Monday, May 31, 2010

EPA Fellowship Opportunity for Recent Grads

Brenda Parris (AU'03, Environmental Science/Biology) is now an Environmental Scientist with the US-EPA Office of Groundwater and Drinking Water. She is recruiting applicants for a one-year, paid fellowship opportunity (w/option for renewal) working on an applied research project at their Technical Support Center in Cincinnati, OH. The position requires a Bachelor's degree and is well-suited for recent graduates.

The fellowship research project will focus quality control data from newly developed analytical methods for monitoring emerging contaminants in drinking water. The successful applicant will conduct research on analytical methods, develop problem-solving skills, and be involved in the process of implementing an environmental regulation (in this case related to the Safe Drinking Water Act).

For more detailed information on eligibility, submission requirements, and additional opportunities related to the project, please contact Dr. Soren Brauner or Dr. Patty Saunders. The application package must be postmarked by June 30, 2010.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Ashland Grad accepted into UNC Chemistry PhD program

May 2010 graduate Katie Moga (degrees in Chemistry and Chemistry Education) has received a teaching assistantship in the Chemistry Department at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. She plans to pursue a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry, and hopes to teach at the college level when she completes her degree. Katie was selected as the recipient of the Chemistry Department’s Senior American Chemical Society Award.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

New research publications from faculty and alumni

Dr. Andrew Trimble, the newest addition to the Department of Biology/Toxicology faculty, just had his latest study published in the journal Chemosphere.  Dr. Trimble studies the impact of urban pesticides, and in this latest paper he and his colleagues examined the effects that differing salt levels have on the toxicity of the common insecticide bifenthrin.

"This research explores the concept of seasonal variation in environmental water quality and how it affects the overall health of freshwater aquatic invertebrates, particularly when they are exposed to mixtures of pesticides and de-icing agents like road salt", explains Dr. Trimble.

Biology Department alumna Becky Richards '04 is pursuing a combined MD/PhD degree at Oregon Health Sciences University and was recently a co-author on a paper published in the journal Science, the pre-eminent science journal in the United States.  Becky and her colleagues studied a type of virus that can pass from a mother to her child during pregnancy, causing many diseases such as deafness and mental retardation.  Their new research showed how these viruses evade the human immune system to cause re-infection and disease.  Becky will be completing the PhD portion of her degree soon, and will then return to her medical studies.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Chemistry students land summer internships

Biochemistry major Marie Southerland is spending the summer conducting research in biomedical science at Marshall University through Marshall’s Summer Research Internship for Minority Students. The program is nine weeks of graduate-level research in the field of biomedical sciences. Participants will receive formal research training while expanding their learning experience through workshops, seminars on current topics, mentoring and use of state-of-the-art core facilities.

Chemistry major Julie Arko has been awarded a summer internship with Lubrizol Corporation of Wickliffe, OH. Lubrizol manufactures specialty chemicals for the transportation, industrial and consumer markets. Recent grants from Lubrizol Corporation have supported AU's Environmental Lecture Series.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Ashland chemist's research leads to more recalls of toxic jewelry

The continuing research of Dr. Jeff Weidenhamer and his students into metal contamination in imported children's costume jewelry has led to additional product recalls, as just report by the Associated Press.  Dr. Weidenhamer's research has played a central role in moving the Consumer Product Safety Commission to remove dangerous costume jewelry and toys from store shelves.

These most recent recalls were also reported by Stephen Colbert on the Colbert Report:

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Consumer Alert - Best Friends Charm Bracelets
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorFox News

Monday, May 10, 2010

Biology department awards announced

The Department of Biology/Toxicology announced this year's senior student awards at our annual department BBQ on Thursday, May 6th.  These annual awards recognize excellent achievements in research and coursework.

This years Senior Scholarship Award for best performance in the classroom went to Kelly Harrison.  Kelly is interested in immunology and is considering pursuing both medicine and research in a combined MD/PhD program.

The Department identified four recipients for its Senior Research Award:

  1. Kelly Harrison (Biology) and Tricia Matz (Toxicology) each received recognition for their research with Dr. Jeff Weidenhamer on how plants use chemical secretions from their roots to compete with each other for space.
  2. Amy Breslin (Biology) was honored for her work with Dr. Andrew Greene on bacterial contamination in honey.
  3. Jackie Skiba (Toxicology) was honored for her research with Dr. Mason Posner into how proteins in the eye lens evolve to function at different environmental temperatures.