Tag: Forest Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Fall 2018 Recipient – Wenping Deng

Wendping Deng
Forest Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology
wenping deng

I started my PhD in Michigan Tech. in August 2015 after working as a lecturer for ten years in Northeast Forestry University, China.

My PhD research is focused on developing appropriate statistical and machine learning models to reconstruct gene regulatory network from gene expression data. In these 3 years, I developed a backward elimination random forest (BWERF) algorithm for reconstructing multilayered hierarchical gene regulatory network, and a new graphical Gaussian model (JRmGRN) for joint reconstruction of multiple gene regulatory networks using data from multiple tissues or conditions. Reconstructing gene regulatory networks helps elucidating the nature of complex biological processes and disease mechanisms in a variety of organisms. Comprehending the associations between genes has important ramifications in pathological studies for explaining disease pathways and identifying biomarkers for prognosis and diagnosis.
I would like to give my sincere gratitude to the Graduate School at Michigan Tech. for this financial support, which gives me an opportunity to put all my efforts on completing my PHD degree this semester.

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Dean’s Award for Outstanding Scholarship – Spring 2018 Recipients

Congratulations! Outstanding Graduate Student Scholarship Award Spring 2018 Recipients

Shadi Ahmadi Darani (Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics PhD)
Ting Bao (Civil Engineering PhD)
Kishan Bellur (Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics PhD)
El Hachemi Bouali (Geology PhD)
Liang Chang (Materials Science and Engineering PhD)
Joshua Davis (Accounting MS)
Wenping Deng (Forest Molecular Genetics & Biotechnology PhD)
Jennifer Dunn (Environmental  and Energy Policy PhD)
Brandon Jackson (Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics PhD)
Meghnath Jaishi (Physics PhD)
Zhaoxiang Jin (Computer Science PhD)
Steven Landry (Applied Cognitive Science and Human Factors PhD)
Xiaoyu Liang (Mathematical Sciences PhD)
Ameya Narkar (Biomedical Engineering PhD)
Kimberly Tweedale (Rhetoric, Theory, and Culture PhD)
Le Zhao (Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics PhD)
Saeedeh Ziaeefard (Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics PhD)

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Graduate School Announces Award Recipients

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

Doctoral Finishing Fellowships:

Jun Ma, PhD candidate in Computer Science
Evgeniy Kulakov, PhD candidate in Geology
Colin Gurganus, PhD candidate in Atmospheric Sciences
Suntara Fueangfung, PhD candidate in Chemistry
Fang Chen, PhD candidate in Electrical Engineering
Xiaohui Wang, PhD candidate in Electrical Engineering
Jennifer Riehl, PhD candidate in Forest Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology
Stephanie Ogren, PhD candidate in Biological Sciences
Tayloria Adams, PhD candidate in Chemical Engineering

Dean’s Fellowships:

Bonnie Zwissler, PhD candidate in Civil Engineering
Matthew Brege, PhD candidate in Chemistry
Bryan Steinhoff, PhD candidate in Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

DeVlieg Foundation Fellowships:

Howard Haselhuhn, PhD candidate in Chemical Engineering
John Henderson, PhD candidate in Forest Science

King-Ch`avez-Parks Future Faculty Fellowships:

Zoe Miller, MS candidate in Environmental Engineering
Darnishia Slade, PhD candidate in Applied Cognitive Science and Human Factors
Ronesha Strozier, MS candidate in Environmental Policy

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

www.mtu.edu/gradschool/administration/academics/awards-fellowships/

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New theses available in the Library

The Graduate School is pleased to announce new theses are now available in the J.R. van Pelt and Opie Library from the following programs:

  • Applied Ecology
  • Applied Natural Resource Economics
  • Biological Sciences
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Forest Ecology and Management
  • Forest Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology
  • Forestry
  • Geology
  • Industrial Archaeology
  • Materials Science and Engineering
  • Mathematical Sciences
  • Mechanical Engineering


Sara Alian
Master of Science in Forestry
Advisor: Ann L Maclean
Thesis title: Assessment of Aspen and Northern Hardwoods Extent in Thirty Three Counties of Upper/Lower Michigan

