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LSUA to Host Louisiana Academy of Sciences Meeting

Released: 02/17/2010

Some 300 professors, students and scientists will exchange research results at the annual Louisiana Academy of Sciences (LAS) meeting at LSU Alexandria on Feb. 27, announced Dr. Elisabeth Elder, LAS program coordinator and professor of biology at LSUA.

“Nearly every university and college in the state will be represented,” said Elder, “and the presentations will reflect ongoing research and new concepts. This is a centerpiece in the dissemination of scientific ideas in our state.”

Presentations will be made in botany, chemistry, environmental science, zoology, physics, earth sciences, molecular and biomedical science, computer science, math and statistics, materials sciences and engineering, agriculture, forestry, and wildlife, plus social sciences, sciences and humanities, and education.

LSUA will be represented on the program by Drs. Genet Duke, assistant professor of geology; David Huey, professor of biology; Christof Stumpf, assistant professor of biology; John Allen, professor of biology; Zeleke Negatu, assistant professor of biology; Julien Doucet, associate professor of mathematics; and Elder. The professors will either discuss their own projects or sponsor LSUA students in undergraduate research presentations.

Duke and geology students Karyn Goodman, Rhonda Johnson, Christopher Vines, Megan Garrett, Lisa Delaney, Andrew McDowell and Marissa Williams will discuss “geochemical similarities among three alkalic igneous centers in Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota.” Their research, which included collecting samples in the three states on a field trip last summer, was funded by a Louisiana Board of Regents grant.

Huey and LSUA graduate Alexandria Williams will answer the question, “Does the Crawfish Avoid Nitrite?” Elder and student John Lyons will discuss the interactions between certain bacteria and fungus in biofilm formation. Stumpf and Brian Sullivan, a pine beetle expert with the Department of Agriculture, will talk about the acoustic communication of the beetle. Stumpf also will team with student David Allen in a presentation on natural compounds isolated from tomatoes which repel cockroaches.

Allen and students David McPherson, Jason Thompson and Thomas Borrel will compare chemical and physical properties of two ponds, and Negatu and LSUA graduate Jessica Paul will discuss egg size, protein and hatching time of a particular minnow. Mathematical presentations on “Continuity and Uniform Continuity” and “Normal Vectors” will be done by Doucet and student Anthony Soileau, respectively.

Don Yates, assistant professor of computer information systems, will moderate a session, and Dr. David Manuel, LSUA chancellor will welcome the delegates to the university.

Elder, who also serves as LAS treasurer, said more than 230 presentations are scheduled. “We’re very pleased with the volume and breadth of research that will be presented,” she said. “It appears this will be a very well attended conference.”

The LAS meeting rotates among sites in Louisiana. LSUA last hosted the event more than 20 years ago.