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HSB 201: Oral presentations [clear filter]
Saturday, April 27
 

9:00am EDT

1. Raptorial Strikes Investigated Using Original Software
Raptorial Strikes Investigated Using Original Software
Dustin Smith
Faculty mentor: James Vance
University of Virginia’s College at Wise

The focus of this project is to model the predatory strikes of the Chinese mantis Tenodera sinensis, and to observe any measurable competitive advantages that this invasive species may have over the native Carolina praying mantis Stagmomantis carolina. In addition, dissections of the raptorial forelegs of observed mantises were performed to obtain the accelerating forces of the predatory strikes. The praying mantises were observed using a highspeed camera. The videos were analyzed using personal image processing software written in MATLAB using the Computer Vision toolbox that obtains two-dimensional projections of the kinematics of the foreleg segments to produce complete models of the strikes. This research is ongoing, and measurable differences have been observed in the Chinese mantises Tenodera sinensis with the males exhibiting accelerations up to four times that of the females.

Dusting Smith is from Big Stone Gap and recently earned a bachelor's degree in Biology. Smith is currently pursuing a teaching certification and plans to become a biology teacher.

Speakers

Saturday April 27, 2019 9:00am - 10:00am EDT

9:00am EDT

2. Relationship between Salinity and Algal Biomass on Coastal Waters of Georgia
Relationship between Salinity and Algal Biomass on Coastal Waters of Georgia
Julia Steele
Faculty mentors: Samuel Mutiti, Kalina Manoylov, and Christine Mutiti
Georgia College & State University

An increase in frequency and intensity of storms coupled with sea level rise will result in saltwater intrusion on the freshwater bodies on coastal and barrier islands. This change can cause significant stress and reduction in biodiversity of unique aquatic systems on islands. The goal of this project is to map the spatial distribution and correlations of salinity, nutrients, and chlorophyll-a on Sapelo Island, Georgia. Parameters were measured using probes while lab samples were analyzed using benchtop equipment. Phosphate concentration was as high as 1.18 mg/L. Green algae, diatoms, and cyanobacteria biomass ranged from 0 µg/L to 70 µg/L. While Spatial regression analysis showed that there was a 40% positive correlation among phosphate and diatom biomass. ArcGIS analysis showed geospatial correlations among salinity, phosphate and diatoms. Algal diversity decreased as the water became more saline. These preliminary results imply that climate change has the potential to adversely impact aquatic systems.
 
Julia Steele is from Lawrenceville, Georgia and is currently studying environmental science and public health. She is awaiting job responses from federal agencies like the CDC and the EPA along with international nonprofit organizations. 

Speakers

Saturday April 27, 2019 9:00am - 10:00am EDT
HSB 201

9:00am EDT

3. The Graceful Tree Algorithm
The Graceful Tree Algorithm
Fiona Bogart
Faculty mentor: Eirini Poimenidou
New College of Florida

A well-known open problem in graph theory is the Graceful Tree Conjecture, which states that any tree with n vertices may be labeled gracefully. In other words, each vertex of the tree may be labeled with the integers 1 through n so that the absolute difference of the labels of each edge’s endpoints is distinct. We develop an algorithm capable of constructing a tree with n vertices and a graceful labeling. The algorithm works backwards by labeling the vertices of Kn by the integers 1 through n and then the edges by the absolute difference of their endpoints' labels. The algorithm then proceeds to have us choose and delete appropriate edges from the labeled complete graph until we obtain a gracefully labeled tree. We then explore the class of trees the algorithm is capable of producing, which we call algorithmic trees. We demonstrate that stars, paths, and caterpillars are algorithmic.

Fiona Bogart is a third-year mathematics student at New College of Florida. They enjoy thinking about and visualizing abstract mathematics, and their primary interests lie in graph theory, abstract algebra, and Riemann surfaces.

