Biology Department

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Student Publications & Presentations

The Biology Department at Muhlenberg College recognizes that a research experience is an extremely important aspect of an undergraduate curriculum. We encourage our students to become actively engaged in research. Students may work on projects with faculty sponsors on campus during the academic year or summer, as well as participate in research at an off-campus site or external program during the summer months. The Honors Program provides an opportunity for outstanding senior biology majors to work on a project for an entire year, culminating in a public seminar and written thesis.

In addition, some of these student research experiences result in publication or presentation at a regional or national conference. Recent examples include:

Student Publications (undergraduate authors are underlined)

Weber, K. P., Alvaro, C. G. ('10), Baer, G. M. ('12), Reinert, K. ('02), Cheng, G. ('06), Clever S., Wightman, B., 2012, Analysis of C. elegans NR2E nuclear receptors defines three conserved clades and ligand-independent functions, BMC Evolutionary Biology, 12:81.

Verghese, E. (’08), Schocken, J. (’09), Jacob, S., Wimer, A. M. (’05), Royce, R., Nesmith, J.E. (’09), Baer, G.M. (’12), Clever, S., McCain, E., Lakowski, B., and B. Wightman, 2011, The tailless ortholog nhr-67 functions in the development of the C. elegans ventral uterus, Developmental Biology, 356:516-28.

Cohen, R. ('09), J. Schocken ('09), A. Kaldis, K.E. Vlachonasios, A.T. Hark, and E.R. McCain. 2009. The histone acetyltransferase GCN5 affects the inflorescence meristem and stamen development in Arabidopsis. Planta. 230: 1207-1221.

Hark, A.T., K.E. Vlachonasios, K.A. Pavangadkar, S. Rao, H. Gordon ('07), I.-D. Adamakis, A. Kaldis, M.F. Thomashow, and S.J.Triezenberg. 2009. Two Arabidopsis orthologs of the transcriptional coactivator ADA2 have distinct biological functions. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta. 1789: 117-124.

Mooney, E.H., E.J. Tiedeken, N.Z. Muth, and R.A. Niesenbaum. 2009. Differential induced response to generalist and specialist herbivores by Lindera benzoin L. (Lauraceae) in sun and shade. Oikos, 118:1181-1189.

DeMeo, S. ('04), Lombel, R. ('04), Snowflack, D. ('03), Smith, E. ('02), Reinert, K. ('02), Cronin, M., Clever, S., and B. Wightman (2008) Specificity of DNA-binding by the FAX-1 and NHR-67 nuclear receptors of Caenorhabditis elegans is partially mediated via a subclass-specific P-box residue, BMC Molecular Biology, 9:2.

Muth, N.Z., E.C. Kluger, J.H. Levy, M.J. Edwards and R.A. Niesenbaum. 2008. Increased per capita herbivory in the shade: necessity, feedback, or luxury consumption? Ecoscience,15:182-188

Skoczylas, D., R.A. Niesenbaum, and N.Z. Muth. 2007. Top-down control of herbivory by insectivorous avifauna. Acta Oecologica, 32:337-342.

Niesenbaum, R.A. and E.C. Kluger. 2006. When Studying the Effects of Light on Herbivory, Should One Consider Temperature? The Case of Epimecis hortaria F. (Lepidoptera: Geometridae) Feeding on Lindera benzoin L. (Lauraceae). Environmental Entomology 35:600 - 606

Student Presentations (undergraduate presenters are underlined)

D. Lapadula (’14), P. Ezzio (’13), L. Pioppo (’12), M. Kho (’15), P. Schartel (’15), Z. Shuler (’15), C. Greco (’15), M. Kramer (’15), S. Clever, B. Wightman, 2014, a promoter element in the C. elegans tailless gene links sex-specific regulation with uterine organogenesis, 2014 Mid-Atlantic Society for Developmental Biology Meeting, Baltimore MD, May 30-31.

E. Bayer (’14), B. Wightman, 2014, the conserved nuclear receptor fax-1 functions in C. elegans cell migration and neuronal regulation of lifecycle, 2014 Mid-Atlantic Society for Developmental Biology Meeting, Baltimore MD, May 30-31. *First Prize Overall in Undergraduate Competition*

A. Schlauch ('15), 2014, How Safe Is Your Chicken? The Prevalence of Campylobacter spp. on Retail Chicken Breasts Collected from Supermarkets in the Lehigh Valley," presented at the Penn State Public Health Day Symposium, Hershey, PA, May 9. *Honorable Mention in Poster Competition*

K.Tessitore ('14) , 2014, A study of isopod population dynamics over time in a fishless pond. Lehigh Valley Ecology and Evolution Symposium, Cedar Crest College, March 29.

C. Sholevar ('14), 2014, Population dynamics and morphological characteristics of the isopod Caecidotea communis from ponds with different predatory regimes. Lehigh Valley Ecology and Evolution Symposium, Cedar Crest College, March 29.

E. Wenzel ('14), E. Thompson ('15), 2014, Feeding preferences of freshwater isopods (Lirceus sp.) Lehigh Valley Ecology and Evolution Symposium, Cedar Crest College, March 29.

R. A. Gonsenhauser ('15), S. M. Bigelow ('16), K. L. McGowan ('15), 2014, Habitat preference of stream-dwelling isopods (Lirceus sp.) Lehigh Valley Ecology and Evolution Symposium, Cedar Crest College, March 29. *Second Place Award in Poster Competition*

E.V. Kreider ('14), P.T. Stathis ('14), and D. Klem, Jr. 2014. Gross anatomy and histology of Cooper's (Accipiter cooperii) and Red-tailed (Buteo jamaicensis) hawks alimentary tracts. 90th Annual Meeting of Pennsylvania Academy of Science, Ecology and Environmental Science, Susquehanna University, Selinsgrove, PA, March 22.

E. Bayer (’14), B. Wightman, 2013, Function of the conserved nuclear receptor fax-1 in C. elegans cell migration and sleep regulation, 16th Undergraduate Research Symposium, U. Maryland, Baltimore Co., Baltimore, MD, Oct. 26. *First Place Award in Poster Competition*

D. Lapadula (’14), P. Ezzio (’13), S. Clever and B. Wightman, 2013, A promoter element in the C. elegans tailless gene links sex-specific regulation with uterine organogenesis, 16th Undergraduate Research Symposium, U. Maryland, Baltimore Co., Baltimore, MD, Oct. 26. *First Place Award in Poster Competition*