Department of Biology
Recent Faculty Achievements
- Dr. Matthew Davis and Dr. Matthew Julius won their shark tank pitch and earned $25,000 to fund their 2022-23 project "Innovating the Science Classroom for Widespread Engagement". The Shark Tank Open is Minnesota State Educational Innovations’ premier innovation event, drawing educators from across 37 colleges and universities for an afternoon of reimagining education. Faculty and staff innovators from across the state went before expert panels (the sharks) to provide spirited pitches in an effort to win up to $25,000 in innovation funding.
- Dr. Matthew Julius was profiled in the Star Tribue for a story about teacher-scholars at St. Cloud State University: Article Here
- Dr. Jennifer Lamb received a Early Career grant from SCSU Research and Sponsored Programs for the project “Rare species detection with environmental DNA (eDNA)”.
- Dr. Jennifer Lamb received a Faculty Improvement grant from SCSU for the project “Taking a Closer Look: Sexual Dimorphism, Color, and Pattern in Amphibians”.
- Dr. Matthew Davis received a Faculty Improvement grant from SCSU for the project “Evolution of Deep-sea Fishes and Novel Feeding Strategies in the Deep Sea”.
- Dr. Marina Cetkovic-Cvrlje gave a keynote at the 7th annual Congress on Traditional and Alternative Medicine in Singapore.
- Dr. Matthew Davis is the winner of the 2021-22 Hellervik Prize, for his project "The Evolution Of Fishes That Light Up The Oceans".
- Dr. Matt Julius and Dr. Robbyn Wacker shared about Dr. Julius' work with the Rainy-Lake of the Woods Watershed Forum on radio program 103.7 The Loon.
- Dr. Matthew Davis received a Midcareer grant from SCSU for the project “Evolution of Deep-sea Fishes and Novel Feeding Strategies”.
- Dr. Jennifer Lamb received a Saigo Excellence Award for "Sexual Dimorphism in Frogs and Salamanders."
Publications and Popular Press
- Dr. Matthew Davis co-authored an article on "The impact of evolutionary trade-offs among bioluminescent organs and body shape in the deep-sea: A case study in lanternfishes" in Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers. This work also included former students Rene Martin (M.S. 2016, Biological Sciences) as co-authors.
- Dr. Gengyun Le was the co-author on an article "CRABP1-CaMKII-Agrn regulates the maintenance of neuromuscular junction in spinal motor neuron" in the Journal Cell Death & Differentiation.
- Dr. Matthew Davis co-authored an article about the "Phylogenetics of archerfishes (Toxotidae) and evolution of the toxotid shooting apparatus" published in the Journal Integrative Organismal Biology. Popular press is also below.
- Dr. Marina Cetkovic-Cvrlje co-published an article in the International Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology about the potential antidiabetic properties of Garcinia colaextract, with former students Shana Rogan (M.S. 2018, Cellular and Molecular Biology) and Emily Barbaro (B.S. 2019) as co-authors.
- Dr. Heiko Schoenfuss is the co-author of a pilot study to assess the influence of infiltrated stormwater on groundwater, which was published in the journal Water.
- Dr. Heiko Schoenfuss and Nina Johnny (B.S. 2020, advisor: Dr. Heiko Schoenfuss) from the Aquatic Toxicology Lab at St. Cloud State University contributed to an article in the journal Waterabout contaminants of emerging concern for oceanic islands.
- Dr. Matthew Davis is the co-author of a study on "Molecular phylogeny of the threadfin fishes (Polynemidae) using ultraconserved elements" in the Journal of Fish Biology.
- Dr. Heiko Schoenfuss is the senior author on the article "Contaminants of Emerging Concern in the Lower Volta River, Ghana, West Africa: The Agriculture, Aquaculture, and Urban Development Nexus." in the Journal Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry.
- Dr. Matthew Julius was a co-author on the article "Microbial biogeography through the lens of exotic species: the recent introduction and spread of the freshwater diatom Discostella asterocostata in the United States" in the journal Biological Invasions.
- Dr. Heiko Schoenfuss published as co-author the article "Multiple Lines of Evidence for Identifying Potential Hazards to Fish from Contaminants of Emerging Concern in Great Lakes Tributaries", in Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management.
- Dr. Jennifer Lamb was a co-author on the article "Reproductive Phenology and the Larval Period of the Western Dwarf Salamander (Eurycea paludicola) in Southeastern Louisiana" in the Journal Southeastern Naturalist.
- Dr. Matthew Julius was a co-author on the article "Phylogenetic analysis places Spicaticribra within Cyclotella" in the journal Diatom Research.
- Dr. Heiko Schoenfuss was a co-author for the article "Contaminants of Emerging Concern in the Lower Volta River, Ghana, West Africa: The Agriculture, Aquaculture, and Urban Development Nexus, published in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry.