Speakers

Saturday April 27, 2019 9:00am - 10:00am EDT
HSB 201

10:15am EDT

1. Worker Cooperatives as Wealth-Building Institutions in Low-Income Communities in the US
Worker Cooperatives as Wealth-Building Institutions in Low-Income Communities in the US
Adam Johnson
Faculty mentor: Mark Paul
New College of Florida

Worker cooperatives are enterprises structured to be democratically owned and managed by their workers. The co-op's unique equity structure fundamentally shifts the incentives of a business towards its workers' needs and wants, supplanting the profit motive. This labor-oriented structure eliminates a primary root cause of poverty and wealth inequality: the role of the capitalist as an extractor of wealth within the workplace. The ability of cooperatives to reduce poverty and build wealth is well documented within the current literature, but this research is scattered throughout different areas of community development and worker experiences. This paper concentrates the economic theory behind the cooperative’s wealth-building capabilities with a lens from the low-income communities that need those benefits the most. After discussing theory, some public policy strategies for how to best encourage the growth of the cooperative economy are explored.

Adam Johnson is a sophomore from New College of Florida who is concentrating in Sociology and Political Science. He has a specific interest in growing the worker cooperative movement as he hopes to work within the labor movement in some way after graduation.

Speakers

Saturday April 27, 2019 10:15am - 11:15am EDT
HSB 201

10:15am EDT

2. Addressing Economic Issues in Milledgeville
Addressing Economic Issues in Milledgeville
Montana Phalan
Faculty mentor: Amanda Reinke
Georgia College & State University

43% of the population within Milledgeville lives below the poverty line, higher than the national average of 13%. A decade ago, Milledgeville was surging with employment. In a few years, more than 1,800 jobs were dissolved. Because of this, economic infrastructures, such as money lending offices and other businesses have become visible. These businesses provide a much-needed financial infrastructure by offering monetary resources to those with limited options. Despite their widespread use, little data has been collected to understand the impacts of these loans on business owners who operate them, their clients, or the community’s economic wellbeing. Using interviews, mapping techniques, and archival data, the goal of this research is to determine the ways lending businesses provide economic opportunities to individuals who have few options but may capture their clients in a cycle of debt. This project will illuminate a pervasive economic issue by examining business owners’ and clients’ perceptions and experiences with money lending.

Montana Phalan is from Loganville, Georgia and is a Philosophy major and an Anthropology minor. After graduation, Phalan plans on working for an NGO and travelling doing field work.

Speakers

Saturday April 27, 2019 10:15am - 11:15am EDT
HSB 201

10:15am EDT

3. Economic Success Story, the South Korean Way
Economic Success Story, the South Korean Way
Levi Springer
Faculty mentor: Alexander Mechitov
University of Montevallo

This presentation covers how South Korea rapidly transitioned its economy from one that survived by agricultural means, to one that thrives from exporting some of the most sophisticated hardware on the planet today. Being very land poor South Korea knew that they would need to focus on quality rather than quantity and produce a few specialized products. We will analyze how this was done by investing heavily in human capital, and putting a great deal of emphasis on the importance of education. Today this country has some of the highest student test scores in math and science in the world. Secondly, South Korea began investing heavily in research and development, becoming a world leader in high tech industries. Third, South Korea has developed a business environment that makes it very easy to do business. Lastly we will discuss specifics of the Korean culture that accomplishes tasks as effectively as possible.

Levi Springer is a marketing major at the University of Montevallo from Maylene, Alabama, which is about 30 minutes south of Birmingham. He is considering furthering his academic studies through a graduate program. 

