Two new Assistant Professors joined the Division of Biology this fall.  Dr. Kristin Michel (Vector Biology), joins us following a Ph.D. in Entomology from the University of California Riverside and most recently, a postdoctoral appointment at Imperial College London.  Dr. Jesse Nippert (Eco-physiology), joins us following a Ph.D. in Ecology from Colorado State University and most recently, a postdoctoral appointment at the University of Kansas.

The Division of Biology welcomed 11 new graduate students for fall 2007.  These students are:  Erica Cain, Casey Devore, Lindsey Fallis, Jinping Fu, Sarah (Galloway) Bowe, Suhao Han, Vijayalaksmi Iyer, Katelyn O'Neill, Susan Rolfsmeier, Emilie Throop, and Danny Vu.

The Ecological Genomics Institute had a postdoctoral fellow arrive this fall.  His name is Michael Westphal (PhD, Oregon State University) and he is working on a project with Drs. Samantha Wisely and Ted Morgan titled, “An ecological genomic approach to the adaptive evolution of melanism in garter snakes.”

Dr. Stephen K. Chapes, was part of a team of 30 investigators from over a dozen institutions involved in assessing the impact of space flight on mouse physiological and immuological processes.  STS118 was only the second space shuttle flight to include experiments to address adult mouse physiology.  Chapes’ focus was to investigate what changes occur in bone marrow cells during space flight.  The experiments were part of the secondary science goals of the Commercial Biomedical Test Module - 2 (CBTM-2) which was planned to examine the effectiveness of an experimental therapeutic as a possible countermeasure for muscle atrophy.  More information about this flight and the CBTM-2 experiment can be found at:  www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/science/experiments/CBTM-2.html.

Dr. John Blair was awarded $365,992 by the DOE National Institute of Climate Change Research (NICCR) for research titled, “Interactive effects of altered rainfall timing and elevated temperature on soil communities and processes.”

Dr. John Blair was awarded $148,108 from the USDA for research titled, “Grassland structure and function in response to warming and more extreme precipitation patterns.”

Dr. Brett Sandercock was awarded a $1,500 University Small Research Grant from Kansas State University for research titled, “Population genetics of a newly-established island population of ptarmigan.”

Dr. Joanna Whittier taught two workshops on Basic and Advanced GIS Techniques for Fisheries Biologists at the American Fisheries Society (AFS) Annual Meeting in San Francisco in September.

Jesse Fischer and Jeff Eitzmann (graduate students of Dr. Craig Paukert) were two of 10 winners of the 2007 American Fisheries Society Skinner Memorial Award.  This international award is the highest honor given to students at the AFS Annual Meeting. 

Wes Bouska (graduate student of Dr. Craig Paukert) was named runner up in the AFS Student Writing Contest.  The contest awards students who develop an article based on science but intended for the general public.  Wes developed an article based on his thesis work on the effects of road crossings on fishes.  His article will appear in the journal Fisheries.

Drs. Michael Herman, John Blair, Kenneth Jones, Timothy Todd were awarded $622,598 by the National Science Foundation Environmental Genomics Program (NSF En-Gen) for research titled, “Ecological genomics of nematode community responses: model and non-model approaches.”

A team of scientist consisting of Drs. A. Chakrabarti, C. Sorensen, George Marchin, J. Pickrell, K. Klabunde, L. Erickson, R. Maghirang, Z. Zheng, and D. Zollman were recently awarded a $625,000 Targeted Excellence Grant from Kansas State University for research titled, “A Room Air Filter Based on Nanotechnology to Improve Indoor Air Quality.”

Dr. Gregory Zolnerowich, (Entomology), Dr. Carolyn Ferguson, D. Allen (Hale Library) and M. Haddock (Hale Library) were recently awarded an $800,000 Targeted Excellence Grant from Kansas State University for research titled, “The K-State digital prairie plant and insect collection: elevating biodiversity and bioinformatics to the next level.”

