FSU - Biological Science

Department of Biological Science

at Florida State University

What's News

FSU biologists discover how cancer-causing virus avoids triggering immune system response
  • A team of researchers from FSU Biological Science and Institute of Molecular Biophysics has uncovered a mechanism one cancer-causing virus uses to evade immune-system responses that would normally trigger antiviral responses and virus suppression.
  • The groups work reveals key details that will help deepen our understanding of how viruses effectively evade immune responses, which also drive tumor development and growth.
  • See the story on FSU News here.

Pictured from left are biological science postdoctoral scholar Debipreeta Bhowmik and assistant professor of biological science and molecular biophysics Qian Yin. Photo by McKenzie Harris.

Ecologist receives 2021-22 FSU Distinguished Teacher Award
  • Professor of Biological Science Dr. Nora Underwood received FSU's 2021-22 Distinguished Teacher Award during the annual Faculty Awards Dinner April 27.
  • The Distinguished Teacher Award is the university's most prestigious honor for teaching.
  • Dr. Underwood also received a Graduate Faculty Mentor Award for the 2021-22 academic year.
  • See the news story on FSU News here.

FSU biologist named 2022 Pew fellow in marine conservation
  • Professor of Biological Science Dr. Daniel Okamoto has been awarded a prestigious fellowship that supports experts seeking solutions to critical challenges facing the worlds oceans.
  • Dr. Okamoto has been named by The Pew Charitable Trusts as a recipient of the 2022 Pew fellowship in marine conservation.
  • The project will bring together scientists and community partners to create management plans for this endangered species and, due to the integrated nature of this work, it could have a large impact on conservation-oriented goals, Okamoto said.
  • See the news story on FSU News here.

FSU biological scientist named AAAS fellow
  • Professor of Biological Science Dr. Brian Inouye has been named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
  • Dr. Inouye will be inducted to the prestigious society this year alongside 563 scientists, engineers, and innovators spanning 24 scientific disciplines.
  • Dr. Inouye is being honored for his contributions to the field of evolutionary ecology, specifically for his work on how variation among individual plants and insects affects overall population dynamics and species interactions.
  • See the news story on FSU News here.

Biology In London Program, Summer 2022
  • The Department of Biological Science is initiating an exciting new study abroad program in London as part of the FSU International Programs (IP) London Study Center.
  • The Biology in London Program will offer classes that are designed to take advantage of the London environment.
  • Biology in London is focused on biology majors, but non-majors are welcome to enroll.
  • FSU International Programs has full details on the Program here.

Visit the program webpage located here

FSU biologist part of team that discovered new record for highest-living mammal
  • The mouse was found even above the highest known nests of birds, a record that was set during a 1921 expedition on Mount Everest.
  • See the story on FSU News here.
  • Nat Geo article from the posting of the preprint is here.
  • This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation and National Geographic Society, as well as the Government of Chile.

FSU workshop on maize genome profiling leads to new study on corn flowering
  • A genomic mapping technique developed in part at Florida State University has played a crucial role in a new study aimed at understanding growth in corn, a major U.S. crop.
  • Professor of Biological Science Hank Bass and colleagues at FSU have refined the technique, called chromatin sensitivity profiling, over the past decade.
  • See the story on FSU News here.
  • Their study was recently published in the journal Genome Biology.

In guppy courtship, the unusual male wins
  • Professor of Biological Science Kimberly Hughes and postdoctoral researcher Mitchel Daniel examined the reasons behind guppy mating choices.
  • Read the story on FSU News here
  • Their study is published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society

The researchers found that females typically preferred the novel male guppies. But, they also found that male guppies with familiar patterns became interesting again to the guppies held in isolation.


Biological science professor wins FSU's 2018 Distinguished Teacher Award
  • Professor of Biological Science Gregory Erickson received Florida State University's 2018 Distinguished Teacher Award during the annual Faculty Awards Dinner May 2.
  • The Distinguished Teacher Award is the university's most prestigious honor for teaching and includes a $7,500 stipend.
  • Erickson, a paleontologist, joined the FSU faculty in 2000 as an assistant professor and was promoted to full professor in 2011. He has taught introductory biology classes for non-science majors, herpetology and anatomy.

Erickson has received a number of other teaching awards in his tenure at FSU. He received the University Teaching Award in 2017, the University Excellence in Teaching Award in 2012 and the Elias Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 2006.

Tyrannosaurus Rex's Bite Force Measured 8,000 Pounds
  • The giant Tyrannosaurus rex pulverized bones by biting down with forces equaling the weight of three small cars.
  • The new study is one of several by the authors and their colleagues that now show how sophisticated feeding abilities, most like those of modern mammals and their immediate ancestors, actually first appeared in reptiles during the age of the dinosaurs.
  • Read the story on FSU News here.

