Thursday, March 24, 2011

Ashland biology graduates heading to veterinary school

Michelle Stark '09
Two recent graduates from our Biology program report back that they have recently been accepted to veterinary schools, and will be starting their studies there in the Fall.  Michelle Stark ('09) has been working as a research assistant in the lab of Ty Abel, a brain cancer researcher at Vanderbilt University, but will be leaving that position to enter the Veterinary Medicine program at the University of Missouri.  She will have the opportunity to be a co-author on a publication resulting from her research before she leaves Vanderbilt.

Another Biology graduate, Nichole Olp ('10) has been working in a veterinary clinic since graduating, and will be entering the College of Veterinary Medicine at the Ohio State University this Fall.  Nichole will be joining fellow AU Biology alumna Carrie LaCava ('07) who is in her third year of vet school at OSU.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Summer research positions in ecology

Last Fall Dr. Mary Gardiner spoke here at AU on her research into the decline of native lady beetles and its effect on our local ecosystems.  Dr. Gardiner is continuing that work this summer. along with a number of other projects, and is looking for undergraduate students to work in her lab for the summer of 2011.

The research will be centered in Wooster, Ohio at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center and pay starts at $8 per hour.  Details on the position and how to apply are below:

Agricultural  Landscape  Ecology  Laboratory  Seeks  Undergraduate  Research  Assistants   Starting  pay:  $  8/hr     
Full  time  undergraduate  research  positions  are  available  in  the  Agricultural  Landscape  Ecology   Laboratory  at  The  Ohio  State  University  –  OARDC  for  Summer,  2011.  The  successful   candidates  will  rear  insects  in  the  laboratory,  conduct  field  research,  assist  graduate  students  and   participate  in  outreach  activities.          

Current  Projects  Include:      1.    Evaluating  the  decline  of  native  lady  beetles   2.    Determining   if  floral  resource  strips  enhance  biocontrol  and  pollination  of  pumpkin  crops   3.    Measuring  the  toxin  concentration  of  bees  across  an  urban  to  rural  landscape  gradient   4.    Examining  the  negative  impacts  of  the  invasive  weed,  common  buckthorn   5.    Studying  spider  community  changes  in  response  to  urban  vacant  land  restoration  and  redesign     6.    Measuring  bee  communities  and  pollination  services  in  urban  community  gardens  and  farms      

Candidates  must  be  willing  to  work  long  days  in  all  types  of  weather  conditions  and  travel  daily   to  field  sites  around  the  state  (valid  driver’s  license  required,  vehicle  provided).  Interested   candidates  should  send  a  resume,  1  paragraph  statement  detailing   your   research  interests  and   research  experience  to-­date,  and  the  contact  information  for  two  professional  referees  to  Dr.   Mary  Gardiner  (     

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Scholarship opportunity in Environmental Health

The Campus Safety, Health, and Environmental Management Association (CSHEMA) sponsors a Scholarship Award Program to encourage the study of environmental and occupational health, safety, or another related discipline. One $2,000 scholarship is awarded annually. The program is open to all undergraduate and graduate students in all majors/disciplines who are currently registered as full-time students in North America. A full-time student is one who is carrying 12 credit hours per semester, trimester, or quarter. Undergraduates and graduate students must have at least one year of study remaining in their degree program. Applications are due by March 31st, and details can be found by following the scholarship link on the CSHEMA website.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ashland science athletes in the news

Tom Scott
A number of Ashland science majors are making an impact in their varsity sports this year.  Tom Scott (Biology '11) was just named the Midwest Region men's track athlete of the year by the US Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association and was named the male track athlete of the year at the GLIAC championships where he won the 800 meters with a time that ranks fifth in NCAA Division II.  Tom will be traveling to Albuquerque, NM to compete in the national championships this weekend.

Two other Ashland science students, Daiva Gerbec (Biochemistry '13) and Beth Mantkowski (Biology '13), are members of the Ashland University women's basketball team that made it to the final game of the GLIAC championship this past week.  Daiva was selected as a first team all conference pick prior to the conference final four, and was named to the South Division All-Defensive Team.  The AU women defeated Findlay to make it to the finals.  Go Eagles.
Daiva Gerbec
Beth Mantkowski

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Study on Cadmium Bioavailability Published

Three Ashland University students who worked with Dr. Jeff Weidenhamer are co-authors of a paper on the bioavailability of cadmium in inexpensive jewelry that has been published in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health Perspectives. The research shows that young children who mouth or swallow jewelry containing cadmium may be exposed to as much as 100 times the recommended maximum exposure limit for cadmium. The research also found that damaged pieces of jewelry in some cases leached up to 30 times more cadmium than undamaged pieces. AU research previously highlighted the presence of high concentrations of cadmium in jewelry and helped spur several recalls of high-cadmium jewelry.

Students who participated in this research were geology and integrated science education major Jennifer Miller (’11), and toxicology majors Daphne Guinn (’11) and Janna Pearson (’10). Jennifer and Daphne will present a poster on their research in Washington DC next month at “Posters on the Hill,” an event which highlights the importance of undergraduate research and which is sponsored by the Council on Undergraduate Research. Jennifer’s and Daphne’s poster was one of only 74 selected from more than 700 applications for this event.

Cadmium, a heavy metal, can cause kidney, bone, lung and liver disease. Most human exposure comes from food or tobacco grown with cadmium-rich phosphate fertilizer. Health effects typically are not acute but instead result from chronic, long-term exposure. Because cadmium can accumulate in the body, all exposures should be avoided. Governmental agencies around the world are working to regulate cadmium use and disposal.

Environmental Health Perspectives is the top monthly journal in public, environmental, and occupational health and is published by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. News of the study has been picked up by a variety of news outlets around the world including ABC News, the Los Angeles Times, and CBC News. The work was supported in part by a grant from the Dr. Scholl Foundation.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Biology major heading to the UT Physician Assistant program

This is an exciting time of year as our students begin hearing about admissions to summer research internships, graduate schools and health related professional schools.  We are excited to announce that Katie Manocchio (Biology '11) will be entering the Physician Assistant Studies program at the University of Toledo later this year.  Physician assistants work with medical doctors to provide primary and specialty care in a career that is increasingly popular among students interested in working in medicine.  Of the hundreds of applicants for this year's class at the University of Toledo, 130 were invited for interviews and 40 were accepted into the program.