News Archives

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2013 Biology Merit Exam

Students taking the Biology Merit Exam.

The 34th Annual Biology Merit Exam is set for April 12th.  Middle and high school students from all over the southeast come to the Clemson campus and compete for recognition. All day, our department is set to introduce the students to a university atmosphere as well as promote scientific learning through fun activities, including the Biology Bowl. 

The Biology Bowl is run by our graduate students. The game-show structure of the quiz allows a fun learning environment while contestants compete for prizes. 

You can read more about both the Biology Merit Exam and the Biology Bowl here. 

Departmental Seminar

The Spring 2013 Seminars schedule is now available.

Department News

Clemson University Ethics Bowl Team Wins Regional Competition

Clemson University's Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl team took first place in the fifth annual Mid-Atlantic Regional Ethics Bowl championship. Clemson is one of four teams from the Mid-Atlantic Region advancing to the national championship in Cincinnati next March. 

Other top finishers at the Nov. 19 competition at the University of Baltimore are Georgetown University, West Virginia University and the University of Maryland. The victory marks the third year in a row Clemson has taken home the regional trophy. The team won the national title in 2008 and followed that up with a second-place finish in 2009.  

The team is coached by Kelly Smith, associate professor of philosophy and C. Calhoun Lemon Fellow of the Rutland Institute for Ethics.  

"Clemson is a perennial powerhouse in the Ethics Bowl competitions, which is more impressive than you might think, since over 100 schools nationwide compete," Smith said. "I am not joking when I say that other teams fear our orange shirts."  

Clemson's team includes Nikki Powell, a senior microbiology major from Aiken; Courtney Dixon, a senior political science and philosophy major from Columbia; Yancey Appling, a junior microbiology major from Six Mile; Kyle Sporrer, a senior philosophy major from Manning, Iowa; and Eric Reeves, a senior political science major from Columbia.(this article was provided by Clemson University Media Relations, posted December 3, 2011)

Biological Sciences Participates in "Green Roof" Project

Link to Video About Green Roof Project
Select the image above to see a video about the Green Roof Outfitters' modular system.  

The Institute of Applied Ecology is partnering with the Department of Biological Sciences to develop a pilot project for the Institute's newest project, the Charleston Vertical Farm Design Feasibility Study. Various elements related to a vertical farm will be developed and studied by faculty and staff on a smaller scale on the Clemson University campus.

The location for this pilot project is the Biological Sciences greenhouse facility located on the roof of Jordan Hall. Elements that have been proposed include an already installed 10' x 10'green roof donated by Green Roof Outfitters of Charleston, an aeroponics set-up, a vertical wall and moveable garden beds.

See a slideshow of the setup procedure on top of Jordan Hall.  (posted on September 27, 2011)


Biological Sciences' New Mural

Travis Johnson painting mural in Long HallMural in Long HallThe department has turned a blank wall and a whole corridor in Long Hall into an eye-catching symbol of the department. Rita McConnell, a staff member in Biological Sciences, identified this space as an ideal place to put some artwork. We asked our branch of the national biological honorary, TriBeta, under the leadership of the then president Caroline Raho (class of 2010) to sponsor a contest for a mural design. The winner was Riley Wilson who is a chemical engineering major (class of 2013).  He drew the outline of his design on the wall. We then employed Travis Johnson, a local artist to paint the design and to create the border that you see. Travis has a degree in studio art from Sewanee and teaches at Gettys Middle School in Easley. The mural is located on the first floor of Long Hall near the doors that connect Long with the causeway to Jordan Hall.


Students in the News — 2012

Graduate Student Kristine Moody Awarded Grant

Kristine Moody, a Ph.D. Candidate in Biological Sciences, has recently been awarded a National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant ($17,873) titled:  Linking genomics, oceanography and ecology in understanding adaptive variation in space and time in amphidromous gobies of the Hawaiian Islands.  Kristine studies an endemic Hawaiian freshwater fish, Sicyopterus stimpsoni, which can climb waterfalls thousands of times its body length using unique adaptations of suckers derived from their fins and jaws.  Her research focuses on understanding how ocean currents, environmental features, and natural selection interact to shape population differentiation and population persistence in this unique and culturally important fish.

