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Academic News 2019


Neuman-Lee's Article Looks at Snakes' Stress

Dr. Lori Neuman-Lee

A research article by Dr. Lori Neuman-Lee, assistant professor of herpetology, has been accepted by the Journal for Experimental Biology. Using field and hormone manipulation studies, researchers looked at how snakes increase their blood sugar in response to a stressful event. This increase was related to hormone increases, but the hormones did not seem to be directly responsible for the blood sugar increases.

Izadyar, Hood and Seok Develop Biosensor

Dr. Hong Zhou

Dr. Anahita Izadyar (right), associate professor of chemistry, is the corresponding author of an article published in the peer-reviewed journal ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering. Her research group, in collaboration with Dr. Elizabeth Hood, ABI and Agriculture, and Dr. Ilwoo Seok, Engineering, was able to use an enzyme extracted from corn grain to fabricate a facile, fast and cost-beneficial novel biosensor for electrochemical detection of hydrogen peroxide.

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 Receives Award from Alma Mater

Dr. Tanja McKay

Dr. Tanja McKay, professor of entomology and director of the environmental sciences Ph.D. program, was recognized as recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Kansas State University Department of Entomology. The award recognizes alumni who have made outstanding achievements in the field of entomology. She visited with faculty and students and presented a guest lecture, “Stored-Product Insects, Mosquitoes and Heartworms: Unraveling Complexities."

Zhou and Wolf Develop New Statistical Method Stress

Dr. Hong Zhou

Congratulations to Dr. Hong Zhou, associate professor of statistics, and former graduate student Jared Wolf, who worked on developing a new statistical method for multiple comparisons. Their research was published in Communications in Statistics - Theory and Methods. The new method can be used in a variety of areas, such as clinical trials, educational and behavioral sciences, and business marketing research, when one tests multiple hypotheses simultaneously.


Merten Presents Laser Ablation Research

Dr. Jonathan Merten

Dr. Jonathan Merten, associate professor of chemistry, presented parts of his Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) and National Science Foundation (NSF) research at the International Conference on Laser Ablation in Maui, Hawaii. He also presented his laser ablation research at a DTRA program review in Washington, D.C. Merten's research grant from the NSF Division of Chemistry was announced in September.


Marsico and Schulz Contribute to Plant Study

Dr. Travis Marsico

Dr. Travis D. Marsico, professor of botany and interim department chair, and graduate assistant Ashley Schulz are collaborators on research published by the University of Washington. The researchers found that the evolutionary history among host plants is the best predictor of whether an invasive plant-eating insect will have major impact on coniferous forest trees. Previously, biologists had looked primarily at the insects' traits. Details are online.

Tunno and Perry Publish Statistical Research

Dr. Ferebee Tunno

A paper by Dr. Ferebee Tunno (right), associate professor of statistics, and graduate student Miranda Perry has been published in Communications in Statistics - Simulation and Computation. In "Signal Discrimination Without Denoising," they reveal that two previously established tests for autocovariance equality between stationary autoregressive moving average processes can also be used to discriminate between harmonic signals embedded in noise without reconstruction or modeling. The article is online.


Zhou Awarded NIH R15 Research Grant

Dr. Guolei (Jason) Zhou

Dr. Guolei (Jason) Zhou, associate professor of cell and cancer biology, has been approved for a three-year, $419,190 R15 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Including this award and two previous NIH/AR INBRE grants, Zhou has secured over $1.1 million in NIH funding for ongoing research on cellular functions of the cytoskeletal protein CAP1, as well as its roles in breast and pancreatic cancer.

Merten Receives NSF Chemistry Research Grant

Dr. Jonathan Merten

The research group led by Dr. Jonathan Merten, associate professor of chemistry, has received a $489,000 grant from the chemical measurement and imaging program of the National Science Foundation's Division of Chemistry, and co-funding from the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR). Merten has begun a three-year project using laser technology to determine how to measure chemical elements easier, faster, cheaper, and greener.

Sikkel Research Published in Coral Reefs

Dr. Paul Sikkel

Congratulations to Dr. Paul Sikkel, associate professor of aquatic biology, lead author of research published in the journal Coral Reefs. In the article, "Changes in abundance of fish-parasitic gnathiid isopods associated with warm-water bleaching events on the northern Great Barrier Reef," the researchers study the effects of climate-driven mass bleaching events on gnathiid isopod populations around Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef. The article is online.


New Species Name Gives Nod to Sikkel

Dr. Paul Sikkel

Former Ph.D. student Rachel Welicky, who studied with Dr. Paul Sikkel, associate professor of aquatic biology, names six new isopod species, including Anilocra palsikkeli, in a Parasites & Vectors article. Her co-author and postdoc advisor, Nico Smit, is part of an A-State exchange with North West University in South Africa. Ph.D. student Gina Hendrick is lead author of a paper in the same journal with Sikkel, Dr. Maureen Dolan and Dr. Tanja McKay.


Rolland Authors Research on Black Skimmers

Dr. Virginie Rolland

Dr. Virginie Rolland, associate professor of quantitative wildlife ecology, is first author of an article published recently in the research journal Waterbirds. In the article, Rolland and fellow researchers analyze the foraging movements of black skimmers in coastal regions of Louisiana. Their work represents the first-time research use of GPS devices to track the birds' movements. The article abstract is available online through BioOne Complete.


