Friday Science Seminars
This weekly seminar series will cover a wide variety of topics from academic, industrial, commercial, and non-profit sectors in the fields of Biology, Chemistry and Physics, Mathematics and Computer Science.
- The lectures are usually scheduled on Fridays from 3:30 – 5:00 pm in the SOU Science Auditorium, Science Building room 151
(please note that lectures are held during academic terms only - we do not schedule presentations during break periods).
- These events are free and open to the public.
- Keep in touch! If you would like to receive a weekly announcement of our upcoming lecture, please email your request.
Spring 2023 Seminars
- May 19 - SOU Chemistry Club presents: Spring into Chemistry
This is SOU Chemistry Club's big spring event. "We provide the explosions, you provide the reactions!"
- May 5 - Water and High Voltage: Concentrated electrolyte solutions and their use in batteries
- April 28 - Smartphones captured the moment but missed the point
On the 30th anniversary of his invention of the smartphone with picture and video messaging, Daniel A. Henderson, American inventor, entrepreneur, artist and lifelong learner will share some of the history leading up to those inventions, personal perspectives on the importance of innovative thought and discuss the impact of mobile devices on our communication with one another.
Winter 2023 Seminars
- March 10 - What Can We Learn From a Fish? Zebrafish as a model of neuronal function and disease
Dr. Michael Johnson, Associate Professor of Chemistry from the University of Kansas, will discuss his work developing electroanalytical methods for the study of Parkinson's disease. Specifically, the use of fast-scan cyclic voltammetry to measure the effects of Zn2+ on dopamine release and uptake in zebrafish brains. Dr. Johnson will also speak about the graduate school experience at research universities.
- February 10 - Fires and Floods: Exploring Environmental Questions with Analytical Chemistry Methods
Dr. Chris Babayco will discuss how analytical chemistry tools can be used, in conjunction with biological methods, to understand human impacts on the environment. During the talk, we will examine how cocaine was used to track the movement of wastewater within a Missouri State Conservation Area as well as explore the ongoing impacts of the Almeda fire and Interstate 5 on Bear Creek.
Fall 2022 Seminars
- November 4 - Fall into Chemistry Live Demo
Spring 2022 Seminars
- April 15 - A Small Molecule Approach to Treat HIV Positive Patients
Dr. Todd Elworthy of Roche Pharmaceuticals will present his research program targetting HIV reverse transcriptase (RT) for inhibition. Relying on multiple scientific areas, we will explore inhibiting RT of patients previosly treated under highly active antiretroviral therapy. X-ray crystallography guided two aspects: the identification of a unique binding mode of biphenyl ethers to the known allosteric site of RT and the design of small molecules with improved enzyme interaction.
A biphenyl ether template afforded a robust range of patentable structures. This talk will focus on the synthesis of these molecules. We will also address the inhibition of multiple RT mutants and their accompanying antiviral activity.
- April 1 - Digging for Gold - Discovering the Golden Ratio
Mathematics professor from Santa Rosa Junior College, John Martin MA will explore how, over the years, many people have ascribed mystical properties to the number known as the golden ratio. Recently, several authors have taken the opposite view. In this talk, we will explore some of the legend and lore surrounding this number as well as the mathematics behind it. Careful sifting will reveal some nuggets.
Fall 2021 Virtual Seminars
- October 15 - Cannabis and Cannabinoid Science - Past, Present, and Future
Join Cannabis researcher, author and Southern Oregon University alum, Jason Wilson MS on a quest to understand the long, strange journey of Cannabis and cannabinoid science from the 1800s to modern day with a brief look at the emerging new frontier of cannabinoid science that is extending far beyond its roots in the Cannabis plant thousands of years ago. This seminar is perfect for all curious minds that are interested in understanding more about the science of the Cannabis plant and the potential research opportunities available to new generations of Cannabis and cannabinoid scientists.
All individuals are welcome to join this free event on Friday, October 15th at 3:30pm via Zoom.
- Zoom Link: https://sou.zoom.us/j/89260520468
- October 1 - Summer of Science
Learn how SOU's STEM students spent their summer to help inform your Summer 2022 planning!
Speakers are SOU STEM Students: Jack Diab, Megahn Distifeno, Maya Helms, Eliana Kenner, Colton Noyes, Alejandro Robles, and Robert Running.
