Bio colloquium

Harvey Mudd College Biology Colloquium
Spring 2016

Colloquium starts at 4:15 pm on Wednesdays* in Big Beckman Auditorium.

(* except where noted)

(Beckman Auditorium is Beckman 126, in the basement below the central stairway in the Olin Building)

January 20:

2016 Summer Research Opportunities in the Biology Department

January 27:

Prof. Stephanie Correa
Department of Integrative Biology and Physiology
Title: "Estrogen-responsive hypothalamic neurons controlling body weight in female mice"

February 3:

Prof. Paula Cannon
Department of Molecular Microbiology & Immunology
USC, Keck School of Medicine
Title:  Engineering an HIV-resistant immune system

February 10:

February 17:

Dr. Rhiannon Rognstad
Keck Science Department
Title: "Marine population connectivity: range boundaries and climate change"

February 24:

Philip Cheung HMC '96
Dart Neuroscience
Bioinformatics Adventures in the Drug Discovery Industry

March 2:

March 9:

Dr. Wolfgang Huber
Multi-omics and Statistical Computing group
European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), Heidelberg, Germany
Title: "A New Approach to False Discovery Rates (FDR)"

March 23:

Prof. Karin Kram
Department of Biology
California State University, Dominguez Hills
Title: "Adaptation of E. coli to Long-Term Culture"

March 30:

Prof. Jessica Wu
Department of Computer Science
Title: Evolution at the Subgene Level: Characterizing Domain Rearrangements in the Drosophila Phylogeny

April 6:

Prof. Eugene Wu (HMC '98)
Department of Biology
University of Richmond
Title:  The inner workings of the DNA copying machine

April 13:

Dr. John Aldrich
W.M. Keck Science Department
Title:  Targeted genome elimination by a selfish chromosome in the parasitic wasp Nasonia vitripennis

April 20:

Dr. Sevan Suni
Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology
Harvard University
Applying evolutionary principles to pollination ecology in a changing world

April 27:

Dr. Robbie Wilson 
University of Queensland (Australia)
Title: Success in nature and sport: exploring the biological basis of excellence in physical activities

Abstract: All physical activities rely on a complex assortment of anatomical, physiological, motor and behavioural traits. Discovering the determinants of individual success in physical activities has become central to the study of adaptation because it allows one to understand the coevolution of organismal form and function in natural populations. In a similar way, determining the combination of traits most responsible for success in human functional tasks is of enormous interest to the sports industry for discovering and developing athletes and the health sciences for facilitating improved pathways of recovery following injury. But despite the parallels in research programs between the natural and health sciences, each discipline has operated in relative isolation. In this seminar, I will explore the parallel lines of research that explore the determinants of success in physical activites in two very different but complimentary study systems: (i) natural populations of the small carnivorous marsupial, the northern quoll (Dasyurus hallucatus) from tropical Australia, and (ii) semi-professional soccer players. The northern quoll (Dasyurus hallucatus) is the world’s largest semelparous mammal, which means mating is highly synchronous, males live for only one year, and all males undergo die-offs soon after reproduction. Given the importance of procuring mates in such a short period (approx. 2 weeks), the ability for males to win fights and cover long distances to find reproductively mature females is presumably of critical importance. Female quolls live for two to three years and their die-off occurs after the young are weaned - which is around four months after the mating season. Soccer is also ideal for a integrative studies of success because we can readily identify, isolate and quantify many of the possible underlying determinants of success among large numbers of individual players. Soccer is the world’s most popular team sport and is played by an estimated 240 million registered competitors and watched by more than a billion people worldwide. Using these two very different study systems, I will discuss the implications of my work for understanding the evolution and ecology of physical performance in nature. 

