Biology News Archive

The following is a list of past news from the Department of Biological Sciences. For more general stories or announcements, please visit the  Charles E. Schmidt College of Science homepage, the FAU Jupiter campus webpage, and the  Owl Research & Innovation Magazine.


September 2022


August 2022

  • IBBS PhD Candidate Publishes Paper. Paola Gonzalez-Lerma, who works in the laboratory of Dr. Ken Dawson-Scully, recently published a paper in the scientific journal microPublication Biology.

  • Study First to Explore ‘Walking’ Shark Movements in Early Life Stages. Dr. Marianne Porter, associate professor and senior lead author, is part of a team researching the newly-discovered walking shark that breaks all of the rules for survival.

  • IBNS PhD Candidate Publishes Paper. Morgan Slevin, who works in the laboratory of Dr. Rindy Anderson, recently co-authored a paper published in the Journal of Field Ornithology.

  • FAU Experts Featured in National Geographic's SHARKFEST. The research of FAU Marine Lab principal investigators, graduate students, and alumni are featured in several National Geographic SHARKFEST programs. 

  • Social Media Spotlight: @faumarinelab. Check out this scan from a stingray!⁠ Did you know that stingrays are related to sharks? Stingrays and sharks are considered to be a part of the class elasmobranchs, which is also known as cartilaginous fish. The picture shows the bottom of the stingray, which is where their mouth is located.

  • Student Spotlight: Morton Fellow and Soar-in-4 Scholar. Michelle Gras, an undergraduate researcher who works with Dr. Shailaja Allani and Dr. Herbert Weissbach, is both a member of the Soar-in-4 program that provides high-achieving student research opportunities and mentorship, and she is also a Morton Fellow.

  • Biology Alumna Interviewed by CESCOS. Deborah Santos de Azevedo, who worked with the Elasmobranch Shark Laboratory as a field research assistant, is a marine biologist and multicultural shark researcher that was recently named a National Geographic Young Explorer! Check out her recent interview.

  • Brain Bites: The Neuroscience of Addiction with Dr. Judith Grisel. Tune into the newest episode of "Brain Bites: a bite-sized neuroscience podcast" featuring Dr. Judith Grisel, Professor of Psychology at Bucknell University, discussing the impacts of drugs and addiction in the brain on a biological level.


July 2022

  • Study Shows Hydrology Impacts on West Florida’s Continental Shelf. Dr. Laurent Cherubin of FAU's Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute in collaboration with FlU demonstrates the impacts of climate warming and water management on West Florida's Continental Shelf using a high-resolution simulation model.

  • CESCoS Interviews Biology Master's Student. Haley Davis, who works in the laboratory of Dr. Joshua Voss, was recently interviewed about winning second runner-up in FAU’s sixth annual Three Minute Thesis Competition (3MT®).

  • CESCoS Interviews IBNS PhD Student. Morgan Slevin, who works in the laboratory of Dr. Rindy Anderson, was recently interviewed about winning first place in FAU’s sixth annual Three Minute Thesis Competition (3MT®).

  • Women responded better than men to early Alzheimer’s intervention, study found. After age and genetics, being a woman is the single most important risk factor for developing Alzheimer's disease, experts say. Now, a new study has good news when it comes to giving women a chance to reduce their increased risk. 

  • IBNS PhD Student Publishes Paper. Zidan Yang, who works in the laboratory of Dr. Hidehiko Inagaki, recently published a paper in the scientific journal Cell that describes how the midbrain can control cortical dynamics via the thalamus for rapid and precise motor behavior.

  • Student Scientists Serve As Manatee Masters. Hear from some of our current and former students about what it's like to serve as a Manatee Master at Manatee Lagoon!

  • IBNS PhD Student Publishes Paper. Connon Thomas, who works in the laboratory of Dr. Naomi Kamasawa, recently published a paper with labmates Skylar Anthony, an FAU undergraduate, and Seth Goldin, an FAU High School student, that describes user-friendly software they developed to analyze the precise location of proteins in the brain in an automated and efficient manner.

  • IB PhD Alumna Publishes Paper. Dr. Danielle Ingle, co-authored a paper with her dissertation advisor, Dr. Marianne Porter, in the scientific journal Integrative Organismal Biology that found that cetacean vertebral trabecular bone properties differed from the properties of terrestrial mammals.


June 2022

  • New Tool Will Assess Water Discharge Impacts from Florida’s Everglades. Researchers from FAU Harbor Branch have received a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to study the connectivity between the Everglades and Florida Keys via the Florida Bay.

  • IBNS PhD Student Publishes Paper. Jacob LaMar, who works in the laboratory of Dr. Randy Blakely, recently published a paper with Dr. Vidhya Rangaraju at the Max Planck Institute for Neuroscience along with other co-authors in bioRxiv, an open access preprint repository for the biological sciences hosted by the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.

  • Biology Faculty Member WPTV Interview. Dr. Jeanette Wyneken and the Marine Science Laboratory were featured in an article titled "Climate change tipping the gender balance of some species" to discuss how hotter temperatures are leading to more female sea turtles hatching than males.

  • IB Alumnus Featured on Podcast. Dr. Kyle Newton, who worked in the laboratory of Dr. Stephen Kajiura and now a research associate at Oregon State University, was recently featured on a Save Our Seas Foundation podcast titled "How do marine animals navigate the ocean?." Dr. Newton was also recently quoted in a Scientific American article on the work of A. Kalmijn, who first showed that sharks and rays can sense electromagnetic fields and use them to locate hidden prey!

  • 2022 3MT® Championship Winners. Congratulations to FAU's 6th Annual Three Minute Thesis Competition (3MT®) winners! Congratulations to Morgan Slevin, an IBNS PhD candidate who works in the laboratory of Dr. Rindy Anderson, for winning 1st place and recipient of the Dr. Eric H. Shaw 3MT® Championship Endowed Award! Congratulations to Haley Davis, a MS student who works in the laboratory of Dr. Joshua Voss, for winning Second Runner-Up!

  • FAU Max Planck Honors Program Students Present Research. Congratulations to the FAU Max Planck Honors Program students for successfully defending their theses! 

  • FAU Experts for the 2022 Hurricane Season. With an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season forecast for 2022, several FAU faculty experts are available to discuss various issues surrounding hurricane preparedness, evacuation and aftermath.


May 2022


April 2022

  • First U.S.-based International Max Planck Research School Established with FAU. FAU recently formalized an agreement with Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience (MPFI) to partner in launching its first U.S.-based International Max Planck Research School for Synapses and Circuits (IMPRS-SC). The first class of students will begin in fall 2022.

  • 2021-2022 Biology Scholarships. Congratulations to all graduate students that received a Biology Department Scholarship this year! Many thanks to the generous contributions of all Biology Department Scholarship donors!

  • IB PhD Students Win Award at International Sea Turtle Symposium. Samantha Trail and Emily Turla, who both work in the laboratory of Dr. Jeanette Wyneken, were recently named Archie Carr Student Awardees at the 2022 International Sea Turtle Symposium. This award is given for excellence in graduate student research!

  • IB PhD Student Featured on Local News Channel 7. Emily Turla, who works in the laboratory of Dr. Jeanette Wyneken, along with undergraduate researcher Sean Williamson, a Glenn W. and Cornelia T. Bailey Marine SEA Scholar, were featured in a special segment called “Where’d that little turtle go?” about their work in Cayman tagging green turtles with trackers to learn more about their movements.

  • IB PhD Student Publishes Paper. Cassandra Ruddy, who works in the laboratory of Dr. Marianne Porter, recently published a paper in the Journal of Fish Biology, along with John Loyer, an undergraduate researcher that participated in the Miami Dade College- FAU summer research program.

  • IBNS Alumna Publishes Paper. Dr. Herborg Asgeirsdottir, who worked in the laboratory of Dr. Robert Stackman, recently co-authored a paper published in the scientific journal Scientific Reports.

  • Undergrad Researcher Named 2022 Goldwater Scholar. Samantha Zaninelli, who works in the laboratory of Dr. Erik Duboué, was named a 2002 Goldwater Scholar. She was selected from a pool of 1,242 students from 433 institutions across the country. This is the first time in FAU history a student has been named a Goldwater Scholar.


March 2022

  • Wild Palm Beaches Sea Turtle Segment. The FAU Marine Laboratory was featured in the Wild Palm Beaches Gumbo Limbo sea turtle segment.

  • IBNS PhD Student Publishes Paper. Clara Tepohl, who works in the laboratory of Dr. David Fitzpatrick at the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience, has recently published a paper in the scientific journal Neuron.

  • IBNS PhD Student Gives Research Talk. Morgan Slevin, who works in the laboratory of Dr. Rindy Anderson, recently gave a talk in the South Florida Wildlife Center's Wild Lecture Series.

  • Biology Faculty Member Featured in Jupiter Magazine. Dr. Stephen Kajiura was featured in the March issue of Jupiter magazine in an article titled “Protecting the Predator” about threats to sharks.

  • IB PhD Student Publishes Paper. Karim Dawkins, who works in the laboratory of Dr. Nwadiuto Esiobu, recently published a review article, along with undergraduate researchers, in the American Journal of Plant Sciences.

  • Biology MS Alumna Publishes Paper. Victoria Garefino, who worked in the laboratory of Dr. Sarah Milton, got her first paper published in a special issue of the journal Animals, on the impact of sunlight on the health parameters of green sea turtles in rehab facilities.

  • 2022 Goldberg Scholarship Winner. Jorge Torres, who is pursuing a B.S. in Biological Sciences, was recently named the 2022 recipient of the Goldberg Scholarship!


February 2022

  • IBES PhD Student Publishes Paper. David Essian, who worked in the laboratory of Dr. Dale Gawlik, recently published a paper in The Journal of Wildlife Management.

  • Calling all Citizen Scientists. Do you enjoy taking photos of wildlife? Are you interested in contributing to dolphin research? FAU Harbor Branch invites you to participate in our new land-based Dolphin Spotter citizen science project. 

  • Unique FAU Seagrass Nursery Aims to Help Florida’s Starving Manatees. Dr. Dennis Hanisak and researchers at HBOI are investigating the cause of seagrass loss and contributing to important restoration efforts in the Indian River lagoon. 

  • IBMO PhD Student Publishes Paper. Ryan Bos, who works in the laboratory of Dr. Tracy Mincer, recently co-authored a paper that is the first to unveil the prevalence of plastics in the entire water column of an offshore plastic accumulation zone in the southern Atlantic Ocean and implicates the ocean interior as a crucial pool of ‘missing’ plastics.

  • Biology Alumna Named 2021 National Geographic Young Explorer. Deborah Santos de Azevedo, who worked with the Elasmobranch Shark Laboratory as a field research assistant, is a marine biologist and multicultural shark researcher. She earned a B.S. in Biological Sciences from FAU in 2021 and currently works as a research assistant for the American Shark Conservancy and project manager for their Shark Surveys project, collecting in-water diversity, abundance, and behavioral data from shark species.