FSU research team makes Zika drug breakthrough
  • A team of researchers from Florida State University, Johns Hopkins University and the NIH has found existing drug compounds that can both stop Zika from replicating in the body and from damaging fetal brain cells.
  • Their work is outlined in an article published Monday by Nature Medicine.
  • The USA Today news article is linked here.

Researchers find exceptional species diversity on island in Philippines
  • Florida State University Professor of Biological Sciences Scott Steppan is part of a team that has published a new paper in the scientific journal Frontiers of Biogeography.
  • The largest island in the Philippines may be home to the greatest concentration of mammal diversity in the world, according to a research team that has been exploring the island for the past 15 years.
  • See the article on the FSU news site here.

Florida Rep. Gwen Graham recognizes FSU Zika research
  • Senator Graham recognizes FSU Zika research; Calls on congress to fund prevention efforts
  • See the announcement on youtube here.

FSU researchers make important Zika virus breakthrough
  • FSU research suggests virus linked to microcephaly.
  • New FSU research led by Professor of Biological Science Hengli Tang finds the Zika virus is directly targeting brain development cells and stunting their growth.
  • The news story on the FSU News Website is linked here.

Researchers identify rare dinosaur from Appalachia
  • An international team of researchers has identified and named a new species of dinosaur that is the most complete, primitive duck-billed dinosaur to ever be discovered in the eastern United States.
  • This new discovery also shows that duck-billed dinosaurs originated in the eastern United States, what was then broadly referred to as Appalachia, before dispersing to other parts of the world.
  • The news story on the FSU News Website is linked here.

Researchers attack citrus greening with $4 million USDA grant
  • International researchers, including ones at Florida State University and the University of Florida, are teaming up through a $4 million grant from the United States Department of Agriculture to attack the problem of citrus greening.
  • Kathryn Jones, an FSU associate professor of biological science, is part of the research team.
  • The news story on the FSU News Website is linked here.

Department of Biological Science Scholarship Awards
  • President Thrasher Visits

Yerger Lecture
  • Chairman Levitan, Mrs. Yerger and Lecturer Dr. Michael Childress of Clemson University

From hummingbird to owl: New research decodes bird family tree
  • Emily Moriarty Lemmon and Alan Lemmon, in coordination with Yale University, publish study in the journal Nature that resolves the bird family tree.
  • The news story on the FSU News Website is linked here.
  • The paper in the journal Nature is linked here.

Honors Thesis Mentor Award 2015
  • Dr. Brian Chadwick has been selected to receive a 2015 Honors Thesis Mentor Award
  • Award is given for efforts directing and advising undergraduate research

2014-2015 Teaching Awards for Biology
  • Trish Terebelski - FSU Distinguished Teacher Award
  • Tom Miller - Graduate Teaching Award
  • Emily DuVal and Jonathan Dennis - Undergraduate Teaching Award

Distinguished Research Professor Award
  • Dave Gilbert has been selected as one of only two Distinguished Research Professor Awards this year

Pfeiffer Professorships Awarded
  • Three year term professorships awarded to Dave Gilbert and Fanxiu Zhu

Sarah Tepper Wins Marion Jewell Hay Award 2014
  • Recognizes top student graduating this Fall
  • Nominated by Dr. Fanxiu Zhu
  • Sarah is the President of Tri-Beta

2014 Showcase of Undergraduate Research Excellence - Award Recipients
  • Richard Wu - Mentor: Dr. Hengli Tang
  • Molly Gordon - Mentor: Dr. Gilbert; Madison Kucinick - Mentor: Dr. Emily Lemmon
  • Sarah Tepper - Mentor: Dr. Fanxiu Zhu; Jose Moscoso - Mentor: Dr. Don R. Levitan
  • Kaitlin Griffith and Prathyusha Parmidi - Mentor: Dr. Nora Underwood

FSU Team Wins 1st Place at Evolution Conference
  • Biological Science grad students Zach Boudeau and Will Ryan team with Art undergrads to create animation "Drift"
  • The team produced the work under the direction of Associate Fine Arts Professor Keith Roberson
  • FSU Art undergraduates were Julia Kunberger (the top scoring student in BSC 2010L and 2011L last year)
  • Other Fine Arts students were Lauren Anderson, Monique Boileau, and Sarah Jezierny

2013-2014 University Undergraduate Teaching Award
  • Trisha (Spears) Terebelski has been selected in recognition of her teaching excellence.

