Biology and Health Sciences

Research

Biology and Health Sciences Research


Featured Research

Check out our new Biology Department Wildscape and Teaching Garden. The Graduate Biology Student Association (GBSA) is expanding our garden by planting a seedling of one of the rarest trees in Texas, Runyon's Esenbeckia or Limoncillo, along with other unique South Texas native plants. The garden was begun in the summer of 1999, with some commonly available native plants and some good non-native xeriscape plants. More Info

Neurosciences

The Department faculty is actively involved in research and routinely mentor both undergraduate and M.S. student research projects.  Two-faculty conduct research in neuroscience or neuroscience-related areas. Opportunities for training at other institutions such as UT-Austin are also possible as part of research collaborations between faculty at the two universities.

Neuroscience research at TAMUK involves two distinct areas of research:  neurogenetics/behavior and nerve regeneration. Drs. Enrique Massa and Rafael Perez-Ballestero are the Biological and Health Science faculty that are currently involved in neuroscience research projects at TAMUK.

Biology Wildscape and Teaching Gardens

These gardens will serve the multiple purposes of improving the esthetic beauty of the Texas A&M-Kingsville campus, as teaching resource for the Biology Department and providing habitat and food for wildlife, such as birds and butterflies.

On Nov. 13, 1999 the Graduate Biology Student Association (GBSA) will plant a seedling of Esenbeckia runyonii, which is one of the rarest trees in Texas. Believed to be extinct in the wild in Texas, 15 trees were rediscovered in 1984 in Cameron County.  Read more about "Limoncillo" here.  Along with this rare tree, we will be adding many other unusual plants from South Texas to our garden.

The gardens highlight native South Texas plants that can be easily grown in a home or commercial landscape. We also have other Texas and Northern Mexico natives that will do well in this area.  Once established these plants will do well without extra watering and generally are more disease and insect resistant than exotic plants. Once we add water to our garden, another necessity for the wildlife that has already begun visiting, the Biology Department will register the garden with Texas Parks and Wildlife as a Texas Wildscape.

Herbarium History

TheTexas A&M-Kingsville Herbarium (TAIC) contains approximately 7,000 specimens of vascular plants. It was established shortly after the opening of South Texas Teachers College in 1925. The college name was changed to Texas College of Arts and Industry in 1929, and our official herbarium abbreviation TAIC derives from that name. In 1967 the institution became Texas A&I University and our most recent name change occurred in 1993. Throughout the years and the name changes the herbarium has remained as a resource for the study of the plant life of South Texas. Our holdings are primarily from the immediate area, predominately Kleberg , Kennedy and adjacent counties  In addition to our vascular plants, we have through the work of Dr. Cynthia Galloway, large holdings of non-vascular plants such as Mosses and Lichens.

Faculty Members

Dr. Galloway received her B.S. in Botany and M.S. in Biology from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. She then received her Ph.D in Botany and Plant Sciences from the University of California at Riverside. Her main research focus at this time is on bryophysiology, or the physiology of bryophytes. Away from work, Dr. Galloway enjoys genealogy and reading "any mystery I can get my hands on".

Research Interests

Dr. Galloway's interests in bryophytes are both taxonomic and physiological. Projects underway range from inventorying the bryophytes of Texas, county by county, to determine patterns of distribution and abundance, and determining the physiological and biochemical viability of desiccated and rehydrated bryophytes.  Attempts have been made to isolate genes associated with desiccation tolerance in bryophytes and a cDNA library constructed from desiccated Polytrichum juniperinum.

Contact

Professor of Biology
Department of Biology
Campus Box 158
Texas A&M University
Kingsville, TX 78363
(316) 593-3790
c-galloway@tamuk.edu


Dr. Xi received his M.S. in Botany from Southwest University, China. He then received his Ph.D in Biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His main research focus at this time is on plant biology and ecology, biodiversity conservation and ecosystem management, climate change biology and ecoinformatics.

Research Interests

The Texas A&M - Kingsville Vascular Plants Herbarium is currently being digitized under the direction of Drs. Weimin Xi and Cynthia M. Galloway. The collection focuses on vascular plant specimen of south Texas. At present the collection is unaccessioned but it will become searchable via internet when the project is completed. It is anticipated that approximately the 7000+ specimens will be the core of the vascular plant collection. The Vascular Plant Herbarium at TAMUK represents the large working herbarium in south Texas and one of the few in the state.

Contact

Associate Professor of Biology
Department of Biology
Campus Box 158
Texas A&M University
Kingsville, TX 78363
(316) 593-2758
weimin.xi@tamuk.edu