The Department of Biological Sciences at Delta State University recently attended the 82nd annual Mississippi Academy of Sciences conference at the Thad Cochran Center of the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg.
Environmental science and biology majors contributed oral and poster presentations. Four student presentations in ecology and evolutionary biology received awards from the open MAS competition.
Environmental science student, Bethany Walker, received a second place award for her presentation titled, “Population and behavioral study of feral cats (Felis catus) on Delta State University Campus, Cleveland, MS,” which was authored by Walker, Hope Edge and professor Dr. AHM Ali Reza. Aaron Sassenrath-Cole received a second runner-up award for his presentation “Use of a scanning electron microscope in wildlife research and management,” which was authored by Sassenrath-Cole and Reza. Karoline Lambert received a third place award for her presentation “Preliminary Analysis of population dynamics of Amphiuma tridactylum and Siren intermedia in the Mississippi Delta,” which was authored by Lambert, Hannah Taylor, Sara Barrett, Shelby Babb and Eric Blackwell. Mitchell Coleman gave his presentation on “Preliminary Evaluation of using trail cameras for surveying mammal species,” which was authored by Mitchell Coleman, Christian Frew, Peyton Hamblin, Joshua Glover, Matthew Galloway and Eric Blackwell.
Undergraduate students William Neal and Arnold Spiers received a second runner-up award for their poster presentation titled “Isolation and identification of antibiotic producing microbes from Malidon dasystomous (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae),” which was authored by Neal, Spiers, Tanya K. McKinney, Dr. Ellen S. Green, and Nathan M. Schiff. Professor Dr. Nina Baghai-Riding presented a poster titled “Vernal Pools at Dahomey National Wildlife Refuge in Mississippi,” which was authored by Tyler Kitchings, Cade Francis, Maverick Harrison and Brady Chambley.
Another environmental science student, Raven Allison, presented a poster within the geology and geography section, which was rated as the best poster for the section. The poster was titled “Locally grown fruit retains its soil signature: an elemental study of regional variation in noncommercial jams and jellies,” and was authored by Allison, Callie Masterson, Dana Rico, William Whittington, Breana Randle, Gregory Peacock, Baghai-Riding and Charles Smithhart.
Reza chaired the MAS Ecology and Evolutionary Biology section, while Baghai-Riding served as the vice chair.
Attendees also visited the Lake Thoreau Environmental Center near USM’s campus. Participants learned about the habitat and ecology of the area.