an e-newsletter for students and alumni of saint michael's biology department

The lab report
A recap of Summer 2009 faculty/student research
The third floor of Cheray Science Hall was a busy place this past summer with 12 students working on three major research projects.

Brian Cunningham ’10, Natasha Skrzypek ’11, Alexandra Canepa '10, Tyler Gillingham ’11, Dan Caredeo ’11, and Bridget Levine ’12 worked with Professor Declan McCabe on the Vermont Streams Project, a federally funded, state-wide water quality study. The Saint Michael’s College students were also joined by Katelyn Berry and Erin Hayes-Pontius from the University of Vermont.

Professor McCabe’s research team determined how macroinvertebrates can be used as indicators of water quality in local streams. This National Science Foundation funded research has the potential to affect the management of our state’s waterways and their respective watersheds. One immediate outcome of their efforts is a series of Web sites tailored to the streams being studied. Additionally, the researchers, who split their time between the field and the laboratory, will share their findings at the state-wide EPSCoR symposium in April 2010.

Corey Dolbeare ’11, Meghann Palermo ’10, Kaitlyn Begins ’11, and Alex Stott ’11 spent their summer studying the mechanisms of mutation under the watchful eyes of Professor Mac Lippert. Using the common baker’s yeast, they examined how levels of gene expression as well as DNA repair enzymes affect mutation rates. This research is closely related to cancer biology and was funded by the National Institutes of Health. Their findings will be presented in October in Saint Louis, Missouri at the Annual Environmental Mutagen Conference.

  Left to right, Amie Lank '10, Ed Griffin '10, and Nick Robertson '09 in the lab this summer.

Amie Lank ’10 and Ed Griffin ’10 returned for their second consecutive summer of research under Professor Mark Lubkowitz. Over the last two years, they have investigated the early molecular events of germination in rice seeds in hopes of understanding how nutrients stored in the seed are consumed by the embryo. This NSF funded study has the potential to enhance future breeding practices that affect the rice seed. Lank and Griffin will present their findings in October at the International Plant Molecular Biology Conference in Saint Louis, Missouri.



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