Two new Assistant Professors joined the Division of Biology this past fall.  Dr. Ted Morgan (Ecological Genomics), joins us following a Ph.D. in Biology from Washington State University and most recently, a postdoctoral appointment at the University of North Carolina, Department of Genetics.  Dr. Alexander (Sandy) Beeser (Cancer Cell Biology), joins us following a Ph.D. in Microbiology & Immunology from the University of Tennessee, Health Sciences Center and most recently, a postdoctoral appointment at the Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia. 

In May, Dr. Larry Takemoto will receive the Distinguished Service Award from the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), the largest organization in the world that represents scientists involved in basic and clinical vision research. The award recognizes his many contributions to the organization, both as President and as a member of the Board of Trustees.

In a January 16 reception at the K-State Student Union, Dr. Lorena Passarelli was recognized as the 2007 Commerce Bank Presidential Faculty and Staff Award for Distinguished Services to Historically Underrepresented Students.  Recipients of this honor, which includes a $2,500 cash award, are chosen from a pool of nominees by a 15-member committee of K-State faculty, staff members and student organization presidents.  Dr. Passarelli’s commitment to mentoring and serving as a role model to minority students make her uniquely qualified for this prestigious award.

Dr. Lorena Passarelli has accepted a three-year appointment to the editorial board of Virology.

Drs. Ruth Welti, John Tomich, Om Prakash, Sue Brown, Jyoti Shah, Gary Conrad, and Eric Maatta received $2,000,000 for research titled, “A functional genomics consortium: Building research productivity through education, interaction, and full utilization of the functional genomics laboratories at Kansas State University,” from the K-State Targeted Excellence Program. 

Drs. Jyoti Shah and Ruth Welti were awarded $135,000 by the National Science Foundation (NSF) for research titled, “Role of Arabidopsis SFD1 in systemic acquired resistance.” 

Dr. Ruth Welti was named one of two 2006 Kansas Technology Enterprise Scholars at the Kansas IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (K-INBRE) Symposium, held January 13-14, in Kansas City, MO. 

Dr. Joanna Whittier team-taught a workshop on Advanced GIS Techniques for Fisheries Biologists at the Arizona-New Mexico American Fisheries Society (AFS) Annual Meeting in Albuquerque, NM in February.  

Dr. Valerie F. Wright, Konza Prairie Environmental Educator and Naturalist, was awarded the Kansas Association for Conservation and Environmental Education (KACEE) PreK-16 Education Award for her outstanding achievements in the field of environmental education.  KACEE Awards for Excellence in Conservation and Environmental Education are presented annually to recognize those best exemplifying dedication, commitment, and influence in the field of conservation and environmental education. 

Dr. Craig Paukert was awarded $115,461 by the Kansas Department of Transportation for research titled, “Pilot project: inventory and assessment of road-stream crossings for aquatic organism passage.”  

Dr. Craig Paukert has received the Science To Achieve Results (STAR) award from the US Geological Survey for outstanding performance in the Cooperative Research Units program. 

Jesse Fischer (graduate student of Dr. Craig Paukert) was awarded the Kansas Chapter of the AFS Tiemeier-Cross Award as the outstanding fisheries graduate student.  Jesse was also awarded the Janice Lee Freske Award for outstanding student contributions in fisheries.  This is a regional award presented at the Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference in Omaha, NE, December 5-8. 

Dr. Kimberly With has accepted a three-year appointment to the editorial board of Ecosystems

Page Klug (Ph.D. candidate in the Dr. Kimberly With lab) was awarded $7,280 from the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund in support of her research on “Interactions between grassland birds and their snake predators and the potential for conservation benefits or conflicts in the tallgrass prairie.” 

Dr. Gary Conrad was presented the Dolph C. Simons, Sr., Research Achievement Award for Biomedical Sciences ($10,000), by the Higuchi Foundation of the University of Kansas, at a ceremony held November 16.  This award is given in recognition for research achievement in the biomedical sciences that has had a major and substantial impact and is of the national and/or international interest. The research is characterized either as profoundly seminal in nature or as representing a productive record of significant research. 

The K-State Arthropod Genomics Center (AGC) has funded the following projects to develop genomics tools for studies on arthropods affecting human, animal and plant health: 

The mission of the K-State AGC is to bring together resources and expertise in bioinformatics and functional genomics to support K-State scientists in the application of genomic approaches to solving problems in arthropod biology related to human, animal and plant health. The Center also encourages and fosters interactions and collaborations between its members and other scientists around the world who are studying arthropods at the genomic level. You can learn more about these research projects at the annual Arthropod Genomics Symposium on April 20, 2007, in the K-State Union.  Please contact Doris Merrill at to register.  Additional information will be posted to the website,, as plans are finalized. 

