News and Events

Biology Colloquium

Biology Colloquium Series

Biology Colloquium - The biology colloquium meets approximately 10 times during the academic year for lectures and discussions led by visiting scholars, faculty, and student researchers.

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Kurayi Mahachi

'Lyme disease among hunting dogs: field research in public health'

As a part of Luther College's Spring 2019 Biology Colloquium series, Kurayi Mahachi, Luther class of 2015, will present his lecture, "Lyme disease among hunting dogs: field research in public health," at 9:40 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 21, in the Valders Hall of Science Room 206 on the Luther campus. The lecture is open to the public with no charge for admission.

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Lena Schmitt

Decorah moths spark Luther student's research

Lena Schmitt, Luther College senior, partnered with Kirk Larsen, Luther professor of biology, to survey moth communities in the planted tallgrass prairie and oak-hickory forest habitats of Decorah, Iowa. This past summer they repeatedly visited six different sites in the community and collected moths to assemble baseline information of the species of moths in Decorah and how their diversity compares between a habitat type.

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Mark Hostetler

Urban biodiversity expert to speak at Luther Biology Colloquium

Mark Hostetler, professor of wildlife ecology and conservation at the University of Florida, will speak at Luther College as part of the Biology Colloquium series at 9:40 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 15, in Valders Hall of Science Room 206.  This event is open to the public with no charge for admission.

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Gabrielle Blair

Luther senior Blair exploring multiple paternity in white tailed deer

According to Luther College senior Gabrielle Blair, the prevalence of deer in the Midwest has led to the importance of studying their mating structures. This kind of study has been done primarily on captive deer, so being able to research the mating structures of wild deer creates a new direction for researchers.

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Monarch with migration tag

Monarch Banding Sunday Sept 16 in Anderson Prairie

The migration of the monarch butterflies to Mexico has begun, and the Luther College entomology class will host a monarch butterfly migration banding event in Anderson Prairie on the Luther College campus from 1:30-4 p.m. Sunday, September 16.

The monarch butterfly has declined dramatically over the past 20 years, and efforts are being made across Iowa to increase monarch abundance by providing suitable habitat that includes nectar sources for adult butterflies and milkweed for the caterpillars.  2018 appears to be a "good year" for monarchs.

This event, open to the public, will help provide data on the fall migration of this unique and well-known butterfly.

Participants should bring a butterfly net if they have one.  Check in at the parking lot behind Shirley Baker Commons, where butterfly nets can be checked out to capture monarchs. Turn into the driveway/parking lot across College Drive from the main entrance to the college. Travel to the top of the hill and park.  In case of cloudy, windy, or rainy weather, the event will be cancelled.

Contact Kirk Larsen, Luther professor of biology, with questions at [email protected].

Water quality

Research project aims to identify levels, sources of water-borne microbes in Winneshiek County

A new water quality research project investigating water-borne disease-causing agents in Winneshiek County is underway. Eric Baack and Jodi Enos-Berlage, both professors of biology at Luther College, were recently awarded a $39,938 grant from the Iowa Center for Health Effects of Environmental Contaminants that will allow them to quantify levels of harmful bacteria and viruses in both ground and surface waters. Luther is the first small college to receive this grant in CHEEC's 30-year history.

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