A five-year, $1,642,500 National Institutes of Health (NIH) RO1 grant was awarded to Drs. Sherry Fleming, Ruth Welti, and Stephen K. Chapes for research titled, “Natural antibodies and tissue injury.”  When blood vessels are clamped or blocked and then unblocked as during surgery, organ transplantation or heart attacks, the immune system will attack the body and cause damage. This grant is to determine the specific molecules that the immune system attacks and the specific components of the immune system that are causing the damage.

The American Heart Association awarded a Beginning-Grant-In Aid of $142,998 to Dr. Sherry Fleming for research titled, “TLRs alter ischemia-reperfusion induced vascular permeability.” During an ischemic event like a heart attack or stroke, local cells are damaged but cells in other tissues are also altered. One of these changes is that the blood vessels become leaky.  This study will determine if the Toll like receptor molecules (TLRs) have a role in the permeability of the blood vessels.

Drs. David Hartnett and Gail Wilson were awarded a grant of $399,384 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rangelands Research Program for a project titled, “Bud Bank Demography: A New Approach to Assessing Rangeland Health and Responses to Environmental Change.” 

Dr. Chingakham Ranjit Singh and Dr. Katsura Asano were awarded a $35,000 pilot project grant by the IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) Program of the National Center for Research Resources for research titled, “The role of RNA-binding initiation factors in protein synthesis.” 

Madhav Nepal was awarded a $750 Graduate Student Research Grant, by the American Society of Plant Taxonomists for his proposal, “Native-invasive hybridization in Morus: implications for systematics and evolution.”

Teresa Woods was awarded the Sigma Xi (KSU Chapter) Research Award for outstanding Master's thesis during 2006.

Dr. Spencer Tomb has been named as a Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation Fellow and will assist and teach in a fall hunter awareness programs for non-hunting wildlife biology majors. Faculty from seven universities and staff from state wildlife agencies of several states will gather at the Max McGraw foundation for the three day program.   The program is managed by the Wildlife Management Institute and it is partially funded by the Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation.

 

PRESENTATIONS

Alison Fedrow, Drs. Tonia Von Ohlen, Dan Boyle, R. Ganta and S.K. Chapes presented, “Drosophila S2 cells as a model for studying Ehrlichia chaffeensis infections,” at the 21st meeting of The American Society for Rickettsiology in Colorado Springs, CO, September 8-11. 

Dr. Carolyn Ferguson presented a seminar at the University of South Dakota on March 12, titled, “Systematics of the genus Phlox (Polemoniaceae): phylogeny, taxonomy and pollination ecology.”

Dr. Carolyn Ferguson, Madhav Nepal, S. Mohandass and Dr. Mark Mayfield presented a poster titled, “Computerization of the Kansas State University Herbarium: digitizing a critical biodiversity collection for the Great Plains,” at the Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections, St. Paul, MN, May 21-25.

The following presentations were made at the Botany and Plant Biology 2007 Conference, Chicago, IL, July 7-11, by members of the Dr. Carolyn Ferguson lab:

Josh Schloesser (graduate student of Dr. Craig Paukert) was awarded 4th place for his poster at the Missouri River Natural Resources Conference in Nebraska City, NE, March 6-8.   

The following presentations were made at the Annual American Fisheries Society Meeting, San Francisco, CA, September 3-6, by members of the Dr. Craig Paukert lab: 

Drs. Giorgis Isaac, Kent Chapman, and Ruth Welti presented a poster titled, “Analysis of N-Acyl Phosphatidylethanolamine from Arabidopsis Seeds Using Electrospray Ionization Tandem Mass Spectrometry,” at the National Plant Lipid Cooperative Meeting, Fallen Leaf Lake, CA, June 5-9.

Duane Kitchen and Dr. John Blair presented, “Temporal variation in fine root production and mortality is influenced by prescribed fire and mowing in tallgrass prairie,” at the Soil Ecology Society Meeting, Moab, UT, April 29-May 2.

Drs. John Blair, P.A. Fay, A.K. Knapp, M.D. Smith and J.D. Carlisle presented, “Interactive effects of warming and altered rainfall timing on ecosystem processes in tallgrass prairie,” and Kat Schmitt McCain and Dr. John Blair presented, “Effects of dominant grass removal on plant diversity in restored tallgrass prairie,” at the Ecological Society of America Meeting, San Jose, CA, August 5-10.

Drs. J.P. Perchellet, E.M.  Perchellet, Y. Wang, K. Lou, H. Zhao, S.K. Battina, and D.H. Hua presented, “Synthetic triptycene analogs with antitumor activity rapidly induce permeability transition in isolated mitochondria,” at the 62nd Northwest Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Boise, ID, June 17-20.

The following presentations were made at the American Ornithologists' Union 125th Annual Meeting, Laramie, WY, August 9-11, by members of the Dr. Brett Sandercock lab:

Dr. Brett Sandercock presented, “Partitioning seasonal components of demography in a migratory shorebird,” at the British Ecological Society Annual Meeting (BES 2007), Glasgow, Scotland, September 10-12.

Dr. Brett Sandercock presented, “Modeling the population dynamics of a neotropical migrant: the demography of the Upland Sandpiper,” and K.M. Strum, B.K. Sandercock, M. Alfaro, B. Haase, M.J. Hooper, K.A. Johnson, R.B. Lanctot, A.J. Lesterhuis, L. López, A.C. Matz, C. Morales, B. Paulson, J. Torres-Dowdall, and M.E. Zaccagnini presented a symposium titled “Is exposure to cholinesterase-inhibiting pesticides on the non-breeding grounds contributing to shorebird population declines?” at the 8th Neotropical Ornithology Congress, Maturín, Venezuela, May 13-19.

K.L. Kosciuch, J.W. Rivers, and B.K. Sandercock presented a poster titled, “Stable isotopes identify the natal origins of a generalist brood parasite,” at the Wilson Ornithological Society 87th Annual Meeting, Boston, MA, March 22-25.

Dr. Ted Morgan gave the following presentations on “The Genomics of Thermotolerance in Drosophila”:

Drs. Kimberly With, A.W. King, and W.E. Jensen presented “Grassland birds are not viable in the largest remaining tallgrass landscape,” at the American Ornithologists’ Union 125th Annual Meeting, Laramie, WY, August 9-11. 

Drs. M. Margosian, J.M.S. Hutchinson, K.A. Garrett, and Kimberly With presented, “Connectivity of the American Agricultural Landscape: A Graph Approach,” at the ESRI International Users Conference, San Diego, CA, June 18-22. 

Drs. D.J. Walks, J.P. Aguilar, Walter Dodds, Keith Gido, J.K. Koelliker, and Kimberly With presented, “Temporal changes in fish communities of the Central Great Plains, Kansas,” at the North American Benthological Society 55th Annual Meeting, Columbia, SC, June 3-8. 

Drs. Kimberly With,  A.W. King, and W.E. Jensen presented,  “Grassland birds are not viable in the largest tallgrass landscape left in North America,” at the U.S. Chapter of the International Association for Landscape Ecology (US-IALE), Tucson, AZ,  April 9-13.

Drs. Samantha Wisely, S. Naranayan, Kimberly With, and Susan Brown presented a poster titled, “Evolutionary consequences of heavy metal contamination to deer mice and their intestinal microbial communities,” at the Evolutionary Change in Human-Altered Environments:  An International Summit, Institute of the Environment, University of California­, Los Angeles, February 8-10.

Ron VanNimwegen, Dr. Jack Cully, Jr., and J. Kretzer presented, “Ecosystem Engineering by a colonial mammal: How black-tailed prairie dogs small mammal communities,” at the 87th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Mammalogists, Albuquerque, NM, June 6-10.

Dr. Jack Cully, Jr. and T. Johnson presented, “Spatial dynamics of plague in three black-tailed prairie dog complexes,” at the Annual Meeting of the Wildlife Disease Association, Estes Park, CO, August 12-17. 

