Category: Research

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


USGS Research Vessel Sturgeon Coming to GLRC

USGS Fisheries Research Vessel STURGEON
USGS Fisheries Research Vessel STURGEON

From 19 June 2013 Tech Today:

The US Geological Survey’s Research Vessel Sturgeon is coming to Michigan Tech next week to help scientists from the Great Lakes Research Center conduct three research missions.

While the R/V Sturgeon is here, GLRC researchers will study the terrestrial fingerprint of dissolved oxygen, with Assistant Professor Amy Marcarelli (Bio Sci) as chief scientist; the Upper Great Lakes Observing System buoy mooring retrieval and redeployment, Professor Guy Meadows (GLRC), chief scientist; and the Gay stamp sands, Professor Charles Kerfoot (Bio Sci), chief scientist.

The scientific expeditions are scheduled from Saturday, June 22 through Wednesday, June 26, including two weather days. The R/V Sturgeon will return to Cheboygan on Friday, June 28.

The research vessel is the newest ship to be added to the current fleet of four research vessels operate by the USGS Great Lakes Science Center in Ann Arbor, Mich. The boats are used to conduct fisheries and aquatic research across the Great Lakes basin. The R/V Sturgeon is a 101-foot vessel with a crew of three. It can support a scientific staff of seven for up to a 15-day mission (see online).

“This is the beginning of what we hope will be a long-lasting collaboration,” said Guy Meadows, director of Great Lakes Research initiatives at Michigan Tech.


Biological Science and KIP students receive BRC travel grants

The Biotechnology Research Center announced its Spring 2013 Travel Grants. Recipients include:

Post-doctoral Research Scientist Presentation:
*Kaela Leonard (ChE) Advances in Microfluidics and Nanofluidics (podium)

Graduate Student Presentations:
*Patrick Bowen (MSE) 2013 Minerals, Metals and Materials Society Meeting (podium)
*Katrina Bugielski (Chem) 245th ACS National Meeting and Exposition (poster)
*Weilue He (Bio Med) Gordon Research Conference-Nitric Oxide (poster)
*Na Hu (Chem) American Geophysical Union 2012 (poster)
*Robert Larson (KIP) Experimental Biology (poster)
*Yiping Mao (Bio Sci) Keystone Symposia on Molecular & Cellular Biology (poster)
*Sandra Owusu (SFRES) ASPB: 2013 Midwestern Section Annual Meeting (poster)
*Alison Regal (KIP) North American Society for the Psychology of Sport & Physical Activity (poster)
*Rafi Shaik (Bio Sci) Plant and Animal Genome XXI (poster)
*Ashley Shortz (CLS) IEE Annual Conference and Expo (podium)
*Amy Sieloff (ChE) AIChE 2012 Annual Meeting (poster)
*Srinivasa Rao Sripathi (Bio Sci) Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (poster)
*Huan Yang (KIP) Experimental Biology (poster)
*Nazmiye Yapici (Chem) 245th ACS National Meeting and Exposition (podium)

Undergraduate Student Presentations:
* Michael Bobian (Bio Sci) C. elegans Development, Cell Biology and Gene Expression 2012 (poster)
* Hal Holmes (Bio Med) Materials Research Society Annual Conference (podium)
*Angelea Young (Bio Sci) Experimental Biology 2013 (poster)


Save a Spawning Site for Coaster Brook Trout

Restoration of Coaster Brook Trout and Their Endangered River

Dr. Huckins’ Superior Ideas web page

Why This Project Is Important

Lake Superior coaster brook trout are at risk. By restoring the spawning site of the coaster brook trout, we will have a better chance of saving this unique migratory fish, and we can train the next generation of scientists and educators to have a better understanding of aquatic ecology and watershed dynamics.

