Seminars, Conferences and Special Courses

The Sigma Xi Symposium and Celebration of Creative Inquiry will be held Friday, May 2nd, 2014. Gustavus students will present their research in the areas of biology, biochemistry, chemistry, geology, physics, and psychology.

Details are pending. For more information please visit https://gustavus.edu/kendallcenter/undergraduate-research/creative-inquiry.php

 

PAST SEMINARS for 2013

The Sigma Xi Symposium and Celebration of Creative Inquiry was held Friday, May 3rd, 2013. Gustavus students presented their research in the areas of biology, biochemistry, chemistry, geology, physics, and psychology.

Gustavus Adolphus College Biology Department speaker will be Dr. Abu Hassan Ahmad, a Professor of Biology at the Universiti Sains Malaysia. Dr. Ahmad will be presenting a seminar on Understanding Vector Biology of Dengue Vectors: Implications to disease transmission in the tropics. The seminar is scheduled for Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 4:30p.m. in NHS Wallenberg Auditorium.
Academic Background
Abu Hassan Ahmad is Professor of Biological Sciences at Universiti Sains Malaysia in Penang, Malaysia, where he recently completed an appointment as Dean of the School of Biological Sciences. A native of Malaysia, he received his B.Sc. from University of California Davis, the M.Sc. from University of Idaho, and his Ph.D. at Universiti Malaya. His research interests include biology, ecology and control of mosquitoes; agricultural entomology; urban entomology (termites, ants and cockroaches); and forensic entomology. His research collaborations include scientists in Indonesia, the United States, Myanmar, and Indonesia, and his publications appear in Tropical Medicine, Journal of Forensic Science, Journal of Asia-Pacific Entomology, and Forensic Science Entomology.
Abstract
Many tropical diseases such as malaria, dengue, filriasis and encephalitis are transmitted by mosquito vectors. There is a growing public health concern over the global spread of these diseases.  For example there are ~50 million cases of dengue/year, across 100 countries and on every continent with potential for further spread. Dengue viruses (DENV) are transmitted to human beings by the mosquitoes Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus.  Aedes aegypti is cosmopolitan and the competent vector while Aedes albopictus is an invasive species spreading in Americas, Southern Europe, Africa and is native to Asia. The situation is deteriorating due to climate change which affects the basic biology of these two mosquitoes.  In order to control mosquito populations, it is critical to understand how they reproduce, develop, and feed across the seasons. This information can be used to develop models to predict changes in mosquito abundance thereby preventing dengue outbreaks. This seminar will describe experiments conducted on Penang Island (Malaysia) which has a high abundance of Aedes ssp and high incidence of dengue. The biology of Aedes mosquitoes were studied in relation to dengue transmission. Other species of mosquitoes which are responsible for carrying other diseases in the tropics will be highlighted.

PAST SEMINARS for 2012

The Sigma Xi Symposium and Celebration of Creative Inquiry was held Friday, May 4th, 2012. Gustavus students presented their research in the areas of biology, biochemistry, chemistry, geology, physics, and psychology.

Sigma Xi oral presentations were held in the Nobel Hall of Science, room 201 and 222 at Gustavus from 2:30 - 7:00 p.m. Refreshments served. The event is free and open to the public. Schedule + Abstracts.

In addition, Sigma Xi posters along with other Gustavus students' posters, were presented at the Celebration of Creative Inquiry which was held in the Jackson Campus Center from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m.

PAST SEMINARS for 2011

The Sigma Xi Symposium and Celebration of Creative Inquiry will be held Friday, May 6th. Gustavus students will present their research in the areas of biology, biochemistry, chemistry, geology, physics, and psychology.

Sigma Xi oral presentations will be held in the Nobel Hall of Science, room 201 at Gustavus from 2:45 - 5:15 p.m. Refreshments will be served. The event is free and open to the public. Schedule + Abstracts.

In addition, Sigma Xi posters along with other Gustavus students' posters, will be presented at the Celebration of Creative Inquiry which will be held in the Jackson Campus Center from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m.

PAST SEMINARS for 2010

The Sigma Xi Symposium and Celebration of Creative Inquiry will be held Friday, April 30th. Gustavus students will present their research in the areas of biology, biochemistry, chemistry, physics, and psychology.

Sigma Xi oral presentations will be held in Nobel Hall 201 at Gustavus from 4:15 - 6:30 p.m. Refreshments will be served. The event is free and open to the public. Schedule + Abstracts.

