Coates serves as facilitator, speaks on effective researchers

Professor of Biology, Neuroscience, and Global Health Studies Lee Coates recently served as a facilitator for a Council on Undergraduate Research workshop on “Beginning a Research Program in the Natural Sciences” held in Washington, D.C. Coates also presented a talk titled “10 Habits of Highly Effective Researchers.”

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Venesky’s work accepted for publication in Ecology Letters

Assistant Professor of Biology Matthew Venesky‘s research has been accepted in the peer reviewed journal Ecology Letters. The research was part of a collaboration with his colleagues at the University of South Florida. The research quantifies the change in host susceptibility to parasites and pathogens as climate change shifts hosts away from their optimal temperatures.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Environmental science, biology students and faculty present research

The following students and faculty in the Environmental Science and Biology departments presented research talks at the 12th annual Regional Science Consortium Research Symposium, Nov. 2-6, at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center at Presque Isle State Park in Erie.

  • Erica Moretti and Beth ChoateWild bee assemblages along a land-use gradient
  • Paige Hickman and Beth Choate – Investigating the effect of floral diversity on native bees in Meadville, PA
  • Zachary Gribik and Kristen Webb Developing an eDNA system to detect and monitor the spread of the invasive round goby in the waterways of Northwestern Pennsylvania
  • Hannah Eiseman, Allyson Wood, Casey Bradshaw-Wilson, Determining presence and effects of round gobies in the French Creek Watershed on native benthic fishes.
  • Liana Leja and Scott WissingerSeparate vs. combined effects of snails, tadpoles, and caddisflies on detritus decomposition in montane kettle ponds.
  • Liana Leja was awarded the best student talk at the symposium from among students from Mercyhurst, Gannon, Penn State Behrend, Penn State Main campus, SUNY Fredonia, Slippery Rock, and Grove City.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Humphreys directs grant for imaging flow cytometer

Associate Professor of Biology Tricia Humphreys is the project director for a recent grant to purchase an imaging flow cytometer. This instrument counts and takes pictures of cells as they are being counted. It can examine cell shape changes and location of the markers on or in the cell, allowing our students and faculty to investigate the best combinations of drugs to kill cancer cells and to study bone cancer proliferation, the action of the body’s defense mechanism (phagocytosis) in killing germs, and cell reproduction.

The Orris C. and Beatrice Dewey Hirtzel Foundation awarded a $406,543 grant to the Lake Erie Research Institute (LERI), for this instrument, which will be housed at Allegheny. Initially, investigators from three other LERI member institutions — Gannon and Mercyhurst universities and Penn State Behrend — will participate in the training and protocol development for the instrument. However, the equipment is available to all qualified individuals in the region.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Venesky, students publish research

Stephanie Karavlan (’15) and Biology Professor Matt Venesky published a peer reviewed scientific article titled “Thermoregulatory behavior of Bufo americanus in response to infection with Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis“, which will appear in the upcoming issue of the journal Copeia. This research was completed by Karavlan as part of her Senior Comprehensive Research project at Allegheny.

Julie Murone (’16), Joe DeMarchi (’16), and Venesky had a peer reviewed scientific article titled “Exposure to corticosterone affects toad resistance, but not tolerance, to an emerging fungal pathogen” accepted for publication in the journal PLoS One. Murone and DeMarchi conducted this project while doing summer research at Allegheny College.

Venesky also recently wrote an invited review of a book titled “Handbook of Larval Amphibians of the United States and Canada” by Ronald Altig and Roy W. McDiarmid. The review will appear in an upcoming issue of the peer-reviewed journal The Quarterly Review of Biology.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

McClain, Whitenack attend AES annual meeting

Maggie McClain (Biology, ’16) and Assistant Professor of Biology Lisa Whitenack attended the American Elasmobranch Society (AES) annual meeting in New Orleans in July. Whitenack serves on the board of directors of AES and also acted as a judge for student talks.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Whitenack, Hessel publish in Journal of Zoology

Assistant Professor of Biology Lisa Whitenack and Anthony Hessel ’12, along with Bill Ryerson from St. Anselm College, have published part of Anthony’s summer research from his time at Allegheny: “Comparative jumping mechanics in plethodontid salamanders” in the Journal of Zoology.

Anthony is a Ph.D. candidate at Northern Arizona University. Also, Whitenack’s latest paper was featured in the August issue of the Journal of Molluscan Studies. She and her colleagues examined how the giant murex snail switches its predation technique when prey reach a certain size. The paper is freely available online at

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Whitenack contributes to National Geographic

Assistant Professor of Biology Lisa Whitenack contributed to an insert in the June 2016 issue of National Geographic titled “Sharks: Lords of the Sea.”

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Dawson, students publish findings of community health assessment

Assistant Professor of Global Health Studies and Biology Becky Dawson ’00, along with Erica Bryson ’15, Elizabeth Schafer ’17, Daniel Favaro ’17 and Austin Cosgrove ’15 published a paper titled “Is Perception Reality? Identifying Community Health Needs When Perceptions of Health Do Not Align with Public Health and Clinical Data” in the Journal of Community Medicine. The paper highlights the initial findings of the Meadville Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA).

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Faculty Member/Student Present at Meeting of the Society for Public Health Education

Becky Dawson ’00, assistant professor of global health studies and biology, and Erica Bryson ’15 presented at the 67th Annual Meeting of the Society for Public Health Education on March 31. Their presentation, “Partnering to Complete the Affordable Care Act’s Mandated Community Health Needs Assessment,” focused on the multi-year community-based research project that has been coordinated by Allegheny College and the Meadville Medical Center. Co-authors on the presentation included Garrett Devenney ’16 and Elizabeth Schafer ’17.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research