Augustana Students Complete Summer Research in Natural Sciences

Students conduct research at Augustana.

For summer 2015, nearly 70 Augustana students conducted research and internships on- and off-campus in the natural sciences.

This summer, 70 Augustana students conducted research and internships on- and off-campus in the natural sciences.

With the first building phase of the new Froiland Science Complex nearing completion, associate professor of biology Dr. Mark Larson commented on the progress students were still able to make this summer.

"Even with the new science building construction going on around many of these student researchers, we were still able to conduct an exciting and productive research period.  We look forward to next summer with the opening of brand-new research spaces."

The following students participated in summer research and internships.

2015 Summer Researchers:

Jose Alvarez, class of 2017, Sioux Falls. Major: Biology.
Mentor/advisor: Carrie Hall. Funding Source: NSF REU.
Research Location: Augustana. Project Description: “Male acoustic phenotype influences female mate choice decisions in a lek-mating insect (Gryllotalpa major).”

Nick Antonson, class of 2017, Beresford, South Dakota. Major: Biology, Secondary Education.
Mentor/advisor: Carrie Hall. Funding Source: SPUR.
Research Location: Augustana. Project Description: “Daily activity patterns and temporal niche comparison in five sympatric Nicrophorine species (Insecta: Coleoptera: Silphidae).”

Austin Ashbacher, class of 2016, Calmar, Iowa. Major: Biology.
Mentor/advisor: Peter Vitiello. Funding Source: SPUR.
Research Location: Sanford Research. Project Description: “The role of nuclear thioredoxin-1 in protection against hyperoxic injury in a mouse model.”

Lucas Bartl, class of 2018, Aberdeen, South Dakota. Major: Biology.
Mentor/advisor: Carrie Hall. Funding Source: BRIN.
Research Location: Augustana. Project Description: “Description of stridulatory characters of Nicrophorus carolinus (Coleoptera: Silphidae): A comparison with eight North American species.”

Matthew Bell, class of 2016, Sioux Falls. Major: Biology, Chemistry.
Mentor/advisor: Paul Egland. Funding Source: BRIN.
Research Location: Augustana. Project Description: “Defining the contribution of symbiotic bacteria to antimicrobial secretions of Nicrophorus burying beetles.”

Michael Blankespoor, class of 2016, Rock Valley, Iowa. Major: Biology, Spanish.
Mentor/advisor: Lance Lee. Funding Source: SPUR.
Research Location: Sanford Research. Project Description: “Expression of ciliary proteins in mouse tracheal epithelial cells.”

Elliott D. Blue, class of 2016, Sioux Falls. Major: Biology.
Mentor/advisor: Eric Klawiter.
Research Location: Massachusetts General Hospital. Project Description: “Utilization of MRI to study connectivity of the brain in patients with multiple sclerosis.”

Jordan Bormann, class of 2017, Parkston, South Dakota. Major: Biology.
Mentor/advisor: Mark Larson. Funding Source: American Physiological Society; SPUR.
Research Location: Augustana. Project Description: “Platelet function after membrane alteration and platelet biogenesis.”

Gabriel Carlisle, class of 2015, Sioux Falls. Major: Biology.
Mentor/advisor: Seasson Vitiello, Steve Matzner. Funding Source: NSF EPSCoR.
Research Location: Augustana. Project Description: In silico analysis of drought-related gene expression regulation in tomato.”

Bryce Christopherson, class of 2015, Brandon, South Dakota. Major: Economics, Math.
Mentor/advisor: Lindsay Erickson.
Research Location: Augustana. Project Description: "Nim on trees."

Kevin Dolge, class of 2017, Brandon, South Dakota. Major: ACS Chemistry.
Mentor/advisor: Barry Eichler. Funding Source: Earl/Viste Fellowship.
Research Location: Augustana. Project Description: “The Synthesis of Anthracene-Based Triarylamino Dyes for Solar Cells.”

