Department of Biology

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2018 Biology Scholarship Winners and Distinguished Alum

Student Achievements

Undergraduate and Graduate Students

  • Graduate student Zachary May (Advisor: Dr. Matt Davis) received an Clark Hubbs Travel Award for $600 from the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists to support his travel to present his research on deep-sea fishes at the Joint Meeting of Ichthyology and Herpetology (Rochester, NY).
  • Graduate student Emily DeArmon (Advisor: Dr. Matt Davis) received an Edward C. Raney Award for Ichthyology Research for $900 from the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists to support her graduate research on deep-sea fishes.
  • Graduate student Mariana Heredia Mendez (Advisor: Dr. Matt Julius) presented a poster "Evolutionary History Predicts Food Quality of Algal Supplements for Aquaculture Industry" at the 1st Annual Midwest Regional SACNAS Conference (Chicago, IL).
  • Graduate student Zachary May (Advisor: Dr. Matt Davis) received a $600 Travel Grant by the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists to support his travel and presentation of graduate research at an international conference.
  • Undergraduate and Graduate students in the Department of Biological Sciences earned numerous awards for presentations and written work at the 1st annual St. Cloud State University Husky Showcase. These awards included:
    • Best Our Husky Compact Reflection: Act with Personal Integrity and Civic Responsibility: Michelle Tryba (Faculty Mentor: Mark Minger).
    • Best Our Husky Compact Reflection: Think Creatively and Critically: Kholood Abuhadid and Kate Kopeck (Faculty Mentor: Marina Cetkovic-Cvrlje).
    • Best Poster Presentation: Kholood Abuhadid and Kate Kopeck (Faculty Mentor: Marina Cetkovic-Cvrlje).
    • Best Undergraduate Oral Presentation: Jacob Walling (Faculty Mentor: Marina Cetkovic-Cvrlje).
    • Best Graduate Oral Presentation: Shana Rogan (Faculty Mentor: Marina Cetkovic-Cvrlje).
    • Runner-Up Graduate Oral Presentation: Joshua Gordan (Faculty Mentor: Marina Cetkovic-Cvrlje).
    • Best Three Minute Thesis: Shana Rogan (Faculty Mentor: Marina Cetkovic-Cvrlje).
  • Biology students Hyunjoo Lim and Bethany Koenig will both be attending the University of Minnesota Dental School in Fall 2017.
  • Graduate student Rene Martin (Advisor: Matt Davis) had her first scientific peer-reviewed manuscript published in the journal Copeia, titled Patterns of Phenotypic Variation in the Mouth Size of Lanternfishes (Teleostei: Myctophiformes). Rene's poster presentation of this work had previously been the recipient of a Storer Award for the Best Student Poster in Ichthyology at the Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, and her published manuscript includes a banner included by the society that highlights this achievement.
  • Graduate student Rene Martin (Advisor: Matt Davis) received an Edward C. Raney Award for Ichthyology Research at the Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists (New Orleans, July 2016).
  • Graduate student Sinduja Thinamany (Advisor: Marina Cetkovic-Cvrlje) was the first place winner of the Formal Paper Competition at the Student Research Colloquium in April, 2016 for her paper titled, "Bisphenol A and Type 1 Diabetes; A Global Concern".
  • Kylie Bruner, St. Cloud State TODAY, presented her research at a Minnesota Undergraduate Scholars event on March 17, 2016, in St. Paul, Minnesota.
  • Megan Cox was awarded a student research grant from the Animal Behavior Society in March 2016. ABS membership includes many cutting-edge evolutionary and behavioral ecologists and physiologists. Megan is a graduate student in biology.
  • Jelena (Lena) Ivanova, a Master of Science graduate student in the Aquatic Toxicology Laboratory was awarded the "Best Oral Presentation Award" at the annual meeting of the Midwest Chapter of the Society for Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry held in Madison, Wisconsin, in March 2016.
  • Graduate student Rene Martin (Advisor: Matt Davis) received the Storer Award for Ichthyology for best student poster presentation of her poster "Evolution of Jaw Shape and Length Variation in Deep-Sea Lanternfishes (Teleostei: Myctophiformes)" at the Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists (Reno, July 2015).
  • The Denise M McGuire Student Research Awards for 2015 included three recipients from biology. These included graduate students Casey KippingRene Martin, and undergraduate Courtney Goulet.

Alumni Updates and Achievements

  • Rene Martin's thesis “Phylogenomics of Lanternfishes and the Evolution of Feeding Structures” was selected as the 2017 SCSU Distinguished Master's Thesis (Graduate Advisor: Matt Davis). Rene graduated in May 2017 with an M.S. in Ecology and Natural Resources. She was nominated by the Biology graduate program for her outstanding master's level research in the Department of Biological Sciences. Rene is currently a PH.D. student at the University of Kanas.
  • Rene Martin and Emily Olson (Graduate Advisor: Matt Davis) published a peer-reviewed scientific paper in the journal Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. This paper “Light in the Darkness: New Perspective on Lanternfish Relationships and Classification Using Genomic and Morphological Data” includes two recent M.S. graduates from SCSU (Rene Martin and Emily Olson), including one as the lead author. This study is novel in that it is the first investigation to examine the evolutionary history of one of the most species-rich lineages of deep-sea fishes (lanternfishes) with a genomic dataset. It also includes the first major classification change for this lineage of fishes in over 45 years.
  • Joshua Stepanek (Graduate Advisor: Matt Julius) hired as an Assistant Professor at Colorado Mountain College (Vail, CO).
  • David Feifarek's thesis "Modulation of Estrone Exposure Effects Mediated through Environmental Factors in Male Fathead Minnows, Pimephales Promela" was selected as the 2016 SCSU Distinguished Master's Thesis (Graduate Advisor: Heiko Schoenfuss). David graduated in August 2016 with an M.S. in Cell and Molecular Biology. He was nominated by the Biology graduate program for his outstanding master's level research in Cell and Molecular Biology. 
  • Jordan Kuiper's thesis "Abatement of Type 1 Diabetes as a Result of Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB)-153 Exposure in the Non-Obese Diabetic (NOD) Mouse Model" was selected as the 2015 SCSU Distinguished Master's Thesis (Graduate Advisor: Marina Cetkovic-Cvrlje). Jordan graduated in May 2015 with an M.S. in Cell and Molecular Biology. He was nominated by the Biology graduate program for his outstanding master's level research in Cell and Molecular Biology. 
  • Benjamin Hartman is currently in his fourth trimester in the Doctor of Chiropractic Program at Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa (February, 2016).
  • Ellen Engebretson recently completed her first semester of PA School at Wingate University PA Program in Wingate, NC (November, 2015).