  • FAU's REU SINE Participant Wins Cell Press 2021 Rising Black Scientists Award. Charleese Williams, who participated in FAU's 2021 Summer Integrative Neuroscience Experience (SINE) for undergraduates, is the winner of the Cell Press 2021 Rising Black Scientists Award for an undergraduate scholar!

  • IBNS-IMPRS PhD Student Publishes Paper. Roberto Hernandez, who works in the laboratory of Dr. Gregory Macleod, recently co-authored a paper published in Biophysical Journal that was featured on the cover of the December issue!


January 2022


December 2021

  • Frontiers in Science Public Lecture Series. Experts this season from a range of scientific disciplines who are speaking about: conservation photojournalism, artificial intelligence, white holes: how a black hole dies, the social science of disasters and community resilience, and more!

  • Fall 2021 Biology Scholarships. Congratulations to all graduate students that received a Biology Department Scholarship this spring! Many thanks to the generous contributions of all Biology Department Scholarship donors!

  • 2021 Art of Science Photography Contest Winners. Congratulations to IB PhD students Clark Morgan, who works in the laboratory of Dr. Matt Ajemian, and Jamie Knaub, who works in the laboratory of Dr. Marianne Porter. Clark was named in the "2021 In the Field Student Winner" category and Jamie tied for the "2021 In the Lab Student Winner" category. Congratulations to both!

  • Septic System Waste Pervasive Throughout Florida’s Indian River Lagoon. There are more than 300,000 septic systems adjacent to Florida's Indian River Lagoon. A new FAU Harbor Branch study shows even properly functioning septic systems contaminate groundwater and surface water.

  • IBES PhD Candidate Featured in 2022 Knauss Fellow Spotlight. Kate Shlepr, who works in the laboratory of Dr. Dale Gawlik, was recently featured as a spotlight for the Knauss Fellowship that she received!


November 2021


October 2021


September 2021


August 2021


July 2021

  • IBNS PhD Student Publishes Paper. Akshay Naraine, who works in the laboratory of Dr. Ken Dawson-Scully, recently published a paper in The FASEB Journal.

  • IB Alumna & Biology MS Alumna Publish Paper. Dr. Melissa Reiterer and Lynsey Bruce recently published a paper in the scientific journal Metabolites with Dr. Sarah Milton.

  • IB Alumni Publish Paper. Drs. Sirisha Kudumala and Priyanka Kakad have recently "micro-published" their work on "The conserved MASRPF motif in the Attractin homolog, Distracted, is required for association with Drosophila E3-ligase Mgrn1" with Dr. Tanja Godenschwege.

  • SharkFest 2021. This summer, four FAU researchers, including Drs. Stephen Kajiura, Tricia Meredith, and Matt Ajemian, are featured on National Geographic TV's SharkFest series. 

  • FAU Gets $736,000 from NASA to Study Coastal Carbon Budget from Space. FAU is one of 10 universities in the nation and the only university in Florida to receive this grant in support of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in seeking a better understanding of the ocean’s role in the Earth system.  

  • IBNS Student Featured in I-BRAIN Magazine. Morgan Slevin, who works in the laboratory of Dr. Rindy Anderson, had his paper featured in FAU's Masterminds Magazine.

  • IB Alumna Spotlight. Dr. Lillian Onwuha-Ekpete, who worked in the laboratory of Dr. Gregg Fields, was recently featured in the College of Science's Postdoc Spotlight.

  • FAU Ranks #3 in Florida State University System. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of our students, faculty and staff, FAU ranked No. 3 among the state universities. The University recorded its highest-ever score of 89 points from a possible 100.

  • IBNS Student and Alum Publish Paper. Justin Palermo, IBNS PhD candidate, along with Dr. Kazuma Murakami, IBNS alum, have recently published a paper that identifies a gene related to sleep duration and starvation resistance.


June 2021

  • Origin of the 'Motion of the Ocean' in the Straits of Florida Revealed. A numerical study by FAU Harbor Branch is the first to identify mechanisms of instability responsible for the formation of sub-mesoscale eddies, which has important environmental implications. 

  • IBES PhD Candidate Featured in "Mutton Snapper Challenge" Video. The PBC Environmental Resources Management has teamed up with local fisherman in a citizens science initiative called the "Mutton Snapper Challenge" and Dr. John Baldwin's laboratory participated! Lauren Kleiman, IBES student, was featured in the final video released after the event.

  • Understanding Algal Blooms in Florida. FAU's Center for Environmental Studies and the U.S. Geological Survey have developed a series of free online modules to assist in understanding the science and challenges related to harmful algal blooms.

  • Happy World Sea Turtle Day. Listen as Dr. Jeanette Wyneken shares interesting sea turtle hatchling and nesting facts from her Research in Action talk.

  • FAU’s Stiles-Nicholson Brain Institute. Contributions totaling $10 million to Florida Atlantic University from David J. S. Nicholson will welcome an era of unprecedented research, education and discovery at FAU’s John D. MacArthur Campus in Jupiter. 

  • IB PhD Alumna Publishes Paper. Dr. Danielle Ingle, who worked in the laboratory of Dr. Marianne Porter, recently published a paper with Dr. Jeanette Wyneken that documents morphological data on craniofacial and axial bifurcation in sea turtles from south Florida beaches. 

  • IBNS PhD Student Publishes Paper. Justin Palermo, who works in the laboratory of Dr. Alex Keene, recently co-authored a paper in the scientific journal eLife that investigates the discriminative capabilities of taste systems using Drosophila as a model system.

  • Biology Undergraduate Student CEO Wins $19k in Three Competitions. Paris Prince, CEO of SPods, is an FAU High School senior and a junior in B.S. Neuroscience and Behavior program, who won $19,500 in funding from three competitions for her innovative student project and startup business called SPods; a portable, eco-friendly, hand hygiene product. 

  • Biology Faculty Member Featured on Smithsonian Magazine Website. Dr. Jeanette Wyneken was recently featured in the article "Baby Sea Turtles Spend ‘Lost Years’ in Sargasso Sea" that discusses her research on tracking neonate green turtles. This research was also featured online in a Popular Science article!


May 2021


April 2021


March 2021

  • FAU Neuroscientists Publish Paper. Drs. Alex Keene and Johanna Kowalko, along with Drs. Bethany Stanhope and Itzel Sifuentes-Romero and collaborators, recently published a paper in the scientific journal Nature Communications.

  • IB Alum Publishes Paper. Dr. Justin Perrault, who worked in the laboratory of Dr. Jeanette Wyneken, recently published a paper co-authored with current IBMO PhD student Cody Mott and current master's student Sarah Hirsch, along with Dr. Annie Page-Karjian at FAU's Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute.

  • Wonder Women of STEM. The STEM Training Hub and Campus Life at FAU Jupiter jointly celebrate women that pioneered with immense success in STEM fields! This mixed in-person and virtual symposium will hear the first-hand research and career experiences from women that continue to succeed in academic and scientific industries. Join us on March 23rd at 5:30pm!

  • IB Alum Publishes Paper. Dr. Joe Niederhauser, who worked under the direction of Dr. Rindy Anderson, along with current IBNS PhD candidate Morgan Slevin recently published a paper in the scientific journal Behaviour.

  • Spring 2021 Biology Scholarship Recipients. Congratulations to all graduate students that received a Biology Department Scholarship this spring! Many thanks to the generous contributions of all Biology Department Scholarship donors!

  • IB PhD Alum New President of the FAU Postdoctoral Association. Dr. David Bradshaw, postdoc at the FAU HBOI campus, was featured in the Postdoc Spotlight: Striving for Balance article in the FAU Research Daily.

  • IB Alumna Helps Release "Cold-Stunned" Sea Turtles. Dr. Danielle Ingle worked with a team to recover 60 "cold-stunned" sea turtles.Turtles underwent "swim tests" to evaluate if they were ready to be returned to the wild.

  • FAU Alumna Co-founds Organization to Promote Diversity and Break Barriers. Emerging shark scientist and FAU alumna Carlee Jackson is on a mission to create opportunities for minority girls to get into marine science. Check out her #FAUAlumni success story.

  • Biology MS Student Publishes Paper. Breanna DeGroot, who works in the laboratory of Dr. Matt Ajemian, recently published a paper in collaboration with the Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium, the University of Florida and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and are the first to conduct a multiyear study examining large-scale movements of whitespotted eagle rays in United States waters.


February 2021

  • New BS in Medical Biology Program. The Department of Biological Sciences' new B.S. in Medical Biology prepares students for competitive professional training programs in the health sciences with a streamlined, pre-professional degree program.

  • FAU Brain Institute Announces 'Brainy Days 2021' schedule. Beginning Friday, March 2nd through Saturday, March 23rd, the month-long virtual celebration of neuroscience strives to engage, empower and educate the public about brain diseases and ultimately reduce the stigma associated with brain disorders.

  • IBNS PhD Alum Publishes Paper. Dr. Alberto Padilla, who worked in the laboratories of Drs. James Hartmann and Frank Mari, recently published a paper with collaborators that  finds anti-adhesion drugs derived from cone snail venom may hold the key to treating malaria, COVID-19, AIDS and other diseases using blockage therapies.

  • ‘Generation Ocean: Sharks’ 360 Film Features FAU Shark Scientist. The second of the “Generation Ocean” series, this short film follows Dr. Stephen Kajiura and his research team from the FAU Elasmobranch Lab as they study the well-known blacktip shark migration.

  • Crunch! ‘Shell-crushing’ Sounds Revealed in a Large Marine Predator. Dr. Matt Ajemian and collaborators are the first to quantify "shell-crushing" consumption noises in a large marine predator using the whitespotted eagle ray.

  • Time-lapse Video of bottlenose dolphin skeleton. Check out this video that features IB PhD alumna Dr. Danielle Ingle, who worked in the laboratory of Dr. Marianne Porter, putting together the bottlenose dolphin skeleton that is on display in the physical science building's atrium.

  • IB PhD Alumna Publishes Paper. Dr. Kate Galloway, who graduated in summer 2020, recently published a paper with her PhD advisor Dr. Marianne Porter that examines predator–prey puncture mechanics using lionfish as a model.

  • FAU Neuroscience Building Construction: Taking Life Science to New Heights. Construction of the new 58,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art Neuroscience Research Building on FAU’s Jupiter campus is underway.


January 2021


December 2020


November 2020


October 2020

  • Boo! How Do Mexican Cavefish Escape Predators? IBNS PhD student Alexandra Paz and the cavefish trilab advisors Drs. Alex Keene, Erik Duboue, and Johanna Kowalko recently published a study in a special issue of the Journal of Experimental Zoology: Molecular and Developmental Evolution on the evolution of Mexican cavefish.