Andrew Gardner, class of 2016, White Bear Lake, Minnesota. Major: Physics, German, Math.
Mentor/advisor: Drew Alton. Funding Source: NSF.
Research Location: Augustana. Project Description: “Implementation of a data acqusition system for photo sensor testing.”

Brianna Grandprey, class of 2017, Windom, Minnesota. Major: Biology.
Mentor/advisor: Cecelia Miles. Funding Source: NSF EPSCoR.
Research Location: Augustana. Project Description: “Variation in courtship behavior of thermally-adapted Drosophila melanogaster populations.”

Geoffrey A. Gray-Lobe, class of 2017, Vermillion, Southa Dakota. Major: Biology, Math.
Mentor/advisor: Breck Bowden. Funding Source: NSF-REU.
Research Location: University of Vermont, Rubenstein Ecosystem Sci Lab. Project Description: “Watershed ecology with a specific focus on impaired hyporheic function in urban streams & synoptic stream network sampling.”

Casey Hanson, class of 2017, Duluth, Minnesota. Major: Biology.
Mentor/advisor: Barry Eichler. Funding Source: BRIN.
Research Location: Augustana. Project Description: “Synthesis of CdSe/ZnS Quantum Dots and their Bioconjugation to DNA.”

Ryan Johnson, class of 2017, Lincoln, Nebraska. Major: Chemistry.
Mentor/advisor: Seasson Vitiello, Pete Vitiello. Funding Source: NASA Space Grant.
Research Location: Augustana. Project Description: “Understanding redox regulation in lung: Validation of a thioredoxin-1 floxed mouse.”

Emily Kaufman, class of 2017, Sioux Falls. Major: ACS BioChemistry.
Mentor/advisor: Jetty Duffy Matzner. Funding Source: BRIN.
Research Location: Augustana. Project Description: “Computational analysis of a novel tetraester macrolide vs nonactin for antimicrobial activity.”

Chase Klingaman, class of 2018, Mitchell, South Dakota. Major: ACS Biochemistry, Modern Foreign Language.
Mentor/advisor: Jared Mays. Funding Source: NSF EPSCoR.
Research Location: Augustana. Project Description: “Enzymatic Hydrolysis of 2,2-Diphenylethyl Glucosinolate.”

Jacob Kunkel, class of 2017, Albert Lea, Minnesota. Major: Biology; Psych.
Mentor/advisor: Jennifer Gubbels. Funding Source: BRIN.
Research Location: Augustana. Project Description: “Investigation of platelet binding to ovarian cancer cells.”

Tyson Lager, class of 2015, Freeman, South Dakota. Major: Biology.
Mentor/advisor: Jennifer Gubbels. Funding Source: Sanford Grant.
Research Location: Augustana. Project Description: “Investigation of platelet binding to ovarian cancer cells.”

Matthew Larson, class of 2015, Brandon, South Dakota. Major: Biology.
Mentor/advisor: Casey Williams. Funding Source: Avera.
Research Location: Avera Research Inst.

Emma Long, class of 2016, Byron, South Dakota. Major: Biology.
Mentor/advisor: Sam Milanovich. Funding Source: SPUR.
Research Location: Sanford Research. Project Description: "The role of Arid 5b in pediatric leukemia."

Eli Louwagie, class of 2016, Marshall, Minnesota. Major: Biology.
Mentor/advisor: Michelle Baack. Funding Source: SPUR.
Research Location: Sanford Research. Project Description: “Maternal high-fat diet and gestational diabetes modify expression of placental fuel transport and storage proteins.”

Gabrielle Malmanger, class of 2018, Faribault, Minnesota. Major: ACS Biochemistry.
Mentor/advisor: Jetty Duffy-Matzner. Funding Source: NASA.
Research Location: Augustana. Project Description: “Synthesis and characterization of various low band gap polyethynyl thiophene difurodiketopyrrolopyrrole polymers.”

