Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Summer research opportunities

Caltech is excited to announce two summer research opportunities available to continuing undergraduate students. Questions about these programs can be directed to Carol Casey at casey@caltech.edu or (626) 395-2887.


The MURF program aims to increase the participation of underrepresented students (such as African American, Hispanic, and Native American, females who are underrepresented in their discipline, and first-generation college students) in science and engineering Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D. programs and to make
Caltech's programs more visible to students not traditionally exposed to Caltech.

Eligibility: Students must be current sophomores through non-graduating seniors and must be U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents. A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required.

Support: MURF students will receive a $6000 award for the ten-week program.
Additional housing and travel support may be provided.

Application: Online applications are due January 12, 2011.

For more information, please visit www.murf.caltech.edu


Caltech's Amgen Scholars Program is geared towards students in biology, chemistry, and biotechnology fields. Some of these fields include biology, biochemistry, bioengineering, chemical and biomolecular engineering, and chemistry.

Eligibility: Students must be current sophomores through non-graduating seniors, must be attending a four-year university, and must be U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents. A minimum GPA of 3.2 is required.

Support: Amgen Scholars will receive a $5500 award, round-trip air transportation, a generous housing allowance, and a food allowance.

Application: Online applications are due February 15, 2011.

For more information, please visit www.amgenscholars.caltech.edu

Carol Casey
Associate Director
Student-Faculty Programs
California Institute of Technology
Mail Code 330-87
Pasadena, CA 91125
(626) 395-2887

Monday, November 22, 2010

I don’t know what to believe…

Thanksgiving and Christmas are times where we traditionally meet with family, eat too much and have awkward conversations with relatives we barely know and realize we have very little in common with.

If they find out you are a biologist chances are you'll get asked about topics ranging from global warming to this week's cancer scare. Here's a handy dandy resource for putting people straight about why they shouldn't necessarily believe it when they hear that cell phone towers are killing plants, will cure/cause cancer, or how scientists are all faking global warming. 

Have a safe Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday's EEMB seminar

Today's EEMB seminar speaker is Mike Ryan from the University of Texas.

Mike integrates behavioral ecology, physiology and biogeography within a phylogenetic approach to study mate signaling and sexual selection in tĂșngara frogs and swordtail fishes.  Please join us at 4pm in the MSRB auditorium for his talk, "Sexual Selection and Communication in Tungara Frogs: Brian, Behavior & Evolution".  Refreshments will be served prior to the talk.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Friday seminar

This talk should be more accessible to undergraduates than most modelling talks. The photograph above is from one of Cherie's field sites and was taken by Joel Sartore, a National Geographic photographer. It recently won a prize in the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year awards.

Nov 12 @ 1:00pm, 1132 HFH - Harold Frank Hall also known as Engineering I
Professor Cherie Briggs,
"Models of host-pathogen dynamics"
A recently discovered chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), is having devastating effects on amphibian populations in the California Sierra Nevada, and throughout the world. In the Sierra Nevada, Bd has led to hundreds of local extinctions of frog populations, but a few populations are persisting with Bd. Efforts are currently underway, both in the Sierra Nevada and worldwide, to attempt to control this pathogen and/or limit its impact on amphibian populations. Herpetologists and ecologists are actively seeking the advice of modelers and theoreticians about what control strategies are likely to be most effective against this pathogen. In this talk, I will describe our efforts to date to develop models of the Bd/frog system, which involve models that differ from standard microparasite disease models because of the unique biology of Bd. I will discuss mechanisms by which control strategies might be effective, and areas in which further modeling work is needed.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Carcinonemertes kurisi

In case you didn't see the Nexus today:  New Nemertean Worm Species Named After UCSB Scientist

UCSB zoology professor Armand Kuris has received one of the greatest honors biologists can hope for — having a newly discovered species named after him.
Carcinonemertes kurisi, a species of ribbon worm, was first found and documented by Kuris and Patricia Sadeghian, one of his former students. Sadeghian wrote her Master’s thesis on the species in 2003 and then named the ribbon worm after Kuris in an October 2010 issue of the Journal of Natural History after producing a formal description of the worm.

Monday, November 8, 2010

EEMB Seminar time and location change

NOTE: Today's EEMB seminar is at 3:30 PM in the third floor conference room of the MSI building- 3322 MSRB

Mark Vellend, an ecologist from the University of British Columbia will be giving the EEMB departmental seminar today, "Integrating ecology and genetics: patterns, experiments, and ideas."  Mark is an interactive and broad thinking population and community ecologist, who focuses on plants.  His website is: http://www.botany.ubc.ca/vellend/

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Geeky science students wanted

As CCS students you should not restrict yourself to those labs that actively advertise for undergraduates. But if research on the molecular mechanisms underlying polycystic kidney disease and mechanisms of epithelial cell function and kidney physiology sound like your thing then this is a great opportunity.

Geeky science students invited to apply for undergraduate research internships in the Weimbs lab in MCDB
Do you have a passion for research? Did you spend your childhood looking at dirt samples under a microscope or mixing concoctions with a beefed-up chemistry set? Are you serious about a career in research and attending a PhD program in a top graduate school? Do you want to make a real contribution to research on a human disease that affects millions? Do you want to be intellectually involved, read research papers, come up with new ideas and test them yourself? Are you unafraid of learning new scientific techniques, tinkering with experiments over and over until you get them to work, spending long hours in the lab, reading papers all night long, presenting your findings in front of the research team?
If this sounds like you, we want you in the lab!
You would be teamed up with and trained by an experienced scientist in the lab. You would be expected to work more and more independently over time, manage your own experiments and schedule, plan and interpret experiments, understand what you are doing, be productive, move your research project forward.
Look up our research on the web to see if this excites you. If it does, send your resume and list of grades to:
Thomas Weimbs, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology

Yearly courses

GOLD is your best source of information about what courses are running next quarter but what about the one after that? The two biology departments at UCSB plan at least a year in advance and publish their list of planned courses online. They aren't however, that easy to find. Go to the EEMB website, click on Academic Programs - Undergraduate Studies and then on the menu on the left hand side click 'current students'. Scroll down and you'll see a link to:

Updated list of the proposed courses for the year
This is a list, updated yearly, of what courses the two departments are actually planning on running. It isn't a guarantee but it's as good as you are going to get. I use it all the time to find out what is happening.

Monday, November 1, 2010

EEMB seminar

Today's EEMB seminar should be of interest to those with an interest in marine biology, ecology or global change

Dr. Jonathan Shurin from UCSD will be giving this Monday's EEMB seminar. Dr. Shurin works in aquatic ecosystems investigating local and regional controls of species diversity, consumer-resource dynamics and food web energetics. The title of his talk is "Plankton ecosystem dynamics in a warmer, wilder world"