Faculty and Students Attend Tennessee Academy of Sciences Meeting, Present Research

Belmont Biology department faculty members Drs. Chris Barton, Roger Jackson and Nick Ragsdale and 26 Belmont students attended the 127th Meeting of the Tennessee Academy of Sciences held at the University of Tennessee Martin at the end of the fall semester. Senior students majoring in biology, biochemistry & molecular biology, neuroscience and environmental science presented their undergraduate research projects in various poster sessions ranging from ecology & environmental science to cell & molecular biology.

Ten Belmont students received recognition for their excellent work:

  • Caroline Glover received first place in the Botany section
  • Christien Jackson received first place in the Ecology and Environmental Science section
  • Bailey Bergmann and Sargoel Rezanejad tied for first place in the Health and Medical Science section
  • Brandi Duke received first place and Priyanka Kumar and AC Dowd tied for second place in the Cell and Molecular Biology section
  • McKenzie Roberts received second place in the Health and Medical Science section
  • Cody Rasner received second place and Haley Hatfield received third place in the Microbiology section

Additionally, Barton and Ragsdale served as section chairs in Microbiology and Health and Medical Science sections, respectively. Jackson served as a judge in the Cell & Molecular Biology section.

The following research projects were presented at the conference:

  • “Variations in Arthropod Diversity Across Green Roofs Differing in Age and Types of Plant Coverage,” Taryn G. Anderson, Faculty Advisor: Darlene Panvini, Ph.D.
  • “The Effect of Urban Green Roof Size on the Diversity and Abundance of Arthropods and Mollusks,” Courtney L. Ankrapp, Faculty Advisor: Darlene Panvini, Ph.D.
  • “Amodiaquine, an anti-malarial compound, inhibits the growth of epithelial cancer cells in culture,” Bailey Bergmann, Faculty Advisor: Chris Barton, Ph.D.
  • “The role of alpha-1- adrenergic receptor antagonists in the treatment of colorectal cancer,” Colin Cardwell, Faculty Advisor: Chris Barton, Ph.D.
  • “Kinetics of Progression of Pathogenicity of Caenorhabditis elegans in Response to Bacillus thuringiensi,” Dana L. Cornwell, Faculty Advisor: Dr. Robert Grammer, Ph.D.
  • “Effect of Inorganic vs. Organic Selenium Compounds as a Pre-treatment to Oxidative Stress Caused by 6-Hydroxydopamine Treatment in elegans,AC Dowd, Faculty Advisor: Nick Ragsdale, Ph.D.
  • “Insight on aversive learning in Caenorhabditis elegans when introduced to Bacillus thuringiensis during reproduction and growth,” Brandi Duke, Faculty Advisor: Robert Grammer, Ph.D.
  • “Examining the presence of Escherichia coli and fecal coliforms at Percy Priest Lake in Nashville, Tennessee,” Hannah Forgani, Faculty Advisor: Chris Barton, Ph.D. and Matt Heard, Ph.D.
  • “Isolation of Lysosomes in Caenorhabditis elegans,” Ryan T. Fox, Faculty Advisor: Robert T. Grammer, Ph.D.
  • “A Quantitative Analysis of a Kale Hybrid, Tronchuda Beira, Grown on an Extensive Green Roof, Garden and Earthboxâ,Caroline Glover, Faculty Advisor: Darlene Panvini, Ph.D.
  • “Synchronization of the life cycle of Caenorhabditis elegans and the correlation of worm age and worm death from the pathogen Bacillus thuringiensis,” Haley Hatfield, Faculty Advisor: Robert Grammar, Ph.D.
  • “In Search of a Simple Microfluidic Method for the Chemotaxis Assay,” Sherif S. Helmey, Faculty Advisors: Robert Grammer, Ph.D. and Krista McBride, Ph.D.
  • “Investigating the Potential Role of nsy-1 in Response to an Oxidative Stressor,” Taylor Hodges, Faculty Advisor: Nick Ragsdale, Ph.D.
  • “The Effects of Exotic Plant Species on Insect Biodiversity within an Urban Temperate Deciduous Forest,” Christien Jackson, Faculty Advisor: Darlene Panvini, Ph.D.
  • “Decomposition of Leaf Litter on Urban Green Roofs of Different Ages Compared To Decomposition in a Community Garden,” La’Tiara Jarvis, Faculty Advisor: Darlene Panvini, Ph.D.
  • “Stable inheritance of olfactory imprinting in Caenorhabditis elegans,Hope Kramer, Faculty Advisor: Robert Grammer, Ph.D.
  • “Novel etoposide drugs inhibit the growth of cancer cells in culture,” Priyanka Kumar, Amber Bradley and Joe Deweese, Ph.D., Faculty Advisor: Chris Barton, Ph.D.
  • “The Effects of Exotic Invasive Plant Species on Pollinator Diversity in a Deciduous Temperate Forest,” Kylie Lawrence, Faculty Advisor: Darlene Panvini, Ph.D.
  • “Investigating the use of quorum sensing molecules in the pathogenic pathway of Bacillus thuringiensis in Caenorhabditis elegans,” Brooke Pugsley, Faculty Advisor: Robert Grammer, Ph.D.
  • Abiotic Factors Affecting the Migration Rate of Cyanobacterial Cells Through Sediment Columns,” Cody Rasner, Faculty Advisors: Darlene Panvini, Ph.D., J.S. Metcalf, Rasner (Institute for Ethnomedicine, Jackson, Wyoming (JSM)), and R. Richer (University of Wisconsin Marinette, Marinette, Wisconsin (KR, RR))
  • “The effects of an antidepressant, Bupropion, on the chemotaxis of nicotine-treated Caenorhabditis elegans towards an attractant,” Sargoel Rezanejad, Faculty Advisor: Robert Grammer, D.
  • “Lycorine hydrochlorine induces a proliferative arrest in colorectal cancer cells,” McKenzie Roberts, Faculty Advisor: Chris Barton, Ph.D.
  • “The Diversity of Microbial Communities on Urban Campus Green Roofs and Community Garden,” Lex Roberts, Faculty Advisor: Darlene Panvini, Ph.D.
  • “Fertilization of Green Sea Urchin, Lytechinus Variegatus, Negatively Impacted by Increasing Temperature and Acidity,” Cady L. Sliger, Faculty Advisor: Darlene Panvini, Ph.D., Virginia Fleer, and James Wetzel (Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, Ocean Springs, Mississippi (VF, JW))
  • “Investigating the Effect of the NMDA-type Neurotransmitter Glutamate on Habituation in Caenorhabditis elegans,Yasmine Telwar, Faculty Advisor: Nick Ragsdale, Ph.D.
  • “The Effects of Bromocriptine on the Mobility of Caenorhabditis elegans Induced With Parkinson’s-like Disease,” Midya Yarwis, Faculty Advisor: Nick Ragsdale, Ph.D.