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Kudos to Pauline Fontaine

Published: Nov 25th, 2015

Pauline is the recipient of a Burroughs-Wellcome Travel Award of $1900 to collaborate with Dr. John Gilleard at the University of Calgary, an expert in nematode parasites. They will work together to characterize the role of a stress response pathway in drug resistance.

Go Pauline and the rest of the Choe’s lab!

Biology Graduate Students Awarded

Published: Nov 25th, 2015

Judit Ungvari-Martin and Tong Zhang were both awarded spring semester CLAS Dissertation Fellowships.  Judit’s was funded by the Robin and Jean Gibson Fellowship Endowment, and Tong’s was funded by the Maurice C. Holmes and Frances A Holmes Endowed Fellowship in the amount of $7,000.  Congratulations!

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U.F. Faculty member, Walter Judd, coauthors Plant Systematics: A Phylogenetic Approach

Published: Nov 20th, 2015

JuddCoverFullA comprehensive introduction to vascular plant phylogeny, the Fourth Edition of Plant Systematics: A Phylogenetic Approach reflects changes in the circumscription and placement of several families in order to represent monophyletic groups, following the classification of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (and recent phylogenetic analyses). Appendices cover botanical nomenclature as well as field and herbarium methodology. The text is copiously illustrated, using in large part the informative analytical drawings developed as part of the Generic Flora of the Southeastern United States project. This textbook is appropriate for any course devoted to the systematics of angiosperms or vascular plants and, secondarily, for local flora courses. Key updates include: full integration of molecular systematics into Chapter 2, Methods and Principles of Biological Systematics, numerous revisions to the information on species concepts, extensively revised treatments of 13 families that have undergone significant changes in circumscriptions, along with the inclusion of ten additional families, and a greatly expanded online Photo Gallery of Vascular Plants, which includes over 9,700 photographs illustrating the  diagnostic characters and morphological diversity of each of the familial clades  covered in the textbook.  Authors include Walter S. Judd (University of Florida), Christopher S. Campbell (University of Maine), Elizabeth A. Kellogg (Danforth Plant Science Center), Peter F. Stevens (University of Missouri and Missouri Botanical Garden), and Michael J. Donoghue (Yale University).


New Phi Beta Kappa inductees

Published: Nov 19th, 2015

InducteesEleven CLAS Biology majors and one Zoology major were elected to Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest honor society. These students have exceptional GPAs (3.75 for graduation candidates; 3.90 for “rising seniors”) as well as significant breadth of study in the liberal arts and sciences outside of their major discipline (a minimum of 36 hours). They have also satisfied a foreign language and a mathematics requirement.

Art of Biology

Art of Biology

Published: Nov 9th, 2015

Eleven Biology/Florida Museum graduate students will be participating in an art installation at the Hippodrome Theater titled “Art of Biology”. The formal gallery opening is on Friday, November 13th from 6-8pm and the photos will be available to view until November 21. The installation will contain artistic images of the subjects each student studies, along with scientific descriptions. The goal is to share the beauty and interest of biological research along with the significance to the community. Come see what your colleagues are working on and maybe even bring home some science!  Read full story here..


Mike Gil leads international study on coral reef degradation in high-tourism area of Mexico

Published: Nov 9th, 2015

Mike Gil, recent PhD graduate in Biology, along with American and Mexican collaborators, just published a new study in this month’s issue of the journal Marine Biology. The team’s work centered on measuring the structure of coral reef communities over space and time within Akumal Bay, Mexico, a booming tourism hot spot, largely due to its resident green sea turtle population. The study revealed a 79% decrease in coral cover from 2011-2014, a time period in which monthly snorkelers to the area increased by more than 400%. The study revealed additional signs that tourism in Akumal Bay may be growing at a rate that is not sustainable for the coral reef ecosystem, which supports the bay, its sea turtles, and the local tourism industry itself. Read more here.


Pedagogy and International Education

Published: Sep 29th, 2015


Zoology PhD alumna Dr. Catalina Pimiento just published an article in the journal in Evolution: Education and Outreach about her pedagogical innovations to promote international science literacy in a blended learning class taught in Panama. Catalina’s work included focusing on regional resources to make content relevant and authentic. Learn more about her work, which was just published in Evolution: Education and Outreach, by clicking here . Catalina is now a postdoc at the Paläontologisches Institut und Museum in Switzerland.  Congratulations Catalina!


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UF Faculty Working on the Tree of Life

Published: Sep 23rd, 2015

UF scientists Doug Soltis, Brian Drew, Ruchi Chaudhary, and Gordon Burleigh contributed to a multi-institutional effort to construct a tree of life describing the relationships among ~2.3 million species. The study appears this week online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. This research is part of the “Open Tree of Life”, a National Science Foundation funded research effort to build a community resource to synthesize knowledge about the evolutionary relationships from all species. Having a tree of life will help researchers studying diverse disciplines related to biodiversity, including agriculture, ecology, medicine, and climate change. However, this study also highlights the amount that is unknown about many diverse forms of life. The Open Tree of Life team hopes the tree will stimulate future biodiversity research, and they are developing software that will enable researchers to update and revise the tree as new species are named or discovered. To browse the current tree of life online, visit or


Immersion Semester- Spring 2016

Published: Sep 15th, 2015

Fill your semester with three, 4 credit, 5-week intensive biology courses (Application deadline for Marine Ecology is Dec. 1st!).

CLICK HERE  to explore this opportunity to engage in authentic research-based courses in molecular biology, biodiversity, and ecology.


UF Biology faculty, David Oppenheimer, coauthored Getting In: The Insider’s Guide to Finding the Perfect Undergraduate Research Experience with UF research scientist, Paris Grey.

Published: Sep 11th, 2015

Getting In Front Cover

Getting In was written for undergraduates in STEM who are considering undergraduate research as part of their curriculum. Getting In was written to help students start their search by first examining what they want from a research position, what is realistic to achieve with the commitment they are willing to make, gain a solid understanding of what will be expected of them, and what they can achieve through an in-depth research experience. In addition, it includes strategies on how to search, apply, and interview for a research position, and gives step-by-step strategies on how to master time management and professionalism throughout the book. To read more, visit here.