Spring 2022 VIRTUAL Undergraduate Research Symposium

Spring 2022
BURS
Biology
Our goal is to develop diagnostic assays for the viruses associated with Bovine Respiratory Disease (BRD). BRD is a respiratory disease and is the result of five different viruses including Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus (BVDV) types 1 and 2.
Qualification of a Diagnostic Assay for Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus

Qualification of a Diagnostic Assay for Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus

Our goal is to develop diagnostic assays for the viruses associated with Bovine Respiratory Disease (BRD). BRD is a respiratory disease and is the result of five different viruses including Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus (BVDV) types 1 and 2.

Biology
BURS
Spring 2022
A study of the response of A. childreni to thermal stimuli at regular intervals from juvenile stages through early adulthood.
Thermally - Guided Responses in Juvenile Antaresia childreni

Thermally - Guided Responses in Juvenile Antaresia childreni

A study of the response of A. childreni to thermal stimuli at regular intervals from juvenile stages through early adulthood.

BURS
Biology
Spring 2022
In 2018, Dr. Sara Freeman published research showing a link between oxytocin receptor (OXTR) density in two brain regions: the Nucleus Basalis of Meynert (NBM) and Ventral Pallidum (VP) with autism. This study takes the next step in examining the causes o
Three Genetic Mutations of the OXTR Gene Linked to Autism

Three Genetic Mutations of the OXTR Gene Linked to Autism

In 2018, Dr. Sara Freeman published research showing a link between oxytocin receptor (OXTR) density in two brain regions: the Nucleus Basalis of Meynert (NBM) and Ventral Pallidum (VP) with autism. This study takes the next step in examining the causes o...

Spring 2022
Biology
BURS
Examine the GPR171 receptor and related agonists to identify their impact on pain relief in female and male mice. Examine the connection between the endogenous opioid system and the endocannabinoid system as it affects pain and tolerance in male and femal
Pain Treatments in Mice as Relates to GPR171 Receptor

Pain Treatments in Mice as Relates to GPR171 Receptor

Examine the GPR171 receptor and related agonists to identify their impact on pain relief in female and male mice. Examine the connection between the endogenous opioid system and the endocannabinoid system as it affects pain and tolerance in male and femal...

Spring 2022
BURS
Biology
We will be looking at how anole density and species change identity as distance is gained from tree gaps caused by hurricanes in the Puerto Rican rainforest.
Anole Distribution Throughout Tree Gap Transects in Costa Rican Rainforest

Anole Distribution Throughout Tree Gap Transects in Costa Rican Rainforest

We will be looking at how anole density and species change identity as distance is gained from tree gaps caused by hurricanes in the Puerto Rican rainforest.

Spring 2022
BURS
Biology
Investigate the number of fatal bird window collisions that occur on the C&SS building. Then determine if it is larger than the expected number of fatal window collisions per month for a low-rise non-residential building.
Fatal Bird-Window Collisions Occurring on USU’s C&SS Building

Fatal Bird-Window Collisions Occurring on USU’s C&SS Building

Investigate the number of fatal bird window collisions that occur on the C&SS building. Then determine if it is larger than the expected number of fatal window collisions per month for a low-rise non-residential building.

BURS
Spring 2022
Biology
Examining Sublethal Effects of λ-cyhalothrin on Alfalfa Leafcutting Bees (Megachile rotundata). λ-cyhalothrin: pyrethroid, heavily relied on for insect pest control in alfalfa systems. Pyrethroid: insecticide class, block sodium ion channels. Causes spasm
Examining Sublethal Effects of λ-cyhalothrin on Alfalfa Leafcutting Bees (Megachile rotundata)

Examining Sublethal Effects of λ-cyhalothrin on Alfalfa Leafcutting Bees (Megachile rotundata)

Examining Sublethal Effects of λ-cyhalothrin on Alfalfa Leafcutting Bees (Megachile rotundata). λ-cyhalothrin: pyrethroid, heavily relied on for insect pest control in alfalfa systems. Pyrethroid: insecticide class, block sodium ion channels. Causes spasm...

Spring 2022
Biology
BURS
Window-bird collisions have a significant impact on global bird populations. For our research project, we are investigating lethal bird-window collisions at the USU Brigham City Classroom and Student Services Building, located in Brigham City, Utah.
Weather Patterns and Seasonal Effects on Bird-Window Collisions at USU's C&SS Building, Brigham City, Utah

Weather Patterns and Seasonal Effects on Bird-Window Collisions at USU's C&SS Building, Brigham City, Utah

Window-bird collisions have a significant impact on global bird populations. For our research project, we are investigating lethal bird-window collisions at the USU Brigham City Classroom and Student Services Building, located in Brigham City, Utah.