The Ecological Genomics Institute is pleased to announce that five seed grants have been awarded funding totaling nearly $242,000 through the Ecological Genomics Institute Targeted Excellence Program.  Ecological Genomics seeks to understand the genetic mechanisms that underlie responses of organisms to their natural environment.  The intent of the Ecological Genomics Institute is to further advance interdisciplinary research that melds the fields of genomics and ecology to address questions that lie at the interface of these disciplines.  Please visit our website,, to learn more about funding opportunities. 

The Institute addresses questions such as:

The projects funded in response to the 2006 call for proposals are as follows:



Dr. Dawn Kaufman was invited to speak at the opening symposium of the January 2007 conference of the International Biogeography Society in the Canary Islands.  The symposium addressed “An Integrative View of Ecogeographic Rules” and was hosted by Dr. Mark Lomolino (State University of New York-Syracuse) and Dr. Dov Sax (University of Georgia).  Dawn presented “Geographic gradients in space and time: latitude, plants, and the late Pleistocene-Holocene of eastern North America,” based on her collaborative work with Dr. John Williams (University of Wisconsin). 

Dr. Craig Paukert gave an invited presentation titled “You can’t always get what you want: sampling challenges for rivers in the Great Plains,” at the University of Kansas Field Station and Ecological Reserves Seminar Series, Lawrence, KS, January 26. 

The following presentations were made at the Annual American Fisheries Society Meeting, Lake Placid, NY, September 10-14, by members of the Dr. Craig Paukert lab: 

The following presentations were made at the Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference, Omaha, NE, December 5-8, by members of the Dr. Craig Paukert lab: 

The following presentations were made at the Tri-State AFS Meeting, Council Bluffs, IA, January 19-20, by members of the Dr. Craig Paukert lab: 

Dr. Chingakham Ranjit Singh, Bumjun Lee, Tsuyoshi Udagawa, Sarah S. Mohammad Qureshi, Hui He, Yasufumi Yamamoto, Graham D. Pavitt, and Dr. Katsura Asano presented at poster titled “Re-evaluation of yeast proteomics data on eukaryotic initiation factors reveals different eIF2 complexes that promote or regulate translation initation in vivo,” at the 2006 meeting on Translational Control, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, NY, September 6-10. 

Dr. Kimberly With gave an invited presentation at the University of Missouri--Columbia titled “Rapidly changing landscapes and slow-changing populations: what’s a songbird to do?” on September 20. 

Drs. J.P. Perchellet, E.M. Perchellet, Y. Wang, K. Lou, H. Zhao, and D.H. Hua presented research titled “ Novel substituted 1,4-anthracenediones with antitumor activity directly induce permeability transition in isolated mitochondria,” and  Drs. J.P. Perchellet, E.M. Perchellet , M.M. Ward, A-L  Skaltsounis, I.K. Kostakis, N. Pouli, and P. Marakos presented “Proapoptotic activities of antitumor pyranoxanthenones, pyranothioxanthenones, and their pyrazole-fused derivatives in HL-60 cells,” at the 19th Rocky Mountain Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society, October 14-18,  Tucson, AZ. 

Andrew Gregory, Lance McNew, Dr. Brett Sandercock, and Dr. Samantha Wisely presented “Potential genetic consequences of wind-power development on Greater Prairie-chickens,” and Lance McNew, Andrew Gregory, Dr. Brett Sandercock, and Dr. Samantha Wisely presented “Effects of wind power development on the population demography of Greater Prairie-chickens: preliminary results,” (poster), at the National Wind Coordinating Committee Wildlife Research Meeting (6th), San Antonio, TX, November 14-16.

Dr. Brett Sandercock, Ashley Casey, and Dr. Samantha Wisely presented “Polymorphic introns lead to sexing errors in a monomorphic wader,” at the International Wader Study Group Annual Conference 2006, Falsterbo, Sweden, in October.

Jackie Nooker and Dr. Brett Sandercock presented “Reproductive behavior of testosterone-implanted male Greater Prairie-chickens,” at the Evolutionary and Ecological Perspectives of Sexual Selection, North American Ornithological Conference (4th), Veracruz, Mexico, in October.

Tony Mong and Dr. Brett Sandercock presented “Optimizing radio retention and minimizing radio impacts in a field study of Upland Sandpipers,” at The Wildlife Society Annual Conference (13th), Anchorage, AK, in September. 

Dr. Don Althoff presented an invited paper titled “Fort Riley RTLA Protocol:  Development and Direction,” at the 15th Annual ITAM (IntegratedTraining Area Management) Workshop, Manhattan, KS in August. 

