Category: News

Great Lake Fishery Commission – Lake Superior Technical Committee Lake Superior Research Presentations

Great Lake Fishery Commission – Lake Superior Technical Committee

Lake Superior Research Presentations

Great Lakes Research Center – Michigan Technological University

7 January 2014

1:00 Opening Tom Pratt and Guy Meadows
1:15 Marine Engineering Activities at the GLRC Guy Meadows
1:30 Remotely Operated & Autonomous Vehicle Support Jamey Anderson
1:45 Buffalo Reef Spawning and Stamp Sands Charles Kerfoot
2:00 Sand in Lake Superior Tributaries: Ecology and Restoration Casey Huckins
2:15 Ecosystem responses to Restoration Activities in Lake Superior Tributaries Amy Marcarelli
2:30 Optics and Remote Sensing of Lake Superior Colleen Mouw
2:45 Phytoplankton Productivity  and Optical Characteristics – Interlake Comparison Gary Fahnenstiel
3:00 Hydrodynamic Modeling of Lake Superior for Decision Support Penfgfei Xue
3:15 Nutrient-Phytoplankton-Modeling of Lake Superior for Decision Support Marcel Dijkstra
3:30 Bioenergetic Modeling of Lake Superior for Decision Support Nancy Auer
3:45 Multidisciplinary Social Science Research Related to Lake Superior Fisheries Pat Martin
4:00 Carbon Cycling and Restoration Efforts in the Coastal Wetlands of Lake Superior Rod Chimner
4:15 Engaging K12 Students, Teachers and the Community in Lake Superior Stewardship Joan Chadde
4:30 Closing Guy Meadows and Tom Pratt
4:45 GLRC Tour Guy Meadows, Mike Abbott and Marty Auer
5:30 Dinner and Discussion Guy Meadows and Marty Auer

Graduate students awarded BRC travel grants

The Biotechnology Research Center announces its Fall 2013 Travel Grants. Recipients from Biological Sciences include:

* Faten Dhawi Almuhanna (Bio Sci) International Plant and Animal Genome XXII Meeting (poster)

* Ramkumar Mohan (Bio Sci) The Midwest Islet Club Meeting (poster)

* Aparupa Sengupta (Bio Sci) Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology (podium)

Awards for other departments are in Tech Today.

Can Fruit Fly Pigmentation Patterns Help Cure Cancer?

Superior Ideas Crowd Funding

Why This Project Is Important

Every year, more than 7 million people die from cancer worldwide. Our ultimate goal is to help developing gene-therapeutic drugs that can stop tumors from growing. This novel work will utilize fruit fly pigmentation patterns, which develop under the control of the same genes that cause cancer in humans. We chose the fruit flies as a model because they grow fast in large numbers and are amenable to a wide variety of genetic approaches.

Project Description

Cancer is caused by genes that were originally “good” genes that have turned “bad”. Every organism needs these genes to develop from an egg into an adult, but when they mutate, they cause tumor development and growth. Fruit flies and humans share these genes and consequently also the cancer-causing genes. We will use fruit flies to study how cancer genes communicate with each other to form tumors. We previously discovered that one of the most notorious cancer genes (Wnt-1) in humans, which is involved in 70% of all human tumors, “paints” the black spots on the wings of the fruit fly Drosophila guttifera (see picture 2). Thus, wherever the cancer-causing gene is active, a black melanin spot will form on the wing, very similar to skin cancer that appears as black melanin spots on the human skin (Xeroderma pigmentosum). In this project, we will use black pigment spots on fruit fly bodies as a model to reveal how cancer gene communication networks function. The short-term goal of this study is to identify new genes that assist the already known cancer genes in the formation of tumors. This knowledge will set the stage for the long-term goal, which is to develop drugs that can switch the cancer genes off or block the the communication between themselves.

The objective of this proposal is to test what genes lead to the body pigment pattern of the spotted fruit fly Drosophila guttifera. We have very good reasons to believe that at least three independently acting cancer gene pathways are contributing to separate parts of the abdominal color pattern, making this fly a really exciting organism to study multiple cancer developmental pathways in parallel. Our research questions are:

1) What cancer genes are involved in the formation of pigment in this fruit fly species?
2) How do the genes interact with each other (and how can we interrupt their interactions)?
3) Where are the switches that turn these cancer genes on and off?

– See more at:

Susan Bagley Retirement Party Oct. 3

Susan Bagley, professor of microbiology in the department of biological sciences retired on August 17, after 34 years at Michigan Tech. She has influenced lives of thousands of Michigan Tech students through her teaching, advising them in their research and serving on graduate committees. She has actively collaborated with many faculty and staff from various units at Michigan Tech. A celebration in her honor will be held from 3 to 5 p.m., Thursday, Oct 3, in the Memorial Union, Ballroom A. Light refreshments will be served. The campus community is invited to join the biological sciences department in celebrating Sue’s career and wishing her all the best in her retirement.

