Student Projects

Biology Department Summer Research Students 2013

 Bethany Ahlers, class of 2014, Marshall, Minn. Major: Biology. Mentor/advisor: Steven  Matzner. Funding Source: NIH BRIN. Research Location: Cornell University and Augustana College. Project Description: “Plant epigenetic regulation in response to stress.”

Matthew Anderson, class of 2014, Sioux Falls, S.D. Major: Biology. Mentor/advisor: Paul Egland. Funding Source: NIH BRIN. Research Location: Augustana College. Project Description: “Characterization of antibacterial products produced by a bacterial symbiont of the burying beetle Nicrophorus marginatus.”

Monica Bailey, class of 2015, Mobridge, S.D. Major: Biology. Mentor/advisor: Kamesh Suredran. Funding Source: NSF REU. Research Location: Sanford Research. Project Description: “Analysis of Elf5 regulation in the transcriptional activation of principal cell genes by ChIP and reporter assays.”

Curtis Bean, class of 2014, Sioux Falls, S.D. Majors: Physics, Biology. Mentor/advisor: Eric Wells. Funding Source: EPSCoR. Research Location: Augustana College. Project Description: “Two-color pump-probe adaptive femtosecond control with image based feedback.”

Matthew Bell, class of 2016, Sioux Falls, S.D. Majors: Biology, Chemistry. Mentor/advisor: Carrie Hall and Daniel Howard. Funding Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Research Location: Augustana College. Project Description: “Frequency of naturally-occurring carrion resources in southeastern Oklahoma; implications for American burying beetle conservation.”

Claire Bestul, class of 2014, Faribault, Minn. Major: Biology, English. Mentor/advisor: Carrie Hall. Funding Source: NIH BRIN. Research Location: Augustana College/Oklahoma. Project Description: “Coevolution of an endangered insect and a sex-altering symbiotic bacterium.”

Megan Bezdicek, class of 2013, Jackson, Minn. Majors: Biology, Secondary Education, and Athletic Training. Mentor/advisor: Carrie Hall. Funding Source: SPUR (Sanford Research). Research Location: Augustana College. Project Description: “Coevolution of an endangered insect and a sex-altering symbiotic bacterium.”

Julia Blue, class of 2014, Sioux Falls, S.D. Major: Biology. Mentor/advisor: Kristi Egland. Funding Source: NIH BRIN. Research Location: Sanford Research. Project Description: “Defining the role of SUSD2, a protein on the surface of breast cancer cells, in tumor angiogenesis.”

Emily Bose, class of 2014, Hadley, Minn. Major: Biology. Mentor/advisor: Daniel Howard. Funding Source: NSF. Research Location: Augustana College. Project Description: “Reproduction in burying beetles: a test of the Aposematic hypothesis in Nicrophorus marginatus.”

Breann Bowar, class of 2015, Faulkton, S.D. Major: Biology. Mentor/advisor: Karen Munger. Funding Source: NIH BRIN. Research Location: USDSOM/Avera Research Institute/V.A. Project Description: “Effects of collagen crosslinking on a rat model of atherosclerosis.”

Jackson Buchanan, class of 2015, Mendota Heights, Minn. Majors: Biology, Chemistry. Mentor/advisor: Steven Matzner. Funding Source: NSF. Research Location: Augustana College. Project Description: “Methane uptake by bacteria in grassland soils.”

Logan Bulock, class of 2013, Fairmont, Minn. Majors: Biology, Spanish. Mentor/advisor: Paul Egland. Funding Source: SPUR (Sanford Research). Research Location: Augustana College. Project Description: “Characterization of lysozyme activity from the secretome of a Nicrophorus marginatus symbiont.”

Maria Cook, class of 2014, Little Canada, Minn. Majors: Biology, Spanish. Mentor/advisor: Carrie Hall/ Garth Spellman. Funding Source: NIH BRIN. Research Location: Black Hills State University/Augustana College. Project Description: “Using Next Generation sequencing data to understand the influence of landscape disturbance events on population structure of the American burying beetle.”

Tara Cummiskey, class of 2013, St. Peter, Minn. Major: Biology. Mentor/advisor: Steven Matzner. Funding Source: NSF. Research Location: Augustana College. Project Description: “Methane uptake by bacteria in grassland soils.”

Henry Garcia, class of 2015, Sioux Falls, S.D. Major: Biology. Mentor/advisor: K. Surendran. Funding Source: SPUR (Sanford Research). Research Location: Sanford Research. Project Description: “Analysis of Elf5 regulation in the transcriptional activation of principal cell genes by ChIP and reporter assays.”

Emily Grandprey, class of 2014, Sioux Falls, S.D. Major: Biology. Mentor/advisor: Jennifer Gubbels. Funding Source: Cynthia Ballentine-Roesler Donation. Research Location: Augustana College. Project Description: “Interactions of ovarian cancer cells and platelets.”

Jessica Johnson, class of 2014, Sioux Falls, S.D. Major: Biology. Mentor/advisor: Eric Klawitter. Funding Source: NIH Internship. Research Location: Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital. Project Description: “Homologous interhemispheric functional and structural connectivity in multiple sclerosis.”

Kade Klippenstein, class of 2014, Hot Springs, S.D. Major: Biology. Mentor/advisor: John Lee. Funding Source: SPUR (Sanford Research). Research Location: Sanford Research. Project Description: “Enzyme mediated immune evasion by cancer cells.”

