2015-2016 News

Biology majors awarded Udall Scholarships

Mariah McIntosh, a junior Biology major (left), and Clare Vergobbi, a Restoration Ecology and Biology dual major (right), have been named two of 60 Morris K. and Stewart Udall Scholars for 2016. The Udall Scholarship recognizes college students nationwide who demonstrate potential for leadership in environmental and/or tribal fields.  Mariah, who has dual minors in Wilderness & Civilization and Climate Change Studies, is pursuing Honors thesis research on plant-fungal interactions in the Fishman Lab.  Clare Vergobbi, who also has a minor in Environmental Studies, has been conducting research with Diana Six in CFC on bark beetles. 5/3/16

CMMB grad student wins awards at toxicology conference

Joanna Kreitinger, a PhD candidate in the lab of David Shepherd, was honored with an award for the best student talk (Immunology section) as well as a travel award from the Society of Toxicology (SOT) at their annual national meeting.


OBE grad student earns NSF Fellowship

OBE first year (and Biology alum) Beth Roskilly was awarded a prestiguous 3-year Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation. Beth is pursuing research on wood physiology and drought tolerance in conifers in the Sala Lab. 3/15/16.

Interdisciplinary Neuroscience degree launched

UM students eager to probe the mysteries of the brain and nervous system can now earn Bachelor's degrees in Neuroscience. The major will be anchored by four new courses designed to train students in the fundamentals of this exciting and rapidly-growing field, and also draws on existing courses from diverse disciplines. DBS Professor Jesse Hay is the Director of the new program and also oversees the Cellular & Molecular Neuroscience track within the degree. A second degree option, Cognitive & Behavioral Neuroscience, is advised by Psychology Professor Allen Szalda-Petree.  For more information about the Neuroscience degrees, see the announcement poster or the Neuroscience major webpage.

Emlen named Montana Professor of the Year

DBS Professor Doug Emlen has been named 2015 Montana Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. Emlen was one of 35 educators selected nationwide from nearly 400 top professors nominated. “There are a lot of us here at UM who take tremendous pleasure from teaching – finding new ways to excite students, challenging them to think hard about the world around them,” Emlen said. “I’m proud to be one of them and to be recognized for this facet of what we do.”

Greene wins Bolle Award

Erick Greene

DBS Professor Erick Greene has earned the 2015 Arnold Bolle Award, presented by the Missoula Conservation Round Table annually to a dedicated champion of the outdoors.  The award is named for Arnold Bolle, late dean of the UM School of Forestry and namesake of the Bolle Center for People and Forests.

Animal Weapons book wins Phi Beta Kappa Award

Professor Doug Emlen's book about arms races in animals and humans, Animal Weapons, has won the Phi Beta Kappa prize for the best popular science book of 2015! Congratulations Doug!  Read more about Phi Beta Kappa (the nation's oldest academic honor society) and the 2015 book awards here. 10/2/2015

National Geographic funds cicada hunt

Piotr Lukasik
Piotr Lukasik, a DBS postdoc, was awarded $25,000 by the Committee for Research and Exploration of the National Geographic Society for the project "The ecological genomics of symbiotic complexity in cicadas." The grant will fund a two-month cicada-collecting expedition around Chile and Argentina this winter, attended also by John McCutcheon, collaborators from the UConnecticut and UChile, and science writer David Quammen. The collected cicadas will be used for genomics and microscopy investigation of their symbioses but also taxonomic studies, and should provide unparalleled insight into how biogeographic factors and population processes influence the genomic evolution of symbioses. 9/25/15

We Are Montana tour brings DBS research to high-school students

Alexis Billings recording bird soundsOBE PhD Student Alexis Billings, who studies bird communication, is among UM researchers accompanying Pres. Engstrom to Montana high schools this month. To strengthen UM’s connections with the people of Montana, President Royce Engstrom’s 2015 We Are Montana tour will visit Kalispell, Browning, Bozeman, Great Falls, and Billings. At each tour stop, President Engstrom and senior leaders will meet with and listen to educators, legislators, alumni, students, and community members. UM researchers from an array of disciplines will lead discussions and hands-on activities in high-school classrooms in each community, with the goal of inspiring Montana’s students about higher education and career pathways. Read more about Alexis and We Are Montana's visit to Flathead and Glacier high schools in this Daily Interlake article.

Emlen book short-listed

animal weapons book coverAnimal Weapons, by DBS Professor Doug Emlen, was one of five popular science books shortlisted for the 2015 Phi Beta Kappa Award. The 2nd edition of Dr. Emlen's much-lauded Evolution textbook (co-authored with Carl Zimmer) was also published this Fall.

New NIH grant funds aggression research

CMMB Assistant Professor Sarah Certel (PI) and Montana State University Associate Professor Steve Stowers (co-PI) were awarded an NIH R01 grant to examine the functional significance of dual neurotransmission on the control of male aggression. This project uses genome editing by CRISPRing to remove the production of two neurotransmitters in subsets of Drosophila brain neurons and determine how this removal impacts male aggressive behavior. 

Welcome to Zac Cheviron!

Zac Cheviron

Zac Cheviron joins OBE as an Assistant Professor in Fall 2015. Zac studies the genomic and physiologial basis of adaptation to high elevation in vertebrates.

Professor Allendorf awarded 2015 Molecular Ecology Prize

Fred Allendorf
The editors of the journal Molecular Ecology have chosen DBS Regents Professor Emeritus Fred Allendorf as the recipient of the 2015 Molecular Ecology Prize, in honor of his pioneering contributions to population genetics and conservation biology. Read more about Fred's research here.

DBS grad advises Congress on forest health

Sharon Hood testifiying
Recent OBE graduate Dr. Sharon Hood reported on her dissertation findings about the interactions among fire, pine beetles and wildland management to a special committee of the U.S. Senate. See the Senate Webcast and read about Sala Lab research.

Alarm call research featured in the New York Times

DBS Professor Erick Greene and his students 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 the New York Times article.

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 NASA Astrobiology Institutes video.
Frank Rosenzweig