Dr. R. Makandar, V. Nalam, M. Schapaugh, W. Bockus, R. Dill-Macky and H.N. Trick presented “Engineering Scab Resistance in Wheat with Plant Defense Signaling Genes” and Dr. R. Makandar, V. Nalam, D. Maier and H.N. Trick presented “Signaling Mechanisms involved in plant defense against Fusarium graminearum,” at the Proceedings of the 2006 National Fusarium Head Blight Forum, Raleigh, NC, December 10-12. 

Joe Louis, Dr. Venkatramana Pegadaraju, Dr. Jyoti Shah and John Reese presentedFeeding Behavior of the Green Peach Aphid, Myzus persicae (Sülzer), on Arabidopsis Mutants” at the Entomological Society of America Annual meeting, Indianapolis, IN, December 10-13. 

Drs. Sayaka Kawakami, Ken-Taro Sekine, Takeaki Ishihara, Shu Hase,  Jyoti Shah and  Hideki Takahashi presented “Diversity at RPP8/HRT/RCY1 locus containing CC-NB-LRR class R gene in Arabidopsis thaliana,” and Drs. Ken-Taro Sekine, Takeaki Ishihara, Shu Hase, Tomonobu Kusano, Jyoti Shah, and Hideki Takahashi presented  “Single amino acid substitutions on Cucumber mosaic virus resistance gene RCY1 compromise resistance to virus but differentially suppress hypersensitive cell death in Arabidopsis thaliana” at the  8th International Conference on Plant Molecular Biology, Adelaide, Australia, August 20-25. 

Dr. Jyoti Shah, Dr. Venkatramana Pegadaraju, Joe Louis, Caleb Knepper, Vijay Singh, and John Reese presented “Arabidopsis defense against green peach aphid: involvement of premature leaf senescence” and Dr. Ratnesh Chaturvedi, Kartikeya Krothapalli, Drs. Ragiba Makandar, Ruth Welti, and Jyoti Shah presented “Genetic and biochemical approaches to identify the phloem-mobile signal in systemic acquired resistance,” at the Meeting: American Society of Plant Biologists Annual Meeting, Boston, MA, August 5-9. 

The 4th Annual Genes in Ecology, Ecology in Genes Symposium was held November 3-5 in Overland Park, Kansas.  The symposium showcased nationally-acclaimed scientists and researchers in the emerging field of ecological genomics while providing opportunities for researchers to share ideas and present their current research on the emerging links between ecology and genomics.  Over 120 scientists and educators from 24 states and 4 international countries attended the conference, representing 42 individual Universities and organizations.  Representatives from Science and the National Science Foundation were also in attendance.  The Symposium was funded by Kansas State University.  The principal investigators of this initiative are Drs. Loretta Johnson and Michael Herman in the Division of Biology.

The following Division faculty/staff gave poster presentations and/or spoke at the Symposium: 



Althoff, D.P., P.S. Gipson, J.S. Pontius, and P.B. Woodford.  2006. Plant community and bare ground trends on Fort Riley, Kansas: implications for monitoring of a highly disturbed landscape. Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science 109(3/4): 101-119. 

Berretta, M.F. and A.L. Passarelli.  2006.  Function of Spodoptera exigua nucleopolyhedrovirus late gene expression factors in the insect cell line SF-21Virology 355: 82-93. 

Buseman, C.M., P. Tamura, A.A. Sparks, E.J. Baughman, S. Maatta, J. Zhao, M.R. Roth, S.W. Esch, J. Shah, T.D. Williams, and R. Welti.  2006. Wounding stimulates the accumulation of glycerolipids containing oxophytodienoic acid and dinor-oxophytodienoic acid in Arabidopsis leavesPlant Physiol. 142: 28-39. 

Chaturvedi, R., and J. Shah.   2006.  Salicylic acid in plant disease resistance.  In  Salicylic Acid-A Plant Hormone ed. S. Hayat and A. Ahmad, pp 335-370, Springer, Dordrecht, The Netherlands.  

Deng, Y., Y. Dong, V. Thodima, R.J. Clem, A.L. Passarelli.  2006.  Analysis and functional annotation of expressed sequence tags from the fall armyworm Spodoptera frugiperda. BioMed Central Genomics 7: 264-274. 

Devaiah, S.P., M.R. Roth, E. Baughman, M. Li, P. Tamura, R. Jeannotte, R. Welti, and X. Wang. 2006. Quantitative profiling of polar glycerolipid species and the role of phospholipase Dalpha1 in defining the lipid species in Arabidopsis tissuesPhytochemistry 67: 1907-1924.

Esch, S.W., P. Tamura, A.A. Sparks, M.R. Roth, S.P. Devaiah, E. Heinz, X. Wang, T.D. Williams, and R. Welti.  2007. Rapid characterization of fatty acyl composition of complex lipids by collision-induced dissociation time-of-flight mass spectrometryJ. Lipid. Res. 48: 235-241. 

