Biology Highlights 2018

Stratton, C., A. Kolpas, & J. R. Auld. 2018. Optimal mating strategies for preferentially outcrossing simultaneous hermaphrodites in the presence of predators. Bulletin of Mathematical Biology 80:2652-2668. 

Auld, J. R. 2018. The effects of diet and mating system on reproductive (and post-reproductive) lifespan in a freshwater snail. Ecology & Evolution 8:12260-12270.

Dr. Michael Rosario and coauthors published the following research article: How do baleen whales stow their filter? A comparative biomechanics analysis of baleen bending. Alexander J. Worth, Diego Rita, Michael V. Rosario, Michael J. Moore, Todd L. Sformo. Journal of Experimental Biology 2018 221:jeb189233 doi: 10.1242/jeb.189233

Dr. Michael Rosario presented an invited seminar “Being flexible in the study of elasticity" at the College of Wooster on November 15th, 2018.

Dr. Jessica Schedlbauer and collaborators published the following article: Zhao, J., Oberbauer, S.F., Olivas, P.C., Schedlbauer, J.L., May, J.L., Moser, J.G., Malone, S.L., Staudhammer, C.L., & Starr, G. 2018. Contrasting photosynthetic responses of two dominant macrophyte species to seasonal inundation in an Everglades freshwater prairie. Wetlands 38: 893-903.

Dr. Frank Fish presented an invited keynote address “Bio-inspiration from charismatic marine megafauna: What animals can teach us in the development of new technologies” at the American Museum of Natural History, Gottesman Center for Science Teaching and Learning, Election Day Professional Learning Day for NYC Teachers, New York, NY on November 6, 2018.

Surwade, P. Ghildyal, C. Weikel, C. Luxton, T. Peloquin, D. Fan, X and Shah, V. (2018). Augmented antibacterial activity of ampicillin with silver nanoparticles against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The Journal of Antibiotics.

Konrad, K.D., Campbell, R.A., Thiel, V. and Sullivan-Brown, J. (2018).  Folic acid metabolism gene mel-32/Shmt is required for normal cell cycle lengths in Caenorhabditis elegans. International Journal of Developmental Biology 62: 641-645.

Dr. S. Anne Boettger and L.M. Field (Biology student) published the paper, L.M. Field, W.R. Fagerberg, S.A. Böttger. 2018. Survey for the presence of a vitronectin–like protein in micro- and macroalgae and cyanobacteria. Journal of Phycology 54: 299-303.

Dr. Frank Fish, Kelsey Tennett, biology graduate student, and Dr. Anthony Nicastro, physics, published a research article, “Terrestrial locomotion of the northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris): limitation of large aquatically adapted seals on land?” in the Journal of Experimental Biology (2018) 221, jeb180117, dot: 10.1242/jeb 180117. The article was also co-authored with Dr. Daniel Costa of the University of California Santa Cruz.

McGraw JB and Chandler JL. 2018. Demographic hallmarks of an overbrowsed population state in American ginseng. Global Ecology and Conservation. DOI: 10.1016/j.gecco.2018.e00435.

Dr. Oné R. Pagán represented WCU at the 2018 International Planarian Meeting at the Morgridge Institute of Research, University of Wisconsin, Madison. He delivered a talk, “The adventures of a scholar: From flatworm pharmacology to popular science writing”, presented a poster, “A cholinergic compound as a behavioral indicator or planarian brain regeneration”, and chaired a student workshop, “From twitter to tome: Science communication”.

Dr. Frank Fish, contributed a chapter, The Physics of Flukes, to the edited book Narwhal: Revealing an Arctic Legend, which won the William Mills Prize that is given to the best polar book over a two year period.

Dr. Frank Fish made a presentation with co-authors graduate students, Danielle Adams and William Gough, titled “Control of the flexibility of cetacean flukes for high efficiency propulsion” at the 8th World Congress of Biomechanics in Dublin, Ireland, July 8-12, 2018, he was a co-author on a presentation “The performance of a sea lion’s foreflipper as a static wing” with Dr, Megan Leftwich of George Washington University at the  8th World Congress of Biomechanics, Dublin, Ireland, July 8-12, 2018.

Dr. Fish was a co-author on the paper “Disentangling the relation between the planform shape and swimming gait in cetacean propulsion” with Dr. Keith Moored of Lehigh University, which was published by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, DOI: 10.2514/6.2018-2914

Dr. Jen Maresh was awarded a grant from the Elise Triano Biology Research Fund in support of her project, “Detecting the eco-evolutionary responses of mesopredators to release from top-down control.” This award will fund a pilot study with two WCU undergraduate students to detect evidence of the ecological ascension of mesopredators in North American wildlife communities as a response to the extirpation of apex predators.

Dr. Jen Maresh presented a paper entitled “Predictors of metabolic rates in aquatic mammals” at the 98th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Mammalogists at Kansas State University on June 26, 2018. The paper was co-authored by PhD student Chris Law and Dr. Dan Costa of the University of California, Santa Cruz, and Dr. Ammon Corl of the University of California, Berkeley.

