Category Archives: News

Marcarelli, Coble in print

Amy Marcarelli (Bio Sci) is one of the authors of A critical assessment of the ecological assumptions underpinning compensatory mitigation of salmon-derived nutrients. In the May online issue of Environmental Management.

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Marcarelli, Ashley Coble (GLRC) and Evan Kane (SFRES) authored Ammonium and glucose amendments stimulate dissolved organic matter mineralization in a Lake Superior tributary in the Journal of Great Lakes Research.

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Earlier this month, Coble also had another paper, Strontium source and depth of uptake shifts with substrate age in semiarid ecosystems, published in the Journal of Geophysical Research – Biogeosciences based on her MS research at Northern Arizona University.

Original Tech Today article

Campus view – Biology facilities

MTUFor the next several days the University’s home page has an areal view of campus. Prominently shown in the shot are several facilities that Biological Sciences uses for research and instruction including:

The Great Lakes Research Center

The Dow Environmental Sciences and Engineering Building

The R.L. Smith Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics Building.

You’ll also notice at the bottom of the photo the University’s research vessel the SV Polar; Dr. Marcarelli just happens to be on the vessel when this shot was taken, working on her collaborative water millfoil invasive species project.

 

 

Pidatala receives Doctoral Finishing Fellowship

Graduate School Announces Award Recipients for Fall 2014 and Spring 2015

10 June 2015 Tech Today

The Graduate School is pleased to announce the following students have earned:

Doctoral Finishing Fellowships

  • Adam Coble, PhD Candidate in Forest Science
  • 
Khanh Cung, PhD Candidate in Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics
  • Yaoxian Huang, PhD Candidate in Environmental Engineering
  • Gary Kaunonen, PhD Candidate in Rhetoric and Technical Communication
  • Sandra Owusu, PhD Candidate in Forest Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology
  • Venkata Ramana Pidatala, PhD Candidate in Biological Sciences

  • Jingtuo Zhang, PhD Candidate in Chemistry
  • Jie Zhou, PhD Candidate in Materials Science and Engineering

Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools (MAGS) Distinguished Thesis Award

  • Xu Yang, PhD Candidate in Civil Engineering

Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools (MAGS) Excellence in Teaching Award

  • Elaheh Gorgin, PhD Candidate in Mathematical Sciences
  • Amanda Shaw, MS Candidate in Physics

Photographs and details of awards and fellowships coordinated by the Graduate School can be found online

Huckins and others receive new funding

From Tech Today:

Casey Huckins, (Bio Sci/GLRC) is the principal on a research project that received a $331,979 research grant from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. The project is titled, Innovative and Multifaceted Control of Invasive Eurasian and Hybrid Watermilfoil Using Integrative Pest Management Principles.

Also involved in the project are Amy Marcarelli (Bio Sci), Erika Hersch-Green (Bio Sci) and Colin Brooks (Michigan Tech Research Institute).

This funding is part of the new MDNR Michigan Invasive Species Grants Program (MISGP)

Amy Marcarelli Receives NSF CAREER Award

May 4, 2015—

By Mark Wilcox

Research indicates human activities have altered the global nitrogen cycle as much or more than the global carbon cycle. Yet it seems the public is far less aware of these changes.

In the world of aquatic biology, it’s a long-held belief that what goes up, must come down. As human activity causes nitrogen loads to go up along the banks of rivers and streams, nitrogen levels go down through another process. Amy Marcarelli, a Michigan Technological University associate professor in biological sciences, has received a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study this nitrogen conversion balance.

She’s looking at two biological processes: nitrogen fixation and denitrification. Nitrogen fixation is sort of like a magic show where microbes take nitrogen out of thin air, turning it into a usable form for all organisms. The trick is in the biogeochemical process, which partitions and cycles chemical elements and compounds between the living and nonliving parts of an ecosystem. The process is more or less reversed in denitrification, with the gases released into the atmosphere. The result should be a net reduction in nitrogen loads in rivers and streams. Although nitrogen fixation could offset nitrogen losses from denitrification, we know little about where and when it occurs in streams and rivers, and how it responds to human activities.

Marcarelli is looking to apply updated analytical techniques and models to test alternative hypotheses regarding how the balance between nitrogen fixation and denitrification influences nitrogen loads in streams and rivers.

With funding from the CAREER award, Marcarelli and her team will help create more accurate nitrogen budgets and models which are needed to better understand and manage the human effects on nitrogen cycling at both regional and global scales.

The CAREER awards are prestigious grants from the NSF to young faculty who effectively integrate research and teaching. Marcarelli was awarded a 5-year, $794,661 grant to continue her research into nitrogen fixation and denitrification.

