The biology program at Hiram College provides students with the knowledge and experience to become professional biologists.
With our emphasis on experiential learning and hands-on applications, coupled with close faculty mentoring relationships, Hiram's biology students develop the expertise to succeed in graduate programs and professional work environments in the modern life sciences.
To enable our students to explore virtually limitless research areas, Hiram's biology department sustains a faculty with a broad scope of expertise, ranging from paleontology to ecology, marine biology to genetics, animal behavior to plant systematics.
Students present research at the
Midwest Ecology and Evolution Conference
Hiram College students Nicholas Cusick, Gurneet Raina, Maci Nelson, Preston Caldwell, Kailey Cooper, Patricia Bohls, and Zachary Nemec presented their research at the Midwest Ecology and Evolution Conference (MEEC) during the 23-24 March 2013 at the University of Notre Dame. MEEC is a regional conference that is hosted by a different Midwest university or college each year and is organized by graduate students and undergraduates. This conference is a great opportunity for students to meet others in their field and gain perspective on current research conducted by their peers. Students were accompanied by professors Cara Constance, Jennifer Clark, and Tom Koehnle.
The following posters and talks were presented:
- Decomposition rate and macroinvertebrate colonization of artificial leaf packs in a forested headwater stream - Oral presentation by Nick Cusick ('13; biochemistry major); co-authored by assistant professor Jennifer Clark.
- A new citizen science initiative at Hiram College: FrogWatch USA frog and toad monitoring program - Poster presentation by Gurneet Raina ('13, biomedical humanities major, political science minor); co-authored by assistant professor Jennifer Clark, associate director of the James H. Barrow Field Station James Metzinger, and associate professor Cara Constance.
- Effects of a low dose of caffeine on feeding rates and growth of crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) - Poster presentation by Preston Caldwell ('15, biomedical humanities major)and Maci Nelson ('15, biomedical humanities major); co-authored by assistant professor Jennifer Clark.
- Modulation of anti-predator behavior by coat coloration in the eastern gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinesis) - Oral presentation by Patricia Bohls ('15, neuroscience major, environmental studies mino, biology minorr); co-authored by assistant professor Tom Koehnle.
- Effects of habitat type and leaf species on macroinvertebrate diversity in a forested headwater stream - Poster presentation by Zachary Nemec ('16, biology major, environmental studies minor), Kailey Cooper ('15, environmental studies major, biology minor), and Nick Cusick; co-authored by assistant professor Jennifer Clark.
Travel to this conference was funded by the Paul and Maxine Frohring Foundation, the James H. Barrow Field Station, and the Center for Deciphering Life's Languages.
Front Row, left to right: Maci Nelson, Gurneet Raina, Kailey Cooper, Patricia Bohls, Jennifer Clark, Cara Constance
Back Row, left to right: Preston Caldwell; Nick Cusick, Zach Nemec, Tom Koehnle
2013 Turner Society Awardee, Dr. Joyce DeYoung ’69, to be recognized at Annual Meeting
The Department of Biology is pleased to announce that the recipient of the 2013 J.J. Turner Award is Dr. Joyce DeYoung ’69, vice president of L.A. DeYoung Consulting Services. Dr. DeYoung’s work focuses on quality control and manufacturing issues in the pharmaceutical industry.
After graduating from Hiram with a degree in Chemistry, Dr. DeYoung completed her Ph.D. in Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Chemistry at Ohio State University. She then began a remarkable career in the creation and manufacture of pharmaceuticals, working in various capacities with increasing responsibility and demands at three major companies. Dr. DeYoung holds two U.S. patents for her research discoveries and was involved in the production of several major medicines, including Enbrel to treat rheumatoid arthritis. In addition, Dr. DeYoung has worked to make many of our most important drugs safe and reliable through her efforts in quality control. Her work makes her one of the unsung researchers, administrators, and executives in the pharmaceutical industry who has improved the health of many.
The 2012-13 J.J. Turner Society meeting will be held Thursday, March 28, 2013. The program will begin at 5:00 P.M. with Senior Biology Capstone Presentations in Colton Hall Room 120. These reports are in fulfillment of the APEX requirement for graduation with a major in biology. A list of student presenters and the titles of their talks is given below. A reception will follow in the Ball Room in the Kennedy Center at 6:10 P.M. The Award Presentation to Dr. DeYoung and Induction of Seniors will begin at 7:00 P.M. in the Ballroom of the Kennedy Center.
