Dr. Rod Scott and His Summer Research Students Work on a New Project Sequencing genes from Two Minnow Species
This summer, students Sarita Davis (Née George) Biology Major '19 and Justin Chu Biology Major '20 are working with Dr. Rod Scott on a new project studying two cryptic minnow species. These two species can be distinguished by sequencing a gene from the mitochondrion, but physically, they appear identical. Dr. Scott, a colleague from the Shedd Aquarium, Dr. Phil Willink, and recent graduate Ben Norton just completed a project showing, for the first time, exactly where these two species occur in Illinois. Now, working with Willink, Davis, and Chu, Dr. Scott hopes to identify one or more nuclear genes that differ between the two species and that could be used to determine whether, and to what extent, the two species hybridize.
Nate Thom and His Summer Research Students Explore Effects of Exercise on Anger and Fatigue
Over the summer of 2018, as part of the Dean's Summer Research Program and with support from the Alumni Association, undergraduate student Lindsey Freier Psychology Major and Paul Ha Business Economics Major (not pictured), worked on several projects including two meta-analyses and a high-density EEG study in Dr. Thom's Brain Hygiene Lab. The metas will explore the effects of acute and chronic exercise on anger and fatigue, and the EEG study is part of Lindsey's thesis where she will measure the relationship between leadership traits and resting-state brain activity.
Dr. Vanya Koo Presents Her Research at the 30th Squid-Vibrio Conference
The 30th Squid-Vibrio Conference (also known as the Squid-Vibrio Pow Wow) took place recently in June at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography (UCSD) in La Jolla, CA. They celebrated 30 years of work on the bobtail squid - Vibrio fischeri research, first initiated by Ned Ruby and Margaret McFall-Ngai. With the Pacific Ocean as a backdrop, attendees heard the newest progress in the field of this symbiosis, along with keynote presentations from Pete Greenberg and Carrie Harwood (University of Washington), Rob Knight (UCSD) and Doug Barrett (Scripps) that spanned the topics of bacterial communities, earth microbiome and microbes living in the deepest parts of the planet. Wheaton College’s Biology Department Microbiologist, Dr. Vanya Koo presented her work on the role of sRNA chaperones Hfq and ProQ in controlling the functions of Vibrio fischeri that are necessary for symbiosis.
Biology Major, Danae Witte'19, President of 2018-2019 Symbiosis, Interns at Kansas State University
This summer, I am studying antimicrobial resistance and antibiotic alternatives in food animal agriculture under the direction of Dr. Raghavendra Amachawadi and Dr. T.G. Nagaraja at Kansas State University. As part of my internship, I am working on an independent research project focused on the use of various secretions by probiotic strains of bacteria on disease-causing bacteria found in liver abscesses isolated from cattle beef breeds. This study is laying the groundwork for future alternatives to antibiotics through in vitro studies in hopes of later using in vivo methods to prevent liver abscesses in these animals. I have already seen God at work here through the people he has placed around me: wonderful colleagues, mentors, and peers. My lab operates like a family, and they have welcomed me with open arms. This has even extended to them inviting me into their homes, helping me get around Manhattan, and patiently teaching me the ropes in a large and busy lab. I am very thankful for the opportunity to be in Manhattan this summer, and I’m looking forward to applying the skills I learn at K-State to my future research at Wheaton in the Koo lab.
Bio-Bash 2018 End of the Year Celebration
The Bio-Bash End of the Year Celebration is sponsored by BSAC and Symbiosis students who plan the end of the year celebration by decorating, preparing food, beverages, and games to celebrate the year end. Biology Department Honors and Awards are given later in the evening along with senior pictures, and other prizes. This year’s theme (since it felt like winter would never end, thanks to Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction!) was “Ice Age”!
The Biology Department Celebrates DNA Day April 25th!
This year the Biology Department celebrated DNA Day on April 25th with the Profs flipping pancakes and Dr. Rorem’s husband making his famous waffles! It was a big hit with the students before and after the morning classes!
Biology Major, Jake Schaafsma '18 Presents Research at Millikin University
Jake Schaafsma '18 presented the results of his research with Dr. Ray Lewis at the Illinois State Academy of Sciences annual meeting at Millikin University on Saturday, April 14, 2018. Jake’s presentation on “Comparing Oogenesis in Two Ecomorphs of the Giant Kelp Macrocystis pyrifera in Response to Iron Nutrition” won an honorable mention for undergraduate presentations in Botany. Great job Jake!
BSAC and Symbiosis Students Host Biology Department Social with Donuts from Mariano's!
Biology Majors and their friends gathered around for fellowship and food on Thursday April 12th for a Biology Department Social. Students from BSAC and Sybiosis brought 4 boxes of Mariano's donuts for the celebration! What a treat for the faculty, staff and students! Seniors gathered around the Biology mural to take their senior picture. Congratulations Seniors! We are going to miss all of you!
Dr. Nate Thom and his Research Students Celebrate Brain Week in the Brain Hygiene Lab!
Ever wonder about how your brain is doing? Dr. Nate Thom and his research students did just that by celebrating National Brain Week March 12-16, 2018. With the catchy slogan, "Come and Explore the only Organ that Discovered Itself," Dr. Thom's Brain Hygiene Lab in the Biology Department of Meyer Science Building had a steady stream of faculty, staff, students and even the President of Wheaton College, Dr. Philip Ryken trying on the brain hat! Student researchers working with Dr. Thom explained their research and the procedure they performed on each participant. For further information about the Brain Hygiene Lab and Neuroscience, contact Dr. Nate Thom in the Biology Department.