Biology Highlights 2019

Dr. Frank Fish, biology, was a co-author on the presentations “A low-order model of dolphin swimming dynamics: Fluke flexibility and energetics” and “ Scaling of swimming performance in the largest animals” at the World Marine Mammal Science Conference 2019, Barcelona, Spain, December 9-12, 2019.

Dr. Frank Fish, biology, was interviewed for the radio broadcast by Matthew LaPlante "UnDisciplined: The morphological physiologist ad the migration ecologist” (https://www.upr.org/post/undisciplined-morphological-physiologist-and-migration-ecologist) on UPR Utah Public Radio on September 6, 2019.

Dr. Michael Rosario co-authored the following article: Michael V Rosario, Jeffrey P Olberding, Stephen M Deban (2019). Playing with Power: Mechanisms of Energy Flow in Organismal Movement. Integrative and Comparative Biology. Volume 59, Issue 6. https://doi.org/10.1093/icb/icz146

Dr. Michael Rosario co-authored the following article: Jeffrey P Olberding, Stephen M Deban, Michael V Rosario, Emanuel Azizi (2019). Modeling the Determinants of Mechanical Advantage During Jumping: Consequences for Spring- and Muscle-Driven Movement. Integrative and Comparative Biology. Volume 59, Issue 6. https://doi.org/10.1093/icb/icz139

Dr. Oné Pagán was interviewed by Main Line Today regarding his approach to making biology classes both entertaining and educational. http://www.mainlinetoday.com/Main-Line-Today/December-2019/TWest-Chester-University-Professor-Uses-Weird-Science-to-Entertain-and-Educate/

Dr. Eric Sweet coauthored the following article: Lachance,V., Wang, Q., Sweet, ES., Choi, I., Cai, CZ., Zhuang, XX. Zhang, Y., Jiang, J., Blitzer, RD., Bozdagi-Gunal, O., Zhang, B., Jia-Hong Lu, JH., and Yue, Z. (2019) Autophagy protein nrbf2 shows reduction in alzheimer's brains and modulates memory and amyloid-beta homeostasis in mice. Mol Neurodegener.

Dr. Eric Sweet coauthored the following article: Kana, V., Desland, FA., Casanova-Acebes, M., Ayata, P., Badimon, A., Nabel, E., Yamamuro, K., Sneeboer, M., Tan, IL., Flanigan, ME., Rose, SA., Chang, C., Leader, A., Le Bourhis, H., Sweet, E., Tung, N., Wroblewska, A., Lavin, Y., See, P., Baccarini, A., Ginhoux, F., Chitu, V., Stanley, ER., Russo, SJ., Yue, Z., Brown, BD., Joyner, AL., De Witte, LD., Morishita, H., Schaefer, A., and Merad, M. (2019) CSF-1 controls cerebellar microglia and is required for motor function and social interaction. J Exp Med. 10, 2265-2281

Dr. Frank Fish, biology, co-authored a paper titled “Scaling of swimming performance in baleen whales” in the Journal of Experimental Biology, volume 222, DOI: 10.1242/jeb.204172 (2019).

Dr. Michael Rosario was interviewed by the Journal of Experimental Biology to give his experience as an early-career researcher. https://jeb.biologists.org/content/222/20/jeb214924

Dr. Jessica Schedlbauer and Biology graduate student Sarah Polohovich presented the poster, Current and future carbon storage capacity in a southeastern Pennsylvania forest, at the Northeastern Ecology Conference held on September 28th at the Lacawac Sanctuary and Biological Field Station.

Dr. Frank Fish, biology, published the article “Swimming turned on its head: Stability and maneuverability of the shrimpfish (Aeoliscus punctulatus)” in Integrative Organismal Biology 55: E57-E57 (2019) https://academic.oup.com/iob/advance-article/doi/10.1093/iob/obz025/5581358?guestAccessKey=e30ade32-c01d-428b-ba7e-e71a7fdcd0af.

Biology undergraduate student Samantha Silverman presented a poster titled “Probability of spotted lanternfly capture depends on life stage and band type” at the Northeastern Ecology Conference at Lacawac Sanctuary. Samantha was supervised by Dr. Jennifer Chandler.