  • IB Alumna Publishes Paper. Dr. Betsy Evans and her former advisor Dr. Dale Gawlik recently published a paper in the journal Scientific Reports.

  • Scientists are First in the World to Spawn Bonefish in Captivity. A breakthrough by FAU researchers at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute in collaboration with Bonefish & Tarpon Trust are the first in the world to successfully spawn bonefish in captivity – in just four years!

  • Discovery of Manta Ray Nursery. FAU Biology alumna Jessica Pate uncovers first urban nursery ground for manta rays off the coast of south Florida. 

  • Climate Change Basics in 15 minutes. Dr. Marguerite Koch explains the science of climate change to those who don’t have a science background using only photos and videos.

  • Remembering Geri Mayer. It is with sadness we share that a stalwart in the Department of Biological Sciences, Geri Mayer, has passed. Geri was a close colleague and confidant to many in the department, the college, and around the University.

  • FAU Faculty Member Quoted in The New York Times. Dr. Marianne Porter was recently quoted in a New York Times article titled "The Pros and Cons of Swimming with a Hammerhead."

  • Announcing the Chair of the Department of Biological Sciences. The CES College of Science welcomes Dr. Sarah Milton as the chair of the Department of Biological Sciences. Dr. Milton previously served as the interim chair for the department since 2019 and will permanently assume this role.

  • FAU Scientists Patent Protective Compound. Drs. Ken Dawson-Scully and Salvatore Lepore have teamed up and discovered a compound with the potential to protect the brain from degeneration: This finding has just been patented.

  • Gulf of Mexico Mission: ‘Ocean Blue Holes Are Not Created Equal’. Researchers from FAU’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute are among a team of scientists who are getting a unique glimpse into offshore ledges, sinkholes and springs collectively known as carbonate karst “blue holes” thanks to gutsy divers and a maneuverable 500-pound autonomous lander designed especially to descend deep into blue holes.


September 2020

  • Nikon Renews Brain Institute as a Center of Excellence. Nikon recently renewed the FAU Brain Institute as a Center of Excellence. This partnership, which began in 2016, gives researchers across FAU, and partner establishments, access to state-of-the-art imaging systems and joint ventures with world-renowned research institutions.

  • FAU-Israeli Partnerships Win Two International Grants. Dr. Erik Duboué and Prof. Yoav Gothilf of Tel Aviv University have received a $320,000 grant from the US-Israel Binational Science Foundation for their work on the neuronal and genetic basis of anxiety.

  • Mapping Cavefish Brains Leads to Origin of Behavioral Evolution. Drs. Alex Keene, Erik Duboue, and Johanna Kowalko in collaboration with Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan in Israel, is the first to identify large-scale differences between surface fish and cavefish populations of A. mexicanus.

  • Thank You to FAU's Essential Workers. Thank you to the FAU employees who work tirelessly to maintain our campuses and bring the best possible experience to our students during this unprecedented and unusual time.

  • IB PhD Candidate and IB Alumna Publish Paper. Beth Bowers, who works in the laboratory of Dr. Stephen Kajiura, and Dr. Joy Young, an IB PhD program alumna, recently published a paper in a themed issue of Marine and Coastal Fisheries: Dynamics, Management, and Ecosystem Science.

  • FAU Moves Up in ‘U.S. News & World Report’s’ List of Top Universities. Florida Atlantic University moved up in the U.S. News & World Report's list of “Top Public Schools,” to No. 136 in the latest rankings of the nation’s best universities. FAU ranked No. 140 in 2020.

  • 2020 Art of Science Photo Contest. Entries for the 2020 Art of Science Photo Contest are now being accepted through Oct. 15. All FAU faculty, staff and students are welcome to submit original images of research taking place in connection to FAU, including color-enhanced microscopy, photos taken in the lab and the field, underwater photos of marine research, fractal imagery and other photos that illustrate the beauty of the natural world.

  • Remembrance Video. FAU faculty, staff, and students remember the events that took place on September 11, 2001.

  • Face Shield or Face Mask to Stop the Spread of COVID-19? To increase public awareness about the effectiveness of face shields alone as well as face masks with exhalation valves, researchers from FAU’s College of Engineering and Computer Science used qualitative visualizations to test how face shields and masks with valves perform in impeding the spread of aerosol-sized droplets.

  • Hot Dogs, Chicken Wings and City Living Helped Wood Storks Thrive. A recent study published by Dr. Dale Gawlik provides evidence and a systematic understanding of how a wetland species, the Wood Stork, persists and even thrives in an urban environment, by switching to human foods like chicken wings and hot dogs when natural marshes are in bad shape.


August 2020


July 2020

  • FAU High/Undergrad Students Publish Paper. Two FAU High School/Undergrads, Nicholas Pizzo and Mohamed Abutineh, along with Drs. Xing-Hai Zhang and Lyndon West recently published a paper in Plant Growth Regulation.

  • FAU Study First to Show Tiger Sharks’ Travels and Desired Hangouts. Dr. Matt Ajemian and colleagues used satellites in a tracking study of 56 tiger sharks that provides a first look at how their patterns of movement across the Gulf of Mexico vary according to their sex, their life stage and the season.

  • Biology Postdoc Publishes Paper. Dr. Itzel Sifuentes-Romero, a postdoc currently in Dr. Johanna Kowalko’s lab, has a newly published paper in Journal of Experimental Zoology Part B Molecular and Developmental Evolution, including Drs. Johanna Kowalko and Alex Keene as co-authors.

  • Biology Professor Featured on Shark Week. Dr. Stephen Kajiura will be featured during this year's National Geographic Shark Week. He will appear in the following episodes: Shark vs Surfer: premieres on National Geographic Channel on 7/19 @ 8:00pm eastern; Sharkcano: premieres on National Geographic Channel on 7/21 @ 10:00pm eastern; When Sharks Attack: premieres on National Geographic Channel 8/6 @ 9pm eastern.

  • FAU Sea Turtle Researcher Finds More Human Interruptions During Nesting Season. Beaches were closed right before turtle nesting season; however, Dr. Jeanette Wyneken says there were actually more turtles being interfered with. Wyneken reminds everyone to not approach a turtle while crawling on the beach or in the surf, do not disturb nests, and keep artificial lights off the beach.

  • IB PhD Alumna Featured in Online Magazine. Dr. Chelsea Bennice, who worked in the laboratory of Dr. Randy Brooks, explains the scientific reason why baby octopuses ride with jellyfish in the online magazine Inverse.

  • Seeing is Believing: Effectiveness of Facemasks. Recently published research demonstrates a method to assess the effectiveness of facemasks in obstructing droplets.

  • IB Phd Student Featured on Global Wildlife Conservation. Daniel Alempijevic, who works in the laboratory of Dr. Kate Detwiler, was recently featured for his research showing the first videos of the critically endangered Rolaway monkey recorded in the wild.

  • The History of FAU in Two Minutes. The history of FAU dates back to 1942, when the Boca Raton Army Air Field opened in the sleepy coastal resort town of Boca Raton. Watch how the airbase transformed into Florida Atlantic University, the first public university in South Florida.


June 2020


May 2020


April 2020

  • FAU Researchers Seek Answers to Challenging Environmental Issues. Last Wednesday marked the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Researchers at FAU reflected on how their research can impact today’s most challenging environmental questions.

  • Ask A Scientist Features Microbiologist and Biotechnologist . Dr. Nwadiuto Esiobu was featured in the fourteenth episode of the podcast series. Esiobu answers questions ranging from how does a virus generate, how do we find drugs to block the coronavirus disease, how AI is used to find treatments for diseases, and how a pandemic becomes endemic.

  • IB PhD Candidate Awarded NIH T32 Fellowship. James Jaggard, a graduate student working in the Keene Laboratory, was awarded a National Institutes of Health (NIH) T32 Fellowship to compete his postdoctoral training at Stanford University, where he will continue investigating sleep.

  • FAU Develops New Way to Identify the Sex of Sea Turtle Hatchlings. Drs. Sarah Milton and Jeanette Wyneken have developed a first-of-its-kind technique that is minimally invasive and greatly enhances the ability to measure neonate turtle sex ratios at population levels across nesting sites worldwide. This research is a crucial step in assessing the impact of climate change on imperiled turtle species.

  • Undergraduate Research Training Initiative for Student Enhancement. Drs. Alex Keene, Rod Murphey, and Evelyn Frazier were awarded a National Institutes of Health grant to fund an Undergraduate Research Training Initiative for Student Enhancement (U-RISE).

  • FAU Teams Up with U.S. Coast Guard to Release Three Baby Sea Turtles. With closed beaches and scuba boats not permitted to travel due to COVID-19, Dr. Jeanette Wyneken and researchers from the FAU Marine Laboratory used their creative skills to release three baby sea turtles to learn more about their offshore travels.

  • FAU: We're here for You. While you’re taking classes online, we want you to know that we are here for you. There are a number of events, programs and services online so we can stay connected, because you’re online and so are we.

  • ‘Virtual’ Communication in the Age of Social Distancing. In a world of social distancing and virtual communication due to COVID-19, a first-of-its-kind study compares the fixated gaze of 173 participants in a real-time online connection versus a pre-recorded video.

  • FAU Biology Professor on Apple Podcast Series. Dr. Stephen Kajiura, Professor of Biology, recently did an interview with William McKeever, author of the book Emperors of the Deep. His interview is featured on the episode 'Ocean Warming and Sharks,' which kicks off a 6-part series of interviews with various shark scientists and conservationists.


March 2020

  • COVID-19 Change Challenge. The Division of Research’s competition is open to students who want to do their part to help the world meet the demands of coronavirus-related challenges.

  • FAU's response to Coronavirus: We're in This Together. As we navigate this unprecedented situation and seek to flatten the curve of the COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak, Florida Atlantic University is coming together and will come out stronger than before.

  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates. While no cases have been reported within the FAU community, steps are being taken to ensure we are prepared. Faculty, staff and students should regularly check the University’s designated site for updates on the virus, travel and health guidance, and helpful resources.

  • College of Science Highlights IBNS Student. Morgan Slevin, who works in the laboratory of Dr. Rindy Anderson, was recently featured on the College of Science's Student Spotlight website!

  • Monogamous Female Sea Turtles? Yes, Thanks to Sperm Storage. Drs. Jeanette Wyneken and Colin Hughes' research was featured in the research section of the FAU News Desk.

  • Undergraduate researcher hosts "The Research Diaries" Podcast. Jessica Chomik, a neuroscience student who works in the laboratory of Dr. Alex Keene, is host of the podcast “The Research Diaries” where she shares the “failures, frustrations, and excitement of setting up novel experiments and making new discoveries” from the perspective of an undergraduate student.

