Upcoming Seminar

September 29, 4:10 PM; Biology B-19
Sabrice Guerrier, Millsaps College

All Biology Department Seminars are free and open to the public. Seminars take place Fridays at 4:10 PM in B-19 in the basement of the Biology Building on the Reed College Campus (unless otherwise noted on the schedule). Seminars are immediately preceded by a service of coffee, tea, and other refreshments.

The Reed College campus is located in southeast Portland at 3203 SE Woodstock Blvd. (Online maps are available for getting to Reed and for the Campus).

2017-18 Schedule


4:10-5:00 in Biology B-19 (unless otherwise noted).
Directions to Reed.

Sept 1
Location: Kaul Lounge
Student Summer Research Fellows Poster Session

Join students from Biology, Chemistry, Math, Physics, and Psychology as they present the results of their summer research and projects.

Sept 8
Location: Performing Art Building 3rd Flr Atrium
How to Win at Being a Biology Major
Biology Resource Fair and Ice Cream Social

Join the Department in celebrating a new academic year with ice cream and prepare for a successful year. Reed College offers many resources to help students be successful both at Reed and beyond. Come meet some of the people from around campus who can help out and learn about what they can do for you!

Sept 14
Time: 7:30 PM Location: Vollum Lecture Hall
Mapping, modeling and Decoding the Human Brain
Jack Gallant, University of California, Berkely

One important goal of Psychology and Neuroscience is to understand the brain mechanisms mediating natural behavior. However, this is a challenging problem because natural behavior often involves many different perceptual, motor and cognitive systems distributed broadly across the brain. My laboratory has developed a new approach to functional brain mapping that recovers detailed information about the cortical maps mediating natural behavior. Our results show that even simple natural behaviors involve dozens or hundreds of distinct functional gradients and areas; that these are organized similarly in the brains of different individuals; and that top-down mechanisms such as attention can change these maps on a very short time scale. Our approach provides a powerful method for mapping the representation of many different perceptual and cognitive processes across the human brain and for decoding brain activity.

Sept 15
Location: Psych 105
Functional Mapping of the Human Brain: Promise, Problems and Prospects
Jack Gallant, University of California, Berkely

When functional MRI was developed it was hoped that this new tool could help validate and refine existing psychological models. However, linking psychological theories to maps produced by functional imaging has been a challenging problem, for several reasons. First, the experimental and data analysis paradigms developed for use in experimental psychology are not optimal for obtaining data in functional imaging experiments. Second, while psychological theories are usually pitched at the computational level, functional imaging produces data at the algorithmic level. Finally, both experimental psychology and functional imaging have been limited by various data quality and quantity issues that have caused a loss of confidence amongst scientists and the public. In this talk I will review some of the efforts undertaken in my lab to try to address these difficult problems. Our innovations include a naturalistic approach to experimental design, a voxel-wise modeling framework that provides quantitative predictions of brain activity in every individual subject; new tools for data visualization, and new methods for aggregating data across individuals while minimizing information loss. Although our approach provides detailed functional maps of the cerebral cortex, these maps do not provide a clear bridge to the computational models proposed in experimental psychology. Bridging this gap is a fundamental challenge for the cognitive neuroscience community.

Sept 22
Time: 10:00 AM Location: Gray Lounge & Gray Campus Center

PacNow Quantitative Biology Symposium

PacNow Qunatitative Biology Symposium talks and events throughout the day. See the symposium website for the schedule.

Sept 29TBA
Sabrice Guerrier, Millsaps College

Physiology, Molecular Biology, Cell Biology

Oct 6TBA
Laurel Symes, Dartmouth College

The ability to detect, process, and react to cues in the environment underlies nearly every aspect of an animal’s life, from finding mates and food to avoiding predators. My research addresses how organisms recognize stimuli to make decisions and how the process of recognition evolves, diverges, and interacts with ecological context.

