Skip to body


College of the Sciences

Biology News 2013-2014 Academic Year

Dr. Blaise Dondji, with the assistance of Dr. Holly Pinkart, Dr. Ian Quitadamo, Dr. Linda Raubeson and Dr. Gabrielle Stryker, and Margaret Reich of CWU Foundation, acquired two grants totaling $350,000 for the purchase of a flow cytometer, and funding for creating a three-year undergraduate research program and updated curriculum.  The grant also funded a temporary Research Technologist position, to assist in running the flow cytometer.  Recent Biology graduate, Mr. Mark Young, was hired for this position Summer 2014.

The funds for the program come from the W.M. Keck Foundation, the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, and the Seattle Foundation.  

See the article: CWU Foundation Receives $350,000 for Flow Cytometer, Enhanced Undergraduate Learning and Research for more information.

CWU students and faculty attended the meeting of the Society for Northwestern Vertebrate Biology that was Feb. 3-7, 2014 in Pasco, WA.

We had a large contingent of CWU students & faculty, including some recent grads.

Here are the folks in the photo, left to right:

David Reavill, Steve Wagner (President, SNVB), Laura Westervelt, Sara Richbourg, Brandon Fessler, Elizabeth Anne Rathburn, Jason Irwin, David Darda, Robert Weaver (VP for WA, SNVB), Jill Hooghkirk, Asa Staven, Craig Fergus, Caleb Loughran

Dr. Linda Raubeson recently received the honor of being named the CWU Chapter's Phi Kappa Phi Scholar of the Year for 2013-14.  The national honor society of Phi Kappa Phi recognizes and encourages superior scholarship in all academic disciplines. Membership is open to undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty members by invitation, with election based on superior scholarship.  Dr. Raubeson gave a public presentation entitled Seed Plant Evolution:  New Approaches to Old Questions on May 20 in Science 216.

Dr. Raubeson received her Ph.D. at Yale University in 1991, and joined the faculty of Central Washington University in 1995.  She has published widely in national and international journals, and has presented at many scientific meetings.  In addition, she has received over $2 million dollars in grants and supplemental awards, often used to assist in the inclusion of students in her research.

Since 1988, Dr. Raubeson has been interested in determining the relationships between major groups of plants.  Reconstructing more ancient evolutionary relationships can be challenging because of the complex nature of changes that take place over greater amounts of geologic time.  She has focused on finding new sources of DNA information that might allow more robust inference of relationships.  With her students, she has mapped chloroplast genomes and used changes in gene order to mark evolutionary groups.  More recently, she and her students have sequenced entire chloroplast genomes and used those data to deduce evolutionary trees.

Alum Kelsey Martin (Winter 2014) won the 2013-2014 COTS Award for Student Achievement in Biological Sciences!  Kelsey was presented the award at the College of the Sciences' Celebration of the Sciences 2014 Honors Banquet.

The award is presented to students who exemplify the mission, vision, and purpose of their department or program.  From the banquet program:  "Kelsey has consistently impressed her professors with her curiosity, energy, and passion for biology, not only in the courses she has taken, but also in her research projects.  Kelsey's impressive research experiences range from exploring the ecology of fish in local streams, to investigating tide-pool biodiversity in Mexico.  She has presented results of these projects both at SOURCE and at regional and international meetings.  Kelsey spent 10 days in a field course investigating biodiversity and geology of tide pools in coastal Jalisco and presented her work at the American Fisheries Society Annual Meeting in Mazatlan, Mexico.  She has been interested in biology, especially animals, since she was very oyoung.  After first watching the movie Jaws, something clicked and she fell in love with sharks, 'because they are graceful, beautiful, and very mysterious.'  Kelsey was just hired by a local environmental consulting firm.  Later, she plans to go to graduate school and make a career of marine biology, specializing in the study of sharks."

Congratulations, Kelsey!  

See also:



Take the Next Step to Becoming a Wildcat.