Biology News


BIOL 341 Plant Physiology Travels to Garfield Park Conservatory!

Garfield ConservatoryStudents in the Plant Physiology course went to the Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago on Tuesday, November 3 to observe a variety of plants. Dr. Ray Lewis, Associate Professor of Biology explained, "There are over 10,000 species of plants represented at the Conservatory, from liverworts to ferns to cycads to palms, orchids, aroids, cacti and many more. Students recorded details and took photographs of a variety of plants – some of commercial use (banana, papaya, sugar cane, and more), others with unique physiological adaptations (such insectivorous plants, desert plants, epiphytic plants). Afterwards, students presented their best pictures of three selected plants along with additional information they learned, to the rest of the class. The presentations focused on the features and adaptations of these plants. We all learned something new about a variety of plants, some of them very amazing in terms of their adaptations, structures, and beauty."


Debbie Myers, Senior Biology Major, Interns at a clinic in Ecuador

Debbie Myers

"This summer three other Wheaton students, (Caleb Luk '17, Sarah Denne '18, Natalie Oxley '16), and I interned at a clinic in Ecuador. In addition to giving us hands-on medical training, the staff taught us the importance of forming relationships with everyone you meet. The care and concern they showed for us every day was an incredible blessing. Their continual reminder to share the Gospel by caring for our patients changed how we viewed patient care, and I know the lessons they taught us will stick with us for many years to come."


Elisabeth Yan, Junior Biology Major, Participated in Summer Research at Stanford, at the Neuro-NICU!

Elisabeth YanYan Poster

“This summer I had the privilege of returning to Stanford University to continue research that I had started during the summer of 2014. Stanford University’s affiliate children’s hospital—the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital—opened a new unit in the spring of 2013. This new unit was called the Neuro-NICU and was a subsection of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit that was specifically created to care for infants with neurologic concerns. The patients in this unit had access to specialized neuromonitoring, neuroassessment techniques, and neuroprotective therapies. This summer I conducted a retrospective study to examine the characteristics of the patients admitted, services delivered, and outcomes in order to better understand the role of this new unit. This was an amazing opportunity to experience the research process while simultaneously observing the integration of neurology and neonatology. The highlight of this experience was getting to travel to Ireland in the fall of 2015 to present my research, as I was able to meet people from across the world who have devoted their lives to neonatal neurology. God has been incredibly faithful to me in my pre-health journey and I am excited to see where He leads me next!”


Dr. Vanya Koo Chairs a Session at the 2015 ASMCUE

Dr. Koo at ASMCUE conference 2015Dr. Koo at ASMCUE conference 2015Dr. Koo attended the 2015 ASMCUE (America Society for Microbiology Conference for Undergraduate Educators) in Austin, TX May 26-29. She enjoyed reconnecting with old colleagues and meeting new ones. Dr. Koo chaired a session of Micro Brews, short presentations given by professors from a variety of higher education types, all related to either research ideas for undergraduates in microbiology or to pedagogic tools used in labs and classrooms. She also presented a Micro Brew on the “Space Lab”, a semester-long assignment currently part of Biol364, where students select and extraterrestrial environment and design a laboratory to study a microbe that they may expect to find in that environment. Several faculty members at other institutions are interested in possibly incorporating the “Space Lab” into their curricula.


Dr. Nadine Rorem, Corbin Renken '16, and Helen Harvey '16, Present at the Society of Freshwater Science Annual Meeting in Milwaukee

Rorem presentation 2Rorem presentation  Dr. Nadine Rorem co-presented a poster of recent research with 2 students, Corbin Renken ‘16 and Helen Harvey ‘16, in Milwaukee at the Society of Freshwater Science Annual Meeting in May. The title of their poster was, “The Effects of Salinity on Growth Rate and Hydranth Morphology in the Invasive Colonial Hydroid Cordylophora. They presented results of research involving several students from the past year. Corbin explained, “I had a great time attending the SFS 2015 Conference with Helen and Dr. Rorem. Presenting our research was a great experience, and I actually learned quite a bit. We got some really good feedback on our work from other scientists in our field, and through their questions and comments, I gained valuable insight into how we can move forward in our research! I am very thankful for the opportunity I had to attend.” Helen stated, “I was so lucky to attend this conference because it allowed me to see the greater collaboration that goes on in the scientific community. All the people we talked to wanted to learn about our project and help us further our research. It was really great to feel so supported.

“The Society for Freshwater Science (SFS) is an international scientific organization whose purpose is to promote further understanding of freshwater ecosystems (rivers, streams, lakes, reservoirs, and estuaries) and ecosystems at the interface between aquatic and terrestrial habitats (wetlands, bogs, fens, riparian forests and grasslands).” This year’s theme was ‘Our Freshwater Futures.’ 

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