Dr. Kara E. Powder, a postdoc in the lab of Dr. Craig Albertson, will be joining the Clemson University Department of Biological Sciences in Fall 2016 as an Assistant Professor.  There she will continue her work on the genomic and developmental basis of craniofacial evolution in cichlid fishes.  Congratulations, Kara!


Katelyn Mullen, a senior Biology major, is the recipient of a Biology Undergraduate Travel Award. She will be presenting her research in a poster titled “New single-copy nuclear loci for scale insect’s systematics” at the International Symposium of Scale Insect Studies in Catania, Sicily this June. Katelyn works in the laboratory of Professor Ben Normark; he and Scott Schneider are coauthors on the abstract. She looks forward to presenting her research in this professional meeting and discussing her work with experts in her field. Congratulations, Katelyn!

Research Fellow Position

Research Fellow Position Available

The Vazey lab at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is looking for a qualified applicant to fill a Research Fellow position. This is a full time non-benefited position. The successful applicant will perform systems neurobiology research in rodent models using behavioural, anatomical, electrophysiological and genetic techniques in consultation with the PI. Some of the tasks associated with this position will vary, but will include: Daily work with rats, operant behavioural training and testing; histological assessment of rodent brain tissue including brightfield and immunofluorescence microscopy with quantitative and qualitative analyses; rodent stereotaxic surgery; animal colony management; laboratory inventory management; electrode array fabrication; and preparation of solutions and reagents.

Initial appointment for one year; reappointment beyond first year is contingent upon availability of funding and job performance. BSc in Biology or Psychology is required; neuroscience specialization preferred. Essential experience in immunohistochemistry, microscopy, rodent stereotaxic surgery, in vivo viral vector delivery, designer receptor technology and operant behavioural training using Med Associates software. Salary is commensurate with skills and experience.

Candidates must apply online by submitting a cover letter, CV, and the contact details of three references willing to provide letters of recommendation to:


Please apply by a priority deadline of April 4, 2016 in order to ensure consideration.

The University of Massachusetts Amherst is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer of women, minorities, protected veterans, and individuals with disabilities and encourages applications from these and other protected group members. 


Benjamin Normark, biology, was recently selected as a Fulbright scholar and will spend the fall 2016 semester in Mexico documenting the spread of the insect, cycad aulacaspis scale. It is an invasive species that threatens the country’s cycads, plants sometimes called “living fossils” because they have changed little in the last 280 million years.

Globally, says Normark, “Cycads are under unprecedented assault from armored scale insects and from the global nursery trade that sees cycads as commercially valuable ornamentals.” The plants superficially resemble palms, and are sometimes called ‘sago palms,’ but they constitute their own ancient branch of the plant family tree.

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