2011-2012 WKU Biology Department Highlights

Faculty Awards
Dr. Keith Philips, University Research
 Dr. Rodney King, OCSE Public Service
 Dr. Albert Meier, OCSE Student
Advisement Award
 Dr. Keith Philips, OCSE Research &
Creativity Award
External Grant Recipients
Sigrid Jacobshagen
 NIH/KBRIN - $26,000.00
Jarrett Johnson
 KAS - $500.00
 Sigma Xi - The Scientific Research Society, $400.00
 KAS - $5,000.00
Rodney King
 NIH/KBRIN - $26,000.00
Sahi Shivendra
 NSF - $375,413.00
Kentucky Academy of Science (KAS)
Award Recipients
Dr. Jarrett Johnson received $5,000 from the 2012 Kentucky
Academy of Science (KAS) Special Research Program to
investigate gene flow among populations of multiple amphibian
species in the eastern foothills of the Santa Clara Valley,
California. This work will identify species-specific patterns of
amphibian dispersal on a single landscape and inform
conservation decision-making for several amphibian species of
special concern across the region.
Kevin Tewell, a first-year MS student in Dr. Johnson’s lab, is a
2012 recipient of the Marcia Athey Award. He received $500 to
study landscape genetics of marbled salamanders at Mammoth
Cave National Park. Kevin's research has the potential to
identify key differences in patterns of salamander gene flow in
landscapes that are largely intact, versus landscapes that suffer
from fragmentation and urbanization. Kevin also recently
received $400 from the Sigma Xi Grants-in-Aid of Research
Program to support this project.
2011 RCAP (Research & Creative
Activities Program) Awards in
Dr. Michael Collyer ($11,000): Development of a NonParametric Permutation Method for Analysis of Multidimensional
Trait Variance
Dr. Scott Grubbs ($17,000): Food Web Dynamics in a Karst
River Ecosystem
Dr. Jarrett Johnson ($15,000): Epigenetic Control of
Metamorphosis in Axolotl Salamanders
Dr. Nancy Rice ($8,200): Prevalence and Mechanism of
Essential Hypertension in Kasigau, Kenya
Dr. Shivendra Sahi ($16,000): Plant-Mediated Synthesis of
Dr. Bruce Schulte ($8,000): The Value of African Elephants in
Habitat Modification, Biodiversity and Human Perception
Dr. Michael Stokes ($16,000): Ecology of a Founder Population
of Reintroduced Black Rhino (Diceros bicornis)
42nd Student Research Conference
Award Winners in Biology
Graduate Students:
Amanda Campbell, Department of Biology; Best
Graduate Paper in the Natural Sciences, Session 4 —
Tracing the Evolution of Telomerase for an Ancestral
Precursor to Define and Suggest Cancer Therapeutics
(Dr. Chandrakanth Emani)
Chandra Pranav, Department of Biology; Best
Graduate Paper in the Natural Sciences, Session 5 —
Effect of Coconut Oil (Cocos nucifera) on Ulcerative
Colitis in a Mouse Model (Dr. Nilesh Sharma)
Gopinath Rajadinakaran, Department of Biology;
Best Graduate Paper in the Natural Sciences, Session
8 — Cell Proliferation and Apoptotic Pathways
Regulated in Zebrafish Auditory Hair Cell
Regeneration Using Next Generation Sequencing (Dr.
Michael Smith)
Amanda Seaton, Department of Biology; Best
Graduate Poster in the Natural Sciences, Session 1 —
Defining the Essential Components of Bacteriophage
HK639 Early Gene Expression (Dr. Rodney King)
Undergraduate Students:
Victoria Gilkison, Department of Biology; Best
Undergraduate Paper in the Natural Sciences,
Session 1 – Stable Isotopic Analysis of the Upper
Green River in Hart County, Kentucky (Dr. Albert
Leah Frazier, Department of Biology; Best
Undergraduate Paper in the Natural Sciences,
Session 2 — Stimulation of Cell Migration in Corneal
Endothelial Cells (Dr. Ken Crawford)
Brenna Tinsley, Department of Biology; Best
Undergraduate Paper in the Natural Sciences,
Session 6 — The Ecological Roles of Podostemum
ceratophyllum and Cladophora in the Habitat and
Dietary Preferences of the Riverine Caddisfly
Hydropsyche simulans (Dr. Scott Grubbs)
Henry Uradu, Department of Biology; Best
Undergraduate Paper in the Natural Sciences,
Session 15 — The Winter-Active Dung Beetle Fauna