Hagen, C.A., B.K. Sandercock, J.C. Pitman, R.J. Robel, and R.D. Applegate. 2006.  Radiotelemetry survival estimates of Lesser Prairie-chickens: are there transmitter biases?  Wildlife Society Bulletin 34:1064-1069. 

Hua, D.H., K. Lou, S.K. Battina, H. Zhao, E.M. Perchellet, Y. Wang, and J.P. Perchellet.  2006.  Syntheses, molecular targets and antitumor activities of novel triptycene bisquinones and 1,4-anthracenedione analogs. Anti-Cancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry 6: 303-318.

Hubbard, R.D., D.P. Althoff, K.A. Blecha, B.A. Bruvold, and R.D. Japuntich.  2006.  Nest site characteristics of eastern meadowlarks and grasshopper sparrows in tallgrass prairie at the Fort Riley Military Installation, Kansas. Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science 109(3/4): 168-174. 

Isaac, G., R. Jeannotte, S.W. Esch, and R. Welti.  2007. New mass-spectrometry-based strategies for lipidsGen. Eng. Rev. 28: 129-157.

Kosciuch, K.L., T.H. Parker, and B.K. Sandercock.  2006.  Nest desertion by a cowbird host: an anti-parasite behavior or a response to egg loss?  Behavioral Ecology 17: 917-924. 

Li, M., R. Welti, and X. Wang.  2006.  Quantitative profiling ofArabidopsis polar plycerolipids in response to phosphate starvation.  Roles of PLDzeta1 and PLDzeta2 in phosphatidylcholine hydrolysis and digalactosyldiacylglycerol accumulation in phosphate-starved rootPlant Physiol.  142: 750-761.

Parker, T.H., C.D. Becker, B.K. Sandercock, and A.E. Agreda.  2006.  Apparent survival estimates for five species of tropical birds in an endangered forest habitat in western Ecuador. Biotropica 38: 764-769. 

Perchellet, E.M., M.M. Ward, A.-L. Skaltsounis, I.K. Kostakis, N. Pouli, P. Marakos, and J.P. Perchellet.  2006.  Antiproliferative and proapoptotic activities of pyranoxanthenones, pyranothioxanthenones, and their pyrazole-fused derivatives in HL-60 cells. Anticancer Res 26: 2791-2804. 

Sandercock, B.K.  2006.  Estimation of demographic parameters from live encounter data: a summary reviewJournal of Wildlife Management 70: 1504-1520.

Sandercock, B.K 2006.  Review of: Amstrup, S.C., McDonald, T.L. and Manly, B.F.J.  2005. Handbook of capture-recapture analysis, Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey.  Biometrics 1276-1277. 

Sekine, K.T., T. Ishihara, S. Hase, T. Kusano, J. Shah, and H. Takahashi.  2006.  Single amino acid alterations in Arabidopsis thaliana RCY1 compromise resistance to Cucumber mosaic virus, but differentially suppress hypersensitive response-like cell death. Plant Mol. Biol. 62: 669-682. 

Singh, C.R., B. Lee, T. Udagawa, S.S. Mohammad-Qureshi, Y. Yamamoto, G.D. Pavitt, and K. Asano.  2006.  An eIF5/eIF2 complex antagonizes guanine nucleotide exchange by eIF2B during translation initiation. EMBO J. 25: 4537-4546. 

Taylor, P., L. Fahrig, and K. A. With.  2006.  Landscape connectivity: back to the basics. Pp. 29-43 in Connectivity Conservation (K. Crooks and M. Sanjayan, editors). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK. 

Welti, R., J. Shah, W. Li, M. Li, J. Chen, J.J. Burke, M.-L. Fauconnier, K. Chapman, M.-L. Chye, and X. Wang.  2007.  Plant lipidomics: Discerning biological function by profiling plant complex lipids using mass spectrometryFrontiers in Bioscience 12: 2494-2506.

Wilgers, D.J., E.A. Horne, B.K. Sandercock, and A.W. Volkmann.  2006. Effects of rangeland management on community dynamics of the herpetofauna of the tallgrass prairieHerpetologica 62: 378-388. 



The Division of Biology 33rd Annual Student Research Forum - March 10, 2007 - K-State Union, Big 12 Room, 8:24 AM. 

Arthropod Genomics Symposium- April 20, 2007- K-State Union, 7:30 AM. 

International Mini-symposium: RNA and Origins of Life - April 27-28, 2007 - K-State Student Union Form Hall .

5th Annual Ecological Genomics Symposium - November 9-11, 2007 - Kansas City, MO. 

The Division of Biology sponsors departmental seminars on most Fridays at 4:00 PM throughout the semester (occasionally other days during the week).  For an updated list of seminars, see: