Biotechnology, Molecular, Cell, Developmental Biology - College of ...

tomatoedgeBiotechnology

Feb 20, 2013 (4 years and 7 months ago)

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Kennesaw State University

Department of Biology and Physics

Faculty Research Abstracts

Research Areas

Biotechnology, Molecular, Cell, Developmental Biology




p. 2

This group of faculty conduct
s

research in all areas of Biotechnology and the
areas of Molecular, Cellular, Microbiology, Genetics, Physiology and
Developmental Biology.

Ecology, Evolution and Behavior Research






p.

Faculty with a focus in EEB conduct research in all areas of Ecol
ogy including
Aquatic Ecology,
Plant Ecology, Restoration Ecology, Tropical Ecology;
Biotechnical Molecular Ecology; Microbial Ecology; Evolutionary
Developmental Biology; Phycology; Systematics and Behavior
.

Physics












p.

This group of faculty co
nduct
s

research
in four areas of Physics:
Astrophysics, Atmospheric Physics, Theoretical Particle Physics, and Physics
Education
.

Science Education











p.

This group of faculty conduct
s

research in all areas of Science Education
.


The Student Activities Committee is proudly sponsoring the Undergraduate Research
Hour experience. Our goal is to help eliminate the gap between our faculty and the
undergraduates who would like to conduct or learn more about doing research here at
Kennes
aw State University with our faculty members.
The faculty will be available in
their offices at the checked times to meet with you
(Tuesday February 9
th

at 1230 or
Wednesday February 10
th

at 4)
and answer any questions you have about research
.
Further i
nformation about faculty can be found at the departmental website:
http://science.kennesaw.edu/biophys/


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Biotechnology, Molecular, Cell, Developmental Biology

Premila Achar



pachar@kennesaw.edu

770
-
499
-
3524

SC 334

Available to meet:

Tuesday 12:30
-
1:30 _
X
__ Wednesday 4


5 ___ By Apt.
_
X
__


Aflatoxins are carcinogenic to humans and other animals, and accumulation of aflatoxins in

peanut kernels can influence marketing of peanut and peanut prod
ucts. Breeding for varieties

resistant to
A. flavus
has not been very promising, as evidenced by serious economic losses in the

peanut market due to aflatoxin outbreaks year after year. Breeding resistant cultivars would be an

effective approach to
preventing aflatoxin accumulation in peanuts. However, traditional

breeding is a costly, laborious and time consuming process. The goal of this research is to

transform peanuts with glucanase and chitinase genes against
A. flavus
, the most common

aflatoxin

producing
Aspergillus
sps. found in peanuts and other food and agricultural products
.

Research also include expression of pathogenesis
-
related (PR) proteins such as chitinase and β
-
1,3
-
glucanase and aflatoxin at cellular and subcellular levels in suscepti
ble, tolerant, and
transgenic peanut lines by immunocytochemical approaches. The
intellectual merit

of this
research is to produce basic information about a little studied area, the characterization of PR
proteins and disease resistance in transgenic peanu
ts. Basic molecular and biochemical studies in
tolerant/transgenic peanut varieties will provide information on tolerance/resistance and on
prevention of aflatoxin accumulation in peanuts. The in Situ localization of induced molecules in
the presence of fo
reign genes from the cyto and immunocytochemical approaches will form the
basis for future research in the development of biological control alternatives for
A. flavus
in
peanuts.
Broader impacts

include the research’s potential to make progress in develop
ing an
effective approach to eliminating aflatoxin accumulation in peanuts. Moreover, developing new
peanut transgenic cultivars with resistance using genetic engineering will have great potential in
breeding resistance to
A. flavus
infection, and the prob
lem of aflatoxin management could be
solved if peanut cultivars are resistant against
A.

flavus
colonization. Also
,

the research goal is

to train stude
nts in hands
-
on experiments in
mole
cular,
biochemical and immunocytochemical
techniques and to engage
them in a research lab environment.