BURS
Biology
Spring 2022
We are performing a daily census to gauge the magnitude of the problem. Should collision hotspots be found, we plan to share methods for mitigation with the campus administration. To that end, we are investigating different methods of preventing bird-wind
Bird-Window Collision Mitigation at USU’s Classroom and Student Services Building, Brigham City, Utah

Bird-Window Collision Mitigation at USU’s Classroom and Student Services Building, Brigham City, Utah

We are performing a daily census to gauge the magnitude of the problem. Should collision hotspots be found, we plan to share methods for mitigation with the campus administration. To that end, we are investigating different methods of preventing bird-wind...

Spring 2022
Biology
BURS
Harmful Algal Blooms have become a serious problem for water bodies worldwide. One potential method of inhibiting the growth of the blooms is through competition for resources.
Combating Harmful Algal Blooms by Promoting Diatom Growth Via Silica-Solubilizing Bacteria

Combating Harmful Algal Blooms by Promoting Diatom Growth Via Silica-Solubilizing Bacteria

Harmful Algal Blooms have become a serious problem for water bodies worldwide. One potential method of inhibiting the growth of the blooms is through competition for resources.

Biology
Spring 2022
BURS
The purpose of our research is to determine the feasibility of extracting nucleic acid from SARS-CoV-2 from wastewater as a biomarker for clinical infections. Previous wastewater detection was used for monitoring the poliovirus.
Extracting Nucleic Acid From SARS-C0V-2 in Wastewater Samples

Extracting Nucleic Acid From SARS-C0V-2 in Wastewater Samples

The purpose of our research is to determine the feasibility of extracting nucleic acid from SARS-CoV-2 from wastewater as a biomarker for clinical infections. Previous wastewater detection was used for monitoring the poliovirus.

Biology
BURS
Spring 2022
Research conducted on frogs and toads (family Anura) proves to be extremely helpful in providing insight into the functions of their ecosystems.
Anuran Lab Internship

Anuran Lab Internship

Research conducted on frogs and toads (family Anura) proves to be extremely helpful in providing insight into the functions of their ecosystems.

Spring 2022
Biology
BURS
Identify the effects of human influence threatened feline species’ habitats. Our goal is to draw conclusions from data analysis that aid in the process of establishing differences among pumas (Panthera onca), ocelots (Leopardus pardalis), and pumas (Puma
Does Camera Trap Footage Reveal Changes in Feline Activity in the Presence of Humans in Darien National Park?

Does Camera Trap Footage Reveal Changes in Feline Activity in the Presence of Humans in Darien National Park?

Identify the effects of human influence threatened feline species’ habitats. Our goal is to draw conclusions from data analysis that aid in the process of establishing differences among pumas (Panthera onca), ocelots (Leopardus pardalis), and pumas (Puma ...

BURS
Biology
Spring 2022
Increased blood glucose has been shown to impair animal immune response (3-5) What are the effects of a high glucose diet on the wound healing abilities of I. iguana? And how does an LPS (immune) challenge affect wound healing?
Effects of Glucose on Iguana (Iguana iguana) Wound Healing

Effects of Glucose on Iguana (Iguana iguana) Wound Healing

Increased blood glucose has been shown to impair animal immune response (3-5) What are the effects of a high glucose diet on the wound healing abilities of I. iguana? And how does an LPS (immune) challenge affect wound healing?

Biology
BURS
Spring 2022
The ocelot (Leopardus pardalis), an elegant cat famous for its dark spots, has been listed as an endangered species for over 50 years. As nocturnal creatures, the question is raised if light pollution is negatively impacting them.
The Effects of Light Pollution on the Activity of Ocelots in Panama

The Effects of Light Pollution on the Activity of Ocelots in Panama

The ocelot (Leopardus pardalis), an elegant cat famous for its dark spots, has been listed as an endangered species for over 50 years. As nocturnal creatures, the question is raised if light pollution is negatively impacting them.

BURS
Spring 2022
Biology
The US Navy has contracted Dr. Justin Jones and his lab to work with hagfish slime proteins. They desire to use hagfish slime to stop incoming ships through nonviolent methods and keep both servicemen and US equipment safe.
Recombinantly Expressed Protein Fibers from Hagfish and Honeybees

Recombinantly Expressed Protein Fibers from Hagfish and Honeybees

The US Navy has contracted Dr. Justin Jones and his lab to work with hagfish slime proteins. They desire to use hagfish slime to stop incoming ships through nonviolent methods and keep both servicemen and US equipment safe.

