2021 News

Dr. Oné Pagán publishes new book

Dr. Oné Pagán has published a new book entitled "Drunk Flies and Stoned Dolphins" that looks at multiple non-human organisms and their relationships with intoxication.

book cover of Drunk Flies and Stoned Dolphins

Dr. Fish Receives Grant from Office of Naval Research

Dr. Frank Fish, biology received a grant of $230,403 from the Office of Naval Research for “Autonomous environmental transitions of an amphibious turtle-inspired robot.”  The grant is in collaboration with Dr. Rebecca Kramer-Bottiglio of Yale University.

image of turtle-inspired robot

Dr. Sowa Receives Grant for Nematode Hunters Project

Dr. Jessica Sowa received a $35,000 American Society for Cell Biology Public Engagement grant through the Science Sandbox, an initiative of the Simons Foundation, for her “Nematode Hunters” project (https://www.ascb.org/grants-awards/ascb-public-engagement-grants/). Nematode Hunters is a classroom-based citizen science project with a remote delivery format that will allow 4th grade teachers at underserved schools in Pennsylvania to engage their students in authentic biological research. Students will become collaborators on a project to discover new intracellular pathogens of nematodes by collecting wild nematodes from any outdoor space, making observations, and submitting the nematodes collected to the West Chester University research team to be tested for the presence of intracellular infections. Check out the progress of the project at: nematodehunters.org or on Twitter @NematodeHunters!

image of Dr. Sowa recipient ASCB  2021-22 public engagements grant

Dr. Fish Awarded Distinguished Research Award

Dr. Frank Fish, biology, was presented with the West Chester University Distinguished Research Award at the 2021 spring graduation ceremony.

Dr. Frank Fish receiving award at commencement

New Faculty Members

Dr. Megan Fork

Dr. Megan Fork will join the Department of Biology as an Assistant Professor in August 2021. Her research asks how freshwater ecosystems like streams and lakes transport and transform nutrients, organic matter, and contaminants. At WCU, Dr. Fork will lead a lab group working to understand how human-induced changes like urbanization, emerging contaminants, and stream restoration affect streams, lakes, and wetlands. She will also teach courses including Freshwater Ecology and Wetlands.

Dr. Fork earned her PhD in Environmental Science from Duke University (2017), M.S. in Biology from Florida International University (2012), and B.S.s in Zoology, Conservation Biology and Theatre & Drama from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (2008). She conducted postdoctoral research on the effects of global change in northern streams and lakes at Umeå University and studied urban streams in Baltimore, MD as a postdoctoral scientist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies. She looks forward to teaching and mentoring student scientists in Biology at WCU.

Dr. Fork standing near a body of water

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