The 88th Annual Academy of Science meeting Jacksonville State University Jacksonville, AL March 2-March 4, 2011.
ANCIENT AQABA: THE FAUNAL REMAINS FROM ROMAN AILA. JONATHAN D. LOWREY, DEPT. OF SOCIAL SCIENCES, TROY UNIV., TROY, AL 36082
The primary objective of this paper is to discuss the faunal remains from the ancient city of Aila, in present-day Aqaba, Jordan. Zooarchaeological studies have been increasingly employed in the Levant and have begun to show a subsistence pattern whereby city-dwellers depend heavily on trade with nomadic pastoralists for food. This model is especially prominent in sites near the Jordan River Valley and Wadi Araba. This is evidenced in the faunal remains from Aila, where the remains from significant herds of goats are found, but the environment is too xeric to have supported them. Another objective of this paper is to explore Aila's position in the local economy from a zooarchaeological perspective. The faunal remains were identified by comparing morphological features to Troy University (Troy, AL) Archaeological Research Center's comparative bone collection. Remains were further analyzed by relative age (harvest profiles) and skeletal parts based on analytical categories (carcass part distributions). These methods were employed in studying the faunal remains from Aila. To explore Aila's situation within its region, a number of historical, ethnographic, and archaeological sources were cited. These, along with geographic and environmental information, were used in suggesting likely origins of Aila's goats and the importance of nomadic pastoral trade in the region.
ARCHAEOLOGICAL EXCAVATIONS AT OLD CAHAWBA SUMMER 2010: TRACKING MABILA. JOHN M. BARBAREE, DEPT. OF SOCIAL SCIENCE/ANTHROPOLOGY, TROY UNIVERSITY TROY, AL 36082
The site of Old Cahawba has long been suspected as a potential location for the aboriginal town of Mabila where Hernado DeSoto had an epic battle with Native Americans. However, no verifiable evidence from Cahawba has been found there. In the 1850's, a mass grave was discovered in Old Cahawba town, which may have predated the 1800's, and potentially be associated with the DeSoto Expedition. Based off of a clue from an 1850's newspaper article, Troy University Archaeological Research Center conducted an excavation in an attempt to relocate the reported mass grave. Negative results are still results and this paper presents the findings.
DENTAL DIMORPHISM AND SEXUAL IDENTIFICATION IN FOSSIL PAPIONINS. CURTIS C SCHULTZ AND JASON L HEATON, BIRMINGHAM-SOUTHERN COLLEGE. TROY UNIV., TROY, AL 36082
In the past, non-human primates have been used with some success to infer the mode and tempo of fossil hominid (i.e. human) evolution. This analysis was performed in order to determine if craniodental measurements could be used to predict sex in papionins and therefore, possibly applied to fragmentary fossil specimens of closely related taxa. Data (242 craniodental measures) were collected on 120 specimens from the Florida Museum of Natural History and the National Museum of Natural History (Smithsonian Institution). This analysis focused upon finding those dental features that would be most sexually dimorphic among extant species. It was determined that features related to canine size--lower premolar flange length and upper diastema--might be best at predicting sex. Additionally, two extant taxa, Lophocebus and Papio, were chosen for more detailed analyses, as these are considered to be the groups most similar in size and phylogeny to the South African fossil species to be predicted. Results showed that for large-bodied taxa (e.g. Papio) predictions were possible while in the case of smaller taxa (e.g. Lophocebus), the lower degree of dimorphism made predictions tenuous. Even when adjusted for body size (i.e. allometric) differences, the results were the same--predictions were best for large taxa with higher degrees of dimorphism. Our results may have wide ranging implications for biodiversity during the Plio-Pleistocene in South Africa with consequences for primate (and possibly hominid) evolution during this period.
ETHNOARCHAEOLOGY OF FIRE FEATURES AND RITUAL IN FIJI'S LAU GROUP. MALLORY MESSERSMITH AND SHARYN R. JONES, DEPT. OF ANTHROPOLOGY, UNIV. OF ALA. AT BIRMINGHAM, BIRMINGHAM, AL 35205.
Food, cooking, and eating have always played a prominent and integral role in Fijian society, especially in the more traditional Lau Group of eastern Fiji. This project examines two central features of Lauan cooking, the hearth and the earth oven. We collected data during two consecutive summers at a NSF REU fieldschool on the island of Nayau, Lau Group, Fiji. We developed a hypothesis for distinguishing between these two types of features in the archaeological record, utilizing archaeological, ethnographic, and historical data. Both feature types are similar in form and contents, and thus difficult to distinguish from one another. Utilizing an ethnoarchaeological approach, we devised several testable criteria for distinguishing the two features: dimensions, depth, amount of fire-cracked rock, and location relative to household structures. The project also examines an unusual case study of a fire feature from a site on Nayau. Although the feature is suspected to be an earth oven, there were several anomalies when compared to the criteria for classification outlined in this project. We also examine evidence for possible uses of this feature, including ethnographic, historical, and archaeological data that may point to a ritualistic or ceremonial purpose. Historical accounts of the region directly following European contact point to the use of earth ovens in association with rituals, including cannibalistic practices. While these rituals are no longer practiced, analysis of suspected ritual features and comparison with ethnographic parallels of everyday fire features can aid in the recognition of ritual sites.
GATED COMMUNITIES: INSTITUTIONALIZING SOCIAL STRATIFICATION. L.JOE MORGAN, PHYSICIAL AND EARTH SCIENCES, JACKSONVILLE STATE UNIVERSITY. 700 N. PELHAM, ROOM 213 MARTIN HALL, JACKSONVILLE, ALABAMA, 36265
The concept and development of "gated communities" and / or privatized spaces has become more pronounced in recent years. These developments have generated a significant amount of interest in academic communities. Many theories and evaluations have begun to surface covering a range of considerations from social inequality to quasi-government organizations providing services and infrastructure for their development. At present there are a limited number of empirical studies. Theories still in development provide a range of perspectives for consideration. The foci for the most recent studies range from an increased concern about metropolitan fragmentation to political incorporation. Socio-economic and demographic segmentation and segregation has been suggested as resulting in a further fragmented social structure. It is believed that this process is exacerbating social ills by creating pockets of economic, cultural, and social within-group homogeneity. These are causing social, cultural, and structural dissimilarities between communities. Conversely, ideals of geopolitical public/private utopian partnerships that reduce crime and increase security while holding down public infrastructural costs, and enhancing tax revenues by increasing property values have been indicated as positive results. Neither of these extremes should be ignored but a significant outcome is an increased stratification of society. Residential enclavism has been reinforced based on a number of variables, including income, social status, race, ethnicity, and fear of crime and/or the criminal element.
HISTORIC CREEK INDIAN OCCUPATIONS ALONG EUPHABEE CREEK, MACON COUNTY, ALABAMA. KELLY M. ERVIN, DEPARTMENT OF GEOLOGY AND GEOGRAPHY, AUBURN UNIVERSITY, AUBURN, ALABAMA 36849.
A recent cultural resource survey conducted in Macon County, Alabama by Auburn University identified two previously unknown archaeological sites (1MC203 and 1MC204) along Euphabee Creek. An analysis of ceramics recovered during the survey suggested both sites were of the early Historic Creek Tallapoosa Phase (1715-1813) characteristic to the Tallapoosa River Valley. The Alabama State Site Files at Moundville document a number of Historic Creek sites located along Euphabee Creek. The recent identification of these archaeological sites along with palynological data from sediment cores taken by the USGS provide evidence to demonstrate a significant Creek Indian occupation of the Euphabee Creek drainage system, and further verify ethnohistorical accounts of the Creeks abandoning major towns and moving up the Euphabee Creek Valley.
HOPE HULL: AN INCIPIENT CHIEFDOM ALONG THE LOWER TALLAPOOSA RIVER VALLEY. HAMILTON H. BRYANT III AND JOHN W. COTTIER PH.D., DEPARTMENT OF SOCIOLOGY, ANTHROPOLOGY AND SOCIAL WORK, AUBURN UNIVERSITY, AUBURN, ALABAMA, 36849.
The Terminal Woodland Period of central Alabama was a unique period in the prehistory of the Middle South. During this time, a rapid and pronounced transformation occurred in the life ways of indigenous peoples. The Hope Hull complex is a well established Woodland cultural tradition found along the lower Tallapoosa River Valley. Following multiple lines of evidence, such as fortified villages, maize horticulture, public structures and long distance exchange networks, we posit that the Hope Hull phase represents an incipient chiefdom-level society that developed in situ from local populations.
INTRA-SITE CERAMIC VARIABILITY FROM THE 2010 INVESTIGATIONS AT 1MC25. KATHLEEN BROWN, ERIN MCKINNEY, AND ANNE DORLAND, DEPT. OF ANTHROPOLOGY, SOCIOLOGY, AND SOCIAL WORK, AUBURN UNIVERSITY, AUBURN, AL 36849.
Investigations at 1MC25 demonstrate evidence of a Mississippian fortified village overlying a Woodland site occupation. The purpose of this study is to establish a pre-historic chronology for the site via identifying ceramics from excavation trenches on both north and western boundaries. The intra-site variation corresponding to each of the cultural phases is supported by the results of this analysis. This site has been previously established as a predominantly Mississippian site; however, the results of our study indicate that in at least one area there is more extensive evidence for Woodland than Mississippian occupation.
INVESTIGATIONS INTO A MISSISSIPPIAN HOUSE: AN ARCHITECTURAL ANALYSIS OF A PREHISTORIC DWELLING. RONALD W. WISE JR., AUBURN UNIVERSITY, AUBURN, AL 36849.
Recent excavations at the Ebert Canebreak site (1MC25) revealed evidence of a prehistoric domestic structure. Analysis of the recovered material indicates that it was a semisubterranean structure between 36 and 49 square feet that was burned and collapsed onto itself This burning preserved considerable impressions of woven cane as well as at least one puddled clay hearth. Later, a second clay hearth was discovered; separate from the structure, which suggests the presence of a second building near the same location. These elements, in conjunction with the geographical characteristics of the surrounding area, reflect the established pattern of Mississippian sedentism.
PATRICK C. WARING AND THE SEARCH FOR YELLOWSTONE. JOHN W. COTTIER, AUBURN UNIVERSITY, AUBURN, AL 36849.
In 1859, Patrick C. Waring, a young individual with no scientific experience, was invited to be a member of the Captain William F. Raynolds expedition to explore the Upper Yellowstone River country. The guide for the expedition was the legendary mountain man Jim Bridger. The scientific party also included the geologist-naturalist Ferdinand Hayden. This ambitious mission to find Yellowstone failed as a result of a brutal early winter, causing the party to be snow bound at the Deer Creek Agency in modern Wyoming. The youthful member of the expedition was Patrick C. Waring of Virginia, who wrote very sparingly in his small pocket diary. This is a part of his story to the area considered at the time to be "terra incognita."
SURVIVOR COSTA MCA, 1942 OR WHEN TRUE WILDERNESS REALITY MEETS FAUX TELEVISION REALITY. JAMES SEWASTYNOWICZ, DEPT. OF PHYSICAL AND EARTH SCIENCES, JACKSONVILLE STATE UNIV., JACKSONVILLE, AL 36265.
