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News @ Minnesota State University Moorhead

Archive for the ‘Biosciences’

Three MSUM Student Cancer Researchers Receive Beta Beta Beta Research Scholarships

Posted on November 05, 2014

Three MSUM students, Anne Pius, Molly Strong, and Whitney Swanson were awarded Research Scholarships from the Beta Beta Beta Research Foundation.  Beta Beta Beta is a national biological society with a local chapter on the MSUM campus.  The three students are members of the cancer research team mentored by Mark Wallert. Read the rest of this entry →

Ellen Brisch and student Evangeline Holley attended and presented at the 23rd Annual Developmental Biology Symposium

Posted on October 27, 2014

Biosciences faculty member Ellen Brisch and student Evangeline Holley attended the 23rd Annual Developmental Biology Symposium at the University of Minnesota Monday October 20.  Evangeline presented her research mentored by Brian Wisenden at a graduate student and postdoctoral fellow geared session in a poster entitled:  Predictability of food supply, not ration, increases exploratory behavior in Zebrafish Danio rerio.  Evangeline is also a Goldwater Scholar.

MSUM Hosts 9th Undergraduate Research in the Molecular Sciences Meeting

Posted on October 24, 2014

The 9th Undergraduate Research in the Molecular Sciences (URMS9) meeting was held on the MSUM campus October 3 and 4, 2014. The meeting included 110 participants from 11 colleges and universities. URMS9 included 42 oral and poster presentations by undergraduates competing for travel awards to the national meetings of the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) and the American Chemical Society. Travel award winners from MSUM were: Read the rest of this entry →

MSUM garners 11th Goldwater award in 13 years

Posted on July 14, 2014

Biology Student Among 283 in Nation Awarded Goldwater Scholarship

MSUM senior Evangeline Holley was among 283 students from across the nation selected to receive a $7,500 award from the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation.

Holley is a biology major with an emphasis in ecology and evolutionary biology. She is the daughter of Rinita Dalan and George Holley, both faculty members in MSUM’s Anthropology and Earth Science Department.

She was selected from a field of 1,166 mathematics, science and engineering scholars who were nominated by faculty members from colleges and universities throughout the country.

Holley is the tenth MSUM student in the past 13 years to receive a Goldwater Scholarship. (Rachel Sang received the award for two years.)

“I love biology and I love animal behavior,” Holley said. “I get really excited about it and want to get other people excited about it. I like sharing biology with people.”

Holley is currently conducting research under MSUM biology professor Brian Wisenden. The research is centered around the effects diet has on the exploratory boldness of zebra fish. She and her research group will be published in the Journal of Fish Biology this fall. Read the rest of this entry →

Biosciences faculty and undergraduates publish paper in international peer-reviewed journal Hydrobiologia

Posted on May 21, 2014

Brian Wisenden, Dan McEwen, Bee Wisenden and Ellen Brisch, Biosciences faculty, and Tony Stumbo, Pat Self, Biosciences Undergraduates, have published a paper in the international peer-reviewed journal Hydrobiologia, entitled “Co-evolution of offspring antipredator competence and parental brood defense in convict cichlids”. This paper is the culmination of 20 years of research from field sites in Costa Rica and lab experiments at the MSUM aquatic research facility in Langseth Hall. Read the rest of this entry →

MSUM commencement May 16

Posted on May 15, 2014

Can’t attend commencement? Watch the ceremony live.