Sujay Guha Receives Poster Award at SC Aging Research Day for Second Year in a Row

Sujay Guha, featured on right.

Graduate student Sujay Guha and two undergraduate students Ryan M. Kane (Biological Sciences) and Cole Murbach (Microbiology)’s poster was once again selected for the best student poster award at the 9th annual SC Aging Research Day - Focus: Maintaining Cognitive Health with Aging,which was held at Charleston on March 8, 2013. Sujay is a Microbiology PhD student studying anti-aging and anti-microbial effects of natural compounds in the nematode model C. elegans under the guidance of Dr. Yuqing Dong and Dr. Min Cao. Ryan and Cole are members of Clemson Creative Inquiry team “Aging: a programmed or environmental stress induced process?”.
Poster title:
Cranberry extract supplementation improves the healthspan of C. elegans
Sujay Guha, Ryan M. Kane, Cole Murbach, Min Cao, and  Yuqing Dong


Microbiology Student Winners

Clemson Microbiology Students Have Success at Spring Meeting

Once again Clemson students excel and are awarded for their excellence! At the Spring South Carolina Branch Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, both graduate and undergraduate students claimed awards in this year’s poster competition. The spring meeting was held at USC-Aiken in conjunction with the South Carolina Academy of Science Meeting. Clemson students winning awards were: Best Undergraduate Posters: Mary Caroline Saleeby (Mentor: Dr. Tamara McNealy) with her poster ‘Development of a High-Throughput Analysis for Assessing Biofilm-Nanoparticle Interactions’ and Timothy Davis (Mentor: Dr. Harry Kurtz) with his poster ‘Sequestration of Iron(II) by Microbially Produced EPS in an Arid Ecosystem.’ Honorable Mention in the Graduate Student Category went to Pallavi Vendatum (Mentor: Dr. Jeremy Tzeng) for her poster “Binding specificity of Escherichia coli to functionalized gold nanoparticles.” A total of nine Clemson students presented there research as well as several Clemson alums who are now doing graduate research at MUSC and USC. Congrats to all on a great conference. (posted on May 24, 2012)

ENTOX Students

ENTOX Students Win Numerous Awards at Regional Meeting

The regional meeting of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) was held at the University of South Carolina-Aiken on March 30-31, 2012, drawing attendees and presenters from 10 different universities, including Duke, the University of South Carolina, North Carolina State University, the University of Georgia, Furman, the Citadel, UNC-Charlotte, Appalachian State, and Clemson.  A total of 32 posters and oral presentations were given, and awards were presented for the top 3 presenters in each category.  Graduate students from Clemson’s Environmental Toxicology (ENTOX) Graduate program won 5 of the 6 awards.

All 3 awards for the best oral platform presentations went to Clemson ENTOX students, with Amy Anderson (PhD student in Dr. Charles Rice’s laboratory) winning first place for her work on the effects of an indigo-derived compound on the immune system, and Austin Wray and Lauren Sweet (both PhD students in Dr. Stephen Klaine’s laboratory) winning second and third place for their work on nanoparticle uptake in aquatic organisms and the effects of pharmaceuticals on aquatic organisms, respectively.

The top 2 awards for the best poster presentations also went to ENTOX students, with Namrata Sengupta (PhD student in Dr. William Baldwin’s laboratory) winning first place for her work on how diet alters the sensitivity of organisms to toxicants, and Josephine Wojdylo (PhD student in Dr. Charles Rice’s laboratory) winning second place for her work on how fish can adapt to stress induced by toxicants.  (posted on May 24, 2012)


Sujay Guha Wins Award

Thouvenot's Poster Addresses Concerns of Anti-Vaccine Movement

Chelsea Thouvenot, a spring 2012 Microbiology Major at Clemson, recently shared a poster titled "Investigation of the Anti-Vaccine Movement" at a research meeting in Clemson. Chelsea provided her poster so we could share a PDF of it for anyone interested. (posted on May 24, 2012)


Aaron Brown

Aaron Brown Wins 2012 Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award

Aaron Brown, a PhD student in Microbiology in the Department of Biological Sciences received the 2012 Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award. Brown works on polyaromatic hydrocarbon degradation by Sphingomonas paucimobilis's with faculty advisor Tom Hughes, PhD.

