Friday, November 14, 2014

Fall 2014 TriBeta Inductees

Congratulations to the following students who were inducted into the Sigma Delta chapter of Beta Beta Beta, the biological honor society: Regular members include Leah Woolam, Amy Sarcinella, Lindsey Zamudio, and Renato Rios.  Associate members include Joseph Hamlin Elizabeth Gilliland, Jesse Brown and, Katherine Koock.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Dr. Meik and colleagues document endogenous viral elements in rattlesnake genome

Dr. Jesse Meik, together with several of his colleagues, recently published the results of their exploration of the rattlesnake genome in which they documented, for the first time, several kinds of endogenous viral elements (EVEs).  EVEs are genetic 'fossils' resulting from viruses becoming incorporated into an organism's genome millions of years ago.  Understanding EVEs can reveal many things about viruses and host-virus interactions. 

Endogenous hepadnaviruses, bornaviruses and circoviruses in snakes
Proceedings of the Royal Society Biological Sciences, 2014

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

2014 Publications: Dr. Chris Higgins

López-González, C., S.J Presley, A. Lozano, R.D. Stevens, and C.L. Higgins. 2014. Ecological biogeography of Mexican bats: the relative contributions of habitat heterogeneity, beta diversity, and environmental gradients to species richness and composition patterns. Ecography - Online Early DOI: 10.1111/ecog.00813.

De la Sancha, N.U., C.L. Higgins, S.J. Presley, and R.E. Strauss. 2014. Metacommunity structure in a highly fragmented forest: has deforestation in the Atlantic Forest altered historic biogeographic patterns? Diversity and Distributions - Online Early DOI: 10.1111/ddi.12210. [pdf]

Lange, J.R., R.M. Harp, J.M. Cadle, R.S. Tarpley, C.L. Higgins, and B.D. Lambert. 2014. Lunar influence on post-castration performance of baby piglets. The Texas Journal of Agriculture and Natural Resources 27:1-12. [pdf]

Erős, T., P. Takács, P. Sály, C.L. Higgins, P. Bíró, and D. Schmera. 2014. Quantifying temporal variability in the metacommunity structure of stream fishes: the influence of non-native species and environmental drivers. Hydrobiologia 722: 31-43. [pdf]

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Student co-authors publication

Kalee Smith, an undergraduate majoring in Biology with a Wildlife and Environmental emphasis, has had a paper accepted for publication in The Texas Journal of Science, coauthored with Dr. Allan Nelson and Dr. Jim Goetze.  The paper is entitled, “Range extensions and county records for vascular plants from Mills County, Texas”.  Kalee collected plants, made voucher specimens, helped prepare the manuscript, and recorded data for specimens located at Tarleton State University Herbarium.  Kalee has also been involved in entering data from the plant collections at Tarleton on the worldwide web at the Consortium of the Northern Great Plains Herbaria.  This consortium is partnered with Integrated Digitized Biocollections (IDigBio), which is funded by the National Science Foundation.  For information about the herbarium at Tarleton and the consortium, follow this link.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Field Research Assistants needed

Dr. Higgins needs two additional undergraduate students to serve as research assistants this fall ($1000) and spring ($1000) to help with a survey of mammals at Palo Pinto Mountains State Park, which is the newest state park in Texas. Nestled within the Western Cross Timbers Ecoregion of North Central Texas, PPMSP is 3,346 acres of land with great topographic diversity. It is important that we document what the mammalian diversity looks like in this area and its relationship with habitat characteristics before the land is actually developed and opened to the public. This survey provides an important baseline for future comparative studies examining the diversity of mammals after the park is fully functional.  To apply for a research assistantship, visit Dr. Higgins' website to complete a brief application (

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Student presents research, wins award

Andria Beal, undergraduate biology major, conducted research on the genetics of a hybrid zone in Dr. Pfau's lab for several semesters. Recently she presented her research at the Texas Society of Mammalogists conference (where she won the Bobby Baker Award for best presentation in her category) and at the Southwestern Association of Naturalists conference. The title of her presentations were “East Meets West: Identification Of The Contact Zone Between Genetic Lineages Of The Hispid Cotton Rat”. Andria is currently pursuing a Master's degree in biology at Texas Christian University.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Tim Huebner defends thesis

Tim Huebner successfully defended his Master's thesis.  Congratulations Tim!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Dr. Jesse Meik publishes 2 papers

Dr. Jesse Meik, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences, along with several colleagues, published
two papers.  One details the biogeography, phylogeny, and morphological evolution of cave and spring salamanders.  The other uncovers the evolutionary relationships of the enigmatic longtailed rattlesnakes of Mexico's Pacific coast.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Tarleton biology graduate of 2008, Sam Kieschnick, is Mansfield's first naturalist

When the city of Mansfield, TX advertised a position for naturalist at their new 80-acre Elmer W. Oliver Nature Park, Sam applied.  His variety of experiences and unstoppable enthusiasm for nature landed him the job.  Sam is the city's first naturalist, and area residents couldn't be in better hands--as this article in the Star-Telegram explains.

Congratulations Sam!

Friday, March 1, 2013

New Faculty Member, Dr. Jesse Meik

Dr. Jesse Meik recently joined the department.  Dr. Meik specializes in herpetology and evolutionary biology and will be teaching Comparative Anatomy and developing new courses.  Visit Dr. Meik's website for additional details.