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News, features and events from the College of Biological Sciences


How far and fast will invasive species extend their reach into the state? CBS researchers are developing distribution models to help planners pinpoint likely hotspots.

David Moeller's lab members

Dave Moeller (far right) and members of his research lab.

From melting ice caps to rising sea levels, climate change tends to evoke thoughts of global-scale phenomena. But understanding the local effects “on the ground” and being able to predict outcomes based on climate projections is critical. That’s where College of Biological Sciences researchers David Moeller and Peter Tiffin come in.

Artist Regan Golden to use the collections and the space as inspiration for new work.
Regan Golden


Posted in: CBS Connect, PBIO
New award recognizes the longtime director of the Center for Genome Engineering.

Perry Hackett, Dan Voytas, Michael O'Connor
From left: Perry Hackett, Dan Voytas, Michael O'Connor

The Hackett Fund for Genome Engineering, launched this summer, was awarded to Dan Voytas, a professor in the Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Development (GCD), and longtime director of the University’s Center for Genome Engineering. Voytas received the award earlier this month in recognition of his leadership both at the University and within the broader field of genome engineering.

Petri Dish Event
Part of the Petri Dish series at Bedlam Theater this fall.

Parasites and pathogens are oft-maligned, Eliminate a species of mosquito to fight Zika — or don’t? Deworm captive animals — or not? The choice is ours. We have an unprecedented ability to manage and manipulate nature, however the consequences aren’t always clear cut. Whether trying to protect endangered species or eliminate emerging diseases, policies that determine how humans interact with parasites and pathogens are part of a co-evolutionary feedback loop.

Petri Dish Event
Part of the Petri Dish series at Bedlam Theater this fall.

Our relationship to the microbial world in and around us is a bit fraught. From the rise and fall of antimicrobials to the growing popularity of probiotics, our perception of these tiny organisms that populate our soil, air, even our gut, is evolving. New discoveries about role they play in our health and the environment are creating even more ambiguity. Explore what we know and what we don’t about the vast invisible world under (and in!) our noses with computational biology expert Dan Knights, microbial ecologist Michael Sadowsky and geomicrobiologist Cara Santelli.

Petri Dish Event


Part of the Petri Dish series at Bedlam Theater this fall.

Virtually every part of the planet is impacted by human activity. With the population of the world projected to grow by another two billion in coming decades, the future of wild places is uncertain even as the effects of climate change complicate matters. Our experts explore questions about the value of “wildness,” how to balance the needs of humans and wildlife in the face of scarce resources, what future generations might experience (or not) of wildness. Lion expert Craig Packer, adventure learning advocate Aaron Doering and ecologist Jessica Hellmann embark on a wide-ranging conversation.

Grand Challenges team works to understand how human modifications to land affect aquatic ecosystems across the planet.

Cody Sheik, Will Harcombe, Jim Cotner, Mindy Morales
Clockwise from left: Cody Sheik, Will Harcombe, Jim Cotner, Mindy Morales

This CBS newcomer brings years of experience and passion to the advancement game.

John Curry

What do you do here?

I am the alumni and advancement officer for the College of Biological Sceinces.

How long have you been at the U?

This is my first position at the University. I've been here since mid-June.

Can you describe your position a bit?

My duties are bifurcated between associate development officer and alumni relations officer. I assist with raising revenues and working with major donors, and I am responsible for a wide variety of programs that improve the relationship between alumni and the college. We're a small office that works well together, so I am also constantly aware of the "other duties as necessary" bullet-point of my job description.

Posted in: CBS Connect, Connect, Staff
Join Dr. Craig Packer for his College of Continuing Education Headliner Series presentation.


November 3, 2016 • 7 p.m.
Continuing Education and Conference Center, St. Paul Campus
Individual tickets: $20
Series Pass: $80 (six events for the price of four!)