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Biology Students
Are Research Leaders

Students in the Department of Biological Sciences at Sam Houston State University have received individual and group awards and recognition at statewide scientific meetings and several will be on the road again this week.

At the regional meeting of the national biology honor society Beta Beta Beta last weekend, the SHSU Chapter received the Outstanding Chapter Award in a competition with 10 Texas and six Oklahoma Universities. The meetings were held at the University of Oklahoma Biological Field Station on Lake Texoma where 40 students reported on their research projects.

The best chapter award to SHSU was based largely on the successes of the six SHSU student presenters, two of whom received first place awards for best paper presentations.

Mathew Brain, who worked with faculty member Joan Hudson, received first place for his work on the isolation and chemical characterization of plant hormones. Nathan Liles, under the direction of faculty member Brian Sailer, received a first place award for his presentation on the effects of metal compounds on the mammalian cell cycle. Richard Davis, working with Sailer, received a second place award, and Ann Prouty, supervised by Hudson, received a third place award.

SHSU biology students organized this year's conference, which was attended by 130 students and faculty from Texas and Oklahoma. Diane Neudorf, of the SHSU biology faculty, presented a talk on reproductive behavior in birds at the awards banquet.

SHSU students will be presenting their award winning papers at the national meetings of Beta Beta Beta in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in June. Sailer, who is chapter faculty adviser, will accompany the students.

In March, eight biology graduate and undergraduate students at SHSU presented their research findings at the annual meetings of the Texas Academy of Science in Kingsville.

Four hundred students and faculty attended the meetings, which included joint sessions in the different areas of science. Taslima Karim, under the supervision of Hudson, received an honorable mention for her presentation on isolation of plant hormones.

Two undergraduates presented their research at the Texas Branch meetings of the American Society for Microbiology in Junction, in March. Teresa Thornley received the Meritorious Student Achievement Award for her presentation on the characterization of bacteria isolated from sandstone environments in Utah. She worked under the supervision of faculty member Harry Kurtz.

Five graduate students from the Department of Biological Sciences will present the results of their master of science thesis projects at the annual meeting of the Southwestern Association of Naturalists in Denton on April 20 - 22. Supervising professors also making the trip are Monte Thies, Bill Luterschmidt, Diane Neudorf and Jack Turner.

"The opportunity to participate in research projects with the biology faculty provides students with experiences that often determine their career choices," said Andrew Dewees, professor of biology and former chair. "Many biology graduates go on to master's and doctoral programs and to careers directly related to their research experiences with the biology faculty."

Students interested in pursuing an undergraduate or graduate research project in biology should talk with a member of the biology faculty, said Dewees.

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SHSU Media Contact: Frank Krystyniak
April 14, 2000
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