Digital Archive

What's it like to be a member of the Biology Department?

Are you interested in coming to Stetson for your bachelor's degree? If you join us in the Biology department, you can major in Aquatic and Marine Biology, Biology or Cell and Molecular Biology. We've prepared this page to show you what it's like to be a Stetson Biologist. You will find the following:

  1. Sample lectures from two of our Spring 2020 upper division courses, Dr. Beckmann's Mammalogy class (Caniformia), (Herpestidae), (Panthers), and Dr. Work's Limnology class (Exotic Species).
  2. Senior Seminars by three of our Spring 2020 graduating seniors. Typically, our students round out their senior research experience with an oral presentation in our Senior Project II course. However, with the disruption in our usual approach this spring, our students produced our first virtual seminars on their senior research. Although this format was new to them, they really rose to the challenge. Come listen to Aamani talk about gene-editing butterfly wing patterns with CRISPR, Abbey talk about juvenile catfish air-breathing patterns, and Andrew talk about taste responsiveness of the rat brain. If you found Aamani's research interesting, you should read Luisa Saad's research paper to learn more about using CRISPR to gene-edit butterfly wings.
  3. Senior Research Posters by two of our Spring 2020 graduating seniors. In addition to a seminar, all of our seniors produce posters that illustrate the highlights of their Senior Research project, many of which decorate our hallways in Sage Hall. Take a look at Terykah's project on rodent reservoirs of the tick-borne disease Borrelia, and Jenna's research on whether lizards are hosts for an invasive parasite infecting local snakes.
  4. Class project products from three of our Spring 2020 upper-division courses:
    In Limnology, Dr. Work challenged students to design a novel research project, which they then conducted in the lab. After a scan of the recent literature, one of the experiments was inspired by Malish, M. C., and Woolnough, D. A. 2019. Varied physiological responses of Amblemaplicata and Lampsilis cardium exposed to rising temperatures. Freshwater Science, 38(4): 842-855. Students modified Malish and Woolnough's design and tested the effect of temperature increase on a native Florida mussel and an invasive exotic mussel--the most widespread exotic mussel in the US. Read Cynthia's exceptional manuscript to find out the results. 
    In Genetics, students studied cell fusion in yeast to learn about gene expression. They learned how to make mutations on a plasmid gene of interest and how to put the plasmid into yeast to see if the mutation caused a cell fusion phenotype. Each student group picked the mutation that they wanted to produce and Dr. Smith had them write a mock grant proposal for the project, as if they were doing research for the NIH. They each read 3 other proposals from their peers and gave the proposals scores based on whether they would “fund” the project if they were the grant reviewer. Read Amber's proposal and see what you think. 
    In Entomology, students studied insect pests of crop plants. Dr. Gill assigned each student a specific crop, and they had to write a report that described the crop, including all of the pests that might attack that plant as well as a timeline for when those pests would become prevalent during the season. To complete the project, they wrote a report on what insect might be the ideal biological control (insect) for that crop. Read what Michael has to say about bananas and their pests.
  5. Papers produced collaboratively with students and their professors in 2019.
    Jifu Jennings and Dr. Kirsten Work published a paper about using underwater video surveys to survey fish in clear Florida springs (2019).
    Gissel Rojas, Dr. Sean Beckmann and several co-authors wrote a paper about the prevalence of zoonotic Bartonella among prairie rodents in Illinois (2019).
    Amber Clark, Dr. Farrell and several co-authors published a paper about the effects of food supplementation and snake fungal disease on pregnant pygmy rattlesnakes and their offspring (2019).
  6. Our most recent departmental newsletters – Fall 2019 and Spring 2020