Department of Biology
College of Science and Engineering

Bio-Feedback Newsletter


Bio-Feedback 2009

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

New to the Department!

Dr. Kristin Pederson Gulrud joined the biology department in the fall of 2007.  She teaches microbiology, immunology, virology, and emerging infectious diseases.  Dr. Gulrud graduated from St. Cloud State University in 1990 with a Bachelor of Science degree in biomedical sciences.  In 1996 she received a Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from the University of Colorado.  Previously Dr. Gulrud was a Research Assistant 2 in Molecular Epidemiology with the Minnesota Department of Health, St. Paul.  She and her husband, Gary, have a daughter, Julia.  We are delighted that Kristin returned to the biology department!

Faculty and Staff Notes

Dr. Keith Knutson passed away on October 12, 2009, after a long courageous battle with cancer.  Dr. Knutson received both the Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from St. Cloud State University in biology and chemistry, and a Ph.D. in Zoology from North Dakota State University.  He joined the biology department in 1970 and taught soil microbiology, water and sewage microbiology, limnology, and general biology.  He retired in 2001 and in 2006 was awarded the Faculty Achievement Award for Excellence in Teaching and Research in the College of Science and Engineering, by the SCSU Alumni Association.  He is survived by his wife, Karen; son Peter Knutson; daughters Barbara Knutson and Colleen Pittman; and four grandchildren.

Drs. William Cook and Matthew Julius were recipients of the 2008/09 Assessment Grants for their grant, Major Field Test for 2009 Biological Sciences Graduates.

The following biology faculty and staff were honored at the 2009 SCSU Faculty/Staff Service Awards on August 19, 2009:  Barbara Kjellberg (25 years), Dr. Patricia Simpson (20 years), Dr. Jorge Arriagada and Dr. JoAnn Meerschaert (10 years).

Biology faculty awarded research projects funded by the MnSCU Center for Teaching and Learning:

Dr. JoAnn Meerschaert, Redesign of Biology Lab.

Dr. Patricia Simpson, More & Better Math and Science Teaching and Learning.

Dr. Matthew Julius, along with biology education student Jeannette Hoffer, went to Japan to conduct research, funded by the Tree of Life Grant which Dr. Julius received from the National Science Foundation.  Two seventh-grade teachers, Kathryn Conroy and Kristin Lingle, both SCSU graduates, also went to Japan to conduct their thesis research on the ecology and evolution of Marine algal species used to construct climate models.


Grants Awarded

Dr. Jorge Arriagada

Monitoring and Controlling Invasive Plant Species at Military Training Sites.  Minnesota Department of Military Affairs. 

Dr. Marina Cetkovic-Cvrlje: 

MRI-Acquisition of a Becton Dickonson Flow Cytometer (BD FACSCalibur) for the Visualization and Qualification of Cells.  National Science Foundation.

Dr. William Cook: 

Land Management Services at Camp Ripley and AHATS.  Department of Military Affairs.

Dr. Bruce Jacobson:

K-12 Initiative (Science Truck).  MnSCU.

Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, funded by the University of Minnesota.

Dr. Matthew Julius: 

Rainy River Basin Implementation Project.  Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

Water Quality Trend Analysis Program.  MN Department of Military Affairs.

RET Supplement to Tree of Life.  National Science Foundation.

Development of a Preliminary Nutrient Budget and Water Quality Monitoring Modeling for Lake of the Woods.  Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

Course Evaluation of Sewered and Non-Sewered Areas of Rainy Lake and Non-Sewered Regions of Lake Kabetogama.  Koochiching County, Minnesota.

Dr. Christopher Kvaal:

Develop a Research Coordination Network Undergraduate Biology Education, funded by National Science Foundation.

Dr. Marco Restani:

Regional Biomonitoring of Raven Populations, funded by the Center of Excellence for Hazardous Materials Management.

Occurrence of Avian Influenza and West Nile Viruses in the Desert Southwest—Mod #2.  Center of Excellence for Hazardous Materials Management.

Nesting Ecology of Swainson’s Hawks in the Northern Great Plains.  U.S. Forest Service.

Dr. Heiko Schoenfuss

Reconnaissance of Endocrine Disrupting Compounds in Minnesota Waters.  Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

On-Line Toxicity Monitoring.  US Environmental Protection Agency, US Homeland Security.

Assessing the Effects of Rapid Thermal Alterations on Fish Health:  Phase I Laboratory Investigations on Sunfish & Fathead Minnows.  Excel Energy Foundation.

Toxicity Monitoring.  MN Department of Health.

Drs. Heiko Schoenfuss and Matthew Julius:  Collaborative Research:  Plasticity, Selection and Divergence in Fishes.  National Science Foundation.