The "reality television" craze in the U.S. was largely an outgrowth of the still wildly popular Survivor series which pits "castaways" against both nature and one another, with a prize of $1 million awarded the winner. The challenges they face in the controlled 'wilderness" environment in which they are placed in many ways mimic those faced over half-a-century earlier by pioneer settlers of the tropical forest of Pejibaye, Costa Rica. There, the stakes were much higher, with not just fortune, but life itself hanging in the balance. This paper examines the social and economic strategies employed by those Costa Rican pioneers by comparing their gaming behavior to that of their television counterparts.
TALLADEGA NATIONAL FOREST ARCHAEOLOGICAL DATABASE: GIS AIDS MANAGEMENT. MIRIAM HELEN HILL, DEPT. OF PHYSICAL AND EARTH SCIENCES, JACKSONVILLE STATE UNIV., JACKSONVILLE, AL 36265.
The Talladega National Forest currently has 743 archaeological sites on record ranging from Paleoindian through historic. Land and resource management issues frequently require the identification of potentially impacted sites and knowledge about their size and characteristics. Geographic Information Science can supply the needed information quickly and effectively. A spatial database using ArcGIS from ESRI is being compiled that displays the site locations either as points or as polygons portraying the relative size of the site. Each site is linked to a table providing additional data. For the 143 sites investigated by the Archaeology Resource Laboratory at Jacksonville State University, hotlinks in these tables will provide, with a mouse click, either the detailed site map or the actual report document in pdf format. This database draws together data which previously have been dispersed and difficult to access and displays previously unmapped spatial variables. This tool will facilitate management decision making enabling improved land and resource management.
Behavioral and Social Sciences Paper Abstracts
UTILIZATION OF LANDSCAPE ARCHAEOLOGY ALONG THE OLD FEDERAL ROAD. MATT GREENEMEIER, DEPT. OF SOCIOLOGY, ANTHROPOLOGY AND SOC. WORK, AUBURN UNIV., AUBURN, AL 36849
Building upon the precursors of spatial analyses and broader studies of settlement patterns, a modern utilization of landscape archaeology can identify even more geographically dispersed trends of human-environmental adaption and inter-cultural interaction. More specifically, in the examination of the early 19th century Old Federal Road within Alabama's Macon and Russell counties, differential access to advantageous real estate produced areas of dispute and exchange between native and American populations. Through the correlation of aerial photography with historic period maps, previously known archaeological sites can be appreciated through a broader landscape focus, and the localities of new sites can be predicted, ascertained, and ultimately protected for future research. Additional implementation of GIS methodologies and a consultation of primary and secondary resources serve to expand upon cultural realities of rural Alabama in the early 1800s.
A MATTER OF TRUST: A CASE STUDY ON DECISION MAKING UNDER PRESSURE. R. BRYAN KENNEDY, MICHAEL ESSARY, SUSAN D. HERRING, THOMAS PIEPLOW, AND LINDA SHONESY, ATHENS STATE UNIVERSITY, ATHENS, AL 35611.
This case study addresses a very difficult military decision faced by Great Britain early in World War II. Discussions of some of the very delicate issues including possible alternative approaches that could have been chosen rather than the one selected are presented. Aftermath effects of the decision and immediate consequences are addressed as well as long range consequences occurring later in the war. The study addresses the universal issue that it is sometimes necessary for followers to place unlimited trust in leaders to ensure the goals of the organization are achieved.
A PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION OF THE FUNDAMENTALIST CARD SORT--PHASE II. SARA M. LAZENBY-BLASINGAME, AMY L. VOSBURGH, HAZAR SARIGUL, KARLY A COCHRAN, ASHLEY N. JOHNSON, SARAH E. FREED, RICHARD A. HUDIBURG, AND LARRY W. BATES, DEPARTMENT OF PSYCHOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF NORTH ALABAMA, FLORENCE, AL 35632
In order to determine whether religiously taboo images elicit cognitive interference in religious fundamentalists, seventy nine university students participated in a study to determine whether image differences on a modified Wisconsin Card Sort Test affected performance. These images had been determined by previous research as offensive to religious fundamentalists but not offensive to nonfundamentalists. Participants completed a battery of religious questionnaires via a SurveyMonkey website. Based on the responses to the Religious Fundamentalism Scale--Revised, a median split was used to divide the sample into high fundamentalism (hiRF) and low fundamentalism (loRF) groups. Participants were assigned randomly to complete either the Wisconsin Card Sort Test, with standard card stimuli, or the Fundamentalist Card Sort Test, with altered card stimuli. Mixed-design ANOVAs were used to compare lo- and hi-RF groups across card sort tests for time to complete first set, total number of errors, unambiguous errors, and ambiguous errors. There were no significant differences between groups or between tests and no interaction effect. Correlational results for other variables are also provided.
FUNERAL LEAVE: A CASE STUDY ON ATTENDANCE POLICY. R. BRYAN KENNEDY, MICHAEL ESSARY, SUSAN D. HERRING, LINDA SHONESY, AND TERESA WANBAUGH, ATHENS STATE UNIVERSITY, ATHENS, AL 35611.
This case study examines the termination of a long term employee for failure to meet no-fault work place attendance requirements. The employee was terminated after taking leave to plan and attend the funeral of a person who was living in the employee's home at the time of death. By taking these three days of leave, the employee exceeded the number of days permitted by the attendance policy. Issues include whether management had followed the procedures set forth in the policy, and whether the decedent met the definition of "immediate family member."
NEW TECHNOLOGY, OBSERVATIONAL LEARNING, AND INFLUENCE ON ATTITUDES. R. BRYAN KENNEDY, SUSAN D. HERRING, JANET DORNING, LAURA LYNN KERNER, LINDA SHONESY, AND DEBRA VAUGHN, ATHENS STATE UNIVERSITY, ATHENS, AL 35611.
This paper examines the application of observational learning research on developing attitudes and actions. Experts in pedology have stressed the importance of pro-social, positive modeling on the behavior and development of children and, to a lesser extent, on older adults. It would be safe to assert that many organizational training programs incorporate positive modeling as an important learning/training experience for their participants. This study focuses on the increased occurrence of violence in the U. S. and considers the possible effect of antisocial modeling as presented through new technology and media on this increase.
SAFETY IN SCHOOLS. IDENTIFYING AREAS OF SCHOOL SAFETY CONCERN: THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN STUDENTS, FACULTY MEMBERS, AND ADMINISTRATION RESPONSES CONCERNING SCHOOL SAFETY AND PREPAREDNESS. JIM D. ROEBUCK, III
This study tested the school's preparedness to correctly manage emergency situations and educate the students. The research hypothesis tested was to determine that the school is not adequately prepared to follow school procedures if there are contingencies due to emergency parameters changing. The hypothesis tested was: Is there an independent nature among responses of confidence levels during a school emergency situation? An independent nature will show scattered levels of confidence during a school emergency situation. Through the use of this study, the school identified which areas were the weakest. The research study was conducted in a 3A high school located in the southeastern region of the United States that houses 7th-12th grade students and currently has an enrollment of 517. A sample size of 177 students, 32 faculty members, and 2 administrators was sufficient to guarantee a confidence level of 99%. The results of the study showed that if the parameters are changed, the school administration, faculty, and students are prepared to follow correct school procedures. The results did, however, find there are certain procedures, that when under normal conditions, the school is not prepared. These situations were identified by examining the situations where students lacked confidence.
THE WIRELESS GAME: A CASE STUDY ON DECISION MAKING IN WARTIME. R. BRYAN KENNEDY, KIMBERLY BELL, SUSAN D. HERRING, JAMES KERNER, CHARLES ROBERTS, AND LINDA SHONESY, ATHENS STATE UNIVERSITY, ATHENS, AL 35611.
This case study addresses a very difficult decision faced by Great Britain's military leadership during World War II in their continuing intelligence efforts to confuse the German high command concerning the D-Day attack. The "wireless game" was utilized by both sides and depended upon the discovery and capture of undercover wireless agents. Agents working undercover gathered and transmitted all types of secret information concerning troop movements, battle plans, etc. The British relied on certain checks to determine if a post had been captured. With the capture of an agent and the wireless equipment, the transmission of deceptive information could begin. If the decision were made to send relief agents to a captured post, it meant the new agents eventually would be arrested and perhaps executed. The British dilemma can be summed up as follow: Is it ethical to sacrifice the lives of a few undercover agents to help save the lives of hundreds, potentially thousands, of Allied soldiers on the beaches of Normandy?
USING PERSONALITY TYPE TO ENHANCE TEACHING AND LEARNING. R. BRYAN KENNEDY, SUSAN D. HERRING, LAURA LYNN KERNER, LINDA SHONESY, AND MELISSA WERNER, ATHENS STATE UNIVERSITY, ATHENS, AL 35611.
This paper presents information concerning the possible effects of personality preferences on teaching and learning styles. Special permission was granted in writing by the Center for Applications of Psychological Type (CAPT), Gainesville, FL for extensive summaries of type information from "People, Types and Tiger Stripes" by G. D. Lawrence. No original research was conducted by the authors of this paper.
Behavioral and Social Science Poster Abstracts
OBESITY, BODY IMAGE, AND HEALTH IN NAYAU, LAU GROUP, FIJI. SHARYN R. JONES, LORETTA A. CORMIER, CAITLIN AAMODT, COURTNEY ANDREWS, CHRISTEL CARLISLE, HELENA CORCAO, ANNA MCCOVVN, MALLORY MESSERSMITH, MEGAN NOOJIN, LINDSAY WHITEAKER, AND ASHLEY WILSON. DEPT. OF ANTHROPOLOGY, UNIV. OF AL AT BIRMINGHAM, 35294.
In the past, indigenous Fijians have valued large body sizes as physically attractive, healthy, and signs of high social status. Obesity has been an aesthetic preference and in a sense, a form of body art. Nayau is a remote island in the Lau Group Fiji with a population of approximately 350 individuals who largely practice traditional methods of fishing and gardening subsistence. Over the last five years, the Nayau population has experienced increased exposure to Western media and Western material culture. Electricity, television reception, and DVD movie players are very recent introductions. In the summers of 2009 and 2010, under an NSF-funded REU (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) we gathered quantitative (BMIs, random spot checks, body image surveys) and qualitative data (interviews, health data, and participant observation) to assess weight (underweight, normal, overweight, obese), activity patterns, and perceptions of body image. We address not only potential changes in Fijian construction of the ideal body type in the wake of Western exposure, but also use data from Nayau to present challenges to the biomedical paradigm that obesity should be universally considered to be an unhealthy disease state.
BUSKING AND RELIGION: ATTITUDES AND BEHAVIORS. JOHN 0. LEMAY IV, KRISTOPHER A. COCHRAN, SARAH E. FREED, 'CARLY A. COCHRAN, CALEB C. FARRIS, AND LARRY W. BATES, DEPT. OF PSYCHOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF NORTH ALABAMA, FLORENCE, AL 35632.
