Dr. David Dussourd, Professor of Biology, publishes a children’s book about nature.

 The book encourages exploration of the outdoors and curiosity about life. It teaches self-acceptance, acceptance of others who are different, numbers, colors, and antonyms – all while emphasizing the beauty and magic of the extraordinary creatures found all around us. The book is illustrated with pictures of children from four continents interacting with nature and with over 140 photographs of animals and plants that ask “Can anyone love me” despite their unusual features or habits. For parents, the book includes a 22 page appendix on identifying and avoiding common insects and arachnids that are potentially harmful for children, together with tips on how to keep small animals collected in the wild.

Dr. Dussourd wrote the book out of concern that children nowadays are often brought up indoors with little connection to nature. Other motivations include the perception of increasing intolerance in our culture for others who are different, plus skyrocketing mental health issues in young people, some associated with excessive use of social media and gaming causing loss of self-confidence, depression, and anxiety. Nature has the potential to benefit children (and adults) in many ways. Studies have documented that time spent outdoors in green spaces improves physical, mental, and social health and development. Of course, nature also presents risks, such as the prospect of tick-borne diseases. But with care and understanding, we can all venture into the great outdoors and enjoy the allure of creatures large and small. The natural world is just as incredible as the imaginary worlds of dragons, fairies, and mermaids in children’s books, but it actually exists and thus learning about nature and spending time outdoors can help children throughout their lives.

Faculty Member Publishes New Textbook

Dr. Azida Walker, Physics and Astronomy, has published a new textbook, Physics for Medical Professionals, through Kendall Hunt Publishing Company.

“Physics for Medical Professionals is an algebra-based Physics text that can be used to help prepare students for careers in medical diagnostics. Each chapter teaches fundamental physics principles with the use of examples that are more relatable considering the student’s interest to be part of the healthcare industry. The unit chapters start with an introduction that captures the student’s attention and sets the stage for the importance of these concepts to the larger picture. The worked problems in the book show a step-by-step guide to problem solving. Students with absolutely no background in Physics will be able to follow along this process. The goal is the help the students think independently and critically as they apply their knowledge to other word problems. These skills are critical skills to develop to developing a logical approach to problem solving.”

Physics for Medical Professionals


Biology Department Publications

Dr. David Dussourd and Dr. Arijit Mukherjee have recently published articles.

Congratulation to Dr. Mukherjee, his lab students  – Ha Ram Kim, Grant Wiggins, Qinqing Yang, and Raj Singh – and former UCA graduate student Jackie Thomas, for their recent publication “RNA-seq reveals differentially expressed genes in rice (Oryza sativa) roots during interactions with plant-growth promoting bacteria, Azospirillum brasilense”!   Please click on this link to read the article.

Congratulations to Dr. David Dussourd and UCA alum Madalyn Van Valkenburg on their publication, along with other authors: “A notodontid novelty: Theroa zethus caterpillars use behavior and anti-predator weaponry to disarm host plants”.   The UCA News website features a more detailed description of the findings, as well as a link to the article at this link.