Chase Marso, class of 2016, Brandon, South Dakota. Major: Biology.
Mentor/advisor: Shane Scholten. Funding Source: BRIN.
Research Location: Augustana. Project Description: “Vitamin D supplemental effects on Physical performance in vitamin D deficient adults.”

Evan Meyer, class of 2017, Sioux Falls. Major: Biology.
Mentor/advisor: Mark Larson. Funding Source: BRIN.
Research Location: Augustana. Project Description: “Platelet function after membrane alteration and platelet biogenesis.”

Deeksha Mohan, class of 2016, India. Major: Biology.
Mentor/advisor: Cecelia Miles. Funding Source: SPUR.
Research Location: Augustana. Project Description: “The relationship between egg size and terminal filaments in developing Drosophila melanogaster embryos.”

Alexandra Mohror, class of 2016, Fargo, North Dakota. Major: ACS BioChemistry.
Mentor/advisor: Barry Eichler. Funding Source: NSF EPSCoR.
Research Location: Augustana. Project Description: “Synthesis of CdSe/ZnS Quantum Dots and their Bioconjugation to DNA.”

Andrés (David) Morales, class of 2017, Ecuador. Major: Chemistry.
Mentor/advisor: Jetty Duffy-Matzner. Funding Source: ARAF.
Research Location: Augustana. Project Description: “Synthesis and characterization of various low band gap polyethynyl thiophene difurodiketopyrrolopyrrole polymers.”

Joe Napierala, class of 2017, Alta, Iowa. Major: Physics, Biology.
Mentor/advisor: Eric Wells. Funding Source: NSF.
Research Location: Augustana. Project Description: “Strong-field adaptive femtosecond control of chemical dynamics guided by three-dimensional momentum imaging.”

Rachel Nevin, class of 2017, Sioux Falls. Major: Math, Physics.
Mentor/advisor: Iowa State. Funding Source: Iowa State REU.
Research Location: Iowa State. Project Description: “Developing high order numerical methods for solving the Boltmann BGK (model for representing ideal gases).”

April Parsons, class of 2017, Sioux Falls. Major: Biology, Chemistry.
Mentor/advisor: Seasson Vitiello. Funding Source: BRIN.
Research Location: Augustana. Project Description: “A yeast model of cystinosis: Regulation of Saccharomyces cerevisiae ERS1 expression.”

Caden Quintanilla, class of 2018, Sioux Falls. Major: Biology.
Mentor/advisor: Cecelia Miles. Funding Source: BRIN.
Research Location: Augustana. Project Description: “The relationship between egg size and terminal filaments in developing Drosophila melanogaster embryos.”

Ryder Reed, class of 2016, Luverne, Minnesota. Major: Biology.
Mentor/advisor: Paul Egland. Funding Source: BRIN.
Research Location: Augustana. Project Description: “Defining the contribution of symbiotic bacteria to antimicrobial secretions of Nicrophorus burying beetles.”

Kirby Rickel, class of 2015, Sioux Falls. Major: Biology.
Mentor/advisor: Seasson Vitiello. Funding Source: NSF EPSCoR.
Research Location: Augustana. Project Description: “A Saccharomyces cerevisiae model of cystinosis: Disruption of vacuolar cystine transporter downregulates expression of genes involved in sulfur regulation and cellular respiration.”

Alex Rickel, class of 2016, Sioux Falls. Major: Physics.
Mentor/advisor: Keith Miskimins. Funding Source: SPUR.
Research Location: Sanford Research.

Jess Roetman, class of 2017, Rock Rapids, Iowa. Major: Biology.
Mentor/advisor: Jennifer Gubbels. Funding Source: SPUR.
Research Location: Augustana. Project Description: “Investigation of platelet binding to ovarian cancer cells.”

Austin Saugstad, class of 2017, Marshall, Minnesota. Major: Biology.
Mentor/advisor: Craig Spencer, Eric Vanderstouwe, Neil Broughton. Funding Source: The Sierra Club.
Research Location: Augustana, Good Earth & Newton Hills State Parks. Project Description: “Native landscape restoration and education at Good Earth and Newton Hills State Parks.”

