September 2019

Chair's message | New faculty interested in plant evolution; greenhouse gets makeover

Greetings PBIO alumni, students, faculty, and staff! I want to take this opportunity to welcome a new tenure-track faculty member to our department, Dr. John Schenk, who is broadly interested in plant evolution, and to congratulate Dr. David Rosenthal, who was promoted and awarded tenure.

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Wyatt Lab gets another ride to Space Station as NASA preps for Moon mission

"Plants will be a crucial component for astronaut health and well-being during any long-distance spaceflight or colonization mission," said Dr. Sarah Wyatt. The challenge is to understand how plants respond to the spaceflight environment—to enable plants to thrive in potentially hostile environments."

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Experiential learning on the OHIO Student Farm

The OHIO Student Farm is helping faculty use experiential learning to connect students with community initiatives and needs. As Dr. Art Trese says, “Anything you learn to do is learned by watching and then doing.”

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A&S and Wayne National Forest continue successful internship collaboration

Ten Ohio University students interned with the Wayne National Forest in summer 2018, marking trails, searching for rare species and habitats, and helping the forest staff prepare for upcoming projects.

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Alumni news

Khan, Vice Chancellor of University of Karachi, passes away

Dr. Muhammad Ajmal Khan, a renowned botanist, passed away in May 2019 in Pakistan. Khan, who earned a Ph.D. in Botany in 1985, was the University of Karachi’s vice chancellor. 

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Schenck gets Young Investigator Award from ASPB

Dr. Craig Schenck, BS '10, MS '12, who worked in Dr. Sarah Wyatt’s lab, was awarded the 2019 Eric E. Conn Young Investigator Award from the American Society of Plant Biologists on March 20.

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Keil-Loudner leaps from plant biology to antibodies at Quidel

Emily Keil-Loudnerk, BS '14, MS '16, found that her role as Quality Control Technician II at Quidel lets her explore both her interests—environmental science and laboratory work.

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Monsted named assistant curator of Virginia Native Plant Trail

Jack Monsted, MS '19, is the assistant curator of the native plant trail at the State State Arboretum of Virginia, part of the University of Virginia's Blandy Experimental Farm.

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See more alumni news

Homecoming 2019: Meet the new dean, register to win fire pit

Stop by before or after the 10 a.m. Homecoming parade and meet the new dean of Arts & Sciences at the college’s tent from 9 a.m. to noon at Howard Square (across from Schoonover on the parade route on Union Street) on Saturday, Oct. 12.

Register to win a Bobcat fire pit at the A&S tent!

Save the date | Arts & Sciences Student-Alumni Networking, Jan. 30

Mark your calendars for the college’s fourth annual Alumni and Student Networking Reception on Jan. 30, 2020. You have valuable experiences to share about career choices, graduate school and internships. Come back to Athens to help fellow Bobcats get a jump on their careers.

There are many ways to be involved, including networking, one-on-one conversations, resume review, or employer tables. RSVP online, or contact Lisa Cohen, director of external relations, at

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Faculty news

Faik awarded USDA Grant to develop cell wall analytical tools

Dr. Ahmed Faik is the principal investigator on a one-year $200,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for a project to developing a high-throughput analytical tool for plant cell wall genomics.

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Thompson developing Green Roof Project on campus

Dr. Kim Thompson received a $10,000 Zero Impact Fund award from PepsiCo for a Green Roof project, a $235,000 endeavor whose second phase is funded by OHIO’s Academic Innovation Accelerator.

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Trese involved in local food movement and OHIO student farm

Students and faculty piled into buses and made their way down West State Street, some making their first visit to the OHIO Student Farm, a wonderful spot just a mile from campus that is part of the OHIO Sustainable Living Hub.

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Vis honored as a Presidential Research Scholar, University Professor

Dr. Morgan Vis was selected as an Ohio University 2018 Presidential Research Scholar and as a University Professor.  She also was selected as a Fulbright U.S. Scholar for the 2019-20 academic year and will be spending the fall in Brazil.

Purdue honors Wyatt with Distinguished Agriculture Alumni Award

The Purdue University College of Agriculture honored Dr. Sarah Wyatt with its 2019 Distinguished Agriculture Alumni Award, noting "Sarah's research is a superb example of the value of persistence in a difficult, yet highly significant, pioneering, experimental discipline.” 

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Student news

From the International Space Station to an OHIO Lab

Ava Heller's summer job is researching data from seedlings grown in microgravity aboard the International Space Station.

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Plant biology students win multiple awards at regional meeting

Graduate and undergraduate students from Environmental & Plant Biology and Molecular & Cellular Biology won three presentation and two poster awards at the ASPB Midwest regional meeting.

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Sternberger and Basu win 3-Minute Thesis Awards

Anne Sternberger took second place for her presentation on "Figuring out flowers: Insight into the mixed breeding system of violets." Proma Basu took third place for her presentation on "A tale of two proteins: Spaceflight proteomics sheds light on how a plant decides which way is up."

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Meyers named American Society of Plant Biologists Ambassador

Alexander Meyers, graduate student in Environmental & Plant Biology and the Molecular and Cellular Biology program, was selected to be an American Society of Plant Biologists Ambassador.

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