Sanda Zolj Receives Outstanding Teaching Fellow for Biology, 2015/2016

20160623_104813 (1)Sanda Zolj of the Celenza lab was awarded the Outstanding Teaching Fellow of the Year for Biology, academic year 2015/2016. Sanda has served as a Teaching Fellow for several different courses in Biology including Introductory Biology, Intensive Genetics, and Genetics Laboratory. She has also taught high school students through Summer Term and mentored seven undergraduates in the Celenza research laboratory. Sanda is ranked highly on student evaluations, and comments on Sanda’s teaching are enthusiastic. One student sums it up as follows: “[Sanda] was probably the most enthusiastic TF ever. In the universe.”

Warkentin Lab Research in the Journal of Experimental Biology


Kristina Cohen, Marc Seid, and Prof. Karen Warkentin, recently published a paper in Journal of Experimental Biology reporting their findings on how red-eyed treefrog embryos escape from danger. Seid, a professor at University of Scranton who did his PhD in insect neurobiology at BU with Prof. James Traniello, collaborated with the Warkentin Lab at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. The team used a variety of approaches, including high-speed videography, manipulation of embryos in the process of hatching, and electron microscopy to uncover the mechanism by which these embryos hatch in seconds when attacked by snakes and wasps. Images from the high-speed video were featured on the journal cover, and the article was highlighted in Inside JEB. The paper has received extensive media coverage, including in National Geographic’s Phenomena, Science Magazine, Live Science, The Verge, and The New York Times. Boston University also shared a video of the research on their Facebook page which has been viewed over 2 million times!

Cohen, K.L., M.A. Seid & K.M. Warkentin. 2016. How embryos escape from danger: the mechanism of rapid, plastic hatching in red-eyed treefrogs. Journal of Experimental Biology. 219: 1875-1883. DOI: 10.1242/jeb.139519

Ho Lab Research Featured in CAS Magazine

The research of the Ho lab, directed by Associate Professor of Biology Angela Ho and Research Assistant Professor Uwe Beffert, was recently featured in the College of Arts & Sciences magazine. Their research, funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Harold and Margaret Southerland Alzheimer’s Research Fund, investigates the cellular and molecular basis of human brain diseases, including Alzheimer’s Disease and autism.

Professor Daniel Segrè at the White House

Segre_White HouseDr. Daniel Segrè, a Professor of Biology and Biomedical Engineering, and a member of the Bioinformatics program, recently attended an event at the White House as part of the launch of the National Microbiome Initiative by the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy. This event coincides with BU’s own microbiome initiative, which will be launched with a Fall 2016 conference: Microbes at Multiple Scales: From Genes to the Biosphere. These initiatives will involve modeling microbial systems, environmental and human health impacts, and applying the techniques of synthetic biology to microbiome research.

Read the BU Today article for more information >>

PhD Student Jesse Delia Receives BU Graduate Research Abroad Fellowship and Thomas H. Kunz Award

Hyalinobatrachium colymbiphyllum father brooding his eggs to deliver water to them
Hyalinobatrachium colymbiphyllum father brooding his eggs to deliver water to them

Jesse Delia, a PhD student working with Dr. Karen Warkentin, has received a long term Graduate Research Abroad Fellowship (GRAF) and a Thomas H. Kunz Award to support his field studies at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. With these funds, Jesse will be able to spend the entire rainy season (June–November) in Panama, studying “Father-embryo interactions in a Neotropical glassfrog.” Jesse’s 2016 field research builds on  studies conducted in 2015 with support from the T. H. Kunz Fund, which was established to support graduate research in Ecology and to honor Biology Professor Thomas Kunz’s research in Ecology and contributions to the Biology Department.

Hyalinobatrachium colymbiphyllum father in amplexus with a new mate, temporarily ignoring his older eggs visible in the background
Hyalinobatrachium colymbiphyllum father in amplexus with a new mate, temporarily ignoring his older eggs visible in the background

Traniello Lab Received Wide Media Attention

Dr. James Traniello

Research in the Traniello Lab on the neurobiology of senescence in social animals has received wide media attention, including articles on “Why ants don’t get Alzheimer’s” published in Discover Magazine, the Smithsonian Magazine and Der Spiegel, as well coverage on BU Today and many other science news outlets. Prof. Traniello was also interviewed on the research for a science broadcast on Danish radio. The study, published in the Royal Society journal Proceedings B, found that behavioral performance did not decline in Pheidole dentata minor worker ants over the majority of their 140-day lifespan, and that cell death in the brain did not increase with age while levels of the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine rose rather than declined in “elderly” ants.

Biology PhD Students Recognized by the National Science Foundation

Four Biology Department PhD students were recognized by the National Science Foundation for their applications for Graduate Research Fellowships. Marine Biology PhD student Karina Scavo was awarded a 3-year Graduate Research Fellowship. Karina is co-mentored by BUMP Professors Les Kaufman and John Finnerty. Karina will integrate her research on corals with teaching by mentoring Marine Semester students. Biology PhD students Leah Williams and Julie Jung and MCBB PhD student Maggie O’Connor received Honorable Mention recognition based on their applications. We congratulate these students for their achievements!