Welcome Dr. Silvia Markova!

Welcome to Dr. Silvia Markova from the Czech Academy of Sciences, who just arrived here at OU for a 6-month sabbatical stay in our laboratory.  Dr. Markova conducts research on the phylogenetics and phylogeography of a variety of organisms ranging from our beloved Daphnia to bank voles.  She is interested in interacting with other colleagues here, who share similar research interests.  During her stay, she will be sitting in Sutton Hall 102 and also PHSC 130F.  Please join us in welcoming her to OU!

Congratulations to Rachel Hartnett!

We want to congratulate Rachel Hartnett on accepting an inaugural appointment as a Diversity Postdoctoral Fellow  in the Department of Integrative Biology at Oklahoma State University.   Rachel will be taking up her new position, effective 1 July 2018, for an initial 2-year period, with the possibility of an extension to a 3rd year.   This position will have teaching, research, and outreach duties associated with it, and there is the potential that it will develop into a tenure-track position.  We will be sorry to see Rachel leave us here at OU, but she will only be a short drive up the road in Stillwater.  Congratulations again, Rachel!

Congratulations to Ritu Kulkarni!

Congratulations to Ritu Kulkarni on being awarded an Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) grant from the OU Honors College for her Honors Research Project entitled “Effects of Phosphorus and Fish Kairomones on Life History Traits of Daphnia”.

Ritu Kulkarni – Honors B.S. (Microbiology)

Congratulations to Emily Kiehnau!

Congratulations are in order to Emily Kiehnau, who successfully completed her general exams, and has now officially entered into candidacy in the Ph.D. program here at OU.   Great job and congratulations, Emily!

Emily Kiehnau holding a Glew gravity corer for sampling sediments in the Muskoka Lakes, July 2016.

Adaptive Strategies & Climate Change Capstone Course offering for Spring 2018


BIOL 4983 SEC 005






This section of Senior Seminar (a.k.a. Capstone) will be offered for Spring 2018 and will cover the broad topic of Adaptation and Climate Change.  This course is timely, especially given the rapid rate of environmental change that has been observed over the past several decades with respective to species distributions, timing of seasonal events (e.g. plant phenology/bud-burst), and major glacio-morphological events (e.g. ice-sheet disruption; rapid glacial retreats, thinning of arctic sea ice). Some basic topics will include: environmental genomics of adaptation; genotype x environment interactions related to climate change; species range expansions/contractions (what’s moving where and how fast?); polar ecosystems as sentinels of climate change, host-pathogen-parasite dynamics under various climate change scenarios; using “resurrection ecology”/environmental DNA methods to examine adaptive changes; human adaptation and mitigation to climate change, among other topics.

The course will meet once a week (2 hr 50 min time block) with some lecture/background material being provided, as needed, during the first portion of each weekly meeting. The second (main portion) of each weekly meeting will focus on 1 or 2 topical papers from the primary literature, with student-led discussions/analyses.  Individual and group projects will also be part of the course. No tests are planned; however several relatively short (3-5 single-spaced pages) “mini”-term papers will be assigned throughout the semester.  One possible outcome/product/exercise from the course would be a group review paper that, with enough effort, might be suitable for submission for publication to a scientific journal. Critical thinking and critical writing will be highlighted in this course. For further information, please contact L.J. Weider at ljweider@ou.edu.

New review article just out in Frontiers in Ecology & Evolution

A new review article has just appeared in Frontiers in Ecology & Evolution which highlights the impacts of nitrogen and phosphorus across different levels of biological organization (i.e., genomes to natural and agricultural ecosystems).  This collaborative work was the result of discussions and presentations at a Royal Society Theo Murphy Conference held at the Kavli International Conference Center at Chicheley Hall, U.K. from 1-2 June 2015.