In addition, Sigma Xi posters along with other Gustavus students' posters, will be presented at the Celebration of Creative Inquiry which will be held in the Jackson Campus Center from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m.


Gustavus Adolphus College Biology Department speaker will be Dr. Kandice Fero, a post-doctoral researcher with Dr. Harold Burgess in the Unit on Behavior Neurogenetics, Section on Developmental Biology at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (at the NIH). Dr. Fero will be presenting a seminar on Neural control of behavior: insights from larval zebrafish. The seminar is scheduled for Friday April 23, 2010 at 1:30 p.m. in NHS Wallenberg Auditorium.
Academic Background
Dr. Fero graduated magna cum laude from the University of Colorado, Boulder with a B.A. in Environmental Population and Organismal Biology.  As an undergraduate she studied task specialization in the black carpenter ant with Prof. Michael Breed.  Dr. Fero obtained her Ph.D. from Bowling Green State University for her studies in behavioral ecology of crayfish with Prof. Paul Moore.  Her next, somewhat unconventional career step took her from behavioral ecology and field studies to her current position as a laboratory scientist and post-doctoral research fellow at our nation's premier campus for studies related to human health and disease, the National Institute of Health.  Dr. Fero's current research using the transparent larval zebrafish as a model system is motivated by her desire to understand the genetic determinants of behavior, a desire that connects her previous studies to her current work.
Abstract
By understanding how simple systems function, we derive an understanding of the underlying principles that govern more complex systems.  In recent years, zebrafish have become an invaluable animal model for furthering our understanding of how the nervous system both initiates and modulates simple behavior patterns.  Larval zebrafish possess a discrete repertoire of innate, stereotyped behaviors, are easy to manipulate genetically, have a relatively simple brain whose organization is established at an early stage of development and at this stage larvae are physically transparent.  These intrinsic properties allow for a unique type of access to the central nervous system of a vertebrate, enabling researchers to visualize individual neurons in living animals, map their connections, and ultimately determine their function in terms of behavioral output.  This talk reviews cutting-edge trends and techniques used in behavioral neurogenetic research, with particular focus on my current work characterizing neural circuits in the larval zebrafish hindbrain that mediate motor control and balance.

 

PAST SEMINARS for 2009   

Sigma Xi Symposium will be held Friday, May 1, 2009. Gustavus students present their research in the areas of biology, biochemistry, chemistry, physics, and psychology. It will be held in Nobel Hall at Gustavus from 1:30 - 5:00 p.m. with a reception and poster session at 3:00 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Schedule + Abstracts.

Gustavus Adolphus College Biology Department speaker will be Dr. Michael Menaker, Commonwealth Professor of Biology at the University of Virginia, will be presenting a seminar on biological clocks titled: Circadian Organization: From black box to molecular mechanism and back. Dr. Menaker uses a mouse model system to understand how mammals tell time. The seminar is scheduled for Friday April 17, 2009 at 3:00pm in NHS Wallenberg Auditorium.

 

PAST SEMINARS for 2008   

Gustavus Adolphus College Biology Department speaker will be Dr. Mariana F. Wolfner, Professor of Developmental Biology at Cornell University. Dr. Wolfner will be on campus and available to meet with interested faculty and students from Tuesday morning, March 18 until ~2:00 pm on Wednesday, March 19. She will be presenting a research seminar titled: What's love got to do with it? How male-derived proteins regulate reproduction in female fruit flies. The seminar is scheduled for Tuesday March 18 at 4:30 pm in NHS 222.

Mariana Federica Wolfner is a member of Cornell's Graduate Fields of Genetics & Development and of Biochemistry, Molecular & Cell Biology. She is also a House Fellow of Cornell's Alice Cook House. She received a B.A. in Biology (genetics and development) and Chemistry from Cornell in 1974, a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Stanford in 1981, and did postdoctoral work at UC San Diego. Her research is currently supported by NIH, and has previously received support from NSF, HFSP, a DuPont Young Faculty Award, a Basil O'Connor grant from the March of Dimes, Career Advancement and POWRE Awards from the National Science Foundation, and a Faculty Research Award from the American Cancer Society. She has received awards from Cornell for teaching and advising (Robert A. and Donna B. Paul Award, Stephen H. Weiss Fellow) and is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She serves on several Editorial and Biology-organizations' Boards.
The following link provides additional information about her teaching & research interests: http://www.mbg.cornell.edu/faculty-staff/faculty/wolfner.cfm