Bio News

March 6, 2014

A Promising Natural Resource for SHSU: The Center for Biological Field Studies

Sam Houston State University’s Center for Biological Field Studies (CBFS) is now poised to make use of the old hatchery acreage for a wide variety of biological research studies, experiments, and observations.

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March 25, 2013

Dr. Chris Randle, associate professor of biology in the Department of Biological Sciences, who has worked on a tropical lineage of plant parasites for about 16 years, made a field trip to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in mid-November 2012 which was part of a larger study to sample genes from tropical parasitic plants. He and his collaborator, Jeffery Morawetz from Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden in Claremont, California, obtained funding from the National Science Foundation to collect plants from Mexico, Kenya, Brazil, China, and Madagascar, and to obtain morphological, anatomical, host preference, and DNA sequence data from these plants in order to test their hypotheses of evolution. Funding for the team’s additional excursion to the DRC came from the National Geographic Foundation.

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March 1, 2011

Friends and colleagues of one of the world’s top cellular biologists found a good way to honor him – they created a scholarship to help future students explore the world of science at Sam Houston State University, as he himself did, and perhaps set them on progressive careers in science similar to his.

The honoree is William R. Brinkley, who now serves as dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine as well as a distinguished professor of molecular and cellular biology and co-director of the W. M. Keck Center for Computational Biology.

Brinkley earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology from Sam Houston State University.

Brinkley “is probably one of the most well-known graduates of Sam Houston State in the world of cellular biology," according to Todd Primm, chair of SHSU’s biological sciences department.

“Bill is very proud to be an alumnus of SHSU,” Primm said.

“He received his start in science here. He started college not intending to be a scientist. He discovered science as a profession here at Sam. We are proud to have such an internationally recognized and respected teacher and researcher as a Sam grad.”

Brinkley went on to earn his doctorate in biology at Iowa State University and then do post-doctoral work at the National Institutes of Health and teaching and research at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.

In 1972, he accepted a position as professor and director of cell biology in the department of human biological chemistry at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.

Four years later, Brinkley joined the Baylor College of Medicine as director of cell structure and function in the department of cell biology and in 1985 became chair of the department of cell biology and director of the Gregory Fleming James Cystic Fibrosis Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He returned to Baylor College of Medicine in his present position in 1991.

The Dr. William R. Brinkley Scholarship fund was initiated by a personal gift from SHSU biology professor James DeShaw and subsequently increased by additional gifts from friends and colleagues.

Sam Houston State University
William R. Brinkley
Baylor College of Medicine
National Institutes of Health

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William Brinkley (center), with University President Dana Gibson and biological sciences department chair Todd Primm.

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William Brinkley and University President Dana Gibson signing the scholarship endowment agreement.

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Department of Biological Sciences

1900 Ave. I, Lee Drain Building (LDB) Suite 300
P.O. Box 2116
Huntsville, Texas 77341
Phone: 936.294.1540 Fax: 936.294.3940

DNA electrophoresis showing the inserts in eight different (Escherichia coli) clones. We are cloning promoters from Mycobacterium smegmatis which are active in stationary phase.

Primm Lab

The Steelcolor Shiner (Cyprinella whipplei) is a common minnow that consumes terrestrial and aquatic insects and is an important player in regulating nutrient dynamics in stream ecosystems.

Hargrave Lab

Habitat assessment and inventories of small mammal populations.

Thies Lab

Reconstructing the paleoenvironment of northwestern Botswana by comparing indigenous species with fossil material excavated from two cave systems.

Thies Lab

The orangethroat darter (Etheostoma spectabile) is a common darter that consumes benthic grazing invertebrates affecting a stream primary productivity and creating a trophic cascade within an aquatic ecosystem.

Hargrave Lab

A collaboration with Dr. Howard K. Reinert at the College of New Jersey to investigate habitat use of the Boa constrictor which has recently invaded the island of Aruba. Potential niche overlap could become a concern for the conservation of the endangered Aruba Island Ratttlesnake.

Lutterschmidt Lab

Rhodobacter sphaeroides, a purple photosynthetic bacteria, whose genome has been completely sequenced and fully annotated.

