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Featuring news, updates and stories by and for the CBS community, Connect is your resource for the latest from the College of Biological Sciences.

Rising from the ashes

Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve’s annual prescribed burns keep keystone ecosystems and research areas thriving.

Prescribed burning at Cedar Creek

Troy Mielke and Kally Worm of Cedar Creek lead a prescribed burn during Spring 2019.

Failure to Communicate

“Silencing” bacteria may give scientists an antibiotic-free route to controlling infections and balancing the microbiome.

Mikael Elias

New Weapons in the Oak Wilt Wars

Drones, planes and satellites add early detection opportunity to combat the rapid spread of oak wilt.

Oak trees at Cedar Creek

It sounds like something out of a tree horror movie: After spreading silently below the ground from an infected neighbor, a fungus creeps its way up through a tree’s trunk, choking off its lifeblood and eventually killing it.

Plague Is Not Going Anywhere

Learning from Soviet Union’s extensive and failed efforts to eradicate plague.


Mention the Black Death and visions of overcrowded 14th-century European cities teaming with rats come to mind. Despite the association of plague with crowded cities the disease didn’t originate there. Plague is caused by a bacterium regularly found in flea and rodent populations across Central Asia’s rural areas, where it first appeared.

CBSelfie with Adam Kostanecki

This to-be senior and Plant and Microbial Biology major has a passion for understanding the interplay between plants and their environment.

Adam Kostanecki

Your year and major?
I am a senior in CBS studying Plant and Microbial Biology.

2019 Grand Challenges in Biology Postdocs Announced

Caitlin Looby and Amanda Gorton look to tackle big questions around carbon cycling and urban ragweed distribution.

The College of Biological Sciences recently announced a new cohort of the College’s Grand Challenges in Biology Postdoctoral Program. Amanda Gorton and Caitlin Looby will join the College this summer to pursue research projects with faculty members from different departments across the University.

Checking in With Dean Forbes - May 2019


This time of year is always a little bittersweet. The frenetic activity of April gives way to the quiet focus of finals week, and of course we will soon bid farewell to a class of newly minted graduates. Later this week well over 400 graduating seniors will walk across the stage at 3M Arena to the loud cheers of their peers, family and friends. It’s an inspiring and emotional experience for all. If you want a sense of the emotions evoked by this annual rite of passage, take a moment to watch this year’s commencement video.