Delta State University earned several distinctions at the 83rd annual Mississippi Academy of Sciences meeting at the Thad Cochran Center at University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg on Feb. 21-22, 2019.
Shelby Babb, a senior environmental science major, wildlife concentration, received a second place award in the ecology and evolutionary biology section for her poster, “Barn Owl Pellets from Shelby, Mississippi.” Her abstract also received the highest score for the section.
Senior biology major Takayla Pratt received a third place award in the ecology and evolutionary biology section for her poster, “The Delta State University Herbarium.” USM Biological Sciences Professor and Herbarium Curator Dr. Mac Alford, section chair, stated that her poster should be displayed in the DSU herbarium.
Babb and Pratt will present their award-winning posters at the DSU Academic Research Showcase in mid-April.
Other abstracts at the meeting focused on the DSU herbarium, feral hogs at Dahomey National Wildlife Refuge, invasive plant species of Johnsongrass and pigweed that have plagued the Mississippi Delta, bird surveys at Bear Pen Park in Cleveland, local owl pellets, and metals in termite mandibles.
DSU Professor of Environmental Science and Biology Nina Baghai-Riding, vice-chair of the ecology and evolutionary biology section, reviewed abstracts, put final touches on posters, and helped in selecting invited speakers. Additionally, she presented a poster for the geology and geography section, with coauthors Brian Axsmith, biology professor at the University of Southern Alabama; James Starnes, division director of surface geology at the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality; and George Phillips, curator of paleontology at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science. Her poster, “Paleoclimate Inferences of a Palynological Sample from the Jones Branch Locality Catahoula Formation (Upper Oligocene), Wayne County, Mississippi,” received high ratings.