Eric Albrecht



ealbrec1
@kennesaw.edu

770
-
423
-
6774

SC 328

Available to meet:

Tuesday 12:30
-
1:30 ___ Wednesday 4


5 ___ By Apt. ___


Our goal is to understand
molecular mechanism(s) used by vascular tissue to resist substrate
contact loss. Our model system utilizes crude hemorrhagic snake venom to induce cellular
detachment of human umbilical vein endothelial cells. We are particularly interested in the
funct
ion of metallothioneins during this process. The specific aims of our research include the
following: 1) Identify venom protein(s) which induce MT gene activation, 2) Determine
metallothioneins involvement in endothelial focal contact disassociation durin
g hemorrhagic
venom stimulation, 3) Determine signaling pathways mediated by metallothioneins after
exposure to hemorrhagic venom.




3


Estella Chen



echen1
@kennesaw.edu

678
-
797
-
2080

SC 324

Available to

meet:

Tuesday 12:30
-
1:30 _
X
__ Wednesday 4


5 ___ By Apt. __
X
_



In my lab we study the potential role of mitochondria in cancer formation.

The majority of
cancers

including cancers of the colon, breast, bladder, head and neck, lung, prostate and
ova
ry

have abnormalities in their metabolism and exhibit somatic mutations in the
mitochondrial chromosome (mtDNA).


Cancer cells are largely glycolytic, deriving their cellular
energy, ATP, from glycolysis rather than mitochondrial respiration.

Cancer cell
s are also
frequently defective in programmed cell death (apoptosis), which is a mechanism used by normal
tissue to prevent the accrual of damaged cells.

Normal mitochondria function is necessary for
both aerobic ATP production and programmed cell ceath.
Defects in mitochondria will also
generate increased levels of reactive oxygen species via the electron transport chain, bringing in
a mutagenic source for DNA damage in cancer genes such as proto oncogenes and tumor
-
suppressor genes. Thus, defects in mito
chondria potentially promote cancer cell development in
these three mechanisms. Over 65% of cancers examined show mutations in the mitochondrial
chromosome (mtDNA), which codes for components of the electron transport chain.

Do these
mtDNA mutations pla
y a causal role in cancer formation, or are they merely a side effect in the
abnormal cancer cell microenvironment?

To address this question, we characterize somatic (not
inherited, acquired during the lifetime of the individual) mtDNA mutations in cancer
.

What research projects do you have currently?



Bioinformatics project

alignment of interspecies mitochondrial a.a. sequences to assess
significance of a.a. changes in cancer residues; project 2

alignment of mitochondrial rRNA and
tRNA sequences
to assess significance of RNA changes in cancer associated mtDNA sequences.
Being an author on a paper is a possibility for the student but not a guarantee.



Lab project

use of RT PCR to determine the pattern of ROS (reactive
-
oxygen species)
DNA da
mage in the mitochondrial chromosome



Statistical analysis

examination of somatic mtDNA mutation fr
om aged, pre
-
neoplastic
tissue

Marcus Davis



ealbrec1
@kennesaw.edu

770
-
423
-
6591

SC 430

Ava
ilable to meet:

Tuesday 12:30
-
1:30 __
X
_

Wednesday 4


5 ___ By Apt.
_
X
__


Dr. Marcus C. Davis'

research focuses on the evolution of paired appendage (fin and limb)
development in vertebrates, with an emphasis on the role that the Hox and Sonic Hedgehog gene
pathways play in skeletal morphogenesis (formation). He seeks to uncove
r how appendage
development has evolved by investigating phylogenetically basal vertebrate taxa. To this end, he
has developed, or helped develop, several non
-
model taxa as viable alternative vertebrate
systems for developmental research, including basal
ray
-
finned fishes (Polyodon, Lepisosteus)
and chondrichthyans (Raja). Results of this research demonstrate a fundamentally conserved
pattern of Hox and Sonic Hedgehog pathway expression and function across the Vertebrata.
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This supports the notion that th
e fundamental differences in appendage form observed across
vertebrate diversity are the result of regulatory changes in the timing, position, and quantity of
expression of highly conserved gene products.




Melanie Griffin



mgriff40
@kennesaw.edu

770
-
423
-
6654

SC 339

Available to meet:

Tuesday 12:30
-
1:30 _
X
_
_ Wednesday 4


5 ___ By Apt. _
X
__


A leucine responsive protein (Lrp) has been demonstrated to play a role as a global regulator of
cellular metabolism in response to leucine in the intestinal bacterium
Escherichia coli.