- Dr. Matthew Davis was the senior author on the article "Ghedotti, M.J., DeKay, H.M., Maile, A.J., Smith, W.L., and Davis, M.P. (2021). Anatomy and evolution of bioluminescent organs in the slimeheads (Teleostei: Trachichthyidae). Journal of Morphology. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/jmor.21349.
- Dr. Matthew Julius was a co-author on the article "How anthropogenic activities impacted Polecat Bay near Mobile, Alabama, USA: a paleoecological study and forensic investigation" in the journal Environmental Forensics.
- Dr. Matthew Julius was a co-author on the article "Filament extrusion of bioresorbable PDLGA for additive manufacturing utilizing diatom biosilica to inhibit process-induced thermal degradation" in the Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials.
- Dr. Matthew Julius was a co-author on the article "A review on diatom biosilicification and their adaptive ability to uptake other metals into their frustules for potential application in bone repair" in the Journal of Materials Chemistry B
- Dr. Matthew Julius was a co-author on the article "A comparison of the degradation behaviour of 3D printed PDLGA scaffolds incorporating bioglass or biosilica" in the Journal Materials Science and Engineering: C.
- Dr. Jennifer Lamb and Matthew Davis published an article documenting the widespread prevalence of biofluorescence among amphibians in the article " Lamb, J.Y. and Davis, M.P. (2020). Salamanders and other amphibians are aglow with biofluorescence. Scientific Reports. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-59528-9." Some highlights of popular press surrounding this article are below.
- Klein, J. New York Times. “Amphibians Have Been Hiding a Glowing Secret From Us”
- Ortega, R.P. Science. “Newts and frogs light up like glow sticks under the right light”
- Pappas, S. Scientific American. "Salamanders and Frogs Light Up with Secret Superpower"
- Nemo, L. Discover Magazine. “Glow-in-the-Dark Amphibians Are Way More Common Than Scientists Thought”
- Lewis, S. CBS NEWS. “Amphibians are able to glow in the dark — but scientists had no idea until now”
- Long, K. Mental Floss. "It’s Easy Being Green: Most Amphibians Are Biofluorescent, Study Finds"
- Simon, M. Wired. “So, Amphibians Glow. Humans Just Couldn't See It—Until Now”
- Speier, T. University Chronicle. “Biology department is ‘aglow’ with recent findings”
- Dr. Matthew Davis was the senior author on the article "Maile, A.J., May, Z.A., DeArmon, E.S., Martin, R.P., and Davis, M.P. (2020). Marine Habitat Transitions and Body-Shape Evolution in Lizardfishes and Their Allies (Aulopiformes). Copeia(4):820-832 (2020). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1643/CG-19-300".
- Awarded Best Student Paper in Ichthyology in Ichthyology and Herpetology (Copeia 2020) by the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists.
- Dr. Matthew Julius was a co-author on the article "ARecycling nutrients from anaerobic digestates for the cultivation of Phaeodactylum tricornutum: a feasibility study" in the Journal Algal Research.
- Dr. Jennifer Lamb was the author on an article "Ambystoma tigrinum: Mortality by leeches." in the Journal Herpetological Review.
- Dr. Matthew Davis was the co-author on a book chapter in "Ghedotti, M.J., Davis, M.P., and Echelle, A.F. (2020). Poeciliidae: Livebearers. In Freshwater Fishes of North America: Volume 2. Editors: Warren, M.L., Burr, B.M., Echelle, A.A., Kuhajda, B.R., and Ross, S.T."
- Dr. Matthew Davis was the co-author on the article "Girard, M.G., Davis, M.P., and Smith, W.L. (2020). The Phylogeny of Carangiform Fishes: Morphological and Genomic Investigations of a New Fish Clade. Copeia 108(2):265-298 (2020). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1643/CI-19-320".
- Dr. Matthew Julius was a co-author on the article "Unique observation method of temperature dependence of diatom floating by direct microscope" in the Journal of Microbiological Methods.
- Dr. Matthew Davis was the senior author on the article "Martin, R.P. and Davis, M.P. (2020). The evolution of specialized dentition in the deep‐sea lanternfishes (Myctophiformes). Journal of Morphology. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/jmor.21120."
- Dr. Matthew Julius was a co-author on the article "On the RIP: using Relative Impact Potential to assess the ecological impacts of invasive alien species" in the Journal NeoBiota.
2018 and Some Previous Year Highlights
- Dr. Matthew Davis (Department of Biological Sciences) is an author on a manuscript published in the Journal of Morphology "Morphology and evolution of bioluminescent organs in the glowbellies (Percomorpha: Acropomatidae) with comments on the taxonomy and phylogeny of Acropomatiformes".
- Dr. Oladele Gazal is an author on an article "Effects of dietary inclusion of Lepidium sativum (garden cress) seed on plasma luteinizing hormone and reproductive performance in female rabbits" in the Journal of African Association of Physiological Sciences.
