Sunrise Session

Inside Research at Utah State University

At Utah State University's Sunrise Sessions, faculty and students share their research with alumni, community and business leaders from the Salt Lake area. Held quarterly in downtown Salt Lake City, these early-morning presentations detail how USU research is addressing pressing issues such as the obesity epidemic and hearing loss in children. All are invited to attend these events at no charge thanks to generous sponsorship by Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield.

Next Sunrise Session

Town and Country Reptiles: How Animals Respond to a Changing Environment.

Dr. Susannah French

Assistant Professor of Biology and the Ecology Center.


Friday, April 18, 2014, 7:30 - 9:00 a.m.
Grand America Hotel
555 S Main St, Salt Lake City

A little lizard can say a lot about the environmental health of the world. Dr. Susannah French conducts studies of reptiles in southern Utah, as well as the Galapagos Islands, to better understand how animals interact with their environments. Disturbances in an animal's environment, including changes caused by humans, affects how it collects and uses limited energy resources to respond to stress, reproduce, and fight disease. In the case of the side-blotched lizard and other reptiles studied by Dr. French, those effects are not well understood. By using a variety of methods to track, monitor, and understand these animals across their lifespans, she is working to answer these  questions, which will help paint a broader picture of how species adapt to environmental changes.

Susannah French is an assistant professor of biology at Utah State University. Dr. French received her bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois in 2002 and a Ph.D. from Arizona State University in 2006. She was a NIH postdoctoral fellow at Indiana University before she joined the Biology faculty at Utah State University in 2009. Dr. French's group is widely published in a variety of journals. Her research group currently includes five Ph.D. students and an army of undergraduates who are invaluable to her work. Dr. French has received funding from the National Science Foundation and National Geographic, including the prestigious NSF Faculty Early Career Development 'CAREER' Award.

Future Presentations:

August 1, 2014 - Scott Jensen (USU Advanced Weather Systems)

October 3, 2014 - Victor Lee (Emma Eccles Jones College of Education & Human Services)

Past Presentations:

Shawn Fisher
Through the Eyes of the Audience: A Theatre Artist's Measure of Success.

Cathy L. Hartman and Edwin R. Stafford
Sustainable Entrepreneurship: Connecting the Dots

Robert R. Gillies
Utah’s Climate Symphony

Douglas Jackson-Smith
The People Puzzle: Using Social Sciences to Address Water Sustainability Challenges in Utah

Christine Hailey
The Move to Engineering Education in High School: Investing in our Nation's Future

Vonda Jump
Overcoming Trauma: Promoting Optimal Outcomes for Babies in Orphanages

Layne Coppock
Empowering Women to Transform Drought-Ravaged Communities

Randy Lewis
Spider Silk: An Ancient Biomaterial for the Future