In
E.
coli,
Lrp binds DNA to activate or repress the gene expression

for up to thirty operons and has
likely evolved to suit its particular biological niche. Some genes involved include amino acid
biosynthesis and the adherence fimbriae structure. This proposal speculates about the possible
role of Lrp as a global regula
tor in another bacterium,
Pseudomonas aeruginosa
.
P. aeruginosa

is found ubiquitously and harmlessly throughout the environment but can be an important
opportunistic, human pathogen. The most important aspect of
P. aeruginosa

disease is, once an
internal

infection is in place within its human host, there is no known cure or effective therapy.
Pseudomonas

is protected by two membranes surrounded by an extremely thick, mucoid
structure, which helps it to be resistant to virtually all known antibiotic thera
pies and
disinfectants. It also produces adherence fimbriae (pili), which are critical for the initial
infection. Based on the
E. coli

profile, study of the Lrp protein may allow us to identify an
important factor in the regulation of genes involved in c
ellular metabolism and possibly
pathogenesis in
P. aeruginosa
. Specifically, this study seeks to determine the number and
diversity of genes acted upon by Lrp to determine if Lrp is a global or local regulator of gene
function in
P. aeruginosa.


Xueya Hau
ge



xhauge
@kennesaw.edu

770
-
423
-
6163

SC 322

Available to meet:

Tuesday 12:30
-
1:30 __
X
_ Wednesday 4


5 ___ By Apt. __
X
_


My research interest is to study the molecular mechanism of human chromosomal diseases,
including 9p deletion syndrome. The terminal deletion of the short arm of human chromosome 9
(9p
-
) is associated with trigonocephaly, severe mental retardation, and dy
smorphic facial
features. The gene(s) responsible for the 9p
-

syndrome remain to be elucidated. To date, we
have identified over 270 highly conserved non
-
coding sequences between the human and mouse
or between the human and zebrafish using database analy
sis. These sequences are located within
the critical region for 9p
-

syndrome. Studies have shown that highly conserved non
-
coding
sequences may contain regulatory elements, which enhance (enhancers) or suppress
(suppressors) gene expression. We are in t
he process of testing some of these 270 highly
conserved non
-
coding sequences using a dual luciferase assay. In this assay, the luciferase gene,
isolated from the firefly, converts luciferin to oxyluciferin while emitting fluorescent light.
Therefore, th
e higher the luciferase activity is the brighter the fluorescent light will be. By
inserting our putative regulatory sequences in front of the luciferase gene, we are able to detect
and measure an increase or a decrease of the luciferase activity as compa
red to the activity of a
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second fluorescent gene, Renilla gene, isolated from sea pansy. Polymerase chain reaction, gene
cloning, mammalian tissue culture, and gene transfection techniques are used, in addition to the
luciferase assay method. The ultimat
e goal for this approach is to find regulate sequences for the
most likely candidate genes responsible for the 9p
-

syndrome.

Jerald Hendrix



jhendrix
@kennesaw.edu

770
-
423
-
6437

SC 332

Available to
meet:

Tuesday 12:30
-
1:30 ___ Wednesday 4


5 ___ By Apt. ___


My research focuses on mathematical modeling of bacterial growth in continuous culture. A
mathematical model for microbial growth is a set of differential equations that predict changes in
m
icrobial concentration and nutrient concentration over time. Models for microbial growth in
batch and continuous culture under limiting nutrient conditions were first proposed and studied
in the 1950s. Subsequent work has focused on modifications of the or
iginal models to account
for various phenomena. In 2001, I worked with Dr. Sean Ellermeyer in the Mathematics
department at KSU to develop and test a new mathmatical model that accounted for a time delay
in the response of bacterial growth to nutrient addi
tion. My current research is focused on
extending this model to make predictions about the competition of bacteria in mixed culture.



Army Lester




alester
@kennesaw.edu

770
-
423
-
6164

SC 330

Available
to meet:

Tuesday 12:30
-
1:30 _
X
__ Wednesday 4


5 ___ By Apt. ___


Army Lester’s research interests are divided into two areas: experimental embryology and
improving K
-
16 STEM educational outcomes. The embryology work focuses primarily on the
growth an
d development of cells, organs and whole chick embryos in vitro to determine how
environmental factors influence normal developmental and physiological patterns. One of Dr.
Lester’s projects involves defining the conditions necessary to hatch shell
-
less c
hick embryos
and allow them to grow into normal adults. His work also includes studies on embryo heart
cultures, which may be used as an investigative tool for stem cell research. His work on STEM
education focuses on the use of personalized instructiona
l materials that places the student as the
central character in the study of STEM principles. Common household products are used to
explain complex STEM principles thus allowing students to build on what they already know.
His work also looks at 3
-
D me
ntal modeling, repetitions and multiple learning styles to foster
long
-
term memory and comprehension.

