Dissertation Defenses

To view electronic copies of dissertations published, please visit Graduate Theses and Dissertations – browse Biology Graduate Theses and Dissertations by Author.

Listed are thesis dissertation (Recent through 2008):

Chen, Chao (2015)
The role of Sox4 and Sox11 in cortical development
Advisor: Dr. Maria J. Donoghue

Maloney, Jenny G. (2015)
Giardia lamblia, the Intestinal Microbiome, and Innate Immunity: A Study of the Host-Parasite Relationship during G. lamblia Infection.
Advisor: Dr. Steven M. Singer

Tsai, Yi-Jiun Jean (2014)
Male Contest Competition and Mating Success in the Parasitoid Wasp Nasonia vitripennis (Pteromalidae)
Advisors: Dr. Martha R. Weiss, Ph.D. and Dr. Edward M. Barrows, Ph.D. 

Tao, Shu (2014)
Identification of A-to-I RNA Editing Sites in the Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) Brain Using RNAseq Data
Advisor: Dr. Steven M. Singer

Keselman, Aleksander (2014)
Host and parasite factors contributing to variation in immunity and pathology in giardiasis.
Advisor: Dr. Steven M. Singer

Whittington, Niteace Chivon (2014)
Characterization of the Function of Sox21 During Neurogenesis
Advisor: Dr. Elena Casey Silva

Saritas-Yildirim, Banu (2013)
Computational and Functional Analysis of F-box Dependent Ubiquitin Ligases in Xenopus Nervous System Development
Advisor: Dr. Elena Casey Silva

Bennett, Anna Kathleen (2013)
Computational Analysis of Difficult-to-predict Genes and Detection of Lineage-specific Genes in Honey Bee (Apis mellifera)
Advisor: Dr. Christine G. Elsik

Krzyszczyk, Ewa Beata (2013)
Age Determination, Life History and Juvenile Behavior in Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops sp.) in Shark Bay, Australia
Advisor: Dr. Janet Mann

Verardo, Andrew (2013)
Conserved Genetic Mechanisms for Deuterostome Gut Regionalization
Advisor: Dr. Elena Casey Silva

Power, Lillian (2013)
Exploring Variation in Learning Ability in Pieris rapae, the Cabbage White Butterfly
Advisor: Dr. Martha R. Weiss

Patterson, Eric Michael (2012)
Ecological and Life History Factors Influence Habitat and Tool Use in Wild Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops sp.)
Advisor: Dr. Janet Mann

Keselman, Alex (2012)
The role of Fas in pathological giardiasis
Advisor: Dr. Steven M. Singer

Williams, Christopher Woten (2012)
Less Is More: The Implications Of Genomic Minimalism On The Regulation Of Gene Expression In The Parasite Giardia Lamblia
Advisor: Dr. Heidi G. Elmendorf

Howard, Aaron Frederick (2011)
Fitness, Pollen Dispersal, And Floral-Display Size Evolution In Animal-Pollinated Plants
Advisor: Dr. Edward M. Barrows

Mallroy, Heather (2011)
Learning, brain plasticity, and foraging behavior in hemimetabolous insects
Advisor: Dr. Martha R. Weiss

Stanton, Margaret Anne (2011)
Social Networks and Fitness Consequences of Early Sociality in Wild Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops sp.)
Advisor: Dr. Janet Mann

Solaymani-Mohammadi, Shahram (2011)
Advisor: Dr. Steve M. Singer

Urbanski, Jennifer M. (2011)
Molecular, physiological and life-history mechanisms of adaptation during range expansion of the mosquito Aedes albopictus
Advisor: Dr. Peter Armbruster

Uma, Divya Bellur (2010)
Behavioral ecology of wasp-spider interactions: the role of webs, chemicals, and deception
Advisor: Dr. Martha R. Weiss

Beauchamp, Elspeth Morrison (2010)
The GLI transcription factors as a therapeutic target in childhood cancers
Advisor: Aykut Üren, M

Luo, Haibei (2010)
Investigation of the molecular and mechanistic basis for attachment by Giardia lamblia
Advisor: Dr. Heidi G. Elmendorf

O’Donnell, Deborah Ladner (2009)
Ecology and population differentiation of the Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus
Advisor: Dr. Peter Armbruster

Archer, Tenley C. (2009)
Function of Oct91 and SoxB1 proteins during neural development in Xenopus laevis
Advisor: Dr. Elena Silva Casey

Thévenon, Audrey Davidson (2009)
Inflammatory markers and genetic predispositions to Plasmodium falciparum-associated poor pregnancy outcomes
Advisor: Dr. Diane Wallace Taylor

Nehra, Ruchi (2009)
The nuclear factor kappa b (NFkb) plays a critical role in the development of antiestrogen resistance
Advisor: Robert Clarke, Ph.D., D.Sc

Johnson, Kevin (2009)
PTP1B regulation of the transcription factor Stat5 in breast cancer
Advisor: Hallgeir Rui, M.D., Ph.D. 

