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Articles 1 - 30 of 135

Full-Text Articles in Life Sciences

Non-Native Coccinellid Beetles And Land Use Abundance Patterns In The Quad Cities Region, Jack Hughes, Tierney Brosius, Michael Reisner Apr 2022

Non-Native Coccinellid Beetles And Land Use Abundance Patterns In The Quad Cities Region, Jack Hughes, Tierney Brosius, Michael Reisner

Biology: Student Scholarship & Creative Works

Harmonia axyridis was introduced in 1916. This species of coccinellid beetle is considered a desirable species for agriculture practices because of its ability to control pests. There is increasing evidence that H. axyridis may be outcompeting native species which could be contributing to the decline of some species that are disappearing from the landscape. Harmonia axyridis has a large migration range of 2 Km enabling the species to affect a large area of land. Invasive species often increase in abundance in urban landscapes which may be the case with H. axyridis. During the summer of 2021 we investigated H. axyridis …


Land Use Effects On Fish Assemblages In Mississippi River Tributaries In Scott County, Ia And Rock Island County, Il, Benjamin Ford, Kevin Geedey Apr 2022

Land Use Effects On Fish Assemblages In Mississippi River Tributaries In Scott County, Ia And Rock Island County, Il, Benjamin Ford, Kevin Geedey

Urban Watershed Project

Fish assemblages are viable indicators of stream quality because they respond predictably to changes in abiotic and biotic factors, such as habitat and water quality, and human exploitation and species additions. In this a study we examined the relationship between fish abundance, diversity, and IBI (Index of Biotic Integrity), and urban and agricultural land use in Scott County, IA and Rock Island County, IL. Fish were sampled during the summer of 2021 within 12 local watersheds, which contain a variety of land use types. We followed a standardized sampling method of a single pass with a backpack electrofishing unit through …


Hot Spot Analysis Of Potential Sanitary Sewer Exfiltration In Crystal Creek Watershed, Adam Schumacher, Michael Reisner, Kevin Geedey Apr 2022

Hot Spot Analysis Of Potential Sanitary Sewer Exfiltration In Crystal Creek Watershed, Adam Schumacher, Michael Reisner, Kevin Geedey

Independent Research Projects

Crystal Creek in Davenport Iowa drains suburban and park areas before draining into Duck Creek, a tributary of the Mississippi River. Contact recreation is a designated use for all the streams. As a pilot project with the city of Davenport, Augustana College’s Upper Mississippi Center assessed this stream in the summer of 2021 to determine if relatively inexpensive monitoring tools could be used to assess possible sewage contamination in that stream. Running through multiple residential areas, sewer lines follow the studied region of the creek, leading to the hotspot focus that was conducted by student researchers. Fecal coliform, optical brighteners, …


The Role Of Leaf Decomposition In Macroinvertebrate Colonization, Bethany Mabel Lian Schorr, Kevin Geedey Mar 2022

The Role Of Leaf Decomposition In Macroinvertebrate Colonization, Bethany Mabel Lian Schorr, Kevin Geedey

Independent Research Projects

Decomposition plays an important ecological role in carbon and nutrient cycling that supply food and energy resources to food webs. This study investigates the potential role that leaf decomposition of different leaf species may play in macroinvertebrate assemblages in upper Midwest streams. We hypothesized that the different decomposition rates experienced with different leaf species and in different streams would have an effect on invertebrate colonization due to the variance in nutrient availability. Due to altered fire regimes and other influences, forests are experiencing declines in fire-adapted, heliophytic species such as oaks and compositional shifts toward shade-tolerant, mesophytic species such as …


Assessment Of The Negative Role Amur Honeysuckle Has On Urban Forest Diversity, Hayley Schlabowske, Paige Lundborg, Jason Koontz, Michael Reisner Jan 2022

Assessment Of The Negative Role Amur Honeysuckle Has On Urban Forest Diversity, Hayley Schlabowske, Paige Lundborg, Jason Koontz, Michael Reisner

