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Biology Colloquia

We have Our Spring 2024 Biology Seminar Series Here are the dates to save:

  • Friday, February 9 – TCNJ Biology Alum Dr. Sarah Wolfson, on her research at Albert Einstein College of Medicine investigating how microbial metabolism shapes the human gut environment.
  • Friday, March 22 Dr. Hillary Fischer, PhD, postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Michigan State University, will present her research in a talk entitled, “Aphids in a Plant World.”  A “Meet the Speaker” opportunity will follow the talk at 1:30 pm.
  • Friday, April 26

Seminars take place in P-101 in the Science Complex at 12:30 on the Fridays specified.

Students interested in meeting with the speaker can contact Dr. Clement to join a student-led lunch with the speaker.

Updates on our Seminar Series are posted on Instagram at TCNJBiology. Follow us!



These are the speakers we have learned from in the past:

Our Fall 2023 Biology Seminar Series, sponsored by Tri-Beta, the Department of Biology, and the School of Science at TCNJ:

  • Oct 13: Dr. Kristen Lynch, of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, on “Regulation of Alternative RNA Splicing during the Human Immune Response”
  • Nov 10: Dr. Brent Sewell of Temple University, on “Studies of Emerging Threats to Biodiversity, and Development of Conservation Strategies”

Seminars take place in P-101 in the Science Complex at 12:30 on the Fridays specified.

Students interested in meeting with the speaker can contact Dr. Clement to join a student-led lunch with the speaker.

Updates on our Seminar Series are posted on Instagram at TCNJBiology. Follow us!


Our Spring 2023 Biology Colloquia have been scheduled! We’re thrilled to be welcoming TWO Biology ALUMNI back to speak! –

  • Dr. Natella Maglakelidze, BS Bio ’15, formerly of the O’Connell lab and currently at Penn State, will be here Friday February 10, and speak on “Autoimmune Skin Diseases”.
  • Dr. Syndi Barish, BS Bio ’16, formerly of the Clement lab and currently at Harvard, will be here Friday March 24, and speak on “Human genetics and the heart.”.
  • Dr. Kaitlyn Mathis will be our TriBeta Induction speaker on April 28 at 6:30 pm, speaking on species interactions and chemical ecology, with a focus on ants.
  • … and we’re so pleased and proud that Bio Alum Isabel DiStefano ’17 will be the Keynote Speaker at the Celebration of Student Achievement on Tuesday, April 25!

Back in person, we will convene for these Colloquia at 12:30 pm in P-101 on 2/10 and 3/24. Watch for announcements for times and locations for related receptions!




Our Fall 2022 Biology Colloquia have been scheduled, to be held in P-101 and via Zoom from 12:30 – 1:30. It’s a great line-up of speakers – See you there!

  • September 23 – Dr. Mizuki Takahashi of Bucknell University will give a talk entitled “A liberal-arts ecologist: happiness, ethics, and giant salamander research”
  • October 28 – Dr. Ben Belgrad, from Dauphin Island Sea Lab, on oyster reef restoration and aquaculture
  • November 11 – Dr. Jack Ganley, of Princeton University, on microbial interactions
  • December 9 – Dr. Jessica Heckman, DVM, of The Functional Dog Cooperative, on canine behavior genetics, with a virtual talk via Zoom entitled “Canid Genetics from Foxes to Lots and Lots of Dogs.”

And save the following dates for the Colloquia scheduled for the Spring Semester, 2023:

Jan 27; Feb 10 and 24; March 10 and 24: and April 14 and 28.

More information as it becomes available!



Our Spring 2022 Biology Colloquia will be held via Zoom, and perhaps later also in person (maybe??). Again, the Zoom links will be posted in the building, and available through email.

  • Rescheduled!  IN PERSON! (and via Zoom) Friday, March 25, 12:30 – 1:30 pm in P-101: Dr. Laura Gough of Towson University on the effects of climate change on tundra plant communities and ecosystems.
  • Friday January 28, 12:30 – 1:30 pm: Dr. Kerry Reid from Hong Kong University, on the “Genomic basis of rapid and recurrent evolution in threespine stickleback.”


The following Fall 2021 Biology Colloquia will be held via Zoom. The Zoom links will be made available just prior to the talks.

