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STATUS CHANGE FOR thursDAY, January 20: lmu-Corbin operating on a 2-hr delay

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LMU Biology Students Present, Win at State Meeting

LMU Biology Students With Research

(Caption, left photo: Hannah Blevins, an LMU conservation biology major, with her poster presentation at the Tennessee Academy of Science annual meeting. Caption, right photo: Ian Cook, an LMU conservation biology major, makes an oral presentation at the annual TAS meeting.)

 

Several Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) biology and conservation biology students, along with faculty members, traveled to Cookeville, Tennessee earlier this month to participate in the annual Tennessee Academy of Sciences (TAS) meeting.

Students presented undergraduate research proposals and findings in poster and/or oral presentation formats.

“Scientific conferences are important to disseminating research findings, gaining valuable presentation skills, and networking with colleagues across the state of Tennessee,” said Barbara Shock, PhD, associate professor of biology and conservation biology, a faculty member who attended the meeting. LaRoy Brandt, PhD, associate professor of biology and conservation biology and director of the Cumberland Mountain Research Center, also accompanied the students.

Emily Roark, Evan Collett, and Hannah Blevins presented research posters in the morning Zoology poster section. Alicia Gonzalez, Caitlin Davidson, Blevins, and Ian Cook gave oral presentations in the combined Zoology and Ecology section in the afternoon.

Blevins, a Bachelor of Science (BS) in conservation biology major, was awarded second place for her oral presentation, “Occupancy of Allegheny woodrats and small mammals in rocky outcrops in Lilley Cornett Woods.” Blevins completed this research as part of a National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates (NSF-REU) project in Summer 2021. Shock served as her mentor for the project.

Cook, also a conservation biology major, was awarded third place for his oral presentation, “Using environmental DNA to detect the presence of Eastern Hellbenders in the Susquehanna River Watershed in New York State.” Cook completed this research as part of an Appalachian College Association (ACA) Ledford Scholarship in Summer 2021 under the mentorship of Whitney Kistler, PhD, associate professor of biology, conservation biology and program director of conservation biology.   

“The department is so proud of all the young scientists who presented and participated in the meeting,” Shock said.

The TAS was founded in 1912 and has provided direction for Tennesseans on a number of science issues, according to its website. The academy organizes symposia, manages ongoing programs in many fields, and communicates with the national scientific culture. The TAS is affiliated with two national societies and seven Tennessee societies.

Presentations at the TAS meeting included the following oral presentations from LMU students:

  • Monitoring the growth and survival of the endangered freshwater mussels Epioblasma capsaeformis and Epioblasma brevidens in the Powell River, Virginia. Caitlin Davidson (BS in Biology Secondary Education), Alicia Gonzalez (BS in Biology), and Aggy Vanderpool, PhD, mentor and associate professor of biology.
  • Using environmental DNA to detect the presence of Eastern Hellbenders (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis) in the Susquehanna River Watershed in New York State. Cook and Kistler, mentor.
  • Occupancy of Allegheny woodrats (Neotoma magister) and small mammals at rocky outcrops in Lilley Cornett Woods. Blevins, Shock, LMU mentor, and Luke E. Dodd, NSF-REU mentor.

Poster presentations included:

  • Activity of ticks from various habitats and times of day, and corresponding infection status with Borrelia and Babesia spp. Roark (BS in Biology Secondary Education) and Shock, mentor.
  • Piroplasms in the genera Babesia, Theileria, and Cytauxzoon from Ixodid Ticks in the Cumberland Gap Region. Collett (BS in Biology) and Shock, mentor.
  • Prevalence and diversity of Ehrlichia from Ixodid ticks in the Cumberland Gap Region of Tennessee, Kentucky, and Virginia. Blevins and Shock, mentor.

Lincoln Memorial University is a values-based learning community dedicated to providing educational experiences in the liberal arts and professional studies. The main campus is in Harrogate, Tennessee. For more information about the undergraduate and graduate programs available at LMU, contact the Office of Admissions at 423.869.6280 or email at [email protected].

Additional photos:

LMU Students Present Research

(Caption, left photo: Emily Roark, an LMU biology secondary education major, with her poster presentation at the Tennessee Academy of Science annual meeting. Caption, right photo: Evan Collett, an LMU biology major, with his poster presentation at the annual TAS meeting.)

 

LMU Students Make Oral Research Presentation 

(Caption: Caitlin Davidson, an LMU biology secondary education major, and Alicia Gonzalez, an LMU biology major, make an oral presentation at the annual TAS meeting.)

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