Information for prospective graduate students in the Departments of Biology and Microbiology at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

Research interests of faculty who can accept graduate students in the departments of Biology and Microbiology at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

Note that in 1999 the Department of Biology and Microbiology became two departments, but we still maintain a single graduate program. The information on this page supercedes any information on any other pages or brochures.

You can now apply electronically at http://www.uwlax.edu/admissions/html/gradmis.htm

Letters of recommendation and personal statement should be sent to Tom Volk at the address in the letter below.

The direct link to the application page is at http://apply.wisconsin.edu/

Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) application deadline is October 1.  Clinical Microbiology Program deadline is January 20. All other programs have rolling admissions, and there is no formal deadline, and we can admit you as soon as we have all of the materials described below.   Earlier is better.  However, the deadline for being considered for a Graduate Assistantship is February 1.

The direct link to the relevant section of the UW- La Crosse Graduate catalog is at http://www.uwlax.edu/Records/GradCat/ProgramReqts/RQMNT_BIO.html. This is where you can find information about the various concentrations in the Biology and Microbiology Graduate program:

***Because of the various specialties of our faculty members, we cannot accept students (except Clinical Microbiology and Nurse Anesthesia concentrations) into the program without there being a faculty member who will accept the student into their lab. There must be an agreement between a faculty member and the prospective student to accept the student into their lab. Prospective students should contact faculty directly. We can try to "shop" your application around if you indicate so, but you will get MUCH better results if youdirectly contact faculty who will advocate for you.

  • Microbiology
  • Clinical Microbiology
  • Nurse Anesthesia
  • Physiology
  • Aquatic Sciences
  • Cell & Molecular Biology
  • Build your own major in cooperation with a faculty member!

This page was updated January 19, 2011 and supersedes any information published elsewhere in printed or electronic forms.
 

Letter sent out to prospective graduate students: Note that this box contains all the requirements for successful admission to our program.

Thank you for your interest in Graduate Studies in the Departments of Biology and Microbiology at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.  I have enclosed some information and an application as you requested.  Note that in 1999 the Department of Biology and Microbiology became two departments, but we still maintain a single graduate program. 

 You will notice our departments offer several formal concentrations for the Master of Science (M.S.) degree in Biology, including  Aquatic Sciences, Cellular and Molecular Biology, Clinical Microbiology (in collaboration with Gundersen Lutheran Clinic of La Crosse, the Marshfield Clinic in Marshfield WI, and the State Laboratory of Hygiene in Madison, WI), Microbiology, Nurse Anaesthesia (in cooperation with Franciscan Skemp Healthcare, La Crosse) , and Physiology. You can also design your own plan of study in cooperation with specific faculty members in our departments-- we have faculty engaged in a wide variety of research. There is a great deal of flexibility built into the general MS degree. 

You can now apply electronically at http://www.uwlax.edu/admissions/html/gradmis.htm

The direct link to the application page is at http://apply.wisconsin.edu/

Letters of recommendation and personal statement should be sent to Tom Volk at the address below.

Additional requirements for admittance 
1. Minimum 2.85 undergraduate GPA 
2. Undergraduate transcripts must be submitted 
3. GRE general exam must be taken and scores submitted  A GRE subject test is *not* required.
4. Three letters of recommendation should be sent under separate cover 
***5. Because of time and space constraints, for any but the Nurse Anaesthetist concentration or the Clinical Microbiology  concentration, there must be a UW-L graduate faculty member who will accept you into his/her laboratory.  You should directly contact any faculty member with whom you are interested in working.  Email addresses and phone numbers are below. 
6. One page statement including:
A. Academic and professional goals
B. Previous relevant experiences
C. Reasons for selecting the program
D. Intent to pursue Thesis or Non-thesis or undecided
E. Research interest(s) if there is a desire to pursue the Thesis track
F. Possible mentor(s) for research

Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) application deadline is October 1.  Clinical Microbiology Program deadline is January 20. All other programs have rolling admissions, and there is no formal deadline, and we can admit you as soon as we have all of the materials above.   Earlier is better. 

If you would like to be considered for a Graduate Assistantship (which includes involvement in Introductory Biology labs), please fill out the information form at the above page and return to Tom Volk by February 1 to ensure consideration. 
I invite you to look at the web pages of our departments: 

Biology   http://www.uwlax.edu/Biology/
Microbiology  http://www.uwlax.edu/microbiology/ 

If you have further questions please feel free to contact me. 

