Recent Department News
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. Read more about it here!
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. Click here for more information.
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. See details on her research and the award.
February 2012: Dr. Nathan Rank was awarded the Goldstein award for excellence in teaching and research.
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.
Sonoma State's Department of Biology offers a dynamic learning environment, exciting research and training opportunities and intensive mentoring of students at all levels. Our distinguished faculty are not only dedicated educators but also active scholars who engage in original research to address diverse topics in the biological sciences.
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.
The educational and research activities in department explore the full range of biology – molecular and cell biology, genetics, physiology, microbiology, ecology, conservation and evolutionary biology. We emphasize plants, animals, fungi and a wide range of micro-organisms from terrestrial, marine and freshwater environments. Our department offers a range of top-notch laboratory, greenhouse and museum facilities for use in teaching and research. In addition, SSU is fortunate to own and operate two exceptional nature preserves, which both offer invaluable opportunities for learning about biological systems in the field.
We invite you to explore the many facets of our department presented in this web page. Please feel free to contact any of the department faculty or staff if you have questions about our programs.