In the News

  • Congrats to Leif Verace!!
    Honors Digest: May 2023 - Student Capstone Awards
    Congratulations to students and their mentors for completing excellent capstone projects.
  • STEM - Leif Verace, “An In-Depth Study of Border Cell Migration within Drosophila melanogaster” advised by Dr. Olivier Devergne (Department of Biological Sciences).
  • Congratulations to our very own Dr. Jennifer Koop on her nomination and selection for a 2023 CURE Faculty Mentor Award.
  • Our very own Allyson Thompson, ESE undergrad, was named a Yale Conservation Scholar for this summer
  • Kara Coffman-Rea represented NIU Anatomical Sciences at the "Technology World" event at the DeKalb Public Library on April 1.
  • Matthew Fardoux and Panchalie Gunathunga received Outstanding Graduate Student Awards.
  • Drs. Holly Jones and Neil Blackstone received notice that their Research and Artistry proposals have been recommended for funding.
  • Congrats to Apoorva Dabholkar for successfully passing her Candidacy exam.
  • Merveille Muyizere has been selected for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean's Award from the Department of Biological Sciences
  • Drs. Holly Jones and Neil Blackstone recently received notification that their Research and Artistry proposals have been recommended for funding.
  • Graduate student, Ellie Taylor, was awarded a competitive grant from North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NCR-SARE through USDA) to research "The Impact of Buckwheat Plantings on Releases of Parasitoid Wasps on a Dairy Farm". She also received a Medical, Urban and Veterinary Entomology Student Travel Award from the Entomological Society of America to attend their annual meeting in Vancouver this fall. Congratulations, Ellie!
  • Rashmi Shivni published a paper, Establishing a baseline of science communication skills in an undergraduate environmental science course, with Dr. Heather Bergan-Roller in summer of 2021 based on her research on setting a baseline set of science communication skills in undergraduate environmental science students. Rashmi aided at the end of the data analysis and helped Dr. Bergan-Roller write the manuscript as a postbacc research assistant and provided her science communication expertise as a professional science journalist.
  • Congratulations to Halee Tyszka for being awarded the Gladys M. Gunther Scholarship for Women in Science and Research from CLAS! Halee is an undergraduate researcher in Singh Lab.
  • SEF grants were awarded to undergraduate researchers Halee Tyszka (summer and fall) and Paula Luengo Carretero (summer) for their grant proposals on parasitic and bacterial pathogens respectively. They are both researchers in Singh Lab.
  • Congratulations to Jessica and Jasmine Mathew, who were awarded 2nd place in the Conference on Undergraduate Research and Engagment (CURE) Symposium in the 'Environmental and Physical Sciences' award category! They were both undergraduate research assistants in Dr. Koop's lab and were mentored by master's student, Michaela Plagwitz.
  • Graduate student, Cheyenne Beach, was awarded best student presentation at the Emiquon Science Symposium last week. Congrats, Cheyenne!
  • Laurie Spencer, from Singh lab, successfully passed her candidacy. Her work explores enteric parasite load and role of gut microbiome in Bison. Congratulations to Laurie, now a Ph.D. candidate!
  • Brenda Anak Ganeng successfully defended her MS thesis, "Representations and perceptions of sexual pleasure in undergraduate anatomy and physiology (A&P) courses"
  • Adam Nuccio, Ph.D. student from Singh lab was awarded the Briles award, to continue research exploring gut-brain axis linkage, specifically the role of gut microbes in stress and depression
  • Laurie Spencer, Ph.D. student from Singh lab received the Outstanding Graduate student award. She will be recognized at the Outstanding Graduate Student Reception on Tuesday, April 26, 2022 at 3:00 p.m. in Altgeld Hall Auditorium.
  • Laurie Spencer, Ph.D. student from Singh Lab, is a leading author of a recently published article. Gut Virome: Role and Distribution in Health and Gastrointestinal Diseases.
  • Congratulations to Recipients for Biology Undergraduate Scholarships and awards, 2022 (listed below)! Thank you to all the applicants for taking the time to submit their nominations. The awards will be given out at the virtual Departmental Annual Awards Ceremony on Thursday, May 5, 2022 at 3:30 p.m.
  • Laurie Spencer, Ph.D. student from Singh Lab, received grant from Friends of Nachusa Grasslands 2022, to continue research work on Bison enteric Parasites.
  • Pallavi Singh and former graduate student, Catie Ausland, are authors on recently accepted collaborative paper in Journal Frontiers in Veterinary Science. Title: "Whole genome sequence and interaction analysis in the production of six enzymes from the three Bacillus strains present in a commercial direct fed microbial (Norum™) using a Bliss independence test".
  • Pallavi Singh was granted Student Engagement Funds for spring 2021 from OSEEL at NIU. These funds will support undergraduate researcher, Halee Tyszka.
  • In January 2022 Dr. Ana Calvo published an article in Phyto Fronteirs on a bacterial-fungal interaction that results in a reduction in the expression of genes responsible for the production of carcinogenic mycotoxins.
  • A new article, Temperature‐induced multi‐species cohort effects in sympatric snakes, just appeared in Ecology and Evolution. Ten years of field research data reveal simultaneous impacts of weather on offspring growth and size across multiple species.
  • Undergraduate student, Fernanda Montoya received OSEEL's Student Engagement Fund (SEF) award and the University Honors Program's Enhance Your Education (EYE) Grant. Both grants will be used for funding on a research project related to the synthesis of chlorophyll d that Fernanda is working on with graduate student Rohan Shiradhonkar in Dr. Wesley Swingley's lab.
  • Jen Koop was on Good Morning America Live (Feb. 2022). Jen and her grad student Carly Crow are in the Galapagos Islands conducting research. Watch the interview on Island’s famous wildlife threatened by climate change.

Scholarships and Awards


Patricia Vary Scholarship in Biology 

  • Aleena Kallan  

Harvey A Feyerherm Award 

  • Ally Abdallah 

David and Karen Nargis Student Scholarship in Biology 

  • Anabela Arrieta 
  • Laurita Uribe Aristizabal 

Jerrold H Zar Endowed Scholarship in Biology 

  • Kerrigan Kotecki  
  • Katelin Wolken-Wright 

Dean’s Award Nominee from Biology 

  • Yaileen Velazquez 

Dr. August M Gorenz Scholarship 

  • Grace Watkin 
  • Isiah Bryant Camarao 
  • Bianca Estrada 

Alumni Scholarship in Biological Sciences 

  • Katelyn Dinh 

BIOS Faculty Choice Award 

  • Ala'a Lahawani 
  • Mark Figueroa 

Sidney A. Mittler Award 

  • Makayla Ritko  

Dennis Larsen Memorial Scholarship 

  • Anahita Senobari 

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