Choudhary Lab

Methyl green agar plates for examining whether microorganisms synthesize and secrete DNAse enzymes which degrade extracellular DNA for nutrient acquisition.

Primm Lab

The desert bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis nelsoni) of California's and Mexico's Peninsular Ranges is a federally listed endangered species. Physiological adaptations allowing this large mammal to survive desert conditions are studied in Turner's lab.

Turner Lab

A chromatogram of DNA sequences from various clones.

Choudhary Lab

A gregarine (Nubenocephalus secundus) parasitizing the midgut epithelium of the blue-ringed dancer (Argia sedula). This is one of many new gregarine species described from an investigation for the biodiversity of these aquatic insect parasites.

T. Cook Lab

Parental feeding rates to nestlings are monitored at nests of Carolina Wrens as part of a study on parental investment strategies.

Neudorf Lab

A unicellular bi-flagellated alga (Chlamydomonas reinhardtii) is a model organism for studying the inctracellular signaling mechanisms that control movement of eukaryotic cilia and flagella.

Gaillard Lab

A genus of parasitic plants (Harveya) depends entirely on its hosts for water, minerals, and photosynthates. Such plants are of unique interest in molecular evolution and systematics.

Randle Lab

A fossil jaw of a gerbil lying outside of Gcwhihaba cave, Botswana. Gerbils are important indicators for paleoenvironmental reconstruction in the region.

Lewis Lab

A radio-tracked female Northern Cardinal as part of a study on extra-pair mating strategies.

Neudorf Lab

The white-tailed deer persists in historic home ranges despite encroaching development. Studies of urbanization influences fecundity, distribution, enzootic and epizootic disease, and parasites are of interest.

Turner Lab

Chromatophore is the photosynthetic apparatus of R. sphaeroides which allows this organism to harvest light energy.

Choudhary Lab

Female timber rattlesnakes (Crotalus horridus) demonstrate seasonal differences in baseline and stress-induced hormone responses due to reproductive condition. Corticosterone is significantly higher in gravid females due to stressors related to reproduction.

Lutterschmidt Lab

By examining what causes variation in modern African rodents, like this gerbil, we can better understand how environments have changed where we find their fossil ancestors.

Lewis Lab

A population of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii cells exhibiting phototaxis, migration toward light. Some pharmacological agents inhibit phototaxis by inhibiting flagellar motility of the cells.

Gaillard Lab

Species-specific mange mite recorded for the first time in Texas from 6-year-old male white-tailed deer. Infection of the deer may be related to effects of crowding in rural/urban deer herds.

Turner Lab

The southern redbelly dace (Phoxinus erythrogaster) is a common stream minnow that consumes benthic algae, playing an important role in the regulation of periphyton biomass in small headwater streams.

Hargrave Lab

Male Northern Cardinals are banded and measured as part of a study of extra-pair mating behavior.

Neudorf Lab

We are investigating the reproductive timing and potential of the Boa constrictor which has recently invaded the island of Aruba and has become a concern for the conservation efforts of the endangered Aruba Island Rattlesnake.

Lutterschmidt Lab

Distribution, abundance, and reproduction of rural/urban deer herds are a growing concern in southeast Texas. Habitat impacts relative to human encroachment and high deer populations are being studied by Turner's lab.

Turner Lab

A large lineage of small moths (Gelechioidea) remains poorly known in the Nearctic, with only 30% of its species described. Modern morphological and molecular systematics are used with behavioral and ecological data to study and infer systematic relationships.

Bucheli Lab

A gregarine (Nubenocephalus secundus) parasitizing the intestine of the blue-ringed dancer (Argia sedula) by attaching to the epithelium with a long slender epimerite and a wide "suction cup"-like protomerite at its anterior.

T. Cook Lab

The reptile fauna from northwestern Botswana, including this chameleon, is helping us better understand how and why the climate has changed in this region over the last two million years.

Lewis Lab

This neotropical hemipteran (Neoplea absona) in the family Pleidae was a specimen used to revise the genus. Pleids, or pygmy backswimmers, are predators of micro-crustaceans in stagnant waters.

J. Cook Lab

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