FALL 2019 Seminar Series

27 September 2019    11:10am to 12:00pm     Fisher Hall 33-285

Chromatin dynamics; changes in skin cancer; skin development, wound healing.and regeneration

Daniel Haensel, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Dermatology, Stanford University


Host: Keeling Lab

4 October 2019    11:10am to 12:00pm     Fisher Hall 33-285

Frost Symposium

Student Research Presentations

11 October 2019    11:10am to 12:00pm     Fisher Hall 33-285

Why does temperature affect performance? Pursuit of the underlying mechanisms in reptiles.

Rory Telemeco, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, Fresno State University

Dr. Telemeco received his PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Iowa State University and his MS and BS degrees in Biology from the University of Central Oklahoma (with a stint at the University of Sydney in Australia for his MS research). Rory then pursued post-docs in ecological modelling at the University of Washington and functional genomics at Auburn University. Rory is broadly interested in ecological and evolutionary responses of organisms (especially reptiles) to changing environments.

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Host: Taylor Lab

18 October 2019    11:10am to 12:00pm     Fisher Hall 33-285

Managing resilience of inland fishes

Stephanie Carlson, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, UC Berkeley

Since joining the faculty in UC Berkeley’s Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management in 2008, I have been working to develop an active research program centered on the ecology and conservation of California’s inland fishes. Similar to rivers in other Mediterranean climate regions, California’s waterways are generally altered, degraded, and invaded, and native fishes are in decline. My seminar will highlight several research threads as well as lessons learned. This body of work highlights the importance of population diversity to the resiliency of native fishes as well as the importance of maintaining a diversity of aquatic habitats, even seasonally-available ones, as a strategy for conserving aquatic biodiversity in Mediterranean climate California.

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Host: Lema and Francis Labs

25 October 2019    11:10am to 12:00pm     Fisher Hall 33-285

Exploring plant speciation in the Neotropics using phylogenomics, biogeography, and ecology

Oscar M Vargas, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Santa Cruz

The Neotropics houses a third of the diversity of vascular plants on planet earth. Why is this region so rich in plant species? My research uses robust phylogenies combined with morphological and biogeographical data to test hypothesis about neotropical plant diversification. I will present three projects in which I and my collaborators test 1) the relative importance of ecological divergence vs. geographical isolation in Andean speciation, 2) the cradle vs. museum hypothesis in a group of Amazonian trees, and 3) the abiotic and biotic drivers of lineage splitting in Central American spiral gingers (project currently in progress at EEB-UCSC).

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Host: Grossenbacher Lab

1 November 2019    11:10am to 12:00pm     Fisher Hall 33-285

Towards an understanding of tropical tree speciation: disentangling the roles of geography, soil, and insects in the diversification of the Amazonian tree Protium subserratum

Tracy Misiewicz, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Biology, University of Oklahoma

Neotropical forests are the most species rich biome on Earth yet very few studies have investigated the mechanisms that drive diversification in tropical trees. I will present research on the Amazonian tree, Protium subserratum, to explore the relative importance of natural selection and genetic drift in lineage diversification as well as how interactions between biotic and abiotic factors may influence the process of species formation in the tropics.

Tracy Misiewicz received her B.S. in Environmental Science and Policy from the University of Maryland; an M.S. from the Plant Biology and Conservation program at Northwestern University and the Chicago Botanic Garden; and a PhD from the Department of Integrative Biology at UC Berkeley. She has just started her second year as a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow in Biology at the University of Oklahoma.

Host: Grossenbacher Lab

8 November 2019    11:10am to 12:00pm     Fisher Hall 33-285

An alarming forest: the ecological causes and consequences of eavesdropping in an Amazonian bird community

Ari Martinez, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Long Beach State University

It has been widely recognized that animals eavesdrop on signals from other species to obtain information about predators and food. Only recently have ecologists begun to explore the community level consequences of these behaviors. In this talk I will discuss my work with a model social system, mixed-species bird flocks, to understand how variation in the production and reliance of social information among different group members can generate insight into species interactions in Amazonian bird communities.

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Host: Francis Lab

15 November 2019    11:10am to 12:00pm     Fisher Hall 33-285

From Paper to Petri: Advances in Point-of-Care Diagnostic Technologies

Nathaniel Martinez, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Cal Poly State University

Universal access to health care is a global health objective of the post-2015 WHO development agenda. The advent of telemedicine promises to overcome many of the barriers to global health access, however this new mode of health delivery will only reach its true potential with widespread distribution of inexpensive and easy-to-use point-of-care (POC) diagnostics for the quantitative measurement of clinically relevant biomolecules. In this seminar, I will present approaches that my research group at Cal Poly has made towards the development of disruptive innovations in the field of POC diagnostics. These include innovations in reagent stabilization for prolonging the shelf-life of POC devices, new biomaterials, novel approaches to quantitative read-outs for assays, strategies for increasing the specificity and sensitivity of assays, and the development of 3D-printed POC devices.

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6 December 2019    11:10am to 12:00pm     Fisher Hall 33-285

Exploring the world of snake venoms: from potent toxins to potential therapeutics

Anthony Saviola, PhD, Research Associate, Department of Molecular Medicine and Neurobiology, The Scripps Research Institute

Snake venoms are highly dynamic mixtures of proteins and peptides that represent a unique paradigm of chemically mediated predation. Further, snakebite is one of the most important Neglected Tropical Diseases in terms of both incidence and severity, with over 2.5 million envenomings and 125,000 deaths annually. My seminar will provide a look into how mass spectrometry-based proteomics can be used to develop a robust understanding of venom composition and variation, and assess venom-anti-venom interactions to help combat the global burden of snakebite envenomation. I will also present on the surprising biological role of the disintegrin family of venom proteins in addition to how these compounds can be used to inhibit cancer cell adhesion and migration.

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Host: Francis Lab

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