Assistant Professor of Geological Sciences John Huntley

Assistant Professor of Geological Sciences John Huntley says, "Our work gives new insight into the question of whether or how ecological processes, the daily struggle for life, influence macroevolutionary processes in deep time, which is a significant question still being examined.”

COLUMBIA, Mo. --- The drill holes left in fossil shells by hunters such as snails and slugs show marine predators have grown steadily bigger and more powerful over time but stuck to picking off small prey, rather than using their added heft to pursue larger quarry, new research shows.

Zars fly

The new project will reveal regions of the genome that underlie the natural variation in learning and memory performance in a population of fruit flies.

Learning and memory are traits we inherit from our parents and grandparents. Just like our hair color, our ability to learn and remember is not transmitted unchanged but varies to some degree. But whereas the variations we see in the shade or even highlight of our hair color boils down to small changes in a handful of genes, the variation in our ability to learn and remember is likely the product of tweaks to many more genes, though exactly how many is not known.

Professor Candace Galen

A research team led by Candace Galen has developed an inexpensive acoustic listening system using data from small microphones in the field to monitor bees in flight. Photo credit: Melody Kroll, Division of Biological Sciences

COLUMBIA, Mo. – According to recent studies, declines in wild and managed bee populations threaten the pollination of flowers in more than 85 percent of flowering plants and 75 percent of agricultural crops worldwide. Widespread and effective monitoring of bee populations could lead to better management; however, tracking bees is tricky and costly.

Professor Emeritus Bob Benfer

Bob Benfer, a professor emeritus of anthropology at MU, says El Volcan is the most mysterious archaeological site he has investigated.

In the 1960s, archaeologists discovered in a valley near coastal Peru an artificial mound or pyramid with a crater in the top. At the time, the researchers from the Department of Anthropology at the University of Massachusetts dismissed the find as a huge mound with a looters’ pit in the middle. Bob Benfer, a professor emeritus of anthropology at MU, still isn’t sure what the structure is, but he’s certain it’s more than just a vandalized pile of rubble.

Associate Professor Rabia Gregory

Rabia Gregory, an associate professor of religious studies, says a new academic book series she is co-editing will challenge the perception of Christianity as a unified and European religion before the 16th century.

Rabia Gregory, an associate professor of religious studies whose work focuses on late medieval and early modern European religion, says a new academic book series she is co-editing will challenge the perception of Christianity as a unified and European religion before the 16th century.


Two College of Arts and Science faculty members and a graduate student in theater have received awards for instruction in writing-intensive courses. The Campus Writing Program presented the awards to Assistant Teaching Professor Gabriel Fried in the Department of English, Curators Professor of Music Michael Budds, and Department of Theatre graduate student Sarah Senff during a ceremony at the Celebration of Teaching Awards breakfast at the Reynolds Alumni Center.

therapy dog

Emotional Support Animal

Cassie Boness, a graduate student in clinical psychology, conducted a survey to examine what techniques and instruments mental health professionals are using to aid in their determinations of whether certification of an ESA is appropriate. Credit: MU College of Veterinary Medicine

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Service animals help owners navigate daily tasks and often have years of training to help them serve disability-related functions. However, little consensus exists when it comes to the certification of “emotional support animals” (ESAs). These animals usually have little or no specific training, which poses a challenge for mental health professionals who are asked to certify them.

A&S graduation 2017

Did you miss the College of Arts and Science May 2017 Commencement? Or were you at Mizzou Arena on May 13 and just want to enjoy the experience once more? Either way—we've got you covered thanks to our friends at Mizzou Video Production at the Academic Support Center; just grab some popcorn, click the link below, and enjoy!

Postdoctoral fellow Robert Lynch in Iceland

Robert Lynch's research found that religious beliefs are positively associated with a willingness to sacrifice for one’s beliefs and a greater tolerance of outsiders, while the social facets of religion, such as attendance, promote greater hostility toward outsiders.

Robert Lynch, a postdoctoral fellow in anthropology, says the level of devotion one feels toward religious beliefs can predict how that person likely will interact with members of his own group or with members outside of the group.

graduation banner

COLUMBIA, Mo. – During the weekend of May 12-14, 5,484 students will receive degrees during spring commencement exercises at the University of Missouri. University officials also will honor Mizzou alumna, conservationist and “mother” of the Katy Trail, Pat Jones, with an honorary degree.

ROTC award winners

Cadets and midshipmen from the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines donned their dress uniforms and mustered on the Francis Quadrangle the morning of May 5 to restart a military tradition at MU that dates to the 1860s. The Reserve Officer Training Corps Joint Services Pass in Review and Parade featured more than 250 graduates, six of whom received special honors.

COLUMBIA, Mo. – The fight against skin cancer just got a new weapon. For years, melanoma researchers have studied samples that were considered uniform in size and color, making them easier to examine by more conventional means. But melanomas don’t always come in the same shape and hue; often, melanomas are irregular and dark, making them difficult to investigate.

Joan Coates

Joan Coates and her research team are seeking clinical trial participants to evaluate a treatment for canine DM.

COLUMBIA, Mo. – In 2009, Joan Coates, a veterinary neurologist, along with other researchers at the University of Missouri and the Broad Institute at MIT/Harvard, found a genetic link between degenerative myelopathy (DM) in dogs and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease in people. Now, researchers have found that a biomarker test that helps diagnose ALS also can assist with determining a diagnosis for degenerative myelopathy.

Interim Dean Pat Okker

Pat Okker, interim dean of the College of Arts and Science, is co-chair of the newly created Strategic Enrollment Management Committee.

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Today, University of Missouri Provost Garnett Stokes announced the creation of the Strategic Enrollment Management Committee that will advise MU officials on a comprehensive approach to enrollment planning. The committee is expected to shape Mizzou’s enrollment future at a critical time in institutional history and take a holistic approach to enrollment planning.

MU campus

The 2017 Excellence in Education awards ceremony and reception will honor nominees and recipients of Excellence in Education Award, and the MU Faculty Achievement Award in Diversity.

James Birchler, Curators Distinguished Professor of Biological Sciences

James Birchler, Curators Distinguished Professor of Biological Sciences in the MU College of Arts and Science, has been awarded the Southeastern Conference’s 2017 Professor of the Year. Credit: Rob Hill

James Birchler, Curators Distinguished Professor of Biological Sciences in the MU College of Arts and Science, has been awarded the Southeastern Conference’s Professor of the Year Award for 2017. This award is given annually to one SEC faculty member whose record of teaching, research and scholarship distinguishes them in higher education.

mu artss group

MU-ARTSS interns pose during their poster presentations at MU’s summer undergraduate research conference. From left to right: Allie Choate (senior, University of Missouri), Chelsea Basley (Albany State University), Samuel Valle (junior, California State University-Long Beach), and Brittney Green (senior, Tuskegee University). Not pictured: Shanaliz Natta (junior, The University of the Virgin Islands-St. Thomas). (Photo source: Allie Choate and Brittney Green)

The Association for Psychological Science’s main general publication, the APS Observer, has written a nice article about an internship program in the Department of Psychological Sciences–the MU Alcohol Research Training Summer School. Check it out:

Associate Prof. Laron Williams

An annual political science conference featuring the latest research methods is being hosted by the University of Missouri this year. The St. Louis Area Methods Meeting (SLAMM) typically is hosted by Washington University in St.


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