Tyson Lager, class of 2015, Freeman, S.D. Major: Biology. Mentor/advisor: Jennifer Gubbels. Funding Source: NIH BRIN. Research Location: Augustana College. Project Description: “The effect of SUSD2 expression on ovarian cancer spheroid formation.”

Matt Larson, class of 2015, Brandon, S.D. Majors: Biology, Spanish. Mentor/advisor: Dr. Gary Sieck.  Funding Source: SURF. Research Location: Mayo Clinic. Project description: "Investigating bioenergetic changes that occur in airway smooth muscle with asthma.

Kenzie Lee, class of 2016, Brookings, S.D. Major: Biology, Spanish. Mentor/advisor: Carrie Hall and Daniel Howard. Funding Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Research Location: Augustana College. Project Description: “Frequency of naturally-occurring carrion resources in southeastern Oklahoma; implications for American burying beetle conservation.”

Nodia Lippert, class of 2014, Sturgis, S.D. Major: Biology. Mentor/advisor: Cecelia Miles. Funding Source: NIH BRIN. Research Location: Augustana College. Project Description: “Validation of candidate genes identified by resequencing of Drosophila melanogaster artificially selected for divergent egg size.”

Elizabeth McCue, class of 2015, Cadwell, Idaho. Major: Biology. Mentor/advisor: Mark Larson. Funding Source: NIH BRIN. Research Location: Augustana College. Project Description: “Omega-3 Fatty Acid mediated effects on platelet mediated thrombogenesis.”

Courtney Moore, class of 2014, Isanti, Minn. Major: Biology. Mentor/advisor: Dr. Bradley Jones Funding Source: NSF-REU. Research Location: University of Iowa. Project description: "The effect of UV-treated Francisella tularensisis in phagosomal escape."

Aduo Omot, class of 2014, Worthington, Minn. Majors: Exercise Science, Biology. Mentor/advisor: Michelle Baach. Funding Source: SPUR (Sanford Research). Research Location: Sanford Research. Project Description: “The short and long-term structural and functional cardiac effects of a high-fat diet during diabetic pregnancy.”

Kirby Rickel, class of 2015, Sioux Falls, S.D. Major: Biology. Mentor/advisor: Seasson Vitiello. Funding Source: NIH BRIN. Research Location: Augustana College. Project Description: “Differential gene expression in a yeast model of cystinosis.”

Ashley Schmidt, class of 2014, Mitchell, S.D. Major: Biology. Mentor/advisor: Daniel Howard. Funding Source: NIH BRIN. Research Location: Augustana College. Project Description: “The effect of wind turbine-induced vibration on the reductive behavior of the endangered American burying beetle (Nicrophorus americanus); a test of the sensory pollution hypothesis.”

Dane Schroeder, class of 2014, Rapid City, S.D. Major: Biology, Chemistry. Mentor/advisor: Paul Egland. Funding Source: NIH BRIN. Research Location: Augustana College. Project Description: “Evaluation of Bacterial Symbionts of the endangered burying beetle Nicrophorus americanus: Characterization of symbiont-produced antibacterial compounds.”

Lance Shaull, class of 2015, Sioux Falls, S.D. Major: Biology. Mentor/advisor: Mark Larson. Funding Source: NIH BRIN. Research Location: Augustana College. Project Description: “Omega-3 Fatty Acid mediated effects on platelet mediated thrombogenesis.”

Jessica Simpkins, class of 2015, Sioux Falls, S.D. Major: Biology, Spanish. Mentor/advisor: Seasson Vitiello. Funding Source: NIH BRIN. Research Location: Augustana College. Project Description: “Differential gene expression in a yeast model of cystinosis.”

Megan Thacker, class of 2016, Omaha, Neb. Major: Biology. Mentor/advisor: Jennifer Gubbels. Funding Source: Sanford COBRE Grant. Research Location: Augustana College. Project Description: “Effects of the protein SUSD2 on ovarian cancer metastasis.”

Vaughn Thada, class of 2015, Owatonna, S.D. Major: Biology. Mentor/advisor: David Pearce. Funding Source: NIH BRIN. Research Location: Sanford Research. Project Description: “Tissue-specific differences in nonsense-mediated decay efficiency modifies Batten disease pathogenesis.”

Emily Weber, class of 2014, Sioux City, Iowa. Major: Biology. Mentor/advisor: David Pearce/ S. & P. Vitiello. Funding Source: SPUR (Sanford Research). Research Location: Sanford Research. Project Description: “Mitochondrial Redox Regulation of Respiratory Activity.”

Emily Wehde, class of 2015, Sioux Falls, S.D. Major: Biology. Mentor/advisor: Karen Munger. Funding Source: NIH BRIN. Research Location: USDSOM/Avera Research Institute/V.A. Project Description: “Effects of collagen crosslinking on a rat model of atherosclerosis.”

Ryta Wodzinski, class of 2014, Sioux Falls, S.D. Major: Biology. Mentor/advisor: Craig Spencer/Cecelia Miles. Funding Source: Augustana Biology. Research Location: Augustana College. Project Description: “Using Drosophila Activity Monitors (DAM) to estimate both genetic and environmental components in cold-adapted Drosophila melanogaster.”

Brooke Woelber, class of 2014, Pipestone, Minn. Majors: Biology, Spanish. Mentor/advisor: Daniel Howard. Funding Source: SPUR (Sanford Research). Research Location: Augustana College. Project Description: “The effect of wind turbine-induced vibration on the reductive behavior of the endangered American burying beetle (Nicrophorus americanus); a test of the sensory pollution hypothesis.”