Rogers, Crystal D. (2009)
The regulation and function of SoxB1 genes and proteins during neural induction and development in Xenopus laevis
Advisor: Dr. Elena Casey Silva

Beildeck, Marcy Ellen (2009)
The role of vitamin D and the vitamin D receptor in TCF-4 regulation and silencing of CYP24A1
Advisor: Dr. Stephen W. Byers

Wang, Youhong (2009)
Roles of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase regulatory subunit p55gamma on regulating survival signaling in breast cancer cells
Advisor: Dr. Michael D. Johnson

Markowski, Mark Christopher (2008)
Inflammatory cytokines induce ubiquitination and loss of the prostate suppressor protein NKX3.1
Advisor: Edward P. Gelmann, M.D. 

Anderson, Matthew J. (2008)
Investigation of the role of Unc45a in aortic arch development
Advisor: Dr. Beth L. Roman

Lekostaj, Jacqueline K. (2008)
Molecular analysis of membrane transporters implicated in drug resistance
Advisor: Dr. Paul D. Roepe


Archived Dissertation Defense:


Ricardo Gutierrez Ozuna on December 19th, 2017 at 10:00 – 11:00 AM in Regents hall, room 239
Title: Population genetic differentiation, mating system, and effective population size of the tuliptree (Liriodendron tulipifera L.) in the Mid-Atlantic United States.

Committee members:
Dr. Matthew Hamilton, advisor
Dr. Martha Weiss
Dr. Gina Wimp
Dr. John Braverman SJ from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, PA.

Elizabeth Lee on December 8th, 2017 at 1pm-2pm in Reiss bulding, room 112
Title: Epidemiological inference and surveillance with high-resolution medical claims data: the case of influenza

Committee members:
Dr. Shweta Bansal, advisor
Dr. Ali Arab
Dr. John Kraemer
Dr. Cecile Viboud

Pratha Sah on Monday, October 16, 2017 at 2pm-3pm in Healy Hall, Room 106
Title: Interactions Between Social Structure, Contact Networks, and Infectious Disease Spread in Wildlife Populations

Committee members:
Dr. Shweta Bansal, advisor
Dr. Janet Mann
Dr. Sivan Leviyang
Dr. Ken Nussear

Theodore Julius Picou on Monday, April 24, 2017 at 11am-12pm in Regents, Room 239 
Title: The Hydrodynamic Model of Giardia lamblia Attachment

Committee members:
Dr. Heidi Elmendorf
Dr. Jeff Urbach
Dr. Anne Rosenwald
Dr. Peter Olmstead


Megan Wallen on Friday, December 2nd, 2016 at 11:15 am-12:45 pm in Reiss, Room 112.
Title: Social Factors Affecting Femail Behaviour, Ecology, and Fitness in Wild Bottlenose Dolphins 

Committee members:
Dr. Janet Mann, advisor
Dr. Peter Armbruster
Dr. Shweta Bansal 
Dr. Carson Murray (GWU)

Shu Yang on Monday, October 17, 2016 at 1:00 pm in Regents Hall, Room 239.  
Title:  The roles of two small GTP-binding proteins Arl1 and Ypt6 in autophagy

Committee members:
Dr. Anne Rosenwald, advisor
Dr. Ronda Rolfes
Dr. Peter Williamson (NIH)
Dr. Julie Donaldson (NIH)

Xin Huang on Wednesday, August 24, 2016 at 1:00 pm in Regents Hall, Room 239.  
Title: The Molecular Basis of Photoperiodic Diapause in Aedes albopictus

Committee members:
Dr. Peter Armbruster, advisor
Dr. Martha Weiss (Committee Chair)
Dr. Shaun Brinsmade
Dr. Nathan Edwards 

Sweta Batni on Monday, April 4th, 2016 at 1:00 pm in Healy Hall, Room 106
Title:Integrating Epidemiological and Molecular Approaches to Study the Transmission and Treatment of Giardia lamblia

Committee members:
Dr. Heidi Elmendorf, advisor
Dr. Ronda Rolfes
Dr. Christopher Loffredo
Dr. Shweta Bansal

Elizabeth Steidle on Tuesday, February 26, 2016, at 12:00 pm in ICC, Room 107
Title: Siw14 Is A Novel 5-Diphosphoinositol Pentakisphosphate (5pp-Ip5) Phosphatase That Negatively Regulates The Stress Response.

Committee members:
Dr. Ronda Rolfes, advisor
Dr. Anne Rosenwald
Dr. Elliott Crooke
Dr. Adam Resnick

Jin Jing on Tuesday, January 12, 2016, at 1:00 pm in Regents Hall, Room 239
Title: Characterization of Sox11 in Neurogenesis.

Committee members:
Dr. Elena Silva, advisor
Dr. Sally Moody
Dr. Thomas Sargent
Dr. Thomas Coate


Jenny Maloney on Friday, April 10, 2015, at 9:00 am in Reiss building, Room 284
Title: Giardia lamblia, The Intestinal Microbiome, and Innate Immunity: A Study of the Host-Parasite Relationship during G. lamblia Infection.

Committee members:
Dr. Steven Singer, advisor
Dr. Heidi Elmendorf
Dr. Tom Wynn
Dr. Scott Dawson

Chao Chen  on Friday, May 8, 2015, at 2:00 pm in Regents Hall, Room 239
Title: The Role of SOX4 and SOX11 in Cortical Development

Committee members:
Dr. Maria J. Donoghue, advisor
Dr. Elena Silva
Dr. Kathy Maguire Zeiss
Dr. Baoji Xu