  • Cavefish: Out of the Dark, Into the Limelight. Dr. Alex Keene and his university collaborators, Dr. Johanna Kowalko and Dr. Erik Duboué, are helping FAU emerge as a hub for the growing field of cavefish research.

  • Esioubu Lab Featured on the National News. Dr. Nwadiuto Esiobu made the national news this week, reaching over 6.5 million Americans on multiple national and local TV stations and media outlets. 

  • IB PhD Student Publishes Paper. Amy Makler, who works in the laboratory of Dr. Waseem Asghar, recently published a review paper entitled "Exosomal biomarkers for cancer diagnosis and patient monitoring" in the scientific journal Expert Review of Molecular Diagnostics.


February 2020

  • 2020 Science Olympiad. The annual Science Olympiad, hosted by FAU’s College of Science, is almost here! This year’s competition will involve nearly 1000 high school and middle school students from around south Florida.

  • 12th Annual IB Retreat A Success. This year the annual Integrative Biology Retreat welcomed the Distinguished Alumni recipient Dr. Kimberly Rowland, Assistant Professor at Lynn University, and keynote speaker Dr. Raul Gonzalez, Professor at Florida International University.

  • Most Rehabilitating Sea Turtles with Infectious Tumors Don’t Survive. Caused by a herpesvirus, fibropapillomatosis (FP) is the most significant infectious disease affecting sea turtle populations worldwide. It is widespread in warmer climates like Florida, where almost 70 percent of sea turtles in a population have FP in some places.

  • New Innovative Genetic Technologies Course. The new STEM Training Hub at FAU Jupiter launched its first course-based Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE). Students are learning how to apply innovative Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) gene-editing technologies to identify genes that cause eye, pigmentation and taste disorders.

  • Special $6,000 sensors will keep daily diaries of blacktip sharks off Palm Beach coast. Dr. Steve Kajiura, Professor of Biology, was recently featured in the Palm Beach Post for his research studying shark migration off the coast of Florida.

  • FAU at the Southeast Regional Sea Turtle Network. Dr. Sarah Milton, Professor of Biology and Interim Chair, is attending the meeting in Corpus Christi along with multiple graduate students that are presenting talks and posters as well as an undergraduate DIR student. Her Ph.D. student Cody Mott also helped to organize the meeting.

  • Study Shows New Way to Treat Stroke Using an Already FDA-Approved Drug. Dr. Jang-Yen Wu, Professor of Biomedical Science and Biology graduate programs, and Dr. Janet Menzie-Suderam, IB PhD alumna, recently published a paper in the Journal of Biomedical Science.


January 2020

  • JLSI Faculty Member Receives Research Grant. Dr. Carmen Varela, Assistant Professor of Psychology and Jupiter Life Science Initiative (JLSI) faculty member, recently received $75,000 grant from the Whitehall Foundation for a project entitled "Thalamocortical Dynamics Underlying Flexible Memory Consolidation."

  • Local Neuroscientists Gather for Synapse 2020. FAU JLSI research hub recently participated in an annual neuroscience networking event held in collaboration with Scripps Research and Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience. More than 200 of the brightest research scientists and students throughout the region gathered at Scripps Research to network and share their research findings.

  • FAU Professor Featured in Boca Magazine. Dr. Steve Kajiura, Professor of Biology, was recently featured in the "Meet the Expert" series in Boca Magazine in an article entitled "Jaws’ Best Friend: FAU shark researcher Stephen Kajiura hopes to reduce locals’ fear factors."

  • IB PhD Alums Publish Collaborative Research. Drs. Olena Mahneva, Monica Risley, and Ciny John, who all worked in the laboratory of Dr. Ken Dawson-Scully, published a collaborative paper in the scientific journal PLoS One with Dr. Sarah Milton, who also co-advised Mahneva's doctoral research, and Dr. William of Scripps Florida.

  • IB PhD Recent Graduate Publishes Paper. Dr. Alexandra Lolavar, who worked in the laboratory of Dr. Jeanette Wyneken, published a paper entitled "The impact of sand moisture on the temperature-sex ratio responses of developing loggerhead (Caretta caretta) sea turtles" in the scientific journal Zoology.

  • FAU Biology Well-Represented at SICB 2020 Conference. Twenty-five FAU faculty and students attended this year's Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB) annual meeting in Austin, TX. The Anderson Lab, Kajiura Lab, Pomponi Lab, Porter Lab, Salmon Lab, and Wyneken Lab attended the events, where 16 of the 25 FAU participants presented their research.


December 2019


November 2019

  • 2019 Broward Student Research Symposium Winners. Integrative Biology PhD graduate students swept this year's competition and highlights the outstanding work our students are doing under the mentorship of the exceptional FAU faculty.

  • What Can You Do With a Biology Degree? November 2019 Featured Alumna. Kaitlin Grell earned a B.S. in Biological Sciences and an Environmental Science certificate from FAU in May of 2019. About a month after she graduated from FAU, she started work with the Walt Disney World Company as an Aquatic Research Intern at the Seas with Nemo & Friends.

  • IBNS Alumna Publishes Paper. Dr. Priyanka Kakad, who worked in the laboratory of Dr. Tanja Godenschwege, recently published an article entitled "Transcriptional dysregulation by a nucleus-localized aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase associated with Charcot-Marie-Tooth neuropathy" in the scientific journal Nature Communications.

  • Biology Postdoc Publishes Paper. Dr. Itzel Sifuentes-Romero, a postdoctoral fellow, recently published a paper with Dr. Kate Detwiler, Associate Professor of Anthropology, in the scientific journal Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  • Biology Faculty Member Featured on WFTV Orlando. Dr. Jeanette Wyneken, Professor of Biology, was recently featured on WFTV Orlando to discuss why female sea turtle births are at an all-time high.

  • Colgan Foundation Supports FAU Shark Research. The migration and behavioral patterns of blacktip sharks can tell us a lot about the health of our oceans. That’s why we’re grateful for the generous and ongoing support from the Colgan Foundation to renowned shark researcher Dr. Stephen Kajiura, Professor of Biological Sciences.

  • Biology Honors Thesis Student Presents at a National Conference. Anastasia Tyulmenkova, a Biology Honors Thesis student who works in the laboratory of Dr. Ceylan Isgor, recently presented her research at the Society for Neuroscience 49th Annual Meeting that took place last month in Chicago, Illinois.

  • IB PhD Student Trains at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Danielle Riboul, who works in the laboratory of Dr. Greg Macleod, recently trained at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in collaboration with Dr. David Hall, the director of the world’s most extensive C. elegans electron microscopy database, the WormAtlas.


October 2019

  • 'Image of Distinction' in 2019 Photomicrography Competition. Congratulations to Dr. Wen Shen, Associate Professor of Biomedical Science and Biology graduate program faculty member, for receiving the 'Image of Distinction' honor for her entry in the Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition.

  • 'FAU Day' Celebrated at the Florida Capital. Every year, FAU sends a select group of students to join FAU President John Kelly and the FAU Board of Trustees to advocate on behalf of the University in Tallahassee. Dr. Ken Dawson-Scully, Associate Vice President for Strategic Initiatives, joined to represent FAU.

  • IB PhD Student Publishes Paper. James Jaggard, who works in the lab of Dr. Alex Keene, along with collaborators recently published a paper entitled "An Adult Brain Atlas Reveals Broad Neuroanatomical Changes in Independently Evolved Populations of Mexican Cavefish" in the scientific journal Frontiers in Neuroanatomy.

  • FAU Jupiter Executive Director of Academic Operations Selected. After a national search, FAU selected Bethany Stanhope, Ph.D., as the Executive Director for Academic Operations of the Jupiter campus effective October 19, 2019.

  • Sea Turtle Research Featured at the Museum of Discovery and Science Turtle Trackers Exhibit. FAU sea turtle conservation research from the FAU Marine Research Lab at Gumbo Limbo Nature Center is on display in a new exhibit at MODS in Fort Lauderdale now through the end of the year.

  • Blacktip Sharks of Florida. Dr. Stephen Kajiura was featured on JONATHAN BIRD'S BLUE WORLD, an Emmy Award-winning underwater science/adventure series featuring underwater cinematographer/naturalist Jonathan Bird.

  • Biology Faculty Featured in Online News Platform. Dr. Stephen Kajiura was featured in the online article "Sharks Swimming Farther North: Another Sign of Global Warming" on Kajiura discusses his research findings on shark migration patterns.

  • Biology Graduate Program Faculty Member Earns Early-career Fellowship. Dr. Andia Chaves Fonnegra, Assistant Professor of the Wilkes Honors College and Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, received The Gulf Research Program’s 2019 Early-Career Research Fellowship of The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.

  • IB PhD Students Among Poster Winners in the 2019 Research Showcase. Danielle Ingle and Alexandra Lolavar, both IB PhD candidates, and Andrea Hernandez, a Biology Masters student, were among the authors listed on the "FAU Owls Imaging Lab" poster from FAU High School that received an award. The 2019 FAU Research Showcase saw more than 300 people come through the doors at FAU Tech Runway last week to hear about some of university’s top research initiatives.


September 2019

  • FAU to Host Events in Honor of 2019 Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month. Florida Atlantic University will celebrate Hispanic/Latinx Heritage with a series of events for students and staff beginning Saturday, Sept. 14 through Sunday, Oct. 15, at its Boca Raton, Jupiter and Broward campuses.

  • Lifetime Achievement Award. Dr. Randy Blakely, executive director of the FAU Brain Institute, received the Lifetime Achievement Award during the 2019 STEM Innovation Awards.

  • FAU Postdoctoral Fellow Awarded NARSAD Young Investigator Grant. The Brain and Behavioral Research Foundation (BBRF) awarded the prestigious NARSAD Young Investigator Grant to Dr. Adele Stewart, a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Dr.  Randy D. Blakely.

  • IBNS Student Studies Gene Editing Techniques. Roberto Hernandez, who works in the laboratory of Dr. Greg Macleod, recently visited Brown University to learn gene-editing techniques from leaders in the field who developed the CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing technique for fruit flies, a powerful technique for investigating the genetic basis of human disease.

  • FAU Ranked by ‘U.S. News & World Report’ as Top Public School. U.S. News & World Report ranked FAU in its list of “Top Public Schools” in the nation for the first time in the university’s history.

  • FAU Marine Lab Helps Turtle Conservation. Dr. Jeanette Wyneken and the FAU Marine Laboratory at Gumbo Limbo Nature Center were recently featured in the Miami Herald article discussing how climate change negatively affects the sea turtle gender ratio.

  • ‘Dream Team’ Awarded $1.1 Million for Blind Mexican Cavefish Research. Drs. Erik Duboue, Johanna Kowalko, Alex Keene and collaborators have received a three-year National Science Foundation EDGE grant totaling $1,148,464 to develop powerful transgenic tools and gene-editing technologies in the blind Mexican cavefish to significantly advance it as a research model system.

