Tag Archives: Biology

Senior Bio Major Dinners

Blanche Meslin writes in:

Bio faculty invite senior Bio majors to talk about post-grad plans, even if you don’t have any! Sign up here for one dinner: either November 4 or November 5th.

Date: Today or tomorrow
Time: 6-8 PM
Place: Downey House Lounge

In Memory: Laurel Appel, Adjunct Associate Professor of Biology, Passes Away

According to the Durham-Middlefield Patch, Laurel Appel, Adjunct Associate Professor of Biology, has passed away at the age of 50. In addition to her parents, siblings, and children, Dr. Appel, who lived in Durham, is survived by her husband of 20 years, Professor of Biology Michael Weir. The online obituary notes that Dr. Appel also directed the Ronald E. McNair Program at Wesleyan:

Laurel Frances Appel was born July 13, 1962, in Princeton, NJ, and grew up in Urbana, IL. She graduated from Oberlin College in 1984 and received a Ph.D. in genetics from the University of California at Berkeley in 1993, when she moved to Connecticut. She married Michael Weir in 1993. At Wesleyan, she directed the Ronald E. McNair Program, which supports and nurtures first-generation college students and students in underrepresented groups for entry into graduate programs.

Dr. Appel most recently appeared in the news last month, when the Wesleyan Connection mentioned her as a speaker for “Innovations: Intersection of Art and Science,” a CFA symposium.

There will be a celebration of her life tomorrow at 3 p.m. in the Chapel. Read the obituary here.

[Durham-Middlefield Patch]

Free Practice MCAT

 Prepare-for-the-MCAT

Alex Pogosky ’13 wants to help you get into med school:

FREE PRACTICE MCAT AT WESLEYAN!

Want to find out how you would score? You can sign up to take a free
MCAT Practice Test!

On behalf of Kaplan Test Prep, a Free MCAT Practice Test at Wesleyan
University will be offered on Sunday, February 17 starting at 11AM in
Fisk room 413.

*Scores will be returned at the end of the event!

Registration is free, and we will email room information once you’ve
signed-up!! Visit this link to register!

Date: Sunday, February 17
Time: 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Place: Fisk 413
Cost: Free

This Frosh Definitely Knows More About Dinosaurs Than You Do

“I also came into contact with human brains and whole pelicans stuffed in jars with preservatives.”

In all our excitement over move-in day and Common Moment, we totally spaced on this heartwarming New York Daily News profile on Ryan Moyé ’16, a newly arrived frosh from Harlem who has spent two years working at the American Museum of Natural History, taking four advanced-level courses and producing a research paper. This summer, Moyé took home the museum’s first-ever Science Scholar Award, winning a $30,000 scholarship. His expertise? Dinosaurs.

“I went hardcore into sciences and math in my junior year,” said Moyé, who won the award for his computer-aided comparisons of the complex skull shapes of prehistoric reptiles called crurotarsans, which are ancestors of crocodiles.

Not all of Moyé role models in the museum were fossilized, however:

To stay afloat in the sea of bones and research, Moyé got help from a mentor, Stephen Brusatte.

A graduate student under Mark Norell, the museum’s paleontology chairman and curator, Brusatte says he was impressed by Moyé’s perseverance. Together, they charted the evolving shape and size of the prehistoric skulls.

Wesleying caught up Moyé, who just turned 18 last week, for a brief interview about the museum, his impressions of Wes, and human brains in jars. Click past the jump for the full interview.

New York Times on Drunk Fruit Flies, Wooly Bear Caterpillars, and Prof. Michael Singer

If you’re hungover as hell, you may have more in common with the average fruit fly than you think. According to a recent New York Times piece, the fruit flies species Drosophila melanogaster consumes yeast-produced alcohol and, well, gets drunk as a defense against parasites. “Drosophila melanogaster thrives on rotting fruit [because] it has evolved special enzymes that quickly detoxify alcohol,” demonstrated a recent Emory University study.

What the hell does this have to do with Wes?

Err, for one thing, Emory’s esteemed 18th president, one William M. Chace (not to be confused with this epic-stached gentleman), also served as Wesleyan’s own fourteenth president, where he reduced faculty size, taught a whole lot of James Joyce, and presided over the Mummy Incident of 1990.

For another, the Times’ coverage gives quite the shout-out to Wesleyan’s own Biology department, specifically Professor Michael Singer, known for his studies on caterpillars and, less prominently, deep appreciation for soul and funk music. Apparently Emory’s study on fruit flies bears significant comparison to Wesleyan studies self-medicating wooly bear caterpillars, which make significant use of toxic plant leaves: