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Department of Biology

Department of Biology Mission Statement

The mission of the Department of Biology is to contribute to the comprehensive liberal arts curriculum by fostering in students an appreciation of the relevance of the biological sciences to their lives and the choices they will be faced with as members of a society experiencing rapid technological advances. To this end, students will develop knowledge and skills that will enable them to evaluate the impact of their decisions on local, regional and global issues concerning the economy, personal health and welfare, and the environment. Students completing the biology major will be prepared for entry-level careers in science or to pursue advanced training in graduate and professional schools. To fulfill the mission, the biology curriculum is designed to address seven goals:

  • To provide an understanding of the mechanics, application and limitations of the scientific process
  • Develop an appreciation and understanding of evolution and the diversity of life
  • Demonstrate the relationships between structure, function and energy in living systems
  • Culture an appreciation for the historical development of scientific knowledge
  • Instruct students in effective utilization of discipline-specific information resources
  • Develop technical and analytical skills appropriate to modern biological investigation
  • Enhance both written and oral communication skills appropriate to the discipline
Photo of Dr. Jeremy Dodsworth

Dr. Jeremy Dodsworth

Assistant Professor

e-mail: jdodsworth@csusb.edu


B.S. in Bacteriology, Biochemistry and Statistics, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Ph.D. in Microbiology, University of Washington, Seattle
Postdoc in Geomicrobiology and cultivation-independent genomics, University of Nevada, Las Vegas


Courses:

BIOL 220 - Principles of Microbiology


Research Interests:

Microbiology of geothermal springs.

Beautiful and fascinating in their own right, hot springs offer good opportunities to study several frontiers in microbiology. High temperature impacts both microbial community composition and ecosystem function. While microbes that inhabit geothermal environments are typically distinct from those present at lower temperatures, some hot springs, including many in the US Great Basin region, are dominated by microbes that represent entire class- and phylum-level lineages with no cultivated representatives (so-called "microbial dark matter"). Also, some key biogeochemical processes, such as photosynthesis (carbon fixation), transformations in the nitrogen cycle, and lignocellulose degradation, appear to break down or be altered as temperature increases, but the reasons for these changes are not clear. Because thermal environments generally tend to host relatively few taxa in comparison to non-thermal systems, hot springs in the US Great Basin represent good natural laboratories (relatively simple yet tractable systems) to study "microbial dark matter" groups and their possible roles in carbon, nitrogen, and other nutrient cycles. Potential research projects will focus on understanding ecology in geothermal springs and the physiology of novel thermophiles using a combination of field studies, single-cell and community genomics techniques, cultivation efforts, and heterologous expression approaches, involving collaborations with researchers elsewhere in the US and in China.

Genetics and molecular biology of Archaea.

The methanogenic archaeon Methanococcus maripaludis is a genetically tractable model system for understanding the biology of members of the Archaea, the least-well studied of the three domains of life. Potential projects include using genetics and biochemical techniques to understand the roles of the recA (recombinase) homologs radA and radB in recombination and DNA repair in M. maripaludis, as well as the development of novel genetic techniques for this and other methanogens.

Representative Publications:

Dodsworth, J. A., J. Gevorkian, F. Despujos, J. K. Cole, S. K. Murugapiran, H. Ming, W.-J. Li, G. Zhang, A. Dohnalkova, and B. P. Hedlund. 2014. Thermoflexus hugenholtzii gen. nov., sp. nov., a thermophilic, microaerophilic, filamentous bacterium representing a novel class in the Chloroflexi, Thermoflexia classis nov., and description of Thermoflexaceae fam. nov. and Thermoflexales ord. nov. IJSEM 64:2119-27.

Dodsworth, J. A., P. C. Blainey, S. K. Murugapiran, W. D. Swingley, C. A. Ross, S. G. Tringe, P. S. G. Chain, J. Raymond, S. R. Quake and B. P. Hedlund. 2013. Single-cell and metagenomic analyses indicate a fermentative, saccharolytic lifestyle for members of the OP9 lineage. Nature Commun. 4:1854.

Rinke, C., P. Schwientek, A. Sczyrba, N. N. Ivanova, I. J. Anderson, J-F. Cheng, A. Darling, S. Malfatti, B. K. Swan, E. A. Gies, J. A. Dodsworth, B. P. Hedlund, G. Tsiamis, S. M. Sievert, W-T. Liu, J. A. Eisen, S. Hallam, N. C. Kyrpides, R. Stepanauskas, E. M. Rubin, P. Hugenholtz, and T. Woyke. 2013. Insights into the phylogeny and coding potential of microbial dark matter. Nature 499:431-7.

Zhang, C. L., J. Wang, J. A. Dodsworth, A. J. Williams, C. Zhu, K. U. Hinrichs, F. Zheng, and B. P. Hedlund. 2013. In situ production of branched glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers in a great basin hot spring (USA). Front. Microbiol. 4:181.

Schoenfeld, T. W., S. K. Murugapiran, J. A. Dodsworth, S. Floyd, M. Lodes, D. A. Mead, and B. P. Hedlund. 2013. Lateral gene transfer of Family A DNA polymerases between thermophilic viruses, Aquificae, and Apicomplexa. Mol. Biol. Evol. 30:1653-64.

Dodsworth, J. A., A. I. McDonald and B. P. Hedlund. 2012. Calculation of total free energy yield as an alternative approach for predicting the importance of potential chemolithotrophic reactions in geothermal springs. FEMS Microbiol. Ecol. 81:446-54.

Dodsworth, J. A., B. A. Hungate and B. P. Hedlund. 2011. Ammonia oxidation, denitrification and dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium in two US Great Basin hot springs with abundant ammonia-oxidizing archaea. Environ. Microbiol. 13:2371-2386.

Dodsworth, J. A., L. Li, S. Wei, B. P. Hedlund, J. A. Leigh and P. de Figueiredo. 2010. Interdomain conjugal transfer of DNA from bacteria to archaea. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 76:5644-5647.

Dodsworth, J. A. and J. A. Leigh. 2006. Regulation of nitrogenase by 2-oxoglutarate-reversible, direct binding of a PII-like nitrogen sensor protein to dinitrogenase. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 103:9779-9784.

Simon, H. M., J. A. Dodsworth and R. M. Goodman. 2000. Crenarchaeota colonize terrestrial plant roots. Environ. Microbiol. 2:495-505.

Department of Biology | CSUSB CNS https://www.googletagmanager.com/ns.html?id=GTM-NNF3VL8

Department of Biology

Department of Biology Mission Statement

The mission of the Department of Biology is to contribute to the comprehensive liberal arts curriculum by fostering in students an appreciation of the relevance of the biological sciences to their lives and the choices they will be faced with as members of a society experiencing rapid technological advances. To this end, students will develop knowledge and skills that will enable them to evaluate the impact of their decisions on local, regional and global issues concerning the economy, personal health and welfare, and the environment. Students completing the biology major will be prepared for entry-level careers in science or to pursue advanced training in graduate and professional schools. To fulfill the mission, the biology curriculum is designed to address seven goals:

  • To provide an understanding of the mechanics, application and limitations of the scientific process
  • Develop an appreciation and understanding of evolution and the diversity of life
  • Demonstrate the relationships between structure, function and energy in living systems
  • Culture an appreciation for the historical development of scientific knowledge
  • Instruct students in effective utilization of discipline-specific information resources
  • Develop technical and analytical skills appropriate to modern biological investigation
  • Enhance both written and oral communication skills appropriate to the discipline