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College of Natural Resources
University of California, Berkeley 
News Flash
May, 2012
Distinguished Bioengineer Coming to Campus 5-15-12 


Frances Arnold, credit CalTech
  CalTech photo

Protein evolution pioneer Frances Arnold, a rare member of all three honors institutes of the National Academies, will be the final speaker in the 2011-12 EBI Seminar Series on Tuesday, May 15, at 4 p.m. in 116 Calvin Laboratory. She will discuss "Design by Evolution: Optimization to Innovation."


Dr. Arnold is the Dick and Barbara Dickinson Professor of Chemical Engineering, Biochemistry and Bioengineering at the California Institute of Technology. A 1985 Ph.D. graduate of UC Berkeley, she is widely recognized as a pioneer in methods of directed enzyme evolution and is co-inventor of more than 30 issued U.S. patents, including a wide array of novel biocatalysts.


Ron Kolb, Communications Officer, EBI 

Postdoc Studies Coral Reefs  
Minor climate changes contribute to reefs' decline

Melissa in scuba gearMelissa Roth has always been interested in how changes in the environment - specifically climate change - can affect organisms important to the Earth's ecosystem.


Roth is now taking a giant step forward into a new branch of her research as a postdoctoral scholar working in Professor Krishna Niyogi's lab. She is also affiliated with the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.


Recently, Roth published an important and well-received paper about the effect of both hot and cold temperature increases, caused by climate change, on reef-building coral. The paper Cold induces acute stress but heat is ultimately more deleterious for the reef-building coral Acropora yongei

was published in Scientific Reports. 



New Grad Students Selected for Fall, 2012 

  The following graduate students will be joining the Plant and Microbial Biology program for the upcoming academic year:
  • Monika Fischer, University of Washington
  • Michael Gomez, UCLA
  • Jessica Graves, State University of New York, Potsdam
  • Christopher Hann-Soden, Humboldt State University
  • Charlie Huang, Yale
  • Jeffrey Johnson, University of Washington
  • Vincent Wu, UCLA
  • Justin Zik, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Plant Biology
  • Paul Hussey, UC Berkeley
  • Rebecca Mackelprang, University of Utah
  • Riva Bruenn, Oberlin College
  • Carine Marshall, UC Berkeley
  • Benjamin Endelman, City University of New York
  • Iman Sylvain, Howard University
  • Daniel Naylor, UC Davis
  • Katherine Scheibel, Cornell
  • Monica Hernandez, UCLA
  • William Moore, UC Riverside
  • Anna Josephson-Day, University of Washington

Welcome to all of our new students!


Rocio Sanchez, Graduate Program, PMB 

Catch our Latest Videos!  

College of Natural Resources Awards Ceremony
Awards Ceremony
Video highlights from Cal Day and the College of Natural Resources Awards Ceremony are now available for viewing. PMB Professor Steve Lindow was honored at the Awards Ceremony, along with Denise Schichnes, Ph.D., of the College of Natural Resources Biological Imaging Facility. 
Cal Day 2012
Cal Day 2012
The Cal Day video features Lindow's "Ice Nucleation Magic Show" as well as footage from interactive microscope displays and the Energy Biosciences Institute.
Just click on the picture to view the videos.  
Videos were shot by Sanders Deionne, our own PMB videographer and a Media Studies major.
Karyn Houston, PMB Communciations 
Workshop on Tools, Workflows for RNA-Seq Analysis


  Berkeley *Seq I, the inaugural workshop on analysis of Next Generation sequencing data at UC Berkeley, will take place on June 30, 2012. Lior Pachter is organizing this first conference, and will focus on analytical tools and workflows for RNA-Seq experiments. The one-day meeting features a morning of talks, an on-site lunch, and an afternoon of live demonstrations of Cufflinks and eXpress software packages. 
  Sponsored by the California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences (QB3) and the Berkeley Center for Computational Biology (CCB)
Berkeley *Seq I: Tools and Workflows for RNA-Seq Analysis 
Saturday, June 30, 2012 
9 a.m. - 5 p.m. 
105 Stanley Hall 
University of California, Berkeley    
Sign up at  
Etcetera .... 


  A listing of important events, reminders and interesting info around campus, including links, as the academic year comes to a close.  


5/11, noon, 101 Barker Hall


5/14, noon, 101 Barker Hall 


5/15, noon, 338 Koshland Hall
5/16, 9-4:30, UC Berkeley Campus
All UC Berkeley faculty, students and postdocs doing research in Genetics, Development or Evolution are invited to attend this FREE symposium


5/18, noon, 338 Koshland Hall


5/22, noon, 338 Koshland Hall



Plant & Microbial Biology   |   University of California Berkeley   |   111 Koshland Hall  |
The Plant & Microbial Biology Newsletter (twice each year) and News Flashes (monthly) are intended to keep faculty, staff, friends and alumni informed of events, news and information about the Department.
Feedback is welcome!

Please email Newsletter Editor Karyn Houston, call 643-7614 or stop by 111 Koshland Hall if you have news or items of interest to the department that you would like to submit.

Robert Fischer  /  Chair
Dana Jantz  /  Chief Operating Officer
Karyn Houston  /  Webmaster, Newsletter Editor  /  510.643.7614  /  /  111 Koshland Hall