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Department of Biological Sciences


Dr. Ron Benner is recipient of a Fulbright Award

Congratulations to Dr. Benner on his selection for a Fulbright award to the Marine Sciences at Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in Spain. The title of his project is An Exploration of How Life in the Ocean Shapes Biogeochemical Cycles and Influences Global Climate Change. The project begins in 2020. 

"The Fulbright Program, which aims to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries, is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government."

SPARC Graduate Research Grant Awards

Congratulations  to Trenton Agrelius and Michelle Passerotti, both are recipients of the SPARC Award.

USC Office of Research Awards

Congratulations to the 2019 awardees from our department. Tim Mousseau - 2019 Breakthrough Leadership in Research Award, and Dan Speiser - 2019 Breakthrough Star. Please read more about it here.

Campbell Hathaway & Dr. Dudycha are recipients of the David Cushing prize

Our own Campbell Hathaway (B.S., Biological Sciences) and Dr. Jeff Dudycha are the recipients of this year's David Cushing prize from the Journal of Plankton Research. They recently published an article in that journal. The prize honors the memory of David Cushing, its Founding Editor.

Eilea Knotts selected for NSF funded Limnology & Oceanography program

Eilea Knotts, a PhD student in biology, was selected for the NSF funded Limnology and Oceanography Research Exchange program. This first cohort includes 27 graduate students from 24 US institutions which will collaborate with 25 labs in 6 host institutions across Australia, Israel, Sweden, and the Dept of Oceanography at Dalhousie University in Canada.

The lab of Dr. Speiser published on spatial vision in Chiton

Dr. Speiser and his lab published an article on spatial vision of chitons in the Journal of Experimental Biology:

The lab of Dr. Fu published an article in Molecular Plant

Dr. Fu and his lab recently published an article in Molecular Plant entitled "Pandemonium Breaks Out: Disruption of Salicylic Acid-Mediated Defense by Plant Pathogens". Please view the article here:

Joe Quattro awarded grant from NOAA

Congratulations to Dr. Joe Quattro for securing grant funding from the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration for his project entitled "Evaluation of molecular analysis to identify and quantify ichthyoplankton samples".

Open Faculty Position in Neurobiology

We have a tenure-track position open in Neurobiology.

Open Faculty Position in Evolutionary Biology

We are recruiting outstanding scholars and teachers to join our faculty. We have a tenure-track position open in Evolutionary Biology.

The Davis lab had their publication featured in Endocrine eNews

Julie Youngblood, graduate student, Tanner Coleman, USC Honors College graduate, and Dr. Shannon Davis had a manuscript accepted in Endocrinology.  Titled Regulation of Pituitary Progenitor Differentiation by ß-Catenin, it was featured in the Endocrine Society’s Endocrine eNews newsletter. Congratulations! 

Priyanka Patel awarded grant from a Spinal Cord Research Foundation

Dr. Priyanka Patel, postdoctoral researcher in Dr. Twiss’ group, was awarded a grant, "Manipulation of the local translation of Rho GTPases in axons to support axon regeneration", from the Wings for Life International Spinal Cord Research Foundation for $145,200.  Congratulations, Priyanka!

A.C. Moore Herbarium contributes to global biodiversity data set: A ‘First’ for South Carolina

The Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) aggregates natural history collections information from institutions around the world. With an endorsement from the U.S. Geological Survey, the A.C. Moore Herbarium (USCH) is the first collection from South Carolina to become part of this global network. Explore over 102,000 records and more than 37,000 specimen images from the A.C. Moore Herbarium.

Pabitra Sahoo awarded grant from S.C. Spinal Cord Injury Research Fund

Dr. Pabitra Sahoo, postdoctoral researcher in Dr. Twiss’ group, received a grant over $68,000 from the South Carolina Spinal Cord Injury Research Fund.  The project is entitled "Targeting axons stress granules to improve axon regeneration.” Congratulation, Pabitra!

Pat DeCoursey receives prestigious research award AND another award named after her

At the 2018 meeting of The Society for Research on Biological Rhythms (SRBR), Pat DeCoursey received the first “SRBR Board of Directors Distinguished Achievement Award in the Category of Research”. This is a new award that “will be given at each SRBR meeting to one highly deserving individual whose research contributions to the field of Chronobiology are exemplary”.

As if this wouldn’t be enough, SRBR also named an award after Pat, the “Patricia DeCoursey Excellence Award for graduate students”. Congratulations, Pat!

Festschrift for Meredith Blackwell

Meredith is an Adjunct Professor in our Department; and a Boyd Professor and Emerita of the Department of Biological Sciences at Louisiana State University. She had a long, influential, and distinguished career in mycology, and is still very active. The journal Mycologia just published its first ever Festschrift in her honor, featuring many articles of her students, friends and colleagues. Congratulations, Meredith!

Alissa Armstrong won McCausland Award

Alissa won the McCausland Faculty Fellowship for innovation in research and teaching. Please check our her story here. Congratulations, Alissa!

Festschrift for Ward Watt

Ward is looking back at a long, influential, and distinguished career in evolutionary biology. He was recently honored by about 50 of his former students, postdocs, and colleagues who are now distinguished scientists themselves. They held a Festschrift symposium in his honor at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory. Congratulations, Ward!

Tim Mousseau featured on National Geographic

Check out NatGeo’s One Strange Rock series featuring our own Tim Mousseau walking across an abandoned urban landscape at the Chernobyl nuclear disaster site, where he points out effects of radiation on a number of invertebrate species.

Helping the dogs of Chernobyl

Professor Mousseau and students to study effects of radiation on strays in Ukraine. Please read further about this work in The Post and Courier and at There is also a crowdfunding initiative to assess and help these stray dogs.

Terika Smith awarded NIH grant

Dr. Terika Smith, a post-doctoral Fellow in the Twiss lab, was awarded a K01 grant entitled "Examining mRNA localization in central sensory axons after peripheral nerve injury”, for $381,128 over four years.

Rekha Patel awarded US Army/DOD grant

Dr. Rekha Patel was awarded a Discovery Award grant entitled: Dysregulation of the PACT-mediated crosstalk between protein kinases PKR and PERK contributes to dystonia 16 (DYT16), for $292,705 over 1.5 years.


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