News Release
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Sonoma State's DNA Sequencing Lab offers students
a chance to learn about genetic analysis.

Students at Sonoma State University are getting a chance to run their own DNA analysis with genetic material from beetles, toads, snakes, ants and thrushes.

Current projects going on in the lab, which focus more on preservation of threatened species, include:

1) Conservation genetics of the California Toad: Implications on the historical bio-geography of California
2) Molecular genetic analysis of the origin of migratory behavior in
thrushes (birds)
3) Genetic analysis of migratory flyways across N. America of the
Sharp-shinned hawk
4) Genetic analysis of steelhead in the Russian River watershed
5) Bio-geography of the ants of eastern Madagascar: Implications for conservation policy.
6) Molecular genetic analysis of the world's most primitive ants (including the famous Dracula ants).
7) Genetic analysis of montane leaf beetles.
8) Genetic analysis of harbor seals in S.F. Bay
9) Population genetic analysis of the endangered African wild dog

Derek Girman, assistant professor of biology, is Director of the Core DNA Analysis Facility on campus. The facility has been in place since Fall, 1999 and came as the result of a successful National Science Foundation Grant, Science Foundation Course, Curriculum and Laboratory Improvement grant.

The University invested $35,000 in matching funds to establish the facility. As a result, the lab has been able to generate $441,175 to support equipment and research opportunities for SSU students.

There are five graduate students and four undergraduates working intensively in association with the core facility this semester.

Girman says the lab provides students with continued opportunities to learn the process of science, to participate in original research, and to add key skills and experiences to their resumes so they are more competitive at the next level of research after leaving SSU.


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Last Modified: 2/14/01