Sincerely, 
 
 

Tom Volk  
Professor of Biology 
Coordinator of Graduate Studies 
volk.thom@uwlax.edu

 

Please see the web pages of our departments: for more information

Microbiology http://www.uwlax.edu/microbiology/

Biology http://www.uwlax.edu/Biology/

Collaboration is also possible with researchers from other area agencies, such as the upper Mississippi Science Center. Admittance to the Nurse Anesthesia program in cooperation with Franciscan Skemp Healthcare does not require a faculty mentor. Clinical Microbiology program projects with adjunct professors from the Gunderson Lutheran Clinic, Marshfield Clinic, or State laboratory of hygiene could include: molecular detection of bacterial, viral, or fungal pathogens, Molecular analysis of Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis, an analysis of Ehrlichia, Detection of viruses in ground water plus many others
 

Research interests of faculty who can accept graduate students in the departments of Biology and Microbiology at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

Please contact prospective faculty mentors personally to see if they have space to accept students for the coming year.
Faculty in the Microbiology Department
Faculty in the Biology Department
 

Microbiology Department
 
Bonnie Jo Bratina, bratina.boni@uwlax.edu, 608-785-6994 

Microbial Ecology - Research in my lab is currently focused on: (1) microbial interactions with manganese cycling in Antarctic and temperate lakes, (2) nitrifiers and denitrifiers in the Upper Mississippi River and in an urban wetland, Myrick Marsh and (3) identifying and characterizing the intestinal microbial flora of the recently discovered aquatic banded slug.

  • John Manske (2008). Impact of Road Salt on Methanogen Communities in Myrick Marsh
  • Laura Schultz, Characterization of carnocins found in Antarctic carnobacteria
  • Kevin Miller, Nitrification and denitrification in the Myrick Marsh
Michael Hoffman, hoffman.mic2@uwlax.edu, 608- 785-6984 

Research in my laboratory focuses primarily on the genome replication and assembly of human parainfluenza virus type 3, a common cause of lower respiratory tract infections. Additionally, we recently began a separate project to characterize potentially novel viruses isolated from fish.

  • Christin Kiesner (2003). The characterization of the human parainfluenza virus 3 matrix protein.
  • LeeAnne Thorson (2007). Identification of cis-acting elements controlling replication in the antigenomic promoter of human parainfluenza virus type 3.
  • Marisa Barbknecht (2009). Identification and characterization of a virus of bluegills.
  • Katie Pernic. Examination of the mechanism of HPIV3 genome replication.
  • Jill Gander. Examination of the promoter sequences required for genome replication.
  • Christine Hulseberg. Identification of HPIV3 matrix protein late domains and their role in virus release.
  • Megan Bracken. Determination of HPIV3 viral protein contributions to virus assembly and release.
S.N. Rajagopal, rajagopa.s@uwlax.edu, 608- 785-6976 

Development and evaluation of starter media for the cultivation of lactic acid starter cultures used in dairy and meat fermentations, isolation and identification of probiotic cultures, evaluation of bio-preservatives to control the foodborne spoilage and pathogenic microorganisms. 

  • Pam Benzing (2002). Development and characterization of lactose positive, proteinase positive Pediococcus acidilactici.
Marc A. Rott rott.marc@uwlax.edu 608- 785-6965, http://www.uwlax.edu/microbiology/marc.htm

Current research interests include genomic mapping in bacterial species, alcohol metabolism in bacteria and the role of Ureaplasma and Mycoplasma ssp. in sexually transmitted disease. 

