Departmental Seminar, Grad Research & Pasakarnis-Buchanan Lecture

FALL 2023

To schedule a seminar or for any questions related to our seminar series, please contact Dr. Bidart (
Date Speaker Seminar Title Host
23-Aug Dr. Paul Glaum, Waterborne Environmental, Inc. Wild bee community composition along an urbanization gradient in southeastern Michigan Dan Pavuk
30-Aug Dr. Thomas Luhring, Wichita State University Virtual Seminar: Context, constraints, and trade-offs in organismal responses to environmental change Root lab
6-Sep Dr. Margaret Lewis, The Ohio State University Virtual seminar: Differential effects of flood stress on virulent and avirulent soybean aphid biotypes Maria Bidart
13-Sep Jacob Buchanan, Bowling Green State University Dissertation Defense: The influence of environmental and biotic filters on invertebrate community dynamics and spatial synchrony Kevin McCluney
20-Sep Dr. Rafael Garcia-Mata, The University of Toledo The role of SGEF in the regulation of epithelial cell adhesion Maria Bidart
27-Sep Dr. Alexandra Colin, Institut de Recherche Interdisciplinaire de Grenoble (IRIG), France Virtual Seminar: Unraveling the mistery of intracellular architecture dynamics. Carol Heckman
4-Oct Dr. Bruce Bamber, The University of Toledo Olfactory combinatorial coding in C. elegans Maria Bidart
11-Oct Dr. Frances Sivakoff, The Ohio State University   History matters: Understanding how land-use legacy influences insect communities and ecosystem services Dan Pavuk
18-Oct Dr. Kristy Townsend, The Ohio State University College of Medicine Neural Plasticity in Brain and  Periphery in Maintaining Metabolic Health Maria Bidart
25-Oct Dr. Inke Forbrich, The University of Toledo Coastal wetlands in a changing world: Impacts on C sequestration and GHG release Kevin McCluney
1-Nov Dr. Michael Weintraub, The University of Toledo Introducing COMPASS: A new coastal wetland research initiative studying Lake Erie Kevin McCluney
8-Nov Dr. Maria Dolors Sans, University of Michigan Medical School Virtual seminar: Postprandial regulation of pancreatic digestive enzymes synthesis in health and disease Maria Bidart
15-Nov Dr. Jim Hood, The Ohio State University What happens to phosphorus between the edge of field and Lake Erie? Kevin McCluney
29-Nov Dr. Khadijah Mitchell, Temple University Profiling biobehavioral determinants of lung cancer health disparities  Julia Halo


To schedule a seminar or for any questions related to our seminar series, please contact Dr. Bidart (



Seminar Title


Jan 10

Brian Kron, President BGSA

BGSA meeting – Graduate Students Only


Jan 17

Dr. Melanie Kazenel, North Carolina State University

The consequences of climate change for insect pollinators and plants

 Kevin McCluney

Jan 24

Dr. Joy O’Keefe, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Virtual Seminar: Local diners: ecosystem services of bats in the Midwest

 M. Gabriela Bidart

Jan 31


Feb 7


Feb 14


Feb 21


Feb 28

Dr. Timothy James, University of Michigan   Chris Ward

March 6


No Seminar


March 13

Dr. Reagan Errera, NOAA-GLERL


 Chris Ward

March 20

Dr. Sarah Smith, Michigan State University

Virtual Seminar:

 Dan Pavuk

March 26

PB Lecture: Dr. Sean Carroll, University of Maryland, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Public Lecture (Tu 7 pm)


March 27

PB Lecture: Dr. Sean Carroll, University of Maryland, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Scientific Lecture (Wed 3:30 pm)


April 3

Dr. Daniel Pavuk, Bowling Green State University    

April 10


April 17


April 24


Graduate Research-in-Progress (GRIP) is a seminar series for graduate students to present their research ideas and progress to other graduate students (and faculty). The goals for attending and presenting are to increase awareness of research across the discipline, to hone presentation skills essential for conveying scientific knowledge, to promote critical thinking skills, and to build camaraderie among graduate students. Students are encouraged to present yearly, so they get feedback early in the developmental stages of their research, as well as later when they have obtained some results and are trying to organize these within their conceptual framework.

The GRIP schedule for Fall Semester 2023 is below.

