Gannon University Biology Students Excel in Research

Posted: May 27, 2014

During the 2013-14 Academic Year, 44 Gannon University biology undergraduate students engaged in research under the supervision of 12 biology faculty mentors.

During the 2013-14 Academic Year, 44 Gannon University biology undergraduate students engaged in research under the supervision of 12 biology faculty mentors. 

Thirty-four students gave 45 presentations on their research at local, regional, and national conferences, 15 of which were honored with awards. The conferences included the Celebrate Gannon academic celebration, the district convention of Beta Beta Beta (Tri-Beta) national biological honor society, and the Undergraduate Student Research and Creative Accomplishment Conference at Penn State Behrend co-sponsored with the Northwest Pennsylvania Chapter of Sigma Xi, an international, multidisciplinary research society.

At the district convention of Beta Beta Beta (Tri-Beta), held at Grove City College April 5, 12 Gannon University students attended and made presentations (three oral and six posters). Six presentations received awards. Tyler Mack received first place in for his oral presentation “Passage of hard-bodied prey live through the gut of round gobies (Neogobius melanostomus),” which received the Frank G. Brooks award for excellence in student research. The poster presentation, “Relative expression of CMADS2, CMADS3 and CMADS6 in the fern Ceratopteris richardii,” earned a first place for Shivali Singh.  This presentation was also honored as the first-place poster presentation at Gannon University’s Celebrate Gannon academic showcase on April 10.

One week later at the Undergraduate Student Research and Creative Accomplishment Conference Brian Fuller and Tyler Watson were awarded first place for their poster presentation Detecting invasive species in the feces of predatory fish, an award shared with Renee Petrucci and Seth Morrisroe for  "Elucidating the effects of manganese on human dopaminergic cell viability," and Brian Sohl for "Does manganese auto-oxidize dopamine in the absence of SH-SY5Y cells?" "Comparison of age and growth of the round goby (Neogobius melanostomus) from Lake Erie and a small invaded pond” was the title of the first-place oral presentation by Rebeccah Ford and Ashley Wimer, which shared first place with a presentation by Hannah Smerker entitled “Development of a sequential method to adapt SH-SY5Y cells to low-glucose media for manganese exposure studies.” 

Gannon University will host the National Biennial Convention of Tri-Beta June 4-8. Oral presentations and poster presentations will be June 5. Field trips for conference participants will take place June 6-7, and the culminating awards banquet will be held on June 7.

More information on the TriBeta convention is available here.