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WKU students receive awards at 2012 Kentucky Academy of Science meeting

Nearly 80 research projects by WKU students and faculty members were presented recently at 98th annual Kentucky Academy of Science meeting.

Twenty WKU undergraduate and graduate students received awards for their oral and poster presentations during the Oct. 19-20 meeting in Richmond. (More: The 2012 program is available online.)

Dr. Nancy Rice, associate professor of biology, was a member of the 2012 symposium panel discussion on “Engaging Students in Global Health Research.” Dr. Rice’s topic was “Integrating Undergraduates in Substantive Global Health Research Projects: Lessons from Kenya,” which provided information on WKU’s Partners in Caring: Medicine in Kenya program.

Steve Hume, director of Process Science at Kentucky BioProcessing in Owensboro, presented a lecture on “Cytokines: Expressions, Purification, and Evaluation of Its Secretion Mechanism.” KBP specializes in the production of therapeutic protein candidates including monoclonal antibodies, anti-viral proteins, and vaccines using tobacco as the production host. Hume is pursuing a master’s degree in chemistry from WKU.

Since 1913, the Kentucky Academy of Science meeting has provided a venue for Kentucky’s scientists and student scientists to publicly present their research. Approximately 800 individuals attended the 2012 meeting co-hosted by Eastern Kentucky University and Berea College.

WKU undergraduate and student award winners in the student research competitions included the following:

Undergraduate Oral Presentations

Cellular And Molecular Biology

  • Third place: Charles Coomer, a senior biology major from Louisville, Classification of Bacteriophages using Polymerase Chain Reaction: An Alternative to Complete Genome Sequencing

Geography

  • First place: Ryan Difani, a senior meteorology major from Pocahontas, Ark., A Case Study of a Rare Long-Track EF-3 Tornado in Eastern Kentucky
  • Second place: Emily Yates, a junior meteorology major from Brentwood, Tenn., March 9 Hawaii Kona Low System Case Study
  • Third place: Ellen Green, a Gatton Academy student from Henderson, Karst Stormwater Regulation under the Safe Drinking Water and Clean Water Acts

Geology

  • First place: Michael Powers, a senior geology major from Bowling Green, Melt Inclusions in Olivine in the Martian Meteorite NWA 5789: Methods, Bulk Composition and Evolution
  • Second place: Charles Hancock, a senior geology major from Frankfort, Identification of Metamorphic Grade and Characterization of Gold Deposits from the Rochford Formation of Southwestern South Dakota

Undergraduate Poster Presentations

Ecology and Environmental Science

  • First place: Melissa Smith, a Gatton Academy student from Guthrie, Does ecology promote sexual dimorphism in the Pecos pupfish (Cyprinodon pecosensis)?

Microbiology

  • First place: Donna Williams, a sophomore biochemistry major from Bowling Green, A Tripartite Association Between an Insect, an Endosymbiont and a Parasite

Graduate Oral Presentations

Agricultural Sciences

  • Third place: Dan Sandor of Bowling Green, Cultivar, Mowing Height, and Herbicide Effects on Bermudagrass, Cynodon dactylon, Suppression in Tall Fescue, Schedonorus phoenix

Cellular and Molecular Biology

  • Third place: Julia Freeman of Eddyville, Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms linked to Essential Hypertension in Kasigau, Kenya

Chemistry

  • Second place: Jason Young of Owensboro, The Synthesis and Characterization of Some Thallium Cyclopentadienide Salts

Computer And Information Sciences

  • First place: Elizabeth Tyrie of Glasgow, A Streamlined Utility for Universal DTI Analysis building on the Medical Image Processing and Visualization (MIPAV) application

Ecology and Environmental Science

  • Third place: Kevin Tewell of Bowling Green, Landscape genetics of the marbled salamander, Ambystoma opacum (Gravenhorst), in a nationally protected park

Geography

  • First place: Gilman Ouellette of Hawley, Pa., Reconstructing Climate Change in the Caribbean to Address Water Resource Issues on Karst Islands
  • Second place: Jeremy Young of Bowling Green, Teleconnective Influences on the Strength of Post-tropical Cyclones in the United States

Geology

  • Second place: Rachel Bowles of Bowling Green, A comprehensive analysis of the relationship between ostracode shell chemistry, pore morphology, and host water chemistry in Bahamian lake systems: to build confidence in the use of ostracodes as paleoenvironmental indicators

Health Sciences

  • First place: Chandra Pranav of Bowling Green, Therapeutic Role of Natural Coconut Oil in Experimental Ulcerative Colitis

Microbiology

  • First place: Shawn Smiley of Bowling Green, Genome Assembly and Syntenic Analysis of Clostridium scatologenes ATCC 25775

Psychology

  • Second place: Tara Holaday of Bowling Green, Habituation to the fear of pain and death: A significant link between physical abuse and self-injurious behavior

Zoology

  • Third place: Emily McIntire of Indianapolis, Evaluating Personality and Leadership in African Elephants (Loxodonta africana)

Contact: Bruce Kessler, (270) 745-4449.

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