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Faculty News & Notes

Dr. Marlene Kayne, 1941 – 2012

We are saddened to report the death of Dr. Marlene Kayne, who was a Professor of Biology at TCNJ from 1977-2005. Marlene earned BAs in Chemistry and Biology from Saint John’s University in 1962, and her PhD in Biochemistry from Michigan State University in 1966. She performed her postdoctoral studies at the Max Planck Institute for Experimental Medicine in Göttingen, Germany. Her love of both science and education led her to become a professor of Biology, teaching at the University of Pennsylvania from 1969 until she arrived at Trenton State College in 1977. Her teaching responsibilities here at TCNJ included cell and molecular biology courses, a biochemistry course within the Chemistry Dept for Biology majors, and a natural science course for education majors. She was an encouraging mentor and much-beloved member of the department.

After retiring from TCNJ in 2005 and moving from Yardley PA to Marco Island, FL, she continued to teach a series of online courses at multiple universities. In her semi-retirement, Marlene enjoyed volunteering as a docent and teacher at the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Naples, FL, where a memorial fund will be established in her name. She also enjoyed spending time with family and friends in both Marco Island and Jackson Hole, WY. Her generosity, selflessness and vibrancy were felt by all who knew her.

Bio Profs’ Grant Proposals Funded

Biology faculty members Tracy Kress and Leeann Thornton recently received notice that their grant proposals have been funded by Research Corporation for Scientific Advancement. A third TCNJ faculty member, Michelle Bunagan (Chemistry) also had her proposal funded. Congrats to all three women in the School of Science!

Biology Professor Dr. Matt Wund’s Research

Featured in International Conservation Magazine (September 2010)

Popular wisdom has always been that bats help limit mosquito populations. However, the evidence supporting this claim has been anecdotal or indirect at best. The indirect, scientific information has been limited to bat diet analysis, which only indicates that bats sometimes eat mosquitoes, but doesn’t indicate whether or how bat predation actually impacts mosquito populations.

Dr. Matthew Wund (TCNJ ’99), Assistant Professor of Biology at TCNJ, and his colleague Dr. Michael Reiskind from Oklahoma State University, have provided the first definitive evidence in support of this hypothesis. Their results were published in the peer-reviewed journal Population and Community Ecology, and the study was selected and featured in the magazine Bat Conservation International.

Their experiment demonstrated that bats can in fact limit the number of egg-laying, femail mosquitoes in the genus Culex (which is the vector for West Nile virus, among other diseases), reducing their numbers by 30% when bats were present in field enclosures. This demographic is important because it is the ovipositing females that will soon be seeking out another blood meal to enrich their next clutch of eggs, at which point they transmit disease. Reiskin and Wund’s research is the first study to systematically address the impacts of bats on mosquitoes, and specifically those mosquitoes which transmit disease.


9th Edition of Dr. Klug’s Genetics Textbook Published (April 2008)

The Ninth Edition of “Concepts of Genetics,” a long-standing textbook that is one of the standards in the discipline and written by Dr. Steve Klug of the TCNJ Biology Department, has been published by Benjamin Cummings. This edition of Concepts of Genetics was co-authored by Dr. Michael Palladino of Monmouth University,whom Dr. Klug mentored as a TCNJ undergraduate. Concepts of Genetics is used nationally and internationally to teach genetics courses to biology majors, and has been translated into ten foreign languages. Dr. Palladino joins the author team which is headed by Dr. Klug, and includes Dr. Michael Cummings from the Illinois Institute of Technology, and Dr. Charlotte Spencer from the University of Alberta.

“It is a tremendous honor for me to join Steve and the rest of the authorship team for both Concepts of Genetics and Essentials of Genetics,” Dr. Palladino noted. “I have a great deal of respect for Steve as a teacher and author. His genetics course had a strong impact on my interest in molecular biology and genetics, and I fondly remember using the first edition of Concepts of Genetics in his course. Steve was also my academic advisor. The interactions with faculty and the research experiences I had as a biology student at The College of New Jersey are without question the main reasons why I chose to become a biology professor at a primarily undergraduate institution.”

“Concepts in Genetics” and its companion text, “Essentials of Genetics,” which Dr. Palladino will also co-author in its seventh edition, is regularly used by more than 200 institutions annually in the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia, and Australia.