Department of Biology

17th Annual Biology Poster Symposium and Awards Ceremony Update

On Friday, May 11, the Biology Department had its 17th Annual Poster Symposium and Awards Ceremony. The Poster Symposium is a celebration and demonstration of the many student research projects that take place over the year. This year, 100 posters were presented in five different rooms in Holt Hall. Forty of the posters were lower-division class projects with over 150 student authors, primarily from our BIOL 152 course, (Principles in Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology.) There were also 37 upper-division class projects with over 100 student authors, and five posters on research done by students as independent research with a faculty member. Graduate students presented six graduate class projects and 12 thesis research posters. The poster symposium was followed by an awards ceremony. The authors of the best posters in each category, along with the best overall poster, were awarded cash prizes of up to $500. 


Two faculty, John Mahoney and Don Miller, were promoted to Full Professor this year, and a new Assistant Professor, Troy Cline, joined the Department.

Mahoney                          Miller                                       Cline

mahoney     miller     cline



Through a generous donation, several new mounted animal heads have been added to the walls of classrooms and the Vertebrate Museum from the Sib West collection. The Biology department also received an endowment of $200,000 from the Sib West estate to maintain the Vertebrate Museum and establish a scholarship in wildlife studies.



Two outstanding students in the Department of Biological Sciences were awarded prestigious awards and scholarships this year!

  • Jessica Leek was honored with her second Floyd English Scholarship.
  • Ellie Oliver was chosen as the Outstanding Student Leader for the College of Natural Sciences. In addition, Ellie was also chosen as the 2013 Commencement Speaker. 
  • 42 undergraduates doing independent research, and 79 with internships

Congratulations to these outstanding students.



A past Chair of the Department of Biological Sciences and dean of the college, Roger Lederer, was chosen as this year’s Outstanding Emeritus Professor for his many contributions to the community and the field of Ornithology.



Dr. Darwin Murrel was chosen as the 2012-2013 Distinguished Alumnus for the college of Natural Sciences.
Biological Science 1962

Honorary Professor, Danish Centre for Experimental Parasitology, University of Copenhagen, K. Darwin Murrell served as the deputy administrator of the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the US Department of Agriculture’s chief scientific research arm, where his research focused on the protection of humans and animals from food-borne diseases. Murrell received the 1984 ARS Outstanding Scientist of the Year award, the 1988 American Association of Veterinary Parasitologists (AAVP) Distinguished Parasitologist Award, a 1996 Fulbright Award, and a 1997 Presidential Distinguished Federal Executive Rank Award.