Department of Biological Science

Fishing for answers: Researchers develop tool to incorporate social, cultural concerns in resource management

For years, fisheries managers have struggled to find a delicate balance between competing financial and ecological needs. Now, a team of researchers led by a Florida State University faculty member is working toward integrating a third factor — the social and cultural needs of different groups of people. “Everyone wants their piece of the pie […]

FSU study: Fish may be key to controlling growth of reef bacteria

In response to local and global climate stressors, a type of bright red bacteria has proliferated on reefs worldwide often snuffing the life out of precious corals and changing the reef ecosystem. To learn more about this process and what might be used to control it, Florida State University researchers conducted extensive research on Caribbean […]

FSU researcher receives early career fellowship for work on algal species

A Florida State University researcher has won an early career award for her work examining the abundance of algal species that are indistinguishable, even under a microscope. Assistant Professor of Biological Science Sophie McCoy received the Norma J. Lang Early Career Fellowship from the Phycological Society of America to explore the ecological differences and consequences […]

An agricultural mystery: FSU researchers work to understand bacteria killing citrus trees

A team of biologists has put on their detective hats to investigate the complicated bacterium behind citrus greening, a problematic plant disease that has felled citrus orchards across Florida and threatened the Sunshine State’s once prosperous orange crop production. One problem: The bacteria that causes citrus greening — Liberibacter asiaticus — won’t grow in a […]

Eminent scientist, National Academy member to join FSU faculty

An esteemed evolutionary biologist and member of the National Academy of Sciences is joining the Florida State University faculty. Steven Stanley will join FSU’s Department of Biological Science where he will collaborate with several different researchers on projects ranging from dinosaur evolution to the intricacies of gastropods. He also will mentor younger faculty members who […]

Survival of the fittest: Research team finds that population density is key to evolution

A multiuniversity research team including a Florida State scientist has found that a lack of predators creates an environment that is key to evolutionary changes found in guppies. Florida State University Robert O. Lawton Professor of Biological Science Joseph Travis and a team of researchers have been studying guppies for more than a decade. The […]

Landmark study signals shift in thinking about stem cell differentiation

A pioneering new study led by Florida State University biologists could fundamentally change our understanding of how embryonic stem cells differentiate into specific cell types. The research, published today in the journal Stem Cell Reports, calls into question decades of scientific consensus about the behavior of embryonic stem cells as they transition to endoderm, a […]

Researcher documents cascading effects of parasites on underwater ecosystems

Research by an evolutionary biologist from Florida State University has shown parasites have important and far-reaching effects on predatory fish and the ecosystems they inhabit. These findings, published this week in the journal Ecology, provide important evidence for the little-studied role of parasites in trophic cascades, which are powerful, indirect interactions that can affect entire […]

Researchers find seaweed helps trap carbon dioxide in sediment

Every beachgoer can spot seaweed in the ocean or piling up on the beach, but Florida State University researchers working with colleagues in the United Kingdom have found that these slimy macroalgae play an important role in permanently removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Their work is published in the journal Ecological Monographs by the […]

FSU researchers find tissue environment plays important role in tumor formation

A team of Florida State University researchers used a simple tumor model to show the importance of tissue microenvironment in primary tumor formation. In the journal Developmental Cell, FSU researchers explain how certain signaling pathways define tumor hotspots, tissue microenvironment favorable for tumorigenesis, and show that simple stimulation of a protein can lead directly to […]

Why fly the coop? With shortage of mates, some birds choose to help others raise offspring

It’s not uncommon for young adults to pitch in and help out with the care of younger siblings. But it turns out that sometimes birds choose to become avian au pairs rather than raise their own brood. After a five-year experiment, researchers from Florida State University and the Tallahassee-based Tall Timbers Research Station found that […]

FSU researchers discover a novel protein degradation pathway

Findings May Lead To Better Understanding of Muscular Dystrophy, Other Diseases The nucleus is a treasure trove of biological information that keeps the cell — and thus living organisms — ticking. But many processes within the nucleus remain a mystery to scientists. A Florida State University research team has uncovered one such mystery — how […]