WCSU Covid-19 Information Fall 2021


Latest Developments

Department News:


WCSU Department of Biological and Environmental Science Unveils New Microscopy Lab

The Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences at Western Connecticut State University has unveiled a new Microscopy Lab in the Science Building on the university’s Midtown campus. Serving as a place for students and staff in the department to conduct learning and research. (posted 7-18-21)

Faculty News:


Dr. Theodora Pinou: Creating Watershed Pipeline Career For Students

Michelle Bissett, an intern at Great Hollow Wildnerness School, 2016, and Theodora Pinou, a biology professor at Western Connecticut State University, are part of a team of researchers using an antenna to detect the frequency associated with various sterile grass carps. (posted 7-6-21)


New Faculty Members: WCSU welcomes Dr. Carlos Santibanez-Lopez and Dr. Rayda Krell.  Learn more about our two new faculty members here. (posted 1-12-21)

Congratulations to Dr. Neeta Connally for being awarded the CSU Board of Regents Faculty Research Award for WCSU AND ALSO the CSU Board of Regents System-Wide Research Award! Learn more about Dr. Connally’s tickborne disease ecology and prevention research here. (posted 6-2-20)

Dr. Neeta Connally presented her research about integrated backyard tick management at the New Tick Threats and Control Tactics national webinar hosted by the US Environmental Protection Agency Center for Integrated Pest Management, in February 2020. (posted 5-11-20)

Dr. Theodora Pinou co-authored “Spatial distribution of epibionts on olive ridley sea turtles at Playa Ostional, Costa Rica” in PLoS ONE 14(9): e0218838. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0218838. (posted 5-11-20)

Dr. Thomas Philbrick co-authored “Plastid Genomes of Five Species of Riverweeds (Podostemaceae): Structural Organization and Comparative Analysis in Malpighiales” in Frontiers in Plant Science 10. Article 1035. DOI 0.3389/fpls.2019.01035. (posted 5-11-20)

Dr. Theodora Pinou led a symposium, “Exemplary Practices in Herpetological Education” at the Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists in July, 2020. (posted 08-25-19)

Student News:


Graduate Student Receives National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship

Ericka Griggs, a graduate student at Western Connecticut State University, has been awarded the prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship for her thesis proposal and work on loon biology and conservation. Griggs is entering her second year pursuing a master’s degree in Integrative Biological Diversity at WCSU. (posted 06-25-21)


Graduate students in action: Check out this recent Hamlethub article featuring WCSU Biology MS in Integrated Biological Diversity students learning about limnology with Professor Larry Marsicano. (posted 1-4-21)

WCSU Biology in our community: Check out this recent Wilton Bulletin article about summer work restoring riverweed being conducted by Dr. Tom Philbrick and MS Student Kelly Nealon.  This project is being conducted in partnership with the Mianus Chapter of Trout Unlimited. (posted 6-10-20)

Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF) 
Congratulations to our 2020 SURF students, Emily Hoegler and JD Hannon! Emily plans to work with Dr. Cordeira to investigate how the neurotransmitter dopamine is involved in exercise and food intake in mice which has important implications for human health and disease.  JD will be working with Dr. Monette to examine the impacts of multiple environmental stressors such as temperature and salinity on gene expression in the gills of Atlantic killifish, which has important implications for the impacts of climate change on the distribution and abundance of estuarine fishes.  JD also received a CT Sea Grant Undergraduate Research Fellowship for this work.  Way to go! (posted 5-11-20, updated 6-10-20)

Jacob Bethin (Biology Ecological Sciences, Class of 2021) presented his SURF project at the 2020 virtual Entomological Society of America annual meeting.  For his project, mentored by Dr. Connally, Jacob investigated the role of songbirds in the eastern US as possible hosts for the exotic Asian longhorned tick, Haemaphysalis longicornis. (posted 1-11-21).

Jenny Kry (Biology, Class of 2018) and her faculty advisor, Dr. Joshua Cordeira, have published an article, “Binge-eating Behavior in Socially Isolated Female Mice” in the Journal of Young Investigators (JYI), based on her Advanced Sr. Research project. (posted 12-06-18)