  • Nov 12th: Ms. Dinah Davison, of the University of Arizona, whose research focus is: Plasticity and the evolution of multicellularity
  • Dec 10th: Dr. Ryan Tappel, of LanzaTech, whose research focus is: Genetic and metabolic engineering of an obligate anaerobe
  • And don’t miss our own Dr. Clement and Dr. Dickinson speaking at the School of Science Multidisciplinary Research Colloquium on Oct 26, at 12:30 in P-101! Dr. Clement will speak on “Evolving plant diversity through fusion: A case study in honeysuckles.”  Dr. Dickinson will speak on “toothless crabs, super-barnacles, and other tales of the future ocean.”



Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 in-person gatherings for Colloquia presentations have been suspended until further notice due to COVID-19. Announcements of any virtual events will be posted here as they are made known. We thank you for your interest.


The Spring 2020 Biology Colloquia will start off with TCNJ Alum Dr. Michael Verzi, Associate Professor in the Department of Genetics at Rutgers University, speaking on “Regulatory mechanisms of intestinal homeostasis and disease,” on Friday, February 28, at 12:30 in P-101.

Other Spring 2020 Biology Colloquium dates and speakers include:

March 27 – Dr. Kerry Reid of Stony Brook University

April 10 – Dr. Christopher Nomura, of SUNY-ESF




Our first Fall 2019 Biology Colloquium seminar for the semester will be Friday, Sept. 13, at 12:30 in P-101. Dr. Murli Manohar, a Senior Research Associate at the Boyce Thompson Institute at Cornell University, will present on “Uncovering the role of soil metabolites in plant defense”.

Other Fall 2019 Biology Colloquium dates:

On Friday, October 11 at 12:30 in P-101, we will welcome back two biology alums!  Ms. Jen Aleman, ’14, now of the University of Pennsylvania, will present on “Nucleoporin Megator controls transcriptional output of the male X chromosome through the MSL complex.”  And Ms. Letitia Thompson, ’14, currently at NYU, will present on “Regulation of Human Cytomegalovirus Reproduction by Host Translation Initiation Factors.”

Friday, November 8 at 12:30 in P-101, we welcome … the Holy Grail!  Well, more precisely, Dr. John Baker of Clark University, speaking on the topic of “The search for the Holy Grail: an examination into the relationship between offspring size and maternal size.” You won’t want to miss this interesting talk.





The Spring 2019 Biology Colloquium Series kicks off on Friday, February 8 when Dr. Paul Jivoff speaks on the “Human impacts on blue crabs in Barnegat Bay.” Dr. Jivoff is Professor and Chair of the Department of Biology, Behavioral Neuroscience and Health Sciences at Rider University. All Bio Colloquia are held Fridays, 12:30 – 1:30 in P101.

Other Spring 2019 Biology Colloquium dates:

Feb 22 – Mr. Benjamin Corb, Director of Public Affairs for the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology will speak.

Mar 8 – Dr. Craig Lowe, Assistant Professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at Duke University, will speak on “Copy number variation in vertebrate evolution and human disease.”

Apr 26 – Dr. Lena Struwe, Professor in the departments of Ecology, Evolution and Natural Resources, and Plant Biology at Rutgers University, will speak about “The love and hate of dandelions: the biological background for their symbolism in contemporary society.”

Other upcoming presentations:

Tuesday, April 23, 12:30 – 1:30 pm in P101, our own Jeffery Erickson, PhD presents on “Using Pet-1 knockout mice as a model for human SIDS: Potential rewards and experimental challenges” during the School of Science Multidisciplinary Colloquium series.

Tuesday, April 30, at 12:30 pm in Bio 209, Matthew Fertakos (’19) presents a departmental seminar on the topic of his senior honors thesis, “The power of herbarium specimens: An exploration in species distribution modeling and phenology.”

Friday, May 10, at 12:30 pm in Bio 209, Evelyn Kulesza (’19) presents her departmental seminar on the topic of her senior honors thesis, “Honeysuckles Inside and Out: Phylogenomic and Morphological Studies of Lonicera (Caprifoliaceae)”


The Fall 2018 Biology Colloquium Series begins on Tuesday, September 25 with the kick-off of a series of events College-wide recognizing the 100th anniversary of the 1918 Flu Pandemic. The keynote speaker on 9/25/18 will be Gina Kolata, science writer for the New York Times, two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist, and author of Flu: The Story of the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918 and the Search for the Virus that Caused It. The event takes place in Education 212, and is preceded with a lunch served at noon. There will be an opportunity for students to meet with the author after the talk, from 2 -3 pm in Room 225W in the Brower Student Center.

Recognition of the 100th anniversary of the 1918 Flu Pandemic will continue into October with a series of talks, exhibits and events. Be sure to check out the schedule at their website, for the specific times and locations.