Koch, K.G., Donze-Reiner, T., Baird, L.M., Louis, J., Amundsen, K., Sarath, G., Bradshaw, J.D. and Heng-Moss, T., 2018. Evaluation of Greenbug and Yellow Sugarcane Aphid Feeding Behavior on Resistant and Susceptible Switchgrass Cultivars. BioEnergy Research, pp.1-11.

Dr. Frank Fish, biology, published the article, Experimental measurement of dolphin thrust generated during a tail stand using DPIV in the journal Fluids 2018, 3, 33; doi:10.3390/fluids302003. The article was co-authored with Dr. Terrie Williams of the University of California Santa Cruz and Dr. Timothy Wei of the University of Nebraska.

Dr. John M. Pisciotta was awarded a $10,000 grant from PepsiCos Zero Impact College Sustainability Fund. For this project, researchers will build and test a novel solar photovoltaic mini-split HVAC system designed to partly offset conventional energy usage at the WCU Office of Sustainability.

Dr. Oné Pagán delivered the 2018 keynote talk of the WCU Chapter of Sigma Xi Society on April 24: The adventures of a scholar: From flatworm pharmacology to popular science writing.

Dr. Frank Fish, biology, presented an invited seminar, Biomimetics and the development of advanced technologies from charismatic marine megafauna at the American Museum of Natural History SciCafe in New York City on May 2, 2018.

Dr. Schedlbauer published the following article: Schedlbauer, J.L., N. Fetcher, K. Hood, M.L. Moody, & J. Tang. 2018. Effect of growth temperature on photosynthetic capacity and respiration in three ecotypes of Eriophorum vaginatum. Ecology & Evolution 8 (7): 3711-3725.

Dr. Jennifer Chandler was awarded a Provost Research Grant for her project Consequences of age-based vs. size-based harvest criteria on the sustainability of the American ginseng trade. The purpose of this work is to bridge the gap between science and policy by identifying size-based harvest criteria that are biologically meaningful and conservation oriented, that are easily measured by harvesters, and that are verifiable by authorities.

Dr. Frank Fish published the article, Kinematics of swimming of the manta ray: three-dimensional analysis of open-water maneuverability, in the Journal of Experimental Biology (2018) 221, jeb166041, dot:10.1242jeb.166041. The article was co-authored with Dr. Allison Kolpas and Dr. Andrew Crossett (Mathematics), Michael Dudas from the West Chester diving shop, Dudas Diving Duds, Dr. Keith Moored from Lehigh University, and Dr. Hilary Bart-Smith from the University of Virginia.

Accelerated B.S./M.S. student Jason Miller, under the supervision of Dr. Jessica Schedlbauer, was awarded a 2018 Pennsylvania Academy of Science Research Grant to study how edge effects influence soil carbon cycling at forest edges in a thesis project titled, The influence of edge effects on soil carbon storage and CO2 efflux in temperate deciduous forests of southeastern Pennsylvania.

Dr. Frank Fish co-authored the article, Morphology of the core fibrous layer of the cetacean tail fluke, with William Gough (biology graduate student) in the Journal of Morphology, 2018, DOI: 10.1002/jmor.20808. Additional co-authors included Dylan Wainwright of Harvard University and Hilary Bart-Smith of the University of Virginia. Dr. Fish also presented an invited seminar, Lessons from charismatic marine fauna: Biomimetic applications for the development of advanced technologies, to the Department of Biology and Marine Biology at the University of North Carolina Wilmington on March 23, 2018.

Dr. Oné Pagán was interviewed by The Cool Science Radio show. To view the interview click here. He was also interviewed at the Ikonokast – A Science advocacy Podcast. The interview can be found here.

Dr. Oné R. Pagán published the book: Strange Survivors: How Organisms Attack and Defend in the Game of Life. BenBella Books, 2018.

Dr. Frank Fish published the book chapters “Locomotion. Terrestrial” Pp. 552-554 and “Streamlining” Pp. 951-954 in the Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals, Ed. 3. 2018 (W. F. Perrin, B. Würsig, and J. G. M. Thewissen, eds.) by Academic Press, San Diego.

Dr. Jen Maresh published the following book chapter: Costa, D.P. and J.L. Maresh. 2018. Energetics in Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals, 3rd ed. (W.F. Perrin, B. Wursig, J.G.M. Thewissen, eds). Academic Press. Pp. 329-335.

Dr. Frank Fish presented the paper “Fluke flexibility during propulsion in neonate and adult humpback whales” at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology in San Francisco, CA, January 3-7, 2018. The paper was co-authored with Ramya Muthukrishnan, Henderson High School student, and Nan Hauser of the Cetacean Research Institute in the Cook Islands. In addition, Dr. Fish co-authored a presentation “Properties and functions of tendons in the cetacean peduncle” that was presented by Danielle Adams, biology graduate student, and Dr. Fish was co-authored a presentation “The role of flippers, flukes, and body flexibility in blue whale maneuvering performance” at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology in San Francisco, CA, January 3-7, 2018.