To examine conceptions of religion and charity a total of 102 undergraduate students at a regional university in the southeastern US completed a battery of surveys regarding religion, and attitudes and behaviors toward busking. Participants were separated according to a median split of Religious Fundamentalism Scale Revised scores into Low Religious Fundamentalism (loRF) or High Religious Fundamentalism (hiRF) groups, with scores falling on the median randomly assigned to either group. This resulted in 50 participants being classified as loRF and 52 as hiRF. Independent t-tests were used to compare age, sex, and religious attendance, frequency of prayer, and attitudes and behaviors towards buskers. The hiRF group attended religious services much more often per year and engaged in prayer more times per week than the loRF group. Additional correlational analyses among the data found that extrinsic-personal orientation viewed busking as more entertaining while extrinsic-social orientation viewed busking as more irritating. The purpose of this research is to bring together the concepts of religion and charity in a new light, through busking, in a preliminary study to scrutinize how religion affects one's attitudes in general and specifically toward giving to buskers.
CORRELATING GUILT AND SHAME PRONENESS AND FREQUENCY WITH SELF-REPORTED AND BEHAVIORAL MEASURES OF IMPULSIVITY. DAJUAN FERRELL, HEIDI L. DEMPSEY, DAVID W. DEMPSEY, JOHN SUDDUTH, SETH MARTIN, MORGAN WHETSTONE, ELIZABETH USSERY, & SAMANTHA MORTON, DEPARTMENT OF PSYCHOLOGY, JACKSONVILLE STATE UNIVERSITY, 700 PELHAM RD. N, JACKSONVILLE, AL 36265.
The purpose of this study was to determine whether there was a correlation between guilt and shame proneness and frequency with self-reported impulsivity. This study utilized the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale, Harder's Personal Feelings Questionnaire, and Eyre's Shame and Guilt Inventory to measure the responses of participants. Results indicated that participants did not discriminate well between the guilt and shame subscales and that they two measures of guilt and shame were only moderately correlated with each other. However, the PFQ-2 shame frequency was moderately correlated with overall impulsiveness and each of the impulsiveness subscales. PFQ-2 guilt frequency was moderately related to overall impulsivity and non-planning impulsiveness. The SAGI measure of guilt and shame proneness was unrelated to any of the impulsivity scales. Future research should investigate why impulsiveness is related to shame frequency more than guilt frequency and why proneness to guilt and shame does not predict an individual's trait impulsiveness level.
CORRELATIONS BETWEEN EFFORT DISCOUNTING, GRADES, ACADEMIC DELAY OF GRATIFICATION, LOCUS OF CONTROL, AND NEED FOR COGNITION. MORGAN WHETSTONE, HEIDI L. DEMPSEY, DAVID W. DEMPSEY, SAMANTHA MORTON, DAJUAN FERRELL, SETH MARTIN, JOHN SUDDUTH, AND ELIZABETH USSERY, DEPT. OF PSYCHOLOGY, JACKSONVILLE STATE UNIVERSITY, JACKSONVILLE, AL 36265.
The present study involved a statistical evaluation of the relationships between four established personality constructs--Academic Delay of Gratification, Locus of Control, Need for Cognition, and the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale-11--and those between effort discounting and academic success of undergraduate students. As hypothesized, Academic Delay of Gratification, Locus of Control, and Need for Cognition were each negatively correlated with the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale-11. However, an unexpectedly weak relationship was observed between effort discounting rates and academic scores. Future research should be carried out to assess the external validity of the findings across different age groups or populations, as well as settings beyond academia.
DISASTER PREPAREDNESS AND FAMILIES OF CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS. LORETTA A. CORMIER, LISA R. BAKER, COURTNEY ANDREWS, SUMER CHAMBLESS, DANIELLE HESSE, AND CHARLENE RHOADES. DEPT. OF ANTHROPOLOGY AND SOCIAL WORK, UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA AT BIRMINGHAM, 35294.
While there is a growing literature base demonstrating that the general public is not personally prepared for the immediate events after a disaster, extremely little information is available identifying reasons why people are not prepared or addressing family disaster preparedness, especially among vulnerable populations. Our project is a research study and student-training program that evaluated family disaster preparedness among vulnerable populations. The study utilized a mixed-methods approach, combining the complementary areas of expertise of the investigators quantitative and qualitative methods. Quantitative data was derived from 1) a survey with a pre-test post-test quasi-experimental design to collect data on preparedness 2) the administration of a brief psycho-educational intervention aimed at increasing levels of preparedness among two high risk populations of families with children who have special healthcare needs. Qualitative data was derived from semi-structured interviews with data analyzed through the constant comparison method. The populations included 1) families in an urban medical setting receiving health care from Children's Hospital of Alabama, and 2) families in a high hurricane risk coastal region receiving health care from the Children's Diagnostic and Treatment Center of Broward General Hospital, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. We discuss our findings in terms of 1) why families are not adequately prepared for disaster, 2) regional differences in preparedness among vulnerable pediatric populations, 3) and the results from an on-site educational intervention.
EXAMINING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN STUDY DISTRACTORS, PROCRASTINATION, AND IMPULSIVITY. ELIZABETH USSERY, HEIDI DEMPSEY, DAVID DEMPSEY, SETH MARTIN, SAMANTHA MORTON, DAJUAN FERRELL, JOHN SUDDUTH, MORGAN WHETSTONE, DEPARTMENT OF PSYCHOLOGY, JACKSONVILLE STATE UNIVERSITY, 700 PELHAM RD. N, JACKSONVILLE, AL 36265.
The goal of the current study was to examine the relationship between study distractors, procrastination, and impulsivity, and relate these to course performance in psychology courses and overall GPA. Results indicated that impulsivity, procrastination, and study distractors were not generally related to course performance or GPA. However, impulsivity and procrastination were significantly related to a number of common study distractors that students might encounter (e.g., other people talking, TV, internet, amount of coursework). Future research should examine why impulsivity, study distractors, procrastination were not good predictors of course performance or GPA.
FRAMING OF COST/BENEFIT ANALYSIS QUESTIONS AND THE RELATIONSHIP TO MEASURES OF IMPULSIVITY. SAMANTHA MORTON, HEIDI L. DEMPSEY, DAVID W. DEMPSEY, ELIZABETH USSERY, JOHN SUDDUTH, SETH MARTIN, MORGAN WHETSTONE, & DAJUAN FERRELL. JACKSONVILLE STATE UNIVERSITY
This is an exploratory study which looks at how students rated a variety of questions relating to decisions they may have to make as they enter the workforce. For example, students are asked a series of questions regarding how many hours they would work a week for a variety of salaries. Also, they are asked how far they would move away from their families/friends in order to get good paying job. Finally, each student's decisions were correlated with their trait impulsivity level. Results indicated that some decisions were correlated with impulsivity, but the majority were not. Also, not all decisions followed a rational cost/benefit analysis. Discussion focuses on how students' lack of understanding of numbers (innumeracy) may affect their ability to make rational decisions.
MAGNITUDE EFFECTS AND STABILITY OF RESPONSES IN A MEASURE OF DELAYED DISCOUNTING OF MONEY. JOHN SUDDUTH, HEIDI DEMPSEY, DAVID DEMPSEY, DEJUAN FERRELL, SAMANTHA MORTON, ELIZABETH USSERY, MORGAN WHETSTONE, & SETH MARTIN
The current study examined the relationship between delayed discounting of hypothetical money and effort discounting of hypothetical extra credit points. Both money and extra credit showed evidence of magnitude effects, such that larger amounts were discounted less than smaller amounts. With regard to stability of answers, there were high correlations between all of extra credit discounting questions and their duplicates, but not for the monetary discounting measures. The discussion speculates as to why money showed different results than extra credit.
MICRO-STRATIFICATION: EFFECTS OF URBAN PLANNING POLICY ON PUBLIC HOUSING COMMUNITIES. HOLLY PARK, DR. L.JOE MORGAN, DEAPRTMENT OF PHYSICAL AND EARTH SCIENCES, GEOGRAPHY, JACKSONVILLE STATE UNIVERSITY, JACKSONVILLE, AL 36265.
The institutionalization of gated public housing is stratifying an already marginalized community. In this research we are analyzing the census data from 2000 to show the inverse correlation between the index of social structure (social segregation) in relation to the distance from the gated public housing. The gate super-imposes an imagined carceral state to a population that already faces economic hardships. We propose that in confining these residents to the gated property, they are being forced to live out the stereotypical image of criminals behind bars. Most of the population within these gated housing properties is young African-American women, with no spousal support. When gating is combined with the lower income and education levels, negative image of the public housing communities is deepened. The greater the disparity in the index of social structure, the greater the spatial segregation between communities. The impact of gating creates an air of social marginalization leading to an increase of urban inequality. Research has shown that gating socially marginalized communities has led to negative externalities and unintended consequences. The intergroup relationships resulting from the micro-stratifications of population have led to greater between group disparities. In many cases such as Anniston and Gadsden, AL, gating has been funded and planned by local law enforcement agencies and supported by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). This project is evaluating the further segregation and marginalization of certain segments of population based on spatial distribution of economic class directed by the government policies.
AREA UNDER THE CURVE FOR DOUBLE LIMIT AND MULTIPLE CHOICE MEASURES OF TEMPORAL DISCOUNTING
The current study examined the relationship between temporal discounting, perceived to be a behavioral measure of impulsivity, and survey measures of impulsivity, and magnitude effects of dollar amount. Participants completed either a commonly used, but time-intensive, computerized method of delayed discounting (the double-limit method), or they completed two new, less time-intensive, multiple-choice based methods (the four-question multiple choice or the single-question multiple choice) to determine if the multiple choice method would be a viable substitute for the more cumbersome double-limit method. Results indicated that the multiple choice methods were not an adequate substitute for the double-limit method. The discussion focuses on why these methods may not be equivalent and future directions for research in this area.
Bioethics, History and Philosophy of Science Paper Abstracts
EVOLUTION AND RELIGION: PARALLELS, PROBLEMS, AND HISTORIES. SAMUEL J HIRT, PHD STUDENT, DEPT. OF BIOLOGY, AUBURN UNIVERSITY, AUBURN, AL 36849.
The development of the theory of evolution illustrates problems associated with applying unique philosophies and their objectives outside of their realm. Although a definition of science that satisfies all scientists may be impossible, most would agree that its objectives are to provide evidence for or against materialistic hypotheses via the scientific method. Equally as hard to define, most would agree that the objectives of religion would include the development of faith through revelation to the means of exaltation or enlightenment. Perhaps in attempts to rectify perceived contradictions among the two philosophies and despite fundamental differences in methodology, many scientists and religious figure heads have tried to extend their philosophy into the other realm. Herein I highlight some similarities in the philosophies of science and religion to illustrate how easily this can be done and use the development of the theory of evolution as a historical and current example of how this mistake is damaging to both philosophies. In conclusion, I offer for a solution respect and understanding of each philosophy and maintain that the separation of church and state will help achieve the purposes of both science and religion.
