The Department of Biology provides training for both undergraduate and graduate students. The strongest areas of training in the program are in Animal Behavior, Biochemistry, Cell and Developmental Biology, Computational Biology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Genetics, Molecular Biology, Neurobiology, Physiology, and Plant Biotechnology. In addition, the Department is closely affiliated with other divisions such as the School of Medicine and the Case School of Engineering at Case Western Reserve University. Cooperative programs outside of Case, including the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, and the Holden Arboretum allow for students to have a variety of resources at hand. Research in the department is primarily conducted in one of three focus areas: Cell and Developmental Biology, Neurobiology and Neuromechanical Systems, or Evolution and Ecology. This focus framework allows faculty to build on common research interests. Mentored teaching and research programs with faculty and students foster a strong educational environment in the Department.
CWRU researcher studies how weather affects wood frogs: After warmer winters, wood frogs breed earlier and produce fewer eggs, a Case Western Reserve University researcher has found.
Michael Benard, an assistant professor of biology, also found that frogs produce more eggs during winters with more rain and snow.
Benard’s study, published Monday in the journal Global Change Biology, is among the first in a natural habitat to measure the consequences of one of the major effects of climate change: warmer temperatures that lead to earlier breeding in amphibians and other animals.
Benard also found that when wood frogs breed early in the year, their offspring have delayed development but still metamorphose earlier in the year. He identified the broad patterns by examining and tracking important life events of more than 50,000 juvenile and hundreds of adult wood frogs over seven years and comparing the data to winter weather records.
“There have been lab studies on the effects of warming on frog breeding, but what we see in the lab is not exactly what we’re seeing in the field,” Benard said.
Benard was a fellow at the University of Michigan’s when he began the study at six ponds. Benard is now continuing the study in Northeast Ohio.
Mayflies are everywhere in Cleveland right now! Biology Assistant Professor Jessica Fox gives an interview to Channel 5 news about these swarms – click here to watch and learn!
James Zull remembers when a single chain separated Western Reserve University and the Case Institute of Technology. The chain was a futile effort to create an illusion of separation.
People often stepped right over it to visit someone at the other university, showing that, from the outset, the two institutions were entwined. (read more)