"I enjoy teaching labs as a graduate teaching assistant because it gives me the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of Clemson students. I am able to help them develop the skills necessary for microbiologists, and it is rewarding to see them learn and enjoy working in the lab," said Brown. (posted on May 24, 2012)



Carrie Woods

Carrie Woods Wins Best Oral Presentation at Southeastern Conference

Carrie Woods, a Ph.D. Candidate in Biological Sciences,won the best oral presentation award at the Southeastern Ecology and Evolution Conference on March 2-4, 2012. Carrie's presentation was titled "Habitat partitioning of epiphytes within tropical tree canopies."  More details about the conference are available at this link. Congratulations, Carrie!(posted on May 24, 2012)



Dylan Hale

Dylan Hale Receives Prestigious NSF Research Fellowship

Dylan Hale, a Senior in Biological Sciences, has received a National Science Foundation Research Fellowship. Dylan provided us with some details about his future research, stating "Neurons never act alone. Information processing in the nervous system requires neurons to communicate through specialized structures called synapses.  I proposed to study the formation of synapses by altering structural proteins in neurons and observing the effect on synapse number in developing mouse brains. My approach was novel because it focused on mysterious structures called dendritic filopodia that may serve as precursors to synapses." More details (posted on May 24, 2012)


Sujay Guha Wins Award

Sujay Guha Receives Poster Award at SC Aging Research Day

Congratulations to Sujay Guha for being selected for the only poster award at the 8th annual SC Aging Research Day which was held at the Greenville Hospital System University Medical Center on March 9, 2012. Please drop by the lab (outside 226 Jordan) to see the winning poster display. Sujay is a Microbiology PhD student studying anti-aging and anti-microbial effects of natural compounds in the nematode model C. elegans under the guidance of Dr. Yuqing Dong and Dr. Min Cao. (posted on March 20, 2012)

Students in the News — 2011


Hannah Warren

Biological Sciences Student Does Research at Canadian University

Hannah Warren, a Clemson University senior majoring in biological sciences, completed 10 weeks of research this summer at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada. Read the entire news release at: (posted on December 3, 2011)



Beth Falwell

Falwell Receives Poster Award at National Conference

Congratulations to Elizabeth Falwell for being selected for a poster award at the Gordon Research Conference on Metalloproteinase Research at the Intersection of Basic Science and Applied Medicine which was held at Bryant University, Smithfield, RI the first week of August, 2011. Please drop by the lab (outside 317 Jordan) to see the winning poster display. Beth is a PhD student studying the immune aspects of cellular biomineralization and shell formation in oysters. (posted on September 10, 2011)


Angie Rivera

Angela Rivera Honored with Siebert Award

Biological Sciences PhD student Angela Rivera won the 2011 Siebert Award from the Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles for the best oral presentation in Physiology and Morphology at the Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, an international meeting of three professional societies. Angie's work (with advisor Richard Blob) examines the use of the forelimb muscles of swimming freshwater and sea turtles, testing predictions of the evolutionary conservation of neuromuscular control patterns across ecologically diverse species. She graduated from Clemson with her PhD in May, 2011. Congratulations, Angie! (posted on July 12, 2011)

Tradd Cotter

Tradd Cotter Wins Prestigious Clemson University Student Entrepreneur of the Year

Tradd Cotter, a Junior in Microbiology, was named the Clemson University Entrepreneur of the Year by the Arthur M. Spiro Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership. Tradd received first prize of $1,000 for his Mushroom Mountain LLC business venture. There were 16 applications and Tradd's application was selected as the winner based on creativity of the business concept, profit performance, and company's impact in the community. (posted on June 1, 2011)


Tara Raftery and Tricia Trutwin
(Pictured left to right) Tara Raftery and Tricia Trutwin.

