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Biology Highlights: 2008 Print
Sunday, 30 November 2008 20:14

Dr. Oné Pagán presented an invited seminar entitled, “Planarians as an animal model in behavioral pharmacology: Recent Developments,” at the Universidad Central del Caribe Medical School in Puerto Rico on December 18, 2008.

Dr. Giovanni Casotti, in collaboration with S. Christen, J. Moritz, E. Falkenstein, K. Van Dyke, and H. Klandorf, has published “Inosine Ameliorates the Effects of Hemin-Induced Oxidative Stress in Broilers” in Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, (2008), 151, 670-675.

Drs. Giovanni Casotti, Maureen Knabb (Biology), and Loretta Rieser-Danner (Psychology), published the article “Successful implementation of inquiry-based physiology laboratories for undergraduate majors and non-majors courses” in Advances in Physiological Education, (2008), 32, 286-296.

Biology undergraduate student Elizabeth Barchi received a Fall 2008 CAS Undergraduate Research Award to support her research under the supervision of Dr. Erin Gestl.

Dr. Frank Fish was featured in the August issue of Science News for the article “Built for Speed” and he was featured in the September issue of EARTH (formerly GEOTIMES) magazine for the article “A whale of a wind turbine.”   Professor Fish was featured in the chapter, “A Whale of a Turbine” in the book, The Daily Planet Book of Cool Ideas: Global Warming and What People Are Doing about It, by Jay Ingram, published by Penguin, Canada.  He gave an invited seminar entitled “Swimming performance of an Olympic caliber by dolphins” at the Chestnut Hill Academy on October 20. Dr. Fish was mentioned in the articles “Fabulous flippers: Dolphins have quite the kick” on Yahoo! News on November 24 and on the Rensselaer webpage “’Gray’s Paradox’ Solved: Researchers Discover Secret of Speedy Dolphins” on November 25.  He has been selected to continue on the editorial board of the journal Bioinspiration & Biomimetics.

Dr. Frank Fish was filmed on campus for the television show Animal Planet.  This was in connection with the publication last year “Death roll of the alligator: mechanics of twist feeding in water” by Professors Fish; Nicastro (Physics); Beneski (Biology); and Biology student Sandra Bostic.

The following Biology undergraduate students were recognized during the Spring 2008 semester: Amanda Rowlands received an Honorable Mention at the 2008 CAS Outstanding Student Awards; Radhika Bhatt, Sara Farjo, and Erica Szonntag received awards for their presentations at The WCU Research Consortium Research Day. 

Dr. Maureen Knabb, Dr. Erin Gestl, and Dr. S. Anne Boettger were each awarded a 2008 CASSDA Grant.  Dr. Knabb's project is entitled "Does quadraplex (G4) DNA exist in normal and cancerous cells?" Dr. Gestl's project is entitled "Interaction of Proteins (DNA Polymerase) during DNA Replication".  Dr.  Boettger's project is entitled “Disease Diagnostics of Hematopoietic Neoplasia in the Soft-Shell Clam Mya arenaria.”

Dr. Greg Turner, Biology, published the article, "Oak seedling growth and ectomycorrhizal colonization in adjacent oak stand and declining eastern hemlock stands infested with the hemlock woolly adelgid" with J. Lewis, J. LiCitra, A. Tuininga, and A. Sirulnik, in Tree Physiology, 28: 629-636, 2008. 

Lori Timm, Biology graduate student, was co-author on a presentation with Dr. Frank Fish entitled 'Hydrodynamic flow through the nasal cavity of sharks.'

Biology students Amanda Rowlands, Kimberly Urban, Apurva Bidja, Danielle Roy, Ryan Feeney and Lilly Afshari and Dr. Oné Pagan published the article "Reversal of cocaine-induced planarian behavior by parthenolide and related sesquiterpene lactones" in Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior 89: 160-170 (2008). The article was also coauthored by Dr. Mahrukh Azam (chemistry).