From Tech Today

Sengupta takes third place

Aparupa Sengupta, a PhD student in biological sciences, took third place for her oral presentation “Using a Biological Remediation System to Address Antibiotic Contamination in Aquatic Sources” at the International Conference on Medical Geology Annual Meeting 2013, held Aug. 25-29 in Arlington, Va. She was selected from among 30-35 student presenters from around the world. Sengupta received a certificate, a book and $100 prize. Her coauthors were Adjunct Professor Dibyendu Sarkar and her advisors, Professor Emerita Susan Bagley and Associate Professor Rupali Datta (Bio Sci).

From 9 September Tech Today

Student Spotlight: 4.0 GPA Athletes

Excerpted from Michigant Technological Universty Student Affairs and
Advancement Connection Summer 2013

Melanie Hoffman and Brad Stebner are two of the nine
Michigan Tech student-athletes who hold 4.0 grade point
averages while participating in intercollegiate athletics. How
do they do it?

“Organization and communication,” said Hoffman, an
Academic All-American on the soccer team this past fall.
“Time management is important. I make sure I give myself
time to have fun, but when it’s time to work, I work hard.”

Hoffman, who owns the school record in the heptathlon,
helped the soccer team to its first conference title in 2012.
She is majoring in exercise science and biological sciences
and plans to attend dental school following graduation.

According to Stebner, the keys to success are “dedication
and balance. Being a student and an athlete are full-time
commitments on their own. Doing them together requires
a lot of effort, perseverance, and time management.”

Stebner, a hockey player, maintains his 4.0 GPA in
biological sciences with a minor in psychology.
He is a twotime winner of the WCHA Scholar-Athlete Award. With four
goals and 16 assists in 95 career games, the defenseman
hopes to pursue a professional career in hockey. He
ultimately plans to attend medical school back in his home
province of Alberta.

—Suzanne Sanregret

SURF presentations August 12 and 13

SURF End of Summer Presentations August 12 and 13

Biological Sciences has several presentations by either Biology majors or students being advised by Biological Science faculty.

Recipients of Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURFs) will present end-of-summer project updates Monday and Tuesday (Aug. 12 and 13), from 9 to 11 a.m., in Fisher 139. SURF recipients and projects are listed here.

Biology and Exercise Science athletes earn academic honors

Picture of Michelle Gaedke, All Academic Excellence

Sophomore, Biological Sciences

by Ian Marks, assistant director of athletic communications

Michigan Tech had 18 student-athletes named to the 2012-13 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Winter All-Academic and All-Academic Excellence Teams recently.

All-Academic Teams are comprised of those student-athletes who meet the criteria and carry a cumulative GPA of 3.0-3.49. All-Academic Excellence Teams are comprised of student-athletes who have a cumulative GPA of 3.50-4.0.

Men’s Basketball

* Anthony Katona, Senior, Exercise Science, Negaunee, Mich.
* Ali Haidar, Senior, Electrical Engineering, Windsor, Ont.

All-Academic Excellence
* Kyle Stankowski, First Year, Electrical Engineering, Mosinee, Wis.
* Alex Culy, Junior, Chemical Engineering, Rice Lake, Wis.
* Troy Hecht, Junior, Finance, Vassar, Mich.
* Ben Stelzer, Sophomore, Finance, Manitowoc, Wis.
* Austin Armga, Junior, Exercise Science, Waupun, Wis.

Women’s Basketball

* Paige Albi, Junior, Exercise Science, Sun Prairie, Wis.
Kate Glodowski, Junior, Exercise Science, Amherst, Wis.
* Heather Kessler, Junior, Sports and Fitness Management, Antigo, Wis.
Emily Harrison, Sophomore, Chemical Engineering, Elk Mound, Wis.
Kelcey Traynoff, Junior, Civil Engineering, Wilmette, Ill.

All-Academic Excellence
Taylor Stippel, Junior, Liberal Arts, Stillwater, Mich.
* Emma Veach, Senior, Psychology, Grand Haven, Mich.
* Samantha Hoyt, Senior, Mathematics, Durand, Wis.
Kerry Gardner, First Year, Exercise Science, Middleton, Wis.
Jillian Ritchie, Sophomore, Scientific and Technical Communication, De Pere, Wis.
* Michelle Gaedke, Sophomore, Biological Sciences, Dearborn, Mich.