Jean Lu




jean_lu
@kennesaw.edu

770
-
423
-
6230

SC 340

Available to meet:

Tuesday 12:30
-
1:30 ___ We
dnesday 4


5 ___ By Apt. _
X
__


My research interests focus on the ecology and genetics of bacterial viruses (bacteriophages) in
industrial fermentations and the application of bacteriophages to control bacterial pathogens. In
addition, I am also
interested in the development of HIV/AIDS vaccines.


Thomas McElroy



tmcelro
@kennesaw.edu

770
-
423
-
6162

SC 319

Available to meet:

Tuesday 12:30
-
1:30 _
X
__ Wednesday 4


5 ___ By Apt. _
X
__


6


My research interests are in molecular ecology. In particular, I am interested in collaborative
and continuing research that will increase our understanding of how ecological factors structure
genetic variation within and among natural populations and com
munities. I use descriptive field
work to generate hypotheses that can be tested through field and laboratory experimentation. I
have created opportunities for undergraduate research at KSU by collaborating with faculty both
here and at other
institution
s

with different expertise from ecologists, physiologists, and
microbiologists.
My
research program
offers
projects that are
local (
Genetic Characterization of
the Stone Roller (
Campostoma anomalum
) in the Etowah River System
),

and
I
offer research
opportu
nities through study abroad (Mexico
:
Differences in
S
ource
W
ater
U
se of
W
oody
V
egetation of Dzibilchatun in the Yucatan Peninsula,
and Canada:

P
opulation dynamics of Wood
Frogs (
Rana sylvatica
) in northern Canada
). The field
and

laboratory nature of data collection
associated with my research allows for the inclusion of both highly motivated directed study
students
,

and student volunteers who may be unsure about their specific interests in the area of
molecular ecology and biolog
y.
I follow a student

centered learning model that provides h
ands
-
on experience with laboratory techniques such as PCR and DNA sequencing
. This experience

allows students to appreciate the
unity and diversity

present in biological systems and the
challeng
es biologists face when trying to ask and answer what seem to be relatively straight
-
forward questions.



Donald McGarey



dmcgarey
@kennesaw.edu


770
-
423
-
6668

SC 325

Available to meet:

Tuesday 12:30
-
1
:30 ___ Wednesday 4


5 ___ By Apt. _
X
__


Three different research projects are currently ongoing in my lab. The first is to determine under
what conditions the animal pathogen
Aeromonas hydrophila
produces tissue degrading enzymes.
Aeromonas hydrophila,
a common bacterium in water, has been placed in the Contaminant
Candidates List by the Evironmental Protection Agency for its increasing effects as human
pathogen. Many factors contribute to its virulence including resistance to antib
iotics, resistance
to complement
-
mediated lysis, presence of adhesins, and the ability to produce tissue
-
degrading
exoenzymes. The second project focuses on the use of enterococci as acceptable indicators of
contaminated water. Natural water systems are im
pacted by animal wastes; however, it is
necessary to know whether the water is being impacted by human wastes as opposed to wastes
from other animals. Research indicates that some enterococci are false indicators of water
quality, so a method that provides

a true indication of water quality and the sources of
contamination is needed. The final project is the selection of bacteria that produce lipases able to
degrade animal and vegetable fats. We also investigate the growth conditions needed to
maximize lipa
se production and activity. These lipase
-
producing bacteria can be used to degrade
grease and oils that cause clogging in sewage systems as well as reduce the grease wastes from
commercial and industrial processes.


John Salerno



jsalern3
@kennesaw.edu

770
-
423
-
6177

SC 336

Available to meet:

Tuesday 12:30
-
1:30 ___ Wednesday 4


5 ___ By Apt. ___



A major focus of Salerno’s lab is the study of catalysis and control in nitric oxide synthase
(NOS) enzymes using physical biochemical methods and molecular genetics. Nitric Oxide is the
primary controller of vascular tone (hence blood pressure) in mammals
. It is a major signal in
insulin secretion, peristalsis, sexual arousal, angiogenesis, cardiac, lung and airway function, and
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is a neurotransmitter and a reporter of skeletal muscle contraction. Work includes molecular
modeling of NOS and other proteins,
and simulation of biological processes including catalysis
and cooperative ligand binding in NOS and other enzymes, and diffusion of signals from pulsed
sources in various cellular geometries.