T. Bala, Dr. Jack Cully, Jr., T. M. Loughin, Y. Bai, M. Kosoy, and K. L. Gage presented a poster titled, “Prevalence of Bartonella species in rodents and fleas associated with black-tailed prairie dogs,” at the 62nd Annual Meeting, International Conference on Diseases in Nature Communicable to Man, Madison, WI, August 12-14.

 

PUBLICATIONS

Althoff, D.P., P.S. Althoff, N.D. Lambrecht, P.S. Gipson, J.S. Pontius, and P.B. Woodford.   2007.  Soil properties and perceived disturbance of grasslands subjected to mechanized military training: evaluation of an indexLand Degradation and Development 18(3):269-288.

Bai, Y., M.Y. Kosoy, J.F. Cully, Jr., T. Bala, C. Ray, and S.K. Collinge.  2007.  Acquisition of non-specific Bartonella strains by the northern grasshopper mouse (Onychomys leucogaster)FEMS Microbiol. Ecol. 61:438-448. 

Bartz, R., W.-H. Li, B. Venables, J. Zehmer, R. Welti, R. Anderson, P. Liu, and K.D. Chapman.  2007.  Lipidomics reveals adiposomes store ether lipids and mediate phospholipid trafficJ. Lipid Res. 48:837-847.

Dalgleish, H.J. and T.M. Woods.  2007.  The effects of bison grazing on plant diversity in a tallgrass prairie (Konza Prairie LTER)Teaching Issues and Experiments in Ecology Vol. 5: Practice #1 [online].

Devaiah, S.P., X. Pan, Y. Hong, M.R. Roth, R. Welti, and X. Wang.  2007.  Enhancing seed quality and viability by suppressing phospholipase D in ArabidopsisPlant J. 50:950–957.

Eitzmann, J.L., A.S. Makinster, and C.P. Paukert.  2007.  Distribution and growth of blue sucker in a Great Plains, USA river Fisheries Management and Ecology 14:255-262.

Fehlberg, S.D., K.A. Ford, M.C. Ungerer, and C.J. Ferguson.  2007.  Development, characterization and transferability of microsatellite markers for the plant genus Phlox (Polemoniaceae). Molecular Ecology Notes (OnLineEarly 10 July).

Fitzgerald, M.L., R. Xavier, K.J. Haley, R. Welti, J.L. Goss, C.E. Brown, D. Zhuang, S.A. Bell, N. Lu, M. Mckee, B. Seed, and M.W. Freeman.  2007.  ABCA3 inactivation in mice causes respiratory failure, loss of pulmonary surfactant and depletion of lung phosphatidylglycerolJ. Lipid Res. 48:621-632.

Fritz, M., H. Lokstein, D. Hackenberg, R. Welti, M. Roth, U. Zähringer, M. Fulda, W. Hellmeyer, C. Ott, F.P. Wolter, and E. Heinz.  2007.  Chanelling of eukaryotic diacylglycerol into the biosynthesis of plastidial phosphatidylglycerolJ. Biol. Chem. 282:4613-4625.

Hagen, C.A., J.C. Pitman, B.K. Sandercock, R.J. Robel, and R.D. Applegate.  2007.  Age-specific survival and probable causes of mortality in female Lesser Prairie-chickensJournal of Wildlife Management 71:518-525.

Hsu, F.-F., J. Turk, T.D. Williams, and R. Welti.  2007.  Electrospray ionization multiple stage quadrupole ion-trap and tandem quadrupole mass spectrometric studies on phosphatidylglycerol from Arabidopsis leaves. J. Am. Soc. Mass Spec. 18:783-790.

Jordan, K.W., M.A. Carbone, A. Yamamota, T.J. Morgan, and T.F.C. Mackay.  2007.  Quantitative genomics of locomotor behavior in Drosophila melanogasterGenome Biology.  In press.

Kosciuch, K.L., J.W. Rivers, and B.K. Sandercock.  2007.  Stable isotopes identify the natal origins of a generalist brood parasite.  Journal of Avian Biology.  In press.

Mong, T.W., and B.K. Sandercock.  2007.  Optimizing radio retention and minimizing radio impacts in a field study of Upland SandpipersJournal of Wildlife Management 71:971-980.

