Department of Biology

UMatter-Earn $25,000 for Biology

The Department of Biology offers exceptional opportunities to learn, work, and collaborate across levels of biological organization and styles of research. Faculty research interests span the complete spectrum of biological phenomena and disciplines, from biochemistry to global environmental change. This breadth of research interests has led to development of three focused, yet overlapping, graduate training programs: Molecular, Cellular, and Evolutionary Biology (MCEB), Ecology Evolution and Organismal Biology (EEOB), and Microbial Biology.


Biology Professor receives research award

Feb. 25, 2015 - Dr. Wayne Potts has received a Distinguished Scholarly and Dr. Wayne PottsCreative Research Award for 2015.  This award was established as a means of recognizing University of Utah faculty who have made significant scholarly contributions to their fields. Selection is made on the basis of the significance and quality of research or creative achievements and recognizes lifelong accomplishments by considering the extent to which they represent a major breakthrough or advance in the field, are intellectually distinctive or creative, and contribute to improvement and enrichment in the human condition.

Biology Professor receives teaching award

Feb 25, 2015 - Dr. Sarah Bush has received one of the 2015 Early Career Dr. Sarah BushTeaching Awards.  This award is given to outstanding young faculty members who have made significant contributions to teaching at the University of Utah.  and has distinguished themselves through the development of new and innovative teaching methods, effectiveness in the curriculum and classroom and a commitment to enhancing student learning.


Shade coffee is for the birds

Feb. 5, 2015 – The conservation value of growing coffee under trees instead of Sunbirdon open farms is well known, but hasn’t been studied much in Africa. So a University of Utah-led research team studied birds in the Ethiopian home of Arabica coffee and found that “shade coffee” farms are good for birds, but some species do best in forest. “Ethiopian shade coffee may be the most bird friendly coffee in the world, but a primary forest is irreplaceable for bird conservation, especially for birds of the forest understory,” says doctoral student Evan Buechley, lead author of a new study that will be published online Feb. 11 in the journal Biological Conservation.  “The best coffee for biodiversity is organic shade coffee in Ethiopia, where the coffee is a native species of the forest,” says ornithologist Çağan Şekercioğlu, the study’s senior author and assistant professor of biology at the University of Utah. “It is grown where it belongs in its native habitat with native tree cover and without chemicals.” See UNews Story... See NatGeo Story...

Biology hiring new academic advising coordinator

The Department of Biology at the University of Utah invites applications for Academic Advising Coordinator. Advising and guidance skills to assess diverse needs of students and provide appropriate advising related to academic planning and progress leading to graduation. See job posting...

Biology professor receives distinguished teaching award

Jan. 27, 2015 - Dr. David Gard is the recipient of the University of Utah's Dr. David GardDistinguished Teaching award for 2015! Since 1987, Dave has been a sterling example of teaching excellence in the Department of Biology. For more than twenty-five years, thousands of students have benefitted from Dave’s energy and passion in teaching, and more recently from his incisive and thoughtful advising.

Undergraduates study wildlife in Red Butte Canyon

Jan. 26, 2015—Mountain lions, moose and bears, oh my! In the University of Sekercioglu LabUtah’s own backyard lies Red Butte Canyon, the most pristine ecosystem along Utah’s Wasatch Front filled with a variety of wildlife species. Managed by the U.S. Forest Service and designated as a Research Natural Area, Red Butte is restricted to all except those who use the area for scientific studies. Members of the U’s Biodiversity and Conservation Ecology Lab are some of those who have exclusive access to study the area and the animals in it.  University of Utah professor Çağan Şekercioğlu heads a lab that conducts field research all over the world, including Turkey, Ethiopia and Costa Rica. His projects all have one common goal: to study how humans and other species interact. See full story... See FoxNews story...


