Belmont Biology Students Receive Awards at Tennessee Academy of Sciences Annual Meeting

Group Photo of Students

Biology department faculty Drs. Steve Murphree, Jennifer Thomas, Darlene Panvini, Chris Barton, Nikki Glenn, Emily Rotich and 13 undergraduate research students representing biology, environmental science and biochemistry & molecular biology majors, attended the 129th Tennessee Academy of Science (TAS) Annual Meeting in November in Columbia, Tennessee. 

Six Belmont students were recognized for the quality of their research in their respective poster sections:

  • David Feng, second place, zoology
  • Taylor Gerson, third place, cell and molecular biology
  • Faith Martin, first place, ecology and environmental science
  • Nicole Pope, first place, zoology
  • Holly Pyles, second place, cell and molecular biology
  • Kailey Shannon, first place, health and medical sciences

In addition, Biology Professor Dr. Jennifer Thomas gave a presentation, “Take time to celebrate: an impactful strategy for end-of-course reflection,” in the Science and Math Teaching section. 

The Tennessee Academy of Science, founded in 1912, organizes symposia, manages on-going programs in many fields and communicates with the national scientific culture. Biology Professor Dr. Steve Murphree serves as TAS’s treasurer and Biology Professor Dr. Darlene Panvini serves as president-elect. 

Titles of all student poster presentations are as follows:

  • Occurrence of soil arthropods along a pH gradient at an urban protected site in Nashville, Tennessee. Mernaa Fayik* and Darlene Panvini.
  • Impact of noise pollution on the diversity and abundance of bird species at feeders in two urban neighborhoods. David Feng* and Darlene Panvini.
  • Lichen DNA barcoding: an aid in lichen identification and air quality assessment. Taylor Gerson*, Chris Barton, and Darlene Panvini.
  • An Exploration of Endophytes Within Known Medicinal Plants in Pursuit of Novel Antibiotic Synthesis. Zaid Hatem*, Ethan Lilly*, Emily Rotich, Matthew Heard.
  • Anti-proliferative effects of amodiaquine on multiple cancer cell types. Spenser Johnson* and Chris Barton.
  • Intensity of development and impervious substrate cover as indicators of urban plant diversity and community composition. Faith Martin* and Darlene Panvini.
  • Comparison of bird diversity reported at an eBird hotspot and a banding station in an urban natural area park in Nashville, Tennessee. Mia Melendez* and Darlene Panvini.
  • Drug Repurposing: Anti-malarial compounds decrease the viability of multiple cervical cancer cell lines. Hannah Moore and Chris Barton.
  • Occurrence of invertebrates along a dry streambed gradient in an urban park in Nashville, Tennessee. Gabe Newton* and Darlene Panvini.
  • Prevalence of Ophryocystis elecktroscirrha in Danaus plexippus during fall migration through Nashville, Tennessee. Nicole Pope* and Darlene Panvini.
  • Effect of amodiaquine on gene expression and apoptosis in colorectal cancer cells. Holly Pyles* and Chris Barton.
  • Analyzing the ability of amodiaquine to function in combination with starvation and additional chemotherapeutic compounds. Kailey Shannon and Chris Barton.
  • Apoptotic Effect of Amodiaquine on HCT116 Colon Cancer Cells. Sandra Tomas* and Chris Barton.