Independent Research Projects

Lonicera maackii (Amur Honeysuckle), an invasive shrub species, has out-competed native species in urban riparian zones for decades due to its ability to receive more sunlight and it also secretes an allelochemical from its leaves that negatively impacts the ecosystems. Our research question is how does Lonicera maackii affect native plant species in the herbaceous understory? Five forest communities were sampled in Northwest Illinois. Sites were separated into four different categories with L. maackii only, Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata) only, Neither invasive species, and sites where both occur. There were 12 sites for each of the four categories resulting in …


Light Pollution Levels On Beaches: How Window Tinting Effects Disorientation Of Sea Turtles On Hilton Head Island, Kathryn (Kate) Hettiger Dec 2021

Light Pollution Levels On Beaches: How Window Tinting Effects Disorientation Of Sea Turtles On Hilton Head Island, Kathryn (Kate) Hettiger

Biology: Student Scholarship & Creative Works

Loggerhead sea turtles, an endangered species, are decreasing at alarming rates worldwide. Artificial light from beachfront hotels on Hilton Head Island are causing disorientation in Loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings affecting their ability to successfully find the ocean. To mitigate this, exterior windows facing the ocean will be tinted using either tinting spray, which will be implemented at the Marriott Grande Ocean, or using tinting film, which will be implemented at the Marriott Westin. During the typical nesting and hatching season (May-October), sea turtle hatchling tracks will be recorded using drones to compare the effects of various levels of light pollution …


Screening For Antibiotic-Producers In Soil From A Garden, Long Tran, Dr. Lori Scott Jan 2020

Screening For Antibiotic-Producers In Soil From A Garden, Long Tran, Dr. Lori Scott

Identifying and Characterizing Novel Antibiotic Producing Microbes From the Soil

Multidrug-resistant pathogens are the leading cause of nosocomial infection, which killed more than 30,000 people in the United States every year. Among these, ESKAPE strains bugs, which comprise six highly drug-resistant bacteria, pose the greatest challenge to the healthcare system. In order to fight the antibiotic-resistant crises, novel antibiotic-producers must be discovered. This project is a collaboration with the Tiny Earth Project Initiative (TEPI), which is a global network of educators and students focused on student sourcing antibiotic discovery from the soil. Pseudomonas was revealed to produce a zone of inhibition against Bacillus subtilis on LB media. The next step …


Putative Antibiotic Producer: A Pseudomonas Genus With Antibiotic Properties, John Tworek, Dr. Lori Scott Jan 2020

Putative Antibiotic Producer: A Pseudomonas Genus With Antibiotic Properties, John Tworek, Dr. Lori Scott

Identifying and Characterizing Novel Antibiotic Producing Microbes From the Soil

There is a series antibiotic crisis in the world with catastrophic consequences if action is not take. Many diseases caused by bacteria are becoming untreatable because of the amount of pathogens resistant to the effect of antibiotics. The most prolific bacteria are the ESKAPE bacteria. They are nonsocomial pathogens that exhibit multi-drug resistance and virulence. My project will be working alongside the Tiny Earth Project (TEPI) to educate the public about the antibiotic crisis as well as obtaining a soil sample to possible discover new antibiotics. The DNA sequencing data retrieved from soil isolates against the two ESKAPE tester strains …


Unknown Soil Isolates From Urban Park As Antibiotic Producers, Sydney Parra, Dr. Lori Scott Jan 2020

Unknown Soil Isolates From Urban Park As Antibiotic Producers, Sydney Parra, Dr. Lori Scott

Identifying and Characterizing Novel Antibiotic Producing Microbes From the Soil

Antibiotics play an important role in combating bacterial infections. Recently, antibiotic resistance has increased which has pushed scientist to find new and effective antibiotic drugs. Students conducted research on potential antibiotic producers from soil samples in the Quad Cities region. The purpose of the study was to find novel antibiotic producers from bacteria in soil and test soil isolates against two strains of bacteria, B. subtilis and E. coli. Two unknown soil isolate strains were found to be potential antibiotic producers against B. subtilis. Future studies are needed to conduct gene sequencing on these two …