Jeff Benjamin
Master of Science in Industrial Archaeology
Advisor: Susan R Martin
Thesis title: Sound as Artifact

Emily Bouckaert
Master of Science in Biological Sciences
Advisor: Nancy Ann Auer
Thesis title: Verifying Success of Artificial Reefs in the Huron-Erie Corridor for Lake Sturgeon

Wilbel Brewer
Master of Science in Chemical Engineering
Advisor: Ching-An Peng
Thesis title: Induction of Microalgal Lipids for Biodiesel Production in Tandem with Sequestration of High Carbon Dioxide Concentration

Miles Corcoran
Master of Science in Biological Sciences
Advisor: Nancy Ann Auer
Thesis title: Factors Affecting Diporeia Growth Rates in Lake Superior

Carley Feese
Master of Science in Civil Engineering
Advisor: Yue Li
Thesis title: Assessment of Seismic Damage of Buildings and Related Environmental Impacts

Rachel Griesmer
Master of Science in Forest Ecology and Management
Advisor: Andrew John Storer
Thesis title: Beech Bark Disease Distribution and Resistance in Michigan and Fungal Endophyte Ecology of Resistant and Susceptible Beech (Fagus grandifolia Ehrh.)

Yi Jiang
Master of Science in Mathematical Sciences
Advisor: Zhengfu Xu
Thesis title: Maximum Principle Preserving High Order Schemes for Convection-Dominated Diffusion Equations

Kokkada Pruthul Ravindranath
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Advisor: Gregory M Odegard
Thesis title: Molecular Modeling of PMR-15 Polyimide

Laura Matkala
Master of Science in Applied Ecology
Co-Advisors: Rodney A Chimner and Harri Tapani Vasander
Thesis title: Influence of Vegetation Removal and Altering Water Levels on CO2 Flux Rates of a Northern Bog

Sarah Menassian
Master of Science in Geology
Advisor: Simon Anthony Carn
Thesis title: Validation of a ‘Displacement Tomography’ Inversion Method for Modeling Sheet Intrusions

Xue Mi
Master of Science in Chemical Engineering
Advisor: Caryn L Heldt
Thesis title: Electrospun Quaternized Chitosan Fibers for Virus Removal from Drinking Water

Alexander Michels
Master of Science in Geology
Advisor: Aleksey Victorovich Smirnov
Thesis title: Paleomagnetic Study of the Portage Lake Volcanics Exposed in the Quincy Mine

Sharil Patrale
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Advisor: Gregory M Odegard
Thesis title: Multiscale Modeling of Liquid Crystalline/Nanotube Composites

Parawee Pumwongpitak
Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering
Advisor: Stephen A Hackney
Thesis title: Dysprosium Transport in Nd-Fe-B Pellets

Haley Rupp
Master of Science in Forest Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology
Co-Advisors: Chandrashekhar Pralhad Joshi and Bjorn Sundberg
Thesis title: Effects of Ethylene on Secondary Xylem Formation in Arabidopsis thaliana

Alistair Smith
Master of Science in Forest Ecology and Management
Co-Advisors: Erik Lilleskov and Helja-Sisko Helmisaari
Thesis title: The Role of Ectomycorrhizal Fungi on Fertilized and Unfertilized Nursery Grown White Spruce

Alexis Sullivan
Master of Science in Forest Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology
Co-Advisors: Oliver Gailing and Maria R Garcia-Gil
Thesis title: Speciation with Gene-Flow in Eastern North American Red Oaks (Quercus section Lobatae)

Kouame Isaac Yao
Master of Science in Applied Natural Resource Economics
Advisor: Mark C Roberts
Thesis title: Is the U.S. Shale Gas Boom Having an Effect on the European Gas Market?

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WWF funding and fellowship opportunities

The Luc Hoffmann Institute pursues synthesis ideas that will deliver cutting edge results with a clear pathway to application for decision makers and civil society practitioners in WWF’s key focus areas.  WWF focus areas can be broken into goals focused onpriority places and priority species, and goals focused on reducing human impact, or the human footprint.  Many of these goals receive additional focus through WWF’s Global Initiatives.

