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Biology Students and Faculty Receive Numerous Awards at Research Appreciation Week 2013

Biology presentations were made at all of the research venues this week, and our students brought home a number of awards for their work.

Research Appreciation Week kicked off with the Women in Science, Mathematics, and Technology program on the afternoon of 01 April. Multiple Biology students and faculty presented posters, including:

  • Rebecca Beadling (Advisor: C. Lake): A neutron diffraction investigation of the solid-solution Na₂(Zn₁Co)SiO₄
  • Emily Bellush (Advisor: J. Larkin): Foraging ecology of the golden-winged warbler (Vermivora chrysoptera): Does plant species composition matter?
  • Samantha Eichelberger (Advisor: C. Diep): Analysis of the zebrafish lhx1a gene, a transcription factor important for kidney development
  • Catie Krygeris (Advisor: J. Townsend): Cryptic diversity in stream treefrogs (Hylidae: Ptychohyla): How many species in Northern Honduras?
  • Wendy Leuenberger (Advisor: J. Larkin): A comparison of Lepidoptera communities inhabiting restored and degraded pitch pine-scrub oak barrens in Pennsylvania
  • Melissa Medina (Advisor: J. Townsend): Systematics of the green palm-pitvipers (Squamata: Viperidae: Bothriechis) from Northern Honduras
  • Stephanie Moon (Advisor: J. Larkin): Lepidoptera communities occupying invasive vs. native shrubs
  • Lee Ann New (Advisor: M. Knoch): Ethanol preference in sexually deprived house flies (Musca domestica)
  • Julie Scott (Advisor: E. Yerger): Using DNA barcoding to identify cryptic species of caterpillars
  • Anne Simmons: Careers in toxicology

Biology students earned a number of awards at this year’s Women in Science, Mathematics, and Technology program. Emily Bellush (first place) and Melissa Medina (second place) were honored with graduate student poster awards, and Rebecca Beadling (second place) and Samantha Eichelberger (third place) were honored with undergraduate poster awards.

Samantha Eichelberger
Samantha Eichelberger presenting at the Women in Science, Mathematics, and Technology program

The events of Research Week continued on Tuesday at the eight annual Undergraduate Scholars Forum. Presenters from Biology included:

  • Amy Binion and Lee New (Advisor: W. Brenneman): Biannual reproduction in Pennsylvania stream fishes
  • Samantha Eichelberger (Advisor: C. Diep): Analysis of the zebrafish lhx1a gene, a transcription factor important for kidney development
  • John Kamau (Advisors: J. Larkin and R. Hinrichsen): Paving the way into an ancient eco-friendly superfiber: Characterization of recombinant spider silk expression in Escherichia coli bacteria
  • Wendy Leuenberger (Advisor: J. Larkin): A comparison of Lepidoptera communities inhabiting restored and degraded pitch pine-scrub oak barrens in Pennsylvania
  • Lee New (Advisor: M. Knoch): Ethanol preference in sexually deprived house flies (Musca domestica)
  • Julie Scott (Advisor: E. Yerger): Using DNA barcoding to identify cryptic species of caterpillars

Once again, Biology students were among the honorees. Samantha Eichelberger won the first place poster award for the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, as well as the first place Sigma Xi award. Wendy Leuenberger was honored with the Outstanding Presentation Award for our college.

Julie Scott
Julie Scott presenting at the Undergraduate Scholars Forum

Once the undergraduate students had demonstrated their talents, it was time for the graduate students to take the stage in the third annual Graduate Scholars Forum, on Wednesday. Once again, Biology had a strong showing, with presentations including:

  • Ethan Cullen (Advisors: T. Nuttle and J. Duchamp): Impacts of historic deer browse on present insectivorous forest songbird communities in the Allegheny National Forest
  • Justin Gross (Advisor: J. Duchamp): Monitoring the demographic responses of Allegheny woodrat (Neotoma magister) populations to habitat management in Pennsylvania
  • Stephanie Moon (Advisor: J. Larkin): Lepidoptera communities occupying invasive vs. native shrubs
  • Amber Nolder (Advisor: J. Duchamp): Bat response to oak regeneration silviculture
  • Tobechukwu Ukah (Advisor: C. Diep): generation of a transgenic zebrafish line to characterize kidney injury and regeneration

Biology students Stephanie Moon (first place), Amber Nolder (second place), and Ethan Cullen (third place) took home all of the awards given for students from the College of Natural Sciences at Mathematics.

Congratulations to all of our presenters and award winners!

Tobechukwu Ukah
Tobechukwu Ukah presenting at the Graduate Scholars Forum

Department of Biology

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