  • GRIP is held every Friday at 12:30am in LSC 334. All are welcome.
  • If you want to sign up to present, contact  Drs. Miner or Wildschutte

Presenters, please remember to:

  • Introduce yourself--include status in graduate program or affiliation.
  • Describe the purpose of the talk; i.e., is it practice for a conference, or a discussion of ideas?
  • You will be presenting to a diverse audience. Initially, put your work into a broad biological conceptual framework, so that everyone can understand the focus of your research. You can then go into depth, but remember to return to the ‘big picture’ as you conclude/summarize.
  • It is suggested that you have a presentation review with your faculty mentor before you finalize your presentation.
Date Student Title
August 25 Organizational lunch  
September 1 Chris Ward Chris will give a presentation on the NSF Graduate Fellowship opportunity.  Maybe others could bring their list of grants and fellowships to which students can apply
Sept 8    
Sept 15 Carren Burkey (Morris) "Biocontrol in hydroponics greenhouse systems"
Sept 22 Kate Brown (Ward) Bacterial community and cyanobacteria gene distribution of the Winam Gulf, Kenya
Sept 29    
Oct 6 Chris Chandller and BGSA Sources of funding for your research:  from Sigma Xi to Crowd Sourcing!
Oct 13    
Oct 20 Madison Altieri (Halo) tRNA-derived Sine elements and their mobilization
Oct 27 Henry Loskom (Pavuk) How differing landscapes influence local mosquito diversity
Nov 3 Christopher Chandler (Geusz) TBD
Nov 10   Veteran's Day - no classes
Nov 17 Sara Scarlett (Wiegmann) An Assessment of Negative Patterning in the Whip Spider Phrynus marginemaculatus
Nov 24   Thanksgiving Break
Dec 1 Tyler Lenoy (Wildschutte) A CURE for your work performance: align teaching and research efforts’
Dec 8 Exam Week No Meeting

2023 Pasakarnis-Buchanan Lecture

Thursday, April 13, 2023 @ 7:00PM, Crises Abound: Health, Climate, Energy, Food, Pandemics... How Large-Scale Systems Biology Can Help Address the Major Challenges We Are Facing (Public Talk), featuring Dan Jacobson (Oak Ridge National Laboratory). In the Bowen-Thompson Student Union Theater.

The cost of generating biological data is dropping exponentially, resulting in increased data that has far outstripped the predictive growth in computational power from Moore’s Law. This flood of data has opened a new era of systems biology. Supercomputing and explainable-AI approaches have been developed to find complex mechanisms responsible for all measurable phenotypes as well as an organism’s ability to detect and modulate its microbiome. The result is progress towards a comprehensive systems biology model of an organism and how it has adapted to and responds to its abiotic and biotic environment. These discoveries have applications in bioenergy, precision agriculture, ecosystem studies, precision medicine, and pandemic prevention among other disciplines.

Previous Pasakarnis-Buchanan Lectures

Thursday, March 24, 2021, @ 7:00PM, Fish Whispering: Exploring Environmental Impacts from Life History and Eco-Geochemistry (Public Talk) featuring Dr. Karin Limburg.

**Due to precautions taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the 2020 Pasakarnis-Buchanan lecture was canceled.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019, @ 7:00PM, Forecasting Nature: Ecological Experiments in a Time of Planetary Change (Public Talk) featuring Dr. Nicholas Gotelli.

Tuesday April 3, 2018 @ 7PM (Public Talk) "Digging for genes that affect behavior" (Public Talk) featuring Dr. Hopi Hoekstra (Harvard University). 

Tuesday April 4, 2017 @ 7PM (Public Talk) "Eco-Evo-Devo: the synthesis of epigenetics, medicine and evolution". Scott Gilbert (Swarthmore College).

Thursday, April 14, 2016 @ 7:00PM (Public Talk): "Resurrecting Ancient Proteins from Extinct Life" featuring Dr. Steven Benner (The Foundation for Applied Molecular Evolution, FAME). 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015: Dr. Tyrone Hayes (University of California, Berkeley). Dr. Hayes's topic was From Silent Spring to Silent Night: A Tale of Toads and Men.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014: Dr. Arturo Casadevall (Albert Einstein College of Medicine). Dr. Casadevall's topic was Thoughts on the Origin of Virulence.

Tuesday, March 21, 2013: Dr. P. Dee Boersma (University of Washington). Dr. Boersma's topic was Penguins as Marine Sentinels. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012: Dr. Jianzhi Zhang (University of Michigan). Dr. Zhang's topic was On the path to humanity: genes lost, gained, and modified during primate evolution.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011: Dr. Nils Walter (University of Michigan). Dr. Walter's topic was Chemistry of Life: Driving Force for the Evolution from Cyanide to the RNA World to Mankind.

Updated: 09/28/2023 10:18AM