Biology Seminar Fall 2021

The schedule of Biology Seminars for Fall 2021:

  • 9/2 Introduction and orientation
  • 9/9 Juliet Morrison; UC Riverside. A role for pleural macrophages in influenza resolution
  • 9/16 Kat Anderson; Bard College. Marine climate change ecology: How trying to predict the future helps us understand the world today
  • 9/23 Nsikan Akpan; NY Public Radio What is science journalism…and can it save us from ourselves?
  • 9/30 Danica Miller; Associate Professor of American Indian Studies University of Washington Tacoma. Self-determination and indigenous health
  • 10/7 Jane Lucas; Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies. Soil health in the age of antibiotics
  • 10/14 Shannon LaDeau; Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies. Vector-borne disease risk in cities influenced by social and ecological legacies of (dis)investment
  • 10/21 Chris Golden; Harvard University School of Public Health. The importance of wildlife declines to global food security
  • 10/28 TBD
  • 11/4 Gwenäelle Thomas; Duke University. Title – TBD
  • 11/11 TBD
  • 11/18 TBD
  • 11/25 Thanksgiving break
  • 12/2 TBD
  • 12/9 TBD
  • 12/16 TBD

Welcome professor Kaishian!

We are happy to report that Dr. Patricia Kaishian has joined our program as Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology.

Dr. Kaishian is a mycologist focused on taxonomy, biodiversity, and ecology of fungi, with a particular focus on lesser known groups such as the order Laboulbeniales and other species rich microfungal groups. Her current research is focused on new species discovery and exploring the potential use of certain fungi as indicators of environmental health. Dr. Kaishian is broadly trained in the taxonomy of macro and micro fungi, having conducted numerous mycological inventories in biodiversity hotspots around the world. She received her PhD Mycology from SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry, and subsequently served as a postdoctoral researcher and fungal curator in the Aime Lab at Purdue University. Dr. Kaishian is a founding member of the International Congress of Armenian Mycologists, a research organization composed of ethnically Armenian mycologists who seek to simultaneously advance mycological science and Armenian sovereignty and liberation.

Dr. Patricia Kaishian’s website:

Welcome professor Todd!

We are happy to welcome Dr. Rob Todd as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Bard Biology!

Dr. Robert (Rob) Todd is a microbiologist, educator, and avid proponent of science outreach. Rob obtained his B.S. in Biology from Iowa State University and a M.S. in Integrated Biology from the University of Iowa. He earned his Ph.D. in Medical Microbiology and Immunology from Creighton University in 2020 and went on to complete a postdoctoral position at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities campus. On the micro-scale, his research focuses on genome instability and adaptation in the human fungal pathogen Candida albicans. However, he is generally interested in how organisms adapt to both acute and chronic environmental stresses. Beyond typical laboratory research, he is keenly interested in developing curricula and outreach opportunities that increase (and support) diversity and representation in science. He helped establish the Nebraska Science Booster Club during his doctoral work and developed hands-on, low-to-zero cost activities to promote science education and literacy. Rob has worked as a Citizen Science faculty member at Bard since 2020 and is beyond thrilled to continue working with all the talented and passionate students, staff, and faculty at Bard.

Keesing lab: Dilution effects in disease ecology

A new review paper from Felicia Keesing explores how diversity can affect disease transmission. For many diseases of plants and animals, including humans, the presence of low-quality hosts reduces the overall transmission of disease-causing parasites. People have used these “dilution effects” to manage diseases for over a century. More recent evidence demonstrates that dilution effects also occur naturally, protecting us from greater risk of being exposed to infectious diseases. When biodiversity declines, these natural dilution effects disappear, providing a powerful link between the conservation of biodiversity and the health of humans, wildlife, and plants.

Publication info: Keesing, F., & Ostfeld, R. S. (2021). Dilution effects in disease ecology. Ecology Letters.