  • FAU Attracts Record Number of National Merit Scholars. Florida Atlantic University has welcomed a record number of National Merit Scholars for the fall 2019 semester. A total of 35 National Merit Scholars are enrolled this semester and 11 of those finalists will join the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College at FAU's John D. MacArthur Campus in Jupiter.


August 2019

  • IBBS PhD Student Publishes Paper. Joshua Disatham, who works in the laboratory of Dr. Marc Kantorow, recently published a paper in the scientific journal Developmental Biology.

  • New Faculty Member Joins the Biology Department. Dr. Carl Hansen joins the department from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. His current research focuses on understanding G-protein mediated signaling inputs regulating angiogenesis, a collaborative effort with the laboratory of Dr. Janet Robishaw.

  • Marine Science Master's Student Featured on German Public Radio. Dr. Sarah Milton and her graduate student Heather Seaman were featured four times over the past few weeks on different broadcasts over German Public Radio.

  • 2019 Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Retreat. The FAU Undergraduate Research and Inquiry (OURI) office held their 7th Annual Summer Retreat. SURF projects are ten-week, intensive summer immersion research experiences for FAU undergraduate students. This year students in the labs of Drs. Rindy Anderson, Evelyn Frazier, Diane Baronas-Lowell, James Hartmann, and Marianne Porter participated in the SURF program.

  • What Can a Blind Fish Teach Us About Sleep? Frontiers for Young Minds recently published an article written by Alexandra Paz, a second-year Integrative Biology-Neuroscience student who works for Dr. Alex Keene, that explores the various experiments that can be conducted using cavefish and why these experiments might be useful for humans.

  • IB PhD Alums Publish Paper. Drs. Olena Mahneva and Stacee Caplan, both who were co-advised by Dr. Sarah Milton and Dr. Ken Dawson-Scully, recently published a paper in Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part C: Toxicology & Pharmacology.

  • Shark Researchers Featured on National Geographic. Drs. Steve Kajiura and Matt Ajemian were recently featured  on the National Geographic television show "When Sharks Attack" in an episode titled, The Shark Bite State.


July 2019

  • IB PhD Student Research Featured in Online News Platform. Daniel Alempijevic, IB PhD student who works in the laboratory of Dr. Kate Detwiler, had his research featured in Mongabay, a nonprofit environmental science and conservation news platform.

  • Nambu REU Student Presentations. The John Nambu Memorial Summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program showcased this year's scholarship recipients at the annual Nambu REU Research Day. Congratulations to this year's recipients!

  • Growing Up Scientist. Jane Goodall, Ph.D., and FAU’s Kate Detwiler, Ph.D., credit similar childhoods, filled with investigating the natural world and encouragement from supportive parents, that lead to their successful careers as scientists.

  • FAU Social Video: Under the Sea Discoveries. FAU Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute researcher and Biology graduate programs faculty member Dr. Shirley Pomponi has made some interesting discoveries exploring our oceans.

  • New Associate Director of the IB PhD Program. Dr. Xing-Hai Zhang has agreed to serve as the Associate Director of the Integrative Biology PhD Program.

  • IB PhD Student & Alum Publish Paper. Tyrone Penserga, IB PhD candidate who works in the laboratory of Dr. Tanja Godenschwege, recently published a paper with former lab mate Dr. Sirisha Kudumala in Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience entitled "A Role for Drosophila Amyloid Precursor Protein in Retrograde Trafficking of L1-Type Cell Adhesion Molecule Neuroglian."

  • Ask A Scientist Features Behavioral Ecologist. Dr. Rindy Anderson was featured in the eighth episode of the podcast series. Anderson studies the social behavior of songbirds, in particular the vocal signals of Bachman's sparrows.

  • Biology Students Win Competitive Research Awards. Two students that work in Rindy Anderson's laboratory, Morgan Slevin, a PhD student, and Gillian Cannataro, an undergraduate researcher, both won competitive Sigma Xi Grants in Aid of Research awards from the American Ornithological Society. Slevin was also awarded a prestigious and competitive Hesse Award for Graduate Research.

  • New Interim Chair of Biology Department. We are pleased to announce that Dr. Sarah Milton will be appointed as the Interim Chair of the Department of Biological Sciences beginning July 13th.

  • FAU Student Spotlight on Podcast. Boris Tezak, a PhD candidate who works in the laboratory of Dr. Jeanette Wyneken, was recently interviewed in the So You Want to Be a Marine Biologist podcast. Tezak studies temperature sex determination in sea turtles and has discovered a new way to identify the sex of young sea turtles without the need for invasive surgery. He discusses his research in the podcast "Hot Chicks and Cool Dude Sea Turtles" with host and FAU alumni Kara Muzia.


June 2019

  • Biology Faculty Gives Talk in Israel. Dr. Ken Dawson-Scully, Associate VP for Strategic Initiatives and Associate Professor of Biology, was recently invited to give a talk at Ariel University located on the West Bank. Dawson-Scully discussed his current research in a talk entitled "Protein Kinase G modulates seizure duration in C. elegans  using a novel electroconvulsion assay.”

  • FAU Receives NIH Grant to Develop Rapid, Reliable, Low-cost HIV Test. Drs. Waseem Asghar and Massimo Caputi, members of the IB PhD program faculty, have received a $377,971 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop a disposable HIV-1 viral load microchip that can selectively capture HIV from whole blood/plasma.

  • Help Support Coral Reef Research Conservation. Drs. Chelsea Bennice and Randy Brooks are asking for donations to help survey octopuses near the Blue Heron Bridge, Phil Foster Park and Lake Worth Lagoon. Coral reefs are at risk due to the populations of many reef animals quickly declining and the microbiome of local octopus species may be the key to conserving our reefs.

  • Ask A Scientist Features Shark Migration Expert. Dr. Stephen Kajiura was featured in the sixth episode of the podcast series. Kajiura researches the seasonal aggregations of black tip sharks that visit south Florida during the winter months.

  • New Lionfish Exhibit at Gumbo Limbo Features IB PhD Candidate. Kate Galloway, who works in the laboratory of Dr. Marianne Porter, is featured in the new lionfish wall exhibit at Gumbo Limbo Nature Center! She was also recently featured on the College of Science Facebook page! 

  • Cavefish Tri-Lab Publishes Visual Guides in JoVE. Drs. Alex Keene, Erik  Duboué, and Johanna Kowalko have recently published a number of visual guides to study cavefish and zebrafish function and behavior in the Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).

  • New FAU Research Hub App. Connect, collaborate and fine research funding by joining the hundreds of faculty and students who have signed up for the FAU Research Hub. The hub is a new web and mobile platform that connects researchers with students, collaborators and funding opportunities. Investigators are encouraged to post projects in just minutes.

  • Tolerance to Stress is a ‘Trade-off’ as Fruit Flies Age. Dr. Ken Dawson-Scully was recently featured in the FAU Newsdesk for his research using the common fruit fly to find biomarkers of aging and identify therapeutic interventions to counteract the deleterious effects of aging.

  • Dual-Enrolled Student Wins at International Science Fair. Hannah Herbst, who works in the laboratory of Dr. Marianne Porter, recently won $5,000 for first place in the translational medical science category at the 2019 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.


May 2019


April 2019


March 2019

  • 2019 College of Science Initiative to Stimulate Extramural Research Funding Award. Dr. David Binninger, Associate Professor of Biology, was selected for funding on his project entitled "In Vivo Interactions of Serotonin and Methionine Sulfoxide Reductase Deficiency in Drosophila melanogaster."

  • FAU Neuroscientist Named Kavli Fellow by National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Alex Keene, Associate Professor of Biology, has been named a Kavli Fellow by The National Academy of Sciences. Keene recently participated in the 30th Annual U.S. Kavli Frontiers of Science symposium (KFoS), which took place at the Academy's Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center in Irvine, California.

  • Royal Caribbean Donates to FAU Marine Lab at Gumbo Limbo. Thanks to a generous gift from Royal Caribbean International, Dr. Jeanette Wyneken, is doing some groundbreaking research on leatherback sea turtles and where they grow up.

  • Biology Assistant Professor JEB Interview. Dr. Marianne Porter was recently featured in the Journal of Experimental Biology as part of an early-career researcher conversation piece.

  • FAU Jupiter Represented at Sunposium 2019. The Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience held the annual Sunposium conference this week, bringing hundreds of the world’s most esteemed neuroscience researchers together.

  • IB PhD Candidate & Advisor Attend ASLO 2019 Conference. Dr. Marguerite Koch, Professor of Biology, and her IB PhD student, Mr. Conall McNicholl, presented at the 2019 Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO) in San Juan, Puerto Rico this last week (February 23-March 2, 2019).

  • IB PhD Candidate Publishes Paper. Congratulations to Katherine Galloway, who works in the laboratory of Dr. Marianne Porter, for getting her research examining the mechanical properties of venomous spines and morphology among lionfish species published in the Journal of Experimental Biology. Their image will also be featured on the cover of the next issue (April 1st)!

  • JLSI Neuroscientist Named Kavli Fellow. The National Academy of Sciences has named Dr. Alex Keene, Associate Professor of Biology and JLSI researcher, a Kavli Fellow and participate in the 30th Annual U.S. Kavli Frontiers of Science symposium (KFoS) scheduled from Feb. 28th - March2nd. Keene, who is focused on understanding the neural basis through which sleep and feeding state interact, is only the second FAU faculty member to receive this honor!


February 2019

  • Annual IB Retreat A Major Success. The Association of Integrative Biology Students and Association of Biological and Biomedical Students hosted the annual recruiting event featuring a poster session, a Faculty 3-Minute Thesis Competition, Distinguished Alumni talk, keynote speech, and reception.

  • They’re Back! Scientists Now Have Intimate Shark 'Diaries'. The annual migration of blacktip sharks is in full force along South Florida’s Atlantic coast as thousands of them head south for warmer weather. For almost a decade, Stephen Kajiura, Ph.D., an internationally renowned shark researcher and Professor of Biology, has been tracking the migration patterns of these top predators by air and by sea. Now, the latest addition to his arsenal of tools is providing personal and intimate details about them.

  • FAU Jupiter Campus to Host BioFlorida. Attend to learn about Scripps Florida's significant impact on the industry and their vision of the future; hear about FAU Tech Runway's exciting expansion into Jupiter and connect with key stakeholders in Jupiter’s vibrant life sciences cluster.

  • JLSI Post-Doc Selected to Speak at Sunposium 2019. Bethany Stahl, Ph.D., who works in the laboratory of Dr. Alex Keene, has been selected to speak at the fourth biennial conference highlighting some of the most complex issues at the forefront of understanding neural circuits. The conference also features world-renowned scientists from the Max Planck Society and research institutes and universities throughout the United States and Europe.

