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Academic News 2018


Paulsen Publishes on Beam Structure Analysis

Dr. William Paulsen

Congratulations to Dr. William Paulsen, professor of mathematics, whose recent paper will be published in the peer-reviewed Ramanujan Journal. The paper, "Analyzing Non-Collinearly Coupled Timoshenko Beams via the Exterior Matrix Method," is particularly important because it extends his exterior matrix method to be able to detect the motion of a vibration within a beam structure by observing the effect of adding a damper.

Students Recognize Farris as Top Adviser

Dr. Jerry Farris

Congratulations to Dr. Jerry Farris, distinguished professor of environmental biology, who was announced today as the 2018-19 recipient of the "You Made a Difference" award. Each fall, the Wilson Advising Center collaborates with the Student Government Association to highlight exemplary advising and commitment; the award is student-nominated and student-selected. Nominated by Jessica Allbritton, Farris received a plaque presented by Melissa Jackson, director of Wilson Advising.

Zhou Research Identifies Novel Cell Signals

Dr. Guolei Zhou

A research article co-authored by Dr. Guolei (Jason) Zhou, associate professor of cell and cancer biology, was published in the international journal Molecular and Cellular Biology. Through collaborations with colleagues at A-State, NYITCOM, UAMS and Emory, the authors identified novel cell signals that function in concert to regulate the cytoskeletal protein CAP1, which is implicated in the invasiveness of a number of human cancers.

McKay Presents at Entomology Meeting

Dr. Tanja McKay

Dr. Tanja McKay, professor of entomology, made a presentation at the joint meeting of the Entomological Society of America with the Entomological Society of Canada and British Columbia in Vancouver. "Post-treatment Effects of Infrared Radiation on Lesser Grain Borer (Rhyzopertha dominica) Development" was based on the first chapter of student Rachel Hampton's master's thesis. Collaborators included Dr. Virginie Rolland, associate professor of quantitative wildlife ecology.


Medina-Bolivar Delivers Plenary Talk in China

Dr. Fabricio Medina-Bolivar

Dr. Fabricio Medina-Bolivar, professor of plant metabolic engineering, was an invited plenary speaker at the International Conference on Resveratrol and Health, in Xi'an, China. Medina-Bolivar's talk was titled "Sustainable Bioproduction and Biological Activities of Prenylated Stilbenoids," compounds that have potential treatment applications for cancer, Alzheimer's disease and rotavirus infections. His research has produced several publications and patents in the United States and Europe.


Bouldin is PI for Bees and Soybeans Research

Dr. Jennifer Bouldin

Dr. Jennifer Bouldin, professor of environmental biology and director of the Ecotoxicology Research Facility, is principal investigator for a $149,988 grant from a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. She and co-PIs Dr. Tanja McKay, professor of entomology and director of the environmental sciences program, and Rebecca Cooper will conduct research on native bee species that are pollinating Arkansas soybean fields and their impact on yields.

Dolan's Research Boosts Safe Food Supply

Dr. Maureen Dolan

Congratulations to Dr. Maureen Dolan, associate professor of molecular biology, who is project investigator and program director of a grant from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The project researchers will use sustainable plant-based bioengineering technology to produce a safer disease management product for use in aquaculture. Dolan was featured this week in Talk Business & Politics.


Izadyar Invited to Write Article Review

Dr. Anahita Izadyar

Dr. Anahita Izadyar, associate professor of chemistry, was invited to write a review article for the journal Electroanalysis, based on her scientific background. In the article she reviews the history and most recent studies on stripping voltammetry, an electroanalytical method used in analytical chemistry and various industrial processes. This is useful for trace analysis of redox-inactive ions in environmental, biological, and biomedical samples. An abstract is online.

Lorence Selected to Lead International Group

Dr. Argelia Lorence

Dr. Argelia Lorence, professor of metabolic engineering, was elected unanimously to the office of president-elect of the Phytochemical Society of North America (PSNA). She and other newly elected officers will join the executive team to lead PSNA over the upcoming year. PSNA members share an interest in phytochemistry and the role of plant substances in related fields, and promotes research on the chemistry and biochemistry of plant constituents.


Medina-Bolivar Gives Plenary Address

Dr. Fabricio Medina-Bolivar

Dr. Fabricio Medina-Bolivar, professor of plant metabolic engineering, was invited to give a plenary address at the fourth annual Conference on Food for Health, held in Fargo, N.D. The title of his talk was "Unearthing the Health Benefits of the Peanut: A Tale from Hairy Roots." The event was organized by the Global Institute of Food Security and International Agriculture and North Dakota State University.


Sustich Reappointed to Science Board

Dr. Paul Sikkel

Dr. Andrew Sustich, professor of physics, was appointed by Gov. Asa Hutchinson to a second term on the board of directors for the Arkansas Economic Development Commission Division of Science and Technology. He also chairs the state's Science Advisory Committee, which develops the state science and technology plan and serves as the advisory group for the state's National Science Foundation EPSCoR program.