Related interests include studies of other heme containing
enz
ymes (e.g., peroxidases and NADPH oxidases) and enzymes related to signaling.


Ecology, Evolution and Behavioral Research

Lisa Adams




ladams
@kennesaw.edu

770
-
499
-
3631

SC 317

Available to meet:

Tuesda
y 12:30
-
1:30 ___ Wednesday 4


5 ___ By Apt. ___


My research interests are in the formal and informal educational applications of real
-
time or near
real
-
time data (RTD) and ocean observatory systems in science education.

My primary focus is
on
curriculum development using RTD to teach science concepts in the K
-
16 level and I am most
interested in estuarine habitats and how the use of RTD affects ocean literacy.


Marcus Davis



ealbrec1
@kennesaw.edu

770
-
423
-
6591

SC 430

Available to meet:

Tuesday 12:30
-
1:30 _
X
__ Wednesday 4


5 ___ By Apt.
X
___

See research abstract found under Biotechnology section.


Joseph Dirnberger



jdirnber
@
kennesaw.edu

770
-
423
-
6546

SC 338

Available to meet:

Tuesday 12:30
-
1:30 __
X
_ Wednesday 4


5 ___ By Apt. _
X
__


Much of my research has focused on t
he importance of dispersal on

population dynamics and
community composition in aquatic systems.

Movements

of water and air, such as currents and
wind, mediate

dispersal of aquatic organisms, but are often unpredi
ctable.

I have
been interested
in how these stochast
ic factors affecting dispersal
influence ecological processes within

aquatic
systems.

My work h
as
included studies of the impact of wind and floods on freshwater


zooplankton populations, the importanc
e of current
-
related variation
in recruitment of sessile
marine ben
thos from planktonic larvae in
seagrass beds, the influence of la
ndscape on the
di
stribution of
stream macroinvertebrates, the effect
s of meteorological events on

water quality
and phytoplankt
on populations in a freshwater
reservoir, and, most recently, t
he influence of
macrophytes on
predation of freshwater zooplankton.

William Ensign



bensign
@kennesaw.edu

770
-
499
-
3505

SC 331

Available to meet:

Tuesday 12:30
-
1:30 _
X
__ Wednesday 4


5 ___ By Apt. _
X
__


My expertise is in aquatic ecology with a particular emphasis on fish diversi
ty, distribution and
abundance in freshwater streams and rivers. My research has included investigations on brook
and rainbow trout abundance in the southern Appalachians, the impact of stream channel
modifications on the federally endangered Roanoke logpe
rch, recolonization success of stream
fish following fish kills, use of underwater observation for monitoring fish populations,
documentation of the distribution and abundance of both fish and freshwater mussels in a variety
of flowing water systems, the u
se of fish community structure in bioassessment, and
investigations of the effects of human barriers to stream fish movement and dispersal.


I have
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ongoing contracts with two local water authorities to assist with bioassessments in Paulding and
Cobb Counti
es.


As a result, I sample fishes in 6 to 12 streams each summer and I always
welcome participation (both formal and informal) by undergraduates in data collection.


Sigurdur Greipsson


sgreipss
@kennesaw.edu

770
-
420
-
4359

LIB 239

Available to meet:

Tuesday 12:30
-
1:30 _
X
__ Wednesday 4


5 ___ By Apt. __
X
_


The impact of invasive alien plant species in natural ecosystems is an emerging environmental
problem.

Members of my lab have been actively

carrying out research on the most notorious
alien plant species in Southeastern USA such as kudzu.

Integrated restoration strategies that aim
at establishing aggressive native plants in kudzu monopopulation have been the aim of this work.
The initial wor
k has shown that allelopathic effects of certain native trees can slow down kudzu
invasion.

Current research focuses on the extent of allelopathic effect of native trees on kudzu
and their impact in controlling kudzu invasion.





