On September 7th about 40 faculty, staff and graduate students came together with their families for a departmental picnic celebrating the start of the new academic year. After fears of being rained out, everyone had a great time on what turned out to be a beautiful afternoon at Doctor’s Park in Bayside, WI. Like true Midwesterners, the assembled potluck was delicious, and friendly competition was had with various lawn games.
At the end of the fall 2013 semester, two long time faculty members will be retiring. Dr. Stephen Munroe came to the department in 1978, where his research has examined splicing and antisense RNA. He has made many significant advancements in the field of RNA, and inspired hundreds of students through his biochemistry course. In his retirement, Dr. Munroe is looking forward to spending 3 seasons a year on Cape Cod.
Dr. Gail Waring also joined the faculty at Marquette in 1978, and has truly enjoyed engaging students in the classroom where she has introduced students to the wonders of cell biology. The most important part of her job, she says, “are the people I’ve worked with over the years. The undergraduates, graduate students and faculty colleagues. It’s been an enriching and rewarding experience.”
|The group planted a long section on the south side of the Hank Aaron Trail in Three Bridges Park||UEC Land Steward Jeff Veglahn demonstrated how to plant, and talked about the history of the site|
For the first time, undergraduates, graduate students, faculty and staff of the department came together to volunteer their time to help transform 24 acres of wasteland in the Menomonee Valley into a healthy habitat for native plants and animals, an educational resource, and a welcoming green space for Milwaukee. On Saturday, October 5th, a group of 37 representatives of the Biological Sciences Department planted 500 native grasses and flowers with the Urban Ecology Center –Menomonee Valley as part of their Land Stewardship program to help restore and preserve the Menomonee Valley’s natural habitat. The opportunity to work alongside each other brought the department together as a community, and to contributed to the greater Milwaukee community in a meaningful way.
|Lab Manager Brian Mikeworth and undergraduate student Kevin Sanchez work together to plant at the UEC||Dr. Martin St. Maurice brought his daughter Danika along for the experience|
|The Petrella Lab shows off their artwork|
In June the Petrella lab including Dr. Lisa Petrella, graduate student Meghan Costello and lab manager Brian Mikeworth traveled to the 19th International C. elegans Meeting at UCLA. Generally just called the worm meeting, the lab presented their work as posters on the interaction of nematodes with the environment to the ~1500 participants in worm labs from around the world. There were lots of great talks and posters to see and the meeting ended with the presentations for the best worm art, the worm comedy show and the worm dance. The Worm Art Show at the international worm meeting was started by Dr. Ahna Skop an artist and Associate Professor of Genetics at UW-Madison. The worm show has many hilarious skits and songs about science, biology and worms and can be found on YouTube if you wish.
Upon return the lab felt that it needed to stretch its artistic wings. So at the end of the Summer Research program, Dr. Lisa Petrella, Meghan Costello, Brian Mikeworth along with Nika Gigliotti, an MSOE student doing the NSF funded REU program and Kevin Sanchez, a Marquette Undergraduate working in the lab, went to Splash the painting bar found in the Third Ward. They spend about 2 hours creating worm/research inspired art much to the interest of the other patrons and staff. These paintings are now on display in the lab and will probably be joined by more in the future.
|2013 SRP Students|
For more than 20 years, the department has been hosting undergraduate summer research programs. The 2013 edition featured fourteen students—six from Marquette and 8 from other schools—and was supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation and funds from the department, College of Arts & Sciences, and the University Honors Program. The students spent 10 weeks conducting research in faculty labs; 12 different faculty were involved. They also met weekly to present their work, listen to faculty talks, and discuss scientific papers. Other highlights of the summer included tailgating at a Brewers game (the Brewers actually won!), a cookout and sailing on the lake, and field trips to Growing Power and the UWM School of Freshwater Sciences. The program culminated with a very successful joint poster session with students from the Department of Math, Statistics, and Computer Science and the McNair Scholars program and finally with a research symposium and lunch. For pictures and other information from the summer program, go to the department Facebook page!
We hope that you’ve hit the “Like” button on our Facebook page to follow the activity of the department! It’s a great way to keep in touch, and we’d love to know more about what you’d like to see. Are you interested in keeping up with faculty research, what students are doing, or career progress of other alums? Let us know what you think!