Friday, October 12 – 12 Noon – 1:30 pm, in Room 212, Education Building – Lunch and Lecture – Novo Nordisk Lecture Series, hosted by the School of Science. Dr. Rahul Ganguly, Executive Director of Health Economics Outcomes Research and Data Analytics at Novo Nordisk, Inc., will speak on “Understanding How ‘Real world’ Data Help Improve Patient Outcomes.”

Friday, October 26 – Dr. Tara Palmore, a hospital epidemiologist at the NIH Clinical Center, will speak. Physics, Rm 101, 12:30 to 1:30 pm.

Friday, November 9 – Dr. Mitchell Sitnick (TCNJ ’01), Assistant Professor of Biology at Montclair University will be the featured speaker, discussing “Fats in my muscles? How myocellular lipids contribute to pathologies.” 12:30 – 1:30 pm in P 101.

Friday, November 16 – Dr. Mackenzie Taylor of Creighton University discusses “The Greatest Generation: The Pollen Lifecycle in Aquatic Plants,” in P101 from 12:30 to 1:30 pm.




The Spring 2018 Biology Colloquium Series begins on Friday, February 23 at 12:30 pm in SCP 101. Benjamin Keep, a doctoral candidate in Learning Sciences and Technology Design at Stanford University, will speak on “Humans, Bots, and RNA Folding: Citizen Science in Biochemistry,” and explore the role of volunteer citizen scientists in scientific research.


The Fall 2017 Biology Colloquium Series starts on Friday, September 22 at 12:30 pm in the Business Building Basement Lounge. Dr. Michael A. Bell, of Stony Brook University, will speak on “Vertical Integration of Evolutionary Mechanisms: Pelvic Reduction in the Threespine Stickleback Fish.”

Friday, October 13 – Field biologist and evolutionary ecologist Dr. Edmund “Butch” Brodie III, B.F.D. Runk Professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Virginia will speak on “Channel Surfing the Adaptive Wave: Convergence, Constraint, and Contingency in the Evolution of Resistance to a Deadly Toxin.” The talk will take place in P-101 of the Science Complex at 12:30 pm.




The Spring 2017 Biology Colloquium Series begins on Friday, January 27 at 12:30 pm in P-101, with a talk by Alita Miller, Head of Biology at Entasis Therapeutics. Her talk, entitled “Research Strategies to Combat Emerging Antibiotic Resistance,” will summarize some of her work and research in the area of antibiotics at Pfizer and Astra Zeneca over the past fifteen years or more.

Friday, February 10 – Brittany Graf, TCNJ Bio ’07, now of Rutgers University, on “The exploration of therapeutic properties of Latin American plants through a community-building approach.” P-101, 12:30 pm.

Friday, March 10Rebecca Lyczak, PhD, of Ursinus University, speaking on “Uncovering the role of the centrosome in polarization of the C. elegans embryo. P-101, 12:30 pm.


Additional talks will be listed here as they become available.



The Fall 2016 Biology Colloquium Series kicks off on Friday, September 23 and goes viral! The speaker will be Holly Ramage, PhD, a researcher and Assistant Professor of Microbiology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Her topic will be “The Discovery of Novel Host Factors Important for Viral Infection.” The talk will be held at 12:30 pm in Physics Room 101 (P101), and will end at 1:30.

Friday, October 28Lynda Delph of the Indiana University Department of Biology will speak on “Sexual dimorphism in a dioecious plant: patterns, selection, and sexual antagonism.” The talk will be held in P101 (Physics portion of the School of Science) from 12:30 to 1:30 pm. All are invited to attend.

Friday, November 11Daniel Rittschof of the Nicholas School of the Environment at the Duke University Marine Lab will talk on “Plastics – Habitats, Leachates and Toxicity: What Marine Animals Tell Us.” The talk will be held in P101 (Physics portion of the School of Science) from 12:30 to 1:30 pm. All are invited to attend.


Speakers for the Spring 2016 semester’s Biology Colloquium Series include:

Dr. Eric Goldwaser, TCNJ/Biology ’11, now affiliated with Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine, will speak on Friday February 12, in P-101, on “Alzheimer’s disease, autoantibodies, and the blood-brain barrier: new answers to old questions.”

Dr. Michael Reiskind, of the Department of Entomology at North Carolina State University, will speak on Friday, March 25, 2016, at 12:30 – 1:30 in SC-P101, on “Vector Ecology: Invasions, interactions and evolution in the world’s most dangerous organisms.”