Alec Scarborough, class of 2016, Glenwood, Iowa. Major: Biology, Chemistry.
Mentor/advisor: Paul Egland. Funding Source: BRIN.
Research Location: Augustana. Project Description: “Comparing the normal microbiota of endangered and non-endangered species of  Nicrophorus burying beetles.”

Dan Schmidtman, class of 2017, Sioux Falls. Major: Biology; Spanish.
Mentor/advisor: Paola Vermeer; John Lee. Funding Source: BRIN.
Research Location: Sanford. Project Description: “Tumor Innervation: The Role of Neurotrophic Factors and Receptors in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma.”

Jessica Simpkins, class of 2015, Sioux Falls. Major: Biology, Spanish.
Mentor/advisor: Steve Matzner, Seasson Vitiello. Funding Source: Augustana College.
Research Location: Augustana. Project Description: “A Saccharomyces cerevisiae model of cystinosis: Disruption of a vacuolar cystine transporter downregulates expression of genes involved in sulfur regulation and cellular respiration.”

Joseph Stevens, class of 2016, Elk River, Minnesota. Major: Chemistry.
Mentor/advisor: Jetty Duffy-Matzner. Funding Source: Arlen Viste Chemistry Fellowship.
Research Location: Augustana. Project Description: “Synthesis of novel 2,3-furanotetraester macrolide.”

Selamawit Tegegn, class of 2017, Ethiopia. Major: Engineering Physics.
Mentor/advisor: Eric Wells. Funding Source: NSF.
Research Location: Augustana. Project Description: “Strong-field adaptive femtosecond control of chemical dynamics guided by three-dimensional momentum imaging.”

Madhushan Tennakoon, class of 2016, Sri Lanka. Major: Physics.
Mentor/advisor: Nathan Grau. Funding Source: NSF.
Research Location: Augustana. Project Description: “Two particle correlations in p+p and p+Au collisions utilizing the MPC-EX detector at RHIC-PHENIX.”

Megan Thacker, class of 2016, Omaha, Nebraska. Major: Biology.
Funding Source: Eppley Cancer Institute Research Location: University of Nebraska Medical Center. 
Project Description: “Examining metabolic effects seen in pancreatic cancer tumor cells caused by differing microenvironmental characteristics.”

Stephanie Thielbar, class of 2017, Faribault, Minnesota. Major: ACS Biochemistry.
Mentor/advisor: Adam Hoppe. Funding Source: NSF EPSCoR.
Research Location: South Dakota State University. Project Description: “Involvement of macrophages in the proliferation of atherosclerosis and tumor growth.”

Jamie Tracy, class of 2017, Larchwood, Iowa. Major: Biology, Secondary Education.
Mentor/advisor: Carrie Hall. Funding Source: BRIN.
Research Location: Augustana. Project Description: “Male acoustic phenotype influences female mate choice decisions in a lek-mating insect (Gryllotalpa major).”

Zachary Tuschen, class of 2017, Sioux Falls. Major: Biology.
Mentor/advisor: Keith Miskimins. Funding Source: BRIN.
Research Location: Sanford. Project Description: "The effects of metformin and DHEA on cancer cell proliferation."

Manish Vaddiraju, class of 2016, India. Major: Engineering Physics.
Mentor/advisor: Drew Alton. Funding Source: NSF.
Research Location: Augustana. Project Description: “Examination of DarkSide data for quality assurance.”

Ellen Voigt, class of 2017, Rapid City, South Dakota. Major: ACS Biochemistry.
Mentor/advisor: Mark Larson. Funding Source: NSF EPSCoR.
Research Location: Augustana. Project Description: “Platelet function after membrane alteration and platelet biogenesis.”

Matt Wagner, class of 2018, Sioux Falls. Major: ACS Biochemistry.
Mentor/advisor: Jared Mays. Funding Source: BRIN.
Research Location: Augustana. Project Description: “Enzymatic Hydrolysis of 2,2-Diphenylethyl Glucosinolate.”

