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OBE majors are expected to attend department seminars as part of their scientific training. Attending seminars and writing abstracts summarizing them are also required for graduation (see “Senior Capstone” in the Major's Handbook).  Seminars are scientific presentations given by faculty or guest speakers.  Once you have declared an OBE major, you will be notified by email of upcoming seminars on campus that are relevant for OBE majors, and if they count for your abstracts. It is in your best interest to declare your major before your junior year, in order to receive this information.

  • The list of seminars below is preliminary and will be updated as additional seminars are confirmed, so check back for updates.  Flyers for each seminar will also be posted in and around the OBE Office, 4th floor Olin Hall.  
  • If you enter after the start of the seminar, please try to enter as quietly as possible and avoid walking in front of the slide projector.
  • Questions are encouraged at the end of each seminar.
  • Seminars are free and open to the public.

If you have any questions regarding seminars, or if you have a suggestion for a possible speaker, contact Shane Heschel ( or Emilie Gray (

2014-15 Seminars

will be announced soon...

2013-14 Seminars

Block 1 - Thursday, September 19 at 3:30pm in Olin 1
Dr. Stephanie A. Schittone, adjunct faculty at Araphahoe Community College and visiting professor in the Colorado College Biology Department
Title: Neurovirology: viruses get in but the brain fights back

Block 2 - Thursday - October 17 at 3:30pm in Olin 1
Dr. Michael Huston, professor in the Biology Department at Texas State University - San Marcos
Title: Dirt is Destiny: Environmental Controls on Ecology, Evolution, Economics, and Human Cultural Diversity

Block 3 - Thursday, November 7 at 3:30pm in Olin 1
Boyce Drummond, visiting professor, Biology, Colorado College. Also affiliated with: (1) the Denver Museum of Nature and Science; (2) Research Associate in Zoology; Colorado State University; (3) Faculty Affiliate in Bioagricultural Sciences and Research Associate, Gillette Museum of Arthropod Diversity; Florida State Museum; and (4) Research Associate, McGuire Center for Lepidoptera Research. 
Title: Life on the Edge: Population Ecology of the Pawnee Montane Skipper Butterfly

Block 4 - Thursday, December 5 at 3:30pm in Olin 1
Claire Birkenheuer, PhD student, Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University
Title: Retroviral-induced tumors in wild animals and their importance

Block 5 - Thursday, February 6 at 3:30pm in Olin 1
Dr. Shannon Murphy, Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Denver
Title: Insect-plant interactions in a changing world: how insects form associations with novel host plants

Block 6 - Monday, March 3 at 3:30pm - Tutt Science Lecture Hall 122
Dr. A. Malcolm Campbell, Professor of Biology and Director of James G. Martin Genomics Program, Davidson College.
Title: Re-engineering natural selection with synthetic biology.

Block 7 - BioDay - Friday, April 11 at 12:30pm - Cornerstone Arts Center, Screening Room
Dr. James D. Murdoch (Jed), Assistant Professor of Wildlife Ecology, The Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, University of Vermont.
Title: TBA 

Additional seminars?  Check back here frequently throughout the year.

Click here for 2012-13 Seminars
Click here for 2011-12 Seminars

Senior Capstone Requirement: OBE Research Seminar and Abstracts

Majors must submit satisfactory abstracts from 5 Biology seminars.  Attend acceptable seminars (see below), summarize 5, and email each abstract to both Donna Sison ( and your advisor by the first day of the block after the seminar. Abstracts submitted after this day will generally not be accepted. Students from past years strongly recommend that you write abstracts within several days of the seminar or you will often not remember enough to write an acceptable summary! You must declare a Biology major and be a junior or senior before abstracts can count. Declared majors receive e-mail notices of Biology seminars, which are also on the departmental web page.

Students are advised to take notes during the seminars to aid in writing the abstracts

Acceptable Seminars

  • OBE or MB Department seminars, including the keynote address at Biology Day
  • Biology seminars at UCCS, CU, CSU, DU, CU medical school, and Penrose or Memorial Hospitals, but ask your academic advisor before attending.
  • Selected seminars from other science departments at CC.  In your abstract clearly link the seminar to biology.  Again, ask your academic advisor before you attend non-Biology seminars.
  • Not eligible: student presentations, including Biology Day talks.

Format for Abstracts

  • Limited to one printed page.
  • Include 1) your name, 2) full seminar title, 3) complete name and academic affiliation of the presenter, 4) seminar date, 5) your abstract, and 6) the Honor Code and your commitment that you have followed it indicated by typing your name. Each abstract must be clear, concise, well-written, and complete to be accepted by your advisor and the department.  Click here to download a sample abstract.
  • Follow the letter and spirit of the CC Honor Code; this obviously includes attending the seminar and writing the abstract in your own words.

Jeff Noblett
Department Chair

Donna Sison
OBE Services Coordinator

Colorado College Biology Department
Olin Hall #458
14 E. Cache La Poudre
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
Voice 719.389.6395
Fax 719.389.6940