Kennon and Carroll Lead High Altitude Balloon Launch

Dr. James Kennon

Dr. Tillman Kennon, professor of science education, associate chair, and research director for Arkansas BalloonSat (ABS) and Dr. Ross Carroll, led the team which launched a successful flight, the 55th in a series, Friday. The balloon carried research instruments to a new ABS altitude record, 105,804 feet (20.04 miles). Two instruments recorded a low temperature of -70.4F at 50,000 feet. The onboard cameras captured images and video, which the ABS team has posted online.

Risch Becomes Vice Provost for Research

Dr. Tom Risch

Congratulations to Dr. Tom Risch, who received permanent appointment as vice provost for research and technology transfer and executive director of Arkansas Biosciences Institute at A-State. He has been serving in an interim capacity in both positions. Risch, who completed his Ph.D. at Auburn, came to A-State in 2001, and previously has filled various other program and departmental leadership roles. Details are online.


Sikkel is Co-Author of Parasite Research

Dr. Paul Sikkel

Dr. Paul Sikkel, associate professor of aquatic biology, is one of the co-authors of an article recently published in Parasitology Research. The authors reported on their study of gnathiid isopods, common external parasites that feed on the blood of marine fishes, collected in the Philippines. They documented the first observation of gnathiids feeding on the blood meal of other gnathiids. The article abstract is online.


Water Conservation Research on Create@State Podcast

Emma Martin (left), Dr. Jennifer Bouldin (middle), Amber Spence (right)

Join Dr. Bouldin and graduate students Emma Martin and Amber Spence as they discuss their research on the Create@State Podcast.

Greenhouse tents to be built for rice study

Dr. Argelia Lorence

Dr. Lorence was interviewed by KAIT8, about the WRCHR project and the greenhouse rice tents being built in Harrisburg.

McKay And Team Conduct Grain Storage Research

Dr. Virginie Rolland and Dr. Tanja Mckay

Dr. Tanja McKay, professor of entomology, is co-author of an article published in Journal of Stored Products Research, "Assessment of Rhyzopertha dominica (F.) progeny and feeding damage on rice dried with infrared radiation." First author is Rachel Hampton, who worked in McKay's lab and completed a master's degree. Dr. Virginie Rolland, associate professor of quantitative wildlife ecology, is a co-author, along with associates at the University of Arkansas.


Lorence Part of the Summit that Defined the Next Decadal Vision for Plant Science in the USA

Dr. Argelia Lorence

Argelia Lorence (Chemistry and Physics and ABI), James and Wanda Lee Vaughn Endowed Professor who serves as President Elect of the Phytochemical Society of North America was selected to participate at the Plant Summit 2019. This four day retreat took place February 10-13 at the Biosphere 2 in Oracle, AZ. At the Summit 52 scientists including Lorence discussed the vision for US plant science research for the next decade. Lorence is part of the team that is writing a 10-page report that summarizes the main outcomes of the Summit. That report will be widely disseminated to all professional societies that are related to plant science and their members later this year.

Izadyar Recognized by Journal Publisher

Dr. Anahita Izadyar

Congratulations to Dr. Anahita Izadyar, associate professor of chemistry, who has been recognized by the publishing company Elsevier for her professional reviews she contributed to its publications. She received outstanding reviewer certification from three journals published by Elsevier, Electrochimica Acta, Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry and Bioelectrochemistry. Izadyar joined A-State's chemistry faculty in 2012 after serving as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pittsburgh.

Sikkel is Co-Author for Study of Reef Fishes

Dr. Paul Sikkel

Dr. Paul Sikkel, associate professor of aquatic biology, is a co-author of an article published by Oecologia in its highlighted student research paper section. One of his former students at A-State, Joseph Sellers, is lead author of the study into the levels of infestation by gnathiid isopods and resulting mortality rates among the juveniles of three species of reef fishes. Findings suggest that gnathiids can significantly impact coral reef fish survival.

Atlantic Quotes Rolland on U.S. Climate Change

Dr. Virginie Rolland

Dr. Virginie Rolland, associate professor of quantitative wildlife ecology, was interviewed by The Atlantic for an article about a study on climate change and city climate pairings, now and in 2080. She referred to her own research on eastern bluebirds, whose migration patterns are already adjusting due to environmental changes. In 60 years, New York City's climate is predicted to be like Jonesboro's is now. The article on climate twins is online.

"What Are Facts?"

Dr. Martin Huss (left) and Dr. Ferebee Tunno (right)

Dr. Ferebee Tunno (right), associate professor of statistics, and Dr. Martin Huss, associate professor of botany, will make a joint presentation Monday, Feb. 11, at 3 p.m. in the White River Room, Reng Student Union. Their topic "What Are Facts?" will be an in-depth discussion of how mathematical reasoning and the scientific method help us better understand the natural and physical worlds. The session is open to everyone.

Nonlinear springs with dynamic frictionless contact

Dr. Jeongho Ahn

Dr. Jeongho Ahn and Jay Mayfield published an article on the mathematical approaches to dynamic frictionless contact of nonlinear viscoelastic springs in the Springer NoDEA Journal. Mr. Mayfield is a CoSM alumni and is pursuing a PhD at Iowa State. (Abstract)


Rice is Co-Author of Math Assessment Article

Dr. Lisa Rice

Congratulations to Dr. Lisa Rice, assistant professor of mathematics education, and colleagues on publishing "The Calculus Concept Inventory: A Psychometric Analysis and Implications for Use," in the peer-reviewed International Journal of Mathematics Education in Science and Technology. The authors analyzed the calculus concept inventory for its validity and reliability in learning assessment, and concluded a new instrument is needed to determine students' understanding of calculus concepts.