Sound Matters: Sex And Death In The Rain Forest

National Public Radio interviewed Dr. Laurel Symes, Dr. Sharon Martinson and Prof. Hannah ter Hofstede about their research on the sounds of the rain forest.  The group is studing the complex ultrasonic communications of bats and their insect prey.  The read or hear the full interview please visit the NPR website at the following link:

Aldo Arellano '17 Studies the Ecology of Lake Mývatn

Undergraduate researcher, Aldo Arellano '17, spent last summer studing the ecology of Lake Mývatn in Iceland.  Aldo was selected to be one of four researchers to go to Iceland under the National Science Foundation's Research Experience for Undergraduates program.  The project in Iceland took an interdisciplinary approach to understanding midge flies and their influences on food webs.  Aldo's work focused on the blue-green algae, Anabaena.

To read more about Aldo's work and his time in Iceland, please visit the Dartmouth News link:

Class of 2017 Phi Beta Kappa Inductees Include Three Biology Majors

Three Biology majors from the Class of 2017 have been inducted into the national academic honor society, Phi Beta Kappa.  Biology majors Marielle Brady ’17, Hae-Lin Cho ’17 and Abiah Pritchard ’17 were among the twenty members of the Class of 2017 who were inducted this year.  Congratulations to Marielle, Hae-Lin and Abiah!!

Photo by Joseph Meling '69

Laurel Symes, Ph.D. is Featured in Nature Article

Dr. Laurel Symes, Neukom Fellow, is featured in the Nature article, Research Protocols:  A forest of hypotheses.  In her work on sensory perception and decision making, Dr. Symes uses a method called multiple-working-hypotheses.  This method allows her to consider several hypotheses at once rather than focusing in on a single hypothesis.  While this approach requires extensive preparation before the start of experiments and continual refinement of hypotheses during the experiments, it allows researchers to avoid ignoring possible explanations that would be excluded using a single hypothesis.

Dr. Dustin Rubenstein '99 returns to Dartmouth for Scientific Seminar

Dr. Dustin Rubenstein '99, Associate Professor of Biology at Columbia University, returned to Dartmouth in April to report on his research on how organisms adapt to changes in the environment.  While at Dartmouth, Dr. Rubenstein enrolled in the biology department's foreign study program (FSP) and was an undergraduate researcher in Professor Richard Holmes' lab.  His work with Prof. Holmes was published in Science

Dr. Rubenstein reports that his time at Dartmouth continues to influence and inform his work.  His experience on FSP led him to create a field research program at Cornell and later at Columbia based on the FSP model.  The Dartmouth biology department FSP program will celebrate its 40th year in 2017.

To read the article about Dr. Rubenstein in Dartmouth Alumni, please click here.



Professor Mary Lou Guerinot Elected to National Academy of Sciences

Professor Mary Lou Guerinot has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS).  Academy members are elected by their peers for outstanding contributions to science.  The NAS has 2,291 active members and 465 foreign associates

Professor Guerinot joined the Department of Biological Sciences in 1985 as an Assistant Professor.  She has trained more than 100 undergraduate researchers and 19 graduate researchers since arriving at Dartmouth.  She has served as Department Chair, Associate Dean for the Sciences and Vice Provost.  Professor Guerinot is the Ronald and Deborah Harris Professor in the Sciences.

The focus of the Guerinot lab is metal and metalloid homeostasis in plants.  Essential minerals play an important role in both plant and human health.  Her lab been a leader in identifying the genetic players and mechanisms involved in iron uptake and homeostasis in plants.  Her worked has been funded by several organizations including the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health and the United State Department of Agriculture.

Professor Mark McPeek Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Professor Mark McPeek has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  The Academy is one of the oldest learned societies.  Its mission is to serve the "nation as a champion of scholarship, civil dialogue, and useful knowledge."*   Professor McPeeks joins a distinguished group of more than 4,600 Fellows and 600 Foreign Honorary Members.

Prof. McPeek is an ecologist and evolutionary biologist who uses empirical and theoretical approaches to understand the processes that determine organism distribution and abundance.  His work also looks at how processes have influenced organism adaptation and diversification over time.  Currently, he is studying the influence of species interactions on species coevolution and the biological community structure. 

Milo Johnson'13 wins 2016 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

Milo Johnson'13 is one of the 17 Dartmouth students (hyperlink to who were awarded 2016 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships.

Milo Johnson'13 graduated with a Bachelor degree in Biology (magna cum laude) and currently is the first-year graduate student at Harvard University in Dr. Michael Desai (hyperlink to laboratory. Using experimental evolution approaches, Milo studies interplay between deleterious mutations and adaptation using budding yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) as a model system.

While at Dartmouth, Milo was engaged in independent research in the laboratories Prof. Olga Zhaxybayeva and Prof. Matt Ayres.

"Meet Me in the Middle of the Air"

Professor Eric Schaller has published a collection of short stories, titled "Meet Me in the Middle of the Air." His fiction has appeared in The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror, Fantasy: Best of the Year, SciFiction, Postscripts, Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, Polyphony, New Genre, Shadows & Tall Trees, as well as others.

Meet Me in the Middle of the Air:

“Eric Schaller’s stories hover in between dreams and realities, making the real surreal and the surreal frightfully difficult to wake from. These stories are the work of a mad scientist writing in a single moment of sanity, or perhaps of a sane man experimenting madly on our imaginations. Here is a writer whose pen is a sharp-tipped instrument that digs beneath the skin. The air of these stories is always full of ghosts and screams, but if you listen carefully, you’ll hear laughter, too … or is it the cackling of the damned?”

—Matthew Cheney, Hudson-prize winning author of Blood

To read more about the collection, visit