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Study led by George Weiblen establishes the genetic difference between hemp and marijuana.

George Weiblen

Tom Kautz
What do you do here in CBS?The Kautz family

I am a Technical Analyst in Research and Learning Technologies (CBS-RLT).

How long have you been at the U?

I started at the U of M in November 2012. I moved to CBS in January 2014.

What's something interesting or unusual about your work here?

I get some unique opportunities to work with different researchers and faculty on a variety of research projects. It's very high level but I learn something new about the research we are doing in CBS and sometimes get to assist in finding new technologies to help support that research.

Posted in: CBS Connect, Connect
Global grassland study led by Eric Seabloom provides unprecedented insight into differences in the way exotic and native plant species operate.

Professor Eric Seabloom

Dr. Eric Seabloom at Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve.

"What we found is that if you add nutrients, the only species you lose are the native species."

Species invasions come at a high cost. In the United States, the annual cost to the economy tops $100 billion a year and invasive plant infestations affect 100 million acres. While it’s tempting to focus attention on headline-grabbing cases of exceptionally fecund flora such as the kudzu vine, also known as “the vine that ate the South”, basic questions remain about how and whether exotic species are functionally distinct from native species and why they tend to take over when introduced into new environments.

The latest research publications from College of Biological Sciences researchers.

Structure of the Vif-binding domain of the antiviral enzyme APOBEC3G

Nature Structural & Molecular Biology // May 18, 2015

Hiroshi Matsuo, Rebeun Harris (Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics) and colleagues, solved the structure of the Vif-binding domain of human APOBEC3G (A3G), a DNA cytosine deaminase that restricts HIV-1 infection. read more

Dietary sugar promotes systemic TOR activation in Drosophila through AKH-dependent selective secretion of Dilp3

Nature Communications // April 17, 2015

Thomas Neufeld and graduate student Jung Kim (Genetics, Cell Biology and Development) describe how insulin signaling in fruit flies responds to sugar and other nutrients in their diet. read more


Snapshot Serengeti project captures over one million images to study animal behavior in largest-ever scientific camera trapping survey.

The use of camera traps – remote automatic cameras triggered by heat or motion – has revolutionized wildlife ecology and conservation research. But the large number of images generated through the traps creates the problem of categorizing and analyzing all the images.

The use of camera traps—remote automatic cameras triggered by heat or motion—has revolutionized wildlife ecology and conservation research. But the large number of images generated through the traps creates the problem of categorizing and analyzing all the images.

Local middle school students spend two days at Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve learning about ecology through field research.

Students presenting at eco-extravaganza

For the second year, students from a local middle school spent time cataloging the biodiversity at Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve. A group of nearly 100 eighth graders, and 15 CBS and CFANS graduate students converged on Cedar Creek in late May for the two-day immersion in ecology dubbed Eco-Extravaganza.

Students worked in small groups with a graduate student mentor to collect and analyze data collection, and featured a student-led symposium highlighting the topics covered over the two-day event.

"Due to the expertise of the grad student mentors, students moved beyond the bar and pie graph to really think about the data and ask questions leading to scatter plot, stacked bar, and other higher level forms of analysis," said Mary Spivey, education and outreach coordinator for Cedar Creek.

College recognizes staff members for excellence in work over the past year

Each year, CBS honors staff for excellence in work at both the administrative, as well as technical and faculty support levels. Recipients are nominated for going above and beyond to achieve excellence. In addition to the Innovation Awards, each year the college recognizes a Civil Service/Bargaining Unit employee for their hard work through the college's Outstanding Service award. This year's recipients include:

CBS graduate students bring science to the Midtown Farmers Market throughout the summer.

Market Science group

Left to right: College of Biological Sciences graduate students Derek Nedveck, Mohamed  “Mo” Yakub, Beth Fallon and John Benning; Minnesota Zoo conservation biologist Erik Runquist; CBS postdoctoral student Ryan Briscoe-Runquist and son Jack.

Reuben Harris recognized as one of the nation’s top biomedical scientists by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Reuben HarrisReuben Harris (Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics) was selected by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) as an HHMI Investigator and will receive the flexible support necessary to progress his research in creative new directions.

New conservatory curator returns to her U of M roots to oversee the college’s plant collections.

Lisa Aston Philander will join the college in July as curator of the CBS Conservatory. She will oversee administrative functions and curate the plant collection, which includes more than 1,200 plant species from rare and endangered plants to invasive species representing a range of biomes from tropical to desert.

“I am thrilled for the Lisa Aston Philanderopportunity to return to the University of Minnesota and the CBS Conservatory,” says Philander. “As curator I hope to be instrumental in introducing students and faculty to the value, wonder, and importance of plants as a learning resource.”

Philander has a background and research interests in agroecology, ethnobotany and ethnomedicine. She comes to CBS from the University of Wyoming’s Department of Plant Sciences Department, where was a lecturer and part-time researcher for the departments of plant sciences, botany, honors, nursing, and women and gender studies.