 29, 2014

Environmental Change on the Shawangunk Ridge:  How Acid Rain and Invasive Fish are Affecting the Sky Lakes

Dustin Rubensein, Ph.D.  Assistant Professor of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology at Columbia University - February 26, 2014

Environmental Uncertainty and the Evolution of Complex Sociality: Patterns, Processes, and Mechanisms

Lisa M. Runco '02, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Biology at New York Institute of Technology - April 2, 2014

Designer Pathogens - Gene customization for vaccine development (This presentation is not public)

Jonathan Velotta '07, Ph.D. candidate at University of Connecticut - April 30, 2014

Evolved Physiological and Genomic Responses to Freshwater Invasion by a Saltwater Fish Click (no audio recording)


Cassandra Godman Tierney '05, Ph.D. Assistant Professor in Health and Natural Sciences Department at Goodwin College - September 26, 2012

Genetic Reprogramming of Cancer Cells - HDACs and the Bad Wrap (no audio recording)

Kristen Desy Soto '05, MPH Field Epidemiologist for the Northwest region at the Connecticut Department of Public Health - October 31, 2012

An Outbreak of Escherichia coli 0157 Associated with Raw Milk (Cancelled due to Storm Sandy)

Robert Pinsonneault '99, Ph.D. Senior Associate Editor of the journal Molecular Medicine; High School Teacher - November 28, 2012

Double Edged Sword: Pediatric Leukemia and the Biology of Adaptive Immunity
Listen to an audio recording of Dr. Pinsonneault's lecture.

David Ellerby, Ph.D. Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Wellesley College - January 30, 2013

The Biomechanics of Bloated Bludsuckers:  Physiological and Behavioral Adaptations for an Extreme Feeding Strategy
Listen to an audio recording of Dr. Ellerby's presentation.

Scott Weatherbee, Ph.D. Assistant Professor in the Department of Genetics at Yale University - February 27, 2013

Identifying Genes that Control Organ Shape, Size and Disease Using Mice
Listen to an audio recording of Dr. Weatherbee's presentation.

Laura Macesic, Ph.D. Assistant Professor in the Biology Department at Wheaton College - March 27, 2013

Walking Stingrays and Hand-Standing Frogs:  Using unusual locomotor systems to probe musculoskeletal form and function (no audio recording)

Marina Simeone Penney '02, Ph.D. Biomarker Lead in the Clinical Biomarkers group at Vertex Pharmaceuticals - April 24, 2013

Biomarkers and Drug Development: Exploring the Role of Biomarkers in Inflammatory Epilepsy (not recorded)


Carolyn Stankiewicz Schober ’05, Ph.D. Post Doctoral Fellow in the Pathology Department at Yale University’s School of Medicine - September 28, 2011 
Investigation of the Requirement for VRK1 in Mammalian Germ Cell Development

Zac Freedman ’05, Ph.D. Candidate in Ecology and Evolution at Rutgers University - October 26, 2011 
Hot Spring Time Machine: Insights into Bacterial Mercury Detoxification from its Ancestral Habitat

Thomas Giove ’00, Ph.D.  Manager of Publications and Analytics, Millennium, The Takeda Oncology Company - November 30, 2011 
The Role of Adrenomedullin and Nitric Oxide in Neuronal Degeneration in the Diabetic Mouse Retina

Mustafa Khokha, M.D.  Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Genetics at Yale University - January 25, 2012 
Dissecting Congenital Heart Disease Using Man and Frogs

L. Michael Romero, Ph.D.  Professor for the School of Veterinary Medicine and the Department of Biology at Tufts University - February 29, 2012 
Stress in Wild Animals: From the Arctic to the Equator

Elena Bennett, Ph.D.  Assistant Professor of Ecosystem Ecology in the McGill School of Environment and Department of Natural Resource Sciences at McGill University - March 28, 2012 
Interactions among Ecosystem Services in Agricultural Landscapes

Valentina Greco, Ph.D.  Assistant Professor of Genetics at Yale University - April 25, 2012 
Stem Cell Niche Dynamics and Signaling in Tissue Regeneration