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Biology Highlights 2011 Print
Thursday, 28 April 2011 09:59

Drs. Knabb and Casotti were awarded a CAS Dean’s Special award to develop the Biology Department’s first online graduate level course in Case Studies in Physiology.  This course will be offered in subsequent summers beginning in 2012. 

Dr. Win Fairchild, G. Coutu, and C. Robinson were awarded a grant entitled "Ponds of the Brandywine Drainage" from the Growing Greener Program, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. 

Biology graduate student A.S.Brainard and Dr. G.W. Fairchild published the paper "Sediment characteristics and accumulation rates in constructed ponds" in the Journal of Soil and Water Conservation (In Press). 

Dr. Jessica Schedlbauer, J.L., S.F. Oberbauer, G. Starr, & K.L. Jimenez published the paper "Controls on sensible heat and latent energy fluxes from a short-hydroperiod Florida Everglades marsh" in the Journal of Hydrology 411:331-341 (2011). Dr. Schedlbauer also published (with co-authors McDermitt, D., G. Burba, L. Xu, T. Anderson, A. Komissarov, G. Starr, D. Zona, W. Oechel, S. Oberbauer, & S. Hastings) "A new low-power, open path instrument for measuring methane flux by eddy covariance" in Applied Physics B 102:391-405 (2011).

Dr. Jessica Schedlbauer research project "Developing and Using Physiological Chamber Systems to Examine Carbon Dioxide Exchange in Disturbed Ecosystems" was funding by Joint Venture Agreement, USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station. Additional funded projects include: "The Influence of Soil Moisture on Vegetation Distribution and Ecosystem Carbon Exchange in Serpentine Barrens Ecosystems: Implications for Management" funded by a Cullen Fund and a Triano Fund Award, Department of Biology, West Chester University; "Carbon Exchange and Microclimate in Serpentine Barrens: Implications for Ecosystem Management" funded by a College of Arts and Sciences Support and Development Award (CASSDA), West Chester University; and "Environmental Monitoring System for the Schmucker Science North Greenhouse" funded by a Technology Fee Grant, West Chester University. 

Biology graduate student Justin DiPhillippo and Dr. Greg Turner presented "Ectomycorrhizal colonization and diversity on red oaks are reduced in response to garlic mustard density and extracts". Ecological Society of America, 96th Annual Meeting, Austin, TX, in August. 

Dr. Jessica Schedlbauer was a participant on a panel during the National Science Foundation IGERT (Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship) Alumni 2011 Poster Competition Finalists Meeting in Arlington, VA.  Also, she presented, “Latent and sensible heat fluxes in a short hydroperiod Everglades wetland,” at the 96th Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting, Austin, TX, on August 13. 

Dr. Frank Fish presented the talk, “Hydrodynamic performance of the flippers of large-bodied cetaceans,” at the 6th Triennial Conference on Secondary Adaptation of Tetrapods to Life in Water, which was held in San Diego, CA, June 6-10, 2011.  The presentation was co-authored with P.W. Weber and L.E. Howle of Duke University; M.M. Murray of the U.S. Naval Academy; and J.S. Reidenberg of Mt. Sinai Hospital.  He presented an invited paper, “Whales, windmills and wings that go bump in the night,” at the 5th Annual Biomimicry Education Summit, held in Cleveland, OH, June 27-29.  He published the paper, “The tubercles on humpback whales’ flippers: Application of bio-inspired technology,” with P. Weber and L. Howle of Duke University and M.M. Murray of the U.S. Naval Academy, in the journal, Integrative and Comparative Biology, 2011, 51: 203-213.  Professor Fish was the guest editor for the special issue of Marine Technology Society Journal.  He co-authored the article, “Biomimetics and marine technology: An introduction,” with Donna Kocak of HARRIS CapRock Communications in Marine Technology Society Journal,  45(4): 8-13 (2011). He published the paper, “Batoid fishes: Inspiration for the next generation of underwater robots,” with K. Moored of Princeton and T. Kemp and H. Bart-Smith of the University of VA in Marine Technology Society Journal, 45(4): 99-109 (2011). Another paper entitled “Marine applications of the biomimetic humpback whale flipper” appeared in Marine Technology Society Journal, 45(4): 198-207 (2011) with P. Weber and L. Howle of Duke University and M. Murray of the U.S. Naval Academy. On July 14, Professor Fish made a presentation, “Thin fin extremities for flexibility and control of efficient thrust generation,” at the Workshop on Resonance, Flexibility and Bio-propulsion, which was held at Princeton.