Noah Watkins, class of 2018, Sioux Falls. Major: Physics, Spanish.
Mentor/advisor: Drew Alton. Funding Source: NASA space grant.
Research Location: Augustana. Project Description: “Reconstruction of the 3D position in the DarkSide veto.”

John White, class of 2018, Ralston, Nebraska. Major: Physics, ACS Chemistry.
Mentor/advisor: Nathan Grau. Funding Source: NSF.
Research Location: Augustana. Project Description: “Charged particle identification with the MPC-EX detector at RHIC-PHENIX.”

Nadab Wubshet, class of 2017, Sioux Falls. Major: Engineering Physics, Computer Science.
Mentor/advisor: Iowa State. Funding Source: Iowa State REU-Mosaic.
Research Location: Iowa State.


2015 Summer Interns:

Kylie Andersen, class of 2016, Dakota City, Nebraska. Major: Nursing. Internship: Nursing internship at Sanford Health in Sioux Falls.

Mackenzie Bartel, class of 2016, Mantorville, Minnesota. Major: Nursing. Internship: Nursing internship at Avera Hospital in Sioux Falls.

Jessica Boerner, class of 2016, Webster, Minnesota. Major: Biology, Physics. Internship: Medical shadowing and volunteering at the Spanish Medicine Program in Cusco, Peru.

Calliann Brunswig, class of 2016, Sauk Centre, Minnesota. Major: Nursing. Internship: Nursing internship at Avera Hospital in Sioux Falls.

Christian DeJongh, class of 2017, Sioux Falls. Major: Biology. Internship: Medical/scientific research intern at Seven Bridges Genomics in Boston, Massachusetts.

Ashley Heupel, class of 2017, Leola, South Dakota. Major: Nursing. Internship: Nursing internship at Sanford Health in Sioux Falls.

Grace Hoober, class of 2016, Hopkins, Minnesota. Major: Nursing. Internship: Nursing internship at Sanford Health in Sioux Falls.

Megan Juber, class of 2016, Worthington, Minnesota. Major: Nursing. Internship: Nursing internship at VA Hospital in Sioux Falls.

Kimberly Keller, class of 2018, Sioux Falls. Major: Nursing. Internship: Nursing internship at Avera Hospital in Sioux Falls.

Kellan Klubben, class of 2017, Saint Peter, Minnesota. Major: ACS Biochemistry. Internship: Patient Care Assistant (PCA) in PICU at Sanford Medical Center in Sioux Falls.

Abby Lauer, class of 2016, Sioux Falls. Major: Nursing. Internship: Nursing internship at Avera Hospital in Sioux Falls.

Allison Lindgren, class of 2015, Sioux Falls. Major: Nursing. Internship: Nursing internship at Avera Hospital in Sioux Falls.

Katie Oltmanns, class of 2015, Lennox, South Dakota. Major: Nursing. Internship: Nursing internship at Avera Hospital in Sioux Falls.

Megan Petersen, class of 2016, Hubbard, Nebraska. Major: Nursing. Internship: Nursing internship in Sioux Falls.

Elizabeth Renner, class of 2017, Crooks. Major: Biology. Internship: Biological intern for the South Dakota Department of Transportation in Pierre, South Dakota.

Kara Shroll, class of 2017, Sioux Falls. Major: Biology. Internship: Live Learn intern in Physical Medicine and Rehab at Sanford Health in Sioux Falls.

Morgan Sorensen, class of 2017, Sioux Falls. Major: ACS Biochemistry. Internship: Summer research intern at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Mason VanEssen, class of 2017, Tracy, Minnesota. Major: Biology, Religion. Internship: Research, microbiology, finance, and sales intern at Ralco Inc. in Balaton, Minnesota.

Geyang Zhou, class of 2018, China. Major: Physics. Internship: Technical training and bidding documentation at Schnieder Electric in China.