  • Michael Schlicht, (co-advisor with Steven Loverich). The ability of Ureaplasma urealyticum or Mycoplasma genetalium to cause sexually transmitted diseases. 2001. 
  • Eric C. Larson, (co-advisor with Kurt Reed, M.D.). Migratory birds as disseminators and potential reservoirs for the agents of granulocytic erlichiosis. 2000.
  • Patrick Splinter, A physical and genetic map of the genome of Vibrio fischeri MJ1. 2001
William Schwan, schwan.will@uwlax.edu, 608-785-6980  William Schwan, schwan.will@uwlax.edu, 608-785-6980 Regulation of type 1 pilus expression in uropathogenic Escherichia coli; community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus virulence; and antibacterial drug discovery from plants and fungal fruiting bodies
  • Joshua Burgess 2003 (with Tom Volk). Detection of Blastomyces dermatitidis in soil using rapid PCR-based methods.
  • Keith Wetzel 2006 Regulation of opuD in Staphylococcus aureus,
  • Mary Beth Westphal 2006 Differences in toxin and adherence factor genes in community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus
  • Daniel Bretl 2008 Regulation of the ssl1 gene in community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus
  • Kathleen Engelbrecht 2008 (with Marc Rott) Isolation of a fungal compound that inhibits the growth of Mycobacterium species
  • Hua Ding, In vivo regulation of fim genes in uropathogenic Escherichia coli, expect graduation in Dec. 2009
  • Ann Rentschler, Regulation of uropathogenic Escherichia coli fim genes by OmpR
  • Neeraj Purushothambalraj
  • Brandon Reuter
Bernadette C. Taylor, taylor.bern@uwlax.edu, 608-785- 6990

Research interests are in immunology. Current research focus is on the investigation of the human immune response to low-dose intradermal influenza vaccination. Other projects include assessment of novel substances derived from fungi for immunomodulatory activities and ongoing analysis of antibody levels in Southern sea otter.

  • Kristi Winkler. Comparison of magnitude of T cell response to low-dose intradermal versus intramuscular influenza vaccination
  • Christy Kelly 2006. Measurement of serum antibody response to low dose intradermal influenza vaccination
  • Tami Rychlik. Analysis of T cell cytokine responses to low dose intradermal versus intramuscular influenza vaccination
  • Cassidy Kuchenbecker. Affect of novel substances derived from wild fungi on a human T cell line.
  • Anne L. Voyles 1999. Development of Monoclonal Antibodies to Quantify and Compare Immunoglobulin G Concentrations of Southern Sea Otter and Alaskan Sea Otter
Michael R. Winfrey winfrey.mich@uwlax.edu, 608- 785-6964, http://www.uwlax.edu/microbiology/winfrey.htm

My current research interests involve discovery of novel antibacterial drugs from nuts from black walnut and hickory trees. An additional project involves characterization of the microbial community of kefir, a fermented milk product, using molecular techniques.

  • David M. Young. 1996. Use of mer-Operon Fusions to Quantify Mercury Concentrations Required for Induction of Broad and Narrow Spectrum Mercury Resistance in Natural Water.

Biology Department
 
Mike Abler, abler.mich@uwlax.edu, 608-785-6962, http://www.uwlax.edu/biology/faculty/abler.htm

Students use modern molecular and classical genetic techniques to investigate 1) mRNA decay mechanisms in plants,  2) developmental mutants, and 3) genetic engineering using Arabidopsis thaliana as a model system. 

  • Melissa Tricker, "Characterization of an Altered Ribonuclease Profile Mutant of Arabidopsis thaliana", 2003.
Anita Baines, baines.anit@uwlax.edu, 608-785-8239 http://www.uwlax.edu/biology/faculty/baines.htm

My research focuses on the ecology and evolution of plant-microbe interactions in natural and agricultural systems. I am particularly interested in biological control of plant pathogens. Current research projects include biological control of chestnut blight and management of indigenous soil microbial communities to reduce disease in plants.

Scott Cooper, cooper.scot@uwlax.edu, 608-785-6983
http://www.uwlax.edu/biology/faculty/Cooper/cooper.htm

There are two major themes of my research. The first theme is on understanding the inhibition of blood clotting at a molecular level. We are studying how ground squirrels reduce their blood clotting rates during hibernation when their blood slows dramatically, a condition that would trigger clotting in humans. The second theme is the use of molecular tools in answering environmental questions. One such project is studying the use of biocides to kill zebra mussels in collaboration with the Upper Mississippi Environmental Research Center.

  • Geoff Pesanka, Screening a fungal extract library for clotting inhibitors. Started in 2007, in process.
  • Nathan Susnik, Effects of methylmercury on zebra fish reproduction. Started in 2006, in process.
  • Andrea Peirce, What roles do the residues Arg259 and Arg262 in antithrombin and the corresponding residues of protein C inhibitor play in the inhibition of thrombin? Started in 2004, in process.
  • Travis Melin, Regulation of hemostasis in hibernating ground squirrels. 2009.
  • Joe Balsanek, Microsatellite Analysis to differentiate between hatchery-bred and naturalized brown trout (Salmo trutta), 2007
  • Patrick Gonzales, Shifting of the heparin binding site from the D-helix to the H-helix of human antithrombin, 2005
  • Faye Ellis, Expression of protein C inhibitor with attached FLAG-tag in 293T cells, 2004
  • Joshua D. Spencer, Role of the amino-terminal loop of antithrombin in cofactor activation and inhibition of thrombin bound to thrombomodulin, 2003
  • Laureano Camacho, Conversion of the D- and H-helices of human antithrombin to resemble those of protein C inhibitor, 2002
  • Tim Walston, Role of the H-helix in serpin inhibition of thrombin bound to thrombomodulin, 2000
Nick Downey, 608-785-6975, downey.nich@uwlax.edu,