Minnesota State University Moorhead will award degrees to 930 students during its spring commencement program Friday, May 16 in the university’s Nemzek Fieldhouse. Graduates of the College of Arts, Media & Communication, College of Business & Innovation, and College of Humanities & Social Sciences will participate in the 9 a.m. ceremony. Graduates of the College of Education & Human Services, and College of Science, Health & the Environment will participate in the 2 p.m. program. Read the rest of this entry →

Biosciences undergraduates and faculty published paper in Journal of Fish Biology

Posted on May 09, 2014

Biosciences undergraduates Evangeline Holley and Kaitlyn Ludwig, along with Biosciences faculty Dan McEwen and Brian Wisenden, have published a paper in the international peer-reviewed Journal of Fish Biology, based on research conducted by Evangeline and Kaitlyn and mentored by Drs. McEwen and Wisenden. The research showed that fish personality is not strictly genetically determined but also malleable through environmental influences. This work has important implications for commercial and sports fisheries that augment stocks with hatchery-reared fish. The full citation of their paper is: Holley ED, Ludwig KJ, McEwen DC, Wisenden BD. In Press. Predictability of food supply, but not ration, increases exploratory behaviour. Journal of Fish Biology.

MSUM Cancer Researchers Present at National ASBMB Meeting

Posted on May 08, 2014

Dr. Mark Wallert and eight members of his cancer research team presented their data at the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology National Meeting April 26 – April 30, 2014.  The student presenting and their project titles include:

  • Nick Berthelsen and Brittany Bisnett presented a poster entitled: “Mutational analysis of calcineurin B homologous protein isoform 2 (CHP2) binding to the   Na+/H+ exchanger isoform 1 (NHE1): NHE1 mutations H523I and H523G
  • Molly Strong and Moriah Hovde presented work entitled: “A comparative survey of the impact of NHE1 phosphorylation on pHi and cell motility.”
  • Harrison Pantera and Alex Novak presented a poster entitled: “Mutational analysis of calcineurin B homologous protein isoform 2 (CHP2) binding to the   Na+/H+ exchanger isoform 1 (NHE1): NHE1 mutations N519A and N519D.”
  • Clarice Wallert and Scott Buchholz presented work entitled: “In vivo and in vitro interaction of calcineurin B homologous protein isoforms 1 and 2 (CHP1 and CHP2) with the Na+-H+ exchanger isoform1 (NHE1).” Read the rest of this entry →

Alex Novak Earns Honorable Mention at the ASBMB National Undergraduate Poster Competition

Posted on May 07, 2014

Alex Novak, a senior Biochemistry and Biotechnology major at MSUM received an Honorable Mention at the 2014 American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology National Undergraduate Poster Competition. Over 250 undergraduates from across the United States participated in the competition held in San Diego, California on April 26, 2014. Awards were given to the top 20 participants in the competition. Four First Place Awards and 4 Honorable Mention Awards were given in each of four judging categories. Alex presented work from his Summer Research Experience for Undergraduates at the University of Oregon. Read the rest of this entry →

Summer STEM Internships Available

Posted on April 22, 2014

Interested in helping share the fun of math and science with K12 students? This summer we have internships available for students to help assist and teach at science and math summer camps. Read the rest of this entry →

Tri-Beta to hold plant sale

Posted on April 15, 2014

Come check out all the plants that Tri-Beta has to offer this spring.

The plant sale is Thursday, April 24 and Friday, April 25 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. in the Langseth Hall Atrium.





Personality and genetics

Posted on April 14, 2014

Students research the effects of cortisol

By Meghan Feir

Hermella Alemneh and Mikaela Hanson are using zebra fish in a research project that could have a direct correlation in the way we understand how hormones play a vital role in human personality outcomes.

Alemneh and Hanson’s presentation title, “Does A Stressed Mothers’ Hormones Contribute to the Personality of Their Offspring?” encapsulates the main topic they are researching, which they will be presenting at this year’s Student Academic Conference on April 15, complete with a fish tank. Read the rest of this entry →

Brian Wisenden gave a seminar at the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire

Posted on April 09, 2014

Brian Wisenden, Biosciences, gave an invited departmental seminar at University of Wisconsin Eau Claire on April 3. The talk, based on research conducted by undergraduate biology majors at MSUM, was entitled “Scents of Danger: Chemically mediated predator-prey interactions in aquatic ecosystems.”

