Dr. Sue Bagley awarded Society of Industrial Microbiology Award

This award recognizes those member(s) who have an outstanding record of sustained service to the Society for a period of seven or more years in various capacities such as a Society officer, chair of a standing or presidential committee, SIMB News editor-in-chief, JIMB editor-in-chief, Developments editor-in-chief, program chair, or other service to the Society acceptable to the committee and board; and have been an active member of SIM for 10 or more years.

Susan T. Bagley. PhD, is Professor Emerita of Environmental Microbiology in the Department of Biological Sciences at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, MI. She has over 35 years’ experience as an environmental microbiologist, working in academia and government (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) on microbial-based treatment of air, waterborne, and industrial organic wastes, microbial production of bio-based fuels, and mutagenicity and toxicity of environmental pollutants.

More at Charles Porter Award

Portage Library Hosts Presentation on Butterflies and Moths of the U.P.

From Tech Today.

4. Portage Library Hosts Presentation on Butterflies and Moths of the U.P.
The Portage Lake District Library will host assistant professor Thomas Werner (BioSci) on Monday, June 30, from 7–8 p.m. for his slide show presentation on “Butterflies and Moths of the Upper Peninsula.”

Werner’s program will illustrate the difference between butterflies and moths, describe their complete life cycles and explain how to mount them for collections. His presentation will cover 30 common species of the Upper Peninsula including the Canadian Tiger Swallowtail, Monarch, Red Admiral, White Admiral, Luna Moth and Wooly Bear. Participants will have time to ask questions and browse through Werner’s favorite books on this topic.

Werner studied biology in Jena, Germany, and got his Ph.D. in cell and molecular biology and insect immunology in Umea, Sweden. He later moved to the United States as a postdoctoral fellow in Madison, Wisconsin. Werner is now an assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Michigan Tech where he studies animal color pattern evolution and the evolution of mushroom toxin resistance in fruit flies.

Library programs are free and everyone is welcome. For more information please call the library at 482-4570 or visit Portage Lake District Library.

25th annual Bioathlon a huge sucess

May 7, 2014


The twenty-fifth annual Department of Biological Sciences Bioathlon for high school biology students was held on Wednesday, May 7, at Michigan Technological University.  Simultaneously, a workshop was held for the accompanying biology teachers.

The Bioathlon serves as a means to stimulate interest and problem-solving in biology among our area youth.  Teams from 16 Upper Peninsula Michigan high schools participated.  The three top scores go to these schools.

The team winning FIRST PLACE was Hancock High School from Hancock, MI.

Team members:  Shannon Nulf, Ruth Venegus, Mary Jarvis, Alexis Aho

Instructor:  Brian Rajdl

The team winning SECOND PLACE was L.L.Wright High School from Ironwood, MI.

Team members: Margaret Meyer, Kathleen Mieloszyk, Corissa Mattson, Leah Braucher

Instructor: Paul Mattson

The team winning the THIRD PLACE was West Iron County High School from Iron River, MI.

Team members: Madiline McNamara, Emmy Kinner, Michelle Wiegand, Izaya Bengry

Instructor: Joel VanLanen

Each team was composed of four students who have not had formal class work in biology beyond the traditional sophomore high school general biology course.  All teams tackled the same four problems:

The four problems for the competition include:

Dissection: designed by Biological Sciences Graduate student Robert Larson and assisted by Travis Wakeham and Jenna Edwards with input from Dr. John Durocher.

Molecular Biology: designed by Biological Sciences graduate student Emily Geiger, assisted by Jennifer Connors.

Field Identification: designed by Biological Sciences graduate student Ashley Coble assisted by Tony Matthys and Troy Long.

Medical Laboratory  Science: designed and proctored by Medical Laboratory Science undergraduate students, Alyssa Elegeert, Rebecca Kurt, Roger Ellis, Sarah Westdorp, Danielle Dawson and Misty Brouilette with input from Professor of Practice Karyn Fay[j1] .

Through these exercises, students needed to demonstrate organizational skills, knowledge of facts and concepts, laboratory skills and creativity.

Each member of the first, second and third team will receive a small cash award along with a plaque.  Each student participating in the competition will also receive a certificate of participation and a Bioathlon T-shirt.

The teacher activity was: The Fungus among Us

In this workshop teachers explored some of the different roles of the fungi and conducted several simple, inexpensive activities to help students overcome their mycophobia.  The workshop was designed and taught by Stacy Cotey, Academic Advisor of Biological Sciences. Lynette Potvin, Ecologist for the US Forest Service Northern Research Station also provided a view of below-ground fungal processes with a tour of the Rhizotron and Mesocosm facilities.


Funding was provided by MTU Admissions, the Department of Biological Sciences, the Michigan Tech Fund, MTU Alumni Mark Cowan, M.D., Robert C. and Kathryn DellAngelo, M.D., Olive Kimball, D.Ed., Ph.D., Nancy Auer, Ph.D. and Janice Glime, Ph.D.,


Students funded with SURF awards working in Biological Sciences

Reprinted from Tech Today

This summer, the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program will fund 23 students from across the University with funds from the Vice President for Research and the Honors Institute. The total funding for the program this year is $80,500.

