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Department of Biological Sciences


Dr. Tim Mousseau funded to study radiation effects on plants

Dr. Mousseau received a grant, Radiation Effects on Pollen, Seeds and Plants, from the Southeastern Universities Research Association.

Dr. Katie Kathrein named Target Investigator on an NIH grant

Dr. Kathrein named Target Investigator on an NIH-funded Center for Targeted Therapeutics COBRE grant.

Dr. Dan Speiser received Breakthrough Star Award

Dr. Speiser received the Breakthrough Star Award which is in recognition for research and scholarly excellence at USC. His work mainly focuses on the evolution and development of marine invertebrate vision. The Smithsonian Magazine recently communicated his discoveries to a wider public audience.

Dr. Tim Mousseau received Breakthrough Leadership in Research Award

Dr. Mousseau received the Breakthrough Leadership in Research Award which recognizes distinguished senior faculty at USC. He is a fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences and his work has made its way into mainstream media, including the documentaries Chernobyl: A Natural History, Animal Planet’s River Monsters: Atomic Assassins, Life After Chernobyl, and One Strange Rock: Escape.

Dr. Dudycha, Dr. Richardson, and Dr. Pickney awarded an NSF Grant

Congratulations to Dr. Jeff Dudycha, Dr. Jay Pickney, and Dr. Tammi Richardson on a three year National Science Foundation award CC* Networking Infrastructure: Building a Science DMZ for Data-intensive Research and Computation at the University of South Carolina.

Dr. Davis awarded an NIH Grant

Dr. Shannon Davis was recently awarded an NIH grant, Identifying Genetic Loci Associated with Neurocristopathies using the Deer Mouse Peromyscus maniculatus. Congratulations!

SCHC student awarded Boren Scholarship

Patrick McKenzie was recently awarded a Boren Scholarship to study Arabic at the Qasid Arabic Institute in Jordan. OFSP has additional details.

Dr. Senner coauthored a commentary in the journal Science

Dr. Nathan Senner coauthored a commentary in Science this week. Please also read the related news feature.

Dr. Lizarraga presented research at a Gordon Research Conference

Dr. Sofia Lizarraga presented Epigenetic Modulation of BDNF Signaling in Autism Spectrum Disorders at the Gordon Research Conference on Neurotrophic Mechanisms in Health and Disease (Newport, RI on June 3rd).

Dr. Matesic coauthored an article in the journal Science

Dr. Lydia Matesic coauthored an article Reactivation of PTEN tumor suppressor for cancer treatment through inhibition of a MYC-WWP1 inhibitory pathway in Science (5/17/19).

Kate Levasseur received award for Best Graduate Student Paper of the Year

Kate’s article, Exceptionally high natal homing precision in hawksbill sea turtles, was published in Marine Ecology Progressive Series. It describes genetic differentiation among nesting Hawksbill sea turtles in Antigua and Barbuda and contributes to our knowledge of species preservation. We congratulate Kate and her mentor, Dr. Joe Quattro, for this work. The award is sponsored by Cindy and Dan Carson.

Shelley Hucks awarded a Graduate Teaching Resource Development Grant

Shelley Hucks, a graduate student in Dr. Reisman’s lab, was awarded the 2019 Graduate Teaching Assistant Teaching Resource Development Grant by the Center for Teaching Excellence. She aims to improve the experimental resources and student learning experience in the Cell and Molecular Biology lab.

Julian and Janay selected as scholars by Grace J. McFadden Professors Program

Julian, a graduate student in Dr. Nate Senner's group, and Janay, of Dr. Sofia Lizzaraga's group, have been selected as scholars by the Grace Jordan McFadden Professors Program at USC. This is a highly selective program that aims to promote diversity among the professoriate.

