Research in Progress: MS Candidate Trina Scholer
Trina Scholer is from Gladstone, MI. She earned her BS in Biology at St. Norbert College in De Pere, WI. Through performing several research projects in ecology and limnology during her time as an undergraduate, Trina discovered her interest in pursuing further research opportunities in biology. Prior to graduating from St. Norbert, she was accepted as an MS candidate to work in the lab of Dr. Robin O'Keefe. Her thesis research involves characterizing the coyote population of West Virginia using skull measurements.
Coyotes (Canis latrans) are now found throughout all of North America, but prior to colonization by European settlers, their range was limited to west of the Mississippi River. As settlers moved further west, they changed the land and eliminated wolves, which gave coyotes the opportunity to move in. As coyotes migrated from west to east, a portion moved through Canada where few wolves still existed and interbred with them, creating hybrids. The other coyotes did not encounter wolves, remaining unhybridized. The descendants of these two groups can be identified based on both their physical appearance and genetic makeup.
The basis of Trina's research is comparing populations of coyotes who descended from each of these two groups to the population of coyotes inhabiting West Virginia. Adapting methods from prior research, she measured 14 distinct features on each of 126 coyote skulls. Statistical analyses suggest that coyotes found in West Virginia are more similar to those descended from migrants who did not hybridize with wolves.
Upon completing her thesis and graduating from Marshall, Trina plans to seek employment in wildlife biology or ecology.
Student Conservation Association Internships
Are you interested in conservation? Would you like to experience an internship that you might be able to use as your capstone experience? Consider the Student Conservation Association, a non-profit organization involved in restoring, protecting, and preserving America's public lands. They offer internships in a wide variety of areas, from forestry to archaeology to water quality monitoring to public outreach, and more. SCA interns work in the field with a partner agency or organization, gaining hands-on experience in conservation. Internships last from 12 weeks to 12 months. You can learn more about the SCA intern program on their site, and find additional information by reading their FAQ.
Stuffed Cells by Zedmalia WolfeThe scientifically-correct adventures of an archaean, a plant cell, and an animal cell.
Biology Club News
What Biology Club activities would you like to see happen? Help plan them when the Club resumes meeting! Watch the hallways for flyers announcing the first meeting of the semester.
For Seniors Graduating in May
The deadline to apply for May 2018 graduation is Friday, February 2. To apply, first log on to myMU. Expand the "Services" menu at the left, then choose "Marshall Information Liaison Online (MILO)," then "Student Records," then "Apply to Graduate." A $50 diploma fee is required, and can be paid online at the time of application, or in person at the Bursar's office. The ceremony will be Saturday, May 5, at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena.
Free Tutoring Available for BSC 104, 105, 120, 121, 227, 228, 322, and 324
Take advantage of free tutoring offered for several BSC courses! Graduate students who are GAs in the courses listed above offer free tutoring during their office hours or by appointment. A list of GAs' office hours and contact information will be posted on the door of the BSC Tutoring Center and GA Office, Science 209, by the end of the first week of classes. The GAs are there to help you; consider visiting them early on so that you can keep up with classes as the semester heats up!
BSC is on Facebook, join Marshall University Biological Sciences
Summer Internships at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History
The Kirtlandia Research Internship Program offers summer internships to college students interested in the natural sciences. Students selected to participate have the opportunity to spend eight weeks working with Museum curators on research projects. Completed applications are due in early March; selected applicants are contacted and interviewed month; and awards are announced by mid-April. For more information, explore this page.
What’s New in Biological Science:Biting midges use frogs' mating calls for themselves (The Scientist online) In an unusual case of an invertebrate using a vertebrate's communication for itself, biting midges were shown to be drawn to their hosts by recognizing the males' mating calls. This phenomenon was discovered when careful observation of the mating process led to an unexpected finding!
Selected BSC Contact Information
Download pdfs of this or any past issue of the Biological Sciences Newsletter by clicking on the archive links to the right.
Download pdfs of this or any past issue of the Biological Sciences Newsletter by clicking on the archive links to the right below.