Students Present at Undergraduate Research Symposium

October 25 2016
Category: Academics

Last week three students, Cory Blanchard ‘17, Melody Rubeiro ’17, and Zachory Park ’17, accompanied by Dr. Christine Bezotte, Associate Professor of Biology, presented their summer research posters at the 19th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium in the Chemical and Biological Sciences at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC).

The conference gives undergraduates an opportunity to showcase their research and network with students and faculty from other colleges and universities.

Cory and Melody  Zach

Cory, Melody, and Zachory participated in the Division of Mathematics and Natural Sciences Summer Research Program this past summer and are continuing their research through the fall and winter terms.

Cory and Melody’s research, titled “Biochemical Investigation of Dairy Farm Young Goats,” helped to identify and show the antibiotic resistance of a bacterial infection that had become a significant problem on a dairy goat farm. With their research, mentored by Dr. Bezotte, the Staphylococcus species infecting the young kid goats could be better controlled resulting in fewer infections and loss of animals.

At the Symposium, Zachory also presented his research titled, “The Impact of Habitat Type on Competitive Interactions Between Alien Fire Ants and Ant Species Assemblages on San Salvador Island, The Bahamas.” This project, mentored by Dr. Daniel S. Kjar, Associate Professor of Biology, looked at the interactions between invasive fire ants and native ant assemblages, and if habitat disturbance is a contributing factor to fire ant dominance across the island.

The students’ attendance and poster presentations at the UMBC Symposium showcased their great work, but it was also an opportunity for them to network with others in the sciences. Here’s what the students shared about their experience at the Symposium:

“During this symposium, I was exposed to a variety of subjects. I met people that were extraordinarily passionate about their research.  I could show off what I had learned myself and, found it was more than I had thought! I learned a lot from this experience that will help better prepare me for my future in graduate school. I plan to pursue microbiology and virology.” - Cory Blanchard ‘17

“The skills and connections I have made through both the research and poster presentations can better prepare me for veterinary school. I look forward to continuing my research with Dr. Bezotte. I plan to continue the research extending my work to exploring the bacterial production of toxins.” - Melody Rubeiro ’17

"Presenting my research at the Undergraduate Research Symposium hosted by UMBC was an awesome opportunity and a lot of fun. I made some great connections with students whom I may collaborate with in the future. I learned a great deal about some laboratory techniques that I could utilize in my current work as well as in my future research. I have been working on this project for about four years now and am very pleased with its progression and am excited to see what it will tell us about the ants of San Sal." -  Zachory Park ‘17

The posters, and more on the students’ research, are currently on display on campus in Kolker Hall.