Tri-Beta Students Present Research, Win Awards
Baldwin accompanied three students to the regional Beta Beta Beta
conference in Romeoville, IL where they presented results of their research
and won awards – again! Megan Pros
garnered first place honors for her talk entitled “The hypoxia phenomenon
on the Pacific coast: Can eggs of the copepod (Calanus marshallae) hatch in extremely low levels of dissolved
oxygen?” Senior Kathleen Quigley won
third place in the oral competition for her spatial analysis of African elephant
utilization of baobab trees in Tanzania.
Finally, Om Shrestha presented “The Development of Biofuel Toxin
Tolerant Bacteria” based on work he conducted at the University of
Wisconsin last summer.
Godde takes students to Costa Rica
a tradition of spring break or summer trips begun last year, Dr. Godde and
visiting professor Dr. Watanabe from Waseda University in Japan will
accompany an enthusiastic group of biology and other majors to beautiful
tropical Costa Rica. The group will
visit active volcanoes, beaches, and tropical forests. Caving will also be an opportunity as
well as viewing the tropical forest canopy from skywalks and ziplines. Future trips include the Grand Canyon and
desert Southwest (2010) and the Galapagos Islands (2011).
Cramer publishes spider photos on Tree of Life
Cramer, Monmouth’s own “spiderman,” has recently had some of his micro- and
macrophotographs of live spiders and spider parts posted on the Tree of
Life web page. The TOL project aims
to document and compile information on every living species of
organisms. Specialists post their
information after review by other experts in the field. Dr. Greta Binford at Lewis and Clark College
in Oregon enabled the project during Cramer’s last sabbatical. She provided the live and preserved
specimens of recluse spiders and their relatives that can now be viewed
Future plans for 2008 graduates
Hazekamp, President of Tri-Beta, is attending veterinary school at the Univ.
of Illinois. Zach Wilson is currently attending Palmer
Chiropractic college. Jessica Thomas and Salina Fisel will complete
their student teaching this fall and move on to high school biology
education. Riki Gordon has accepted an assistant scientist
position at Pharmaceutical Product Development in Madison,
Summer Research and Internship successes
biology majors have been accepted to summer research programs at large
universities to get a taste of what graduate school might hold in
store. Others have been placed in internships related to their
potential future careers. Om Shrestha will conduct biochemistry research at
the Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison and Noah Hendricks will travel to Colorado
State Univ. for similar research. Megan Pros and Sarah Nokes will
pursue their interests in marine biology at Oregon State Univ. and
the Univ. of South Carolina, respectively. Nick Dyson will be
conducting research at the Nanotechnology Institute at the Univ. of Iowa.
Kat Quigley, recently returned from a semester in Tanzania, will be working in conjunction
with Northwestern Univ. professors in the badlands of Wyoming. They
will sample ancient sediments for evidence of a 55 million year old global
warming event. Two students have secured summer internships; Whitney Maher
will be working at a veterinary clinic and Sahar Haghighat will be
working at Abbott labs.
"Into the Wild" -- Students hike the Grand Canyon,
Zion, and Death Valley
Cramer, Dr. Hannah Schell (Religious Studies) and 8 students returned from
their spring break trip to the Mojave and Great Basin deserts of Nevada and
Arizona. A 3-day backpacking excursion into the bowels of the Grand Canyon
was the greatest physical challenge for everyone, but well worth the
effort. Day hiking in Death Valley and walks in the snow at Zion
National Parks rounded out a stunning desert retreat. Among the critter
encounters were a late night visit from a ringtail cat and a family group
of bighorn sheep. See a slide
show of a field trip to the Grand Canyon.
Godde publishes paper from his sabbatical
Godde, along with his collaborator in Japan, have published a review paper
entitled "Cracking the enigmatic linker histone code" in March's
issue of the Journal of Biochemistry. The paper asserts the existence
of an epigenetic code made up of covalent chemical modifications to histone
H1, an important component of chromatin which binds to the
"linker" DNA which connects nucleosomes.
Brown recluses will scavenge . . . if they have to!
in the spider lab on brown recluse feeding behavior has been accepted for
publication in the Journal of Arachnology. Spurred by a 2003 report
in Nature, Dr. Cramer and students pursued the idea that brown recluses
prefer scavenging over feeding on live prey. They found that special
conditions must be in play for recluses to prefer dead over live
food. Namely, if spiders are hungry, live prey are large and
potentially dangerous, and dead prey are fresh, they're not above snacking
on dead bugs.
Student publishes on brown recluse spiders with Dr. Cramer
Maywright ('05) and Cramer have had their article on cold temperature
tolerance and distribution of brown recluses in Illinois accepted for
publication in the national Journal of Arachnology. Maywright also
conducted research on feeding habits of recluses and did a study of burrow
temperatures in an African wolf spider while off-campus for a semester in
Tanzania. Currently, Alex is in graduate school at the Univ. of
Missouri-St. Louis working on the social interactions of, you guessed it,
brown recluse spiders.
2007 graduates looking ahead
seniors look ahead to graduation less than three months from now, news of
acceptance to post-graduate work is already trickling in. Cassandra
Mefford has been accepted to the University of Illinois and Iowa
State veterinary medicine programs. She's going to stay
close to home at U of I following in the footsteps of Devon Townsend ('03)
who recently visited campus to talk in Science Seminar. Joni Nelson
has been accepted to medical school at Des Moines University.
Seniors 2006 -- off to new adventures
in the field of human health were the dominant destination of most biology
graduates last year. Stephanie Fitzsimons will be at Rush
University in nursing while Crystal Corzatt and Chris Hebeler
will move on to study physical therapy. Amber Ford and Janel Purlee
are pursuing interests in pharmacy and Corey Sullivan will also be
attending nursing school.