Pseudomonas And Bacillus As Potential Sources Of Novel Antibiotics, Cory Jayne, Dr. Lori Scott Jan 2020

Pseudomonas And Bacillus As Potential Sources Of Novel Antibiotics, Cory Jayne, Dr. Lori Scott

Identifying and Characterizing Novel Antibiotic Producing Microbes From the Soil

With an increase in antibiotic resistance within the medical field the need for novel antibiotics is evident. Through collaboration with the Tiny Earth Project Initiative, we hope to find novel antibiotics through bacteria found in soil. We were able to successfully isolate two microbes that showed broad spectrum antibiotics against both Staphylococcus epidermis and Bacillus subtilis. Through further exploration and collaboration with the Tiny Earth Project Initiative, we might be able to discover novel antibiotics.


Isolated Antibiotic Producing Bacteria In Local Soil Samples Determined To Be Bacillus, Cassidy Potter, Dr. Lori Scott Jan 2020

Isolated Antibiotic Producing Bacteria In Local Soil Samples Determined To Be Bacillus, Cassidy Potter, Dr. Lori Scott

Identifying and Characterizing Novel Antibiotic Producing Microbes From the Soil

Nosocomial pathogens are multi-drug resistant to antibiotics that fight bacterial infections posing danger to the public health, the most dangerous of them being the ESKAPE pathogens (Enterococcus faecium, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Enterobacter spp.). This project is a collabortaion with the TIny Earth Project Initiative (TEPI), which is a global network of educators and students focused on studentsourcing antibiotic discovery from the soil. TEPI allows student-led research on local soil samples from Bettendorf, IA to discover potential novel antibiotic producing bacteria that could potentially treat ESKAPE pathogens and reduce public health risk. Two soil isolates …


Isolating Antibiotic-Producing Bacteria From Soil, Michelle Santiago, Dr. Lori Scott Jan 2020

Isolating Antibiotic-Producing Bacteria From Soil, Michelle Santiago, Dr. Lori Scott

Identifying and Characterizing Novel Antibiotic Producing Microbes From the Soil

As the antibiotic crisis becomes stronger, we are in need of finding more novel antibiotics. This project is a collaboration with the Tiny Earth Project Initiative (TEPI), which is a global network of educators and students focused on student sourcing antibiotic discovery from soil. The soil isolates were determined to be part of the Bacillus and Pseudomonas genus.


Identification Of Uncommon Antibiotic-Producing Illinois Soil Isolates, Lesly Muniz, Dr. Lori Scott Jan 2020

Identification Of Uncommon Antibiotic-Producing Illinois Soil Isolates, Lesly Muniz, Dr. Lori Scott

Identifying and Characterizing Novel Antibiotic Producing Microbes From the Soil

This project is a collaboration with the Tiny Earth Project Initiative (TEPI), which is a global network of educators and students focused on student sourcing antibiotic discovery from the soil. We researched tester strains B. subtilis and E. coli from the soil isolates obtained. We further verified if the isolates were common antibiotic bacteria. Unfortunately, this project heavily relied on biochemical tests, colony morphology, and Gram stains to reject or fail to reject our hypothesis. Our goal was to discover new antibiotic-producing bacteria that could be beneficial in combating ESKAPE strains. A proper PCR and DNA extraction would be required …


Antibiotic Producing Microbes Found In Soil, Rediat Ephrem, Dr. Lori Scott Jan 2020

Antibiotic Producing Microbes Found In Soil, Rediat Ephrem, Dr. Lori Scott

Identifying and Characterizing Novel Antibiotic Producing Microbes From the Soil

The antibiotic crisis is a growing concern as more and more diseases are becoming untreatable due to antibiotic resistance. Of all antibiotic resistant bacteria, the ESKAPE strains are the most dangerous because of their association with higher mortality rates and multidrug resistance. In this study, ESKAPE-like strains will be studied as they are similar to the ESKAPE strains and provide comparable data in a safe manner. Soil samples are evaluated to test the presence of any microbes that may be antibiotic producers. This project is in collaboration with the Tiny Earth Project Initiative (TEPI), which is a global network of …