Paula Jackson



pjackson
@kennesaw.edu

770
-
423
-
6655

SC 326

Available to meet:

Tuesday 12:30
-
1:30 _
X
__ Wednesday 4


5 ___ By Apt. _
X
__


My research involves studying the ecology and physiology of plants. Specifical
ly I am interested
in the interplay between water availability, plant photosynthetic rates, and plant distribution
patterns. In this research I incorporate both classical ecological methods (e.g. quadrats and
transects to look at patterns of distribution),

and new techniques such as stable isotopes (e.g.
stable carbon isotope signatures, d13C; to determine long term integrated water use efficiency of
plants, and stable isotopes of hydrogen dD to look at source water use; e.g. deep, groundwater
sources versu
s shallow sources). Over the last few years, as part of research proposed in my
NSF/RUI grant (# 0516387), my research has focused on understanding water acquisition
patterns of trees and how these patterns may influence the structure and function of some

of the
most endangered terrestrial ecosystems of the world: tropical dry forests; in this case, those of
the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico.

Thomas McElroy



tmcelro
@kennesaw.edu

770
-
423
-
6162

SC 319

Avai
lable to meet:

Tuesday 12:30
-
1:30 _
X
__ Wednesday 4


5 ___ By Apt. _
X
__

See research abstract found under Biotechnology section.


Donald McGarey



dmcgarey
@kennesaw.edu


770
-
423
-
6668

SC 325

Available to meet:

Tuesday 12:30
-
1:30 ___ Wednesday 4


5 ___ By Apt. _
X
__

See research abstract found under Biotechnology section.


Troy Mutchler



tmutchle
@kennesaw.edu

770
-
420
-
4360

LIB 241

Avail
able to meet:

Tuesday 12:30
-
1:30 _
X
__ Wednesday 4


5 ___ By Apt. __
X
_


My interests focus on the ecology of aquatic plants and algae that are the base of highly
productive submerged aquatic ecosystems. These organisms are important community
component
s that provide food and shelter for resident animals, stabilize sediments, alter
hydrodynamics, help regulate dissolved oxygen concentrations, and participate in nutrient and
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carbon cycling. Unfortunately, many of these communities are disappearing around
the globe
due to anthropogenic and natural disturbances. As a result, it is essential to understand how these
systems respond to disturbances and develop methods for monitoring and conserving these
valuable habitats. My research investigates how environmen
tal stressors affect community
interactions and ecosystem processes to better inform our efforts to preserve valuable ecosystem
services.


R.C. Paul




rpaul
@kennesaw.edu

770
-
423
-
6179

SC 320

Available
to meet:

Tuesday 12:30
-
1:30
_
X
__ Wednesday 4


5 ___ By Apt.
_
X
__


Sustainability: investigating ways to promote energy savings and clean commuting options in the
university setting. Animal communication: investigating the modes and meaning of animal
s
ignals, with an emphasis on insect and avian acoustic communication.


Scott Reese




sreese3
@kennesaw.edu

770
-
423
-
6168

SC 323

Available to meet:

Tuesday 12:30
-
1:30 ___ Wednesday 4


5 _
X
__ By Apt.
_
X
_
_

As a comparative physiologist, my research focuses on the evolution of function. I am particularly
interested in vertebrate animals, but I have dabbled in invertebrate systems over the years. Currently,
my research interests are along 3 distinct lin
es. The first 2 investigative programs involve working with
turtles. I am particularly interested in how turtles are able to utilize the bone in their shells to mitigate
the consequences of lactic acid build
-
up during long
-
term winter submergence where o
xygen levels can
reach really low levels. I am also interested in how turtles can extract oxygen from water when its
present; particularly, the evolution of specialized anatomical features to enhance this extrapulmonary
oxygen uptake. The 3
rd

investigati
ve program is looking into the physiological features that allow fishes
to survive in urbanized streams and how they have evolved in different populations of fish. This last
research line is the earliest process and is a collaboration with several other f
aculty in the department.
We are currently focused on
Campostoma oligolepis
, a stoneroller, as a starting point, but will expand
into other fish species as the research continues.


