2014-2015 News

DBS professor Dr. Eric Greene's research is featured in the New York Times

Eric Greene and student
Erick Greene and his students (Aimee Dickinson, photographed above) study how birds share information about predators with sophisticated alarm calls.  They use very sensitive microphones and robotic raptors to listen in to the “infoscape” of the forest.  Read more about this research featured in the Science section of the New York Times. Photo credit: Jeremy Roberts/Conservation Media

DBS professor Mark Grimes "advances cancer research with new data analysis techniques"

image from publication
Professor Grimes' recent paper describing new approaches to analyzing large data sets from cancer samples was highlight on the AAAS website EurekaAlert and elsewhere, was also featured in the Missoulian.

Cellular, Molecular & Microbial Biology Seminar Series - Spring 2015

The Spring 2015 CMMB Seminar series continues with;

“Treponema denticola, complement dysregulation and periodontal disease”

Richard Marconi 

Monday, May 4th, 2015
12:10 pm
Interdisciplinary Sciences Building (ISB) 110

OBE Seminar Series Spring 2015

The Spring 2015 OBE Seminar Series continues with;

“Proximate and ultimate correlates of interspecific and latitudinal variation in post-natal growth rates”

Riccardo Ton
University of Montana

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015
12:10 pm
Interdisciplinary Sciences Building (ISB) 110

OBE Ecology and Evolution Seminar Series Spring 2015

The Spring 2015 OBE Ecology & Evolution Seminar Series;

There will be no Wednesday, 5-6-15 OBE Ecology & Evolution Seminar.

The seminar season has come to a close.

Thank you for your attendance.

New NASA Astrobiology Institute centered at UM

Dr. Frank Rosenzweig and UM colleagues lead a new NASA Astrobiology Institute, the first centered at UM.  Their focus is on experimentally recreating the major early transitions in life after the first cells evolved.  Watch the video here or read more about the grant here.

Frank Rosenzweig leads NASA Astrobiology Institute

DBS professor finalist for Indy Prize

Joel Berger, at the recent award ceremonies for the Indianapolis Prize, often considered the ‘Nobel prize of conservation’.  Joel was a semi-finalist in this year’s competition.  View a video about his career in conservation.

Berger at Indy Prize ceremony

Anna Sala publishes review on the complexities of carbon cycling in plants

Anna Sala publishes review on the complexities of carbon cycling in plants

Like humans, plants also save to cope with harsh conditions. Trees often store more carbon in the form of starch or other compounds than is typically used in nature to cope with average stressors. The work of DBS Professor Anna Sala and colleagues provides some insight on why this is the case. Read a review of the literature on this subject in Annual Review of Plant Biology and a commentary in Nature Climate Change.

DBS Professors awarded NSF grant to study giant sea spiders

giant sea spider

Art Woods and Bret Tobalske, along with collaborator Amy Moran at the University of Hawaii, were recently awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation to study giant sea spiders in Antarctica and to compare them to warm-water relatives living in other parts of the globe. The project aims to understand the physiological mechanisms that constrain the body sizes of marine invertebrates around the world.

New DBS publication in PNAS

OBE doctoral student Erin McCullough, in collaboration with professors Douglas Emlen and Bret Tobalske, just published a paper in PNAS that helps explain the diversity of animal weapons. Using biomechanical modeling, the researchers find that horns of different rhinoceros beetle species are both stronger and stiffer in response to species-typical fighting loads, suggesting that animal weapons are structurally adapted to their respective fighting styles. Read the study in PNASwatch a video, or learn more about the paper at National Geographic



McCutcheon lab publishes in Cell

The Division of Biological Sciences’ John McCutcheon and student JT van Leuven are featured in an online video explaining their discovery of a novel evolutionary process. In collaboration with assistant professor John McCutcheon, DBS graduate student James Van Leuven has just published a remarkable finding in Cell. They describe a very unusual event in cicadas, where one bacterial species has split into two. Amazingly, the two new bacterial species are completely dependent on each other for survival. Read the study in Cell, or watch a short video on YouTube.