Identification Of Antibiotic Producing Soil Bacteria Against Bacillus Subtilis, Morgan Brockhouse, Dr. Lori Scott Jan 2020

Identification Of Antibiotic Producing Soil Bacteria Against Bacillus Subtilis, Morgan Brockhouse, Dr. Lori Scott

Identifying and Characterizing Novel Antibiotic Producing Microbes From the Soil

This project is a collaboration with the Tiny Earth Project Initiative (TEPI), which is a global network of educators and students focused on student-sourcing antibiotic discovery from soil. Individual strains of soil bacteria were isolated and produced antibiotic against Bacillus subtilis. Two of these samples were sequenced using the 16S rRNA gene to reveal they are very closely related to the genus Pseudomonas.


The Identification Of Antibiotic-Producing Bacillus From Soil, Daniel Coe, Dr. Lori Scott Jan 2020

The Identification Of Antibiotic-Producing Bacillus From Soil, Daniel Coe, Dr. Lori Scott

Identifying and Characterizing Novel Antibiotic Producing Microbes From the Soil

One of the largest issues facing the scientific and medical communities today is antibacterial resistance. It is important that we continue to discover and develop new antibiotics to keep up with the rapidly adapting bacteria that could potentially cause a wide scale pandemic. The purpose of this study is to identify new antibiotic producing bacteria as well as familiarize ourselves with the practices and procedures that industry professionals use. This project is a collaboration with the Tiny Earth Project Initiative (TEPI), which is a global network of educators and students focused on student sourcing antibiotic discovery from soil. We were …


Pseudomonas And Bacillus Soil Isolates Produce Antibiotics, Chelsea Brandt, Dr. Lori Scott Jan 2020

Pseudomonas And Bacillus Soil Isolates Produce Antibiotics, Chelsea Brandt, Dr. Lori Scott

Identifying and Characterizing Novel Antibiotic Producing Microbes From the Soil

The recent emergence of antibiotic resistance bacterial strains presents a significant challenge and threat to human healthcare. While new methods of treatment such as bacteriophage therapy and combinations of existing antibiotics are being researched, the human population is in dire need of new antibiotics to replace those that are ineffective. This research addresses this need by identifying antibiotic producing bacteria in a soil sample from Davenport, IA. This project is a collaboration with the Tiny Earth Project Initiative (TEPI), which is a global network of educators and students focused on studentsourcing antibiotic discovery from soil. Microbiology lab techniques and 16S …


Ecological Researcher, Alex Demmers Jun 2019

Ecological Researcher, Alex Demmers

Celebration of Learning

This is my field research I complete during the summer of 2018.


Snake Fungal Disease In Lake Eerie Water Snakes And Its Affect On Attitude And Behavior During Treatment, Kelcie Fredrickson Jun 2019

Snake Fungal Disease In Lake Eerie Water Snakes And Its Affect On Attitude And Behavior During Treatment, Kelcie Fredrickson

Celebration of Learning

Snake fungal disease (SFD) is caused by the fungus Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola. Infection occurs when the outer skin is breached, and the organism enters the epidermis. The epidermis becomes necrotic and produces a yellow/brown crust. When the crust breaks off, ulcerations/lesions are formed along the snake’s body, head and tail. It has been found that SFD can be treated with a terbinafine nebulization treatment. Ellen Haynes, a PhD student, created a study in which 26 Lake Eerie water snakes are separated into treatment and control groups to determine the effectiveness of the nebulization treatment. Through daily observations, this research aimed …


Diversity Of The Brown Alga Dictyota Between Deep And Shallow Reefs Of Hawaii, Mary Ade, Rachael M. Wade, Heather L. Spalding, Alison R. Sherwood Jun 2019

Diversity Of The Brown Alga Dictyota Between Deep And Shallow Reefs Of Hawaii, Mary Ade, Rachael M. Wade, Heather L. Spalding, Alison R. Sherwood

Celebration of Learning

In this presentation, I compile the results of 10 weeks of an NSF-funded REU during the summer of 2018. This research is regarding the biodiversity of Dictyota species found in the mesophotic and shallow reef ecosystems in the Hawaiian islands.