When purchasing on-line using a University PCard, please review your purchase for sales tax prior to finalizing your sale. If sales tax has been charged, call the vendor to ask how to have it removed. Each vendor will differ in this procedure. Some will ask only for the University’s tax number (which is printed on your PCard). Others will require a copy of the University’s Tax Exemption Certificate. In addition to providing the University’s documentation, you may also be asked to complete a vendor’s on-line form or place the order with the assistance of a customer service rep. In the rare instance that a vendor will not remove sales tax and you have no other source for the product, for audit documentation purposes it is best to ask for an email [from the vendor] stating why you must pay the tax. If you finalize a PCard purchase with sales tax, you are responsible to have the tax reversed. To reverse sales tax charges, contact the vendor.

Each cardholder is responsible for activity on their University PCard, just as they are responsible for activity on personally held charge cards. Though a staff member may contact Purchasing (or a vendor) on your behalf to determine the proper course of action on a questioned charge or tax refund, the cardholder may then be required to resolve the issue.

Note that by law, the University’s tax exempt number CANNOT be used in conjunction with personal funds. It is best that you do not use your own money to purchase items intended for University use; however, if you do purchase with personal funds, the recent change to University policy states that tax will not be reimbursed when receipts are submitted for reimbursement. The new ruling exempts receipts submitted through Travel, as well as business meals purchased at established restaurants involving 10 people or less. Questions may be directed to Deni in Accounting (1-8107) or to Purchasing (1-7241).

BIOLOGY TUTORing available

Beginning Jan. 26th, tutoring will be available 9am - 5pm, Mon - Fri, for Cell Biology and Genetics, in the new Biology Learning Center (BLC), located in the south biology atrium and room 103. Cor more information contact: Lucas M Horner

U Professor named Leopold Fellow

Jan. 13, 2015 - Diane Pataki, Associate Professor, Department of Biology at the Dr. Diane PatakiUniversity of Utah, has been selected as a 2015 Leopold Leadership Fellow. Based at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, the Leopold Leadership Program provides outstanding academic environmental researchers with skills and approaches for communicating and working with partners in NGOs, business, government and communities to integrate science into decision-making. This year's 20 fellows come from 16 institutions in Canada and the United States. See full story...

Corn syrup more harmful than table sugar

Jan. 5, 2015 - There’s a new incentive to avoid the candy bars.  Some Dr. Wayne Potts and James RuffUniversity of Utah biologists say their research shows corn syrup is more toxic than table sugar. At least that’s the case for female mice, who had higher death rates and reproduced less frequently.  With male mice, it’s possible both sweeteners are equally toxic. Researchers reported no significant changes in male mice fed corn syrup. Researcher James Ruff advises consumers to "first, reduce added sugar across the board. Then worry about the type of sugar, and decrease consumption of products with high-fructose corn syrup," he said in a prepared statement Monday. Senior author Wayne Potts expects the study to appear in the March 2015 issue of The Journal of Nutrition. See full story... See SL Trib story...

U Biologist wins Turkey's top Science Prize

Dec. 22, 2014 – University of Utah biology professor Çağan Şekercioğlu became Sekercioglu Awardthe first biologist, ecologist and the youngest person to win the TUBITAK Special Science Award, equivalent to the USA National Science Medal. Sekercioglu received the award from Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a ceremony held in the new Presidential Palace. While receiving the award, Sekercioglu had a single request: “The biggest award you can give me will be to save from destruction the eastern Turkey’s richest wetland for birds, the Aras River Bird Sanctuary I discovered and where I do my science", Sekercioglu said, and gave President Erdogan over 55,000 signatures and 4000 comments he collected with his petition to Save Aras. Erdogan replied “Putting 55,000 signatures aside, your word is enough, professor.. NatGeo Bio, See full story...

Inmates as conservationists

Dec 11, 2014 - A University of Utah biology professor hopes to help prisoners Nadkarniconnect with nature. Nalini Nadkarni wants the group to help her study how desert brush and weather affect sage grouse populations. Nadkarni has had success with a similar program in Washington state, where she and other biologists in recent years enlisted inmates to study Oregon spotted frogs and moss varieties. On Tuesday night, the men in white corrections gear and green sweatshirts watched National Geographic footage of Nadkarni scaling Costa Rican rain forest tree canopies. , See SL Trib story...

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