  • Biology MS alumna will receive an Outstanding Young Owl Award. Shelby Creager, who received her Master's degree under the direction of Dr. Marianne Porter, will receive an award honoring exceptional young FAU alumni at the annual OYO award ceremony on March 15, 2019.

  • FAU Biology Well-Represented at Sea Turtle Symposium. FAU Biology faculty members Drs. Jeanette Wyneken, Michael Salmon, and Sarah Milton along with their graduate and undergraduate students represented FAU and swept the awards competitions at the 2019 International Sea Turtle Symposium.

  • FAU Max Planck Academy Featured in Hechinger Report. The FAU Max Planck Academy will give high school students extensive research experience as they pursue diploma and associate degree. The Max Planck Academy is set to enroll between 35 and 50 high school juniors in 2020.

  • FAU Scientist Invited Talk at Journal of Experimental Biology Symposium 2019. Dr. Johanna Kowalko was recently invited as a guest speaker at the Genome Editing for Comparative Physiology Symposium where she will discuss her research investigating "The genetic basis of behavioral variation in natural populations."


January 2019

  • FAU Scientist Searches For New Antibiotics. Dr. Diane Baronas-Lowell was featured in a Charles E. Schmidt College of Science video discussing the Tiny Earth project, where she works alongside her students seeking new antibiotics to kill superbugs.           

  • IB PhD Candidate Publishes Paper. Chelsea Bennice, who works in the laboratory of Dr. Randy Brooks, recently published an article in the scientific journal Marine Ecology Progress Series.

  • Biology MS Students Featured in FAU Social Video. Rachel Shanker, who works in the laboratory of Dr. Randy Brooks, and Andie Hernandez, who works in the laboratory of Dr. Marianne Porter, are two of FPL's fifteen Manatee Masters. FPL opened Manatee Lagoon in 2016 for the public to watch the sea cows in action and they hire FAU students to become their manatee experts!

  • IB PhD Candidate Featured in  Biology Open. Congratulations to Sarah Hoffmann, who works in the laboratory of Dr. Marianne Porter, for her recent publication in the scientific journal Biology Open and interview in First Person, where early-career researchers promote themselves alongside their papers!

  • IB PhD Student Gets Cover of  Cell Reports. Kerriann Badal, who works in the laboratory of Dr. Sathya Puthanveettil at Scripps Florida, recently published in the top-tier scientific journal Cell Reports and artwork related to their research report was chosen for the cover image!                                                                                        

  • IBNS PhD Candidate Publishes in  Neuron. Kuo-Sheng Lee, who works in the laboratory of Dr. David Fitzpatrick of the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience and faculty member of the Integrative Biology-Neuroscience program, recently published a paper in the scientific journal Neuron.                                                                                             

  • Biology Faculty Member Presents Research in Israel. Dr. Alex Keene, Associate Professor of Biology, presented collaborative research on the evolution of behavioral and developmental processes in Mexican cavefish at the 27th Annual Israel Society for Neuroscience held at the Hilton Queen of Sheba, Eilat.                                         

  • Dual-Enrolled Undergrad Researcher Named Scholar. Congratulations to Hannah Herbst, a FAU High School dual-enrolled student who works in the laboratory of Dr. Marianne Porter, for being named one of the 2019 Regeneron Science Talent Search (STS) Scholars, the nation's most prestigious pre-college science competition, for her project entitled "Biomimetic Antibacterial Engineered Surface Topography Development to Reduce the Spread of Pathogens in Medical Facilities."

  • Who's Tougher? Baby Sharks or Daddy Sharks? Congratulations to Danielle Ingle, IB PhD candidate, and her advisor, Dr. Marianne Porter, for having their recently published work featured in the FAU News Desk!


December 2018


November 2018

  • IBNS Alum Publishes Two Papers. Dr. Wes Bollinger, who worked in the laboratory of Dr. Ken Dawson-Scully, and lab mate Nadia Sial, member of the inaugural class of the FAU High School M.D. Direct pipeline program, recently published two papers this month in the Journal of Neurogenetics and ACS Chemical Neuroscience.

  • Biology Scholarships. Congratulations to all graduate students that received a Biology Department Scholarship this fall! Many thanks to the generous contributions of all Biology Department Scholarship donors!

  • Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill’s Dramatic Effect on Stingrays. Dr. Stephen Kajiura, Professor of Biology, is one of the first to quantify the physiological effects of whole crude oil on the olfactory function of the Atlantic stingray, Hypanus sabinus, in a recent publication in Scientific Reports.

  • IBNS PhD Candidate Publishes Paper. Kazuma Murakami, PhD Candidate who works in the laboratory of Dr. Alex Keene, recently published a paper in Current Biology that identifies a new mechanism regulating sleep that involves glia.

  • New Undergraduate Scholarships funded by the National Save the Sea Turtle Foundation. The Biological Sciences Department and College of Science has received a donation to fund new scholarships for undergraduate seniors conducting research in marine biology!

  • Mentoring Program Awards Announced. The Division of Research announced the faculty awarded pilot funding as part of the junior faculty mentoring program. Congratulations to Drs. Alex Keene and Sarah Milton!

  • IBNS PhD Candidate Publishes Paper. Maria Yurgel, PhD Candidate who works in the laboratory of Dr. Alex Keene, recently published a paper in G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics that identifies a gene that promotes sleep.


October 2018

  • FAU Awarded NSF I-Corps Grant. Dr. Ken Dawson-Scully, Associate Professor of Biology, along with co-PIs Dr. Dimitris Pados (College of Engineering) and Rhys Williams (Tech Runway) received a three-year NSF I-Corps grant to create an NSF I-Corps Site at FAU as a component of FAU Tech Runway®.

  • Integrative Biology Students in 2018 3MT Championship. Congratulations to the many Integrative Biology PhD students and their advisors for making it into the Championship Round of the FAU 2018 3MT Competition that will be held on Friday, November 2nd!

  • Dr. Evelyn Frazier Keynote Speaker at Florida Statewide Symposium. Congratulations to Dr. Evelyn Frazier, Senior Instructor of Biology, for being selected as the keynote speaker at the 11th Annual Florida Statewide Symposium: Best Practices in Undergraduate Research. 

  • IB PhD Candidates Relaunch The Nonprofit Sirenian International. Congratulations to Beth Brady and Danielle Ingle, who work in the labs of Dr. Edmund Gerstein and Marianne Porter respectively, to promote the conservation of manatee and dugong species around the world through research, education and inter-cultural collaboration.

  • IB PhD Candidate Gives Talk at the South Florida Wildlife Center. Missy Williams, IB PhD candidate who works in the laboratory of Dr. Kate Detwiler, spoke about The Dania Beach Vervet Project that she started in January of 2014 to promote public education, conservation, and awareness about the local free-living vervet monkey population.

  • Max Planck, FAU set new annual records for NIH funding in 2018. FAU landed grants totaling $7.3 million in 2018, a 36 percent jump from its 2017 haul of $5.4 million. Max Planck Florida of Jupiter brought in $5.3 million in 2018, up 16 percent from its 2017 total of $4.5 million.

  • Biology Master's Student Receives Guy Harvey Scholarship. Breanna Degroot, who works in the laboratory of Dr. Matthew Ajemian at HBOI, was named one of seven graduate students in Florida to receive Guy Harvey scholarship awards, recognizing their outstanding achievement in marine fisheries science research.

  • Shark Researcher Receives Leon H. Charney Foundation Gift. Dr. Stephen Kajiura, Professor of Biology and director of the Elasmobranch Research Laboratory at FAU, has received a $117,501 gift from the Leon H. Charney Foundation, Inc. for a joint program with the University of Haifa in Israel.

  • IB PhD Student and Alumna Publish Paper. Congratulations to Tyrone Penserga, IB PhD candidate, and Dr. Priyanka Kakad, IB alumna, who both work in the laboratory of Dr. Tanja Godenschwege, Professor of Biology and JLSI faculty member, for getting their paper accepted to the Journal of Biological Chemistry!


September 2018


August 2018


July 2018                                                                     

  • Differential tuning of excitation and inhibition shapes direction selectivity in ferret visual cortex. IBNS-IMPRS alum, Dr. Dan Wilson, recently published in the scientific journal Nature. Wilson worked under the direction of Dr. David Fitzpatrick at MPFI located on the FAU Jupiter campus.                                                                

  • Where Baby White Sharks ‘Hang Out’ in the North Atlantic. Dr. Matthew Ajemian, HBOI Research Scientist and Biology graduate programs faculty, us confirms the movement patterns and seasonal migrations of baby white sharks in the north Atlantic Ocean.                                                                 

  • Unique Sea Animal Encounters. Dr. Shirley Pomponi, HBOI Research Scientist and Biology graduate programs faculty, shares how she got into marine and biomedical research, and some of the most unique sea animals she’s seen on countless dives.                                                                    

  • IB PhD Candidate Featured on the PADI Website. Chelsea Bennice aka "Octogirl" was recently featured on the PADI website for using scuba diving in her research! Congratulations on the feature article Chelsea!                                                            

  • 2018 REU Program Student Presentations. This year the Nambu REU scholarship recipients from six research laboratories presented their summer research projects. Faculty mentors included Drs. Ken Dawson-Scully, Alex Keene, Erik Duboue, Tanja Godenschwege, Bob Stackman, and Randy Blakely.                                                                  

  • Alex Keene Featured on PBS SciTech Now Episode. Dr. Alex Keene discusses his research on sleep using the Mexican cavefish as a model system.                                                                  

  • FAU Partnerships Create Opportunities for Students. Local biotech companies in connection with the FAU Jupiter campus offer new skills training and potential internships for FAU students.                          

  • Nerve regeneration study designs "closed-loop" system to study damaged nerve cells in real-time. Dr. Jianning Wei, Associate Professor of Biomedical Science and Biology graduate program faculty, is part of an interdisciplinary team of FAU scientists recently funded by the NIH.         

  • Congratulations to Alexis Martin, Biology undergraduate, and her faculty mentor Dr. Diane Baronas-Lowell, Biology faculty member, for presenting at the 2018 Tiny Earth Symposium in Madison, Wisconsin. Her poster focused on the discovery of novel cyclic depsi-lipopeptide isolated from soil bacteria in Palm Beach County.         

  • Inaugural recipients of the College of Science Initiative to Stimulate Extramural Research Funding: Internal Grants Program. Congratulations to Drs. Rindy Anderson and Erik Noonburg, Biology faculty members for receiving funding!            

  • Deep-sea Sponges May Hold Key to Antibiotic Drug Resistance. Drs. Peter McCarthy and Guojun Wang, Biology Graduate Program and Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute faculty members, along with others, examined 50 actinobacteria strains from deep sea marine samples to look for new anti-infective agents.