Clemson Students Win Awards at SC-ASM

Two Clemson students, Tara Raftery (PhD student, ENTOX) and Tricia Trutwin (BS, Microbiology) won awards for their poster presentations at the South Carolina Branch American Society for Microbiology meeting held April 1-2, 2011 at Clemson. Tara’s project, “Nanoparticle mediated disruption of L. pneumophila biofilms”, was awarded third place in the graduate student category. Tara conducts her research in Dr. Tamara McNealy’s lab. Tricia Trutwin was awarded first place in the undergraduate category for her poster on “The effectiveness of service learning activities in microbiology labs”. This research was co-mentored by Dr. Krista Rudolph and Dr. Tamara McNealy. Congratulations to all! (posted on June 1, 2011)


Dylan Hale

Dylan Hale Wins Goldwater Scholarship

Dylan Hale, a Junior in Biological Sciences, is the latest to join the prestigious list of Clemson recipients to win a Goldwater Scholarship. Each year colleges and universities throughout the U.S. may nominate 4 sophomores or juniors for the Goldwater Scholarship. In the past 5 years, 13 Clemson students have won a Goldwater Scholarship and 4 more have been named Honorable Mention. Dylan has researched with Matthew Turnbull and Brad Hersh and has also conducted research with Alex Andrianopoulos at the University of Melbourne. (posted on June 1, 2011)


Carrie Woods

Carrie Woods Honored with Research Fellowship

Carrie Woods, a Ph.D. Candidate in Biological Sciences, received a 2011 Grant A. Harris Research Instrumentation Fellowship from Decagon. Carrie will use this Fellowship to examine the physiological and morphological responses of epiphytes to changes in nutrient supply in South Carolina and Costa Rica. Read more information about the Grant A. Harris Fellowship by Decagon. Congratulations, Carrie!(posted on June 1, 2011)



Students and faculty from publication in top nanotoxicology journal
Interdisciplinary Research Leads to Publication in Top Nanotoxicology Journal

A collaborative research project between Steve Klaine and Tamara McNealy’s labs on the effects of nanoparticle contamination on microbial biofilms has resulted in a publication in the journal Nanotoxicology. The journal is ranked number 3 out of 77 toxicology journals, with an impact factor of 5.774. The research for the paper, “Morphological responses of Legionella pneumophila biofilms to nanoparticle exposure” was begun by former grad student Amber Stojak from Dr. Klaine’s lab and continued by a current graduate student in Dr. McNealy’s lab, Tara Raftery. This paper is the first to quantify effects of nanoparticle exposure on biofilms and demonstrates that it may be possible to capitalize on the effects seen to develop new methods to eradicate Legionella biofilms. As these biofilms, found in cooling towers and water systems, are often the source of outbreaks of Legionnaire’s Disease, development of such methods could significantly reduce public health risks associated with water systems. (posted on April 3, 2011)

Tradd CotterTradd Cotter, a Junior in Microbiology, Receives Prestigious EPA "GRO Fellowship"

Tradd Cotter was one of only two South Carolina recipients of the Fall 2011 EPA Greater Research Opportunities (GRO) Fellowships For Undergraduate Environmental Study. He will be working with faculty in Microbiology at the University of Georgia throughout the Summer 2011 semester on tissue culture practices for medical research. According to the EPA GRO Web site, "The fellowship provides up to $19,700 per year of academic support and up to $9,500 of internship support for the three-month summer period, for a total of up to $48,900 for the two year period."

Tradd has a deep interest in mycology, the study of fungi, specifically mushrooms. In application, Tradd has focused his studies in Mycoremediation which is a form of Bioremediation of chemical and biological pollutants using mushrooms. Tradd realizes the promise in this area through designs for businesses, farmers, homeowners as well as protecting the watersheds and topsoil regeneration.

Tradd Cotter with his mushrooms

Tradd and his wife, Olga, are owners of Mushroom Mountain in Liberty, SC. Mushroom Mountain is not only a mushroom farm, but also a venue for many educational activities. While discussing the farm with Tradd, he elaborated on their work, "We have designed "Mushroom Rescue Modules" to create high protein food and also filter water from pathogenic bacteria and chemical pollutants. Prototypes can be seen at the farm. We are currently testing them before offering the design to foreign aid programs for natural and man-made disaster relief." Recently, the Anderson Independent Mail highlighted Tradd and Olga's Mushroom Mountain in an in-depth article that includes video footage and photo slideshows.

