ESU Students and Faculty Present Biology Research at the 88th Annual Meeting of the Pennsylvania Academy of Science

Posted by: jrivera on April 9, 2012, No Comments

Biology students from East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania, together with their ESU biological sciences and geography faculty mentors, presented research during the 88th Annual Meeting of the Pennsylvania Academy of Science held March 30 through April 1 at Cedar Crest College in Allentown, Pa.

The Pennsylvania Academy of Science was founded in 1924 to foster an environment for the advancement of science, education, technology and the diverse interests of its members in the commonwealth. The annual meeting provides a venue for faculty and students from throughout the commonwealth to meet and present their research. At the 88th Annual Meeting, ESU students presented research in the areas of forensics, bat ecology and conservation, cell and developmental biology, invasive plants, ornithology, infectious disease, parasitology, and mammalogy.

Dr. Howard Whidden, associate professor of biology at ESU, was the chair and organizer of the conference’s symposium on conservation and ecology of bats. He also presented his research on the extent and characteristics of bat mortality at Pennsylvania wind farms. Dr. Whidden’s student, Larry Laubach, a senior from Pen Argyl, Pa., presented his research on acoustic transects for monitoring bat activity.

Biology Professor Dr. Terry Master’s students, Nicholas Ernst, a sophomore from Allentown, Pa., presented his research on the Louisiana water thrust as a bioindicator of hemlock habitat productivity, and Jennifer Vranicar Kutch, a graduate student from Easton, Pa., presented her research on the habitat preference of the hooded warbler. Dr. Tracy Whitford, assistant professor of biological sciences, presented her research on the scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis of the developing structural features of a marine polychaete. Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences Dr. Maria Kitchens-Kintz’s graduate student, Victoria Schaller from Delaware Water Gap,Pa., presented her research on Phragmites australis, an invasive plant, and the soil region subject to increased microbiological activity. Associate Professor of Geography Dr.Shixiong Hu’s students, Scott Campion, a graduate student from East Stroudsburg, Pa., presented his research on the generation of high resolution digital terrain models from NASA’s atmospheric terrain mapper light detection and ranging system, and Shuhan Zhang, a senior from Stroudsburg, Pa., presented his research on a Geographic Information System (GIS)-based study on the distribution of water temperature in a local stream. Students of Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences Dr. James Hunt, Angelina Stella, a senior from East Stroudsburg, Pa., and Raushan Shahalemi, a graduate student from Philadelphia, presented their research on the comparison of health and diversity of coral reefs in areas of the Caribbean Sea and Indian Ocean and the analysis of the effectiveness of a shark “blocker” device to prevent gut-hooking in recreational shark fishing.

Distinguished Professor of Biological Sciences Dr. Jane E. Huffman served as the chair for the forensics session and reported on wildlife forensics. Her graduate student, Thomas Rounsville Jr., from East Stroudsburg, Pa., presented his evaluation of the genetic diversity of the bobcats of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Wisconsin. Daniel Bove, a graduate student from East Stroudsburg,Pa., presented his research on the occurrence of tick-borne pathogens in black bears in New Jerseyin addition to his research on the medullary variation in tail hairs in the family Sciuridae. Jamie Brobst, a graduate student from Whitehall, Pa., presented her research on the enumeration and antibiotic resistance patterns of E. coli isolated from mute swans. Melissa Shaw, a graduate student from East Stroudsburg, Pa., presented her research on the molecular characterization of the protozoan Babesia in black bears in New Jersey.

Department of Biological Science faculty members Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences Dr.Jennifer Whiteand Associate Professor of Biological Sciences Dr. Matthew Wallace serve as treasurer and treasurer-elect of the Pennsylvania Academy of Science. Dr. Jane E. Huffman is the editor of the Journal of the Pennsylvania Academy of Science.

For additional information about the ESU Department of Biological Sciences, contact the department at (570) 422-3725 or visit www.esu.edu/biology/index.html. To learn more about the Pennsylvania Academy of Science, visit their website at www.pennsci.org.