BISC Faculty Member publishes research in Biological Conservation
Dr. Terri Maness (Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences, Environmental Science Program Coordinator) and undergraduates Colby Sharp (M.S., BISC ’18; B.S., FOR ’16), Kayley Gonzalez (ASN, NURS ’17), and Kayla Meyers (ASN, NURS ’18) collected data on bird-window collisions on Tech's campus as part of an international collaborative project. The goal of the project, which included more than 60 researchers in the US, Canada, and Mexico, was to determine how large-scale landscape features affects bird-window collision mortality risk. It's estimated that nearly 1 billion birds die annually in North America after colliding with windows. Buildings on Tech’s campus that were part of the project included: Tech Pointe, Biomedical Engineering Center, Reese Hall, Hale Hall, Marbury Alumni Center, Thomas Assembly Center, and the President's House. Dr. Maness and the student researchers surveyed these buildings daily for 21 days during fall migration, while Mr. Wes Palmer (Geographic Information Science Program Coordinator) characterized the landscape features surrounding the buildings. Sixteen bird carcasses were found during the project, including one Le Conte's sparrow, a species of conservation concern in Louisiana. Carcasses were found around the Marbury Alumni Center (five birds), Tech Pointe (four birds), Biomedical Engineering Center (four birds), Hale Hall (two birds), and Thomas Assembly Center (one bird). The work was recently published in the journal "Biological Conservation". Researchers found that building size had a strong positive effect on bird-window collision mortality, but the strength of this effect depended on the degree of urbanization at the regional scale. Large buildings in low urbanization areas have the greatest mortality risk. This collaborative research project was organized through the Ecological Research as Education Network, a program funded by the National Science Foundation to enhance undergraduate research in biological sciences. For more information on the bird-window collision project, including materials to help science instructors conduct similar research at their respective institutions, click HERE.
Figure 1. Student, Colby Sharp, with a Le Conte's sparrow. Colby helped collect data for bird-window collision project.
Figure 2. Le Conte's sparrow found at the Thomas Assembly Center
Figure 3. Magnolia Warbler found at the Biomedical Engineering Center
Zumwalt Scholarship Awarded to Two Students in Biological Sciences
The Zumwalt Scholarship in Environmental Science and Evolution was awarded to two students this spring for the 2017-2018 academic year. The scholarship was created in honor and memory of Dr. Gary Zumwalt, a Professor of Geology at Louisiana Tech University who passed away in 2015. Students who are awarded this scholarship demonstrate a passion for ecology, evolution, and environmental science as demonstrated through their involvement in research, extracurricular activities, and outside employment. This year’s recipients are master’s student, Casey Morin, and undergraduate Maggie Herrmann.
Casey Morin recently completed his first year in the master’s program in Biological Sciences under the advisement of Dr. Natalie Clay in the field of entomology. “Ants in particular are my main area of interest and with much still to be learned and discovered I am very excited for a career in this field,” explains Casey. Following completion of his master’s degree, Casey plans to become either a museum curator of entomology or a professor at a university.
Maggie Herrmann is a junior environmental science major who, after the BP oil spill, during the continued erosion of the Louisiana coastline, and the great floods, realized she wanted to do something that had the ability to benefit people from all walks of life and care about something before it was taken away. Currently, Maggie is completing her degree in Environmental Science and minoring in Education and plans to attend Law school to pursue Environmental Law in order to “protect something that can’t protect itself, and teach people to care for what they have and appreciate the environment.”
Remembering Ngozi Ogbonnaya, MS MSNT 2016
Ngozi presenting her research at the International Federation for Adipose Science and Therapeutics Annual Meeting (right) and Ngozi with her Master's Advisor, Dr. Jamie Newman, following the Spring 2016 commencement ceremony (left).
Dr. Jennifer Hill awarded Board of Regents RCS Funding
Dr. Hill, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences, was recently awarded a highly competitive Louisiana Board of Regents Grant to support innovative research and aid newer faculty in becoming competitive for federal funding programs. This Research Competitiveness Subprogram (RCS) award provides Dr. Hill $178,140 over the course of three years.
Dr. Hill’s research examines how low levels of pesticides impact predator and prey behaviors in marine and freshwater systems and may ultimately interfere with how marine and freshwater communities function. “We have known for a long time that higher levels of pesticides can kill non-target aquatic species, such as crustaceans, but newer research is suggesting that even low pesticide levels in water (which the EPA says we can drink) result in animals being disoriented and unable to feed or defend against predators” explains Dr. Hill. If animals are differentially impacted by low levels of pesticides, the impacts that they have on their own habitats will also be affected. Dr. Hill will conduct this research with the assistance of up to two graduate students and several undergraduate research assistants.
Medical Technology Students Complete Their Clinical Rotations
Medical Laboratory Scientists are an integral part of the health care management team and routinely work with other health care professionals to develop and implement health care policy. Medical Technologists (Medical Laboratory Scientists) develop and perform a broad range of laboratory tests which are essential to the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of manydiseases. Some of the exciting areas of Medical Technology are Hematology, Immunology, Bacteriology, Parasitology, Clinical Chemistry, Blood Banking, Toxicology, and Management. The Medical Technology curriculum is designed for students who are preparing for careers as clinical specialists who design, perform, evaluate, and supervise biological, chemical, and other clinically related tests. Job opportunities for these specialists exist in hospitals, clinics, research facilities, industries, and educational institutions.
Louisiana Polytechnic Institute (the forerunner of Louisiana Tech University) became a pioneer in this field when it began its Program in Medical Technology in 1937. Today, it remains one of the longest continually operating Medical Technology programs in the country, with over 1500 graduates from throughout the U.S. and abroad completing its baccalaureate degree program since its inception. Most are professionally certified by ASCP as Medical Technologists (Medical Laboratory Scientists).
Educational programs in Medical Technology include 3 years of pre-professional course work which is completed on the Louisiana Tech University campus. The senior year is completed in one of five Louisiana Tech University affiliated, hospital-based clinical programs. Our affiliated programs all hold the highest accreditation for laboratory science programs through the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). Admission to these programs is on a competitive basis. Students who successfully complete the academic program graduate with the B.S. in Medical Technology, and are eligible to sit for a nationally-recognized certification examination in Medical Laboratory Science. Current graduates from our program have maintained a 100% pass rate on their certification examinations.
Louisiana Tech University’s Hospital Based Clinical Program Affiliations
Baptist Health Schools, Little Rock, Arkansas
Baylor Scott & White Hospital, Temple, Texas
Lake Charles Memorial Hospital, Lake Charles, Louisiana
Overton Brooks VA Medical Center, Shreveport, Louisiana
Rapides Regional Medical Center, Alexandria, Louisiana
Olivia Ellis (Center) completed her clinical rotation at Rapides Regional Medical Center. She is pictured with the Program Director, Laine Reeder (Left) and the Laboratory Director, Kim Middleton (Right). Olivia will be working in Norfolk, VA.
Andrew Lewis (Center) completed his clinical rotation at Overton Brooks VA Medical Center in Shreveport. He is pictured with the Program Director, John Davis (Left) and the Chief Pathologist for Laboratory, Dr. Aubrey Lurie (Right). Andrew will be working in Denver, CO.
Yurisha Shakya completed her clinical rotation at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital. Yurisha will be working in Boston, MA.
Olivia, Andrew and Yurisha will receive their baccalaureate degrees in Medical Technology during the Winter Commencement ceremony on February 25, 2017.