Recent Department News

November 2017: The Department of Biology is hiring for a tenure-track position in Community Ecology. More information about the position is available on the HigherEd Jobs website.

May 2017: Sonoma State Biology undergraduate and Master’s student Mike Tift was awarded the 2017 Scholander Award by the American Physiological Society. Mike recently completed his doctorate at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and is currently a post-doctoral researcher at UCSD. This prestigious award is given annually by the Comparative Physiology and Evolutionary Section of the APS to the outstanding young comparative physiologist in the world. Congratulations Mike!

May 2017: The Biology Department is happy to announce that Dr. Daniel Crocker has been selected for the 2016-2017 President's Award for Excellence in Scholarship! Congratulations, Dr. Crocker!

December 2016: The Department of Biology is very pleased to welcome new tenure-track faculty member Dr. Lisa Patrick Bentley. Dr. Bentley’s research focuses on plant physiological ecology and addresses questions related to the environmental controls on carbon and water flux in ecosystems and the evolution of plant form and function. Welcome Dr. Bentley!

October 2016: Congratulations to Dr. Mackenzie Zippay for her participation on a recently published paper on the findings of intertidal mussels, spanning 18 years of research! Publication of the paper was also celebrated this week in the New York Times!

September 2016: Biology professor Dr. Sean Place is the happy recipient an NSF grant to study the effects of climate change on Antarctic fish. Read more about it here on the main SSU Website. Congratulations, Dr. Place!

August 2016: Biology professor Dr. Michael Cohen's current research project has been featured in the latest edition of Sonoma State Insights - way to go, Dr. Cohen!

March 2016: Read about Dr. Dan Crocker's becoming an Academy Fellow at California Academy of Sciences in the latest edition of SSU News Center!

January 2016: Biology professor Dr. Nathan Rank received a 3-year award from the National Science Foundation to study how variability in winter climate affects the physiology and survival of a montane leaf beetle in its natural environment. This research will be conducted in collaboration with Dr. Caroline Williams of the University of California-Berkeley and Dr. Elizabeth Dahlhoff of Santa Clara University. The award will foster collaborations among Bay Area researchers at different universities and expose SSU students to new experimental approaches and research areas. This is the second award from the National Science Foundation supporting this research system in the past two years. Congratulations, Dr. Rank!

October 2015: Congratulations to Dr. Dan Crocker, who was recently elected as a fellow to the California Academy of Sciences! He joins the ranks of 400 internationally recognized scholars who have made substantial contributions to the natural sciences during their academic careers. Fellows are elected to this governing body for life. The Department of Biology is pleased that one of our own has received this prestigious recognition of their scientific accomplishments.

Sept/Oct 2015: The Department of Biology is conducting a tenure-track search for an Assistant Professor in the area of Integrative Plant Biology. Please click here for a complete job description and application instructions.

August 2015: Congratulations to Dr. Nathan Rank and "Team Beetle" for an award from the National Science Foundation to further their research on montane leaf beetles in the eastern Sierra Nevada and how they deal with stressful temperatures and climate change. Dr. Rank’s work has been noted in the CSUPERB Annual Report 2014-2015. Read more about it here!

June 2015: Biology professor Dr. Nathan Rank received a 3-year award from the National Science Foundation to study how environmental stresses interact with population genetics to affect physiology of a montane leaf beetle. This research will be conducted in collaboration with Dr. Elizabeth Dahlhoff of Santa Clara University and Dr. Chris Wheat of the University of Stockholm. We expect many more students to participate in 'Team Beetle' as a result of this award. Click here for photos. Congratulations, Dr. Rank!

May 2015: The Department of Biology welcomes its new tenure-track faculty member, Dr. Mackenzie Zippay. Dr. Zippay’s research focuses on environmental and comparative physiology of marine invertebrates that inhabit rocky intertidal ecosystems. Much of her current research integrates measures of organismal performance with cellular and biochemical analyses of metabolic processes to understand how intertidal mussels cope with a rapidly changing environment. She has previously taught a variety of courses in the department. As the new tenure-track faculty member, Dr. Zippay will be teaching BIOL 347 (Environmental Physiology) and BIOL 500S (Graduate Seminar in Scientific Skills) this coming fall semester. Welcome Dr. Zippay!

March 2015: Former undergraduate Robin Decker was awarded a prestigious 3-year Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation to support her Ph.D. in population biology at University of California, Davis. Congratulations Robin!

January 2015: Congratulations to SSU Biology Graduate Student Kerry Wininger! Kerry won a Best Student Poster award at the California Native Plant Society Conservations Conference in San Jose. Her research aims to shed light on relationships between Sudden Oak Death, reproduction of it's primary natural foliar host, and insect prevalence, in a landscape-level context, with hopes to inform management strategies to cope with this disease that could unhinge native California ecosystems. Check it out here:

October 2014 The Biology Department was well represented this week at the San Diego meeting of the American Physiology Society, with two contributed talks and one poster by SSU graduate student Hannah Peck. Congratulations, Hannah!

August 2014: The Biology Department welcomes its new faculty member, Dr. Sean Place. Dr. Place's background is in Genomics, Molecular and Cell Biology, and Biochemical Adaptations. His research activities, funded mostly by the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health, employ molecular and cellular techniques to investigate the physiological response of both vertebrate and invertebrate organisms to ecologically relevant stressors. His interdisciplinary research spans the complete spectrum of organismal biology from field-based marine ecology to environmental genomics. Dr. Place will be teaching Biology 342 (Molecular Genetics) this Fall semester. Welcome Dr. Place!

June 2014: Biology instructor Fran Keller recently participated in an exciting and successful entomology project, "Cataloging Insect and Bat Diversity in Belize". Read all about it here!

January 2013: Biology graduate student Andrew Kleinhesselink was awarded a prestigious 3-year Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation to pursue a Ph.D. at Utah State University. Congratulations, Andrew!

September 2012: Hall Cushman has been appointed Chief Editor of AoB PLANTS, an open-access journal published by Oxford University Press. See the journal's website for background about this publication.

May 2012: The Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles (SSAR) has awarded graduate student Nicole Karres the Dean E. Metter Memorial Award. Way to go, Nicole!

February 2012: Dr. Nathan Rank was awarded the Goldstein award for excellence in teaching and research. Congratulations, Dr. Rank!

February 2012: Dr. Michael Cohen has received a fellowship to work at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab in Berkeley during the summer of 2012, studying extremophile microorganisms.

August 2011: Alumnus Aaron Agostini (MS 2011) has been awarded na Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) Fellowship to support his Ph.D. studies in the Department of Plant Pathology at Washington State University.

May 2011: Alumnus Caden Hare (MS 2010) has won The Green Award, a $25,000 prize to continue his work on the Fuel from Aquatic Biomass Project.

The Department of Biology offers a dynamic learning environment, exciting research and training opportunities and intensive mentoring of students at all levels. Our faculty are not only dedicated educators but also active scholars who engage in primary research to address diverse topics in the biological sciences.

Mission: The overall mission of our undergraduate and graduate programs is to educate the next generation of scholars, professionals and citizens so that they are prepared to meet the biological, environmental and technological challenges of the future.

Areas of Educational and Research Activities: Ecology, Conservation and Evolutionary Biology, Genetics, Molecular and Cell Biology, and Physiology.

Please feel free to contact any of the department faculty or staff if you have questions about our programs.