Heather Sutton



hsutton
@kennesaw.edu

770
-
499
-
3454

SC 329

Available to meet:

Tuesday 12:30
-
1:30 ___ Wednesday 4


5 _
X
__ By Apt. _
X
__


My major research interest is the investigation of toxicity of metals and ionic liquids
to native wetland
plant species. Currently, most regulations are based on data obtained by testing toxicity using common
agricultural species, or in some cases, algae. It is unclear whether the data obtained using these
surrogate species adequately prote
ct native wetland plants. Therefore, one aim of my research has
been to determine whether or not native species are more or less tolerant of metals and ionic liquids as
compared to the commonly used agricultural species. Ionic liquids are liquid salts th
at have recently
been intensively investigated as “green” alternatives to the organic chemical solvents currently used in
industrial applications. Few studies have been done so far to determine the effects of these chemicals
on aquatic systems. Therefore
, currently I have a student working on the toxicity of these chemicals to
the native plants duckweed (
Lemna gibba
) and swamp milkweed (
Asclepias incarnata
).


Since 2004 (excepting 2009) there has been an ongoing study of the population dynamics of our c
ampus
Pink Lady’s Slipper population. The long
-
term study has been focused on yearly leaf emergence and
blooming dates, and locations of individuals within the population. Each year a student contributes data
to the long
-
term data set, while devising a st
udy of their own related to the ecology of the population. I
10


am looking currently for a student to work on this project this spring. The student must be available for
field
-
work during April and May, which is the emergence and bloom period for this speci
es.

Matthew Unwin



munwin
@kennesaw.edu

770
-
499
-
3561

SC 318

Available to meet:

Tuesday 12:30
-
1:30 ___ Wednesday 4


5 ___ By Apt. ___



Physics

Nikolaos Kidonakis

nkidonak
@kennesaw.edu

770
-
423
-
6607

SC 432

Available to meet:

Tuesday 12:30
-
1:30 _
X
__ Wednesday 4


5 _
X
__ By Apt. _
X
__


Dr. Kidonakis is a theoretical physicist who is deeply involved in
research in elementary particle
physics, als
o known as high energy physics.
His research is in the phenomenology of
elementary particle production in the

world's highest
-
energy colliders, where protons,
antiprotons, or electrons

are smashed together to cr
eate new particles.

These facilities include
the Tevatron at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) in Batavia, Illinois; and
the new Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics,
near Geneva, Switzerland
.

Protons are accelerated and collided at very high energies and

with speeds close to the speed of light in order

to delve into the lowest possible distance scales,
billions of times

smaller than the atomic scale, and hence to understand

the fundamental
el
ementary particles and forces.

Theoretical predictions must be as accurate

as possible so that
we can test our theories by comparison to data

from experiments. The work of Dr. Kidonakis
focuses on making the most accurate theoretical calculations for vario
us collider processes. He is
particularly

interested in the top quark, the most massive elementary particle known,

and in the
yet undiscovered Higgs boson, which is thought to provide mass

to the other particles. Dr.
Kidonakis' calculations are routinely u
sed by the experimenters at high
-
energy colliders and are
the standard results for comparing

theory and experiment for several processes, most notably top
quark production

at the Tevatron.


Theodore LaRosa



ted
@
avatar.
kennesaw.edu

770
-
423
-
6038

SC 439

Available to meet:

Tuesday 12:30
-
1:30 ___ Wednesday 4


5 ___ By Apt. ___


My current research is focused on underst
anding the interstellar medium
in the Galactic Center
region.

Radio observations of this region have revealed a number of complex magnetic
structures.

The origin, overall scale, and connection with other phenomenon the region is not

presently known.

We hypothesize that turbulence ma
y play a crucial role in structuring the field.

My colleagues and I are currently modeling the radio signature of a turbulent magnetic field to
determine if future

observations could discriminate between various models

Brent McDaniel



bmcdanie
@kennesaw.edu


678
-
797
-
2345

UC 220

Available to meet:

Tuesday 12:30
-
1:30 ___ Wednesday 4


5 ___ By Apt. _
X
__


My research focuses primarily on large scale, extratropical atmospheric dynamics.

One facet of
m
y work is the study of stratosphere
-
troposphere interaction.

This examines the role of the
11


stratosphere in influencing tropospheric climate and short
-
term surface variability (weather).

Another facet of this work is the study of annular (disk
-
like) modes
.

Recent work has shown
that the atmosphere has preferred states that can be characterized as annular modes.

Much of the
intraseasonal variability seen in the stratosphere can be explained by examining just a few of
these modes.