Tracking Residual-Yolk Energy In Dormant Hatchling Turtles, Tom Pham, Dr. Tim J. Muir, Samira Radi, Jacob Wyco Jun 2019

Tracking Residual-Yolk Energy In Dormant Hatchling Turtles, Tom Pham, Dr. Tim J. Muir, Samira Radi, Jacob Wyco

Celebration of Learning

Hatchling painted turtles (Chrysemys picta) spend their first winter inside natal nests without food and must rely on maternally derived energy in the form of residual yolk for up to nine months. In this study, we take a closer look at the use and movement of residual-yolk energy during the first 33 weeks (~8 mo.) after hatching by measuring changes in mass, lipid content, & protein content of yolk, liver, small intestine, and carcass. Our data showed a significant decrease in yolk mass by 64% and significant increases in carcass & liver masses of 9% & 16%, respectively, …


Invertebrate Diversity Of Ponds Within Gremel Wildlife Sanctuary And Amboy Marsh, Dalton Howard, Madison Lape May 2019

Invertebrate Diversity Of Ponds Within Gremel Wildlife Sanctuary And Amboy Marsh, Dalton Howard, Madison Lape

Celebration of Learning

This project tested the water quality of different ponds and used macroinvertebrates as the overall indicator. The invertebrates give us a lot of knowledge about the health of the ecosystem and possible pollutants that could be harming the environments.


Do Stands Of Native Trees Harbor Different Invasive Species Than Stands Of Planted Pine?, Carly Mccameron, John Mccarthy, Dr. Kevin Geedey May 2019

Do Stands Of Native Trees Harbor Different Invasive Species Than Stands Of Planted Pine?, Carly Mccameron, John Mccarthy, Dr. Kevin Geedey

Celebration of Learning

The most outstanding invasive species that can be found at Augustana’s Green Wing Environmental Laboratory are honeysuckle, buckthorn, multiflora rose, garlic mustard, autumn olive, and oriental bittersweet. These plants are not only disrupting the ecosystem at Green Wing, but they are doing it all over the country. The result of their disruption is that they have taken over entire habitats and left natural species with no way to compete for survival. To study this we used the line-point method as well as other forms of data collection to compare a non-native pine tree habitat to an area dominated by native …


Sense Of Community And Space, Amanda Corona May 2019

Sense Of Community And Space, Amanda Corona

Celebration of Learning

Sense of community (SOC) is defined as a person’s experience of a group or specific area (Kenkmann et al, 1996). Physical spaces can affect SOC; small colleges have higher SOC on average than universities (Lounsbury & DeNeui, 1996). A person’s identity, especially ethnic identity, can also influence SOC (Rivas-Drake, 2012; Liu, 2005). However, there is less work on the intersection of physical space and ethnic identity (Devlin et al, 2008). This raises the questions: how does the experience of a community space affect someone’s SOC, and would it vary by ethnicity?

The relationship between communal spaces and identity can be …


Genetic Sequencing For Measuring Biodiversity In Recent And Ancient Marine Sediments, Lauren Judge May 2019

Genetic Sequencing For Measuring Biodiversity In Recent And Ancient Marine Sediments, Lauren Judge

Celebration of Learning

Taxonomic biodiversity, measured by counting the number of species present in a given area, is the most common method of capturing ecosystem biodiversity in recent and ancient environments. While this method is widely accepted, it is limited by poor preservation and identification of many individuals, making it impossible to include every species within an ecosystem and resulting in the loss of some diversity information. To address this issue, we measured the genetic biodiversity (in which species are determined based on sequencing of their DNA) of shallow marine ecosystems by extracting and sequencing the 18S ribosomal gene from bulk carbonate sediment …


Clinical Implications Of Evolutionary Modeling Of Cancer Progression, Kelsey Heiland May 2019

