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Marshall University - Biological Sciences Newsletter
April 2015

This Year's Spring Career Expo is April 8

    MU's Career Services' Spring Career Expo is Tuesday, April 8, 2015, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. in the Don Morris Room of the Student Center. There is a continually-updated list of participating employers. You may also visit the Career Services website, where you will find links to articles that help you prepare for a job search and interviews, as well as a list of tips for putting your best self forward at the Career Expo.

Research in Progress: Thaddaeus Tuggle

    Thaddaeus Tuggle is from Mt. Vernon, Ohio, and earned a degree in Environmental Science from Cedarville University in southwest Ohio. While attending Cedarville, he worked on several stream and wetland restoration projects that ignited his passion for aquatic biology. After graduation, Thaddaeus worked as a Wildlife Specialist and Urban Conservationist at Knox Soil & Water Conservation District for more than year before deciding to head to Marshall for a Master's degree.

    Thaddaeus works with Dr. Jeff Kovatch on a project using Landsat 8 satellite imagery to model chlorophyll concentration in the Ohio River. This project is a first step toward estimating the total concentration of planktonic cyanobacteria that have a large influence on the metabolic potential of the river. In high concentrations, cyanobacteria have been shown to secrete toxins that could potentially harm aquatic organisms or humans. The ability to estimate the amount of cyanobacteria in the river may help us understand what causes spikes in cyanobacterial populations, and may reduce the risk of human contact with these toxins.

    For Thaddaeus' research, chlorophyll was extracted from hand-collected water samples taken from the Ohio River during the summer of 2014. Spectral information, along with the extracted chlorophyll concentrations, is used to construct a model for estimating concentrations of chlorophyll over a larger spatial scale on the Ohio River. Traditional water quality methods are limited in their ability to predict algal or cyanobacterial blooms in large river systems due to the size and characteristics of such systems; however, the goal of this research is that being able to determine the chlorophyll concentrations at a large scale, for about 325 km of river, may help predict patterns of algal/cyanobacterial spatial and temporal variation.

    Thaddaeus hopes to work as a fisheries biologist after he finishes up his Masters during the early part of the summer.

Stuffed Cells by Zedmalia Wolfe
The scientifically-correct adventures of an archaean, a plant cell, and an animal cell.


Marshall Sigma Xi Research Day is Friday, May 1

    The 2015 Marshall University Annual Sigma Xi Research Day will be held on Friday, May 1. Student researchers will present their posters in the Science Building halls from 9-11 a.m., and oral presentations will be from approximately 12-2:00 p.m. in BBSC 102. On-line abstract submission will be available beginning April 3, 2015; additional information will be posted on Marshall's Sigma Xi website.

Departmental Seminar Series

    The April seminars in the Department will all be given by graduate students, with the exception of one guest speaker. This is a great opportunity to learn about the research going on in your Department, especially if you are considering attending graduate school here. These seminars are held every Monday and Wednesday, from 4-4:50 p.m. in room 374 of the Science Building.

Congratulations to Former BSC Majors Who Are New MDs

    The Department is pleased to congratulate the following former BSC majors who will graduate in May 2015 as MDs from the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine at Marshall University: Brian David Adkins, Melinda Diane Hodge Becker, Gregory Scott Bills, Charles Donavan Davis, Sarah Elizabeth Johnson, Andrew Scott Martin, Jessica Ann Layne Merritt, Courtney Nicole Nichols, Casey Dawn McCallister Patick, and Brian Trent Schambach. Congratulations, all!

Brag Box An abbreviated list of recent BSC student and faculty accomplishments:
  • Drs. Jayme Waldron and Shane Welch have a new publication in press: Heather R. Oswald, Jayme L. Waldron, Shane M. Welch, Stephen H. Bennett, and Timothy A. Mousseau. Environmental Effects on Southern Two-Lined Salamander (Eurycea cirrigera) Nest-Site Selection. Copeia 103(1):7-13. 2015. (Abstract)
  • BSC graduate student Cory Goff has been accepted into Texas State University's PhD program in Aquatic Resources. Cory's MS research is with Dr. Jayme Waldron. Congratulations, Cory!
  • New paper on desert scorpions by Dr. Matt Graham (BSC MS '07, with Dr. Tom Pauley), Assistant Professor at Eastern Connecticut State University: Graham, M. R., Hendrixson, B. E., Hamilton, C. A., Bond, J. E. (2015), Miocene extensional tectonics explain ancient patterns of diversification among turret-building tarantulas (Aphonopelma mojave group) in the Mojave and Sonoran deserts. Journal of Biogeography. (Abstract)
  • A number of nice updates on Dr. Tom Pauley's former students (BSC MS dates in parentheses): Chris Bowers (2013), second-year medical student at MU; Tim Brust (2013), field biologist with EIS Consultants in Ohio; Deborah Merritt Barry, Ph.D. (2005) Assistant Professor of Medical Education, University of Virginia; Casey Bradshaw (2010), PhD candidate at Penn State University and Assistant Professor of Biology at Allegheny College in Meadville, PA; Eric Diefenbacher (2009), Assistant Professor of Biology, SUNY Morrisville, Norwich, NY; Robert Makowsky, Ph.D. (2004), statistical geneticist at HTG Molecular in Tucson, AZ; (2008); Noah McCoard, Wildlife Biologist, Georgia Department of Natural Resources; Beth Anne Pauley, Ed.D. (1998), Assistant Dean for Curriculum and Associate Professor of Biology at the University of Charleston; Frank Piccininni (2009), graduated cum laude in environmental law from the Deane School of Law at Hofstra University, and is an associate account executive and legal analyst at SterlingRick Insurance; Linh Phu (2009), Fish & Wildlife Biologist, Branch of Habitat Restoration, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service; Bill Sutton, PhD. (2004), Assistant Professor of Wildlife Ecology, Tennessee State University, Nashville, TN; Mizuki Takahashi, Ph.D. (2002), Assistant Professor of Biology, Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA; and Jessica Wooten (2001), Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Centre College, Danville, KY. It's great to hear about everyone's successes!


Selected BSC Contact Information

Dr. David Mallory, BSC Chair S-350 (304) 696-2353
BSC Graduate Program Information   (304) 696-2427
BSC office, TA applications, various forms S-350 (304) 696-3148
Susan Weinstein, BSC News S-204 (304) 696-2428


Download pdfs of this or any past issue of the Biological Sciences Newsletter by clicking on the archive links to the right.

Department of Biological Sciences | One John Marshall Drive | Science Building 350 | Huntington, WV 25755 | (304) 696-3148