Tradd is also concerned about the absence of fungi education in our state's curriculum. He believes that teachers are not getting the information into the hands of the future scientists and policy makers and he hopes to correct this issue. Tradd reflects on this, stating, "We need to reconnect our society with nature...".

Tradd's undergraduate advisor is Dr. Mike Henson. He has been working with Dr. Henson on biofuel research. Congratulations to Tradd for great success in all of his endeavors! (posted on March 7, 2011)

Biological Sciences and Microbiology Students Honored at Fall 2010 Meeting
(Pictured left to right) Chris Marshall (MUSC), Heidi Lindler, Jon Gravgaard, Uma Mahajan and Robin Brigmon - SC ASM President.
Biological Sciences and Microbiology Students Earn Top Honors at State Meetings 

At the Fall 2010 South Carolina Branch Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, Clemson Biological Sciences and Microbiology students brought home honors for their oral presentations.  In the undergraduate category, Heidi Lindler (BS BioSc, McNealy lab) won first place and in the graduate student category Uma Mahajan (Microbiology, McNealy lab) received third place and Jon Gravgaard (Microbiology, McNealy Lab) was awarded second place.  The next meeting will be April 1-2, 2011 at Clemson.  Congratulations to all of our students for their success through hard work. 


Alumni in the News — 2012

Rupal ShahFormer Bio Sci Student Becomes a Harvard Hero

Rupal Ramesh Shah, a 2007 Clemson graduate with an MS in Microbiology, has been honored by Harvard University as a 2012 Harvard Hero. This prestigious award is given to a select number of Harvard staff members who are recognized for "above and beyond" achievements and for their many contributions to Harvard University. Shah is laboratory manager of Dr. Sarah Fortunes Tuberculosis Laboratory in the Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases at Harvard University, School of Public Health.

Alumni in the News — 2011

Rupal ShahRupal Shah Recognized for Volunteer Work

Rupal Shah, a 2007 graduate from the Department of Biological Sciences, was recently published by the Home for Little Wanderers in Boston. The Home for Little Wanderers is a local children's shelter in Boston where Rupal has volunteered since 2008. Recently, the home asked Rupal to share her experiences and they posted her story on their Website, titled Little Hands, Little Feet, Big Hearts... Rupal received her MS in Microbiology from our department and is currently a research assistant in the Department of Immunology and Infectious Disease; School of Public Health; Harvard University. We are proud of Rupal and her work, in AND outside of the lab.


Faculty/Staff in the News — 2013

The Department of Biological Sciences' Dr. Richard Blob had his research, as part of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology symposium his team organized, highlighted in a review article in Science magazine. "While a fin-to-limb transition made possible the first steps on land for vertebrates 390 million years ago, it took a long time for ancient tetrapods to leave behind their aquatic ways and become true landlubbers. After that initial landfall, another 80 million years went by before tetrapods developed jaws adapted for terrestrial feeding," the article discusses. It goes on to note that "Those early tetrapods must have had a hard time figuring out how to swallow terrestrial food, if another study presented at the meeting is any guide. That work described the great lengths that some modern fish must go to catch and eat prey out of water." And while this isn't something paleontologists have thought much about, "the combination of paleontology and functional morphology evidence shows 'that the switch [to eating on land] was awfully hard,' concludes Richard Blob, an evolutionary biomechanist at Clemson University in South Carolina."

See the full article here.



Faculty/Staff in the News — 2012


Dr. Robert Kosinski TeachingKosinski Recognized in "The Best 300 Professors"

Dr. Robert Kosinski is one of five Clemson professors to be honored in a book by Random House and the Princeton Review titled "The Best 300 Professors." The "Best 300" were chosen from a pool of 42,000 college instructors by analysis of student evaluations and input from administrators. Dr. Kosinski teaches BIOL 110 and 111, introductory biology for majors, and specializes in laboratory development for freshman biology courses and the use of computer simulations in biology education. Kosinski publishes regularly in the journal "Tested Studies for Laboratory Teaching." He has been a Clemson faculty member since 1984. Congratulations, Dr. Kosinski! 

