2009 BioMaPS Projects



Student Fellows:  Glenna Buford (Mathematics) and

                                  Mandy Main (Wildlife Biology)

Faculty Advisors:  Dr. Christopher Mecklin (Mathematics)

Agricultural impact has been considered to be the top cause for declines in diversity of local fauna. Because of their dependence on water, amphibians are good bio-indicators of the overall health of ecosystems.   There are numerous studies that concluded that pond size and temperature had a greater impact on the species found there than the proximity of the pond to active agricultural crops and grazing. At the same time, much research has been done on negative impacts of agricultural chemicals and livestock disturbance on amphibian diversity. We sought to compare 19 ponds in Calloway county, Kentucky  (9 agricultural, 10 natural wooded) to see if there was any difference in amphibian diversity between them. Thirteen species were found ov erall .  



Student Fellows:  Renee Levesque (Biology/Premed) and

                                  Sarah Hargis (Biomedical Science)

Faculty Advisors:  Dr. Terry Derting (Biology) and

                                   Dr. David Roach (Mathematics)

We are studying the humoral and cell-mediated branches of the adaptive immune

system by measuring the energetics and strengths of the responses of the two branches

when they are simultaneously challenged.


Student Fellow:  Sarah Thomason(Biology)

Faculty Advisors:  Dr. Howard Whiteman(Biology) and

                                 Dr. Emily Croteau(Biology)

Facultative paedomorphosis of the Arizona tiger salamander ( Ambystoma tigrinum nebulosum ) is currently being studied using microsatellite DNA primers to assess evolutionary mechanisms that maintain the polymorphism. A pedigree of the Colorado salamander populations will be developed and then relatedness statistics performed to determine any fitness consequences associated with facultative paedomorphsis.


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