PLURIPOTENT STEM CELLS: FINALLY AN ETHICALLY UNCONTROVERSIAL SOURCE? JAMES T. BRADLEY, DEPT. OF BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES, AUBURN UNIVERSITY, AUBURN, AL 36849.
Pluripotent stem cells can give rise to all cell types in the adult individual, thus their clinical potential for treating conditions ranging from strokes and spinal cord injuries to diabetes and Parkinson's disease. The major source of pluripotent cells since 1998 has been surplus blastocyst stage embryos obtained from in vitro fertilization clinics. But using human blastocysts for ESCs is controversial because many people consider blastocysts to be persons with a moral right to life. In 2007, induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells were generated from skin cells by introducing extra copies of certain genes into the cells. Safety considerations limit the clinical value of iPS cells. In 2010, adult cells were reprogrammed to pluripotency without altering their genomes. Characteristics of these RNA-induced pluripotent stem (RiPS) cells and their ethical implications are discussed.
SCIENCE AND MYTHOLOGY: DUAL BELIEF SYSTEMS? CLARK E. LUNDELL *, DEPT. OF INDUSTRIAL DESIGN AND * JAMES T. BRADLEY, DEPT. OF BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES, AUBURN UNIVERSITY, AUBURN, AL 36849.
Is Science the Mythology of the 21st Century? A biologist (Bradley) and a designer (Lundell) present a dialogue documented over years of conversation on the question: Do the heroes of modern science, Einstein, Tesla and Newton, assume the role of Jupiter, Juno and Minerva in our contemporary Capitoline Triad? Are they as fallible? These questions are explored through conversation that invites contemplation, seeks to challenge the irrefutable nature of contemporary science (Lundell), and strives to explicate distinguishing characteristics of the scientific enterprise (Bradley).
THE MORAL RESPONSIBILITY OF SCIENTISTS. GERARD ELFSTROM, DEPT. OF PHILOSOPHY, AUBURN UNIVERSITY, AUBURN, AL 36849-5210
Scientists in laboratories are commonly the first to become aware of new discoveries that may harm other human beings. These researchers will also be best situated to determine what harms these discoveries may bring and how they may do so. In consequence, these scientists should accept the moral obligation to prevent others from being harmed as a result of their discoveries. However, individual scientists are hampered by several factors: There are no commonly accepted guidelines they may consult to determine which discoveries are likely to cause significant harm to others, and there are no bodies able to give them guidance on such matters. Also, they can do no more than alert others to dangers. They cannot take additional action to prevent harm from coming to others. Hence, alerts from scientists must be the first step to protect human beings and not the last. Relevant institutions, whether governmental, academic, or commercial have the additional obligations of devising workable guidelines, establishing consulting agencies, and putting means in place to protect the public from harm. Without these additional measures, the actions of individual scientists must be ineffectual.
Bioethics, History and Philosophy of Science Poster Abstracts
THE MISCONCEPTION OF HEALTH DISPARITIES. SHERYCE C. HENLEY, SONNI-ALI MILLER, FLOYD DAVIS, CEDRIC LANE, CHRISTOPHER RAGLAND, WILL TARVER, DR. TIMOTHY TURNER PH.D. DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF RESEARCH AND TRAINING TUSICEGEE UNIVERSITY NATIONAL CENTER FOR BIOETHICS IN RESEARCH AND HEALTH CARE BIOETHICS BUILDING TUSKEGEE, AL 36088
The late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in his letter from Birmingham Jail said an "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." To consider this quote and look upon the burgeoning problem of health disparities, one must actively look the problem squarely in the face and call it what it is--prejudice. Health disparities occur from sequences of events that begin with inequalities established by human judgments. These human prejudices create real inequalities in the human experience and lead to the differences observed in the health status of certain populations. Although the current definitions of health disparity provide the measurement of the terminal differences in health status, it makes no attempt to evaluate the causative factors. Particular focus on the African American community reveals many different inequalities that contribute to the higher levels of disease conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and cancer. Inequalities in income, insurance coverage, accessibility to and quality of health care create the stresses that are all major contributors to observed disparities in health. The perception is that minorities usually fall within the lower percentile for income, have little or no health insurance coverage, and their healthy lifestyle practices are subordinate to other races. However, even global analysis reveals that predominantly nonwhite nations have observably lower health status than their white counterparts. Thus, the purpose of this work is to provide an exhaustive meta-analysis and conceptual framework for initiating the hard discussions of the underlying factors causing health disparities.
Biological Sciences Paper Abstracts
ANURAN CALL ACTIVITY AT AN EPHEMERAL POND IN NE ALABAMA: A PRELIMINARY ANALYSIS. BRETT A. MACEK AND GEORGE R. CLINE, DEPT. OF BIOLOGY, JACKSONVILLE STATE UNIV., JACKSONVILLE, AL 36265.
We studied calling activity over a 5-month period at Frog Pond, near White Plains in NE AL in 2010. Eight species, representing 3 Families, were recorded at the site. Hylid frogs dominated the site (5 sp.) followed by Ranids (2 sp.) and Microhylids (1 sp.). All species recorded were accounted for within the first 3 months of the study. Not all species called simultaneously. In this study, hylids dominated calling activity early in the season. Pseudacris crucifer called first, followed by Hyla gratiosa, H. chrysoscelis, A. crepitans, and H. cinerea. Ranid frogs called next, followed by Microhylids. Early in the study, only 1-4 species called. Daily calling activity peaked with 6-7 species calling in May. Calling activity dropped off in June as drought conditions progressed. A late-season spike in calling activity correlated with a rainfall event in July. Intensity of calling activity was measured using the Wisconsin Frog and Toad Survey (WFTS), which assigns calls to index values on a scale ranging from 1-3 for each species. When viewed over the entire breeding season, several calling patterns were observed. Some species jumped to level 3 calling immediately once calling commenced, and remained high throughout the season. Several species remained sporadic throughout the season, while others remained at moderate calling intensities throughout the calling season.
BACTERIAL DIVERSITY OF AN INDIAN CREEK SAMPLE AS REVEALED THROUGH 16S RRNA SEQUENCING. JESSICA NASH AND CHRIS OTTO, DEPT. OF BIOLOGY, ATHENS STATE UNIV., ATHENS, AL 35611.
There is microbial life in almost every environment on earth. With the techniques involved in metagenomic sequencing it is now possible to identify the organisms that are either unable to be grown on plates or seen with the naked eye. The process involves extracting DNA, replicating, and integrating microbial DNA from many sources into a vector able to be cloned without the need to culture the organisms. The libraries resulting from these clones are sequenced, and with analysis using available online classification programs, microbes are able to be discovered and classified. Throughout the years this has led to many instrumental advances in medicine, from antibiotic resistance to available new enzymes. In this experiment, an Indian Creek water sample was tested using typical protocols and procedures of metagenomics. The results throughout the experiment continuously showed evidence that DNA extraction took place, and sequencing was successfully performed. The concentration of DNA in the cloned libraries was high enough that classification of returned sequences was able to be executed through the online databases greengenes, National Center for Biotechnology Information, and Ribosomal Database Project.
CANOPY GAP DYNAMICS IN MATURE, MESIC, QUERCUS STANDS ON THE CUMBERLAND PLATEAU, ALABAMA. JACOB D. RICHARDS, AND JUSTIN L. HART, DEPT. OF GEOGRAPHY, UNIV. OF ALA., TUSCALOOSA, AL 35486.
Gap scale disturbances are important processes in forest stand development in the southern Appalachians. Canopy gaps within secondary forest throughout the southern Appalachians have been documented as critical mechanisms in canopy tree replacement and stand regeneration. I quantified gap characteristics, gap formation and closure mechanisms, and intra-gap tree and sapling distribution patterns for 60 canopy gaps in secondary mesic, Quercus stands on the Cumberland Plateau in north Alabama. Snag-formed gaps were the most common. The projected closure mechanism was significantly related to the area of the gap whereby smaller gaps usually closed via lateral crown expansion and larger gaps typically closed by subcanopy recruitment. Based on the results, I hypothesized that gaps exceeding 200 m2 had higher probabilities of closing via subcanopy recruitment rather than lateral crown expansion. Several gaps projected to close by subcanopy recruitment were doing so through Quercus capture. However, Quercus capture of gaps was restricted to upper slope positions with low understory competition from shade tolerant species and adequate light levels. The majority of gaps were projected to close via lateral crown expansion. Based on the composition of saplings and trees in gap environments, I project the forest to transition from a Quercus dominated system to one with much stronger Fagus grandifolia and Acer saccharum components. My study fills a void in the literature on the role of canopy gaps in secondary, mesic Quercus stands that established just prior to 1900 for the southern Appalachian region.
CHECKLIST OF THE MAMMALS AT RUSSELL CAVE NATIONAL MONUMENT IN JACKSON COUNTY, ALABAMA. ANTHONY C. GROW, DANIEL M. WOLCOTT, AND MICHAEL L. KENNEDY, THE UNIVERSITY OF MEMPHIS, DEPARTMENT OF BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES, MEMPHIS, TN, 38152.
A checklist of the mammals at Russell Cave National Monument (RCNM) in Jackson County, Alabama, was compiled during a survey conducted in the summer and fall of 2009 and spring of 2010. Sampling procedures included live trapping, bait/camera stations, scent stations, mist netting, spotlight surveys, and general observations. Twenty-nine species, representing 8 orders and 14 families, were verified to occur on the site. Results reflected the presence of 1 species of opossum (Virginia Opossum, Didelphis virginiana), 1 species of shrew (Northern Short-tailed Shrew, Blarina brevicauda), 1 species of mole (Eastern Mole, Scalopus aquaticus), and 6 species of bats (Gray Myotis, Myotis grisescens; Northern Myotis, Myotis septentrionalis; Tri-colored Bat, Perimyotis subflavus; Big Brown Bat, Eptesicus fuscus; Eastern Red Bat, Lasiurus borealis; and Evening Bat, Nycticeius humeralis). Other species documented included: Nine-banded Armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus), Eastern Cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus), 11 species of rodents (Eastern Chipmunk, Tamias striatus; Woodchuck, Marmota monax; Eastern Gray Squirrel, Sciurus carolinensis; Southern Flying Squirrel Glaucomys volans; American Beaver, Castor canadensis; White-footed Deermouse, Peromyscus leucopus; Cotton Deermouse, Peromyscus gossypinus; Hispid Cotton Rat, Sigmodon hispidus; Allegheny Woodrat, Neotoma magister; Woodland Vole, Microtus pinetorum), Domestic Dog (Canis familiaris), Coyote (Canis latrans), Gray Fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus), Raccoon (Procyon lotor), Eastern Striped Skunk (Mephitis mephitis), Feral Cat (Felis catus), and White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus). One endangered species (Gray Myotis) was recorded during the survey.
