2010 Research News

Headlines for October

Former IB Grad Vance Vredenburg's research makes the New York Times: Vredenburg is conducting an experiment he hopes will help preserve what remains of indigenous Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog, Rana Sierrae.

Headlines for September

Jere Lipps research: See Berkeley News article >

Headlines for October

Integrative Biologists Brief Capitol Hill On Undergraduate Research and American Innovation

Headlines for December

Job Seminar: 1st IB Invert Paleo Job Candidate
UCMP wins SPORE award for their online resource websites
Tyrone Hayes awarded E.E. JUST Award from the American Society for Cell Biology

October

Former IB Grad Vance Vredenburg's research makes the New York Times: Vredenburg is conducting an experiment he hopes will help preserve what remains of indigenous Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog, Rana Sierrae.

Published October 11, 2010

Vance Vredenburg, a professor of biology at San Francisco State University, is conducting an experiment he hopes will help preserve what remains of indigenous Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog, Rana Sierrae. Vredenberg started this work as an IB grad and continued as a postdoc with Cherie Briggs and as an assistant prof at SFSU.
 

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September

Jere Lipps research: See Berkeley News article >

Published September 15, 2010

Jere Lipps and colleagues use tiny marine organisms to assess effects of oils spills.

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October

Integrative Biologists Brief Capitol Hill On Undergraduate Research and American Innovation

Published October 29, 2010

Undergraduate research opportunities attract and retain students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields that are crucial to the country’s ability to innovate and remain competitive globally. Every day, across the nation, undergraduate students are engaged in authentic research that is reshaping their education. On Tuesday, October 26,thProfessor Robert J. Full from the Department of Integrative Biology and Tonia Hsieh, a former Berkeley undergraduate researcher from the same department, briefed the United States House of Representative’s STEM Education Caucus.

Dr. Hsieh expressed how undergraduate research completely changed her career trajectory and ultimately led to an emerging industry. She began her studies in Dr. Full's research laboratory in the Department of Integrative Biology as a freshman undergraduate interested in veterinary medicine. In collaboration with then post doc Dr. Kellar Autumn and engineering Professor Ron Fearing, she went on to discover the secret of how geckos use hairy toes and intermolecular forces to stick. Results from her undergraduate research led to a high-profile publication in Nature, and has galvanized a new field of research into synthetic gecko-inspired adhesives. At her graduation in 1999 Tonia received Integrative Biology’s Departmental Citation Award. After graduation, she completed a Ph.D. at Harvard University and is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Biology at Temple University.

Professor Full pointed to the importance of theses undergraduate research experiences at R1 universities. 54% of Berkeley’s nearly 8,000 STEM undergraduates have research experiences. Over forty undergraduate research programs are available on campus. Berkeley graduates more students that go on to earn PhDs than any other university in the Nation.

Professor Full strongly recommended that we make interdisciplinary, research-based learning the standard, not only in undergraduate research capstone experiences, but also as part of the mainstream curriculum. He highlighted his research-based teaching laboratory associated with the Center for interdisciplinary Bio-inspiration in Education and Research (CiBER) where teams of biologists and engineers work side-by-side to make original discoveries in a teaching laboratory. He urged the Caucus to support the development of interdisciplinary undergraduate training programs with a research focus and called for the STEM community to work with social scientists in assessing these programs with regard to broadening participation.

The Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR), the Lancy Foundation and Research Corporation for Science Advancement (RCSA) sponsored the briefing.

Websites

http://sciencematters.berkeley.edu/archives/volume5/issue36/story2.php

http://sciencematters.berkeley.edu/archives/volume5/issue36/story1.php

p class="MsoNormal">http://polypedal.berkeley.edu

 

http://ciber.berkeley.edu

 

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December

Job Seminar: 1st IB Invert Paleo Job Candidate

Published December 3, 2010

 

Tuesday, Dec. 7th, 4 pm, Room 2063 VLSB
 
From observations to ecological & evolutionary processes:
embracing biology, geology & accommodating sampling biases
 
Abstract
One of the most predictable things about the biological world, I suggest, is change. The devil is, however, in the details of exactly what these changes are and what brought them about. Knowing these details should lead to us not only to understanding the processes of ecological and evolutionary change, but also the mechanisms underlying stasis, a special case of change (whose value is zero). In my talk, I focus on various measures of change I have been concerned about, namely species occurrence trajectories (species "hats"), ecological dominance and abundance (versus richness) and true occupancy (versus observed presences).  I discuss a few important consequences of my recent findings, based on these measures. They include the difficulty of estimating true times of speciation and extinction using occurrence data from the fossil record; the inappropriateness of richness alone as a measure of long-term ecological change; and the confounding of preferential preservation and preferred true habitats in fossilized marine organisms. I show how circumventing these issues might be achieved by simultaneously considering biology, geology and sampling in inferring ecological and evolutionary processes, especially when using data from the fossil record, and what new biological insights might arise as a result of such an approach.

 

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UCMP wins SPORE award for their online resource websites

Published December 6, 2010

Congratulations to UCMP's Roy Caldwell, Dave Lindberg, Judy Scotchmoor, Anna Thanukos, Josh Frankel, and Dave Smith.

The award was "established to encourage innovation and excellence in education, as well as to encourage the use of high-quality on-line resources by students, teachers, and the public." The sites typically get more activity than even the Berkeley www site, peaking at 2.75 million page views per month during the school year.

Each month for the past year, winners of this award have been invited to submit an essay about their projects for publication in Science. The UCMP essay about these two projects was published today in Science Express http://www.sciencemag.org/content/early/recent and will be in print at the end of the month.

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Tyrone Hayes awarded E.E. JUST Award from the American Society for Cell Biology

Published December 15, 2010

 

Tyrone Hayes recently won the E.E. JUST Award from the American Society for Cell Biology.  According to the society's web site: "The award acknowledges an outstanding minority life scientist. It is made to provide challenging role models to aspiring young scientists and to make the general ASCB membership more aware of the meritorious contributions of minority scientists.”

 

Berkeley News

Download Hayes's ACSB essay.

 

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