Department of Biology

Dissertation Archive

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):

Completed Dissertation Defense 2021

TBA

Completed Dissertation Defense 2020

Kathryn Sanchez on August 25, 2020
Title: Studies on matrix-metalloproteinase 13 as a novel microglial inflammatory agent in familial synucleinopathy 
Advisor: Dr. Kathy McGuire-Zeiss
Committee members: Dr. Jeffrey Huang, Dr. Thomas Coate, and Dr. Katherine Conant

Completed Dissertation Defense 2019

Marc Fink on September 11, 2019 
Title: Investigating the Role of Myeloid Cells in Giardia Immunity
Advisor: Dr. Steven Singer
Committee members: Dr. Jeffrey Huang, Dr. Sarah Gaffen, and Dr. Michael Grigg

Kevin Mlynek on July 17, 2019 
Title: The Role of the Nutrient Sensor CodY in Regulating Nuclease Production and Extracellular DNA Metabolism in Staphylococcus Aureus 
Advisor: Dr. Shaun Brinsmade
Committee members: Dr. Mark Rose, Dr. Ronda Rolfes, and Dr. Kevin Melver

Zachary Aaron Batz on July 19, 2019 
Title: Molecular Mechanisms and Rapid Adaptation of Photoperiodic Diapause in the Asian Tiger Mosquito, Aedes albopictus 
Advisor: Dr. Peter Armbruster
Committee members: Dr. Leslie Ries, Dr. Anne Rosenwald, and Dr. Peter Cook

Caitlin Burgess Karniski on July 29th, 2019 
Title: Effects of Senescence on Reproduction and Behavior in Bottlenose Dolphins 
Advisor: Dr. Janet Mann
Committee members: Dr. Peter Armbruster, Dr. Sheweta Bansal, and Dr. Melissa Emery

Completed Dissertation Defense 2018

Tanaporn Wangsanut on October 10th, 2018 
Title: Grf10 transcription factor coordinates nutrient assimilation, metabolism, and morphogenesis in Candida albicans
Advisor: Dr. Ronda Rolfes
Committee members: Dr. Anne Rosenwald, Dr. William Fonzi, and Dr. Aaron Mitchell

Madison Miketa on August 10th, 2018 
Title: Social and behavioral responses to environmental stressors in bottlenose dolphins in Shark Bay, Australia
Advisor: Dr. Janet Man
Committee members: Dr. Gina Wimp, Dr. Shweta Bansal, and Dr. Lisa Singh

Completed Dissertation Defense 2017

Ricardo Gutierrez Ozuna on December 19th, 2017 
Title: Population genetic differentiation, mating system, and effective population size of the tuliptree (Liriodendron tulipifera L.) in the Mid-Atlantic United States.
Advisor: Dr. Matthew Hamilton
Committee members: Dr. Martha Weiss, Dr. Gina Wimp, and Dr. John Braverman SJ from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, PA.

Elizabeth Lee on December 8th, 2017 
Title: Epidemiological inference and surveillance with high-resolution medical claims data: the case of influenza
Advisor: Dr. Shweta Bansal
Committee members: Dr. Ali Arab, Dr. John Kraemer, and Dr. Cecile Viboud

Pratha Sah on Monday, October 16, 2017 
Title: Interactions Between Social Structure, Contact Networks, and Infectious Disease Spread in Wildlife Populations
Advisor: Dr. Shweta Bansal
Committee members: Dr. Janet Mann, Dr. Sivan Leviyang, and Dr. Ken Nussear

Theodore Julius Picou on Monday, April 24, 2017 
Title: The Hydrodynamic Model of Giardia lamblia Attachment
Advisor: Dr. Heidi Elmendorf
Committee members: Dr. Heidi Elmendorf, Dr. Jeffrey Urbach, Dr. Anne Rosenwald, and Dr. Peter Olmstead

Completed Dissertation Defense 2016

Megan Wallen on Friday, December 2nd, 2016 
Title: Social Factors Affecting Femail Behaviour, Ecology, and Fitness in Wild Bottlenose Dolphins 
Advisor: Dr. Janet Mann
Committee members: Dr. Peter Armbruster, Dr. Shweta Bansal, and Dr. Carson Murray (GWU)

Shu Yang on Monday, October 17, 2016
Title:  The roles of two small GTP-binding proteins Arl1 and Ypt6 in autophagy
Advisor: Dr. Anne Rosenwald
Committee members: Dr. Ronda Rolfes, Dr. Peter Williamson (NIH), and Dr. Julie Donaldson (NIH)

Xin Huang on Wednesday, August 24, 2016 
Title: The Molecular Basis of Photoperiodic Diapause in Aedes albopictus
Advisor: Dr. Peter Armbruster
Committee members: Dr. Martha Weiss (Committee Chair, Dr. Shaun Brinsmade, and Dr. Nathan Edwards 

Sweta Batni on Monday, April 4th, 2016 
Title: Integrating Epidemiological and Molecular Approaches to Study the Transmission and Treatment of Giardia lamblia
Advisor: Dr. Heidi Elmendorf
Committee members: Dr. Ronda Rolfes, Dr. Christopher Loffredo, Dr. Shweta Bansal