Read the Clemson University press release

(posted on May 24, 2012)

Dr. Tim SpiraSpira's Book Wins Additional Honors

Dr. Tim Spira's recently published book, Wildflowers and Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains and Piedmont (University of North Carolina Press) received a design award from the Association of American University Presses (AAUP).  Dr. Spira also recently learned he has been nominated for a Green Oscar from Wild South, a conservation organization in the southeast.  Learn more details about Dr. Spira and see details about his book.

(posted on May 24, 2012)

Drs. Min Cao and Yuqing DongDrs. Min Cao and Yuqing Dong Receive Grant from Yamada Research Fund of Japan

Dr. Yuqing Dong and Dr. Min Cao, assistant professors in the Department of Biological Sciences, were recently awarded a 2,000,000 Yen grant from the Yamada Research Fund of Japan to study the anti-aging effects of royal jelly consumption in Caenorhabditis elegans. Numerous researchers have shown that royal jelly has significant health benefits on anti-oxidative stress, anti-inflammation, anti-bacterial, and anti-ulcer, etc. In addition, a few reports demonstrated the health benefits of royal jelly on aging. However, little is known about the mechanisms of royal jelly on lifespan regulation and pathogen resistance. The research teams will use C. elegans, the genetic model organism, to investigate the relevant molecular mechanisms. Dr. Dong and Dr. Cao are also members of the Clemson Institute for Engaged Aging. (posted on January 15, 2012)

Faculty/Staff in the News — 2011


Trinidad ResearchersDr. Linda Parsons works with CDC to develop medical lab services in Caribbean

Medical laboratory services are an essential component of each country’s national health system, yet adequate provision of these services is often neglected in developing countries. The central role of the laboratory in public health, disease control and surveillance, and patient management is often poorly recognized by both governments and donors. However, new policies and funding to fight HIV/AIDS and other major epidemics is helping to strengthen laboratory systems in developing countries. Strengthening these services requires coordinated efforts by national governments and partners and can be achieved by establishing and implementing National Laboratory Strategic Plans that integrate laboratory systems to combat all major diseases.

Several countries have worked with various partners including the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to develop and implement these plans. Linda Parsons, Ph.D., currently an Adjunct Professor in the Clemson University Department of Biological Sciences, has worked for the CDC in 11 African countries during the past seven years on international laboratory strengthening including strategic planning. Since joining the Clemson faculty in 2010, Dr. Parsons has continued to be involved in CDC-supported strategic planning for national laboratory systems in the Caribbean, most recently in Barbados and in the twin-island nation of Trinidad and Tobago. Funding for these activities has been provided by the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Although this funding is intended mainly for HIV/AIDS programs, it is being used for overall strengthening of health and laboratory systems to help combat emerging and reemerging diseases, including tuberculosis, malaria, cholera, meningitis, Ebola and hemorrhagic fever. This increased capacity also strengthens laboratory services for non-communicable diseases.

Barbados Researchers

The goals of each country’s National Laboratory Strategic Plan include strengthening laboratory management; strengthening infrastructure and support systems; standardization of testing; developing human capacity; establishing a national quality assurance program in line with international standards; developing a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation system; coordinating government and partner-supported activities; and mobilizing resources to finance the improvements to the national laboratory system.

