Monday, March 12, 2018

Three Biology Professors help with Comanche Elementary Science Day at Timberlake Biological Station

Ms. Dixie Mayer, 4th grade science teacher with Comanche ISD, organized the event with generous help from Curtis Stahnke, principal, many other Comanche Elementary teachers, and faculty from Tarleton State University.  Elementary students participated in activities that examined aquatic, quail, tree, and whitetail deer populations along the river at Timberlake Biological Station near Goldthwaite, Texas.  Numerous parent volunteers helped supervise the students.  Students and their parent volunteers had a picnic lunch under the pavilion at the station and enjoyed a hands-on science activity in a natural setting.  

Since the generous donation of the property by Lamar and Marilyn Johanson, Tarleton State University (TSU) has established a biological field station at the site in Mills County.  Timberlake Biological Field Station is directed by Associate Professor, Dr. Chris Higgins at Tarleton and is not only used for research but for field trips and classes of college and public school students.  Dr. Higgins has worked to make the ranch a certified field site for the Texas Aquatic Science program.  Dr. Victoria Chraibi coordinates and teaches Aquatic Science education activities at the station.  Dr. Allan Nelson, Department Head and Professor at TSU and two graduate students, Austin Kaulfus and Leah Woolam, who do research at the station, also helped with the activities.
Comanche 4th grade boys investigating a quail kill station during a Quail Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) lesson with 4th grade teacher, Dixie Mayer.

Comanche 4th grade girls learning about aquatic life in the Colorado River with Dr. Victoria Chraibi and  graduate student, Leah Woolam.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Student wins award

Brittany Stewart, an undergraduate student in the Department of Biological Sciences that works in Dr. Dustin Edwards’ molecular virology laboratory, recently won first-place undergraduate poster in the life sciences a
t the Texas A&M University System Pathways Symposium.  Her work with Dr. Edwards focused on reticuloendotheliosis virus (REV), an avian immunosuppressive virus that infects a number of different kinds of birds. She conducted experiments to determine viral prevalence, genetic variability, host-range, and transmission. The research team, which included a number of other Tarleton students, also worked to develop novel diagnostic methods for detecting REV infection in the field, and they are currently studying the effects of antiretroviral therapeutics on viral infection in cell culture.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Outstanding Graduates Announced

The Department of Biological Sciences announced their Departmental Outstanding Graduate and Undergraduate Excellence Award for students earning the B.S. degrees in Biology and Biomedical Science for the Fall of 2017.  The Departmental Outstanding Graduate and recipient of the Undergraduate Excellence Award for the B. S. Degree in Biomedical Science was Brittany Stewart, from Forney, Texas.  She is the daughter of Grady and Lisa Stewart.  Currently, Brittany has a grade point average (GPA) of 3.82.  She participated in a highly competitive summer research program in the Laboratory of Cellular Oncology at the National Institutes of Health located at the University of Texas Southwestern where she worked to further understanding of cancer caused by viruses.  She also participated in summer research at the University of Texas Southwestern towards understanding molecular mechanisms involved in kidney repair. Brittany received a student research grant and student travel grant from Tarleton State University (TSU), which allowed her to participate in molecular virology research with Dr. Dustin Edwards for the past three years. She worked in partnership with Texas Parks and Wildlife and the National Wild Turkey Federation to conduct serological surveys to determine the prevalence of a retrovirus in game birds and used next generation sequence to determine the whole genome of this retrovirus in conjunction with Texas A&M Agrilife, and Dr. Jeff Brady.  Brittany has represented TSU by presenting research at numerous meetings including the Texas Branch of the American Society for Microbiology where she was awarded the Sarah McIntire Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Oral Presentation.  Brittany has been actively involved in the health pre-professional honor society Alpha Epsilon Delta (AED) and served as the vice president in 2015 and the president in 2016. She was also selected as one of three students to participate in the AED Hospital Volunteer Applied Learning Experience Program created by Dr. Max Sanderford where she volunteered for 100 hours in the radiology department at the Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital in Stephenville, Texas.

The recipient of the Undergraduate excellence award for the  B. S. in Biology was Sarah Brown, from Boerne, Texas.  She is the daughter of Jeffrey and Jane Brown.  Currently, Sarah has a GPA of 3.97.  During her time at TSU, she had a research internship for a high efficiency and native landscaping project at the Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT).  She presented a paper discussing local museum research at the 2016 North Central Texas Phi Alpha Theta Conference and a poster at the 2017 Southwestern Association of Naturalists meetings.  Sarah earned an internship in the TX-11 Washington, D.C. office sponsored by TSU and at the National Herbarium, which is associated with the National Museum of Natural History.  She has worked as curator in the Tarleton Herbarium and was an active member, vice-president, and service chair in Phi Eta Sigma honor society.  During her senior year at Tarleton, she has worked on a plant ecology research project with Dr. Allan Nelson and a project in plant physiology with Dr. John Calahan. She is currently working to submit research papers from her work at TSU and will be a co-author on research done at BRIT.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Tarleton receives $350,000 NSF grant for undergraduate research project

Tarleton State University is recipient of a nearly $350,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to be used to fund a Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program.

Full story here.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Galapagos Study Abroad

Email Dr. Jesse Meik at
or Callie Price at

Trip Itinerary:


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Master’s Level Research Assistant Needed

Ever thought about going to graduate school? Ever thought about being a wildlife biologist? Ever thought about being a bat ecologist? If yes, then this research project is perfect for you!

This is a two-year project surveying bat assemblages at Camp Bowie and Camp Swift military training facilities.

A $1,200/month teaching assistantship will be provided during the Fall and Spring semesters, and a $1,200/month research assistantship will be provided during the Summer semester. Fringe benefits, including health insurance, will also be provided. Lodging while in the field will be provided for free, and daily meals will be covered as well.

For more details, view this announcement (PDF).

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

New Advanced Course offering in Biology for the Spring Semester

The biology Department is pleased to announce a new course offering for the spring 2017 session.  The BIOL 4086 problems course is entitled Endocrine and Reproductive Physiology and will be presented by James L Caffrey, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus from the UNT Health Science Center in Fort Worth. Dr. Caffrey has more than 30 years experience teaching in this topic area at the undergraduate, graduate and medical level.  He has been recognized in the past for his didactic classroom skills. The course will cover basic physiology, biochemistry and clinical aspects of the human endocrine and reproductive systems.  The target audience would include pre-professional students contemplating careers in the medical, veterinary, nursing and allied health disciplines, advanced undergraduates and graduate students in biology and any other biomedical students with a personal or research interest in the topic area.  Because of the broad nature of endocrinology a prior backgrounds in biochemistry, physiology, cell biology and related subjects will be helpful.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Caitlin Pyle and Mammals of Texas' Newest State Park

The work of graduate student Caitlin Pyle, mentored by her adviser Dr. Chris Higgins, is highlighted in the Winter 2015 issue of Tarleton Magazine.  Caitlin surveyed the mammals of Palo Pinto State Park to provide information that will guide conservation planners.  Read the story here.