My research focuses on the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) of the parasite Trypanosoma brucei. Trypanosomes have only one mitochondrion, and it is attached to the flagellum of the cell. My students and I use bioinformatic approaches to identify candidate proteins that may be involved in mitochondrial segregation and mtDNA replication. We express candidates as fusion proteins and observed their localization using fluorescence microscopy. Finally we disrupt gene expression with RNA interference and infer protein function from the phenotype of the cell. We hope this will identify new approaches to develop effective anti-trypanosomal drugs.

Anne M. Galbraith, galbrait.anne@uwlax.edu, 608- 785-8246, http://www.uwlax.edu/biology/faculty/Galbraith/Galbraith.htm

Determination of the roles of two cell cycle genes in yeast meiosis: Projects include characterization of mutant phenotypes as well as analysis of gene expression during meiosis.

  • Seth Hanson. The expression of and interaction between Cdc7 and Dbf4 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae during meiosis. December 2005
  • David Ellingson. Expression and interactions of the Cdc7 protein in meiosis of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. December 2007
  • Richard Tommy. Searching for high-copy suppressors of the cdc7-3, cdc7-4, and cdc7-7 mutations in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Current student
  • D Timothy Gerber, gerber.dani@uwlax.edu, 608-785-6977 

    I am interested in determining distributions of invasive plants in aquatic habitats in western Wisconsin and eastern MN.

    Roger J. Haro, haro.roge@uwlax.edu Phone: 608- 785-6970 http://www.uwlax.edu/Biology/Aquatics/rjharo01.html
    {Not accepting graduate students in 2009 - 2010}

    My research interests include freshwater ecosystems, the biology of benthic invertebrates and fish, and landscape ecology. My primary research examines the behavioral ecology of benthic macroinvertebrates. I am also interested in how landscape change affects the connectivity of freshwater ecosystems and the biological consequences of non-point source pollution. My current research projects include:

    • Ecology of infectious disease - determining the factors governing species invasions and disease outbreaks on the Upper Mississippi River. In collaboration with Greg Sandland.
    • Methylmercury production and transfer through benthic food webs in Great Lake National Park Units. In collaboration with J. G. Wiener, K. R Rolfhus, and M. B. Sandheinrich. Funded by the U.S. National Park Service, Great Lakes Northern Forest Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit.
    • Pathways of macroinvertebrate production in large-river food webs. In collaboration with W. Richardson, S. Gutreuter and T. Newton (Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center, USGS).
    • Stoichometric relationships between seston and suspension-feeding macroinvertebrates in the Upper Mississippi River. In collaboration with W. Richardson (Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center, USGS).
    • Processing of large woody debris by hydropsychid caddisflies in the Upper Mississippi River.
    David R. Howard, howard.davi@uwlax.edu 608- 785-6455 http://www.uwlax.edu/biology/faculty/Howard/howard.htm

    Research in my lab investigates how organisms generate and control movement at the cellular and molecular levels. Most of my work is focused on understanding what controls the speed and strength of beating in cilia and flagella. Defects in cilia and flagella cause numerous human diseases, but biologists still do not know much about how movements in cilia & flagella are controlled. Three major projects are currently underway in my lab:

    1. Using an affinity-based biochemical approaches to identify and purify the protein kinase A (PKA) protein from Chlamydomonas flagella.
    2. Cloning and characterizing the PKA gene in Chlamydomonas.
    3. Using high-speed video microscopy to determine the precise role of PKA in controlling flagellar beating
    Tisha King-Heiden, 608-785-6463, king-hei.tish@uwlax.edu,