Dr. Frank Fish, biology, co-authored a paper, “Bio-inspired robotic dog paddling: kinematic and hydro-dynamic analysis” in Bioinspiration & Biomimetics 14(6): DOI: 10.1088/1748-3190/ab3d05 (2019).

Dr. Frank Fish, biology, hosted the ONR MURI Review Meeting, “Hydrodynamics of Non-Traditional Propulsion Bio-Inspired Flexible Propulsors for Fast Efficient Swimming: What Physics Are We Missing” at West Chester University, September 24-25, 2019.

Dr. Frank Fish, biology, and Abigail Downs, biology graduate student, presented a talk, “Tuna tendon and turning and tail stand fluke flexibility”, at the ONR MURI Review Meeting, “Hydrodynamics of Non-Traditional Propulsion Bio-Inspired Flexible Propulsors for Fast Efficient Swimming: What Physics Are We Missing” at West Chester University, September 24-25, 2019.

Together with colleagues working in the Florida Everglades, Dr. Jessica Schedlbauer co-authored the following article: Zhao, J., S.L. Malone, S.F. Oberbauer, P.C. Olivas, J.L. Schedlbauer, C.L. Staudhammer, & G. Starr. 2019. Intensified inundation shifts a freshwater wetland from a CO2 sink to a source. Global Change Biology 25:3319-3333, https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.14718

Dr. Frank Fish, biology, co-authored a paper “Water entry impact dynamics of diving birds” that was published in Bioinspiration and Biomimetics (2019) https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-3190/ab38cc.

Dr. Frank Fish, biology, and Dr. Maura Sheehan, health emeritus, presented a paper “Biomechanics of Different Dog Breeds on Land and in Water” in a symposium “The Dog-Human Connection: Evolution, Morphology and Behavior” at the 12th International Congress of Vertebrate Morphology (ICVM12) in Prague, Czech Republic on July 23, 2019.

Dr. Frank Fish, biology, co-authored an article entitled, “ How smooth is a dolphin? The ridged skin of odontocetes” in Biology Letters 15: 20190103 (2019).

Dr. Frank Fish, biology, co-authored a paper with Danielle Adams, biology graduate student, entitled, “Odontocete peduncle tendons for possible control of fluke orientation and flexibility” in the Journal of Morphology (2019) DOI: 101002/jmor.21033

Dr. Teresa Donze-Reiner was awarded the Research in Mathematics and Sciences Award entitled, Analysis of genetic variants associated with psychiatric disorders ($7,000). This work will be done in collaboration with Drs. Anita Foeman and Bessie Lawton in the Department of Communication at WCU and Drs. Richard Crist and Benjamin Reiner in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Teresa Donze-Reiner was awarded the College of Science and Mathematics Diversity Grant entitled, Are Human Skin Microbiome Racial? ($5,000) This work will be done in collaboration with Associate Dean, Dr. Vishal Shah.

Dr. Frank Fish, biology, co-authored a paper "Toward a bio-inspired variable-stiffness morphing limb for amphibious robot locomotion." in the 2019 2nd IEEE International Conference on Soft Robotics (RoboSoft), pp. 704-710. The paper was co-authored with Dr. Rebecca Kramer-Bottiglio of Yale University.

Dr. Frank Fish, presented a talk "Investigating sea lion locomotion as the basis for shape changing UUVs" at the ONR Bio-Inspired Autonomous Systems Review held in Arlington, Virginia on May 16, 2019. The talk was presented with collaborators Dr. Megan Leftwich of George Washington University and Dr. James Tangorra of Drexel University.

Dr. Frank Fish, presented an invited seminar “Engineering animals: Bio-inspiration from charismatic marine megafauna” to the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University on April 26, 2019.

Dr. O.R. Pagán was interviewed Utah’s Public Radio show “Undisciplined”. https://www.upr.org/post/undisciplined-superlatives-and-survival.

