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Research

At the College of Biological Sciences we learn biology by doing biology, and our faculty are on the cutting edge of research and discovery in the field. Here you will find a collection of news, features and opportunities concerning research at CBS.

Holey homemakers

Postdoctoral researcher at Cedar Creek organizes a team of contributors to learn more about red-headed woodpeckers, ultimately informing conservation efforts and innovating wildlife research methods.

woodpecker stands on branch beside cavity in tree

Decoding RNA’s mysteries

Novel COVID-19 vaccines and some diagnostic tests use messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA). Aaron Engelhart investigates ways to track the nucleic acid.


Ribonucleic acid (RNA) has received a lot of press recently.

Research redirected

With the pandemic, some CBS labs shifted course in 2020 to focus on COVID-19 related questions.

illustration of SARS-CoV-2

The onset of COVID-19 pandemic changed the world as we know it. Research in CBS labs changed course, too. For many labs it meant delayed experiments or cancelled field seasons. It meant additional time to write and analyze, but less time to gather new data. 

Canopies for communities and chimps

Researchers summarize 60 years of collaborative work in and around Gombe National Park, efforts to support local communities and protect ailing chimpanzee populations.

Tropical dry forest in the spotlight

A special section in Biotropica edited by Jennifer Powers gives a window into one of the most famous research areas in the tropics.

University of Minnesota undergraduates on a field course in Santa Rosa, 2013
University of Minnesota undergraduates on a field course in Santa Rosa, 2013 (photo credit: Jennifer Powers)

GCD faculty member brings expertise in immunodeficiency to collaborative research effort

A new grant allows researchers to test targeted approaches to sickle cell disease, Fanconi anemia and primary immunodeficiency.


From identifying foreign viruses to removing dead or dying cells, the immune system is comprised of a variety of cells performing distinct tasks. These cells develop from hematopoietic stem cells which are undifferentiated cells that reside in bone marrow, a spongy tissue inside of bones. Depending on a number of cues, hematopoietic stem cells will differentiate into specialized cells.

Identifying irregularities

A new grant allows researchers to explore oddities in the waning moments of the cell cycle, with implications for cancer therapies and Fanconi anemia research.

Naoko Shima

Eleanor’s Quilt

Raymond Lindeman made field-shaping discoveries at Cedar Creek. An art project celebrates the role his wife, Eleanor, played.

Eleanor's Quilt