Dr. Maureen Knabb has been selected as a 2011 BEN Scholar. The goal of the BEN Scholars Program is to promote the use of digital library (DL) resources and student-centered teaching and learning methods in higher education, specifically in biological sciences lecture and laboratory courses, and in research training programs. 

Biology graduate student D. Baker, Biology undergraduate student P. Boor, Dr. Oné Pagán, and coauthors S. Deats (Psychology), and J. Pruitt published a paper entitled "Minimal structural requirements of alkyl γ-lactones capable of antagonizing the cocaine-induced motility decrease in planarians" in Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2011 Aug 22. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 21878350 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher].

Anthony Nicastro (Physics), Dr. Frank Fish, and Biology undergraduate Jana Parson published the paper entitled “Turning performance of batoids: Limitations of a rigid body” in the Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 2011, 402, 12-18.

Biology graduate students Jessica Hoffman and Rachel Nichols and Dr. Frank Fish presented an invited talk, “Morphometrics and ray kinematics: update,” at the Biologically-Inspired Autonomous Sea Vehicle MURI Review Meeting held at the University of Virginia, Charlesville, VA, on May 20.

Dr. Frank Fish attended an invited workshop, “NSF Bio-inspired Workshop: Charting a Course for Computer-Aided Bio-inspired Design Research,” held in Palo Alto, CA, on March 20.  He presented an invited talk, “Kinematics of swimming manta rays as a basis for design and construction of bio-inspired AUV’s,” at the Manta Ray Robot Competition, which was held at the Carderock Division of the Naval Surface Warfare Center, West Bethesda, MD, on April 25.  Professor Fish published the cartoon, “Bottles show how sharks filter feed,” in the Journal of Experimental Biology, 214 (10): iii (may 2011).

Dr. Oné Pagán received a 2011 Presidential Faculty grant.

Dr. Oné Pagán and coauthors D. Schwarz, D. Bloom, R. Castro R and C.A. Jimenez-Rivera published the paper: "Parthenolide Blocks Cocaine's Effect on Spontaneous Firing Activity of Dopaminergic Neurons in the Ventral Tegmental Area" in Current Neuropharmacology 9(1):17-20 (2011).

Dr. Frank Fish was a consultant for the BBC television production “Invisible Worlds: Speed Limits,” which aired in October 2010 in Great Britain. In addition, he gave invited seminars “Turbines inspired by whales” at the Cleveland Institute of January 27 and “Hydrodynamic flow control in animal locomotion for biomimetic application to enhance performance” at the University of Akron on January 28. On February 21, he presented an invited seminar, “The Devilfish made me do it: Manta ray swimming and construction of a biomimetic AUV,” to the Department of Biology at Temple University.  He was co-author on a paper, “Digital particle image velocimetry of mammalian swimming,” which was published in Physics of Fluids in 2008, Vol. 20.  He presented an invited seminar entitled “Manta rays and biomimetics” to the Department of Biology at Muhlenberg College on March 2.

Biology student Janet Fontanella, Dr. Frank Fish, and co-authors Dr. Natalia Rybczynski, Dr. Martin Nweena, and Dr. Darlene Ketten published: “Three-dimensional geometry of the narwhal (Monodon monceros) flukes in relation to hydrodynamics” included in the on-line version of Marine Mammal Science (DOI: 10.1111/j.1748-7692.2010.00439.x).

Biology student Janet Fontanella and Dr. Frank Fish were mentioned in an online article located at: http://smithsonianscience.org/2011/02/narwhal-flukes-help-compensate-for-drag-caused-by-tusk/

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