We have reached the end of our seminars for the 2018 Fall Semester and the Department would like to thank all our speakers and everyone who attended for making this series a success. We will be posting information about the 2019 Spring Seminar Series as soon as we have our speakers lined up. Please keep checking this page for more information.
Dr. Infante describes his role in the study: “For the paper I analyzed ChIP-seq data to identify active regulatory regions in the developing mouse hindlimb. This analysis identified a new regulatory element near Pitx1, a gene that based on previous research plays a key role in the evolution of vertebrate hindlimb morphology. This work demonstrates the utility of ChIP-seq to quickly and efficiently identify active regulatory elements genome-wide to provide a better picture of the complex gene networks that control animal development, a process that before the development of functional genomics techniques like ChIP-seq was time-consuming and expensive."
Thompson, AC, TD Capellini, CA Guenther, YF Chan, CR Infante, DB Menke, and DM Kingsley. A novel enhancer near the Pitx1 gene influences development and evolution of pelvic appendages in vertebrates. Elife 2018(7): e38555. DOI:10.7554/eLife.38555 PMID: 30499775.
For the full publication click here.
The Charles Ferguson Scholarship will allow pre-health students to pay for expenses beyond tuition, fees and materials. The fund will support students in completing test prep courses, paying application or test fees, or covering life expenses that might derail them at completing their education. As these funds are intended to cover unexpected or ‘Outside CU’ expenses, the application and awarding process will all take place with the goal of simplifying access and streamlining the process for students.
For those few who don’t know him, Dr. Charles Ferguson is a native of Denver and received his Bachelor of Arts in Biology from the University of Colorado Denver in 1985, his Master of Arts in Biology from the University of Colorado at Denver in 1989, and his Doctor of Philosophy in Neuroscience from the University of Colorado Boulder in 1996 at the ripe old age of 45. Before going to college he worked in the medical profession for 14 years, “retiring” from the medical profession in 1985. He is currently a Professor in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of Colorado Denver where he teaches or has taught a number of courses. His research is focused primarily on the issues high school students wanting to go into science, math or engineering disciplines encounter in their transition from high school to college. He is also the Director of the Health Professions Program at the University of Colorado Denver and specializes in the advising of the “non-traditional” older student. He has been instrumental in the development of a number of K-12 pipeline programs as well as a number of post-bac programs designed to help students from disadvantaged backgrounds obtain a college education and pursue their passion in the medical profession. He has received numerous teaching awards at both the institutional level as well as the national level.
Dr. Ferguson, who is starting his phased retirement this fall, has always been acutely aware of student need and committed to trying to meet it. He has long had on his ‘wish list’ exactly this sort of fund, so that more students could pursue their educational and professional goals. Advancement’s goal is to have the scholarship in his honor at endowment level by the end of this academic year. An endowed scholarship exists in perpetuity at CU and spins off 4% of the principal in support of scholarships. $25,000 is the minimum required to establish an endowed fund.
How to donate:
Checks can be made out to University of Colorado Foundation (include on the memo line of the check “gift is intended for the Charles Ferguson Scholarship, allocation number 0321984”) and mailed to ATTN: Cristina Sloan/Austin Locke University of Colorado Denver, Office of Advancement, 1380 Lawrence St. , Suite 1201, Denver, CO 80204.
Go to giving.cu.edu and click on the Give Now button (at the top of the page there is a “click here to write-in a fund” button) use Charles Ferguson Scholarship Support Fund. The fund number is 0321984.
If you would like to make recurring gifts to Charlie’s fund (also an option on the giving.cu.edu link), you can do so through payroll deduction. Here is the link to the relevant form: https://giving.cu.edu/payroll-deduction-form
The Department would like to congratuate two of our Master of Science students, Sarah St. Onge and Nicholas Bard on passing their thesis defense!
Long Term Urban Wildlife Research Potential Through Course-based Undergraduate Research
Urbanization is increasing rapidly worldwide, leading to highly fragmented habitats which have been shown to be the leading cause of local wildlife species endangerment. Urban wildlife monitoring has the potential to support land and wildlife management decisions, wildlife and habitat conservation, zoonotic disease monitoring, help with human-wildlife conflicts, and educate the community about urban ecological issues. Long term monitoring can be perpetuated by creating a course-based research experience around it. Incorporating relevant, local, and authentic research into introductory undergraduate courses has been shown to have positive impacts on student interest, engagement, and retention. This thesis will present the implementation of a long term urban wildlife monitoring program in Denver, analysis of preliminary urban wildlife data, and the creation and assessment of a Course-based Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE) for a General Biology laboratory course using the long-term monitoring of urban wildlife as a context.
Population Genomics and Soil Niche Assessment of a Rare Edaphic Endemic
Range-limited rare endemic species are threatened by loss of genetic diversity, which may lead to extirpation and extinction. Carex scirpoidea Michx. subsp. convoluta (Kük.) Dunlop (Cyperaceae) has a narrow geographic distribution—limited to disjunct, fragmented habitats on the Northeastern shores of Lake Huron. The majority of populations grow in alvar habitats, characterized by thin soils on limestone bedrock. Conversely, C. scirpoidea subsp. scirpoidea is distributed on diverse habitats and soil types across Northern North America, and Greenland, with few populations in Norway and Russia. Though an apparent edaphic (soil) endemic, it is unclear whether subsp. convoluta has differentiated genetically from subsp. scirpoidea. We used double digest restriction-associated DNA sequencing to measure genetic differentiation, and test whether subsp. convoluta harbors lower genetic diversity than subsp. scirpoidea. Overall, subsp. convoluta exhibits higher genetic diversity than its conspecific—likely due to nearly-obligate outcrossing. Subsp. convoluta shows little genetic differentiation from Eastern North American populations of subsp. scirpoidea, suggesting that, if occurring, speciation is at an early stage. In another study, we measured chemical and physical properties of the soil for each taxon to test whether subsp. convoluta exhibited a distinct, narrow niche compared to the widespread subsp. scirpoidea. When multiple parameters were considered, neither taxon exhibited an affinity for a distinct edaphic niche. Populations in both taxa were shown to inhabit adverse soil types, including saline and calcareous soils. Further research will investigate whether local genomic adaptation has facilitated the inhabitation of unique soil types in both taxa.
Spring 2019 Graduate Student Seminar Series
Please join us for the Graduate Student Seminar Series during the Spring 2019 Semester! Seminar will be held every other Tuesday (dates below) from 11:00 a.m. to Noon in SCI 1086. There will be a provided lunch following the talks (Noon-1:00 p.m.). The full schedule of speakers will be announced soon - there are still open dates so if you would like to give a talk or invite a speaker please contact Scott Yanco (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Missed a talk during the fall 2018 series? Check out our youtube channel with recordings of several of our excellent speakers from the fall.
2019 Graduate Student Seminar Series Dates: