Angela Smilanich

My research focuses on the ecology and evolution of diet breadth via physiological studies of multitrophic interactions between plants, herbivores, and natural enemies. Specific avenues of study include: (1) evolutionary ecology of insect immunity (2) investigation of plant secondary chemistry as insect immunosuppressant, and (3) behavioral adaptations of herbivores to host plants.

Pedro Miura

The mission of the laboratory is decipher how these novel RNA molecules are regulated and identify their physiological roles in cells. The biological roles of extended 3’UTRs and circular RNAs remain for the most part unexplored. We are particularly interested in how these RNAs might be involved in neurological disease and during aging.

Projects in the lab include the use of Drosophila, mice and mammalian cell culture. High-throughput, genome-wide sequencing approaches will employed. Exciting new genome editing approaches (CRISPR/CAS) will be exploited to understand the functional roles in vivo of non-coding RNAs.

Bryan Sigel

Bryan J. Sigel is a conservation ecologist interested in how human activities affect biodiversity at multiple spatial scales. He is a California native and received his B.S. from UCLA. He completed his doctorate in 2007 at Tulane University in New Orleans, where he studied the effects of forest fragmentation on lowland tropical bird communities in Central America under the direction of Dr. Thomas W. Sherry.

Dr. Sigel joined the faculty at Tulane University in 2007 as a Visiting Assistant Professor where he taught courses in Introductory Biology and Vertebrate Biology. Following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Dr. Sigel worked with the Biodiversity Research Institute to assess the impact of the spill on colonial waterbirds. He also pursued research as a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Caz Taylor at Tulane University, investigating the impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on shorebird and intertidal invertebrate communities. Dr. Sigel joined the faculty of Nevada State College in 2012.

Grant Matick

To build a brain, the embryo must produce a spatially organized array of a vast number of neurons, then interconnect them. Our research group uses genetic and molecular approaches in mouse and chick embryos to investigate the functions of specific genes in brain development. This research has implications for the molecular therapy of neurological disease and injury, and is funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Our current research is on the migration of neurons and their axons through the developing brain. We investigate how molecular signals guide axons to migrate precisely long distances on longitudinal pathways, how cranial nerves grow out to connect to muscles, and also how neuron cell bodies settle in specific positions. Our studies focus on a system of signals, the Slit/Robo repellents and the Netrin attractants, to understand the mechanisms by which opposing signals are integrated by neurons.

Jeanne Zeh

Dr. Jeanne Zeh conducts research at the interface of behavior, genetics and evolution, and utilize a variety of methods ranging from next-generation DNA sequencing to field studies of sexual selection. She is particularly interested in ecological and evolutionary epigenetics, an emerging field that can address long-standing issues involving the origin and maintenance of biological diversity.

Gayle Dana

Dr. Dana is the NSF EPSCoR Project Director and the Nevada State EPSCoR Director. Dr. Dana’s expertise is in surface water hydrology and energy balance of desert, seasonally snow-covered, and polar regions. Present research projects include 1) nutrient and sediment source assessment for TMDL development in the Lake Tahoe and Truckee River Watersheds; (2) hydrochemical modeling in a Lake Tahoe watershed (3) effects of fire on nutrient dynamics in forested watersheds, (4) evaporation from lakes and reservoirs in support of the Truckee River Operating Agreement, and (5) spatially distributed energy balance modeling for climate change detection in Antarctica. Dr. Dana is the Science Advisor to the Truckee River TMDL and Watershed Council, and is a collaborator with the McMurdo Dry Valleys Long Term Ecological Research project.

Sudeep Chandra

Dr. Sudeep Chandra is an Associate Professor, Biology at the University of Nevada, Reno.  His laboratory conducts limnological studies related to the restoration or conservation of aquatic ecosystems. His projects include recovering native species, managing nonnative species, understanding the affects of land use change (mining, urbanization, etc) on water quality, and developing natural resource management & conservation plans for the world’s largest, freshwater fishes. We recognize that science is critical in developing longer-term, sustainable public policy.

David Charlet

Dr. Charlet’s  research concerns the natural history of arid regions. His studies focus on the Great Basin and Mojave Desert, a region that includes most of Nevada and some of each of the surrounding states. Most of his research involves how plants are distributed across landscapes and regions.

John “Jay” Arnone

My research focuses primarily on understanding the effects of global environmental change (a.k.a. “climate change”) on the functioning and structure of terrestrial ecosystems, and deciphering the underlying ecological mechanisms driving the responses. This includes the study of how rising atmospheric CO2, changes in ambient temperature, interannual climate variability (e.g. anomalously warm years or heat waves), reductions in biological diversity, and large periodic disturbances (e.g. wildfire) affect plant physiological processes, plant growth and survival, plant populations and plant communities, as well as ecosystem processes and feedbacks. Although my interests in ecology are broad, I am particularly keen on understanding how belowground processes are impacted by changing ambient environmental conditions (e.g. fine root dynamics, activity of soil fauna, soil hydrology and root biology). I attempt to bridge traditional ecological disciplines and seek out collaboration with scientists from other disciplines to address these wider-ranging ecological questions.

My research group and I also apply our expertise to directly address real-world environmental questions and challenges for clients such as the U.S. Department of the Interior, Southern Nevada Water Authority, Sempra Energy, American Vanadium, Washoe County Air Quality Management, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, and the Gas Technology Institute.

Matt Forister

The Forister lab works in the areas of specialization, diversification, and plant-insect ecology. Specific questions and topics include the evolution of diet breadth, evolutionary interactions across trophic levels, phenology and population regulation. We are also interested in the conservation and management of insect diversity. In the field, our research includes the Great Basin, the Sierra Nevada, and much of the western hemisphere including tropical sites. In the lab, we combine physiological and behavioral experiments with genomic sequencing of novel-model organisms.