    My research interests bring together a variety of disciplines: reproductive biology, developmental biology, endocrinology and toxicology. We study how exposure to endocrine disrupting compounds during early development influences health (primarily reproduction) later in life (Developmental Basis for Adult Disease), and strive to bridge the gap between ecotoxicology and human health. We use the zebrafish as a model organism as our findings are relevant to wild fish populations, as well as human health. Students in my lab have the opportunity to learn a variety of techniques (general physiology, microscopy, histology, and molecular techniques). Current projects include: (1) Effects of sublethal exposure to 2,3,7,8-TCDD (dioxin) on jaw development and feeding in larval zebrafish, (2) Transgenerational effects of 2,3,67,8-TCDD (dioxin) on gonad development, and (3) Latent reproductive toxicity caused by developmental exposure to anti-androgenic compounds.

    Sumei Liu, 608-785-6971, liu.sume@uwlax.edu,

    Physiology: My research focuses on understanding the neurophysiological control of gastrointestinal functions in health and disease states. Functions of the gastrointestinal tract are largely controlled by the enteric nervous system in concert with the input from the central nervous system. The enteric nervous system resides within the wall of the gastrointestinal tract. It is the intrinsic innervation of the bowel and the only part of the peripheral nervous system that is capable of mediating reflex behavior in the absence of input from the brain and spinal cord. My goals are to understand the organization of the enteric nervous system, and to determine how enteric microcircuits and the activity of individual neurons within these circuits control motility, secretion, and epithelial barrier function of the gut in health and disease states. Current research projects: (1) Role of enteric corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) in stress-related gastrointestinal dysfunction; (2) Transient receptor potential channel in excitatory neurotransmission in the enteric nervous system.

    Margaret A. Maher, Ph.D. R.D. 608-785-6967, maher.marg@uwlax.edu, http://www.uwlax.edu/biology/faculty/maher/maher.htm

    Research interests include: 1) Causes and effective management of eating and metabolic disorders and 2) Nutrient and hormonal regulation of hunger, satiety, and metabolism.
    Ongoing projects include:

    1. Past and current meal patterns of college students and their relation to eating and metabolic disorders
    2. Effects of meal macronutrient composition on ghrelin and other appetite regulating hormones
    3. Food fatty acid composition, inclusion into cell membrane phospholipids, and cardiovascular risk.
    Jennifer Miskowski, miskowsk.jenn@uwlax.edu, 608- 785-6456, www.uwlax.edu/faculty/miskowski

    My laboratory is interested in understanding the molecular basis of organ formation. To that end, we are studying gonad formation in the model system, Caenorhabditis elegans. Although part of a simple organism, the C. elegans gonad is a complex organ with multiple tissue types that each has its own distinct morphology and function. We hope that information learned about organ development in C. elegans will be applicable to more complicated systems, namely humans. There are already several examples of molecular pathways elucidated in the C. elegans gonad that have shed light on human development and disease.

    Specifically, our work is focused on the NUD-1 protein. NUD-1 orthologs are found in species ranging from yeast to humans, although the exact function of NUD-1 is unknown. In C. elegans, animals depleted of the NUD-1 protein exhibit sterility, demonstrating a need for NUD-1 during gonad development. Humans with a mutation in the nud-1 gene have defects in brain development that cause Miller-Dieker lissencephaly. Several projects are underway to determine the exact role of NUD-1 in the C. elegans gonad which will further our understanding of organ formation and of NUD-1 function, in general.

    (1) Use RNAi to deplete NUD-1 protein levels in developing worms and characterize the resulting phenotypes
    (2) Generate NUD-1::GFP reporter constructs and characterize the expression pattern
    (3) Use immunofluorescence to document NUD-1 protein localization
    (4) Conduct a genetic screen to identify a heritable mutation in nud-1 and other genes that encode proteins that function with NUD-1 .

    Kathryn Perez, 608-785-6998, perez.kath@uwlax.edu, http://www.uwlax.edu/biology/faculty/perez/

    Research Description: My research integrates evolutionary biology and ecology, specifically applying the tools of molecular and morphological systematics and ecology to study species delineation, taxonomy, ecology, conservation, and phylogeography of land snails. One major research project studies the systematics and taxonomy of a family of land snails in the United States and Mexico. A second research area is the study of freshwater snails in Texas springs, their ecology, population genetics and interactions with invasive species. A third ongoing research project examines the distribution and diversity of land snails using spatial analyses, geographic information systems (GIS), and environmental niche modeling.