DISCOVERING MYCOBACTERIOPHAGE CRYPTKEEPER. KRISTEN CARLISLE DR. LAJOYCE DEBRO AND DR. CHRISTOPHER MURDOCK, DEPARTMENT OF BIOLOGY, JACKSONVILLE STATE UNIVERSITY, JACKSONVILLE, AL
Over the past century, scientists have been working together in efforts to further knowledge of the Mycobacteriophage population throughout our planet. It is hoped that the obtained knowledge of this microscopic agent will lead to the production of vaccines and new medical treatments for antibiotic resistant bacteria, as well as lead to advancements in biological warfare weaponry. Knowledge of the Mycobacteriophage population is being expanded by the collection and characterization of new viruses. Mycobacteriophage can be found in a variety of locations. My objective was to answer the question, "Is it possible to discover a Mycobacteriophage from an environmental sample collected from a cemetery in Ragland, Alabama?" To answer this question, I enriched an environmental sample using host bacterium Mycobacterium smegmatis and purified a Mycobacteriophage from the mixture. Analysis of the physical and genetic properties of the isolate, Cryptkeeper, support our conclusion that this is a newly discovered virus.
DISTRIBUTION OF AMPHIANTHUS PUSILLUS AND DIAMORPHA SMALLII IN ALABAMA DAVID M. FRINGS AND L. J. DAVENPORT SAMFORD UNIVERSITY, 800 LAKESHORE DRIVE, BIRMINGHAM, AL. 35229.
SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS: Indent first sentence for beginning paragraph. Indent second paragraph beginning with the third sentence and the word "Amphianthus". Indent third paragraph beginning with the fifth sentence and the word "Diamorpha". Indent the fourth paragraph beginning with the last sentence and the word "Both". All scientific name, genus and species should be in italliacs.
Diamorpha smallii and Amphianthus pusillus are two annual plants that germinate and complete their lifecycles from late fall until early spring. Both species inhabit pools and depressions on isolated rock habitats of Alabama. Amphianthus pusillus is found in small vernal pools on granite outcrops of Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina. Its range in Alabama is restricted to two isolated outcrops of Randolph and Chambers counties; two colonies are reported for Chambers County and for colonies for Randolph County.
Amphianthus pusillus is listed by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service as an endangered species. This species germinates and blooms during the late winter. Diamorpha smallii is found in moist shallow depressions and vernal pools on granite outcrops of the Piedmont Province and similar sandstone habitats in the Valley and Ridge Province. Its range covers portions of Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. The Alabama range of D. smallii includes Chambers, Lee, Tallapoosa, Randolph, Etowah, DeKalb, and Tuscaloosa counties. This species germinates in the late fall and blooms during the early spring.
Both species appear to be declining in Alabama due to loss of habitat from mining, logging, illegal dumping, and the use of four-wheel vehicles
FINDING MOMO AND FLO: THE ISOLATION AND CHARACTERIZATION OF MYCOBACTERIOPHAGE. JESSICA L. ARIGHI, REBEKAH YOUNG, LAJOYCE DEBRO, AND CHRISTOPHER MURDOCK, DEPT. OF BIOLOGY JACKSONVILLE STATE UNIVERSITY, JACKSONVILLE, AL
SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS: Italicize Mycobacterium smegmatis, M.smegmatis, and Mycobacterium tuberculosis
Viruses that infect bacteria were discovered in 1915 and are known as "bacteriophages" or "phage" for short. Bacteriophages must have a host bacterium to replicate and have the potential to control bacterial growth, which could lead to an alternative for antibiotics. The goal of this project was to find Mycobacteriophages and begin to characterize them by their physical and genetic properties. A Mycobacteriophage is specific to Mycobacterium. In this study, the host bacterium was Mycobacterium smegmatis. M smegmatis is very similar to the bacteria which cause the deadly disease tuberculosis, Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Soil samples were taken from Dadeville, Alabama, and Rome, Georgia, and enriched to help the phage grow. After multiple rounds of purification, one single bacteriophage was isolated from each sample. The initial characterization of the two Mycobacteriophages found, MomoMixon and Florence, supports our conclusion that they are newly discovered isolates. This research was supported by the Science Education Alliance of the National Genomic Research Initiative of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Jacksonville State University--Biology Department.
IDENTIFICATION OF NEW COMPONENTS INVOLVED IN SHOOT GRAVITROPISM IN ARABIDOPSIS THALIANA. ARCHANA SHARMAJO ANNA DILLER, DEPTARTMENT OF BIOLOGICAL SCIENCE, AUBURN UNIVERSITY, AUBURN, ALABAMA 36849.
SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS: Following words should be italic: Arabidopsis thaliana, SCARECROW (SCR), scr, 35S::SCR, 35S::SCR/scrl, 35S::SCR/WT
In Arabidopsis thaliana, SCARECROW (SCR) gene is essential for normal radial patterning and shoots gravitropism. The SCR mutants exhibit shoot agravitropism and defective radial pattern. The most favored hypothesis is "starch-statolith hypothesis" but the precise molecular mechanism of gravitropism is still unknown. We identified scr mutant suppressors to generate tools to answer following questions: how does SCR regulate, what other genes are involved and what is the exact molecular mechanism of the shoot gravitropic pathway. Hypocotyl of these suppressors exhibit improved gravitropic response over scr mutant. Starch staining of the hypocotyl with I-KI solution shows almost an absence of amyloplast granules in the suppressors grown in sucrose free medium. However, suppressors grown on 1% sucrose medium show the presence of some amyloplasts. Cross sections of the hypocotyl reveal that suppressors still have defective radial pattern. These results indicate that neither the presence of endodermis nor the amyloplast sedimentation is essential for hypocotyl gravitropism. In order to explore the mechanism, we have generated WT and scrl lines that carry 35S::SCR construct and express SCR in ectopic location. 35S::SCR/scrl plant hypocotyl showed gravitropic response similar to WT plants while 35S::SCR/WT plant hypocotyls had very weak gravitropic response similar to scr mutant. The staining results of 35S::SCR/WT and 35S::SCR/scrl reveal that amyloplast sedimentation in 35S::SCR/WT is similar to WT while 35S::SCRiscrl resembles scrl. These results further support our hypothesis that there is an alternative pathway for shoot gravitropism.
INVESTIGATION OF THE MICROBIAL DIVERSITY IN CALCIFIED MATS FROM A PERENNIALLY ICE COVERED LAKE JOYCE IN MCMURDO DRY VALLEY, ANTARCTICA. JONATHAN P. HUANG, NAZIA MOJIB, AND ASIM K. BEJ, DEPT. OF BIOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA AT BIRMINGHAM, BIRMINGHAM, AL 35294. DALE ANDERSEN, CARL SAGAN CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF LIFE IN THE UNIVERSE (SETI INSTITUTE), MOUNTAIN VIEW, CALIFORNIA, 94043
The calcified 7 meter microbial mats residing in Lake Joyce in the McMurdo Dry Valleys in Antarctica offer a unique opportunity to investigate the formation of structures that are analogous to ancient stromatolites. The diversity of the eubacterial communities in these mats was determined using culture-independent community DNA. The 16S rRNA gene sequences from the community DNA clone library were found to be unique and unable to pair with known bacterial genera. This suggests that Lake Joyce microbial mats harbor a complex microbial community which may potentially yield new eubacterial genera. In addition, an uncommon group of bacterial genera including Rhodopseudomonas, Bdellovibrio, Opitutus, Spartobacteria, Leptothrix, and Nitrospira were identified. Other common genera of known Antarctic bacteria were also found in these microbial mats including Flavobacterium, Clostridium, and Rhodoferax. Our results showed that culture-independent methodology is essential in obtaining the best coverage of the microbial diversity in Lake Joyce mat samples. The study of the taxonomic identification and the extent of biodiversity of the microbial consortium are essential to unfold their role in the formation of the calcified microbialites in Lake Joyce and other lakes in the McMurdo Dry Valleys.
IS THERE A DIETARY REQUIREMENT FOR ASCORBIC ACID IN LYTECHINUS VARIEGATUS? WARREN T. JONES, STEPHEN A. WATTS, THE UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA AT BIRMINGHAM, BIRMINGHAM, AL, 35294, ANTHONY SICCARDI III AND ADDISON L. LAWRENCE, TEXAS AGRILIFE MARICULTURE RESEARCH PROJECT, PORT ARANSAS, TX 78373.
Nutritional supplementation in formulated diets is an integral part of the aquaculture industry. We are currently researching the dietary requirements of the variegated sea urchin, L. variegatus. Ascorbic acid is an essential micronutrient in the diet of most animals. Juvenile sea urchins (ca. 0.08 g) were raised in the laboratory and fed one of eight semipurified diets with the following amounts of ascorbic acid for 10 weeks: 8, 26, 45, 72, 100, 313, 465, and 921 mg ascorbic acid/kg feed. Under the conditions of this study, there were no significant differences in wet weight gain (ANOVA, p>0.05) among diet treatments under the conditions of this study. Additionally, there were no significant differences in test, lantern, gut, or gonad dry weights among treatments (ANCOVA, p>0.05). Linear regression indicated that ascorbic acid level was not a significant factor in the model; however, age of the sea urchin was a significant factor. This study suggests that dietary ascorbic acid may not be required nutritionally in juvenile L. variegatus, and we hypothesize it may be produced endogenously. Additionally, genetic factors may be influential in sea urchin weight gain. Further studies are needed, as ascorbic acid may have important physiological roles in sea urchins that do not directly affect weight gain. These studies were supported in part by the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium.
PLANT SPECIATION IN THE REALM OF ALLOPOLYPLOIDS: THE CURIOUS CASE OF THE TEMPERATE BAMBOOS. JIMMY K. TRIPLETT, DEPT. OF BIOLOGY, JACKSONVILLE STATE UNIV., JACKSONVILLE, AL 36265, JUN WEN, NATIONAL MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY, SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION, WASHINGTON, DC 20013-7012, AND LYNN G. CLARK, DEPT. OF ECOLOGY, EVOLUTION, AND ORGANISMAL BIOLOGY, IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY, AMES, IA 50011.
Genome doubling (polyploidy) is considered to be common in plants, yet biologists have few model systems in which to study the broad-scale evolutionary consequences of this phenomenon. Based on recent evidence, the temperate bamboos provide a large-scale example of polyploid speciation in the context of plants that are ecologically and economically important. The temperate bamboos encompass 500+ species in Asia, Africa, and North America (including three in Alabama) and are among the most problematic plants from a taxonomic perspective. Recent data implicated hybridization as a cause of taxonomic confusion while highlighting the possible role of polyploidy. In the current investigation, low-copy nuclear genes (including an endo-1,4-[beta] glucanase and a poly-A binding protein) were used to reconstruct phylogenetic relationships. These data suggest that all 500+ species are descended from a single allotetraploid ancestor that was derived from two divergent parents. Subsequent diversification has produced species that are genetically, morphologically, and ecologically distinct, yet retain both parental genomes. Moreover, new species have been produced by ongoing hybridization at the tetraploid level. This new evidence, combined with previous studies using chloroplast DNA and AFLP data, suggests that hybridization and polyploidy have had important and recurrent roles in the evolution of these forest grasses.
PLANT SURVIVAL AND SOIL WATER AVAILABILITY IN GREEN ROOF MICROCOSMS. JULIE G. PRICE AND STEPHEN A. WATTS, DEPT. OF BIOLOGY. JASON T. KIRBY AND ROBERT W. PETERS, DEPT OF CIVIL, CONSTRUCTION, AND ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING, UAB, BIRMINGHAM, AL 35294. AMY N. WRIGHT, DEPT. OF HORTICULTURE, AUBURN UNIV., AUBURN, AL 36849.