All individuals are welcome to join this free event on Friday, October 1st at 3:30pm, Zoom link: https://sou.zoom.us/j/88196532140
Previous Seminars 2020-2021
Spring 2021 Virtual Seminars
- May 21 - Healthcare Panel Discussion with SOU Alumni
Southern Oregon University’s STEM Division invites you to a virtual panel discussion with SOU Alumni currently working in the healthcare field. This event would be of great benefit to all high school and college students interested in pursuing a career in healthcare. Our SOU Chemistry and Biology alumni will share their educational backgrounds and professional pathways, provide advice, and field your questions. Our panelists include a current allopathic medical student, a certified physician assistant specializing in dermatology, a doctor of osteopathic medicine specializing in psychiatry, a doctor of allopathic medicine specializing in surgery, and a naturopathic physician specializing in pediatrics.
All individuals interested in learning more about healthcare professions are welcome to join this free event on Friday, May 21st at 3:30 pm, Zoom link: https://sou.zoom.us/j/83712859624.
- April 23 - Synthesis of Small Natural Products and New Mechanism of Cell Survival
Zoom link: https://sou.zoom.us/j/87066732055
- April 16 - Friday Science Virtual Seminar with STEM Faculty
Division meeting will be held to share out actions faculty and/or programs have taken in the 2020-2021 academic year to create a more supportive course environment.
Zoom link: https://sou.zoom.us/j/81510321081
Winter 2021 Virtual Seminars
- February 19 - Friday Science Virtual Seminar with Dr. Megan Sassin of the US Naval Research Laboratory -
In this 30 minute presentation, Dr. Sassin will cover the basics of electrochemical charge-storage in the context of the aqueous power sources (batteries and supercapacitors) and she will also share her career path to becoming a research chemist. A question and answer session will be held after the presentation. Hope to see you there on February 19th at 3:30 pm!
Megan B. Sassin received her B.S. in Chemistry from Southwestern University (Georgetown, TX) and her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Chemistry from the University of California, Irvine under the direction of Professor Reginald M. Penner. In 2008, Dr. Sassin joined the Advanced Electrochemical Materials section of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) in Washington, D.C. as a National Research Council postdoctoral fellow in the Advanced Electrochemical Materials section and was hired as a staff scientist in 2010 and subsequently awarded the Jerome and Isabella Karle Fellowship to investigate three-dimensional (3D) architectures for electrostatic capacitors. In 2012, Dr. Sassin received the Rising Star award from the Women Chemists Committee of the American Chemical Society for her work on aqueous asymmetric electrochemical capacitors. Dr. Sassin’s research interests are presently centered on the design, fabrication, and characterization of multifunctional 3D electrode architectures for energy-storage/conversion applications, including electrochemical capacitors, aqueous rechargeable batteries, all-solid-state 3D batteries, and fuel cells. Dr. Sassin is the National President of Iota Sigma Pi, an honor society for women in chemistry and is on the Board of Directors for the Society of Electroanalytical Chemistry (SEAC).
Zoom link: https://sou.zoom.us/j/88206129648
PICTURE A SCIENTIST
Free Virtual Screening: noon - throughout the day on Tuesday, January 19 – January 22
Live Panel Discussion: Friday, January 22, 3:30 – 5:00 PM
SOU’s STEM Division is hosting a complimentary virtual screening of the documentary, PICTURE A SCIENTIST. You will be able to view the film anytime Tuesday, January 19, through Thursday, January 21. Following the screening, SOU X-Factor, a group that supports the advancement of underrepresented faculty at SOU, will lead a virtual live panel discussion on Friday, January 22, 3:30-5:00 PM.
PICTURE A SCIENTIST, an official selection of the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival, is a feature-length documentary chronicling the groundswell of researchers who are writing a new chapter for women scientists. Biologist Nancy Hopkins, chemist Raychelle Burks, and geologist Jane Willenbring lead viewers on a journey deep into their own experiences in the sciences, ranging from brutal harassment to years of subtle slights. Along the way, from cramped laboratories to spectacular field stations, we encounter scientific luminaries - including social scientists, neuroscientists, and psychologists - who provide new perspectives on how to make science itself more diverse, equitable, and open to all. Here is a link to the Trailer https://www.pictureascientist.com/media and more information about the film.
Although there is no charge, registration is required. Click here https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSejxyRr6LbSeTp3CEp-xX5LOyjJP8omVjb_BYdXxYmoMjuUfg/viewform to go directly to a short Google form to register. Watch your email Tuesday morning, January 19, for information on how to log into the virtual screening room and join the virtual panel discussion.