Our next call for full proposals is JANUARY 5th, 2014.  For this call, we are accepting proposal ideas across the full suite of WWF focus areas, with a particular focus on synthesis proposals relevant to the goals of WWF Global Initiatives, as well as proposals that explore trade-offs and consequences of alternative social, economic, and ecological futures in the greater Yangtze River area.

To allow enough time to make the next proposal deadline, we recommend that you send us your proposal ideas no later than December 1st, 2013.

If you have any questions related to our process, or in submitting your idea, please contact Emilie Cavallo at ecavallo@wwfint.org.

Proposal submission is a two-step process.

Step 1: Submit an idea

We want to hear from research professionals from any organization and geographic location.  If you have a synthesis idea that fits into our areas of focus and that you think the Luc Hoffmann Institute should explore further, please submit your idea to us, in a 1-2 paragraph format at: submissions@wwfint.org.

In presenting your idea, please indicate how the work benefits both people and nature, and explain the relationship of the work to WWF conservation efforts.  Research ideas that do not clearly state potential or actual WWF collaborators will not be considered.

Step 2

All synthesis ideas will be reviewed by the Luc Hoffmann Institute as they come in.  When an idea appears to have strong alignment with WWF conservation goals and strategic potential for the Luc Hoffmann Institute, as well as a champion within WWF, we will ask the researcher who submitted the research idea to submit a full proposal, collaboratively, with at least one WWF staff member.

In producing the full proposal, the Research and WWF Lead will be expected to engage the WWF global network at the strategic and senior level, to identify the key questions at the heart of your research idea, and to identify the experts who should be part of your Collaborative Research Team.

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New Theses and Dissertations Available in the Library

The Graduate School is pleased to announce new theses and dissertations are now available in the J.R. van Pelt and Opie Library from the following programs:

  • Applied Cognitive Science and Human Factors
  • Biological Sciences
  • Chemistry
  • Civil Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Forest Ecology and Management
  • Forest Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology
  • Geology
  • Materials Science and Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
  • Physics


Yiru Chen
Doctor of Philosophy in Forest Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology
Advisor: Victor B Busov
Dissertation title: Regulation of Woody Plant Development by Auxin and Polar Auxin Transport

Aaron DeWahl
Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering
Advisor: Stephen A Hackney
Thesis title: Faulted Structures in Li Ion Exchanged NaMO2(M=Ni0.25Mn0.75)

Stephanie Groves
Doctor of Philosophy in Biological Sciences
Advisor: Susan T Bagley
Dissertation title: Ethanol Production from Hardboard Manufacturing Process Wastewater: Methods for Improving Product Yields from Hemicellulose Hydrolysates

Alexandria Guth
Doctor of Philosophy in Geology
Advisor: James R Wood
Dissertation title: Spatial and Temporal Evolution of the Volcanics and Sediments of the Kenya Rift

Meagan Harless
Doctor of Philosophy in Biological Sciences
Co-Advisors: Casey J Huckins and Thomas Grant Pypker
Dissertation title: Effects of Chemical Deicers on Amphibian Communities

Melanie Kueber Watkins
Doctor of Philosophy in Civil Engineering
Advisor: David W Hand
Dissertation title: Characterization of a Coal Fly Ash-Cement Slurry by the Absolute Foam Index

Federica Lanza
Master of Science in Geology
Co-Advisors: Gregory Phillip Waite and Alessandro Tibaldi
Thesis title: Evaluating Stress Patterns for Plio-Quaternary Brittle Deformation along the Calama-Olacapato-El Toro Fault Zone, Central Andes

Chen Liao
Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering
Advisor: Shiyan Hu
Dissertation title: Strategic Optimization Techniques for FRTU Deployment and Chip Physical Design

James Pidgeon
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Co-Advisors: Jeffrey Donald Naber and John H Johnson
Thesis title: An Experimental Investigation into the Effects of Biodiesel Blends on Particulate Matter Oxidation in a Catalyzed Particulate Filter during Active Regeneration

Sarah Poznanovic
Master of Science in Forest Ecology and Management
Co-Advisors: Christopher Raymond Webster and Joseph Kelty Bump
Thesis title: Promoting Biodiversity in Forest Ecosystems Using Ecological Forestry