Spring 2022
BURS
Biology
We are interested in studying the reported medicinal properties of A. tridentata, precisely its antimicrobial properties. This study tested crude extracts from the sagebrush's twigs, leaves, and flowers to identify their antimicrobial activities against v
Antimicrobial Activity of Artemisia tridentata

Antimicrobial Activity of Artemisia tridentata

We are interested in studying the reported medicinal properties of A. tridentata, precisely its antimicrobial properties. This study tested crude extracts from the sagebrush's twigs, leaves, and flowers to identify their antimicrobial activities against v...

Spring 2022
BURS
Biology
Influenza viruses can infect a human host as part of their infectious life cycle and have been responsible for large-scale pandemics and illnesses. However, not all strains of influenza that infect humans are capable of being transmitted from person-to-pe
Adaptation of Influenza A/Kansas/14/2017 (H3N2) to BALB/c Mice

Adaptation of Influenza A/Kansas/14/2017 (H3N2) to BALB/c Mice

Influenza viruses can infect a human host as part of their infectious life cycle and have been responsible for large-scale pandemics and illnesses. However, not all strains of influenza that infect humans are capable of being transmitted from person-to-pe...

Biology
Spring 2022
BURS
The avian teaching collection had been in storage for two years during the reconstruction of Utah State University's Biology and Natural Resource Building. I spent the past academic year working with Dr. Kimberly Sullivan restoring the collection and gain
Avian Taxidermy and Museum Curation Internship

Avian Taxidermy and Museum Curation Internship

The avian teaching collection had been in storage for two years during the reconstruction of Utah State University's Biology and Natural Resource Building. I spent the past academic year working with Dr. Kimberly Sullivan restoring the collection and gain...

BURS
Spring 2022
Biology
Common carp are one of the most widespread invasive fishes across the globe. Aging carp populations has considerable influence over fisheries management and provides insight on species’ life histories.
Does Carp Spine Readership Agreement Vary Between Juvenile and Adult Age Classes in Utah Lake?

Does Carp Spine Readership Agreement Vary Between Juvenile and Adult Age Classes in Utah Lake?

Common carp are one of the most widespread invasive fishes across the globe. Aging carp populations has considerable influence over fisheries management and provides insight on species’ life histories.

Spring 2022
BURS
Biology
Our goal is to understand the variation in distribution of CRF receptors in the brains of the coyotes who have lost their pair mate by mapping CRF receptors in order to further explore the relationship between loss of social bonds and CRF receptors and co
Corticotropin Releasing Factor (CRF) and Partner Loss in Coyotes

Corticotropin Releasing Factor (CRF) and Partner Loss in Coyotes

Our goal is to understand the variation in distribution of CRF receptors in the brains of the coyotes who have lost their pair mate by mapping CRF receptors in order to further explore the relationship between loss of social bonds and CRF receptors and co...

BURS
Spring 2022
Biology
This study commenced in a series of stages designed to evaluate how changing the C/t ratio affected levels of sign and goal tracking in 45 female Long Evans Rats. This evaluation was conducted using operant conditioning chambers with interchangeable lever
Does C/T Ratio and Sign-tracking Increase Efficacy of Conditioned Reinforcers?

Does C/T Ratio and Sign-tracking Increase Efficacy of Conditioned Reinforcers?

This study commenced in a series of stages designed to evaluate how changing the C/t ratio affected levels of sign and goal tracking in 45 female Long Evans Rats. This evaluation was conducted using operant conditioning chambers with interchangeable lever...

Biology
BURS
Spring 2022
Opioids are commonly used pain medications, but also have an adversely high addiction rate. The G protein-coupled receptor GPR171, with its agonist MS15203 is shown to lessen chronic and acute pain and increase morphine analgesia acutely. This effective c
Exogenous Ligand of GPR171 Reward Response in the Ventral Tegmental Area

Exogenous Ligand of GPR171 Reward Response in the Ventral Tegmental Area

Opioids are commonly used pain medications, but also have an adversely high addiction rate. The G protein-coupled receptor GPR171, with its agonist MS15203 is shown to lessen chronic and acute pain and increase morphine analgesia acutely. This effective c...

BURS
Spring 2022
Biology
In the environment, substantial phosphorus is locked in minerals and in deep underwater sediments. This phosphorus can be released through erosion, or by an upturning of aquatic sediment.
Examining Hurricane Effects On Aquatic Phosphorus Levels In Chesapeake Bay

Examining Hurricane Effects On Aquatic Phosphorus Levels In Chesapeake Bay

In the environment, substantial phosphorus is locked in minerals and in deep underwater sediments. This phosphorus can be released through erosion, or by an upturning of aquatic sediment.