June 2018            

  • Synaptic Functional Properties Study Awarded NIH Research Grant. Dr. Greg Macleod, Associate Professor in the Biological Sciences Department and Honors College and JLSI faculty member, has received a four-year NIH R01 grant for his collaborative project with Dr. Kathaleen O'Connor-Giles (University of Wisconsin-Madison).        

  • Population Genomics Study Awarded NIH Research Grant. Dr. Alex Keene, Associate Professor in the Biological Sciences Department and JLSI faculty member, has received a four-year NIH R01 grant for his collaborative project with Dr. Suzanne McGaugh (University of Minnesota).            

  • The Origins and Evolution of Sleep. Drs. Alex Keene and Erik Duboue, Biological Sciences and JLSI faculty members, published a review in the Journal of Experimental Biology that describes the contributions of classical and emergent genetic model systems to investigate mechanisms underlying sleep regulation and potentially identify novel drug targets and approaches to treat sleep-related diseases.         

  • Congratulations to IB PhD alumnus Dr. Ramon Garcia-Areas for receiving a postdoctoral fellowship award from the PRESTIGE Programme in France!   

  • 2018 Neuroscience Pilot Awards. Congratulations to Biology and Jupiter Life Science Initiative faculty members for receiving 2018 Neuroscience Pilot Awards: Ken Dawson-Scully, Tanja Godenschwege, Kailiang Jia, Robert Stackman!           

  • NSF-URM Publishes Paper. Congratulations to Leonardo Calle, who works in the laboratory of Dr. Gawlik, for publishing his research in the journal Ecological Monographs!        

  • Congratulations to Nadia Sial, who works in the laboratory of Dr. Dawson-Scully, for being highlighted in the Owl Research & Innovation online magazine. Sial became one of the nation’s youngest medical students when she was accepted into the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine last year as the inaugural class of the FAU High School M.D. Direct pipeline program.           

  • Congratulations to IB PhD student Stephanie Kelly and recent graduate Monica Risley, both of whom worked in the laboratory of Dr. Ken Dawson-Scully, for publishing two papers in the Journal of Experimental Biology and Invertebrate Neuroscience  in the last month!


May 2018

  • IB PhD Alum Wins Award from the French Senate. Congratulations to Dr. Ramon Garcia-Areas for receiving a medal of recognition for his work with the United Nations Educational, Scientific, Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Honduran government to create research programs in Honduras.           

  • Genessee Scientific Drosophila Art Gallery. Congratulations to Julieta Di Mase, a MS student that works in the laboratory of Dr. Ken Dawson-Scully, for having her watercolor fruit fly painting featured on the (a division of Genessee Scientific) Drosophila Art Gallery!           

  • 2018 Flies on the Beach Research Symposium. The annual South Florida Drosophila Research Consortium meeting unites South Florida researchers using fruit flies as a model organism. This year's events included FAU, UM, FIU, UF, Scripps Florida, and a guest lecture from the Perrimon lab at Harvard University.            

  • IB Alumna and JLSI faculty get paper in high impact journal. Congratulations to Dr. Lucia Carvelli, member of the Brain Institute and JLSI research group on the FAU Jupiter campus, and Sirisha Madem, IB PhD program alumna, for getting a paper accepted in Frontiers in Physiology, the second most cited journal in the physiology field!     

  • FAU Alum and Former Undergrad of the Year Publishes Paper. Congratulations to Sabah Ali, FAU alum who worked with Dr. Rindy Anderson, for publishing a paper in a top ornithology journal, The Auk.     

  • IB PhD Spring 2018 Graduates. Congratulations to the following (PI name in parentheses): Jennifer Krill (Ken Dawson-Scully), Olena Mahneva (Sarah Milton & Ken Dawson-Scully), Keith Murphy (Ken Dawson-Scully), Monica Risley (Ken Dawson-Scully), Brittany Stinson (Keith Brew), and Michael Studivan (Joshua Voss).         

  • FAU Graduate a National Winner of a $20,000 Graduate Scholarship. Congratulations to Tevin Ali, FAU graduate and in a biotechnology entrepreneurship program at Johns Hopkins, for receiving a $20,000 National Graduate Scholarship by Sallie Mae and Scholarship America!


April 2018

  • FAU AND MAX PLANCK TEAM UP ON FIRST-EVER JOINT POSITION. Congratulations to Ken Dawson-Scully for being newly appointed to the role of Associate Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and head of institutional partnerships for FAU and the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience.

  • IB PhD Candidate Wins 1st Place in Statewide Competition. Congratulations to Keith Murphy for winning 1st Place at the Conference of Florida Graduate Schools Three Minute Thesis Competition in Tallahassee!

  • New poop sample analysis reveals interspecies monkey romance. Kate Detwiler, Assistant Professor and Integrative Biology program faculty, has authored a new paper that offers genetic evidence of what she’s observed: in the Tanzanian national park made famous by Jane Goodall’s study of apes, two species of guenon monkey are able to interbreed and produce fertile hybrid offspring who live alongside—and sometimes interbreed with—red-tailed monkeys.  MONKEYS SEE, MONKEYS DO CROSS SPECIES BOUNDARY.

  • Congratulations to Biology Honors Thesis Program student Andrea Rodriguez, who works gopher tortoises in the laboratory of Dr. Evelyn Frazier, who was awarded the University Scholars Award for the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. 

  • Undergraduate Researchers Represent FAU. Five undergraduate researchers presented their work at the Life Sciences South Florida Symposium at Florida International University. 

  • Teaching Innovations Improve Student Success. Many Biology faculty members are re-designing their teaching strategies to engage students and improve comprehension by implementing better technology and interactive resources, in-class exercises, and real-world applications of learned concepts to practical problem-solving skills. 

  • 2018 Nambu REU Winners. Congratulations to the undergraduates that were chosen to participate in the fifth annual John Nambu Memorial Summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program. This program is funded by the Jupiter Life Science Initiative and offers full-time research opportunities with stipend support for FAU undergraduates. 

  • Hanisak Named 2018 Audubon Hero. Congratulations to Dr. Dennis Hanisak, FAU Harbor Branch Research Professor and Education Director and IB PhD program faculty member, was recently named the recipient of this year’s Environmental Educator Award by the Pelican Island Audubon Society.

  • Keene lab publishes paper with students of all levels. The paper entitled "Variation in sleep and metabolic function is associated with latitude and average temperature in Drosophila melanogaster" examines the role that ecological forces play in sleep and metabolic function. The author list includes students at all levels in their academic careers- Valerie Rozzo, a Lifelong Learner, Joshua Torres, an undergraduate at the Wilkes Honors College, and Arianna Kerbs, a Dwyer High School student. 

  • Digital life team creates animated 3-D models of sea turtles from live specimens. Dr. Jeanette Wyneken in collaboration with the Loggerhead Marinelife Center, and the Inwater Research Group, have released new online full-color animated models of a loggerhead and a green sea turtle through a collaboration with sea turtle rescue and research institutions.

  • Department of Biological Sciences Undergraduate Honors Thesis Defense. Join us April 9, 2018 in the Student Union Palmetto Palm Room from 9am -12pm for the Biology Undergraduate Honors Thesis Defense Seminars!


March 2018            

  • 8th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium. Biology Honors Thesis students presented their research along with fellow undergraduate researchers at the annual OURI Research Day!                                         

  • Congratulations to the 2018 GPSA Research Day Winners. The Biology Department swept the competition this year! Congratulations to Jordan Merritt- IB PhD candidate, Sean Paz- IB PhD student, Rashean Graham-Biology MS student, and Tasso Cocoves-Environmental Science MS student, for placing in many of the science categories!           

  • VOICE PITCH SWAYS VOTERS, DOESN'T RESULT IN BETTER LEADERS. To determine if there is a correlation between voice pitch and leadership ability, Dr. Rindy Anderson, assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, and Dr. Casey Klofstad, associate professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Miami, conducted an observational study and an experimental study that was published in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior.              

  • SYNAPSE 2018 a big success. The Jupiter Life Science Initiative sponsored event showcased the work of more than 150 young scientists including, 40 Postdocs, 40 graduate students and 30 undergraduates from FAU, MPFI, and TSRI.        

  • Congratulations to Dr. Alex Keene, Associate Professor in the Biological Sciences Department, for recently receiving a $213,987 NIH research award for his project entitled "Development of Genetic Tools for Functional Analysis of Sleep in Cavefish."               

  • Congratulations to Dr. Sarah Milton, Associate Professor in the Biological Sciences Department, for recently receiving a $9,750 sponsored research award from the FAU Foundation/Friends of Gumbo Limbo for her project entitled "Impacts of UV-B Light Therapy on Vitamin D and Immune Responsiveness in FP Turtles."         

  • THEY'RE BACK! SHARK MIGRATION SEASON BEGINS IN S.E. FLORIDAIn the largest migration in U.S. coastal waters, blacktip sharks are headed south in the thousands for their annual migration off Florida’s southeast coast. For eight consecutive years, Stephen Kajiura, Professor in the Biological Sciences Department and internationally renowned shark researcher,  has been observing and tracking these “snowbirds of the sea.” 


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September 2017

  • First Video of Rare Monkey featured in FAU's Digital Magazine. Thanks to the work of primatologist Kate Detwiler, Ph.D., FAU is at the epicenter of ground-breaking research involving the Dryas Monkey, an endangered species located in one of the world’s most remote regions — the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Lomami National Park.

  • SIZE DOESN'T MATTER - AT LEAST FOR HAMMERHEADS AND SWIMMING. Dr. Marianne Porter of the Biological Sciences Department had her research published and got the cover of the recent issue of  Journal of Experimental Biology . Congratulations to Dr. Porter and her students, IB PhD student Sarah Hoffmann and undergraduate researcher Matthew Warren.  

  • Dr. Tanja Godenschwege of the Biological Sciences Department had her research published in  PLOS Biology . This study established a role for  insulin/insulin-like growth factor signaling in regulating the trafficking of gap junctional proteins that is conserved over the large evolutionary distance between  Drosophila melanogaster  (fruit flies) and humans, and between different cell types.

  • Brain Institute featured in Florida Trend magazine. The September issue of the magazine featured an article about FAU’s Neuroscience Pillar and the Brain Institute.


August 2017

  • Dr. Tanja Godenschwege of the Biological Sciences Department and her recent graduate Sirisha Kudumala had their research published in  PLOS One . This study established the Drosophila Giant Fiber neurons (GF) as a novel model to study axonal trafficking of L1-type Cell Adhesion Molecules (CAM) Neuroglian (Nrg) in the adult CNS using live imaging. 

  • Neuroscience Images Featured in FAU's First Digital Research Magazine. Many researchers of the Biological Sciences Department, Jupiter Life Science Initiative and Brain Institute had their images featured on the 'Brains Illustrated' cover story. 