    Anton Sanderfoot, 608-785-8240, sanderfo.anto@uwlax.edu, http://www.uwlax.edu/faculty/sanderfoot/

    My lab uses genetic, cell and molecular biological techniques to investigate the protein machinery involved in driving the secretory pathway of green plants. We use the flowering plant Arabidopsis, and well as the unicellular plant Chlamydomonas as model systems for identifying novel machinery and test beds for potential applications for crop plants. The lab also has an interest in the evolution and annotation of the protein machinery involved in vesicle trafficking, with a special interest in the novelty of the plant lineage as well as the conservation across all eukaryotes.

    Mark Sandheinrich, sandhein.mark@uwlax.edu, (608) 785-8261, www.uwlax.edu/biology/RiverCntr/

    Areas of study: Effects of contaminants on behavior, physiology, and ecology of freshwater fish and invertebrates; aquatic ecology. Recent publications:

  • Sandheinrich, M. B., and K. M. Miller. 2006. Effects of dietary methylmercury on reproductive behavior of fathead minnows. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. IN PRESS
  • Wiener, J. G., B. C. Knights, M. B. Sandheinrich, J. D. Jeremiason, M. E. Brigham, D. R. Engstrom, L. G. Woodruff, W. F. Cannon, and S. J. Balogh. 2006. Methylmercury in lacustrine food webs in the Voyageurs National Park: importance of atmospheric deposition and ecosystem factors. Environmental Science and Technology. IN PRESS
  • Klaper, R., C. B. Rees, P. Drevnick, D. Weber, M. Sandheinrich, and M. J. Carvan. 2006. Gene expression links to endocrine function and reproduction decline after mercury exposure in fathead minnows. Environmental Health Perspectives 114:1337-1343.
  • Drevnick, P. E., M. B. Sandheinrich, and J. T. Oris. 2006. Increased ovarian follicular apoptosis in fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) exposed to dietary methylmercury. Aquatic Toxicology 79:49-54.
  • Bly, B. L., M. G. Knutson, M. B. Sandheinrich, B. R. Gray, and D. A. Jobe. 2005. Flow cytometry used to assess genetic damage in frogs from farm ponds. Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science 111(3,4):67-70.
  • Hammerschmidt, C. R., and M. B. Sandheinrich. 2005. Maternal diet during oogenesis is the major source of methylmercury in fish embryos. Environmental Science & Technology 39:3580-3584.
  • Drevnick, P. E., and M. B. Sandheinrich. 2003. Effects of methylmercury on reproductive endocrinology of fathead minnows. Environmental Science & Technology 37:4390-4396.
  • Greg Sandland, sandland.greg@uwlax.edu, 608- 785-8238, http://www.uwlax.edu/biology/faculty/Sandland/sandland.htm

    My lab is currently investigating two broad avenues of research. The first involves elucidating the environmental variables underlying species invasions and disease outbreaks in the Upper Mississippi River. The second revolves around understanding the roles that host genetics, nutrition and competition play in the transmission of the human parasite Schistosoma mansoni. At the moment I am advising or co-advising 3 Master’s students and 3 undergraduates. For further information regarding my research endeavors and teaching background, please visit my webpage.

    Brad Seebach, seebach.brad@uwlax.edu, 608- 785-6966 http://www.uwlax.edu/biology/faculty/Seebach2/seebach.htm

    Research focus is the development and circuitry of spinal cord central pattern generators associated with locomotion. Primary techniques include electrophysiology, pharmacology, and cell culture.

    Eric Strauss strauss.eric@uwlax.edu, 608- 785-8262
    http://www.uwlax.edu/biology/faculty/Strauss/strauss.htm

    My research interests can be broadly classified into aquatic ecosystem ecology and I am almost always in the market for a good graduate student. I would be interested in advising students wanting to study primary production, decomposition/respiration, or other biogeochemical processes in freshwater ecosystems. I would also be interested in students who want to study patterns of phytoplankton or zooplankton abundance in the Mississippi River. Potential research topics could be (but are not limited to):

  • Nutrient limitation of primary production in the Upper Mississippi River (or streams or lakes).
  • Patterns and factors regulating nitrogen fixation in aquatic systems.
  • Predicting nitrate flux from watersheds in western Wisconsin.
  • Successional patterns of phytoplankton in the Upper Mississippi River.
  • DOC metabolism and its effects on nitrogen cycling in streams in northern Wisconsin
  • Meredith Thomsen, thomsen.mere@uwlax.edu, 608-785-8245

    My research interests focus on plant community ecology, with an emphasis on understanding how invasive plants (particularly grasses) spread and how to restore invaded ecosystems. I am establishing research projects in two local ecosystems:

    1. Floodplain forests of the Upper Mississippi River, with an emphasis on patterns of distribution of reed Canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea) in forest sites, and on the effectiveness of management strategies to reduce Phalaris cover and facilitate the establishment of tree seedlings. Current projects are collaborations with Eileen Kirsch (US Geological Survey) and Kurt Brownell (US Army Corps of Engineers).

