Students showcase research at Capitol

From research on the white-tailed deer population in Iowa to plant drought tolerance to the effects of hospital closings on rural health, 13 undergraduate students in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences presented their research to legislators and the public during the annual "Research in the Capitol." The event was held April 1 in the Rotunda of the State Capitol building in Des Moines.

More than 60 undergraduate students from Iowa's three Regent universities (Iowa State, the University of Iowa, and the University of Northern Iowa) displayed their research posters and described their work. The event highlights the importance of research to the undergraduate learning experience.

The University Honors Program coordinates the event and participation is open to all undergraduate students.

The Iowa State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences students who presented work at the capitol, their hometowns, majors, research projects, and research mentors are:

Jasmine Anderson, La Crosse, Wis., genetics and Megan Merolla, Blair, Neb., genetics: “Creating Null Alleles of Outsiders and Tre1 Using the CRISPR/Cas9 System in Drosophila,” Clark Coffman, genetics, development and cell biology.

Nicholas Benge, Indianola, biology: “HCO3- Uptake by HEK Cells is increased by the HLA3 Protein from C. reinhardtii,” Michael McCloskey, genetics, development and cell biology.

Whitney Briggs, Willits, Calif., animal ecology: “Genetic Similarity between Urban and Adjacent Rural White-Tailed Deer Populations in Iowa,” Julie Blanchong, natural resource ecology and management.

Christopher Hinojo, Ames, microbiology: “Immune Activation Components from Raw Milk and Colostrum,” Joan Cunnick, animal science.

Jonathan Mahoney, Des Moines, horticulture: “Assessment of Shrub Willow (Salix spp.) Genotypes for Insect Pest Resistance through Feeding Bioassays and Field Observations,” Lawrence Smart, horticulture, Cornell University.

Alyssa Meyer, Sumner, dairy science and global resource systems: “Solutions for Improving Dairy Farm Management in Northern Rural Vietnam,” Howard Tyler, animal science.

Danielle Pohl, Center Point, biology: “The Role of Maternally Supplied Cell Death Components in Primordial Germ Cell Development of Drosophila Melanogaster,” Clark Coffman, genetics, development and cell biology.

Deepak Premkumar, Ames, economics, global resource systems, and mathematics: “The Effects of Potential Hospital Closings on the Quality and Proximity of Hospital Options for Rural Residents,” Peter Orazem, economics.

Toni Proescholdt, Marshalltown, biology: “Understanding Interactions between Butterflies and their Floral Resources in Iowa Grasslands,” Diane Debinski, ecology, evolution and organismal biology.

Garrett Smith, San Diego, Calif., microbiology and genetics: “A Glimpse into NASA’s Planetary Protection Implementation: Bacterial Communities Residing on Mars Bound Spacecraft,” James N. Benardini, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology.

Johanna Sholar, LaGrange Park, Ill., animal science and music: “Gilt Approachability to a Human When Selected for Feed Efficiency,” Anna Johnson, animal science.

Jeffery Williams, Ames, microbiology: “Using Microbes to Enhance Plant Drought Tolerance,” Gwyn Beattie, plant pathology and microbiology.