Elizabeth Steidle on Tuesday, February 26, 2016, 
Title: Siw14 Is A Novel 5-Diphosphoinositol Pentakisphosphate (5pp-Ip5) Phosphatase That Negatively Regulates The Stress Response.
Advisor: Dr. Ronda Rolfes
Committee members: Dr. Anne Rosenwald, Dr. Elliott Crooke, Dr. Adam Resnick

Jin Jing on Tuesday, January 12, 2016
Title: Characterization of Sox11 in Neurogenesis.
Advisor: Dr. Elena Silva
Committee members: Dr. Sally Moody, Dr. Thomas Sargent, and Dr. Thomas Coate

Completed Dissertation Defense 2015

Jenny Maloney (2015)
Title: Giardia lamblia, The Intestinal Microbiome, and Innate Immunity: A Study of the Host-Parasite Relationship during G. lamblia Infection.
Advisor: Dr. Steven Singer
Committee members: Dr. Heidi Elmendorf, Dr. Tom Wynn, and Dr. Scott Dawson

Chen, Chao (2015)
The role of Sox4 and Sox11 in cortical development
Advisor: Dr. Maria J. Donoghue
Committee Members: Dr. Elena Silva, Dr. Kathleen Maguire-Zeiss, and Dr. Baoji Xu

Maloney, Jenny G. (2015)
Title: Giardia lamblia, the Intestinal Microbiome, and Innate Immunity: A Study of the Host-Parasite Relationship during G. lamblia Infection.
Advisor: Dr. Steven M. Singer
Committee Members: Dr. Heidi Elmendorf, Dr. Tom Wynn, Dr. Scott Dawson

Completed Dissertation Defense 2014

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)
Title: Identification of A-to-I RNA Editing Sites in the Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) Brain Using RNAseq Data
Advisor: Dr. Steven M. Singer
Committee Members: Dr. Jay Evans, Dr. Maria Donoghue, Dr. Matthew Hamilton

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

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

Completed Dissertation Defense 2013

Saritas-Yildirim, Banu (2013)
Title: Computational and Functional Analysis of F-box Dependent Ubiquitin Ligases in Xenopus Nervous System Development
Advisor: Dr. Elena Casey Silva
Committee Members: Dr. Eric Glasgow, Dr. Mervyn Monteiro, Dr. Anne Rosenwald

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

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

Verardo, Andrew (2013)
Title: Conserved Genetic Mechanisms for Deuterostome Gut Regionalization
Advisor: Dr. Elena Casey Silva
Committee Members: Dr. Christopher Lowe, Dr. Michael Parsons, Dr. Anne Rossenwald

Power, Lillian (2013)
Title: Exploring Variation in Learning Ability in Pieris rapae, the Cabbage White Butterfly
Advisor: Dr. Martha R. Weiss
Committee Members: Dr. Peter Armbruster, Dr. John Lill, Dr. Gina Wimp

Completed Dissertation Defense 2012

Patterson, Eric Michael (2012)
Title: Ecological and Life History Factors Influence Habitat and Tool Use in Wild Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops sp.)
Advisor: Dr. Janet Mann
Committee Members: Dr. Shweta Bansal, Dr. Lisa Singh, Dr. Gina Wimp

Keselman, Alex (2012)
Title: The role of Fas in pathological giardiasis
Advisor: Dr. Steven M. Singer
Committee Members: Dr. Anne Rosenwald, Dr. Alexander Theos

Williams, Christopher Woten (2012)
Title: Less Is More: The Implications Of Genomic Minimalism On The Regulation Of Gene Expression In The Parasite Giardia Lamblia
Advisor: Dr. Heidi G. Elmendorf
Committee Members: Dr. Ronda Rolfes, Dr. Steven Singer, Dr. Michael Grigg

Completed Dissertation Defense 2011

Howard, Aaron Frederick (2011)
Title: Fitness, Pollen Dispersal, And Floral-Display Size Evolution In Animal-Pollinated Plants
Advisor: Dr. Edward M. Barrows
Committee Members: Dr. Matthew Hamilton, Dr. Christopher Ivey, Dr. Martha Weiss, Dr. Gina Wimp

Mallroy, Heather (2011)
Title: Learning, brain plasticity, and foraging behavior in hemimetabolous insects
Advisor: Dr. Martha R. Weiss
Committee Members: Dr. Maria Donoghue, Dr. John Lill, Dr. Eileen Hebets

Stanton, Margaret Anne (2011)
Title: Social Networks and Fitness Consequences of Early Sociality in Wild Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops sp.)
Advisor: Dr. Janet Mann
Committee Members: Dr. Peter Armbruster, Dr. Kay Holekamp, Dr. Lisa Singh

Solaymani-Mohammadi, Shahram (2011)
Title: STRAIN VARIATION IN PATHOGENESIS AND IMMUNITY IN GIARDIA INFECTION
Advisor: Dr. Steve M. Singer
Committee Members: Dr. Alessio Fasano, Dr. William Petri, Dr. Rosenwald

Urbanski, Jennifer M. (2011)
Title: Molecular, physiological and life-history mechanisms of adaptation during range expansion of the mosquito Aedes albopictus
Advisor: Dr. Peter Armbruster
Committee Members: Dr. Matthew Hamilton, Dr. Christine Elsik, Dr. David Berrigan

Completed Dissertation Defense 2010

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

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

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

Completed Dissertation Defense 2009

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

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

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

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

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

Completed Dissertation Defense 2008

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

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

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