- Dr. Matthew Julius is an author on a manuscript published in the journal Marine Drugs "Blueprints for the Next Generation of Bioinspired and Biomimetic Mineralised Composites for Bone Regeneration".
- Dr. Matthew Julius is an author on a book chapter "Carbohydrate Diversity in Microalgae: A Phylogenetically Arranged Presentation" in the book Microalgae in Health and Disease Prevention.
- Dr. Matthew Davis (Department of Biological Sciences) and Dr. Sarah Gibson (Department of Atmospheric and Hydrologic Sciences) are authors on a open-access manuscript published in the journal Copeia "Improving Vertebrate Skeleton Images: Fluorescence and the Non-Permanent Mounting of Cleared-and-Stained Specimens". Popular press about this research can be found below.
- Dr. Jennifer Lamb was recently awarded the Best Young Scholar Herpetology Award by the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists for a recent publication in the journal Copeia (Sexual Isolation between Two Sympatric Desmognathus in the Gulf Coastal Plain). Because of this award the paper is now open access.
- Dr. Oladele Gazal is an author on the article "Effects of Lepidium sativum supplementation on growth and gonadotropins secretion in ovariectomized, estrogen-implanted rabbits" in the Journal Asian Pacific Journal of Reproduction.
- Dr. Matthew Julius was inducted into the academic honor society Phi Beta Kappa after being selected by his alma mater Butler University for his career service to the liberal arts and science education.
- Dr. Jorge Arriagada is an author and contributor to the fifth volume (part 2: Asteraceae) of the Flora Mesoamericana book series. This important series of books brings together hundreds of collaborators around the world to provide descriptions, distributions, and identification keys to the vascular plants of Mesoamerica.
- Dr. Heiko Schoenfuss was awarded the Hellervik prize by St. Cloud State University. Heiko plans to use funds provided by this work to continue his studies on the functional morphology of waterfall-climbing gobies.
- For more information check out this video about the Hellervick prize that features three previous winners of the award from the Department of Biological Sciences (Dr. Marina Cetkovic-Cvrlje, Dr. Brian Olson, and Dr. Heiko Schoenfuss)
- Dr. Matthew Davis is the author on a manuscript published in PLOS ONE "Repeated and Widespread Evolution of Bioluminescence in Marine Fishes". This work was featured in a number of media outlets, including National Geographic, LA Times, Science, Scientific American, The Washington Post, and Mashable.
- Dr. Marina Cetkovic-Cvrlje was awarded the 2016 Outstanding Faculty Member Award at the Student Research Colloquium in April, 2016.
- Dr. Neal Voelz was awarded the 2016 Biological Sciences Distinguished Alumni Award on March 28, 2016.
- Work by Dr. Heiko Schoenfuss and the Aquatic Toxicology Laboratory on the impacts of triclosan on freshwater environments was highlight by Grist magazine (September 2015).
- Dr. Matthew Julius, along with Mark Gill (Engineering) and Bill Gorcica (Art) received funding from the Miller Scholars Award. They can now go on the road with an example of STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Art and Mathematics) throughout visualization centers of the Northeast United States.
- Dr. Jorge Arriagada is continuing his longterm management plan for invasive species of plants at Camp Ripley and Arden Hills. Learn more about the invasive plants project here.
- Dr. William Cook is a co-author on a manuscript “Habitat fragmentation and its lasting impact on Earth’s ecosystems,” that was published in March 2015 in the journal Science Advances.
- Dr. Matthew Davis is the senior author on a manuscript "The First Report of Luminescent Liver Tissue in Fishes: Evolution and Structure of Bioluminescent Organs in the Deep-Sea Naked Barracudas (Aulopiformes: Lestidiidae).", which was published in March 2015 in the Journal of Morphology. The study is the first to identify a bioluminescent (production and emission of light) organ in vertebrates that is derived from liver tissue.
- A paper by Dr. Matthew Davis, published in February 2015, diagnosed a new genus of deep-sea fish from waters around Antarctica. The paper, titled “Evolutionary Relationships of the Deep-Sea Pearleyes (Aulopiformes: Scopelarchidae) and a New Genus of Pearleye from Antarctic Waters.” was published in the journal Copeia.
- Aquatic fauna expert Dr. Heiko Schoenfuss is a leading researcher on the adaptation and evolution of Sicyopterus stimpsoni, the "inching climber" goby fish native to Hawaii. In 2014, the National Science Foundation produced a story and video about work done by Schoenfuss and colleagues at St. Cloud State and Clemson universities. Research teams have made multiple trips to Hawaii to investigate the fish's use of oral and pelvic suction cups to scale rocks behind waterfalls. Schoenfuss also studies how fish in rivers like the Mississippi adapt to chemicals in the water.