Spring Semester Ross Biology Lecture Series Begins Jan. 25

Spring Semester Ross Biology Lecture Series Begins Jan. 25

Dr. Ross at two different ages.

Donald J. Ross Sr., PhD

Dedicated to the memory of Professor Emeritus Donald J. Ross Sr., PhD, this series continues Dr. Ross's work of educating and engaging students in scientific inquiry.

In 2011, the College of Arts and Sciences established the Dr. Donald J. Ross Sr. Biology Lecture Series to honor the memory of beloved Professor Emeritus Donald Ross Sr., PhD (1928-2008), one of the founding members of the Fairfield University Biology Department.

This semester, the longstanding lecture series kicks off with a talk by Julia Molnar, PhD, assistant professor of the Anatomy Department at the New York Institute of Technology’s College of Osteopathic Medicine, on Wednesday, Jan. 25 at noon. All lectures are free and will take place in the DiMenna-Nyselius Library Multimedia Room.

“Students are enthusiastic about hearing the talks by speakers from different fields of biology, said Dr. Ross's daughter, Christine Ross Earls, MS, professor of the practice in the Biology Department and assistant health professions program advisor. 

“Faculty-led student research is a hallmark of our Biology Department and is something that the department is committed to,” Ross Earls explained. “My dad always had students working in his lab (Patrick W. Kelley '76, P'12, MD, DrPH was one of those students!) and he would be thrilled to know that this series in his name is helping to excite students about biology and biochemistry research.” 

Teaching was Dr. Ross’s first priority, whether it was in the classroom or laboratory. Hundreds of his students over his 58-year teaching career went on to earn MDs and advanced degrees in biology or related fields. Today, more than a decade later, the series continues with virtual and hybrid events dedicated to preserving Dr. Ross’s legacy of educating and engaging students in scientific inquiry.

The lectures in the series this semester will all be hosted in person and will feature biology faculty members and alumni who have gone on to achieve notable success in their fields. From explorations in the field of ecology to osteopathic medicine, the multi-part series will cover a diverse range of medical, environmental, and scientific topics.

“Speakers are more than happy to provide contact information to interested students and have followed up with exciting opportunities,” Ross Earls continued. “Biology Department alumni are always happy to return and inspire a new generation of researchers and our students really appreciate their perspectives.”  

The following lectures are free, open to the public, and will take place at noon in the Multimedia Room of the DiMenna-Nyselius Library:

  • Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023: “Origin and Evolution of Tetrapod Locomotion”
     Julia Molnar, PhD, assistant professor, Anatomy Department, New York Institute of Technology, College of Osteopathic Medicine 
  • Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023: Characterization of Platelet Activating Factor Acetylhydrolase Type-II Stress Response”
    Elizabeth Monillas ’05, PhD, (Naval Air Systems Command) NAVAIR, chemist 
  • Wednesday, March 29, 2023: “Derelict Fishing Gear Impacts in East Coast Estuaries”
    David Hudson, PhD, research scientist, Remote Ecologist, Inc.  
  • April 26, 2023: “Using C. elegans to Investigate Nuclear Pore Complex Assembly After Mitosis”
    Michael Mauro ’15, PhD, post-doctoral associate, Columbia University Department of Pathology and Cell Biology 

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