  • Prestigious Fellowship Awarded to Biology Master's Student. Congratulations to Biology Master's student Danielle Dodge who was chosen for the prestigious 30-year old NOAA Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship.  

  • Graduate College Fellowship Recipients. Congratulations to the Integrative Biology PhD students that have received scholarships from the Graduate College. 

  • FAU Biology student and alumnus recognized as emerging scholars. Gabrielle Rind, Biology major, and Dawit Rumicha, recent Biology graduate, were each given the Emerging Scholar Award at the 17  th   International Conference on Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations in Toronto, Canada. The two also gave a research presentation on diversity in higher education during the conference.

  • Dr. Kailiang Jia of the Biological Sciences Department had his NIH-funded study recently published in   PLOS Genetics  . This is the first study to demonstrate how autophagy, a garbage-disposal like process where cells remove debris they produce - combined with food absorption and food smell - impacts the aging process, primarily by diet restriction. 

  • Dr. Ken Dawson-Scully of the Biological Sciences Department has been named the 2017 Distinguished Researcher! This award is given once a year to a researcher who leads by inventing and innovating by the Florida Atlantic Research and Development Authority (FARDA), which operates the Research Park at Florida Atlantic University. 


July 2017

  • FAU Scientists discuss black tip shark migration and shark physiology. Drs. Stephen Kajiura and Marianne Porter, Professors in the Biological Sciences Department, discuss the black tip shark migration (6:30) and shark physiology (43:00). Check out the show and happy shark week! 

  • FAU SCIENTIST HELPS DISCOVER NEW MINIATURE SHARK SPECIES. Dr. Stephen Kajiura, Professor in the Biological Sciences Department, was part of a team of scientists who discovered a new species of miniature, glow-in-the-dark sharks belonging to the Lanternshark family.

  • USA Today Interview. Dr. Marianne Porter, Assistant Professor in the Biological Sciences Department, discusses Olympic legend Michael Phelp's chances racing a shark. 

  • Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists. FAU was well-represented by faculty and students from across several campuses at the 2017 large national conference. Congratulations to Sarah Hoffmann, IB Ph.D. student in Dr. Porter's laboratory, for receiving an award in the student talk competition! 

  • Good Morning America Interview. Dr. Stephen Kajiura, Professor in the Biological Sciences Department, discusses great white sharks with GMA hosts as they discuss actor Rob Lowe's encounter with a great white shark off the California coast.

  • FAU -SCI Partnership Yields First CareersFAU’s new workforce training partnership with Sancilio & Company (SCI), a Riviera Beach-based biotech company, has yielded new careers for recent graduates.

  • Avian Expert Awarded Scientific Product Grant. Wildlife Acoustics, Inc. has awarded a Scientific Product Grant to Rindy Anderson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences. Anderson will receive acoustic recording units to further her research on Bachman's sparrow.

  • Research In Action. Anthropology researchers led by Kate Detwiler, Ph.D., are studying a little known monkey population living in Dania Beach. The video features Missy Williams, IB PhD candidate, and Daniel Alempijevic, MSc Environmental Science student. 


June 2017

  • Former Biology Honors Thesis Program Student Making Waves in SNMA. Congratulations to Sergeine Lezeau on being chosen to serve as the Publications Committee Co-Chair and Journal Editor of the Student National Medical Association’s (SNMA) National Committee Chair.   

  • Loggerhead turtle nests facing new threats. Dr. Marguerite Koch-Rose of the Biological Sciences Department along with researchers at the Loggerhead Marinelife Center were interviewed on WPTV to discuss rising threats to South Florida nesting grounds and sea turtle populations. 

  • FAU Biology Student Named Florida Student of the Year. Congratulations to Tevin Ali, recent B.S. Biological Sciences Graduate for receiving the prestigious award from the Florida Association of Colleges and Employers (FloridaACE). 

  • The Mystery of the Wild Monkeys of Dania. Congratulations to Integrative Biology PhD student Missy Williams and Dr. Kate Detwiler, her advisor, for getting their research featured in the summer issue of Gold Coast magazine (page 58).

  • Biology Master's student wins award. Congratulations to Danielle Dodge of the Voss laboratory for winning “Best Graduate Student Poster Presentation” at the 2017 Benthic Ecology Meeting in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

  • Dr. Nate Dorn Reignites Research Collaboration. Dr. Dorn recently restarted a collaboration and currently has four funded research projects totaling more than $640K.


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December 2016

  • Biomaterials: Sharks shift their spine into high gear. The languorous undulation of a shark cruising along a reef gives little hint of the fish's potential to unleash a burst of high-speed movement when pursuing prey. Writing in the Journal of Experimental Biology, Porter et al. reveal how the structural properties of the non-bony, cartilaginous skeleton of the spiny dogfish shark (Squalus acanthias) allow this fish to shift seamlessly between low-speed cruising and high-speed swimming.

  • Four PhD students were hooded at the graduation ceremony on December 16th. 

  • A study on fear memory by Robert Stackman, Ph.D., professor and interim chair of the Department of Psychology, and Joan Lora, a doctoral student in Integrative Biology - Neuroscience, was recently published online in the journal Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging. Collaborators include Sathyanarayanan (Sathya) V. Puthanveettil, Ph.D., associate professor at Scripps, who led the study. Previous work defined a role for the prefrontal cortex in consolidation of fear memory. However, the involvement of this brain region in encoding new long-term memories had not been determined.

  • The biology department recently awarded more than $34,500 in scholarships to 21 graduate students.  Additionally, 18 biology graduate students received Fellowships from the FAU Graduate College for the 2016-2017 academic year. Please join us in congratulating the following students:  

      • Narcissus Smith (Baldwin; Hughes)
      • Chelsea Bennice (Brooks)
      • Stephanie Kelly (Dawson-Scully)
      • Saheed Oseni (Kumi-Diaka)
      • Melissa Slocumb (Keene)
      • Paveena Vichyavichien (Zhang)
      • Jessica Dell (Benscoter)
      • Sergio Gonzalez (Dorn)
      • Karim Dawkins (Esiobu)
      • Lauren Kircher (Baldwin)
      • Marisa Martinez (Gawlik)
      • Lisa Celano (Salmon)
      • Christina Coppenrath (Milton)
      • Danielle Ingle (Porter)
      • Rachel Bladow (Milton)
      • Alexandra Lolavar (Wyneken)
      • Jacob Lasala (Wyneken)
      • Boris Tezak (Wyneken)
      • Sarah Hoffmann (Porter)
      • Erick España (Esiobu)
      • Priyanka Kakad (Godenschwege)
  • FAU Brain Institute Designated ‘Nikon Center of Excellence’. Florida Atlantic University’s Brain Institute in Jupiter is now home to a Nikon Center of Excellence, making it one of seven designated centers in the United States and 17 worldwide. Drs. Rodney Murphey and Ken Dawson-Scully were instrumental in developing this strategic partnership between Nikon and FAU. 


November 2016

  • Congratulations to Florida Atlantic University's inaugural Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) Championship winners! Three students from the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science placed in the Championship Heat. The IB PhD program took the 2nd and 3rd place positions in the Graduate College’s inaugural Three Minute Thesis Competition this last month.  Stephanie Kelly (Dawson-Scully) and Keith Murphy (Dawson-Scully/Ja (Scripps)) took 2nd and 3rd place respectively.

  • Championship Winner ($2,500) Mickelene Hoggard, Doctoral candidate, Chemistry

  • Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. "Snail Spit to Medicine." Advisor: Dr. Mare Cudic & Dr. Tanja Godenschwege

  • First Runner-Up ($1,500) Stephanie Kelly, Doctoral candidate, Integrative Biology

  • Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. "Of Flies and Men: Insights from an Age-Related Stress Tolerance Assay" Advisor: Dr. Ken Dawson-Scully

  •  Second Runner-Up ($1,000) Keith Murphy, Doctoral candidate, Integrative Biology

  • Charles E. Schmidt College of Science "Postprandial Sleep Mechanics in Drosophila." Advisor: Dr. Ken Dawson-Scully & Dr. William Ja

  • Following eight 3MT Heats comprised of nearly 90 graduate students representing each college and a range of disciplines, 17 graduate students advanced to compete at the Championship.  A number of our PhD and MS students placed and/or won People’s Choice throughout the 3MT heats. We’d like recognize the following students for representing our department:

    • Christina Coppenrath (Baldwin)
    • Douglas Holmes (Esiobu)
    • Kyle Newton (Kajiura)
    • Betsy Evans (Gawlik)
    • Victoria Erb (Wyneken)
    • Alexandra Lolavar (Wyneken)
    • Carlie Perricone (McCarthy)
    • Michael Studivan (Voss)
    • Alberto Padilla (Hartmann)
  • Dr. Ken Dawson-Scully’s company Neuro Pharmalogics participated in the Tech Runway program and has just entered into a licensing agreement with FAU. Neuro Pharmalogics is a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing innovative therapies for patients with rare neurological diseases. Read more here: and here.

  • Keith R. Murphy (IB-N PhD) is the primary author of a paper about how different foods can play roles in the immediate effects of sleep titled, “Postprandial Sleep Mechanics in Drosophila.” Researchers at FAU, Scripps Florida Research Institute, and Bowling Green State University have discovered evidence for “food comas”, the sleepy-like stupor that comes after eating a large meal. The study has gained national press this Thanksgiving, including articles in the Huffington Post and Fox news. Drs. Ken Dawson-Scully and Alex Keene and IB student Maria Yurgel are co-authors on the paper. Read the study here:

  • FAU Drug Study Proposal Selected by National Institute on Aging Interventions Testing Program. The National Institute on Aging’s (NIA) Interventions Testing Program (ITP) recently approved a proposal by two Florida Atlantic University faculty members to test the known anti-inflammatory drug sulindac in a pilot study for life span extension. Distinguished Research Professor Herb Weissbach, Ph.D., and Shailaja Kesaraju Allani, Ph.D, research assistant professor- both of FAU’s Center for Molecular Biology and Biotechnology in the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science- based the proposal on years of research conducted at FAU on the drug, which revealed other unique biological properties that protect normal cells against oxidative damage that occurs after traumatic events such as heart attack and oxidative damage to the retina. Additionally, they have shown that sulindac can make anti-cancer drugs more effective in killing cancer cells. For more information, contact Weissbach at

  • The Neuroscience Student Organization Hosted Kick-Off Event. Graduate students interested in brain sciences and brain health at FAU launched the group Neuroscience Student Organization (NSO) with an event held in downtown West Palm to network and hear TED-style talks focused on key facets of the graduate experience, from the perspectives of senior neuroscientists. The speakers included Tanja Godenschwege, Ph.D., associate professor, biological sciences, FAU, Robert Stackman, professor & interim chair, psychology, FAU and David Fitzpatrick, scientific director & CEO of Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience.


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