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Kira DesJardins '10
Kira DesJardins ’10 Takes Green Lakes Research to Next Level
As a sequel to the biological sampling from earlier in the summer, Kira DesJardins ’10 is taking the next step in identifying the species that inhabit the depths of Green Lakes. Other students have extracted the DNA of organisms in the water samples and prepared them for genetic analysis. DesJardins has created a “clone library” out of the fungal DNA with Professor of Biology Jinnie Garrett. More ...
Elizabeth Pendery '10
Rare Ecosystem of Green Lake is Subject of Research
Meromictic lakes are stratified like layers of cake. They are interesting biological case studies because their surface and bottom waters never mix, and their sediments often date back thousands of years. One example of a meromictic lake is Green Lake located in a New York State Park just east of Syracuse. It was the first lake in North America to be classified as such, and scientists began recording data on it as early as 1839. Sean Linehan ’10 and Elizabeth Pendery ’10 are studying the biological diversity of Green Lake this summer with Associate Professor of Biology Michael McCormick. More ...
The mouth region of a new species of nematode from Capron Shoals, FL.  Many sharp, inward-facing teeth can be seen.  These are likely used to scrape algae from sediment particles in feeding.
Smythe Conducts Research at Smithsonian
Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology Ashleigh Smythe spent 10 days in July working at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History.  She is currently describing a new species of nematode that she collected from sediment off the coast of Florida. More ...
Ernest Williams examines a turtle egg he discovered in the Utica Marsh
BioBlitz Will Record Species in Utica Marsh
In mid-sentence, Professor of Biology Ernest Williams interrupted his thought to comment on a bird that caught his eye: "Oh, there's a yellow warbler – male, yellowy, with chestnut stripe on the breast," he observed. Seeing Williams in his element is like reading an interactive encyclopedia – Williams talks animatedly about nature and the creatures that inhabit it, such as painted turtles, blue herons and Canada geese. He is conducting what is called a "BioBlitz" this summer with Carly Andrascik '11, an environmental studies major. More ...
LARISSA Meeting
Domack and McCormick Attend NSF Meeting
The LARISSA team met at National Science Foundation for a Principal Investigators meeting on May 5 and 6 in Washington, D.C. LARISSA is a National Science Foundation-funded initiative that joins an international, interdisciplinary team together to address a significant regional problem with global change implications, the abrupt environmental change in Antarctica's Larsen Ice Shelf System. Lead Principal Investigator (PI) and Project Director Eugene Domack, the J. W. Johnson Family Professor of Environmental Studies, and Principal Investigator and Associate Professor of Biology Michael McCormick attended along with several representatives from National Geographic Magazine. More ...
Ashleigh Smythe collects marine nematodes in Tobago.
Smythe Conducts Fieldwork in Tobago
Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology Ashleigh Smythe spent one week in January on the southern Caribbean island of Tobago (Republic of Trinidad and Tobago) collecting marine nematodes. Her work was sponsored by the Buccoo Reef Trust, a non-profit agency whose goal is to promote research and education about Caribbean coral reefs and marine habitats. More ...
Monarch cluster, photo by Ernest Williams
Williams Publishes Lead Article in Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society
Ernest Williams, the Christian A. Johnson Excellence in Teaching Professor of Biology, published the lead article in the latest issue of the Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society 62(4):177-188. The article, "Monarch butterfly clusters provide microclimatic advantages during the overwintering season in Mexico," was coauthored by collaborators from Sweet Briar College and the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico and was based on field work in Mexico during February 2007 and January 2008.
More ...
LARISSA Initiative Announced with New Web Site
Hamilton College is participating in the International Polar Year (IPY) via Larsen Ice Shelf System – Antarctica (LARISSA), a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded and Hamilton College supported initiative. The program has been launched and has established a Web presence. LARISSA brings an international, interdisciplinary team together to address a significant regional problem with global change implications. More ...
Teaching Awards Presented to Five Faculty Members at Annual Class & Charter Day

Hamilton College's highest awards for teaching were presented on May 9 to five faculty members. Professor of Biology Ernest Williams Jr. received the Christian A. Johnson Professorship; Associate Professor of Physics Brian Collett was awarded the Samuel & Helen Lang Prize for Excellence in Teaching; Associate Professor of English Catherine Gunther Kodat received the Class of 1963 Excellence in Teaching Award; Assistant Professor of Anthropology Haeng-Ja Chung was honored with the John R. Hatch Excellence in Teaching Award; and Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology Mark Oakes received the Sidney Wertimer Award.  More ...

Williams' Op-ed on Global Warming Effects Appears in Observer-Dispatch
In an opinion piece that appeared on Saturday, Sept. 22, in Utica's Observer-Dispatch titled "Warmer world could mean shorter winters for region," Professor of Biology Ernest Williams explained what the economic effects of global warming might mean for central New York. More ...
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