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Biological Sciences News

Marine biologist David Caron examines data picked up by underwater robotic gliders: “Gliders help us wire the ocean, and with this constant surveillance, we are on the verge of being able to predict and mitigate [harmful] events." Photo by Max S. Gerber.

Robot Gliders Roam Seas

May 2, 2013

It was an unforgettable spring morning in 2011 when residents of King Harbor in Redondo Beach, Calif., awoke to find millions of dead anchovies, sardines and mackerel packed into the marina. The stench was strong enough to…

Arriving as a global health major at Keck School of Medicine of USC, Otana Jakpor decided to add a major in biological sciences in USC Dornsife after taking a Problems Without Passports (PWP) biology course at Oxford University in the United Kingdom. Photo by Erica Christianson.

Hard Work Meets Glamour

April 15, 2013

A Southern California native whose father is Nigerian, Otana Jakpor visited Nigeria for the first time last Christmas. In addition to spending time with cousins and extended family she didn’t before know existed, the…

Professor Hanna Reisler of chemistry presents her keynote address at the recent WiSE Research Horizons symposium held in her honor. Photo by Michelle Salzman.

Hanna Reisler Celebrated

April 2, 2013

Speaking at a recent symposium held in her honor, USC Dornsife’s Hanna Reisler recalled the early days of USC’s Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) program. At the time, women with tenured or tenure-track…

Ph.D. candidate in marine environmental biology in USC Dornsife Johanna Holm is collaborating on a digital application based on the children's picture book <em>Flotsam</em>. Here, the team has posted images and notes detailing how the "dynamic book" will evolve. Photo courtesy of the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab.

A Flotsam of Innovation

March 20, 2013

A scientific diver, USC Dornsife’s Johanna Holm, has become a “transmedia storyteller.” The Ph.D. candidate in marine environmental biology is helping transform the award-winning children’s book…

Researchers found atherosclerosis in 34 percent of the mummies studied, according to a recent study led by University Professor Caleb Finch, who has a joint appointment in USC Dornsife and the USC Davis School of Gerontology. Photo courtesy of <em>The Lancet</em>.

Lessons From Mummy

March 13, 2013

Like nearly 4.6 million Americans, ancient hunter-gatherers also suffered from clogged arteries, revealing that the plaque buildup causing blood clots, heart attacks and strokes is not just a result of fatty diets or couch…

In his latest book, <em>Planet Without Apes</em>, leading primatologist Craig Stanford of USC Dornsife demands that we consider whether we can live with the consequences of wiping our closest relatives off the face of the Earth. Portrait photo by Philip Channing.

Planet Without Apes?

November 16, 2012

Great apes could face extinction within our lifetime, biologist Craig Stanford of USC Dornsife warns in his new book Planet Without Apes (Harvard University Press). The four species of great apes — chimpanzees,…

Scott Fraser

Provost Appoints New Biological Sciences Professor

November 9, 2012

USC Provost Elizabeth Garrett has announced the appointment of Scott Fraser as Provost Professor of Biological Sciences and Biomedical Engineering and the Director of Science Initiatives. Fraser is a world leader in imaging…

USC Dornsife Dean Steve Kay, holder of the Anna H. Bing Dean’s Chair and professor of biological sciences, envisions USC as a preeminent destination for emerging themes in science and technology. Photo by Steve Cohn.

Educate, Enrich and Empower

November 8, 2012

In an inspiring installation speech, Dean Steve Kay on Wednesday set the tone for his administration, sharing his mantra as the 21st dean of USC Dornsife: educate, enrich and empower. “We must educate our students to…

Chimpanzees are found from Western Africa across the continent to East Africa. At one time, there were 50,000 or more chimps in Uganda. Now there are about 5,000 as a result of logging, the encroachment of villages, trapping, snare devices and other reasons. Photo by Craig Stanford.

Into the Forest

October 8, 2012

In late September, USC Dornsife Ph.D. student Maureen McCarthy traveled 9,000 miles from Los Angeles to Hoima, Uganda, to begin a year devoted to collecting chimpanzee poop. While that may seem like an unusual way to spend a…

Jan Amend, professor of earth sciences and biological sciences in USC Dornsife, will lead an interdisciplinary team of researchers in an investigation into what life teems within Earth's subsurface biosphere. Their approach could become a template for collecting evidence of life or past life on extraterrestrial planetary bodies such as Mars. Photo by Michelle Salzman.

Detecting Life Beyond Earth

September 21, 2012

A team of researchers led by Jan Amend, professor of earth sciences and biological sciences in USC Dornsife, has been selected to join the prestigious NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI), an organization of competitively…