After viewing the film, please join SOU X-Factor for a live panel discussion moderated by SOU Professor of Biology Emerita Carol Ferguson with SOU Faculty Alison Burke (Criminology and Criminal Justice), Arielle Halpern (Biology and Environmental Education), Chris Lucas (Communication), Prisicilla Oppenheimer (Computer Science),Jacqueline Strenio (Economics), and Maggie Vanderberg (Computer Science).
Previous Seminars 2018-2019
- January 18 - The New Age of Aging, Dr. Roger McDonald
- January 25 - Dioxin, Clocks and Oxygen: How Mammals Sense and Respond to Enviornental Change, Dr. Chris Bradfield
- February 8 - The Digital Revolution: Consequences for basic science and children's science education, Dr. Jim Bower
- February 22 - The Role of Metals in Alzheimer's Disease, Dr. Brie Paddock
- March 1 - Simulations of Key Enzymes in Tuberculosis, Dr. Greg Smith
- March 8 - RadNet Protocol Underreports Airborne Radiation in Kearney, Nebraska, Robert Price
- April 12 - Detecting Life: It's not as easy as it sounds, Richard Baird & Victoria Leo
- April 19 - Diet Interventions: What do we know and how do we know it?, Dr. Carolina Livi
- April 26 - No lecture scheduled due to SOU Campus event
- May 3 - Kieval Speaker, Dr. David Watkins, Washington State University
- May 10 - Bluetooth Medical Devices and Cybersecurity, Bill Saltzstein
- May 17 - No lecture scheduled due to SOU Campus event
- May 24 - The Tiny Green Machine: Investigating the genetics underlying culluar differnentiation and compund productino in cyanobacterium, Dr. Patrick Videau
- May 31 - It Will All Work Out, SOU Alumni Panel
- November 22 - Fixing CO2in anaerobic bacteria and a glimpse at the Chemistry of Color in Art, Lisa Warner, PhD
- November 15 - Summer internships and Reserach Experience for Undergraduates (REU), SOU Chemistry Student Panel
- November 8 - Part I: How to launch your career in research from SOU / Part II: A human stomach pathogen is attracted to bleach, Arden Perkins, PhD
- October 11 - What happens to my cat in the NMR instrument?, Dr. Tom Pratum
- October 18 - Music and the Brain, Dr. Lawrence Sherman (*note: this week's presentation will be held in the SOU Music Hall, room 231)
- October 25 - Direct determination of transition metal, lanthanide and actinide M-X bond dissociation energies: the first step to enhanced catalytic material design, Jason Sorenson, SOU alumnus and PhD candidate
- November 1 - Fall into Chemistry (live demonstration) , SOU Chemistry Club
Previous Seminars 2017-2018
- April 6 - What Does the Nose Know and How Does It Know It?, Dr. James Bower
- April 13 - Hyperoperation Absurdity, Brian Stonelake
- April 20 - Molecules of Nature: Biodiversity, the Sixth Mass Extinction and the Future of Medicine, Dr. Paul Torrence
- April 27 - The Impact of Cannabis on the Rogue Valley Food System, Dr. Vincent Smith
- May 4 - How the Study of Complex Wave Phenomena Inspires Beautiful Mathematics, Dr. Gigliola Staffilani
- May 11 - Inorganic Nanoscale Clusters: Solution Dynamics and Structure Probed via NMR, Dr. Anna Oliveri
- May 18 - It's Not Easy Being Green, But Maybe Purple Can Help: Synthetic Strategies and Application of the Bacterial Metabolite Violacein for Increasing Amphibian Fungal Resistance, Dr. Marc Koyack
- June 1 - Anti-Aging Interventions: What Do We Know and How Do We Know It?, Dr. Carolina Livi
- Oct 05 - Truth and Statistics: Beyond the Replication Crisis, Mr. Jim Hatton, SOU Mathematics Chair
- Oct 12 - A Frame Semantic Approach to Metaphoric Meaning, Dr. Maggie Gemmell
- Oct 19 - Assessment of virulence mechanisms used by pathogenic Vibrio species, Dr. Blake Ushijima
- Oct 26 - Fall into Chemistry Live Demo, SOU Chemistry Club
- Nov 02 - Theory of Internal Antenna for Mobile Devices, Rob Hill
- Nov 09 - Why do quaking aspen quake?, Dr. John Roden, SOU Biology Chair
- Nov 16 - Pier Pressure: The Social Brain of Fish, Dr. Sarah Stednitz