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2011 in the FSU Biological Science History project -->

2011 In the Department of Biological Science at Florida State University (updated 7 May 2012)

FSU's on-line news site, Florida State 24/7, featured the work of several Biological Science faculty this year.

Professor P. Bryant Chase appeared on 3 June for his encouragement of research by undergraduates. The story is at http://news.fsu.edu/More-FSU-News/News-Archive/2011/June/Students-discovering-the-beauty-of-doing-research-long-before-graduate-school.

Professor Scott J. Steppan was added on 6 July for his discovery of seven new species new species of mice on the island of Luzon, in the Philippines. Read the whole story at http://news.fsu.edu/More-FSU-News/News-Archive/2011/July/DNA-decoded-by-FSU-biologist-reveals-seven-new-mouse-species.

Professor Austin R. Mast, curator of the department's Robert K.Godfrey Herbarium, will be part of a $10 million national project to digitize museum specimens, which was described on 8 July.

Long-time courtesy research associate Akshinthala K. S. K. Prasad was featured on 29 June in Florida State News for his discovery of a new genus of diatoms in the St. Johns River, near the town of Palatka. He and coauthor James Nienow (a Ph.D. graduate of the department) named it Livingstonia palatkaensis, in honor of Professor Emeritus Robert J. ("Skip") Livingston, whose grant funded the original collection of the specimens.

Annual Awards Ceremony, 2011

Faculty roster
Awards to faculty, students, staff
Alumni newsletter (Responses)


Chair: P. Bryant Chase
Associate Chair for Graduate Studies: George W. Bates
Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies: Laura R. Keller
Associate Chair for Curriculum Development: Lloyd M. Epstein


  • Janis Schmauch came out of retirement to take up the vital position of administrative assistant to the chairman.

  • Cheryl Lee was seconded from the College of Arts and Sciences to reprise her role (filled many years earlier) as administrative specialist (the department's chief of staff and business manager) until the post could be filled permanently.

  • Technical support analyst Aaron Bugher joined the staff of the department's computer-support office.


  • Grants Specialist Linda Sims retired after many years in the department's fiscal office. She was replaced by Virginia Hellman, who simply moved one office over. Virginia was replaced, in turn, by Lori McFadden, who worked for years in the laboratory of Professor Emeritus Marc A. Freeman.

  • Coordinator of Nonmajors Biology Ann Lumsden retired after almost 20 years with the department. She was replaced by coordinator of teaching laboratories Carolyn Schultz. Carolyn was replaced by Geoffrey Brown, a former employee of the department.

  • Hybridoma/Molecular Research Specialist Pushparani ("Rani") Dhanarajan retired from the department.


  Faculty Awards

  • Dr. Don R. Levitan was elected a fellow of the Americation Association for the Advancement of Science.

  • Dr. Brian D. Inouye was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship for 2010-11.

  • Dr. Joseph Travis, Professor of Biological Science and Dean of the FSU College of Arts and Sciences, won the prestigious E. O. Wilson Naturalist Award, presented by the American Society of Naturalists. According to the society, the award is given to an active investigator in mid-career who has made significant contributions to the knowledge of a particular ecosystem or group of organisms."
  • In a 2011 paper published in Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, J. J. Smith, B. F Platt, G. A. Ludvigson, and J. R. Thomasson named a new fossil species of ant nest Daimoniobarax tschinkeli after our own Dr. Walter R. Tschinkel.

  Student Awards


  • Elise Gornish, a student in the laboratory of Dr. Thomas E. Miller, received an Ermine M. Owenby award for travel to a scientific meeting.

  • The Faculty Graduate Endowed Scholarship: Katie Lotterhos and Leanna Willison

  • The Robert K. Godfrey Scholarship: Amanda Buchanan and Chris Buddenhagen

  • The Margaret Menzel Memorial Scholarship: Stephen Klusza, Qiming Liang, and Jennifer Middlebrooks

  • The Robert B. Short Scholarship in Zoology: Carly Ryan, Caroline Stahala, Megan Jones, Alexa Warwick, and Aki Watanabe

  • The Jack Winn Gramling Research Award in Marine Biology: Brendan Biggs

  • The Horace Loftin Endowment Award: Carla Vanderbilt


  Staff Awards

  • The 2011 Sheila Lutz Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Andrew Watson, administrative support assistant in the FSU Department of Classics and Religion


This page is part of the Departmental History Project of the Department of Biological Science at Florida State University. Can you help us fill in the blanks? If you were once a student here, or a member of our faculty or staff, we'd love to hear from you. Send an e-mail to thistle@bio.fsu.edu, a fax to (850) 645-8447, or snail-mail to Dr. Anne B. Thistle, Editor, Department of Biological Science, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306-4295. And thanks!

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