Welcome Dr. Gergana Nestorova
This fall the School of Biological Sciences welcomes new Assistant Professor, Dr. Gergana Nestorova. Dr. Nestorova earned her BS in Biology from Coastal Carolina University and her MS and PhD in Molecular Science and Nanotechnology from Louisiana Tech University where she developed novel methods and technologies for integrated genomics and proteomics analysis, including DNA sequencing, mRNA purification from low cell numbers, and ELISA techniques for assessment of reactive oxygen species induced DNA damage. Since completing her PhD in 2014, Dr. Nestorova has been working on a NASA funded project to develop technology for analyzing DNA mutation caused by radiation. At Tech, Dr. Nestorova will run an active research lab where undergraduate and graduate students will use advanced molecular biology techniques to investigate the role of microRNAs in regulation of post-translation gene expression. Dr. Nestorova will offer courses in the area of proteomics and protein analysis. For additional information on Dr. Nestorova’s research lab visit her webpage at www.nestorovalab.com. We welcome Dr. Nestorova to the School of Biological Sciences and look forward to the new courses and research experiences she can offer our students.
Professor’s Research Highlighted in the News
Dr. Jennifer Hill recently received some publicity for her work studying the effects of the newly invasive tiger shrimp in Gulf coastal waters. Her work was published in the biannual issue of “Sea Briefs” issued by the Sea Grant Foundation of Mississippi and Alabama and she was interviewed by Pensacola News to advertise the need to catch tiger shrimp to understand the effects they are having on native shrimp populations. This research is critical for understanding and predicting how native species in the ecosystem will respond to this new invader. For more information on Dr. Hill’s research at Louisiana Tech visit: http://hillecologylab.weebly.com/.
Private Grant Awarded to Collaborative Research Effort
An interdepartmental collaboration between faculty members in Biological Sciences (Natalie Clay) and Agricultural Sciences and Forestry (Joshua Adams, Ashley Keith, Paul Jackson, and Gordon Holley) and a private investment from Mr. Richard Fewell, will investigate the use of all-natural wood products for efficacy as a pest repellent. Dr. Joshua Adams is a forest specialist and the collaboration leader, Dr. Natalie Clay is an entomologist, Dr. Ashley Keith is an animal nutritionist, Dr. Paul Jackson is an agricultural plant scientist, and Gordon Holley is an Economist. In addition to the faculty involved, students will also be involved in this research, including Biological Sciences undergraduate, Jesse Cone, and Biological Sciences graduate student, Casey Morin. Together with their large array of skill sets, they will test the new pest repellent product across a diverse set of insect pests.
Welcome Dr. Donald Shepard
This fall the School of Biological Sciences welcomes new Assistant Professor, Dr. Donald Shepard. Dr. Shepard earned his BS in Biology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his PhD in Zoology from the University of Oklahoma where he studied phylogeography and diversification of Ouachita Mountain endemic salamanders. Since 2013, Dr. Shepard has been teaching at the university level, instructing students in courses on evolution, ecology, genetics, and herpetology. At Tech, Dr. Shepard will run an active research lab where undergraduate and graduate students will use amphibians and reptiles as models to understand the evolutionary and ecological mechanisms by which species originate and diversify through time. We welcome Dr. Shepard to the School of Biological Sciences and look forward to the new courses and research experiences he can offer our students.