Posts Tagged ‘Biology’

Allegheny College Senior Receives Prestigious Award to Study Swahili in Tanzania

Allegheny College senior Melissa Mattwig has received a prestigious Boren Award and will be a part of the African Flagship Languages Initiative (AFLI) beginning in the summer of 2017.

As a Boren Scholar, she has been selected to study Swahili in Tanzania for a year and will receive a $20,000 scholarship for her studies. Mattwig is a double major in biology and environmental science, and a double minor in French and Spanish.  (more…)

Senior project research leads to published paper

Mark Kirk ’11, Scott Wissinger, Brandon Goeller ’10, and Leslie Rieck ’09 of the Biology and Environmental Science Departments recently published an article titled “Covarying Impacts of Land Use and Non-native Brown Trout on Fish Communities in Small Streams” in the journal Freshwater Biology. The paper is based on research conducted through senior projects funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Federation. Kirk (lead author) is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in fisheries at the University of Wyoming, Goeller is pursuing a Ph.D. in aquatic ecology at the University of Canterbury, NZ, and Rieck is completing her Ph.D. in fisheries at Ohio State University.

Allegheny Professors Study the Story of Zika, Effects on Behavior

What are people reading and hearing about the Zika virus?

How are their behaviors changing as a result?

Those are the questions three Allegheny College professors are asking as part of an interdisciplinary effort here to better understand the global consequences of Zika, a virus at the center of an international public health emergency.

The answers could have profound social and economic ripple effects and change the way society talks about sexually transmitted infections, including Zika, a mosquito-borne virus that can also be spread through sex.


Zaborowski, Dawson present poster

Matthew Zaborowski ’17 and Assistant Professor of Global Health Studies and Biology Becky Dawson ’00 , presented a poster entitled “Investigating the Root Cause: Oral Health Emergency Department Admissions” at the National Association of County and City Health Officials Annual Meeting in July. Zaborowski’s poster was one of two completed by a student to be accepted into this year’s conference.

Krainz presents poster at American Society for Microbiology meeting

Leah Krainz ’18 presented a poster titled “Musca domestica Transmits Viable Haemophilus ducreyi” at the Allegheny Branch of the American Society for Microbiology annual meeting. Her coauthors on the poster were Jordan Gaston ’16 and Associate Professor of Biology Tricia Humphreys.

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.”

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.

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 Brashaw-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.


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.

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.