Category: News

Dr. Nancy Auer Earns American Fisheries Society Award

Professor Nancy Auer (BioSci) has been named winner of the 2015 Michigan Chapter of the American Fisheries Society’s Justin Leonard Award. The award recognizes outstanding professional competence and achievement of a professional employed in the field of fisheries or aquatic biology in Michigan.

The award is named in honor of Justin W. Leonard (1909–1975), professor of natural resources and zoology at the University of Michigan. It will be presented at the Michigan Chapter of the American Fisheries Society meeting in Bay City this week.

“Dr. Auer remains an internationally recognized expert in fisheries and aquatic science and has spent her entire professional career in Michigan working to improve our understanding and management of aquatic ecosystems and lake sturgeon in particular,” said her nomination for the award. “Dr. Auer came to Michigan from Minnesota and began her career as a graduate student and research assistant at the University of Michigan in 1975, working under Dr. Leonard until his death.

“Upon completion of her M.S. degree, Dr. Auer continued working at the University of Michigan as a research scholar and edited the Identification of larval fishes of the Great Lakes basin with emphasis on the Lake Michigan drainage. This guide has become the standard reference for larval fish ID in the Great Lakes.

“In 1984, Dr. Auer accepted a faculty position at Michigan Technological University and began working on the Sturgeon River lake sturgeon population, work which would lead to her dissertation research and Ph.D. in 1995. Dr. Auer continues on the faculty at Michigan Technological University and has continued working on lake sturgeon, larval fish biology and ecology, food web interactions and comparisons of Arctic and Great Lakes food webs. She has authored or co-authored over 20 journal articles, contributed chapters to four books and co-edited the book, The Great Lake Sturgeon.

“Dr. Auer is also recognized as an outstanding teacher and mentor and has advised numerous graduate students. Dr. Auer’s impact on the fisheries profession extends beyond Michigan as her students have gone on to professional positions across the Midwest. Dr. Auer has been active in AFS both at the chapter and national level since becoming an AFS member in 1978. She served as Michigan Chapter President in 1993 and was chair of the Michigan Resolutions Committee. At the national level she served as President, Secretary and Treasurer of the Early Life History Section, chair of the J. Frances Allen Committee and served on several other committees. In summary, Dr. Auer’s scientific achievements, dedication to quality teaching and mentoring, and service to the fisheries profession are deserving of the Leonard Award.”

Chandrashekhar Joshi, chair of biological sciences at Michigan Tech, congratulated Auer on the award. “Her nomination nicely summarizes her lifetime of research work,” he said. “We are very happy for this well-deserved recognition by her peers, and we are fortunate to have her as our esteemed colleague.”

Jeff Lewin Recognized for Serving Others

Making A Difference 2014Making a Difference Award Winners Recognized

Several staff members were honored with Michigan Tech Staff Council Making a Difference Awards at an awards program in the MUB Wednesday, January 7, 2015.

Serving Others Award: Jeff Lewin (Biology)

From one of his letters of support: “Jeff is the glue to the department in making sure that research and courses offered go as planned, smoothly and safely.” Jeff wears many hats: he is the chemical hygiene officer, departmental safety liaison and equipment coordinator. This is in addition to managing two greenhouses, seven instructional facilities and six common-use equipment facilities. He also assists with fundraising for the department. Jeff is always there to assist students, staff and faculty with all of their needs.

Read more at Tech Today.

Guiliang Tang awarded Century II Campaign Endowed Equipment Fund award

C2E2 Fund Awards Announced

Vice President for Research David Reed has awarded the following Century II Campaign Endowed Equipment Fund (C2E2) awards at the recommendation of the C2E2 Committee.

  • Andrew Galerneau (Chem): infrared spectrometer with absolute total reflectance accessory
  • Evan Kane (SFRES): underwater fore optic equipment
  • Sunil Mehendale (SoT): extractive continuous gas analyzer
  • Thomas Oommen, Jason Gulley and Jeremy Shannon (GMES): ground penetrating radar 100 MHz PulseEKKO PRO
  • Jonathan Riehl and Norma Veurink (EF): 31 IRobot educational programmable platforms
  • Guiliang Tang (Bio Sci): 2100 Electrophoresis Bioanalyzer

The vice president for research would like to thank the review committee members for their participation in this internal award process.

For additional information on the C2E2 opportunity, visit Research Awards.

From Tech Today

New faculty announcement – Dr. Ebenezer Tumban

Faculty Edition in Tech Today

Meet Michigan Tech’s new faculty and existing faculty who have now accepted tenure-track and lecturer positions.