The photos show the Laboratory Technical Working Groups in Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago who, as facilitated by the two-member team of Dr. Parsons, International Laboratory Consultant, and Dr. Colin Roach, Director of the National Public Health Laboratory in Guyana, developed the National Laboratory Strategic Plans in each of their countries.(posted on October 20, 2011)

Drs. Peter Marko and Holly NanceMarko's Research on Seafood Substitution featured in Time, Discover, Science, and Nature

Research by faculty member Dr. Peter Marko and recent Biological Sciences PhD graduate Holly Nance published in Current Biology in August 2011 was recently featured in Time, Discover, Science, and Nature Magazines along with many other media outlets. Dr. Marko and his team used molecular techniques to investigate whether Chilean seabass purchased at grocery stores and certified as coming from sustainable fisheries by the Marine Stewardship Council matched the genetic signature of sustainable populations. While no fish could be assigned with 100% certainty to any population, overall the results indicated that a significant proportion of MSC-certified Chilean seabass available to consumers do not come from sustainable fisheries. Congratulations, Peter! (posted on September 9, 2011)

Dr. Patrick McMillan'Expeditions' wins Southeastern Emmy

"Expeditions with Patrick McMillan" won a Southeastern Emmy Award from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for outstanding achievement in television programming excellence.

“Expeditions” is a nature series that airs at 7:30 p.m. Sundays on SCETV and is distributed nationally to PBS affiliates. 

Two episodes were nominated for the awards; both featuring aspects of the Great Plains. The Emmy for informational/instructional programs went to “Ghosts of the Plains,” which tracks research on black-footed ferrets, kit foxes and other endangered species on the Great Plains. The Emmys were presented June 18.

Award winners are Patrick McMillan, naturalist and series host, and David White, director and videographer.

The series is produced by Clemson University Video Production Services to educate the public about the connections between humans and the natural world. (posted on August 27, 2011)

Dr. Dale LayfieldDr. Dale Layfield Receives Honorary Professor Award at Russian University

Dr. Dale Layfield, an Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, received an Honorary Professor Award from Moscow State Agroengineering University (MSAU). The official ceremony took place on April 27, 2011 in Moscow, Russia. Dr. Layfield has led a study abroad program in conjunction with MSAU over the past five years. The program provides students from Clemson and other U. S. universities an opportunity to study in Moscow for an entire semester alongside Russian students. Dr. Layfield has also worked on joint research projects with MSAU faculty and has hosted students from MSAU at Clemson. (posted on August 27, 2011)

Dr. Tim SpiraSpira's New Book Earns Praise from Asheville Citizen Times

Dr. Tim Spira's newly published book, Wildflowers and Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains and Piedmont (University of North Carolina Press) recently drew accolades in a review by the Asheville Citizen Times. In the Citizen Times' article, "Asheville's Nature Journal: New book on wildflowers is a valuable source guide for naturalists," Mr. George Ellison expressed about Spira's book, "... I feel indebted to him for the time and thought that went into the compilation of this wonderful new source guide. I never thought I'd see anything this good on this topic for this region in my lifetime." Mr. Ellison is a naturalist and writer.

Spira's book was released this past spring.  Learn more details about Dr. Spira and see details about his book.  

(posted on July 22, 2011)

Dr. Lisa RapaportRapaport's Research on Tamarins in Training Published in Natural History

Cover of Natural History

Dr. Lisa Rapaport's research was recently featured in the "Samplings" section of Natural History magazine. The article is based on a study that Lisa recently published in the Journal of Behavioral Ecology. It is a study about parenting behavior in Tamarin (Brazilian) Monkeys. Natural History has given Clemson permission to post their Samplings section article on Lisa's research. Congratulations, Lisa! (posted on July 11, 2011)



Jay Lyn Martin

Jay Lyn Martin Selected for Staff Development Program 

JayLyn Martin, the Student Services Program Coordinator for Graduate Studies in the Department of Biological Sciences, has been chosen for the 2011-12 Clemson University Staff Development Program. During the program, Ms. Martin will work on projects in the areas of professional development, personal development and service. Selection for this program is through a competitive process. Congratulations to Jay Lyn! (posted on June 1, 2011)


Dr. Tim HighamResearch by Higham Lab Recognized in New York Times

In the March 30th edition of the New York Times, Dr. Tim Higham's research was featured in an article titled "Slip-Sliding Birds Show How to Avoid Human Falls." The article is based on a study that was published in The Journal of Experimental Biology, on the biomechanics of falling. (posted on April 3, 2011)





Tim Spira's Book CoverDr. Tim Spira Publishes New Book on Wildflowers and Plant Communities

Tim Spira has published a new book, Wildflowers and Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains and Piedmont (University of North Carolina Press). Rather than organizing plants by flower color or family characteristics, as is done in most wildflower books, a more ecological approach enables the reader to identify and learn about plants in their natural communities.

