College of Science student researchers ascended Salt Lake City's Capitol Hill Thursday, Jan. 30 to share their efforts and discoveries with Utah legislators and visitors. Stationed with their posters in the Capitol rotunda for most of the day, the Aggies showcased their research and served as ambassadors for the college and the university. 
 

Students who represented the College of Science were:

 
 


 

Jay Anderson

Jacob "Jay" Anderson

"Long-Term Evaluation of Leafy Spurge Biological Control in Richmond, Utah"

Major: Biology

Faculty Mentor: Ted Evans

My research project involves the concept of biological control; that is, controlling pests using their natural enemies, such as parasites and predators. I monitored the long-term effects of using predatory flea beetles to control Leafy Spurge, an invasive, noxious weed. Results indicate that, over the course of 10-20 years, the flea beetles have reduced the weeds to a manageable level and the flea beetle populations have also decreased."

 A native of Garland, Utah, Jay is a 2010 graduate of Bear River High School. He is the recipient a Regents' Scholarship, a USU academic scholarship, a USU Undergraduate Research and Creative Opportunities (URCO) grant, the USU Department of Biology's John R. Simmons Scholarship and a USU College of Science scholarship.

Following graduation from USU, Jay plans to enter medical school to become a primary care physician. "I plan to use the scientific skills I've gained to promote health from a preventive standpoint -- encouraging health, sustainable lifestyles to prevent many somatic and psychological ailments."

 

Isaac Allred

Michael Berry

David Parslow


Isaac Allred / Michael Berry / David Parslow

"How Many Class II Wells Present a Risk for Induced Seismicity?"

Majors: Geology

Faculty Mentor: Jim Evans

Our team researched the actual number of active Class-II injector wells in 32 mid-continent states. Class-II wellls are wells that inject wastewater from drilling, humans and industrial processes into reservoirs of rock below the surface of the Earth. We documented earthquakes caused by Class-II wells and analyzed the data to consider why induced seismicity occurs with some Class-II wells and not with others. We are creating a unique, open access website to make this information available to the public."

A Presidential Scholar and New Century Scholar, Isaac is a native of Centerville, Utah and a 2007 graduate of Viewmont High School. He is also the recipient of a USU Undergraduate Research Fellowship, a Lillywhite Scholarship and a Questar Scholarship. Isaac plants to pursue graduate studies in geology.

Michael, a native of Hyrum, Utah, is a 2006 graduate of Mountain Crest High School. Following graduation from USU, he plans to pursue graduate studies in geophysics.

David graduated from Utah's South Sevier High School in 2010. He is a recipient of South Sevier High's Jones Family Scholarship and the USU Department of Geology's Peter T. Kolesar Scholarship. David plans to pursue graduate study in geology and a career in the oil and gas industry.



 

Lia Bogoev

Read more about Lia

Lia Bogoev

"Bio-Facil Preparation of First-Row Transition Metal Chalcogenides as Hydrogen Evolution Catalysts in Water"

Major: Biochemistry

Faculty Mentor: Yujie Sun

"My research is centered on creating easily produced solid-state catalysts for hydrogen production using earth-abundant elements. This could have a significant impact on the energy industry because it could enable the production of hydrogen on-site.”

A native of Logan, Utah, Lia is a 2010 graduate of Logan High School. A recipient of the Energy Solutions Women in STEM Scholarship and a USU Undergraduate Research and Creative Opportunities (URCO) grant, she plans to pursue graduate studies in computer science.

Nick Labrum

Read more about Nick

Nicholas "Nick" Labrum

"Bio-inspired Molecular Manganese-Calcium Catalysts
for Water Oxidation"

Major: Chemistry

Faculty Mentor: Yujie Sun

"My research is focused on understanding the roles of calcium and first-row transition metals in water oxidation. We’re developing a model based on photosynthesis. Not many scientists have examined the role of calcium in this biological process, so this is quite new.”

A native of Richmond, Utah, Nick is a 2007 graduate of Sky View High School. He is a recipient of a USU Undergraduate Research and Creative Opportunities (URCO) grant. Nick plans to pursue graduate studies in inorganic chemistry.

 

Mark Soffe

 

Mark Soffe

"Development of a Resin-free Protein Purification Technique Utilizing Unique Biochemical Properties of the E. coli SSB Protein"

Major: Chemistry and Biochemistry

Faculty Mentor: Edwin Antony

"I am working on a way to incorporate some of the unique properties of single-stranded DNA binding proteins (SSBs) into protein purification techniques. The hope is this method will reduce both the cost and time involved with these methods, as well as greatly increase protein yield. If all goes according to plan, DNA constructs using this technology could be developed, patented and commercialized for broad use."

A native of Logan, Utah, Mark is a 2007 graduate of Logan High School. He is the recipient of a USU Aggie Scholar scholarship and a USU Undergraduate Research and Creative Opportunities (URCO) grant. Following graduation from USU, he plans to pursue graduate study.

Austin Spence

(Those are snakes he's holding!)


Austin Spence

Physiological Effects of Habitat Disturbance in the Wandering Gartersnake, Thamnophis elegans

Major: Biology

Faculty Mentor: Susannah French

"I am investigating the effects of habitat disturbance around hibernacula, where snakes over-winter, on the wandering gartersnake. This involves collecting snakes in the field, collecting habitat data and quantifying snake hormone concentrations and immune function."

A native of Salt Lake City, Austin is a 2011 graduate of Highland High School. He is the recipient of a Research Internship in Science and Engineering (RISE) scholarship from DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service), which enabled him to complete a research internship in Germany on an endangered species of hamster. Austin received the USU Department of Biology's John R. Simmons Scholarshp and was named German Student of the Year by USU's College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Following graduation from USU, he plans to conduct graduate research on the effects of urbanization on ecology.