Dr. O.R. Pagán published the paper: The brain: a concept in flux. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2019 Jun 10;374(1774):20180383. This paper is part of a special issue of the journal on the topic of ‘Liquid brains, solid brains: How distributed cognitive architectures process information’, based on the proceedings of a working group at the Santa Fe Institute, New Mexico.

Dr. Frank Fish presented an invited seminar “Biomimetics and the development of advanced technologies from charismatic marine megafauna” to the Department of Biology of the High Point University, High Point, NC on April 12, 2019.

Biology undergraduate student Sarah Polohovich and graduate student Jason Miller presented posters describing their forest carbon cycle research at the recent Pennsylvania Academy of Science Annual Meeting. Both students were supervised by Dr. Jessica Schedlbauer.


Frank Fish presented a talk "Moment of inertia influences spin-leap performance by cetaceans” at the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic marine Mammal Symposium (SEAMAMMS) at Georgetown University, Washington D.C., March 29-31, 2019.

Dr. Frank Fish presented the invited seminar "Bio-inspiration from charismatic marine megafauna: What animals can teach us in the development of new technologies" to the Department of Integrative Biology of the University of California Berkeley on March 11, 2019.

Dr. Oné Pagan published the book chapter, Cotinine as a Possible Allosteric Modulator of Nicotine Effects in Various Models. In: Neuroscience of Nicotine: Mechanisms and Treatment. Edited by Dr. Victor Preedy. Academic Press.

Dr. Jen Maresh and Dr. Larry Udell (Philosophy) received a WCU Campus Sustainability Research and Creative Activity Award for their project, “Moving into Living Spaces, Not Landfills.” Funds from this award will be used in support of an initiative to reduce the amount of “waste” removed during student Move Out Day by providing students alternative, simple options for diverting suitable household items towards recycling or re-sale to incoming students. This will be a collaborative effort among many members of the WCU community that brings the university closer to its Climate Action Plan’s Zero Waste goals while simultaneously providing a service to incoming students with financial need.

Dr. Frank Fish, biology, co-authored the paper, “Body flexibility enhances maneuverability in the world’s largest predator.” in Integrative and Comparative Biology pp. 1-13, doi:10.1093/icb/icy121, 2018.

Dr. Oné R. Pagán was invited to serve as a panelist after the showing of the documentary film "My love affair with the brain: The Life and Science of Dr. Marian Diamond", sponsored by Philly pod of 500 Women Scientists, December 29, 2018. Article.

Fish, F. E. A tale of a dolphin tail: As told by a fish. (Presented to North County Men’s Shed Association, West Palm Beach, FL, January 9, 2019.

Dr. Frank Fish, biology, with co-author Dr. Anthony Nicastro presented a talk, “Spin-leap performance by cetaceans is influenced by moment of inertia” at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, Tampa, FL, January 3-7, 2019.

Dr. Fish was also a co-author with Dr. Maura Sheehan, emeriti professor of health, and former biology graduate students Danielle Adams, William Gough, and Kelsey Tennett on the presentation, “Differential weight support in dogs” presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, Tampa, FL, January 3-7, 2019.

Dr. Fish was a co-author with Abigail Downs, biology graduate student, and Allison Kolpas, mathematics, on the presentation, “Turning performance by bluefin tuna: Novel mechanism for rapid maneuvers with a rigid body” presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, Tampa, FL, January 3-7, 2019.

Dr. Fish was a co-author with Danielle Adams, former biology graduate student, on the presentation “Properties and function of tendons in the peduncle of odontocetes”  presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, Tampa, FL, January 3-7, 2019.

Dr. Fish was co-author with William Gough, former biology graduate student, on the presentation “Comparative kinematics and hydrodynamics of mysticete cetaceans: Morphological and ecological correlates with swimming performance” presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, Tampa, FL, January 3-7, 2019.

Dr. Fish was also a co-author on the presentations, “Evaluating airship drag as a predictor of baleen whale drag” and “Computational fluid dynamics study of baleen whale drag” presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, Tampa, FL, January 3-7, 2019.

Dr. Fish presented an invited seminar, “A tale of a dolphin tail: As told by a fish” to North County Men’s Shed Association, West Palm Beach, FL, January 9, 2019.

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