Catawba Students and Faculty Present Research at Biologists Annual Meeting

A group of 12 Beta Beta Beta (βββ) Biology honor society students from Catawba College, alongside five Biology faculty members, presented their research in late March 2018, at the 79th Annual Meeting of the Association of Southeastern Biologists (ASB) in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Accompanied by ...

A group of 12  Beta Beta Beta (βββ) Biology honor society students from Catawba College, alongside five Biology faculty members, presented their research in late March 2018, at the 79th Annual Meeting of the Association of Southeastern Biologists (ASB) in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.   

Accompanied by Drs. Jay Bolin, Steven Coggin, Carmony Hartwig, Joseph Poston, and Michael Baranski, the 12 students presented original research in both the regular regional ASB section and the βββ District 1 section. Due to number of Catawba College Tau Eta members in attendance the meeting, the Catawba group took home the first place award for the largest number of District I delegates at ASB.   

Lee Brackman, a junior Biology major and current vice president of the Catawba College Tau Eta chapter of βββ, updated the Southeastern Region on the annual activities of our chapter, including participation in the Catawba Research and Creativity Showcase (CRCS) and the recent bottomland tree-planting sponsored by the LandTrust for Central North Carolina in Davie County, N.C.   

Lee Brackman additionally received the second place District 1 βββ Brooks Awards for Oral Presentations for his talk on new techniques to isolate wild yeast (Research Mentors Drs. Coggin and Hartwig).   

In total, Catawba College βββ members made five oral presentations and five poster presentations. These include (presenters in bold):   

Elizabeth Bickenbach, Madison Moore, Mickey Wilson and Slavko Komarnytsky. Mobile Discovery: In Search of New Antibiotics in Classroom and Field Settings (Paper presentation).  

Lee Brackman, Steve Coggin and Carmony Hartwig. Taming of the Brew: Developing Techniques to Streamline Isolation and Genetic Identification of Wild Yeast Strains from Rowan County, North Carolina (Paper presentation).  2nd place Brooks Award, βββ District I. 

Elizabeth George and Carmony Hartwig. Molecular Barcoding of the Anopheles crucians Complex in the Fred Stanback Jr. Ecological Preserve at Catawba College, Salisbury, North Carolina (Paper presentation).  

Madison Moore, Elizabeth Bickenbach, Mickey Wilson and Slavko Komarnytsky. Biogeographic Distribution of Spotted Wintergreen (Chimaphila maculata) and Its Application to Human Skin Health (Paper presentation).  

Dina Reyes and Joseph Poston. Environmental Mercury in Domestic Cats (Paper presentation).  

Morgan Elder, Kara Cline, and Jay Bolin. An Assessment of a Glacial Relict Population of Pinus strobus (Eastern white pine) in the Uwharrie Mountains of North Carolina (Poster presentation).  

Belony Joseph and Jay Bolin. A Survey of Plant Genome Sizes in the Fred Stanback Jr. Ecological Preserve Located in the Piedmont of North Carolina (Poster presentation).  

Jay Minter, Lee Brackman and Carmony Hartwig. Wild Brew: Barcoding and Culturing Natural Yeast Strains from Rowan County, North Carolina (Poster presentation).  

Karina Noyola-Alonso, Viridiana Mandujano, Carmony Hartwig, Slavko Komarnytsky and Jay Bolin. New Genome Size Estimates for Quillworts (Isoetes) and their Application in Species Delimitation (Poster presentation). 

Wyatt Zander and Carmony Hartwig. Exploring the Effects of Artificial Sweeteners on Gut-Associated Bacterial Growth and Metabolism (Poster presentation). This was additionally presented at the North Carolina Academy of Sciences (March 23, 2018). 

When asked about his first experience at a scientific conference, Lee Brackman said “The Association of Southeastern Biologists conference provided a platform to present research that I have invested multiple years in. It was difficult to cram it all into a 15-minute presentation, but it was a fantastic experience and I am thankful to the Biology Department and my research advisors, Dr. Hartwig and Dr. Coggin, for their guidance. Science is awesome!” 

For Karina Noyola-Alonso, this was her third year presenting at the ASB meeting, and she will be graduating this May 2018. She reflected on her experiences by saying, “Presenting at a large scientific conference like ASB is great practice for your future professional career. Dr. Bolin is awesome and I really appreciate all of the opportunities his research has provided for me over the past three years.”   


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