Student researchers honored during annual biology symposium at MSU

April 17, 2017

April 13, 2017

Contact: Sasha Steinberg

Winners from the Mississippi State University Department of Biological Sciences’ 10th annual Undergraduate Research Program Symposium include (left to right) third-place recipient Peter G. Kooienga, a junior microbiology major from Ocean Springs; first-place recipient Anna C. Jackson, a senior biological sciences major from Starkville; and second-place recipient Aaron W. Albee, a sophomore microbiology major from Starkville. (Photo by Beth Wynn)
Winners from the Mississippi State University Department of Biological Sciences’ 10th annual Undergraduate Research Program Symposium include (left to right) third-place recipient Peter G. Kooienga, a junior microbiology major from Ocean Springs; first-place recipient Anna C. Jackson, a senior biological sciences major from Starkville; and second-place recipient Aaron W. Albee, a sophomore microbiology major from Starkville. (Photo by Beth Wynn)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Three Mississippi State students who conducted faculty-guided research projects throughout the current school year recently took top awards at the 10th annual MSU Biological Sciences Undergraduate Research Program Symposium.

Sponsored by the university’s biological sciences department, the symposium provided 22 undergraduates the opportunity to showcase research projects they conducted during the fall 2016 and spring 2017 semesters. Three of those students, as well as their respective mentors, received special awards.

First-, second- and third-place winners each garnered Downer Undergraduate Research Awards that honor Professor Emeritus Donald N. Downer of Starkville, a former longtime department head.

The honorees include:

Mississippi State students recently showcased faculty-guided research projects at the Department of Biological Sciences’ 10th annual Undergraduate Research Program Symposium. Three of those students, as well as their respective mentors, each received special awards. The students are pictured here with (middle row, center) MSU Biological Sciences Department Head Angus Dawe and symposium keynote speaker Frank Gilmore, president emeritus of the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation. (Photo by Beth Wynn)
Mississippi State students recently showcased faculty-guided research projects at the Department of Biological Sciences’ 10th annual Undergraduate Research Program Symposium. Three of those students, as well as their respective mentors, each received special awards. The students are pictured here with (middle row, center) MSU Biological Sciences Department Head Angus Dawe and symposium keynote speaker Frank Gilmore, president emeritus of the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation. (Photo by Beth Wynn)

FIRST—Anna C. Jackson, a senior biological sciences major from Starkville. Her project “Please Do Not Feed the Animals: An Analysis of the Effect of Anthropogenic Stresses on Mating Behaviors Displayed by Sister Isles Rock Iguanas” was completed under the guidance of MSU Associate Professor of Biological Sciences Mark Welch.

SECOND—Aaron W. Albee, a sophomore microbiology major from Starkville. His project “Impact of Occidiofungin on Morphological Switching in C. albicans” was completed under the guidance of MSU Associate Professor of Biological Sciences Donna Gordon.

THIRD—Peter G. Kooienga, a junior microbiology major from Ocean Springs. His project “‘OUIWING TRUUM’ N.G. N.SP.: A Novel Amoebozoan Lineage Isolated from Sidewalk Cracks on the Campus of MSU” was completed under the guidance of MSU Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences Matt Brown.

Each winner received an engraved plaque and cash award. As the first-place recipient, Jackson also was presented with an engraved MSU cowbell.

Frank Gilmore, president emeritus of the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation, served as keynote speaker for the symposium in Harned Hall.

Part of the College of Arts and Sciences, MSU’s Department of Biological Sciences is online at www.biology.msstate.edu.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.