Paukert, C.P., and J.H. Petersen.  2007.  Simulated effects of temperature warming on rainbow trout and humpback chub in the Colorado River, Grand CanyonSouthwestern Naturalist 52:234-242.

Paukert, C.P., M. McInerny, and R. Schultz.  2007.  Current and historical black bass regulations in North America Fisheries 32(2):62-72.

Reed, A.W., G.A. Kaufman, and B.K. Sandercock.  2007.  Demographic response of a grassland rodent to environmental variability Journal of Mammalogy 88:982-988.

Scheiman, D.M., J.B. Dunning, Jr., and K.A. With.  2007.  Metapopulation dynamics of Bobolinks occupying agricultural grasslands in the Midwestern United States.  American Midland Naturalist 158:415-423.

Singh, C.R., T. Udagawa, B. Lee, S. Wassink, H. He, Y. Yamamoto, J.T. Anderson, G.D. Pavitt, and K. Asano.  2007.  Change in nutritional status modulates the abundance of critical pre-initiation intermediate complexes during translation initiation in vivo. Journal of Molecular Biology 370: 315-330.

Strum, K.M., M. Alfaro, B. Haase, M.J. Hooper, K.A. Johnson, R.B. Lanctot, A.J. Lesterhuis, L. López, A.C. Matz, C. Morales, B. Paulson, B.K. Sandercock, J. Torres-Dowdall, and M.E.  Zaccagnini.  2007.  Plasma cholinesterases for monitoring pesticide exposure in nearctic-neotropical migratory shorebirds.  Ornitologia Neotropical.  In press.

Von Ohlen, T., C. Harvey, and M. Panda.  2007.  Identification of an upstream regulatory element reveals a novel requirement for Ind activity in maintaining ind expressionMech. Dev. 124: 230-236.

Von Ohlen T., L.-J. Syu, and D.M. Mellerick.  2007.  Conserved properties of the Drosophila homeodomain protein, IndMech Dev.  In press.

With, K.A.  2007.  The ghosts of landscapes past haunt the landscape ecology of the present...and the future. Pp. 43-58 in Temporal Explicitness in Landscape Ecology: Wildlife Responses to Changes in Time (J. A. Bissonette and I. Storch, Editors).  Springer-Verlag, New York.

Yang, W., S. Devaiah, X. Pan, G. Isaac, R. Welti, and X. Wang.  2007.  AtPLAI is an LRR-containing acyl hydrolase involved in basal jasmonic acid production and Arabidopsis resistance to Botrytis cinereaJ. Biol. Chem. 282:18116-18128.

 

UPCOMING EVENTS

The K-State Functional Genomics Consortium (an initiative of the Targeted Excellence Program) will be presenting its 2007 Fall Workshop on October 22-23.  The keynote speaker will be Dr. Michael R. Sussman, Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Director of UW Biotechnology Center.  Dr. Sussman has developed and utilized genomic and proteomic methods in his work, aimed at understanding early events in the perception and transduction of chemical signals at the plasma membrane of eukaryotes.  Recently he has developed methods to determine protein phosphorylation status, and methods to identify phosphorylation substrates.  Dr. Sussman will be speaking on Monday, October 22 from 4:00 to 5:00 in Waters 231.  The mission of the FGC is to build research productivity through education, collaboration and full utilization of the Functional Genomics Laboratories at Kansas State University.

Ecological Genomics Symposium, “Genes in Ecology, Ecology in Genes” - November 9-11, Intercontinental Hotel, Kansas City, MO.  For further information visit:  http://www.k-state.edu/ecogen/symp2007.html.

The Sixth Annual Kansas IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (K-INBRE) Symposium - January 19-20, 2008, Intercontinental Hotel, Kansas City, MO.  For further information visit:  http://www.kumc.edu/kinbre/symposium.html.

The Division of Biology sponsors departmental seminars on most Fridays at 4:00 PM throughout the semester (occasionally other days during the week).  For an updated list of seminars, see: www.ksu.edu/biology/bio/seminars.