Green roofs represent a harsh habitat in which plants must withstand temperature and moisture extremes. Succulents generally have low transpiration rates to survive drought and species like Sedums are commonly planted in green roofs. However, with irrigation, other non-succulent species have been successful in rooftop trials at UAB. Utilizing species that have higher transpiration rates may increase the benefits of stormwater mitigation and reduced heat flux, since these benefits are derived from insulation and evapotranspiration from the substrate and vegetation. Plug-sized plants of Antennaria plantaginifolia, Bouteloua curtipendula, Phlox bifida, Sedum album 'France', and Sedum rupestre 'Angelina' were planted in pots with green roof soil. Plants and soil-only controls were subjected to different degrees of water limitation over 90 days: water to field capacity every 5, 10, or 20 days. Soil moisture and the weight of each (pot, soil, and plant combined) were measured prior to and just after rewatering. Initial shoot and root dry weight of additional representative plants was compared with final shoot and root dry weights of experimental plants. Only Sedum sp. survived the 20-day watering treatment, and all other species were most successful in the 5-day watering treatment. Further studies are needed to determine if large-scale application of non-succulents leads to differences in soil temperature and stormwater mitigation.
PRELIMINARY EFFECTS OF COUMADIN AND CAFFEINE MIXTURES ON XENOPUS LAEVIS EMBRYOS: SHOULD THEY BE USED TOGETHER? SUNDE JONES, KRISTIN SHIREY, GEORGE CLINE, MARK MEADE, AND JAMES RAYBURN. DEPARTMENT OF BIOLOGY, JACKSONVILLE STATE UNIVERSITY, JACKSONVILLE, AL 36265.
Coumadin (warfarin) is an anticoagulant medication used by humans to prevent strokes and heart attacks. Caffeine is a methylxanthine alkaloid. Caffeine affects the central nervous system by increasing alertness and decreasing fatigue. Caffeine is located in Coca-Cola and Pepsi products and hot drinks like coffee and tea. The objective of this research is to identify the interactions (synergism, antagonism or response addition) that occur with these pharmaceuticals on the developmental toxicity with frog embryos. Xenopus laevis embryos are a model organism for testing developmental toxicity in both human and environmental health. A Standardized Frog Embryo Teratogensis Assay (FETAX) was used to determine the 96 hr LC50, EC50 (malformation) and Teratogenic Index (TI) of the two chemicals. Each test concentration had 2 or 4 replicates per concentration with 20 added embryos at small cell blastula stage to each dish. DMSO was used as a solvent for the Coumadin. Each day dead were recorded and solutions were changed. Our data indicated a higher LC50 than the published work (Deyoung et al 1991). The results indicated a higher malformation and death rate in the dishes containing both Coumadin (40mg/L) and Caffeine (200 mg/L) that is consistent with response addition. Caffeine had the highest malformations compared to Coumadin. There was also a significant decrease in length to the tadpoles located in the dishes containing both Coumadin and Caffeine.
ROAD--KILL SURVEY OF ALABAMA RED--BELLIED TURTLES ON THE MOBILE BAY CAUSEWAY--X. DAVID H. NELSON, DEPARTMENT OF BIOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH ALABAMA, MOBILE, AL 36688 AND CYNTHIA SCARDAMALIA-NELSON, PROVIDENCE HOSPITAL, MOBILE, AL 36608.
A systematic, road-kill survey was conducted on the Mobile Bay Causeway (US 90 / 98) from April 2001 to December 2010 to assess the numbers of Alabama red-bellied turtles (Pseudemys alabamensis) that were killed by automobile traffic. A total of 628 mortalities of the endangered, Alabama red-bellied turtle was recorded over the ten-year study: 471 hatchlings, 138 adult females (most gravid), 14 juveniles, and 5 males. A majority of the hatchlings (96%) over--wintered in their nests to emerge during the following springs (March-April). Mortality of adult females was greatest during nesting seasons: May, June, and July. Each year, from 5 to 28 nesting females (mean = 13.8, most gravid) were killed by vehicular traffic on the road. In 2008, sections of chain-link fencing (totaling 4.1 km [2.6 miles]) were financed and installed by the Alabama Department of Transportation to reduce roadway mortality of P. alabamensis along the eastern causeway. Since the construction of the fencing, turtle mortalities have declined significantly: from a total of 113 in 2007, to 28 in 2008, 20 in 2009, and 21 in 2010--yearly mortality reductions of 75%, 82%, and 81%. The monitoring of the fences and turtle mortalities is continuing. Research funding was provided by the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources: Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries and the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
THE EFFECTS OF APOLIPOPROTEIN MIMETIC PEPTIDES ON INFLAMMATION AND OXIDATIVE STRESS. TORAL PA TEL. UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA AT BIRMINGHAM. TORAL PATEL MENTOR: DAVID GARBER
Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) is the leading cause of deaths worldwide, especially in the United States. Despite advances in treatments for atherosclerosis, many questions pertaining to mechanisms of treatments for inflammation and oxidative stress remain unanswered. We hypothesize that peptides 4F and Ac-hEl8A-NH2 act as anti-inflammatory factors and reduce oxidative stress. We also hypothesize that peptides require apoA-I to increase paraoxonase-1 (PON-1) activity. The effects of administering peptide 4F and Ac-hEl8A-NH2 on oxidative stress were evaluated by analysis of plasma in apoA-I null mice, or C57B1/6J and C3H mice fed either normal chow or the atherogenic Paigen diet. Oxidative stress was measured through levels of free 15-F2t-isoprostanes, oxidized lipids, and PON-1 and PAF-AH enzymatic activity. Inflammation was detected through IL-6 and SAA levels. Macrophage modulation was examined through immunohistochemistry. Peptides 4F and Ac-hEl8A-NH2 did not significantly change or reduce isoprostane levels, lipid hydroperoxides, PON-1 and PAF-AH activity, or IL-6 levels. C57B1/6J mice fed the Paigen diet and treated with 4F had reduced levels of serum amyloid A (SAA) and decreased aortic sinus macrophage load. Cholesterol increased in apoA-I null mice with Ac-hEl8A-NH2 treatment after two weeks, suggesting that Ac-hEl8A-NH2 increases apolipoprotein synthesis in these mice. Our results suggest that peptide 4F requires apoA-I to function and affect PON-1. The information obtained from this study will provide insight into potential mechanisms by which peptide 4F and Ac-hE18A-NH2 affect inflammation and oxidative stress, as well as the role of apoA-I in peptide function.
THE INVASION OF IGOR: DISCOVERY OF MYCOBACTERIOPHAGE. AMBER PEEK, DR. LAJOYCE DEBRO, AND DR. CHRIS MURDOCK, DEPT. OF BIOLOGY, JACKSONVILLE STATE UNIV., JACKSONVILLE, AL 36265.
This research is part of Howard Hughes Medical Institute's plan to allow college freshman a chance to become knowledgeable in the research area by performing innovative procedures towards the discoveries of mycobacteriophage using the bacteria host Mycobacterium smegmatis which is a cousin to tuberculosis. Hopefully by finding something that infects Mycobacterium smegmatis it can be tested on tuberculosis and possibly cure it. I found my mycobacteriophage, Igor, and I made it my objective to learn everything I could about it. Igor, was captured, tamed and dissected to its DNA form which was only cut by one restriction enzyme during the digestion step. Igor's Transmission Electron Microscope picture showed interesting data that will want to be used for further research in the future. Acknowledgments HHMI, SEA, and NGRI JSU Biology Department AAS BY 114 Dr. Murdock Dr. Debro
USE OF ALLOZYME MARKERS TO DETECT GENETIC VARIATION IN WALLEYE POPULATIONS. AALA A. ABULFARAJ, SIRISHA BETHALA, JANET GASTON, AND NEIL BILLINGTON, DEPT. OF BIOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES, TROY UNIV., TROY, AL 36082.
Walleye (Sander vitreus) is a large predaceous North American percid fish, which are common in the mid-western U.S. and Great Plains regions. Allozyme markers were used to survey genetic variation for 1270 walleyes in 13 populations. Populations were collected from the mid-west (Iowa, Minnesota, and South Dakota) and the Great Plains (Montana, Wyoming, and Saskatchewan and Manitoba, Canada) by gillnets and electrofishing. Liver and muscle samples were screened by cellulose acetate gel electrophoresis. Three loci were found to be polymorphic in walleye, esterase (EST *), malate dehydrogenase (sMDH-3 *), and general muscle protein (PROT-3 *). Three alleles were found at EST *: * 100, * 105, and * 115, three alleles at sMDH-3 *: * 70, * 100, and * 120, and two alleles at PROT-3 *: * 100 and * 160. Observed genotypic frequencies deviated significantly from Hardy-Weinberg expectations in eight populations for EST *, five populations for sMDH-3 *, and three populations for PROT-3 * all due to heterozygote deficiencies. These deviations likely resulted from the Wahlun deffect, because samples were mostly collected during the summer and fall rather than during the spring spawning season. Results showed that there was highly significant among population heterogeneity for walleye from the mid-western U.S. and the Great Plains over all three loci (Z=516.37, df=50, p<0.001). Knowledge of genetic variation among walleye populations will help fisheries management agencies to improve their management of the species; populations should not be mixed because they are genetically heterogeneous.
ZEBRAFISH ARE AN IMPROVED MODEL FOR OBESITY RESEARCH. STEPHEN A. WATTS AND MICKIE L. POWELL, DEPT. OF BIOLOGY, UAB, BIRMINGHAM, AL 35294. LOUIS R. D'ABRAMO, WILDLIFE, FISHERIES AND AQUACULTURE, MISS. STATE UNIV. MISSISSIPPI STATE, MS 39762.
SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS: The genus species names Danio rerio and Artemia should be italicized.
The zebrafish Danio rerio is now defined as an excellent animal model for environmental and biomedical research. Several recent reviews have reported that zebrafish have physiological and molecular responses to dietary-induced obesity (DIO) that are similar to those found in most mammals, including humans. Accordingly, responses to nutrients, nutraceuticals, and pharmacologics can be evaluated using the zebrafish model. Unfortunately, confident comparative analysis of results is not possible because of the lack of a standard reference diet. We have successfully developed the first open formulation diet that can serve as a reference diet for future investigations using zebrafish as a model. The diet is composed of chemically-defined ingredients and has a proximate composition of 53 % crude protein (containing animal and plant sources), 24% crude lipid (containing n-3 and n-6 sources), 6% ash, 3% fiber, and 14% carbohydrate (by difference). Growth rates and survival of fish fed this diet are equivalent or exceed those achieved using commercially available but undefined diets. Anecdotal observations indicate that adult zebrafish achieve high reproductive success when the potential reference diet is fed exclusively with no supplement of traditionally-used live feed (Artemia nauplii). The composition of the reference diet can be modified to evaluate the effects of quantity and quality of different nutrients on genomic, transcriptomic, and metabolomic responses as they relate to fat deposition in zebrafish. In addition, the influence of prophylactic nutrients and pharmacologics on fat deposition can be precisely evaluated.