    2. Sand prairies of the Wisconsin Driftless Region, with an emphasis on the restoration of sandy sites dominated by smooth brome (Bromus inermis) and the effects of restoration on soil microbial communities. Current experiment is the Master’s thesis project of my graduate student, Jessica Bolwahn (Mississippi Valley Conservancy).

    I am also continuing a limited amount of work on the effects of global climate change (specifically altered patterns of precipitation) on community dynamics in California annual grassland, in collaboration with Blake Suttle (UC Santa Cruz).

    Rob Tyser, tyser.robi@uwlax.edu, 608-785-6992 

    Areas of study: Ecological applications of GIS in the Upper Mississippi River region, alien flora that invade grasslands, prairie restoration, grassland bird communities.

  • Jennifer Dieck,. 1998. Changes in vegetation 1975 to 1996 in backwaters of Navigation Pools 4 and 13, Upper Mississippi River
  • Craig Annen. 2003. The effects of sethoxydim on inflorescence density and biomass of reed canarygrass (Phalaris arundinacea).
  • Melissa Meier. 2004. Effects of reed canarygrass (Phalaris arundinacea) on terrestrial arthropod biomass, abundance, and diversity in upper Midwestern riparian wet meadows.
  • Derek Asche. 2007. Aquatic habitat changes within selected pools of the upper Mississippi River from 1975-2000.
  • Tom Volk, volk.thom@uwlax.edu, 608-785-6972, http://TomVolkFungi.net

    Our lab is open to research in just about anything that has to do with fungi, including general mycology, medical mycology, and plant-fungi interactions. Traditional and molecular systematics of basidiomycetes, especially wood decay fungi. Several fungal biodiversity projects, including work in Wisconsin and Israel. Morel ecology, life cycle, and speciation  Natural products discovery.

  • Marsha L. Harbin 1999. The relationship of Morchella to plant roots
  • Sean Westmoreland 2003. Morphological, Pigment, and DNA studies in the genus Hydnellum
  • Nik Zitomer 2003. Isolation of novel biologically active compounds from fruiting bodies of higher fungi.
  • Joshua Burgess 2003 (with Bill Schwan). Detection of Blastomyces dermatitidis in soil using rapid PCR-based methods.  
  • Adam Gusse 2004. Degradation of plastics by wood decay fungi.
  • Kelsea Jewell, 2005. Biocontrol of Candida infections with killer yeasts.
  • Jon Palmer 2006 Morphological and Molecular Characterization of Mycorrhizal Fungi Associated with a Disjunct Stand of American Chestnut (Castanea dentata) in Wisconsin
  • Maria Lee 2007 Proteomic profiling of dimorphism in Penicillium marneffei, an opportunistic fungal pathogen of humans
  • Bridget Pfaff 2007. Evaluation of the incidence of blastomycosis at Gundersen Lutheran Hospital in southwest Wisconsin and a Fluconazole treatment regimen for central nervous system blastomycosis.
  • Craig Dunek 2008 Antifungal drugs from fungi
  • Rebecca Curland 2009 Prairie mycorrhizae and invasive plants.
  • Carrie Lauer 2009 Ornamental plants as a source of Scedosporium apiospermum, an emerging fungal pathogen of humans.
  • Beth Jarvis (with Meredith Thomsen; in progress) The efficacy of mycorrhizal inoculum on prairie plants
  • Eric Walberg (in progress) Mechanism for reported radiotrophy in melanized funi
  • Matt Foltz (in progress) Chanterelle species in Wisconsin
  • Angie Ratekin (in progress) The immune system and Blastomycois
  • Jonathan Carver (in progress) Agriculture and fungi
  • Paul Dean (in progress) Mycoviruses
  • Danielle Raymond (in progress)
  • Andrew Hart (in progress)