Cover of the 11 September 2014 issue of Cell

Erick Greene awarded Tom Boone Town and Gown Award

Eric Greene at osprey field

Faculty award! Professor Erick Greene was awarded the Tom Boone Town and Gown Award by the University of Montana Foundation. This award recognizes faculty members who exemplify great communication and contributions to their community.  Erick, shown here with an Osprey chick, has a long tradition of studying questions that combine interesting basic science with important implications to local ecosystems.  His work on heavy-metal contamination of Osprey eggs has found locally-high levels of mercury with impacts on egg and chick survival. Erick has also done a lot of research on animal communication, and this has led to close collaborations with the Montana Natural History Center, SpectrUM, , helping put on a new Chickadee Symphony by composer Craig Naylor, and participation in Camp Eureka camp for blind children.   If you want a sampling of Professor Greene’s contributions to the local community, searchThe Missoulian using ‘Erick Greene’.

DBS Professor tracks arctic Muskoxen

Joel Berger

Joel Berger, the Craighead Chair in Wildlife Biology and Professor in DBS, is just returning from an adventurous trip to Wrangell Island, almost the Northern-most island in the world (second only to the infamous Svalbard).  There he surveyed local muskoxen, dodged polar bears and met wolverines.  You can read about his trip here.

Erick Greene awarded the H&S Excellence Award for Teaching across the Curriculum

Professor Erick Greene has received the 2014 H&S Excellence Award for Teaching across the Curriculum, presented by UM's College of Sciences and Humanities.  This award recognizes faculty members for their excellence in teaching at all levels of the curriculum. Criteria for evaluation include superior teaching at both the upper (300+) and lower (100-200) levels of the curriculum, student advising and mentoring, and accessibility to students beyond normal office hours.

Erick Greene teaching in the field

George L. Card Freshman Biology Scholarship

DBS is excited to announce the launch of a new scholarship named in memory and honor of our faculty colleague Professor George L. Card and targeted at incoming freshmen who have declared a major in the biological sciences.  George shared his passion for microbiology and science with UM undergraduates for 34 years, while enjoying all the great opportunities of Montana’s outdoors, including riding, fishing, and hiking in Glacier National Park.  If you would like to join those who have helped to establish this scholarship fund, please visit the dedicated donation button at the bottom right of our webpage or click here.

Short Documentary Video on Phillip L Wright Museum released

The Late Professor Phillip Wright holding a small turtle.
Video on Philip L Wright Zoological Museum is posted on the PLWZM Facebook page.  The short video made by local videographic company Big Cedar Media recounts the impact of Dr. Philip Wright on the Zoological Museum at UM that bears his name, the major purposes and challenges of museum work, and its important role in education and outreach.  Please visit the page and enjoy the video.

Muhlfeld Study on Climate Change effects on Trout published in Nature Climate Change

Professor Clint Muhfeld, waist deep in water, wearing a wet suit and holding a Cutthroat Trout.

Dr. Clint Muhlfeld, a Research Assistant Professor at the Flathead Lake Biological Station, and several co-authors (many of them DBS faculty members: Winsor Lowe, Gordon Luikart, and Fred Allendorf) published an important report in the lead journal Nature Climate Change on the effects of climate warming on the hybridization of native and introduced trout.  Warm-tolerant introduced rainbow trout are beginning to move into traditionally-cold headwater streams, once the bastion of native cutthroat trout.  The combined competition and hybridization by rainbow trout with native cutthroat further endangers the conservation status of the latter.

DBS Professor publishes study on Streamwater Chemistry

professor lowe
Winsor Lowe, Associate Professor in DBS and interim Director of Wildlife Biology, just published a novel study on how the many tributary streams of a single river combine and contribute differently to the river’s water chemistry and quality.  The article, in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is the first study looking in such detail and comprehensive breadth at this question.  Read the study.

Joel Berger named Finalist for 2014 Indianapolis Prize

Joel Berger in a tent

DBS Wildlife Conservation Professor and John J. Craighead Chair Joel Berger has been named a finalist for the 2014 Indianapolis Prize, the world’s leading award for animal conservation.
“Joel and the other finalists are among the most important wildlife conservationists working in the field today,” said Michael Crowther, president and CEO of the Indianapolis Zoo, which initiated the Indianapolis Prize as part of its core mission. “They are achieving real victories in saving animal species, creating hope and outlining a path for generations of conservationists around the world to follow.”
The winner of the Indianapolis Prize will receive an unrestricted $250,000 cash award and the Lilly Medal, an original work of art that signifies the winner's contributions to conserving some of the world’s most threatened animals. The remaining five finalists each will receive $10,000. The winner will be announced mid-2014 and honored at the Indianapolis Prize Gala in September in Indianapolis.

Read the UM News article.

Erick Greene - Montana Outdoors Magazine

Professor Erick Greene’s research on alarm calls in birds and mammals was recently featured in the magazine Montana Outdoors.  Please check it out!