Alison Regal
Master of Science in Applied Cognitive Science and Human Factors
Co-Advisors: Louisa Dominique Raisbeck and Paul Ward
Thesis title: Skill Acquisition and the Influence of Attentional Focus and Practice

Michael Rittenour
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Co-Advisors: Scott Andrew Miers and Jason R Blough
Thesis title: Cold-Start Emissions Testing of Snowmobiles Using Ethanol and Gasoline

Neila Salvadori
Master of Science in Environmental Engineering
Advisor: Veronica Webster Griffis
Thesis title: Evaluation of Non-Stationarity in Annual Maximum Flood Series of Moderately Impaired Watersheds in the Upper Midwest and Northeastern United States

Joel Suss
Doctor of Philosophy in Applied Cognitive Science and Human Factors
Advisor: Paul Ward
Dissertation title: Using a Prediction and Option Generation Paradigm to Understand Decision Making

Scott Wagner
Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Co-Advisors: William John Emblom and Craig R Friedrich
Dissertation title: Analysis of a Non-Traditional Micro Tube Hydroforming Process

Mimi Yang
Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry
Advisor: Pushpalatha P N Murthy
Dissertation title: Enhancement of Heterologous Expression of Alkaline Phytase in Pichia pastoris

Huan Zhang
Master of Science in Computer Science
Advisor: Chaoli Wang
Thesis title: Animated Transition in Similarity-Based Tiled Image Layout

Xiaoliang Zhong
Doctor of Philosophy in Physics
Advisor: Ravindra Pandey
Dissertation title: Electron Transport in Low-Dimensional Nanostructures -Theoretical Study with Application

Bonnie Zwissler
Master of Science in Civil Engineering
Advisor: Thomas Oommen
Thesis title: A Study of the Impacts of Freeze-Thaw on Cliff Recession at the Calvert Cliffs in Calvert County, Maryland

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Spring 2013 BRC Travel Awards

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

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

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

Published in Tech Today

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Ninth Annual Student Research Forum

Ninth Annual Student Research Forum to be Held March 27, 2013

The Ecosystem Science Center, the Biotechnology Research Center and the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science invite graduate and undergraduate students conducting research related to ecology, the environment or biotechnology to submit titles and abstracts for poster presentations at the Ninth Annual ESC/BRC Student Research Forum.

Abstracts must be submitted by Feb. 27.

The event will be held on the afternoon of Wednesday, Mar. 27, in the atrium of the Noblet Forestry Building.

The forum allows students working in these fields an opportunity to present their research to their peers and faculty members. Graduate and undergraduate researchers participate in separate divisions.

We invite student participants to present their advanced or preliminary research findings as a research poster. Cash prizes will include one grand prize and up to four merit awards for each center in the graduate student division and one grand prize for each center in the undergraduate student division. Each student may present only one paper but may be included as a coauthor on others.

For more information, contact Jill Fisher, program manager for the ESC, at jhfisher@mtu.edu, or Mary Tassava, program manager for the BRC, at mltassav@mtu.edu

Published in Tech Today

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New Graduate Fellowships Lure Returning Peace Corps Volunteers

A new partnership between Michigan Tech and the US Peace Corps will enable returning Peace Corps volunteers to attend graduate school at Michigan Tech while putting their Peace Corps skills to work. Michigan Tech is one of the universities recently selected by the Peace Corps to offer new or expanded Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program graduate degrees, which include scholarships and degree-related internships in underserved American communities.

The new fellowships will support graduate degrees in biological sciences, forestry, applied ecology, forest ecology and management, forest molecular genetics and biotechnology, environmental policy and industrial archaeology. All returned Peace Corps volunteers will be eligible to apply for the Coverdell program. Currently, 12 alumni who received bachelor’s degrees at Michigan Tech are serving in the Peace Corps. They also will be eligible for the new program when they finish their service.

“Michigan Tech is extremely pleased to be selected to participate in the Coverdell Fellows Program,” said Graduate School Dean Jacqueline Huntoon. “With this program, we will continue to strengthen our collaboration with the Peace Corps, building on our existing programs for returned Peace Corps volunteers and students in our Peace Corps Master’s International programs.

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Published in Tech Today by Jenn Donovan, public relations director

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