Tag Archives: csuf

Why are there so many bird species in the Himalayas?

This week, the CSU-Fresno Consortium for Evolutionary Studies brings you another public lecture in our Evolutionary Biology Lecture Series. On the evening of Thursday, March 25, 2010, join us at the Satellite Student Union on campus to hear Prof. Trevor Price of the University of Chicago tell us about his work on the origin, distribution, and maintenance of high bird species diversity in the Himalaya. The public talk starts at 7:30 PM, and you can download the flyer for the talk below. On the following afternoon, Dr. Price will give us another talk in the Biology department colloquium series.

I will try to share podcasts of both the talks – probably over spring break which starts next week. I still have the last few talks recorded that I mean to podcast as well. In my vast spare time…

Download this file

The Jellyfish are coming! En Masse! To… Fresno? Come check it out this friday!


Why yes, we have a Jellyfish mass occurrence… well… occurring on the campus of Fresno State this friday afternoon! Well, ok – I’m not talking about some biblical flood in the valley (its been a wet winter, sure, but not that wet!) or that long anticipated Big One, the earthquake that cleaves coastal California off and converts all our homes here in the valley into beachfront property! No not that – that’s not happening this friday (as far as I know). But the jellies will be here in spirit and data form rather than physically present, as we get a seminar from Dr. Michael Dawson of UC Merced just up the road from us. Should be a fun, fascinating talk – here’s the relevant info, and you can click on the title below to read the abstract and get further details:

Phylogeny and Ecology of Jellyfish (Scyphozoa) Mass Occurrences
Friday, March 12, 2010
3:00-4:00 PM
Science II, Room 109

And afterwards, you might ask Dr. Dawson what a marine biologist like him is doing in the Central Valley of California… do they know something we don’t?

A rally for higher education in California, at Fresno State tomorrow!

Tomorrow is the statewide day of action to protest against what is happening to higher education in California these days. I just found this quite good advert from our campus rallying people to join the action tomorrow. Won’t you join us?

(and in this instance, I’ll overlook the egregious, but all too common in the US, misspelling of GANDHI which made me cringe while watching this clip! Really – what’s so hard about that simple name that Americans can’t ever seem to get it right??)

Seminar today: Step-by-step evolution of the vertebrate blood coagulation system

Friday, January 29, 2010

3:00-4:00 PM in Science II, Room 109


Dept. of Chemistry & Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

University of California, San Diego

La Jolla, CA

The availability of whole genome sequences for a variety of vertebrates is making it possible to reconstruct the step-by-step evolution of complex phenomena like blood coagulation, an event that in mammals involves the interplay of more than two dozen genetically encoded factors. Gene inventories for different organisms are revealing when during vertebrate evolution certain factors first made their appearance or, on occasion, disappeared from some lineages. The whole genome sequence databases of two protochordates and seven non-mammalian vertebrates were examined in search of some 20 genes known to be associated with blood clotting in mammals. No genuine orthologs were found in the protochordate genomes (sea squirt and amphioxus). As for vertebrates, although the jawless fish have genes for generating the thrombin-catalyzed conversion of fibrinogen to fibrin, they lack several clotting factors, including two thought to be essential for the activation of thrombin in mammals. Fish in general lack genes for the “contact factor” proteases, the predecessor forms of which make their first appearance in tetrapods. The full complement of factors known to be operating in humans doesn’t occur until pouched marsupials (opossum), at least one key factor still being absent in egg-laying mammals like the platypus.