Dr. Kyle Zimmer's research students are shown below getting ready for the summer field season.
Mending a net
Sorting and identifying algae
At the end of every semester, our department gathers with students to hear about independent research and class projects using posters and oral presentations. This year, there were 22 posters including independent research, aquatic biology, evolution, advanced physiology, molecular biology, and neurobiology. Students from aquatic biology, molecular biology, and advanced physiology also gave oral presentations. Below are some images of the poster session.
Poster session in Owens Science Hall (above and below)
Anna Zimmerman explains her research project from neurobiology to another student.
Comparative Anatomy and Physiology 2
Dr. Dalma Martinovic-Weigelt's Comparative Anatomy & Physiology course has been investigating the effects of social stress on the physiology of fathead minnows. They assayed levels of glucose, triglycerides, and the hormone cortisol in the blood of reproductive male and female minnows. The images below show students working on the assays in lab.
Jessica Skelton, Courtney Fenske, and Jenna Schermerhorn work on pipetting samples, with Tony Gerten in the background works on the laptop and Kristen Lee labels tubes on the far left.
Jessica Skelton sets up the microplate reader
Ali Deneen (front) and Kate McNeill examine the results
of their assay.
The Community Garden
The UST community garden combines student-led research, education, service, and community-outreach in a single project. This year, we are testing how crop biodiversity and organic farming practices affect plant growth and produce yield in an urban garden setting. Last summer, we donated over 400 pounds of produce from this project to the Emergency Foodshelf Network in New Hope, MN, and we hope to double that output this year. We will also be planning events throughout the summer to raise awareness about food issues, gardening, and biodiversity research.
Recently, volunteers gathered in the OWS greenhouse to transplant seedlings for the community garden.
Greenhouse manager Steve Trost helps a volunteer to arrange seedlings in the greenhouse.
Spring in the greenhouse...
Dr. Simon Emms and Dr. Amy Verhoeven, in collaboration with Dr. Susan Mazer and Dr. Leah Dudley at the University of California Santa Barbara are studying the joint evolution of life-history strategies, reproductive biology, and drought physiology of a group of North American plants in the genus Clarkia. In the UST greenhouses a long-term artificial selection experiment is being carried out to breed plants that either have a rapid life cycle or a high self-fertilization rate, both of which are expected to be associated with a reduced ability to tolerate drought. At the end of the experiment, drought tolerance will be assessed by studying their leaf biochemistry in Dr. Verhoeven's lab at UST and reproductive fitness will be investigated by transplanting the selected lines into their natural habitats in mountains of Southern California.
Dr. Amy Verhoeven's Plant Physiology course tapped four different maple trees on campus to compare sugar content of the sap. They then boiled the sap down to make maple syrup and compared the syrups for flavor.
Tapping a tree just after Spring Break
Boiling down the sap outside Owens greenhouse
From left to right the finished syrups are: silver maple, boxelder, sugar maple, and Norway maple.
Students in BIOL398- Plant Physiology conducted an experiment examining the effects of depriving plants of particular nutrients. Geranium plants were grown hydroponically in the greenhouse with/without nutrients and we examined the effects on leaf pigment content and on allocation of biomass to roots and shoots.
Josh Witt and Kyke Edgren remove plants from the growth medium
Peter Thelen and Albert Kertho sampling leaves
The effects of one treatment on leaf pigment
You can read more about this class tapping maple trees on campus in the Bulletin from March 29, 2011.
Below are some images from Dr. Tim Lewis' Natural History of Minnesota class held during J-term of this year.
Jordan Goetting observing leaf buds
Identifying an oak tree
Dr. Tim Lewis (background) shows students what to look for when classifying evergreens.