Clinical Implications Of Evolutionary Modeling Of Cancer Progression, Kelsey Heiland

Biology: Student Scholarship & Creative Works

Evolutionary theory of cancer was developed in 1976 by cancer research Peter Nowell and has illuminated the path toward increasing safety and efficacy of clinical treatment strategies. Major foundations that makeup the complexity in Darwinian framework of cancer includes clonal evolution, clonal expansion, and competition. Due to these characteristics, virtually all types of cancer have evolutionary capabilities to reject or adapt and become resistant to pharmaceutical therapies. Despite compelling evidence of these process, evolutionary modeling of cancer continues to be underutilized in clinical settings. Contributions to this include the complex adaptive mechanisms that tools fail to detect or are unable …


Sexual Assault On College Campuses: The Links Between Hegemonic Masculinity, College Sports, And Sexual Violence, Vanessa Iroegbulem Apr 2019

Sexual Assault On College Campuses: The Links Between Hegemonic Masculinity, College Sports, And Sexual Violence, Vanessa Iroegbulem

Sexual Ethics

This paper seeks to explore the social and neurobiological factors that shape men into sexual aggressors by rewarding violent behaviors. It will critique the exploitation and the commodification of male bodies through sports, namely football.


Mrub_3015 Is Orthologous To The B2757 Gene Found In Escherichia Coli Coding For Casd, Ramona Collins, Dr. Lori Scott Feb 2019

Mrub_3015 Is Orthologous To The B2757 Gene Found In Escherichia Coli Coding For Casd, Ramona Collins, Dr. Lori Scott

Meiothermus ruber Genome Analysis Project

This project is part of the Meiothermus ruber genome analysis project, which uses a collection of online bioinformatics tools to predict gene function. We investigated the biological function of the gene Mrub_3015, which we hypothesize is a component of the CRISPR-Cas prokaryotic defense system. We predict that Mrub_3015 (DNA coordinates 3055550...3056245) encodes the the CRISPR-associated protein cas5, which is integral in maintaining the crRNA-DNA structure, keeping the complex from base pairing with the target phage DNA. Our hypothesis is supported by identical hits for Mrub_3015 and b2527 to the KEGG, Pfam, TIGRfam, CDD and PDB databases as well as a …


Mrub_3019 Casa Gene Is An Ortholog To E. Coli B2760, Kelsey Heiland, Dr. Lori Scott Feb 2019

Mrub_3019 Casa Gene Is An Ortholog To E. Coli B2760, Kelsey Heiland, Dr. Lori Scott

Meiothermus ruber Genome Analysis Project

This research is part of the Meiothermus ruber genome annotation project which aims to predict gene function with various bioinformatics tools. We investigated the function of Mrub_3019, which encodes the CasA protein involved in the multi-subunit effector complex for the CRISPR-Cas immunity system and predicted it to be an ortholog of E. coli K12 MG1655 b2760 (casA). We predicted that Mrub_3019 encodes the protein CasA, which is involved in PAM recognition of CRISPR interference pathway. Foreign DNA will bind to CasA, which signals Cas3 for helicase-mediated DNA degradation. Our hypothesis is supported by low E-values for pairwise alignment in NCBI …


Mrub_3018 Is Orthologous To E. Coli B2759 (Casb), Kyle Parker, Dr. Lori Scott Feb 2019

Mrub_3018 Is Orthologous To E. Coli B2759 (Casb), Kyle Parker, Dr. Lori Scott

Meiothermus ruber Genome Analysis Project

This project is part of the Meiothermus ruber genome analysis project, which uses a collection of online bioinformatics tools to predict gene function. We studied the biological activity of the Mrub_3018 gene, which we hypothesize is orthologous to E. coli gene B2759. We predicted that Mrub_3018(DNA coordinates 3057916… 3058524) encodes the protein CasB. CasB is a protein in the CRISPR CASCADE that will function as a structural protein. When the rest of the proteins form an “S” formation CasB will connect the front and back of the “S” creating a back bone for the structure. It will help bind DNA …