Dr. Erik Cordes, of the Department of Biology at Temple University, will speak at 12:30 -1:30 pm on Friday, April 22, 2016 in SC-P101 on “The Ecology of the Deep Sea: What we have learned from exploration and exploitation.”

Dr. Michael Elnitsky of the Department of Biology at Mercyhurst University will speak on Friday, April 22.


Speakers for the Fall 2015 semester’s Biology Colloquium Series include:

Jason Wong (October 9, 12:30 pm, SC-P101), TCNJ alum currently at New York University, will discuss “V(D)J Recombination and Genome Integrity Using Cutting Edge Research Technologies.” Jason is a PhD candidate at the university, working in the Langone Medical Center’s Department of Pathology.

Christopher Dolanc, PhD  of the Department of Biology at Mercyhurst College will speak on “Using the past to predict the future of trees and forests” on Friday, November 6, 12:30 – 1:30 pm in P101 of the Science Complex.

Dr. David Ungar, MD (November 13, 12:30 – 1:30 pm, SC-P101) will speak as a part of the TCNJ-Novo Nordisk Colloquium on “Advancements in Understanding Bleeding Disorders.” Dr. Ungar is Director in the BioPharm Medical group for Novo Nordisk in North America.


* * * * *

The Spring 2015 semester’s Biology Colloquium Series is still being firmed up. Speakers currently scheduled include:

Dr. Robert Pringle, of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University. He will discuss “How species interactions govern the structure, functioning, and robustness of African savannas.” (Wed, 2/18, 11 am to noon, BIO Room 209)

Dr. Neal Overstrom, Director of the Edna Lawrence Nature Lab at the Rhode Island School of Design, speaks on “Multiple Ways of Seeing: What the Art/Design Studio Offers to Science” (Fri, 4/10, 12:30 – 1:30 pm, SCP 101)

* * * * *

Speakers for the Fall 2014 semester’s Biology Colloquium Series are being arranged. So far, they are:

Dr. John Jungck, of the University of Delaware. He is a co-founder of BioQuest, an organization dedicated to infusing inquiry into biology curricula, which will be the subject of his talk. His research focus is on molecular evolution, bioinformatics and image analysis. His talk is entitled, “Biological Insight from Morphogenesis to Morphospace: Computational Biological Visualization, Quantitative Image Analysis, and Exploring Complex Data” (Wed, 9/17 at 11 am in P-101)

Dr. Raj Vadigepalli of Thomas Jefferson University will speak on “Molecular regulation and cell phenotypes governing the multi-scale control of liver repair.” He will be introduced by Dr. Lisa Kozlowski, Associate Dean for Postdoctoral Affairs and Recruitment at Jefferson, who will speak about graduate school opportunities at the school. Accompanying them will be TCNJ alum Brian Corbett ’09 who is currently attending Jefferson. (Tues, 10/7 at 12:30 pm in P-101)

Dr. Dale Cameron of Ursinus College, speaking on “Rogue proteins or heritable molecular switches? The unfolding story of prions”. (Tues, 10/21 at 12:30 pm in P-101)

Dr. Emilie Snell-Rood, of the University of Minnesota, speaking on the evolutionary consequences of developmental plasticity and learning, particularly in insects. (Tues, 11/4, 12:30 pm in P-101)


Be sure to make every effort to attend these interesting talks.


Speakers for the Spring 2014 semester’s Biology Colloquium Series were:

Dr. Robert Pringle, of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University, speaking on “Complex species interactions in savannas and on small islands” (Thursday, 2/13 at 11:30 in P-101);

Dr. Roger Hangarter, of the Department of Biology at Indiana University, speaking on the “Function and mechanisms of light-induced chloroplast movements in leaf cells” (Thursday, 2/27 at 11:30 in P-101);

Dr. Gregory J. Porreca, TCNJ Biology/Computer Science Class of 2002, and Founder and Vice President of Research and Technology at Good Start Genetics, Inc. in Cambridge, MA, speaking on “Developing DNA sequencing technology: from an idea to the clinic” (Thursday, 3/27 at 11:30 in P-101);

Dr. Michael Donoghue, of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Yale University, speaking on “Re-constructing past life and environments” (Thursday, 4/10 at 11:30 in P-101); and

Dr. Sybil Gotsch, of the Department of Biology at Franklin and Marshall College, speaking on “Life in the treetops: Ecophysiological strategies of eriphytes in a tropical montane cloud forest” (Thursday, 4/17 at 11:30 in P-101).