News & Awards

NMSU students get creative to secure research funding

New Mexico State University biology graduate student Grace Smith Vidaurre.


New Mexico State University biology doctoral student Brian Ramos-Guivas.

New Mexico State University students are ambitious. They’re also creative. And when they’re passionate about their research, they’ll take the path less traveled to secure funding. Many research projects are funded through organizations, such as the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, United States Department of Agriculture and the Fulbright Scholar Program. But sometimes students need to leverage their research funding.

New Mexico State University biology graduate student Grace Smith Vidaurre.

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Dr. Peter Houde receives Outstanding Achievement Award in Research


Dr. Peter Houde Professor NMSU Biology Department



Dr. Peter Houde received the College of Arts & Sciences Outstanding Achievement Award in Research at an awards ceremony on April 14, 2016, held in the ASNMSU Center for the Arts, for his pioneering contributions in the study of avian evolutionary biology, spanning paleontology, phylogenetics, and genomics. He is part of an international team of collaborators who are working to sequence the genomes of all species of birds, and learn everything possible from their analysis and integration with other forms of data. Recent progress was reported in three papers in the journal Science, among others.

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Congratulations to the 2016 winners of our Biology Graduate


Pictured L-R: Christine Woods, Phillip Yost, Grace Smith Vidaurre, Dong Pei, and Surya Bannerjee

Awards for Excellence!

For Teaching the winners are Phillip Yost and Grace Smith Vidaurre.  For Research the winners are Christine Woods and Dong Pei. Surya Bannerjee is the winner of the Travis and Wendy Traylor Memorial Fellowship in recognition for his meritorious teaching.






NMSU professor wins national award, inspires Hispanic, Native American students in science

New Mexico State University Regents Professor Elba Serrano will be honored this month for “showing unparalleled dedication to excellence in science, mentoring and teaching.” She is among four educators across the country selected to receive the 2015 Distinguished Award from the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics & Native Americans in Science (SACNAS).

“This recognition is the most significant of my career,” said Serrano, “because it originates from my students and only they can say whether I was their mentor or not.”

Serrano, a biology professor, will receive her award at the upcoming 2015 SACNAS National Diversity in STEM Conference Oct. 29-31 at the Gaylord national Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Md.

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NMSU program has undergraduate research down to a scienceStudents presenting their research posters to visitors

The room whirred with energy and excitement for discovery as 16 New Mexico State University undergraduates eagerly gathered in O’Donnell Hall to present their summer research in a public poster session earlier this month.

The students are NMSU’s Howard Hughes Medical Institute research and summer research scholars who have worked full-time since May on a research project alongside faculty mentors from various NMSU labs in the departments of biology, plant and environmental sciences, and animal and range sciences.

“Rather than just hearing people talk about science in lectures, this gives students the opportunity to do science as young scientists,” said Ralph Preszler, program director for NMSU-HHMI and department head for biology in the College of Arts and Sciences.

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NMSU honors faculty at 2015 spring convocation


New Mexico State University honored its faculty at the 2015 spring convocation ceremony Jan. 13 at NMSU’s Atkinson Recital Hall. Every fall and spring, convocation is held to honor excellence on campus.

Congratulations to Michele K. Nishiguchi for being awarded a Regents Professorship and Timothy F. Wright for receiving the Donald C. Roush Excellence in Teaching Award!

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NMSU researchers collaborate on massive bird genome study


Peter Houde, biology professor in the College of Arts and Sciences and Nitish Narula, a NMSU master’s student are part of an international collaboration among more than 200 researchers in sequencing the DNA of all major groups of birds. It is the first study of its kind, resulting in the release of dozens of publications in special issues of several premier scientific journals.

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Dr. Immo Hansen member of international team that elucidated the genome of the Tsetse fly!

tetse 1April 2014

Assistant professor Immo Hansen and the members of the International Glossina Genome Initiative, were published in the journal Science in late April!  Their paper “summarizes findings that may lead to improved techniques in protecting humans against African trypanosomiasis, also known as sleeping sickness, a widespread tropical disease that is always fatal if not treated. The disease is spread by the bite of an infected tsetse fly.  The paper, titled “Genome Sequence of the Tsetse Fly (Glossina morsitans): Vector of African Trypanosomiasis,” details the research conducted during a 10-year period through collaboration among more than 140 scientists from around the world.”

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Dr. Elba Serrano to serve on Advisory Committee to the Director of the National Institutes of Health!

serrano article picMarch 2014

Regents Professor Elba Serrano has been selected as one of 20 individuals selected by the U.S. Secretary of Health to sit upon an Advisory Committee to the Director of the NIH. “The committee, which provides advice to the NIH director, the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Assistant Secretary for Health, consists of authorities who are knowledgeable in the fields of research pertinent to the NIH mission, as well as individuals who represent the academic and private sector research community” Read more here!




Dr. Donovan Bailey receives Mid-Career Award from the NSF!

baileyAssociate Professor C. Donovan Bailey recently received an $861,269 grant from the National Science Foundation to study tropical trees.    The project, entitled “Transcriptome Sequencing of the New World Miracle Trees (Leucaena, Leguminosae): Applications for Plant Breeding and Evolutionary Biology,” will focus on genomic characteristics of tropical, nitrogen fixing trees and shrubs. As part of this research program, Dr. Bailey and his fellow researchers will develop extensive DNA-based molecular markers that will guide future breeding programs to increase the utility of these important multipurpose crops as contributors to sustainable agriculture in economically disadvantaged regions of the tropics.