The lab of Dr. Twiss publish an article in the Journal of Cell Biology

Dr. Twiss and colleagues published an article entitled Deacetylation of Miro1 by HDAC6 blocks mitochondrial transport and mediates axon growth inhibition

Dr. Speiser and colleagues publish an article on the Evolution of Vision

Dr. Daniel Speiser and colleagues Hayley Miller, Alexandra Kingston, and Yakir Gagnon published The mirror-based eyes of scallops demonstrate a light-evoked pupillary response in the journal Current Biology. 

Their insights into the physics of vision is further discussed in the Smithsonian Magazine. They open the possibility that "the scallop eye might change shape and respond to light in a way that makes it possible to form crisper images on the proximal retina."

Luke Wilde awarded a NSF Fellowship

Luke Wilde, a graduate student in the lab of Dr. Senner, was awarded a Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Dr. Zhengqing Fu and colleagues publish an article in the journal Molecular Plant

Zhengqing Fu, Assistant Professor in Biological Sciences, and colleagues Ming Chang, Huan Chen, Jian Chen, Min Li, and Ian Palmer published PBS3 protects EDS1 from proteasome-mediated degradation in plant immunity in Molecular Plant journal.

Dr. Tim Mousseau receives the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Scientific Awareness

Congratulations to Dr. Mousseau in receiving this prestigious award!

Lindsey Schwartz awarded a Smithsonian Institute Fellowship

Congratulations to Lindsey Schwartz on her award - a Smithsonian Institute predoctoral fellowship at the Museum of Natural History for part of her dissertation research in Biological Sciences with Dr. Jerry Hilbish.  She will be in residence at the Museum for all of next year.  She will focus on physiology and transcriptomics, following up on field work from this summer in England.

Dr. Ron Benner is recipient of a Fulbright Award

Congratulations to Dr. Benner on his selection for a Fulbright award to the Marine Sciences at Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in Spain. The title of his project is An Exploration of How Life in the Ocean Shapes Biogeochemical Cycles and Influences Global Climate Change. The project begins in 2020. 

"The Fulbright Program, which aims to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries, is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government."

SPARC Graduate Research Grant Awards

Congratulations  to Trenton Agrelius and Michelle Passerotti, both are recipients of the SPARC Award.

USC Office of Research Awards

Congratulations to the 2019 awardees from our department. Tim Mousseau - 2019 Breakthrough Leadership in Research Award, and Dan Speiser - 2019 Breakthrough Star.

Campbell Hathaway & Dr. Dudycha are recipients of the David Cushing prize

Our own Campbell Hathaway (B.S., Biological Sciences) and Dr. Jeff Dudycha are the recipients of this year's David Cushing prize from the Journal of Plankton Research. They recently published an article in that journal. The prize honors the memory of David Cushing, its Founding Editor.

Eilea Knotts selected for NSF funded Limnology & Oceanography program

Eilea Knotts, a PhD student in biology, was selected for the NSF funded Limnology and Oceanography Research Exchange program. This first cohort includes 27 graduate students from 24 US institutions which will collaborate with 25 labs in 6 host institutions across Australia, Israel, Sweden, and the Dept of Oceanography at Dalhousie University in Canada.

The lab of Dr. Speiser published on spatial vision in Chiton

Dr. Speiser and his lab published an article on spatial vision of chitons in the Journal of Experimental Biology.

The lab of Dr. Fu published an article in Molecular Plant

Dr. Fu and his lab recently published an article in Molecular Plant entitled "Pandemonium Breaks Out: Disruption of Salicylic Acid-Mediated Defense by Plant Pathogens". 

Joe Quattro awarded grant from NOAA

Congratulations to Dr. Joe Quattro for securing grant funding from the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration for his project entitled "Evaluation of molecular analysis to identify and quantify ichthyoplankton samples".

Open Faculty Position in Neurobiology

We have a tenure-track position open in Neurobiology.

Open Faculty Position in Evolutionary Biology

We are recruiting outstanding scholars and teachers to join our faculty. We have a tenure-track position open in Evolutionary Biology.



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