Oct 13No Seminar Before Fall Break
Oct 20
Time: 12:00 AM
No Seminar, Fall Break
Oct 27TBA
Post-doc Talk: Emily Bellis, Reed College

Dr. Bellis uses genomic and experimental approaches to investigate laboratory and natural populations of Aiptasia sea anemones. Like its reef-building coral relatives, this small brown anemone depends on close, mutualistic relationships with unicellular microalgae of the genus Symbiodinium. The tiny algae live inside cells of the host, providing compounds derived from algal photosynthesis in exchange for nutrients and protection from herbivory. Elevated ocean temperatures trigger ‘bleaching’ (loss of the algal symbionts), causing coral mortality and severe reef degradation. Unlike most corals, Aiptasia is easy to study and maintain in the laboratory, rendering it an important model for studying coral bleaching and symbiosis. By better understanding genome variation and evolution in Aiptasia, a tractable model system for coral biology, I hope we can better predict responses of marine symbioses to changing oceans.

Nov 3TBA
Cecilia Moens, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

The Moens lab studies the early development of the vertebrate brain, using the zebrafish embryo as an in vivo genetic model system for understanding mechanisms of neuroepithelial morphogenesis and neuronal migration. Her lab takes advantage of the exquisite in vivo imaging of neural development possible in this small vertebrate with the optical qualities of water.

Nov 10TBA
Jeffrey Doyle, Cornell University

Most of this work involves the large and economically important legume family ("beans"), where projects include studies addressing the origin of nodulation (symbiotic nitrogen fixation) and the study of gene families involved in cell wall synthesis, aimed at developing alfalfa (a polyploid) as a biofuels crop, particularly soybean and its wild relatives. Soybean and, particularly, its wild relatives have been the focus of much work, developing the latter into a model system for studying natural allopolyploidy.

Nov 17TBA
Suzanne Sindi, University of California, Merced

Dynamics and Transmission of Prion Proteins in Yeast, Identification of Structural Variation from High Throughput Sequencing Data, Genome Evolution and Population Dynamics

Nov 24No Seminar, Thanksgiving Break
Dec 1No Seminar, Spring-Fall Thesis Parade


4:10-5:00 in Biology B-19 (unless otherwise noted).
Directions to Reed.

Jan 26TBA
Ingrid Parker, University of California, Santa Cruz

We study a range of questions at the intersection of ecology and evolution, embracing both basic and applied systems. Much of our research is focused on understanding the causes, consequences, and dynamics of biological invasions, especially the effects of species interactions (e.g. herbivory, disease, pollination, and microbial mutualisms) on plant invasions. We work in both temperate and tropical ecosystems.

Feb 2TBA
Peter Bottomley, Oregon State University

Research on various aspects of soil microbial ecology and microbial physiology including: nitrogen cycling in soils; population ecology of soil bacteria; physiology and ecology of nitrification; genomics of nitrifying bacteria.

Feb 9Summer Research, Internships & Other Opportunities

Learn about upcoming events in the department as well as opportunities for summer research, internships & fellowships.

Feb 16TBA
Toni Lyn Morelli, University of Massachusetts, Amherst; USGS

Toni Lyn uses translational ecology, species distribution modeling, occupancy modeling, geospatial analysis, population and landscape genetics techniques, and decision analysis to facilitate natural resource management and habitat and species conservation in the face of climate and land use change.

Feb 23Enhancing Symbiotic Nitrogen Fixation with Ascorbate (Vitamin C)
David Dalton, Reed College

My primary interests are in biological nitrogen fixation and oxygen toxicity.

Mar 2TBA
Ronke Olabisi, Rutgers

The research in our lab involves tissue engineering and regenerative medicine to repair or build de novo tissues for treating defects due to injury, disease, aging, or spaceflight. Our approach is through the development of biosynthetic materials, which combine the best aspects of synthetic and biological materials to attain reproducible biomaterials that can drive or direct cell function. Current efforts focus on skin, orthopedic and retinal tissues.

Mar 9
No seminar Friday before spring break
Mar 16
No seminar, Spring Break
Mar 23TBA
Kasey Fowler-Finn, Saint Louis University

In the Fowler-Finn Lab, we study the evolutionary processes underlying biological diversification. We study phenotypic variation across biotic and abiotic environmental gradients in a variety of insects and arachnids.

Mar 30
Time: 12:00 AM
Siddharth Ramakrishnan, University of Pudget Sound

Modulation of the Reproductive Neuroendocrine System by Endocrine Disruptors