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Catawba Biology Students Present Research and Participate in Conferences

April 20, 2015

Category: Academics, Biology, Events, Students


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Over the past several weeks, Catawba College biology students have presented their research at state and regional conferences.

About this experience, senior Kyle Henderson (who has been accepted to a Master program at UNC–Charlotte after graduation) commented, "Presenting research at undergraduate research conference exposes you to one of the ways that scientist share information. People see your research and ask questions you never thought of. You also gain experience in presenting in front of many new people."

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 Frye

Paul Frye, senior and pre-vet student, elaborated, "Presenting at conferences gives you a chance to network with others doing similar research and with professors at other institutions, possibly giving yourself an advantage when applying to grad schools or professional programs."

On March 27 and 28, students and faculty attended the annual meeting of the North Carolina Academy of Science (NCAS), held at the Wake Forest Biotech Place in Winston-Salem. The students, faculty mentors, and titles of their talks included: 

  • Christopher Bolick* and Jay F. Bolin. Hybrid intermediacy in Ashe's sumac (Rhus ashei) a hybrid of the federally endangered Michaux's sumac (Rhusmichauxii)and common smooth sumac (Rhus glabra).

  • Elizabeth Brown*, Hugh Smith*, Joshua York*, Bruce Harrison and Carmony Hartwig. Morphological and Molecular Identification of Mosquito Diversity in the Fred Stanback Jr. Ecological Preserve at, Salisbury, North Carolina.

  • Paul Frye* and Constance Lowery. The Effects of Increased Levels of CO2 on Photosynthesis and Respiration of Favia fragum.

  • Kyle Henderson* and J. Bolin. Non-lethal predator avoidance by aquatic beetles to the red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii).

  • Finn Furstenwerth*, Taylor Spillman*, Duncan Cameron, Jay Bolin. Is the Southern Blue Thread (Burmannia capitata) partially mycoheterotrophic?

Asterisks indicate undergraduate research and bold indicate faculty mentors.

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 Brown

Paul Frye received 3rd Place in the John Bowley Derieux Research Award competition for his research and presentation on the effects of one aspect of climate change, ocean acidification, on metabolism of the golfball coral, Favia fragum.

Additionally, on April 1st-4th, biology students and faculty attended the annual meeting of the Association of Southeastern Biologist (ASB) in Chattanooga, Tenn. The Southeast Regional meeting of the Beta Beta Beta Biological Honors Society was held in conjunction with ASB. The students, faculty mentors, and titles of their talks are: 

  • Joshua York*, Elizabeth Brown*, Hugh Smith*, Bruce Harrison, Carmony Hartwig. Disease vector status of mosquito species from the Fred Stanback Jr. Ecological Preserve at Catawba College, Salisbury, North Carolina

  • Elizabeth Brown*, Hugh Smith*, Joshua York*, Bruce Harrison and Carmony Hartwig. Catawba College and Western Carolina University. Morphological and Molecular Identification of Mosquito Diversity in the Fred Stanback Jr. Ecological Preserve at, Salisbury, North Carolina.

    kylehenderson15.jpgHenderson

  • Christopher Bolick and Jay F. Bolin. An investigation of hybrid intermediacy in Ashe's sumac (Rhus ashei) a hybrid of the federally endangered Michaux's sumac (Rhusmichauxii)and common smooth sumac (Rhus glabra).

  • Kyle Henderson* and J. Bolin. Non-lethal predator avoidance by aquatic beetles to the red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii).

  • Finn Furstenwerth*, Taylor Spillman*, Duncan Cameron, Jay Bolin. Is the Southern Blue Thread (Burmannia capitata) partially mycoheterotrophic?

  • Taylor Spillman*, Finn Furstenwerth*, Duncan Cameron, Jay Bolin. An Isotopic and Molecular Study of Mycoheterotrophy in the Southern Blue Thread (Burmannia capitata)
  • Paul Frye* and Constance Lowery. The Effects of Increased Levels of CO2 on Photosynthesis and Respiration of Favia fragum.

Asterisks indicate undergraduate research and bold indicate faculty mentors.

Again, Paul Frye received an award for his research and presentation - Honorable Mention in the Johnson C. Johnson Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research.

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 Bolin

Additionally, other students and faculty were honored. Catawba College's Tau Eta chapter of Beta Beta Beta received the award for most members attending. Dr. Jay Bolin won the Outstanding Advisor Award. Finally, Taylor Spillman was elected to serve as Vice President of the Southeastern Region District 1.

Dr. Connie Lowery, Chair of the Department of Biology, commented, "At Catawba College, we consider scientific research to be a critical part of our science majors' education. Whether it is with a professor here at Catawba or a summer internship elsewhere, research helps students develop technical and analytical skills that are valuable in whatever they choose to do after Catawba. Additionally, it helps the student build confidence as a scientist and a scholar."

On the value of undergraduate research, Paul Frye commented, "I think that doing research at the undergraduate level is crucial for anyone who is considering medical school or graduate school. All of these programs want to see that you have done research, and for good reason. It shows that you have the ability to work independently, yet when needed you can collaborate with others and get the job done."

To encourage students to present their research at conferences, the Science departments at Catawba College have established the Science Student Travel Scholarship. Established by a gift from a generous, anonymous donor, the Science Student Travel Scholarship assists students presenting their work at a conference with the costs of registration, transportation, and lodging.

Dr. Carmony Hartwig, assistant professor of Biology and coordinator for the Science Student Travel Scholarship, commented, "This generous gift helps offset students' costs for attending conference, which may otherwise prevent many students from being able to attend. This year, each student presenting received $400, allowing them to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to share their work and to network with other professionals in the field."