Harvey Mudd College Biology Colloquium
Fall 2015

Colloquium starts at 4:15 pm on Wednesdays in Big Beckman Auditorium.*

(* except where noted)

(Beckman Auditorium is Beckman 126, in the basement below the central stairway in the Olin Building)

September 2:

Introduction to Senior Thesis

*September 9:

Biology Mixer

(in Hixon Courtyard)

September 16:

Dr. Les Watling (University of Hawaii at Manoa)
Title: "The Bottom Line on Bottom Trawling: Understanding Trawling Impacts on Benthic Communities"

September 23:

All About Graduate School:
Carrie Kiel, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden
Christopher DeBoever, University of California San Diego (HMC 2010)
Kambiz Pashneh-Tala Yazdi, Keck Graduate Institute
Chris Tse, Keck Graduate Institute

September 30:

Dr. Russel Rockne 
Division of Mathematical Oncology, City of Hope
Title: Mathematical Oncology at City of Hope: an answer to the age-old question, “when am I ever going to use this math in real life.”

October 7:

October 14:

Prof. Satyan L. Devadoss
Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Williams College
Visiting Professor, HMC
Title:  Spaces of Phylogenetic Trees and Networks

:  Phylogeny keeps track of the relationships between different objects, whether they be genetic codes of species, syntax of grammar, or manuscripts of literature. By immersing ourselves in visual imagery, we show how to create and navigate spaces of phylogenetic trees and networks, allowing us to perform statistics on these geometric objects.

October 21:

Senior Thesis Proposals:

Naomi Epstein

Max Frenkel

October 28:

Senior Thesis Proposals:

Angeline Cai

Kevin Heath

Prudence Hong

Sam Woodman

November 4:

Talk canceled

November 11:

Prof. Christopher Klausmeier (HMC '95)
Kellogg Biological Station
Michigan State University

Title: "Theoretical approaches to plankton ecology"

November 18:

No Colloquium-Please attend job interview talks!!!

November 25:

No Colloquium- Thanksgiving

December 2:

Hold for job interviews

December 9:

Hold for job interviews

HHMI Summer Seminar Series
Summer 2015

Seminars begin at 4:00 pm on Wednesdays, and rotate between Mudd, Pomona and Keck campuses.

Light refreshments available beginning at at 3:45 pm.

Wednesday, June 10: Dr. Francisco Valero-Cuevas

    Professor of Biomedical Engineering, University of Southern California

    Title: "Using linear algebra to understand the neuromechanical control of vertebrate limbs"

    Time and location: 4:00 pm in Shanahan Recital Hall (Shanahan Teaching and Learning Center, Room B-480)

    Harvey Mudd Campus

Wednesday, June 17: Dr. Scott Kelso

    Professor of Complex Systems and Brain Sciences, Florida Atlantic University

    Title: "Coordinated Movement: Making the familiar strange"

    Time and location: 4:00 pm in Seaver North Auditorium

    Pomona Campus

Wednesday, June 24: Dr. Maria Rita D'Orsogna

    Assistant Professor of Mathematics, California State University Northridge

    Title: "Swarming patterns in nature: biology meets mathematics"

    Time and location: 4:00 pm in Burns Hall (Room B-31)

    Keck Science Campus

Wednesday, July 1: Dr. Naoki Yamanaka

    Assistant Professor of Entomology, University of California Riverside

    Title: "Vesicle-Mediated Steroid Hormone Secretion in Drosophila melanogaster"

    Time and location: 4:00 pm in Shanahan Recital Hall (Shanahan Teaching and Learning Center, Room B-480)

    Harvey Mudd Campus

Wednesday, July 8: Dr. Neo Martinez

    Associate Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona

    Title: "Complex Ecological Networks from Food to Sex and Back Again"

    Time and location: 4:00 pm in Seaver North Auditorium

    Pomona Campus

Wednesday, July 15: Dr. Blerta Shtylla

    Assistant Professor of Mathematics, Pomona College

    Title: "The mathematics of mitotic force and division"

    Time and location: 4:00 pm in Burns Hall (Room B-31)

    Keck Science Campus