ZOOGEOGRAPHY OF THE INVASIVE SNAIL, MELANOIDES TUBERCULATA (MULLER, 1774) AND ITS CONCOMITANT TREMATODE PATHOGEN, CENTROCESTUS FORMOSANUS (NISHIGORI, 1924). LORI TOLLEY-JORDAN, DEPT. OF BIOLOGY, JACKSONVILLE STATE UNIV., JACKSONVILLE, AL 36265. MICHAEL CHADWICK, DEPT. OF GEOGRAPHY, KINGS COLLEGE LONDON, LONDON, UK.
Melanoides tuberculata (Gastropoda: Thiaridae), a parthenogenetic, operculate snail of Asian origin, is the most common first intermediate host of Centrocestus formosanus (Digenea: Heterophyidae), a pathogen of Asian origin that causes decreased fitness or mortality in second intermediate fish hosts. We documented range expansions (outside of Southeast Asia) of M. tuberculata, and C. formosanus infections in snails and host fishes using published records. Results showed M. tuberculata occurs in tropical waters on all continents, the Caribbean, Indo-Pacific and Oceanic islands. Further, in temperate latitudes, the snail invaded warm-water springs with water temperatures greater than 17 degrees C. The parasite was also globally distributed by M. tuberculata and fishes (128 species); albeit no infected snails or fishes were reported from the Caribbean, South America, or Africa. We suspect further invasions into novel systems via releases of infected snails and fishes. In addition, declines in populations of rare fishes, particularly in warm-water springs, are of major concern. Monitoring the invasion of snails and parasites into novel freshwaters is necessary to document, and possibly prevent, further range expansions of these invasive species.
Biological Sciences Poster Abstracts
A SURVEY OF CHYTRID FUNGUS, BATRACHOCHYTRIUM DENDROBATIDIS, INFECTION OF AMPHIBIANS IN THE MONTEVALLO AREA OF ALABAMA. PATRICK D. MORRIS AND DR. JILL A. WICKNICK, DEPT. OF BIOLOGY, CHEMISTRY, AND MATHEMATICS, UNIV. OF MONTEVALLO, MONTEVALLO, AL 35115. MELANIE L. STYERS, DEPT. OF BIOLOGY, BIRMINGHAM-SOUTHERN-COLLEGE, BIRMINGHAM, AL 35294.
Global amphibian declines and extinctions are linked to the infectious fungal disease, chytridiomycosis, which is caused by a chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis [Bd]). Rescues of imperiled species have been inhibited due to uneven global survey efforts, which prohibit charting a complete map of the pathogen's distribution. We initiated a local surveying program in the Montevallo area by examining amphibians for the presence of Bd. A total of 74 amphibians were swabbed for skin brushings, and tested for the presence of Bd using PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) analysis. Six bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus) tadpoles tested positive for Bd spores and originated from a single pond. Species that tested negative included Lithobates sphenocephalus utricularius, Anaxyrus terrestris, Anaxyrus americanus, Hyla cinerea, and Hyla versicolor/chrysoscelis. Lithobates catesbeianus show mild symptoms or no symptoms when carrying Bd. Because the disease is not lethal to L. catesbeianus, it is a potential disseminator of chytridiomycosis in the Montevallo area. Funding for this research was provided by the McNair Scholars Program and a UM faculty research grant to MLS. KEYWORDS: Alabama, amphibian decline, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, chytridiomycosis, Lithobates catesbeianus, PCR, survey
ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE AMONG ESCHERICHIA COLI FROM HUMAN, BOVINE, AND EQUINE SAMPLES. JENNIFER KENNARD, BRIAN BURNES, DEPT. OF BIOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES, UNIV. OF WEST ALA., LIVINGSTON, AL 35470.
Escherichia coli was collected from three different hosts from the Fish River Basin and tested for growth in response to thirteen different antibiotics. Antibiotic resistance was measured using the Kirby-Bauer Disc Diffusion Assay. Zones of inhibition were recorded and analyzed for correlation among the different animals. The E. coli from the human samples were found to be more resistant to ampicillin, amoxicillin, chloramphenicol, ciprofloxacin, erythromycin, gentamicin, nalidixic acid, and sulfisoxazole. E. coli obtained from equines were found to be more resistant to neomycin and streptomycin whereas E. coli obtained from bovines were found to be more resistance to spectinomycin, oxtetracycline, and tetracycline. In conclusion, there are clear differences in the antibiotic resistances among E. coli from the three hosts.
ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE PATTERNS OF ESCHERICHIA COLI FROM THE GASTROINTESTINAL TRACTS OF HUMANS, CATTLE, AND DEER. BRIAN S. BURNES, DEPT. OF BIOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES, UNIV. OF WEST ALA., LIVINGSTON, AL 35470.
One thousand one hundred and forty four strains of E.coli were isolated from a municipal wastewater treatment plant, cattle, or deer in the Dry Creek watershed in central Alabama and tested for resistance to ampicillin, chloramphenicol, erythromycin, neomycin, oxytetracyclin, spectinomycin dihydrochloride, streptomycin sulfate, and tetracycline hydrochloride. Eighty three unique resistance patterns were observed; 78 from humans, 8 from cattle, and 6 from deer. Resistance to no antibiotics was found in 39% of cattle E.coli and 48% of deer E.coli, but only 1% of human E.coli. Over 50% of the remaining cattle E.coli and over 46% of the remaining deer E.coli were resistance to one or two antibiotics, compared to 18% of the human E.coli. Resistance to three or more antibiotics was found in 7% of cattle E.coli, 0% of deer E.coli, and 81% of human E.coli. No E.coli from cattle or deer were resistant to ampicillin, chloramphenicol, neomycin, or oxytetracycline, however 82% of human E.coli were resistant to ampicilin, 58% to chloramphenicol, 38% to neomycin, and 43% to oxytetracycline. The results of this study suggest that cattle and deer have antibiotic resistance patterns which are clearly differentiable from humans, and that cattle and deer present lower risks of harboring or spreading antibiotic resistant E. coli than humans.
CHANGES IN INTRACELLULAR CALCIUM CONCENTRATION IN CRUSTACEAN (CALLINECTES SAPIDUS) Y-ORGANS: RELATION TO THE HEMOLYMPHATIC ECDYSTEROID TITER. HSIANG-YIN CHEN, DEPT. OF BIOLOGY, UNIV. OF ALA. AT BIRMINGHAM, AL 35294. RICHARD M. DILLAMAN AND ROBERT D. ROER, DEPT. OF BIOLOGY AND MARINE BIOLOGY, UNIV. OF NORTH CAROLINA AT WILMINGTON, NC 28403. R. DOUGLAS WATSON, DEPT. OF BIOLOGY, UNIV. OF ALA. AT BIRMINGHAM, AL 35294.
Secretion of ecdysteroid molting hormones by crustacean Y-organs is negatively regulated (inhibited) by molt-inhibiting hormone (MIH), a neuropeptide produced by neurosecretory cells in the eyestalks. The effect of MIH on Y-organs is mediated by one or more cyclic nucleotide second messengers. In addition, extant data indicate that ecdysteroidogenesis is positively regulated (stimulated) by intracellular Ca++. Our previous results showed that ablating the eyestalks from blue crabs (Callinectes sapidus), to remove the endogenous source of MIH and activate Y-organs, led to an increase in Ca++ in Y-organ cells; associated with the increase in intracellular Ca++ was a significant increase in the hemolymphatic ecdysteroid titer. In experiments reported here, we measured Ca++ levels in Y-organ cells (using a fluorescent calcium indicator, Fluo-4) and ecdysteroid levels in hemolymph (using radioimmunoassay) during selected stages of a natural molting cycle. Calcium fluorescence in Y-organ cells increased >6-fold between intermolt (stage C) and late premolt (stage D3) (P<0.05), then dropped during postmolt (stage A) to a level indistinguishable from that seen in intermolt (P>0.05). Changes in the hemolymphatic ecdysteroid titer followed a similar pattern, rising from 1.4 ng/ml in intermolt (stage C) to 357.1 ng/ml in late premolt (stage D3), and then dropping to 30.3 ng/ml in postmolt (stage A). The above results are consistent with the hypothesis that ecdysteroidogenesis is stimulated by an increase in intracellular Ca++. Additional findings from our lab indicate intracellular Ca++ may be linked to enhanced ecdysteroidogenesis through activation of cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase.
DIAMONDBACK TERRAPINS: EVALUATING THE HOME RANGE OF ADULT FEMALES IN CEDAR POINT MARSH, ALABAMA. TAYLOR ROBERGE, ANDREW COLEMAN, THANE WIBBELS AND KEN MARION, DEPT. OF BIOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA AT BIRMINGHAM, BIRMINGHAM, AL 35205. DAVID NELSON, DEPT. OF BIOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH ALABAMA, MOBILE, AL 36688. JOHN DINDO, DISL, DAUPHIN ISLAND, AL 36528.
The diamondback terrapin, Malaclemys terrapin, was once a very abundant species in the salt marshes of Alabama. A variety of threats have impacted this species and resulted in drastic declines over the past century. The diamondback terrapin is currently considered a species of highest conservation concern in Alabama. Surveys over the past five years indicate that the diamondback terrapin is currently represented by small nesting aggregations in specific salt marshes on the Alabama coast. The current study evaluated the movements of adult female terrapins from the largest known nesting aggregation in Alabama. Radio transmitters were fitted to eight adult females during the 2010 nesting season. These transmitters had a range of approximately 1.0 km and a battery life of approximately 1 year. The results indicate that some of the females have relatively small home ranges (e.g. a km or less), and remain resident in the salt marsh directly adjacent to the nesting beach. The results have implications for both the ecology and conservation of diamondback terrapin in Alabama. This work is being funded through a state wildlife grant and a costal area management program. Supplemental funding was provided by the U.A.B. Department of Biology and the Alabama Academy of Science.
EFFECT OF MEGADOSE LEVELS OF DIETARY VITAMIN D IN THE SEA URCHIN LYTECHINUS VARIEGATUS. WARREN T. JONES, STEPHEN A. WATTS, THE UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA AT BIRMINGHAM, BIRMINGHAM, AL, 35294, ANTHONY SICCARDI III, AND ADDISON L. LAWRENCE, TEXAS AGRILIFE MARICULTURE RESEARCH PROJECT, PORT ARANSAS, TX 78373.