of a Costa Rican Cloud Forest (Dr. Keith Phillips)
Elizabeth Gatten, Department of Biology; Best
Undergraduate Poster in the Natural Sciences,
Session 6 — Isolation and Characterization of
Bacteriophage Magnolia (Dr. Rodney King)
Lori Lovell, Department of Biology; Best
Undergraduate Poster in the Natural Sciences,
Session 7 (tie) — Land Use and E. Coli / Fecal
Coliform Violations in the Upper Green Watershed
(Dr. Ouida Meier)
Andrea Eastes, Department of Biology; Best
Undergraduate Poster in the Natural Sciences,
Session 9 — Nitric Oxide Synthase 3 Gene
Regulation in Pulmonary Myofibroblasts (Dr. Nancy
Charles Coomer, Department of Biology; Best
Undergraduate Poster in the Natural Sciences,
Session 10 — Bacteriophage Classification Via PCR
Analysis: An Alternative to Complete Genome
Sequencing (Dr. Rodney King)
BSURE Awardees for 2011
Travis Beeler, $2,500
 Bethany Coffey, $2,500
 James Sutton, $2,000
 Sean Shannon, $1000
KAS Undergraduate Student
Oral Presentations
Ecology and Evolution
2nd- Brenna Tinsley
3rd- Mary Newton
Health Sciences
3rd-Justin Pile
Physiology and Biochemistry
2nd-Chad Willis
2nd- Bethany Coffey
Cellular and Molecular
1st - Sean Shannon
1st - Nicholas Wright (Chem major) and Amar Patel (Chem major/Bio minor/PreMed)
1st - Travis Beeler and Alison Emmert
KAS Graduate Student Awards
Physiology and Biochemistry
 1st- Yajie Wang
 2nd-Gopinath Rajadinakaran
 1st-Jacob Eldridge
 2nd- Derek Rupurt
Ecology and Environmental Science
 2nd-Jennifer Yates
 1st- Pranav Chandra
Cellular and Molecular
 1st-Jonathan Howton
This guy has
been advised.
This guy hasn’t.
Fall 2011
Total Biology freshmen
Total Biology sophomores
Total freshman and sophomores
Number of BASS attendees
Percentage of f/s advised at BASS
How many plan to still see their advisor?
What percentage found the sessions helpful? 76%
Spring 2012
Total Biology freshmen
Total Biology sophomores
Total freshman and sophomores
Number of BASS attendees
Percentage of f/s advised at BASS
How many plan to still see their advisor?
What percentage found the sessions Helpful? 69%
2011-2012 Honors Students
We had an impressive 156 Honors students
during this past year!
Ogden College Student Awards
Outstanding Biology Graduate Student
Jonathan Howton
Dillard/Hoyt Graduate Scholarship (Awarded for excellence in graduate research)
Kevin Tewell
Outstanding Biology Teaching Assistant
Derek Rupert
Outstanding Biology Student
Brenna Tinsley
Outstanding Biodiversity Center Student
Victoria (Torey) Gilkison
Outstanding Biotechnology Center Student
Jordan Olberding
Larry N. Gleason Award for Excellence* (Awarded for excellence in undergraduate research)
Dr. Dan Skean Award for Outstanding Microbiology Student*
Sarah Schrader
L.Y. Lancaster Award* (Awarded for excellence in the study of biology)
Chad Willis
Biology Graduate Student
Outstanding Graduate Student:
 Winner: Mr. Jonathan Howton
 Nominated: Ms. Jennifer Yates, Mr. Gopinath
Rajadinakaran, and Mr. Jacob Eldridge
Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant:
 Winner: Mr. Derek Rupert
 Nominated: Ms. Cynthia Worcester, Ms. Amanda
Seaton, and Mr. Gopinath Rajadinakaran
WKU students present research
during 2012 Posters-at-the-Capitol
Students from WKU, seven other public
universities and KCTCS participated in the 2012
Posters-at-the-Capitol event Jan. 26 in Frankfort.
Posters-at-the-Capitol is intended to help members
of Kentucky’s legislature and the Governor better
understand the importance of involving
undergraduates in research, scholarly and creative
Andrea Esterle, a Bowling Green senior,
presented “Biosynthesis of Gold and Silver
Nanoparticles Using Yucca filamentosa Plant
Extract” with faculty mentor Shivendra Sahi.
Sherry R. Helm, an Eastview senior,
presented “Analysis of RNA Mediated
Antitermination in Erwinia Tasmaniensis
Bacteriophage” with faculty mentor Rodney
A. King.
Students from WKU, seven other public
universities and KCTCS participated in the
2012 Posters-at-the-Capitol event Jan. 26
in Frankfort.