Project Description

Coaster brook trout were once common throughout Lake Superior basin tributaries and near shore waters, but the populations were wiped out due to over-fishing and habitat degradation. The Salmon Trout River, in Marquette, Mich., hosts the last known remnant breeding population of coasters in the area.
Our team has been conducting long-term research on the status and ecology of this population since 2000. Based on annual assessments of coasters using stationary fish-counting weirs and visual counts of fish at spawning sites, the population appears to consist of only a few hundred adults that ascend the river each fall to spawn.
Over the last decade, the Salmon Trout River has become degraded by land use and roads in the watershed causing erosion. Sand now covers the small section of stream-bottom cobbles where the majority of coasters once spawned, making the existing small population even more at risk of dying out.
As sand continues to cover the cobbles and gravels where the coasters spawn, it also changes ecosystem dynamics; we have been examining these effects as the sands accumulate in the river so that we can also study the beneficial effects of removing the sands.
In an attempt to save the main spawning site, we received funding to install a sediment collector (which traps sand as it moves downstream) in August 2012. So far, it has produced excellent results, trapping sediments moving downstream. But the sediment build-up downstream of the collector still poses a big problem. This coming summer, we hope to remove sand from the spawning site downstream of the sediment collector. Once we have cleared the sand that covers the spawning site, the collector will be able to keep the site clean on its own, allowing coaster brook trout populations a better chance of recovery. Now, we need your help to fund the restoration of this critical river habitat and its iconic coaster

Dr. Huckins’ Superior Ideas web page


ESC/BRC Student Research Poster Forum Winners Announced

Congratulation on the great showing and wins

from the Dept. of Biological Sciences!


ESC/BRC Student Research Poster Forum Winners Announced

The Ecosystem Science Center and the Biotechnology Research Center announce award recipients of the Ninth Annual ESC/BRC Student Research Forum, held March 27, 2013.
For the graduate students, two Grand Prize Awards, six Merit Awards were presented. They were selected from among the 59 posters and abstracts submitted by graduate students conducting research related to ecology, the environment and biotechnology at Michigan Tech.
Each center also awarded a Grand Prize to an undergraduate researcher in a separate division of 17 undergraduate student submissions this year.
Posters will continue to be on display in the atrium of the Forestry building through April 12th.
Graduate Research:
$500 Grand Prizes

Biotechnology Research Center
Ramkumar Mohan (Biological Sciences) for “miR-483, a Novel MicroRNA Expressed in Pancreatic Beta Cells but not in Alpha Cells”, Advisor: Xiaoqing Tang lab.
Ecosystem Science Center
Adam Coble (SFRES) for “Comparison  of Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum) Leaf Morphology in a Closed-canopy and Canopy Gap”, Adviser: Molly Cavaleri
$100 Merit Awards

Biotechnology Research Center

Komal K. Bollepogu Raja (Biological Sciences) for ” The Role of Toolkit Genes in the Evolution of Complex Wing, Thorax, and Abdominal Color Patterns in Drosophila guttifera “, Advisor: Thomas Werner

Maria Tafur (Chemical Engineering) for “Reduction of Porcine Parvovirus Infectivity in the Presence of Protecting Osmolytes “, Advisor: Caryn Heldt
Ecosystem Science Center

Brian Danhoff (Biological Sciences) for “Manistee River Tributaries as Potential Arctic Grayling Habitat”, Advisor: Casey Huckins

Anthony Matthys (Biological Sciences) for “Estimating Physical Habitat Characteristics and Fish Habitat Preference within Streams: A Tool for Restoration Monitoring”, Advisor: Casey Huckins

James Olson (Biological Sciences) for “Evaluating the Impact of Culvert Designs on Hydrologic Connectivity and Nutrient Uptake in Northern Wisconsin Streams”, Advisor: Amy Marcarelli

Julie Padilla (Civil & Environ. Eng) for “An Evaluation of the Proposed MDEQ Water Quality Standard for Copper in the Upper Peninsula Using Two Multimetric Approaches “, Advisor: Noel Urban
Undergraduate Research:
$150 Grand Prizes

Biotechnology Research Center

Morgan Owen-Cruise (Biomed Engineering) for “Synthesis and Characterization of Dopamine and Nitrodopamine Modified Poly(ethylene glycol)”, Advisor: Bruce Lee
Ecosystem Science Center

Jade Oritz (Biological Sciences) for “Sand Accumulation in the Salmon Trout River Changes Gross Primary Production and Respiration Rates by Biofilms”, Advisor: Amy Marcarelli

Undergrad Merit

Keegan Yates (Biomed Engineering)for ” Divalent Ion Removal Improves Stability and Mechanical Properties of Gelatin Hydrogel “, Advisors: Megan Frost and Feng Zhao
Thank you to the participants, the judges, and all who helped with another successful ESC/BRC Student Research Forum.