Congratulations to:

Jessica Karwosk working with Dr. Rupali Datta

Mark Keranen working with Dr. Thomas Werner

Jade Ortiz working with Dr. Amy Marcarelli

Additional SURF recipients,their project titles, and their advisors are listed online.

Biological Sciences Announces Medical Laboratory Science Scholarship winners

Karyn Fay, Director, Medical Laboratory Science Program in the Department of Biological Sciences, is pleased to announce the 2014 Medical Laboratory Sciences Scholarships.

This year’s scholarship winners are:

Jack Holland Endowed Scholarship: Larissa Kramer

Medical Technology “Tech Is” Award Scholarship: Luke Dalton

Soldan 4+1 Annual Scholarship: Brook Bedore

Congratulations to the recipients and many thanks to all who applied.

A brief description of the scholarships is as follows:

The Jack Holland Endowed Scholarship, established in honor of Dr. Jack Holland, Professor of Medical Technology (1966–1988), is awarded to an outstanding first-year medical technology/medical lab sciences student, based on professional attitude, communication skills, and academic grade point. Former students, upon Dr. Holland’s retirement, originally set up the endowment.

The Medical Technology “Tech Is” Award Scholarship was originally funded by three monetary awards received by the Society of Medical Technologists for first-place awards in the “Tech Is” student competition (1981, 1983, and 1986). The “Tech Is” program no longer exists, however the endowment provides a small scholarship to a junior-class student based on participation in the Society of Medical Laboratory Scientists (formerly Society of Medical Technologists), extracurricular activities, grade point, and faculty interviews.

The Soldan 4+1 Annual Scholarship will be awarded to a qualified senior Medical Laboratory Science student who is beginning their last semester at Michigan Tech.  They must be able to document acceptance into an accredited “+1” practicum and be enrolled in one of the following concentrations.

4+1 Medical Laboratory Science

4+1 Cytotechnology

4+1 Histotechnology

More information on these and other Departmental scholarships are available on our Department’s giving page

Tenth Annual ESC/BRC Research Forum Awards Announced

The Ecosystem Science Center and the Biotechnology Research Center announce award recipients of the Tenth Annual ESC/BRC Student Research Forum held March 19.  60 posters presented

Graduate Research

$100 Merit Awards

Biotechnology Research Center
Yiping Mao (Bio Sci) for “Overexpression of microRNA-30d increases insulin biosynthesis and protects against high-fat diet induced glucose intolerances,” Advisor Xiaoqing Tang.

Ecosystem Science Center
Cameron Goble (Bio Sci) for “Assessment of Fish Communities in Tributary Streams of the Big Manistee,” Advisor: Nancy Auer.

Other award  Department’s award winners are highlighted in “Tech Today.”

Participants Needed for a Research Study

If you have made plans to exercise more, diet or lose weight in 2014 you may want to consider joining a 12-week research study. Please see the attached flyer to determine if you qualify. Those that qualify may receive free consultation from a Registered Dietician or personal training from a National Strength and Conditioning Association certified professional. You could also receive a free 12-week pass to the SDC Fitness Center as part of this study. Please contact John Durocher at jjduroch@mtu.edu if you are interested.

approved flyer M1088 Durocher

Morton Harwood – 1st place winner in the oral presentations for the 2014 Graduate Research Colloquium

Oral Presentation Award Winner: Morton Harwood from the Department of Biological Sciences was awarded the first place presentation award at the 2014 MTU Graduate Research Colloquium.

“The Acute Cardiovascular Responses to Marathon and Ultra-marathon Competition”

Morty is a Ph.D. student in Dr. John Durocher’s laboratory.

Komal Raja, Biological Sciences, 2nd Place Posters, Graduate Research Colloquium 2014

Komal Raja, Biological Sciences, 2nd Place Posters, Graduate Research Colloquium 2014

Komal Raja, Biological Sciences,

Title: The Role of Toolkit Genes in the Evolution of Complex Wing, Thorax and Abdominal Color Patterns of Drosophila Guttifera –

Graduate Research Colloquium 2014 at Michigan Technological University

Original picture (courtesy of Emil Groth) and more winners at the Graduate Research Colloquium 2014 page.

Komal works in Dr.Werner’s lab and more about their research can be found in Dr. Werner’s lab page.

Follow Undergraduate Kelley Littlefield as she takes a semester to study abroad

I made it to San Ramon, Costa Rica! Finally. I took a group flight with about 40 other students.  We were supposed to arrive in San Ramon at 8:30pm last night, but unfortunately there were plenty of delays so we arrived in San Ramon at 4am this morning.  It was a really long day of sitting in the airport, but I made some new friends so it wasn’t too bad. Just really tiring!

See the rest of this post and her new ones at:

Her blog site.