A review of the book by Peter White (Director of the North Carolina Botanical Garden) states “full of gorgeous photography, this in-depth guide to plant communities and plant identification will be of immense interest to field naturalists as well as birders, wildflower enthusiasts, hikers, nature lovers, and photographers.” (posted on April 3, 2011)

Dr. Mike Henson and Collaborators
Research Team: (l to r) Chris Marshall, MUSC; Bing Liu, CU; Steve Creager, CU; Sean Norman, USC; Mike Henson, CU; Harold May, MUSC; Erin Fichot, USC, and Megan Burdette, CU.

Dr. Mike Henson, a Faculty Member in Biological Sciences, Part of Research Team that Lands $2.3 Million to Explore Alternative Biofuels

Dr. Mike Henson is one of four Clemson contributors on a research team along with faculty from MUSC and USC that have won $2.3 million in funding from the US Department of Energy. The researchers are working on determining the best mix of microorganisms and chemical reactions to ramp up the fuel-making process. This project is very exciting because it provides an opportunity for the research faculty, staff and students at the three major research universities to work as a team on this concerted effort. More details about the research and the collaborative efforts can be read at the following link. Congratulations on this achievement, Dr. Henson!

See "Scientists search for new fuels from common, if unlikely, sources" on Clemson's University Newsroom page. (posted on March 23, 2011)

Ms. Jay Lyn MartinMs. Jay Lyn Martin, Bio Sci Student Services Coordinator for Graduate Studies, Honored with 2010 College Outstanding Staff Award

Ms. Jay Lyn Martin, the Coordinator of Student Services for Graduate Studies was recently presented with an outstanding staff award for her dedication to the department.  The Clemson University College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences Outstanding Staff Employee Awards are honorary in nature and are given to permanent classified and unclassified staff employees in recognition of exemplary contributions to the college.  We are fortunate to have Jay Lyn as part of our department! (posted on March 10, 2011)

Dr. Michael ChildressResearch by Childress Lab Recognized in Press

In January, Dr. Michael Childress, an Assistant Professor in Biological Sciences made a public presentation on the status of blue crabs in South Carolina. His research has since been discussed in The Charleston Post and Courier in an article titled "Blue Crab Moving Farther Upstream as Water Becomes Saltier, More Polluted." Dr. Childress has posted his presentation, Where Have all the Blue Crabs Gone?, on his lab Website. (posted on February 15, 2011)


Dr. Barbara SpezialeDr. Barbara Speziale, Professor of Biological Sciences, Receives Clemson University's Elliott Award

At the December 2010 General Faculty Meeting, Dr. Barbara Speziale was honored with the Ralph D. Elliott Endowed Award for Outstanding Service to Off-Campus, Distance and Continuing Education. The purpose of the Elliott award is to recognize and honor a Clemson University faculty, staff, or administrator who has promoted initiatives in the field of credit or noncredit continuing education in a worthy and exemplary manner.

One of many examples of Speziale's work is illustrated through the work of the SC LIFE program she has led for 13 years. In 1998, Speziale and other Clemson faculty members were awarded the first of four (thus far) grants totaling $6,400,000 from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Undergraduate Science Education program. The funds were used to establish SC Life—an education and outreach program for K-12 students and teachers. Speziale became director of SC Life in 2000 and guided its growth, from presenting only 2 courses in 1998 to 12 in 2009. Since 1998, SC Life has presented 103 graduate science courses for 816 in-service teachers and 70 pre-service teachers. All of these courses were supported by external grants, from agencies including HHMI, USDA, NASA, and EPA. The courses are delivered through a variety of instructional methodologies including online, on-site, and field-based. Teachers attending these courses have reported direct benefits to their own careers, applying the courses to requirements for 4 Ph.D. degrees, 33 Master’s degrees, 31 Master’s + 30 teaching credential upgrades, and 5 National Board Certifications. (posted on February 27, 2011)