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Week of: Nov 25, 2018

Stephanie Steffen Biological Sciences

Biological Sciences Seminar - Marie Strader, PhD, Postdoctoral Researcher Marine Science Institute, UCSB, will present “Molecular ecology of marine invertebrates: how early life history traits impact dispersal potential and tolerance to environmental change”.

The rapid pace of environmental change poses a variety of challenges to marine organisms spanning all levels of biological organization. Organismal responses to environmental changes include adaptation, acclimatization or dispersal to novel habitats. For many organisms living in oceans, dispersal only occurs during periods of early development and is driven by both physical oceanographic processes as well as biological traits. Therefore, persistence of marine organisms relies on the ability of early life-history stages to tolerate environmental variability and modulate their dispersal potential. One trait that impacts dispersal potential is the length of time in which larvae respond to environmental cues that trigger metamorphosis, or ‘competence’. I describe gene expression patterns that characterize competence in a common species of tropical reef-building coral and test candidate pathways that might play a role in the development of this complex trait. In addition, it is estimated that phenotypic plasticity, and the molecular mechanisms associated with it, will be determinant factors on the capacity to respond to impending climatic oscillations. Marine organisms that naturally experience highly variable conditions, such as the purple sea urchin, likely have the capacity for high phenotypic plasticity. I investigate how environmental conditions of parent’s impact phenotypes of their embryos and larvae by examining DNA methylation across the genome and how it might associate with phenotypes. This will reveal the capacity and potential mechanism for marine organisms to rapidly respond to change across generations. Taken together, a broad integrative approach to understanding organism-environment interactions from a population level to a molecular level will enable us to better predict the impact global change will have on marine organisms.

Date:  Friday, November 30, 2018
Time:  4:00 PM
Location:  Sci B 135

Week of: Nov 11, 2018

Alison Ruth Holmes International Studies

International Studies alums joined Program Leader, Alison Holmes, in Seattle last week for a quick catch up and to connect with colleagues in the city.

Stephanie Steffen Biological Sciences

Biological Sciences Seminar – Dr. Rachel Jacobs, PhD, National Fish and Wildlife Forensics Laboratory will present

“Primates to pangolins: forensic analyses for combating wildlife crimes”

The commercial wildlife trade is threatening animal species worldwide. In recognition of this threat, there are national and international laws and regulations aimed at minimizing the impact of such trade on certain species. Enforcement relies on the ability to recognize when violations occur, which involves accurate identification of species involved. Because the wildlife trade involves, not only live animals, but animal parts and derivatives, victim identification often requires forensic analysis. Moreover, such analyses often require multidisciplinary approaches (morphology, genetics, chemistry). Wildlife forensics aims to assist law enforcement by identifying victims of wildlife crimes and developing methods to facilitate identification. In this seminar, Rachel Jacobs, forensic mammalogist, will discuss her work at the National Fish and Wildlife Forensics Laboratory, and her research targeting illegal trade of primate parts and pangolin scales.

Date:  Friday, November 16, 2018
Time:  4:00 PM
Location:  Sci B 135

Week of: Nov 04, 2018

Lumberjack Debaters Make a Strong Showing in Tournament Communication

The Humboldt State Debate kicked off its season earlier this month with a two-day tournament at Dominican University in San Rafael, California.

Eighteen Lumberjack debaters (including eight novices) and two student judges participated in six preliminary rounds of debate between Saturday and Sunday. Each competitor spent 90 minutes in preparation and 42 minutes speaking across over five hours of debate. Topics included identity politics, affirmative action, social media and its relation to Democracy, the formation of a military Space Force, and more.

Of the eight teams that advanced to the semi-final rounds, two were from Humboldt State. Communication seniors Noe Araiza and Matthew Eisendrath and team secretary Fabian Cuevas together with his partner Kyle Marshall (who transferred this year from Los Medanos Community College to debate for Humboldt State) competed against Berkeley, the University of Utah, and the Claremont Colleges for a chance to advance to the final. Unfortunately, both teams dropped in the semi-final but their finish marks the first “break” for all four students and the first time HSU has advanced two teams into out rounds at once in at least the last four years. The tournament was won by the University of Utah.

Up next is Seattle University at the end of this month, and students are already talking up practices and research meetings between now and then. The students had fun, made new friends, learned a great deal, and represented our campus well.

We are always recruiting! Practices are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7-9:30 p.m. in SH117 and are always open to the public so send students or just come check us out and support your #RedwoodDebate team. 

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