Spring 2022
BURS
Biology
Our goal with this research was to ascertain whether a relationship exists between soil respiration and topography within the context of a major drought.
Impacts of Topography on CO 2 Flux

Impacts of Topography on CO 2 Flux

Our goal with this research was to ascertain whether a relationship exists between soil respiration and topography within the context of a major drought.

BURS
Spring 2022
Biology
Using Event Logging Software to Identify and Track Bumble Bee Behaviors. Identify usable cameras and optimal conditions for recording specimens. Establish protocols for accurate and efficient scoring and tracking of behavioral observations for multiple in
Using Event Logging Software to Identify and Track Bumble Bee Behaviors

Using Event Logging Software to Identify and Track Bumble Bee Behaviors

Using Event Logging Software to Identify and Track Bumble Bee Behaviors. Identify usable cameras and optimal conditions for recording specimens. Establish protocols for accurate and efficient scoring and tracking of behavioral observations for multiple in...

Spring 2022
Biology
BURS
Identifying and quantifying the metabolites present in the pollen allows for greater accuracy in determining helpful changes that will further develop the symbiotic relationship present between honeybees and blueberry plants.
Metabolite Presence and Abundance in Blueberry Cultivars

Metabolite Presence and Abundance in Blueberry Cultivars

Identifying and quantifying the metabolites present in the pollen allows for greater accuracy in determining helpful changes that will further develop the symbiotic relationship present between honeybees and blueberry plants.

Spring 2022
Biology
BURS
In this study we investigated the effect of nitrogen (N) fertilization on the metabolites of blueberry flowers produced in pollen. As honeybees feed on pollen and nectar, understanding whether N fertilization affects metabolite content is of relevance for
The Effects Of Nitrogen Fertilization On Metabolites In Vaccinium Corymbosum Flower Pollen

The Effects Of Nitrogen Fertilization On Metabolites In Vaccinium Corymbosum Flower Pollen

In this study we investigated the effect of nitrogen (N) fertilization on the metabolites of blueberry flowers produced in pollen. As honeybees feed on pollen and nectar, understanding whether N fertilization affects metabolite content is of relevance for...

Biology
Spring 2022
BURS
Action selection and motor planning functions through two main pathways, a direct and indirect pathway. The direct pathway has been predicted to activate movement, and the indirect pathway has been predicted to inhibit movement.
Characterizing Animals for Optogenetic Manipulation for Direct and Indirect Striatal Pathways

Characterizing Animals for Optogenetic Manipulation for Direct and Indirect Striatal Pathways

Action selection and motor planning functions through two main pathways, a direct and indirect pathway. The direct pathway has been predicted to activate movement, and the indirect pathway has been predicted to inhibit movement.

Biology
BURS
Spring 2022
Oxytocin is a hormone that mediates many complex social behaviors in both humans and animals. It is involved in maternal bonding, pair mate selection, and social cognition4. Studies identify intranasal oxytocin as a potential way to alleviate
Oxytocin Receptors in Substantia Nigra of the Brain in Individuals with Schizophrenia

Oxytocin Receptors in Substantia Nigra of the Brain in Individuals with Schizophrenia

Oxytocin is a hormone that mediates many complex social behaviors in both humans and animals. It is involved in maternal bonding, pair mate selection, and social cognition4. Studies identify intranasal oxytocin as a potential way to alleviate

Spring 2022
Biology
BURS
Peritoneal Dialysis is a therapy performed for patients in end-stage renal failure. Therapy acts to clean their blood as the kidneys are unable to do so.
Peritoneal Dialysis

Peritoneal Dialysis

Peritoneal Dialysis is a therapy performed for patients in end-stage renal failure. Therapy acts to clean their blood as the kidneys are unable to do so.

Spring 2022
BURS
Biology
My objective in this study is to review camera traps from both national parks to compare activity levels in different species between the wet and the dry season. This will allow me to analyze how much the dry season affects their behavior.
The Effect of Precipitation on Small Mammals in Panama

The Effect of Precipitation on Small Mammals in Panama

My objective in this study is to review camera traps from both national parks to compare activity levels in different species between the wet and the dry season. This will allow me to analyze how much the dry season affects their behavior.

BURS
Biology
Spring 2022
Is there a difference in animals species diversity in areas that are closer to and farther from relatively large cities? I hypothesized that species diversity will be lower in an area that is closer to a large city and that an area farther away from that
Effect of Proximity to Urban Areas on Animal Species Diversity

Effect of Proximity to Urban Areas on Animal Species Diversity

Is there a difference in animals species diversity in areas that are closer to and farther from relatively large cities? I hypothesized that species diversity will be lower in an area that is closer to a large city and that an area farther away from that ...