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January 2015

Research in Progress: Shelby Timm

Shelby Timm is from Mt. Vernon, Illinois, a small town in the southern portion of the state. She received her BS in Zoology at Kentucky Wesleyan College, where she studied the ecological factors that affect the size of amphibians' geographic ranges. Shelby is currently a second-year MS candidate in Biological Sciences in Dr. Jayme Waldron's Herpetology lab. Her interest in herpetology (the study of amphibians and reptiles) and wildlife conservation brought her to Marshall University where she primarily works with salamanders.

Shelby received a NASA West Virginia Space Grant to study the effects of stream liming on larval Spring Salamanders. Stream liming is a form of mitigation intended to reverse the effects of acidification, with the primary goals of neutralizing pH levels and improving game fisheries. However, direct application liming, where ground limestone is directly added to a stream, increases sedimentation and fills interstitial spaces (those between grains of soil or sediment). These spaces are the primary habitat for larval amphibians, and this loss of habitat likely increases stress levels. By looking at life history shifts, Shelby can detect whether the larvae are experiencing stress. Shelby's research used skeletochronology, a histological technique for determining the age of amphibians by examining growth rings present in their bones. This method allows Shelby to determine whether larval growth rates and the number of larvae in each age class were different in limed (experimental) versus unlimed (control) streams. By examining how liming is affecting Spring Salamander life history strategies (i.e. growth rates), Shelby hopes to inform future management practices and determine how liming is affecting stream-associated amphibians. After completing her degree, Shelby's goal is to work as a conservation biologist with a state or federal agency doing a variety of research projects.

Are You Graduating in May?

The deadline to apply for May 2015 graduation is February 6, 2015. If you will be graduating in May, please go to the College of Science (CoS) office, room 270, to obtain your application materials. You will then pay a $50 diploma fee at the Bursar's Office, and bring that receipt and your completed application back to the CoS office before the February 6 deadline. If you have any questions, please contact Vicki Cole in Science Building room 270, or at colev@mashall.edu.

The Spring Commencement Ceremony will be held on Saturday, May 9, 2015.

Stuffed Cells by Zedmalia Wolfe
The scientifically-correct adventures of an archaean, a plant cell, and an animal cell.

Stuffed_Cells_cartoon_January_2015

Would You Like to Work at the National Zoo?

The National Zoo offers a variety of fascinating internships for people who are interested in animal sciences. A sampling of available internships includes Amphibian Husbandry, Bird House positions, Primate Enrichment and Behavior, Sea Lion Enrichment and behavior, and Wood Turtle Ecology.

Internship positions have different deadlines (some are offered on an ongoing basis) and may have different application processes, so click on each one to see what is involved. If you're interested in these great opportunities, visit the National Zoo's Internships and Fellowships page.

Student Conservation Association Internships

Are you interested in conservation? Would you like to experience an internship that you might be able to use as your capstone experience? Consider the Student Conservation Association, a non-profit organization involved in restoring, protecting, and preserving America's public lands. They offer internships in a wide variety of areas, from forestry to archaeology to water quality monitoring to public outreach, and more. SCA interns work in the field with a partner agency or organization, gaining hands-on experience in conservation. Internships last from 12 weeks to 12 months. To learn more about the SCA intern program, visit this page. Additional information can be found by reading their FAQ.

Are You Interested in Study Abroad Opportunities?

The School for Field Studies has numerous programs available to students interested in environmental field studies. Opportunities exist all over the world, including Costa Rica, Kenya, Mexico, and Australia.

Marshall's Study Abroad Program is part of our Center for International Programs. To participate, students must have completed their freshman year, and must have a 2.75 GPA or higher. A wide variety of programs are available to interested students!

What’s New in Biological Science:Penicillin tactics revealed by scientists (ScienceDaily, December 5, 2014). For as long as we've been using penicillin as an antibiotic, its mode of action against cells was not completely understood. Researchers at Harvard Medical School have now shown that penicillin sets in motion a series of events where the cell uses up its resource in an unending cycle of cell wall building and destruction. Read more about what the scientists learned about penicillin here.

Hope you all had a

Happy New Year

Welcome back!

Selected BSC Contact Information

Dr. David Mallory, BSC Chair S-350 (304) 696-2353 mallory@marshall.edu
BSC Graduate Program Information   (304) 696-2427 biograduate@marshall.edu
BSC office, TA applications, various forms S-350 (304) 696-3148 smithmj@marshall.edu
Susan Weinstein, BSC News S-204 (304) 696-2428 weinstei@marshall.edu

Download pdfs of this or any past issue of the Biological Sciences Newsletter by clicking on the archive links to the right.

Department of Biological Sciences | One John Marshall Drive | Science Building 350 | Huntington, WV 25755 | (304) 696-3148
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