Student presenters on March 28:
- Bryan Nemire - Edge Effects in a South-Facing Beech-Maple Successional Forest in North-Eastern Ohio
- Robert Glowacki - Protein Analysis of Mineralization in the Gastrocnemius Tendon (Achilles) of the Domestic Turkey
- Robert Danczak - A Comparative Locomotor Skeletal Analysis of the Order Lagomorpha
- Anthony Clemente - My Life as a Beech Bum: Levels of Clonality in American Beech (Fagus grandifolia) in Response to Habitat Disturbance
Abstracts are stored in the APEX Abstract Archives found under Research and Study Abroad Opportunities.
Hiram Students and Faculty Present Research at Ohio Natural History Conference
On Saturday, February 23, 2013 Professors Jennifer Clark and Matt Hils accompanied 7 students to the Ohio Natural History Conference in Columbus. Four posters report on research studies carried out by students and advisors at the Hiram College Field Station (student researchers names are deonoted by an asterisk *):
Decomposition rate and macroinvertebrate colonization of artificial leaf packs in a forested headwater stream - *Nicholas R. Cusick, and Jennifer M. Clark
Effects of habitat type and leaf species on macroinvertebrate diversity in a forested headwater stream - *Zachary C. Nemec, *Kailey N. Cooper, *Nicholas R. Cusick, and Jennifer M. Clark
Levels of Clonality in American Beech (Fagus grandifolia) in Response to Habitat Disturbance - *Anthony Clemente and Matthew H. Hils
Edge Effects in a South-Facing Successional Beech-Maple Forest: Preliminary Findings - Michael Benedict, *Grace D’Angelo, *Nathaniel Frances, *Bryan Nemire, and Matthew Hils
A fifth poster describes an innovative community-based program begun this winter at the Field Station:
A new citizen science initiative at Hiram College: FrogWatch USA frog and toad monitoring program - *Gurneet K. Raina, Jennifer M. Clark, Jim E. Metzinger, and Cara M. Constance
Professors Michael Benedict (Environmental Studies) and Cara Constance (Biology) as well as Jim Metzinger (Field Station Associate Director) are also involved in the work presented at the meeting.
Happy 206th Birthday Charles Darwin
AIBS President Matt Dimuzio and
AIBS Advisor Willa Schrlau
At the suggestion of Jenn Clark, Assistant Professor of Biology, students and faculty celebrated the birthday of Charles Darwin on Tuesday, February 12.
Students and faculty enjoyed a non-Darwinian lunch sponsored by the student chapter of AIBS. AIBS President Matt Dimuzio prepared a series of challenges for others – picking out Charles Darwin from a gallery of images of famous scientists, identifying early hominids, and correlating illustrations of birds with descriptions of their beak adaptations for feeding.
Faculty and families celebrated with a pot-luck supper and a birthday cake, baked by Jenn Clark, and carefully decorated by Ramsey and Rayana Goodner. Some people even arrived in costumes appropriate to the celebration.
Biology 230 Students Investigate Plant Peroxidase Activity
Do plants get stressed out? We can measure plant responses to various stresses by monitoring activity of an enzyme named peroxidase. In Professor Cara Constance’s Molecular and Cellular Biology course students have compared plants grown upside down and right side up, exposed plants to continuous intense light or no light at all, under-watered or over-watered their plants, and compared trees in polluted urban areas to trees in the woods at the James H. Barrow Field Station. Students selected a model system and designed these novel experiments to address their hypotheses related to peroxidase activity as part of their laboratory experience in the course during the Fall-12 (2012) term. Their research was conducted under the direction of Dr. Julie Maxson, Teaching Research Profession in Biology.
Besides learning the fundamentals of assaying enzymatic activity, students became familiar and accomplished with procedures required to partially purify and characterize plant proteins. To complete their projects students analyzed their data, prepared posters for display, and presented their results in a mini-poster symposium attended by professors and their peers. Engaging students in the process of asking questions about the biology of organisms and their cellular components, followed by experimentally examining possible answers to these questions are key goals of laboratory and course curricula in the Department of Biology. In addition, students gain the skills necessary to prepare data in presentation format for future regional and international scientific conferences.
Alex Fakhoury, Dan Fakhoury, and Kyle Hatcher and Ryan Ziegler
Bryan Nemire check their prepare their plants for testing
Michael Zielinski and Anthony Solis Emily Anderson prepares
measure pH levels of reaction plant extracts
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For more information
If you have specific questions about the Biology Program at Hiram College or if you would like more information, please contact:
- Vicki Kohn