For more about new faculty, see the PowerPoint slides presented at the New Faculty Orientation.

Ebenezer Tumban, PhD
Ebenezer Tumban joins the Department of Biological Sciences as an assistant professor. Tumban comes to Michigan Tech from the University of New Mexico.

He received a PhD in Molecular Biology from New Mexico State University and a master’s in biology from New Mexico Highlands University.

Tumban has done research with virus-like particles to try to increase the immunogenicity of less immunogenic human papilloma virus (HPV) antigens. He has developed two candidate vaccines for prevention of HPV.

Sachin Teotia awarded BRC travel grant

BRC Travel Awards for Fall 2014

The Biotechnology Research Center has announced its fall 2014 Travel Awards. The award recipients follow:

Post-doctoral Research Scientist Presentation

  • Sachin Teotia (Bio Sci), Plant and Animal Genome XXIII Conference (poster)
  • Lijun Zhang (Bio Med), TERMIS–AM 2014 (podium)

Graduate Student Presentations

  • Suntara Fueangfung (Chem), 248th ACS National Meeting and Exposition (poster)
  • Maria Gencoglu (ChE), 2014 AIChe Annual Meeting (podium)
  • Maryam Khaksari (ChE), SciX 2014 (podium)
  • Hao Meng (Bio Med), BMES 2014 Annual Meeting (poster)
  • Sandra Owusu (SFRES), IUFRO World Congress (poster)
  • Durga Pokharel (Chem), 248th ACS National Meeting and Exposition (poster)
  • Yu Wang (Bio Med), IEEE International Ultrasound Symposium (poster)
  • Jingtuo Zhang (Chem), 248th ACS National Meeting and Exposition (poster)

    Undergraduate Student Presentation

  • Mitchell Tahtinen (Bio Med), 2014 BMES Annual Meeting (poster)

From Tech Today

Medical School Early Assurance Program

Medical School

Early Assurance Program

What is it?The MSU College of Human Medicine (CHM) has partnered with Michigan Technological University to provide early assurance of medical school admission and enriched experiences for undergraduate students interested in becoming physicians in an underserved region or with an underserved population.

For more information see:

Early Assurance Program 2014 Announcment

Dr. Rupali Datta new Departmental Graduate Director

Please join me in welcoming our new Graduate Program Director, Professor Rupali Datta.

Dr. Datta joined Michigan Tech as an associate professor in 2008 under prestigious SFHI program. She has proved herself to be a true leader in the field of sustainability with special reference to environmental remediation. Her fields of specialization are Biochemistry, Plant-Microbe Interactions, Phytoremediation, Environmental Remediation and Toxicology. During her life time, she has published over 70 peer reviewed papers, 15 book chapters and two edited books. In addition, she has done over 150 presentations. Please contact Dr. Datta hereafter for any questions regarding our graduate programs.

I also want to thank Professor Nancy Auer for serving as our Graduate Program Director since 2010. During last four years, our graduate program has grown significantly and became highly visible on our campus and beyond. Dr. Auer has been a member of Michigan Tech family since 1984. She has an active research program in the areas of large lake research and restoration of native fish species. She has published many papers, as well as authored several book chapters and recently published a book with David Dempsey – The Great Lake Sturgeon.

We all are grateful to Professor Auer for her outstanding service as Graduate Program Director.


Shekhar Joshi, Chair
Department of Biological Sciences

Lake Superior Joint Monitoring program

Researchers associated with Michigan Tech, MTRI and Biological Sciences ride the RV5501

YouTube video


Great Lakes Research Vessel NOAA RV 5501 at Michigan Tech: Lake Superior Joint Monitoring Program July 2014

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) provided the boat and crew and Michigan Tech provides the people who do the sampling as part of NOAA’s Great Lakes Monitoring program. Michigan Tech and NOAA share in the analysis and discovery.
RV 5501 is a vessel of the NOAA – National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL); The Boat Engineering Branch of the United States Coast Guard (USCG) Engineering Logistics Center designed the 55′ ANB (Aids to Navigation Boat). The Coast Guard Yard completed the detailed design and contracted the initial production of 55′ ANB. The 55′ ANB is designed primarily to service aids to navigation within the inland waters, bays, sounds and harbors of the United States. It is capable and equipped to support multi-mission operations.

Crew: Beau Braymer, Captain of RV5501; Bob Harvey, Mate of RV5501; Dr. Gary Fahnenstiel, Senior Scientist, Great Lakes Research Center and Michigan Tech Research Institute; Dr. Foad Yousef, Post doctoral research Michigan Tech and Erin Cafferty Michigan Tech Research Institute, research in freshwater biology phycology.