Students chosen to present Workshop at FEMMSS5 Conference in August

Posted on April 01, 2014

Students Kate Lucero and Whitney Oxendahl are working with faculty to develop a case study on the Hydraulic Fracturing taking place on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation. Lucero and Oxendahl will be presenting this work at the FEMMSS5 Conference.

Lucero is a double major in Women’s and Gender Studies and Philosophy and Oxendahl is majoring in Sustainability – Environmental Science emphasis with a minor in Biosciences. The two students are working with an interdisciplinary faculty team consisting of Claudia Murphy, Women’s and Gender Studies and Philosophy, Steve Lindaas, Physics and Astronomy, Alison Wallace, Biosciences and Sara Anderson, Biosciences. The FEMMSS (Feminist Epistemology, Metaphysics, Methodologies and Science Studies) Conference will be held at the University of Waterloo, in Waterloo, Ontario in August 10-13, 2014.

Student accepted into MIT summer program

Posted on March 27, 2014

Tadesse to present at Student Academic Conference

By Danielle Rebel

Greatness is often born from wild, far-fetched ideas.

For Loza Tadesse, this was exactly the case.

The international student from Ethiopia is studying physics and biology at MSUM. Earlier this year, she was hired in the biosciences department – not as a researcher, but to clean the fish tank.

“That’s when I first got interested in the fish,” Tadesse said. “I’m really interested in cardiology-related research.”

Being around the zebra fish in the biosciences department each day sparked an idea in Tadesse. After doing some research, she further developed the idea, which she will be presenting at the Student Academic Conference April 15.

“I’m modifying an ECG (electrocardiogram) that is already here,” Tadesse said. “Zebra fish are now top in medical research because they resemble the various human body systems, including the heart. I am trying to make the heart ECG recoding procedure less invasive.” Read the rest of this entry →

Biosciences students’ research accepted for publication

Posted on March 27, 2014

Biosciences majors Emily Mammenga, Carissa Storseth and Noah Berglund have had their research accepted for publication in the international peer-reviewed journal Animal Behaviour. The title of their manuscript is “Odor-tracking by young convict cichlids and a mechanism for alloparental brood amalgamation.” The research was mentored by Brian Wisenden.


Lake Superior Ecology class offered in August

Posted on March 11, 2014

The north of Lake Superior is incredibly beautiful, and although sparsely populated it has been highly significant in the economic and sociopolitical development of North America.

A new course, Lake Superior Ecology will be offered in the August summer session to explore sites from Duluth, MN to Thunder Bay, ON that hold significance to this region. Class size is limited to 18 students and is by instructor permission only.

For more information or to express interest in taking this course, please contact Bee Wisenden ( or Brian Wisenden ( as soon as possible.

Tri-Beta to hold Relay for Life Fundraiser March 12

Posted on March 11, 2014

On Wednesday, March 12 at 6 p.m. a Relay for Life Fundraiser hosted by Tri-Beta will be held in Langseth Hall 118. You can bid on the opportunity to have lunch with one of your classmates or faculty (lunch will be paid for) and all the money raised will go to Relay for Life! Come and support this great cause, and have some fun in the process.

Wisenden invited by Iowa State University to give departmental seminar

Posted on March 04, 2014

Brian Wisenden, professor of Biosciences, gave an invited Departmental Seminar at the Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management (NREM) at Iowa State University on Feb. 14, 2014. The title of his talk was “Scents of Danger: Chemically-mediated risk assessment against predators large and small,” which featured research by MSUM undergraduates.

Biosciences offering variety of courses this summer

Posted on February 28, 2014

The Biosciences Department will be offering a variety of courses this summer. Some of the courses that will be offered are as follows; Cell Biology, Organismal Biology, Human Anatomy, and Human Physiology.

There will also be some Biosciences courses that have a LASC designation and/or Writing Intensive.

For a list of all Biosciences courses that will be offered please check the course schedule that is posted online on the MSUM website. Registration begins March 3, 2014. Any questions please call the Biosciences Office at 218.477.2572. Thanks and we will see you this summer!

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