Not only will her research look to affirm, or disprove, long-held beliefs, but also to create a more ecologically-savvy citizenry by integrating ecosystem ecology techniques into K-12 and undergraduate education.

Read the rest of the article at the Michigan Tech news feed

Fruit Fly Genetics Reveal Pesticide Resistance and Insight Into Cancer

June 5, 2015—

For being so small, fruit flies have had a large impact on genetic research. Thomas Werner, an assistant professor of biological sciences at Michigan Technological University, has bridged the miniscule and the massive in an effort to better understand the mechanisms behind several unique features of fruit fly genes.

Over the past week, several studies that Werner co-authored have been published in PLoS ONE, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and Nature Education. All are linked by Drosophila—a genus of fruit flies—and the insights that fruit fly genetics provide on human health, specifically cancer-causing genes.

More here

Kerfoot honored for 25 years of service

Michigan Tech Employee Service Recognition Event

On Wednesday, May 6th, faculty and staff members, along with their guests, gathered at the Memorial Union Ballroom for an awards dinner recognizing 25, 30, 35, and 40 years of service to Michigan Tech.

The following employees were recognized.

25 Years

  • Ricky Ahola, Facilities Management
  • Victoria Bergvall, Humanities
  • Leonard Bohmann, College of Engineering
  • Jacek Borysow, Physics
  • Clifton Brusso, Facilities Management
  • Tomas Co, Chemical Engineering
  • Kelly Dube, Financial Services & Operations
  • Nikki Ebert, Dining Services
  • James Frendewey, School of Technology
  • Timothy Gasperich, Chemical Engineering
  • Christopher Green, Keweenaw Research Center
  • Janet Hayden, Vice President for Governmental Relations & Secretary of the Board of Trustees
  • Michael Hendricks, Vice President for Research
  • Robert Hiltunen, Auxiliary Services
  • Jackie Kentala, Athletic & Recreation Facility Operations
  • Charles Kerfoot, Biological Sciences
  • Alexander Kostinski, Physics
  • Joel Kunnari, Keweenaw Research Center
  • Denise Laux, Chemistry
  • Jerry Lutz, Chemistry
  • Walter Milligan, Materials Science and Engineering
  • Susan Niemi, Chemical Engineering
  • Gina Stevens, Social Sciences
  • Michael Tomasi, Facilities Management
  • Jeffrey Toorongian, William G. Jackson Center for Teaching & Learning
  • Judy Verran, Dining Services
  • Craig Waddell, Humanities
  • James Waineo, Keweenaw Research Center
  • Donald Williams, Counseling Services
  • James Wood, Geological & Mining Engineering & Sciences
  • Song-Lin Yang, Mechanical Engineering & Engineering Mechanics

30 Years

  • Terry Anderson, Kinesiology & Integrative Physiology
  • Joyce Fontaine, Financial Aid Administration
  • Don Kilpela, Merchandising Operations
  • Susan Laajala, Financial Services & Operations
  • Peter Laks, School of Forest Resources & Environmental Sciences
  • Amitabh Narain, Mechanical Engineering & Engineering Mechanics
  • Anita Quinn, Vice President for Administration
  • Nils Ruonavaara, Keweenaw Research Center
  • Madhukar Vable, Mechanical Engineering & Engineering Mechanics

35 Years

  • Theodore Bornhorst, AE Seaman Mineral Museum
  • Sheila Laitinen, Facilities Management

40 Years

  • Daniel Nutini, Dining Services

Retirees

  • Lisa Moyle, Housing and Residential Life

This year’s Staff Service Recognition luncheon will be held on June 17.

Congratulations to all honorees.

Faculty, instructors and graduate students represented in the top 10% for spring term.

 

Congratulations to the following faculty, instructors and graduate students from Biological Sciences Department for their inclusion in the list of campus wide, top 10% instructors in Spring 2015 semester.

The following faculty received scores above 4.54 out of 5 on average of 7 elements of university-wide class size group with response rate of >50% on student evaluations of their lecture classes:

  • Dr. Casey Huckins, Associate Professor
  • Ms. Brigitte Morin, Lecturer
  • Ms. Karyn Fay, Professor of Practice
  • Dr. Thomas Snyder, Associate Professor
  • Dr. Thomas Werner, Assistant Professor

The following instructors received scores above 4.47 out of 5 on average of 7 elements of university-wide class size group with response rate of >50% on student evaluations of their lecture/lab classes:

  • Ms. Ann Cooke, instructor
  • Ms. Emily Geiger, Graduate student
  • Dr. Jennifer Sanders, instructor
  • Mr. Travis Wakeham, Undergraduate student