Neuman-Lee to Lead Inclusivity Panel

Dr. Lori Neuman-Lee

Dr. Lori Neuman-Lee, assistant professor of herpetology, has been appointed to lead a new committee of the Herpetologists' League. As chair the Diversity and Inclusivity Committee, she has already announced three initiatives: ensuring national meetings promote an inclusive, safe and welcoming environment; broadening the society's reach to include and value herpetologists from all backgrounds; and promoting herpetology to students of all ages to increase the base of diversity.

Gilmore is Honors Professor of the Year

Diane Gilmore

Dr. Diane Gilmore, instructor in biological sciences, is Honors Professor of the Year for 2018. Gilmore, who teaches the Honors course "Human Structure & Function II," was recognized for the energy, passion and inspiration she brings to her lectures. Honors students selected her from among the seven faculty members they had nominated. She is the ninth recipient of the award, which was begun in 2010.

Risch to Participate in Smithsonian Workshop

Dr. Tom Risch

Dr. Tom Risch, interim associate vice chancellor of research and technology and professor of animal ecology, will attend the Red Wolf Science and Conservation Workshop hosted by the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI). The August workshop in Virginia will bring together specialists who can share information on wildlife biology and management, aiding in the recovery and conservation planning for the red wolf (Canis rufus) species.

Boves and Team Name Mite for Jonesboro

Dr. Than Boves

Dr. Than Boves, associate professor of wildlife ecology, is co-author of an article in Systematic and Applied Acarology in which the researchers describe four new mites, including one believed to be the first organism named for Jonesboro. They named the mites, from a group of arachnids called feather mites, Amerodectes jonesborensis. Birds with these mites were caught at the banding station on campus. Details are online.


Paulsen Solves Tetration Problem in Two Papers

Dr. William Paulsen

Dr. William Paulsen, professor of mathematics, solved the main outstanding problem in the field of tetration. In a pair of papers, "Solving F(z+1) = b^F(z) in the Complex Plane" and "Tetration for Complex Bases," both published, in Advances for Computational Mathematics, Paulsen proved there is a unique way to define repeated exponentiation, even when the number of repeats is not an integer or a complex number.


Magazine Notes Lorence's Work With Plants

Dr. Argelia Lorence

A National Science Foundation research grant led by Dr. Argelia Lorence, professor of metabolic engineering, and associates at two other institutions was highlighted in Discover as one of the country's top 12 projects in plant science. The Wheat and Rice Center for Heat Resilience WRCHR, which involves Nebraska-Lincoln, A-State and Kansas State, is creating the foundational knowledge needed for improved wheat and rice yields under stressful environments.


Sikkel's Grad Student Publishes In Journal

Dr. Paul Sikkel

Congratulations to Dr. Paul Sikkel, associate professor of aquatic biology, whose environmental sciences graduate student, William G. Jenkins, is lead author of an article published in Symbiosis. The article, the first chapter of Jenkins' master's thesis, is titled "Effects of host injury on susceptibility of marine reef fishes to ectoparasitic gnathiid isopods." A photograph from the article, which is online, is on the journal cover.


Kennon Directs Northeast Arkansas Science Fair

Dr. James Kennon

Dr. Tillman Kennon, professor of science education and associate department chair, served as director of the 62nd annual Northeast Arkansas Regional Science Fair. Senior high and junior high students from schools in 19 participating counties competed in the fair, displaying their projects in Centennial Hall. Sponsored by the university and private donors, the Science Fair brings hundreds of prospective students to campus each year.


McKay Studies Wasps and Flies in Australia

Dr. Tanja McKay

Dr. Tanja McKay, professor of entomology, has returned from Australia after spending five months on sabbatical. She and a veterinary entomologist at the University of Queensland conducted research into the control of nuisance flies around livestock, and she renewed her study of using parasitic wasps to help control fly populations instead of insecticides. A lab study also looked at wasp and buffalo fly relationships.

Lambertus Receives Kays Foundation Grant

Dr. Amanda Lambertus

The Kays Foundation approved a $6,164 grant to Dr. Amanda Lambertus, associate professor of mathematics education and department chair. She plans to use the grant to support a proposed conference, "Nurturing Young Women Interested in Launching STEM Careers." Lambertus, who joined the mathematics faculty in 2000, earned her Ph.D. at North Carolina State University. Details are in an online news release.


Kennon Presents on Solar Eclipse Project

Dr. James Kennon

Dr. Tillman Kennon, professor of science education, recently gave a presentation on behalf of the Arkansas BalloonSAT team, which he and Dr. Ross Carroll, associate professor of physics, led in an observation of the total solar eclipse last August in Fulton, Mo. Kennon addressed the Astronomical Society of the Pacific's annual meeting in St. Louis, and discussed the observation team's experiences and A-State STEAM students' participation.