Dr. Russell Vreeland, Biology, co-authored the paper "Virgibacillus salaries sp. nov., a novel halophilic bacterium isolated from a Saharan salt lake" with N. Hua, H. Amel, H. Isoda, T. Naganuma, in international Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. He presented "Going where no MAN has gone before: microbial space craft abound" at the Delaware Astronomical Society on March 18.  The Kansas Underground Salt Museum is housing an exhibit showcasing the work of Dr. Russell Vreeland. "Take it with a Grain of Salt-Life inside a Permian Period Fluid Inclusion" will open on May 31st and is the centerpiece for an entire weekend of activities. He presented an invited talk “Natural halite as a protective biological refuge: investigating an interaction between microbes and their abiotic environment” at the first Sino-American workshop on Geomicrobiological Processes in Extreme Environments held in Beijing, China, October 10-16.  While in China, Professor Vreeland was also invited to present a special workshop talk “Understanding the Ancient Biosphere through GeoBiology: Microbes and DNA from the Past” at the 1st International GeoBiology Workshop held at the Chinese University of Geosciences, Wuhan, China, held October 11-16.

Dr. Greg Turner, Biology, co-authored the paper, "Exotic plant distributions along disturbance corridors at the Grassy Hill Area, Franklin County, Virginia", with Marriane Demko in Banisteria, Fall 2007, 30: 19-26.  He and Professor Gerald Hertel, Biology, presented the poster entitled "Invasive plants in the Gordon Natural Area" at the Delaware Invasive Species Council's 8th Annual Meeting, Delaware City, DE, in November.

Dr. Frank Fish, Biology, gave several presentations the Annual Meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology conference in San Antonio, TX, Jan 2-6.  He presented an invited symposium talk, 'Hydrodynamic flow control in marine mammals', which was co-authored with Laurens Howie and Mark Murray of Duke University and the United States Naval Academy, respectively.  He also presented a paper 'What's the point? Undulatory swimming with the tapering tail of the alligator,' which was co-authored with George Lauder of Harvard University.  Professor Fish co-authored the talks 'A hydroelastic model for the scaling of steady swimming in cetaceans' with Virginia Engel and John Long of Vassar College and William McLellan and Ann Pabst of the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, and 'Hydrodynamic performance of the minke whale (Balaenoptera acutotorostrata) flipper' with Lisa Cooper of the Northeastern Ohio Universities Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy. In addition, he presented an invited talk "Biomechanics of terrestrial locomotion" at the New Bolton Center of the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary School on January 23, 2008. Dr. Fish was co-author of a presentation, "DPIV measurements on Dolphins: Examining Gray's paradox," at the 60th annual meeting of the Division of Fluid Dynamics of the American Physical Society on November 19.  His co-authors are Paul Legac and Timothy Wei of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Terrie Williams of the University of California, Santa Cruz. Professor Fish served on a National Science Foundation grant proposal advisory committee, which was held November 1-2. In addition, Professor Fish was named to the position of Associate Editor for the journal Marine Mammal Science, which is the journal of the Society for Marine Mammalogy. In addition, Dr. Fish received a grant in the amount of $1.3 million from the Office of Naval Research Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative for the Biologically-Inspired Autonomous Sea Vehicle program for "Towards a Mission Configurable Stealth Underwater Batoid." The study is a collaboration with Dr. Hilary Bart-Smith, University of Virginia; and Dr. Alexander Smits of Princeton University.  Professor Fish was highlighted in the April 2008 issue of National Geographic for his work on the application of the geometry of the humpback whale flipper for wind turbine design in the article "Biomimetrics: design by nature." Dr. Fish presented a paper "Hydrodynamics of dolphin propulsion" at the 2nd Symposium on Voith Schneider Technology held June 4-6 in Heidenheim, Germany. He was featured in The Philadelphia Inquirer article, "Sea of Possibilities" discussing his research and how he developed a new wind turbine drawn from inspiration from the humpback whale's flippers. In July, he presented an invited talk co-authored with T. Williams, T. Wei, and Paul Legac, "Vortex mechanics associated with propulsion and control in whales and dolphins" in the symposium "Linking Mechanics and Energetics" at the annual meeting of the Society for Experimental Biology held in Marseille, France.  Professor Fish co-authored the article entitled "Energetics of swimming by the ferret: Consequences of forelimb paddling" with R. Baudinette in Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, Part A (2008) 150:126-143. He was quoted on the MSNBC website, Technology & Science, in an article on humpback whales.

Dr. Frank Fish was a participant in the Careers in Science 2008 at the Franklin Institute Science Museum on the Science and Technology Careers panel for area high school students on March 5.

Cool Previous Biology Highlights (2007) 

 

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