Daniela Anderson ’12

Daniela Anderson came to Bard having recently visited leper colonies in Nepal, and received a grant through Bard’s Trustee Leader Scholar (TLS) Program to create a program that supports these colonies. Later in her undergraduate career, she and a friend bicycled across the US to raise awareness and funds for leper colonies. In the summer of her junior year, Daniela earned a competitive NSF-REU award to study genetics of cancer growth; her summer research grew into her senior project, which examined the effects of micro RNA on the differentiation of cancer cells as a means of making them susceptible to existing therapies. Daniela earned a prestigious Watson Fellowship, which funded her for a year following graduation to visit existing leper colonies around the world and learn about both the medical and human impacts of this disease, which still infects tens of thousands of people annually. She is planning to pursue medicine as a career.

Faculty research: Collision detection center in the tadpole brain

It was known for some time that Xenopus tadpoles try to avoid collisions with objects that approach them, but until now it was not quite clear what part of the brain detects potential collisions and makes the tadpole change its swimming trajectory. In this study Dr. Arseny Khakhalin shows that most likely this calculation happens in the midbrain region called the optic tectum.

Citation: Khakhalin AS, Koren D, Gu J, Xu H, Aizenman CD. (2014). Excitation and inhibition in recurrent networks mediate collision avoidance in Xenopus tadpoles. European Journal of Neuroscience, 40(6), 2948–2962

Download pdf

Faculty research: Co-Infection Prevalence in Blacklegged Ticks

The ticks that harbor the bacterium that causes Lyme disease can also carry other pathogens. Dr. Felicia Keesing and co-authors showed that ticks are more likely to be coinfected with the organism that causes babesiosis than expected by chance, as ticks are likely to acquire both pathogens when they feed on a single small-mammal host.

Citation: Hersh, Michelle H., Richard S. Ostfeld, Diana J. McHenry, Michael Tibbetts, Jesse L. Brunner, Mary E. Killilea, Kathleen LoGiudice, Kenneth A. Schmidt, and Felicia Keesing. “Co-Infection of blacklegged ticks with Babesia microti and Borrelia burgdorferi is higher than expected and acquired from small mammal hosts.” (2014): e99348.

Download the paper: Hersh et al. 2014 – coinfection

Welcome to the New Bard Biology web-site!

The Bard College biology program offers courses and research opportunities in the most exciting areas of biology research today — biodiversity, neuroscience, emerging infectious diseases, climate change, evolution, and more. Students in the program receive outstanding preparation for all areas of graduate study in the biological sciences and health professions. Our program gives all students the opportunity to be critical thinkers in the world of science, and to gain hands-on experience designing and conducting biological experiments.