St. Thomas offers a number of opportunities for students to carry out research in collaboration with a faculty member. For more information, see the Undergraduate Research and Collaborative Scholarships page, http://www.stthomas.edu/urcs/default.html.
Ecological stoichiometry (ES) is the study of the balance of chemical elements in living systems (Sterner and Elser 2002). Major biomolecules contain different mixtures of elements such as carbon (C), nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and calcium (Ca). As a result, important organismal characteristics with particular biochemical demands have distinct elemental signatures. A focus on elements provides simple currencies for integrating across levels of biological organization and diverse types of organisms, and provides a common language facilitating collaboration between biologists and chemists.
Atrazine is a widely used herbicide in the cultivation of corn, with 33 million kg applied annually in the United States; in the early 1990's it was the most detected herbicide in surface waters throughout the US (Capel and Larson 2001). The estimated half-life of atrazine ranges from 42 days to 10 years, making it also one of the most persistent surface water contaminants (Hayes 2004).
Multi-drug resistance among Gram-positive bacterial pathogens represents a serious challenge for health practitioners. The oxazolidinone class of antimicrobials represents a promising advance in the fight against this resistance. The first oxazolidinone approved for clinical use was linozolid (tradename Zyvox; compound 1 in Fig. 1).