Speakers

Saturday April 27, 2019 10:15am - 11:15am EDT
HSB 201

11:30am EDT

1. Saccharomyces cerevisiae Genetic Screen: “A Tale of SEC6”
Saccharomyces cerevisiae Genetic Screen: “A Tale of SEC6”
Billie Mills and Kaitlyn Burke
Faculty mentor: Ellen France
Georgia College & State University

Polarized protein secretion is a fundamental process for all eukaryotic cells mediated by hundreds of proteins. Our interest lies on yeast Sec6 protein, a component of the exocyst complex, which is required for the proper delivery of secretory vesicles to the plasma membrane. Sec6 surface patch mutants have severe growth and secretion defects at 37°C. We currently hypothesize that Sec6 anchors the complex, and the Sec6-49 temperature sensitive phenotype stems from disruption of Sec6’s surface interaction with unknown factor(s) on the plasma membrane. We employed a genetic screen using a genomic library to identify genes that rescue the growth defect of sec6-49 cells at 37°C, allowing mutant cells to grow. We have isolated approximately 30 potential suppressor plasmids and have identified a few potential candidate genes. Validation of these individual candidate genes leading to discovery of new interacting proteins will allow us to explore Sec6 function within the exocyst further.
 
Billie Mills is a senior biology major from Moultrie, Georgia currently planning to attend medical school or a graduate program in cellular and molecular biology after graduation. 
 
Kaitlyn Burke is a third year biology major from Dacula, Georgia. After graduation, she’s thinking about being a high school teacher.


Saturday April 27, 2019 11:30am - 12:30pm EDT
HSB 201

11:30am EDT

2. Polynuclear Ruthenium Organometallic Complexes Induce DNA Damage in Cells Repaired by the Nucleotide Excision Repair Pathways
Polynuclear Ruthenium Organometallic Complexes Induce DNA Damage in Cells Repaired by the Nucleotide Excision Repair Pathways
Olivia Fast
Faculty mentor: Steven Shell
University of Virginia’s College at Wise

Ruthenium organometallic compounds represent an attractive avenue in developing alternatives to platinum-based chemotherapeutic agents. While evidence has been presented indicating ruthenium-based compounds interact with isolated DNA in vitro, it is unclear what effect these compounds exert in cells. Moreover, the antibiotic efficacy of ruthenium organometallic compounds remains uncertain. In this study we report that exposure to polynuclear ruthenium organometallic compounds induces recruitment of damaged DNA sensing protein Xeroderma pigmentosum Group C (XPC) into chromatin-immobilized foci. Additionally, we observed one of the tested polynuclear ruthenium organometallic complexes displayed increased cytotoxicity against human cells deficient in nucleotide excision repair (NER). Taken together, these results suggest that polynuclear ruthenium organometallic compounds induce DNA damage in cells, and that cellular resistance to these compounds may be influenced by the NER DNA repair phenotype of the cells.
 
Olivia Fast is a third year biochemistry major from Pound, Virginia. She plans to attend dental school after graduation. 

Speakers

Saturday April 27, 2019 11:30am - 12:30pm EDT
HSB 201

11:30am EDT

3. Verification of Chromosome Numbers in Utricularia floridana, an Aquatic, Carnivorous Plant Native to the Southeastern United States
Verification of Chromosome Numbers in Utricularia floridana, an Aquatic, Carnivorous Plant Native to the Southeastern  United States
Zachary Izen
Faculty mentor: Gretchen Ionta
Georgia College & State University

Previously, we conducted a cytological study of Utricularia floridana, an aquatic, carnivorous flowering plant of the Lentibulariaceae family, establishing a preliminary chromosome number of n=16 based on mitotic root tip counts. We aim to verify these results with meiotic counts from an additional population of this species. Lentibulariaceae are known for their extreme interspecific cytological variability, and the accelerated molecular evolution in this clade of carnivorous plants is of particular interest to plant geneticists. However, minute chromosome size coupled with an absence of roots and a tendency to inhabit inconvenient habitats renders determination of chromosome numbers in this group difficult, such that fewer than 20% of the ca. 233 species of Utricularia have been counted. In June 2018 we collected samples from a population of U. floridana, and after identifying and processing viable meiotic samples, utilized staining techniques to gain a chromosome number of n=16.

Zachary Izen was raised in Buford, Georgia, and currently majors in biology with a research focus in plant science. Post-graduation, he plans to pursue a master’s degree in bioethics. 

Speakers

Saturday April 27, 2019 11:30am - 12:30pm EDT
HSB 201