Ellen Granger Named AAAS Fellow
  • OSTA Director
  • Science-Education Advocate

2013 Showcase of Undergraduate Research Excellence - Award Recipients
  • Kristin Engebretsen - Dr. Emily Lemmon's lab
  • Carlie Hoffman - Dr. Frances James
  • Olivia Gruder - Dr. Jonathan Dennis' lab
  • Kelly Vasbinder - Dr. Janie Wulff's lab

Garnet and Gold Society Inductees Spring 2013
  • Saira Bari
  • Zoe Galitz
  • Alicia Vollmer

Researchers discover novel cellular mechanisms
  • A major discovery involving a cellular competition and space compensation mechanism within tissues.
  • More about this in the FSU News
  • See summary at Science Direct

Gabor Superior Accomplishment Award
  • Geoff Brown/Biological Science Wins Gabor Award for 2013
  • Lab Coordinator 2000 Level courses

Exemplary Service Awards
  • 2013 Winner - Virginia Carter Grants Compliance Analyst
  • 2013 Winner - Tom Fellers Imaging Resource

Graduate Faculty Mentor Award
  • Debra Fadool
  • Dr. Fadool's faculty home page.

Honors Thesis Mentor Award - 2013

Outstanding Teaching Assistant Awards
  • Brittany Kraft
  • Carly Ryan

Biological Science Retirees - from left: Tom Roberts, Anne Thistle and Ken Roux

Two biologists named as AAAS fellows
  • Greg Erickson - one of the world's foremost authorities on verebrate paleontology
  • David Houle - works in the new field of pheonomics

Dr. Hengli Tang wins FSU Developing Scholar Award
  • $10,000 will be contributed to the Tang lab.
  • Dr. Tang's faculty home page.
  • Read about the Developing Scholar Award: DSA

Biology majors win InNOLEvation Challenge's
  • See the Florida State News article
  • Winning team: High-Throughput Revolutions - Aubrey Kusi-Appiah (left), Nicholas Vafai (middle), and Sohail Merchant (right)

Dr. Scott Steppan, Guardian of the Flame
  • Burning Spear has chosen Biology's Dr. Steppan to receive the 2012 Guardian of the Flame award for the College of Arts and Sciences

Emily Lee is FSU's latest "Student Star" from Biology
  • See her student profile
  • Direct link to the one minute video

FSU scientist leads research on AIDS-related cancer

Undergraduates discovering the beauty of doing research

Discover magazine ranks FSU findings on "mahjong" cancer gene among years top stories

Fulbright-winning FSU faculty share, gain knowledge worldwide

Hepatitis C virus faces new weapon from Florida State scientists
  • More about this in the FSU News
  • Also, see the

Dr. Ellington named "Point of Light" by Florida Governors Office

How cells manage their genes focus of $1.4 million NSF grant to Florida State

Renowned marine scientist Peter J. Auster has been appointed as the Mote Eminent Scholar Chair in Fisheries Ecology for 2010-2011

Biologist, mathematician take novel approach to understanding pituitary function

Biology's Erin Simmons is one of 8 FSU students who was chosen as a Gubernatorial Fellow

"Mahjong" gene is key player when cancer, normal cells compete

Record number of Florida State students win NSF Graduate Research Fellowships and many are in Biology

Bionanotechnology has new face, world-class future at Florida State

Florida State biologist wins $1 million NSF Early Career Award

Ecology shapes evolution; Florida State's Travis shows reverse also true

New study by Coleman et al. reveals the Red Grouper to be both architect and ecosystem engineer

Recent awards in Biology
  • Associate Professor Wu-Min Deng received the Developing Scholar Award
  • Graduate student Casey ter Horst received a Graduate Research and Creativity Award
  • Graduate student Tania Kim received an Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award

Inside the first bird, surprising signs of a dinosaur

Landmark study sheds new light on human chromosomal birth defects

New NIH grant makes FSU's Biological Science Imaging Resource one of world's top imaging centers

New King Life Sciences Building moves biological science mission forward

Dr. Don Levitan has won a Graduate Faculty Mentor Award. The award recognizes graduate faculty for excellence in graduate education and mentoring

Dr. Tom Keller has won a Graduate Faculty Mentor Award. The award recognizes graduate faculty for excellence in graduate education and mentoring

Three awarded at TriBeta National Convention
  • The Second Place Johnson Award in Cell and Developmental Biology was awarded to Michael Henderson
  • The Third Place Johnson Award in Cellular and Molecular Biology, Division I was awarded to Katherine Beckham
  • The Third Place Johnson Award in Cellular and Molecular Biology, Division II was awarded to Kevin Meyer

*Johnson Awards are for posters

Dr. Walter R. Tschinkel, Professor in the Department of Biological Science, has been awarded the Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor Award for 2007/2008

Dr. Debra Fadool has received Albion College's Distinguished Alumni Award for 2007. Debi received this award at Albion College's Awards Ceremony during their Homecoming Weekend

Biological Science faculty members Dr. Debbi Fadool and Dr. Greg Erickson win Developing Scholar Award
  • Dr. Debbi Fadool's faculty home page
  • Dr. Greg Erickson's faculty home page
  • Read about the Developing Scholar Award at the FSU Office of Research DSA home page