A final facet of my work

involves assessing the ability of global climate models to
accurately and realistically simulate atmospheric annular modes and the physical mechanisms
that produce them.


Taha Mzoughi



tmzoughi
@kennesaw.edu

678
-
797
-
2152

SC 316

Available to meet:

Tuesday 12:30
-
1:30 ___ Wednesday 4


5 ___ By Apt. ___


David Rosengrant



drosengr
@kennesaw.edu

678
-
797
-
2482

LIB 340

Available to meet:

Tuesda
y 12:30
-
1:30 ___ Wednesday 4


5 _
X
__ By Apt.
X
___


Dr. Rosengrant’s research is in physics education. His work is primarily with problem solving.
Specifically, he focuses on differences between experts and novices and how we can help our
novices dev
elop expert like skills. Part of this involves the use of multiple representations
(pictures, diagrams, graphs, charts). Finally, his interests are turning towards integrating eye
-
trackers into his research. Eye
-
trackers

allow researchers to investigate

what subjects look at
while completing different tasks which can then be used, in addition to other research methods to
achieve a greater understanding of students’ problem solving mentalities.


Science Education

Lisa Adams




ladams
@kennesaw.edu

770
-
499
-
3631

SC 317

Available to meet:

Tuesday 12:30
-
1:30 ___ Wednesday 4


5 ___ By Apt. ___

See research abstract found under Ecology section.


Michael Dias



mdias
@kennesaw.edu

678
-
797
-
2217

SC 308b

Available to meet:

Tuesday 12:30
-
1:30 ___ Wednesday 4


5 _
X
__ By Apt. _
X
__


A 14
-
year veteran of secondary science teaching, Mike Dias coordinates the biology education
program at
KSU. His research with teachers centers on mitigating the theory
-
practice gap
through problem
-
based approaches to teacher development that promote reflective and
progressive practices. Dr. Dias' conducts case studies of middle/secondary science teacher
dev
elopment applying phenomenological qualitative methods. He also publishes practitioner
articles in journals of the National Science Teachers Association and has co
-
authored The Art of
Teaching Science with Jack Hassard.


Jennifer Frisch



jfrisch1
@kennesaw.edu

770
-
423
-
6161

SC 315

Available to meet:

Tuesday 12:30
-
1:30 ___ Wednesday 4


5 ___ By Apt. ___

***Currently on Maternity Leave this semester, if interested be sure to email.


My main research interest involves using stories and narratives as a tool to teach and learn
science. To that end, I work on mixed
-
methods research projects that chronicle and evaluate the
stories teachers (of all levels) tell in the classroom, the proces
s that pre
-
service and in
-
service
12


teachers go through in constructing oral and written stories for use in teaching a science concept
or eliminating a science misconception, and the stories that students tell in order to show
evidence of what they have lear
ned. Additionally, I am interested in and involved in research to
counteract “Nature Deficit Disorder” (Louv, 2005) and what Wandersee et al. call “plant
blindness” by giving teachers and their students a chance to get outside and get to know the
organism
s around them

especially plants. Finally, I have been involved in collaborative
research projects that examine technology (including pod
-
casts and vod
-
casts, as well as physics
-
based simulations) in the classroom.

Matthew Laposata



mlaposat
@kennesaw.edu

770
-
499
-
3453

SC 327

Available to meet:

Tuesday 12:30
-
1:30 ___ Wednesday 4


5 ___ By Apt. ___


Matthew Laposata's primary interests are in the development of curricular materials for
introductory,

non
-
science major courses in environmental science. Dr. Laposata has particular
interest in materials that utilize digital technologies and emphasize the economic and
technological practicality of sustainable approaches. His past biological research exami
ned the
impacts of municipal wastewater on amphibian populations and the behavioral interactions of
snakes and field mice.


Taha Mzoughi



tmzoughi
@kennesaw.edu

678
-
797
-
2152

SC 316

Available to meet:

T
uesday 12:30
-
1:30 ___ Wednesday 4


5 ___ By Apt. ___

See research abstract found under Physics section.


David Rosengrant



drosengr
@kennesaw.edu

678
-
797
-
2482

LIB 340

Available to meet:

Tuesday
12:30
-
1:30 _
X
__ Wednesday 4


5 __
X
_ By Apt. _
X
__

See research abstract found under Physics section.