Drs. Heiko Schoenfuss and Matthew Julius:  Biological Effects and Elimination of Estrogenic Septic Discharge.  US EPA.

Dr. Patricia Simpson:

More and Better Mathematics and Science Teaching and Learning.  MnSCU.


Student Research Colloquium 2009

The following biology students received awards at the Student Awards Ceremony at the Student Research Colloquium, April 21, 2009:

Best Poster:

Honorable Mention: 

Analysis of Immune Cell Differntiation Due to JACK-3 Kinase Inhibition Using Flow Cytometry.  Presenter:  Michael F. Maher.  Sponsor:  Dr. Marina Cetkovic-Cvrlje.

Integrating Prescribed Burn and Chemical Herbicide for the Control of Common Tansy Tanacetum Vulgare.   Presenter:  Joseph Carlyon.  Sponsor:  Dr. Jorge Arriagada.


T-cell Proliferation Conditions in Fathead Minnow.  Presenter:  Sumeet Poudel. Sponsor:  Dr. Marina Cetkovic-Cvrlje.

Best Paper Presentation:

Honorable Mention

The Impact of Human Contaminants on Aquatic Environments:  Adverse Effects on Fish.  Presenter:  Meghan McGee.  Sponsor:  Dr. Heiko Schoenfuss.

From Synthesis to Chemoprevention:  Application of Novel Goniothalamin Analogues on MCG-7 Cells for Assessment of Cytotoxicity.  Presenter:  Michael Maher.  Sponsors:  Dr. Mark Mechelke, Dr. Brian Olson.

Janus Tyrosine Kinase 3 Inhibitor WHI-P131 Ubdyces T-regulatory-type Immune Responses in NOD Mice.  Presenter:  Ketaki Ghate.  Sponsor:  Dr. Marina Cetkovic-Cvrlje.


Students Accepted into Professional Schools

Dental School:

            Rachel Heydt (2008), University of Minnesota

            Jaime Preble (2009), University of Minnesota

 Podiatric Medicine:

            Alyssa Nguyen (2006), Des Moines University

Veterinarian School:

            Sarah Albrecht (2009), University of Minnesota

            Jennifer BetGeorge (2009), University of Minnesota

            Jolene Tourville (2009), University of Minnesota

            Rachel Wawrzyn (2009), University of Wisconsin-Madison


2009-10 Biology Department Scholarships

Gregory John Harkins Endowed Scholarship

            Jessica Murphy


George Friedrich Wildlife Protection Fund

            Rhonda Zimmerman

John C. & Elsie Coulter Scholarship in Science Education

            Susan Bialka

Al Grewe Memorial Scholarship

            Megan Buerkley

Harold H. & Gladys I. Hopkins Scholarship

            Carrie Deans

            Katie Hyndman


Graduate Notes

Charly Nasser (1993) is married and has two daughters, Katia (7) and Erica (2).  He worked as a medical laboratory technician for almost 11 years at a hospital in Bethlehem.  He now works in the engineering department—water treatment and food hygiene--at the Jacir Palace Intercontinental Hotel in Bethlehem.

Maria Ritchie Wedel (2000) received Cargill’s President’s Award at a ceremony at the Depot Hotel, Minneapolis.  She is the technical service manager for Cargill Kitchen Solutions, based in Monticello.

Jessica Koppien-Fox (2004) is a laboratory technician with Ralco Nutrition, Inc., located in Marshall, MN.

Kevin Kroeger (2005) is with Cargill Meat Solutions, Research and Development, in Microbiology and Shelf-Life Studies, located in Wichita, Kansas.

Maria Gomez (2007) is working on her master’s degree in public health at the University of Minnesota.

Kah Yong Goh (2009) is a Research Assistant I at the University of Iowa.

Rahul Kane (2009) received his MS degree in cell and molecular biology and is teaching at St. Paul College.

Timothy Loes (2009) received his MS degree in cell and molecular biology and is now teaching microbiology and human biology at Century College.  He is also the lab coordinator at Inver Grove Heights Community College.

Meghan McGee Painter (2009) received her MS degree in cell and molecular biology.  She was a recipient of the 2009 Excellence in Leadership Program.  She is an instructor at St. John’s University-Collegeville and the College of St. Benedict, teaching anatomy, intro to biology, and anatomy and physiology.

Stephanie Navara (2009) has been accepted to graduate school at the University of Minnesota in the Applied Plant Sciences Department, studying molecular genetics/plant breeding.

Jackie Stowe (2009) is a clinical research associate at NewLink Genetics (oncology research and development) which is located in Ames, Iowa.



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