28 New Members of WKU's chapter of
Alpha Epsilon Delta (AED) inducted on
November 14, 2011
Jasmin Boone, Hendersonville, TN
Zachary Claytor, Lexington
Charles Coomer, Louisville
Addie Dodson, Bowling Green
Caylee Duncan, Dixon
Joseph Edwards, Grand Island, NY
Mary Greenwood, Covington
Morgan Gruner, Coldwater, MI
Caleb Hayes, Bowling Green
Mary Katherine Higginson, Owensboro
Julie Taylor Johnson, Russellville
Phillip Lindsey, Bowling Green
Karinne Marcum, London
David Mauser, Louisville
Kaleb Moore, Central City
Semir Mujezinovic, Bowling Green
Jessica Oaks, Morgantown
Allison Pare, Tompkinsville
Jessica Parks, Bowling Green
Lyle Parrigin, Bowling Green
Dillon Pender, Elizabethtown
Suzanne Scott, Henderson
Kristina Simpson, Bowling Green
Aaron Strawn, Henderson
Brock Vervilles, Bowling Green
Kacy Wilson, Columbia
Matthew Wood, Madisonville
Spencer Wright, Liberty
2012 Residency Matches of
Former Students
Med School
Brown, Benjamin (Wes)
Anesthesiology, Mayo (FL)
Buege, Caleb ('07)
Peds, UL
Carraro, Stevie ('07)
IM, East Carolina Univ.
Daugherty, Michael
Radiology, USF
Ebelhar, Andrew
Otolaryngology. UK
Jones, Riley ('07)
Surgery, UT Galveston
Mattingly, Jameson
Otolaryngology, U. Colorado
Miles, Courtney ('07)
Otolaryngology, Mayo (AZ)
Moore, Jessica
General Surgery, UL
Pillow, Clinton
Anesthesiology, MU S.Carolina
Reinke, Wilson ('07)
Peds, UL
Thomas, Jonathan (Joe)
Emer. Med. Mayo (MN)
*A few additional highlights from this group:
Jameson Mattingly won the Dean’s Award for Scholarship as UL’s top graduate.
Joe Thomas has served as Chair of the Association of American Medical Colleges
Organization of Student Representatives, representing all medical students
Three of our former students will be doing residencies at the Mayo Clinic.
2012 Graduate/Professional
School Acceptances
MS Programs
Jane Bartanjo – Western Kentucky University
Bethany Coffey – Western Kentucky University
Elizabeth Malloy – Western Kentucky University
Jared Mink – Western Kentucky University
Kayla Pittman – Western Kentucky University
Brenna Tinsley - Missouri State University
Rachel Wilson – Western Kentucky University
PhD Programs
Gopinath Rajadinakaran -Neuroscience PhD program at The University of Connecticut
Danielle Racke -University of Virginia, PhD Program
Rachel Wigginton -University of California Davis, PhD Program
Stephanie Bryant -University of Kentucky MS/PhD Program
Jonathan Howton – Dartmouth, Ph.D. program
Heather Shockley – Montana State University, PhD program (Biochemistry)
Medical Technology
Chelsey Faulk – Owensboro Mercy
Ashley O’Bryan –Owensboro Mercy
Kristina Fraley - Vanderbilt
Veterinary School
Miranda Barrick (Tuskegee)
Travis Beeler (Accepted to Royal Veterinary College of London, Auburn, and Tufts – Will be
attending Tufts)
Alison Emmert (Auburn)
Jonathan Hornback (Auburn)
Hillary Kerr (Tuskegee)
Brittany Lenz (Tuskegee)
Dental School
Carly Brinson (University of Kentucky)
Jessica DiLeo (University of Kentucky)
Virginia Faulkner (University of Kentucky)
Mark Graves (University of Louisville)
Tyler Jury (University of Louisville)
Mark Kuzma (University of Kentucky)
Dental School con’t
Ashley Merritt (University of Kentucky)
Lauren Wathen (University of Louisville)
Joshua Whitt (University of Kentucky
Medical School
Lauren Bretz (University of Kentucky)
Patrick Bryant (Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine; Pikeville)
Grant Burkeen (University of Kentucky)
Emily Calhoun (University of Louisville)
Chris Colonna (University of Kentucky)
Jonathon Craig (University of Louisville)
Morgan Crigger (University of Louisville)
Stephen Edds (Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine)
Katie Ferry (University of Louisville)
Ashton Fields (Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine; Pikeville)
Sunetris Fluellen (IU)
Jordan Gass (University of Louisville)
Kyle Hawkins (University of Louisville)
Chris Housden (Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine; Pikeville)
Aric Johnson (University of Kentucky)
Angela Oulay (University of Louisville)
Amar Patel (University of Louisville – Deferred Admission)
Khushbuben Patel (University of Louisville)
Sean Shannon (University of Louisville)
C.J. Simouth (University of Kentucky)
Jeremy Sites (University of Kentucky)
Kari Smith (Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine; Pikeville)
Eric Stamper (University of Louisville)
William Tucker (Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine; Pikeville)
Anne Walsh (University of Louisville)
Amanda Webb (University of Kentucky)
Kelsey Willen (University of Louisville)
Chad Willis (University of Kentucky)
Optometry School
Lee (Alex) Compton (Southern College of Optometry)

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