Small Lytechinus variegatus (ca. 18g wet weight) were collected from Saint Joseph Bay, Florida and transported to the Texas Agrilife Mariculture Research Laboratory. Urchins were acclimated to laboratory conditions (32 ppt salinity, 22 C, 12:12 photoperiod) and placed into individual open-ended plastic mesh cages (n = 16 per diet treatment). Prior to the study, 16 urchins were dissected to obtain initial weights of organs. Groups of 16 urchins each were fed one of eight semi-purified diets supplemented with various levels of vitamin D3 ranging from 6360 IU vitamin D/kg diet to 8,160,000 IU vitamin D/kg diet. Significant weight gain and 100% survival was observed in all treatments. At 15 weeks, sea urchins fed vitamin D diets did not display observable pathologies and did not demonstrate dietary toxicity despite the megadose levels of dietary vitamin D. Sea urchins fed 6460, 2,060,000, and 8,160,000 IU vitamin D/kg diet had significantly higher dry lantern weights than those fed 73,100 IU vitamin D/kg diet (ANCOVA, p<0.05). Additionally, sea urchins fed 73,100 and 2,060,000 IU vitamin D/kg diet had higher dry gonad weights than those fed 6360 and 8,160,000 IU vitamin D/kg diet (ANCOVA, p<0.05). Under the conditions of this study, vitamin D did not affect survival nor create observable pathology. Supported in part by the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium.
EFFECTS OF APOLIPOPROTEIN MIMETIC PEPTIDES ON INFLAMMATION AND OXIDATIVE STRESS. TORAL PA TEL, TAMARA KEENUM, GAURAV NAYYAR, VINOD MISHRA, MAYAKONDA PALGUNACHARI, DAVID GARBER. UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA AT BIRMINGHAM.
Coronary Artery Disease is the leading cause of deaths worldwide, especially in the United States. Despite advances in treatments for atherosclerosis, many questions pertaining to mechanisms of treatments for inflammation and oxidative stress remain unanswered. We hypothesize that peptide 4F acts as an anti-inflammatory factor and reduces oxidative stress. The effects of administering peptide 4F on oxidative stress were evaluated by analysis of plasma in C57B1/6J and C3H mice fed either normal chow or the atherogenic Paigen diet. Oxidative stress was measured through levels of free 15-F2t-isoprostanes and oxidized lipids, and paraoxonase-1 (PON-1) and PAF-AH enzymatic activity. Inflammation was detected in plasma of animals by measuring IL-6 and serum amyloid A (SAA) levels. Macrophage modulation was examined through immunohistochemistry for aortic sinus macrophage load. Peptide 4F did not significantly reduce isoprostane levels. Treatment with peptide did not change or decrease lipid hydroperoxides, PON-1 and PAF-AH activity, or IL-6 levels. C57B1/6J mice, but not C3H mice, fed the Paigen diet had increased levels of SAA, and administration of 4F reduced SAA levels to those of mice on standard chow. Macrophage load significantly decreased in mice fed the atherogenic diet. Our results suggest that C3H mice are less susceptible to inflammation on the Paigen diet than C57B1/61, as seen through concentrations of inflammatory markers. The information obtained from this study will provide insight into potential mechanisms by which peptide 4F affects inflammation and oxidative stress.
EXPRESSION ANALYSIS OF A POTENTIAL MALE SEX DETERMINING FACTOR IN A TURTLE WITH TEMPERATURE-DEPENDENT SEX DETERMINATION. KAYLA BIESER AND THANE WIBBELS, DEPT. OF BIOLOGY, UNIV. OF ALA. AT BIRMINGHAM, BIRMINGHAM, AL 35294
Many reptiles possess temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD), in which the incubation temperature of the egg determines the sex of the hatchling. A number of mammalian and avian sex determining genes are present in reptiles, but none have been verified to be the sex determining switch. DMRT1 is a transcription factor that regulates target genes triggering testis formation. In birds, the Z-linked gene DMRT1 has been implicated as the male sex determining gene. Knockdown expression of DMRT1 resulted in genetic males becoming sex reversed. In the red-eared slider turtle, Trachernys scripta, DMRT1 shows sexually dimorphic expression prior to and during the temperature sensitive period. DMRT1 expression is up-regulated at male-producing temperatures, but remains low throughout female-producing temperatures. To further study the role of DMRT1 in TSD reptiles, T scripta embryos were incubated at male and female producing temperatures. Additionally, embryos were sex reversed from female-to-male with an aromatase inhibitor (Letrozole) and from male-to-female with 17f3-estradiol. Adrenal-kidney-gonad complexes were dissected from the embryos at developmental stages 15, 17, 19, 21, and 23 and qPCR was performed. The results are consistent with an increase in DMRT1 expression at male producing temperatures and during female-to-male sex reversal. These results provide an insight into the potential role of DMRT1 as a male sex determining factor during TSD in T. scripta. Funding provided by Sigma-Xi Grants-in-Aid of Research.
FISHES OF THE UPPER CHOCCOLOCCO CREEK SUB-WATERSHED IN ALABAMA GREGORY SCULL , MEGAN CORDLE , AND MARK MEADE   DEPARTMENT OF BIOLOGY, JACKSONVILLE STATE UNIVERSITY, JACKSONVILLE, ALABAMA 36265  UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, NATURAL RESOURCES CONSERVATION SERVICE, GADSDEN, ALABAMA 35901
Surveys were conducted to document the distribution of fishes within the headwaters of Choccolocco Creek, a tributary of the Middle Coosa River System. The Coosa River System is considered to be the most diverse system in the Mobile Basin in terms of fishes and is described as containing 147 freshwater species (Mettee, O'Neil and Pierson, 1996). Collections made at 27 stations during the timeframe of 2008 through 2010 resulted in the captures of 4,316 individuals and an inventoried fish fauna comprised of 10 families, and 39 species. The results of these surveys show that the upper Choccolocco Creek Sub-watershed is diverse in terms of its fish fauna containing 27% of the 147 species described from the Coosa River System.
HCN CHANNELS AND 4-AP INDUCED EPILEPTIFORM ACTIVITY. STEVEN PALLADINO, DEPARTMENT OF BIOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA AT BIRMINGHAM, BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA, 35294. JOHN HABLITZ, DEPARTMENT OF NEUROBIOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA AT BIRMINGHAM, BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA, 35294.
Epilepsy is a disease characterized by dysfunction in the inhibitory and/or excitatory signaling mechanism of neurons. The 4-aminopyridine (4-AP) model of epilepsy allows for the induction of epileptiform activity while preserving excitatory and inhibitory synaptic activity. In this study, we used voltage- and current clamp recording to study the role of hyperpolarization-activated non-specific cation channels HCN in the 4-AP model. Patch clamp recordings were obtained from layer 5 cortical pyramidal cells in rat brain slices. Control recordings obtained in the presence of 4-AP and the HCN channel blocker ZD7288 (20 uM) was bath applied. Current clamp recordings showed an increase in the duration of evoked epileptiform events after bath application of ZD7288. In voltage clamp recordings, similar increases in duration were observed. This suggests that changes were to enhanced input to the recorded cell and not alterations in resting potential and input resistance. Blockade of HCN channel enhances epileptiform activity by increasing network excitability.
IDENTIFYING SOURCES OF PATHOGEN CONTAMINATION IN THE UPPER FISH RIVER, ALABAMA. BRIAN S. BURNES, PH.D. DEPT. OF BIOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES, UNIV. OF W. ALA., LIVINGSTON, AL 35470.
Fish River, in the Weeks Bay watershed, Baldwin County, Alabama is on the Clean Water Act [section]303(d) list for pathogen contamination. Typical efforts to reduce potential sources of pathogen contamination, such as fencing-out cattle, providing an alternative watering source, and providing a hard-bottom crossing, have failed to reduce pathogen counts in the Fish River. Additionally, development in the upper Fish River watershed has added numerous potential sources such as septic systems, sewer lines, wastewater treatment plants, and urban stormwater runoff. To address this problem, E. coli from several sites in the upper Fish River were tested for antibiotic resistance and the results were analysed using linear discriminant function analysis. Antibiotic resistance patterns exhibited by the Fish River E. coli were compared to the antibiotic resistance of E. coli in a reference database generated from humans, cattle, and horses to establish the most likely source(s) of pathogen pollution. Although significant E. coli contributions were identified from humans, the predominant antibiotic resistance patterns appear to be from horses.
ISOLATION OF KURTHIA GIBSONII FROM BOTTOM OF SHOE. ZACHARY L. RILEY AND BRIAN BURNES, PH. D. UNIVERSITY OF WEST ALABAMA LIVINGSTON, AL 35470.
Tests were done to identify the type of bacteria species was on the bottom of a shoe that was exposed to canine feces. The microbe was motile, gram +, non-sporing, rod shaped, non-pigmented, aerobic, and it grew significantly at 42 degrees Celsius. Biolog plate test indicated the bacteria grew at 5 and 6 pH levels and at 5 to 6% NaC1 solution. From comparison to Bergey's Manual of Determinative Bacteriology, 9th edition, it is concluded that the sample is Kurthia gibsonii. Kurthia can be found in cured meat that has been stored at elevated temperatures in addition to being in stomachs of mammals. But most often species of Kurthia can be found in the feces of domestic animals such as chickens and pigs, but the bacteria has also been found in the feces of human patients having diarrhea. Leaving a colony of Kurthia in the direct sunlight increased the growth rate, therefore, decreasing the temperature of the environment discourages the growth of Kurthia gibsonii.
MEASURING MARSH PLANT PRODUCTIVITY AND MICRO-, MEIO-, AND MACROFAUNAL ABUNDANCE AND DIVERSITY IN RESPONSE TO OILING IN A NORTHERN GULF OF MEXICO SALT MARSH. LEE STANTON, BRIAN BURNES AND JOHN MCCALL, DEPT., OF BIOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES, UNIV. OF WEST ALA., LIVINGSTON, AL 35470.
Much uncertainty exists regarding the impact that oiling may have on the ecology of intertidal salt marsh systems. The Deepwater Horizon event provides a unique opportunity to assess the manner in which salt marsh communities respond to stressors of this nature. In addition, it provides an opportunity to evaluate the long-term response of the salt marsh community at several levels. Our goal is to quantify the impacts to microbial and meiofaunal distributions, plant diversity and productivity, and macrofaunal habitat utilization by comparing oiled to non-oiled salt marshes in coastal Alabama and Louisiana. We have begun sampling microbial and meiofaunal distributions, plant diversity and productivity, and macrofauna habitat utilization in both oil-impacted and non-impacted locations at Point aux Pins (PAP) salt marsh in south Mobile County, Alabama. Information from NOAA's SCAT-Mobile Ground Observations (www.geoplatform.gov/gulfresponse) on August 3, 2010 indicate light and moderate oiling on the eastern shore of PAP, as well as comparable non-oiled areas. Similar samples will be collected quarterly from marsh locations near Port Fourchon, LA. The SCAT-LA Ground Observations indicate heavily oiled locations in Timbalier Bay marshes beginning in May of 2009, with adjacent areas free from oiling. Louisiana sites will be sampled only for microbial, meiofaunal, and plant community composition, and will provide a heavily oiled/non-oiled point of reference for comparison to Alabama sites. While Alabama and Louisiana salt marsh system are fundamentally different in structure, a comparison of oiled and non-oiled sites in the two areas may provide insight into how these two distinct communities respond to and recover from oil stress.
MOLECULAR IDENTIFICATION OF GASTROINTESTINAL BACTERIA FROM ADULT COPE'S GREY TREEFROGS (HYLA CHRYSOSCELIS). BENJIE BLAIR, CHRIS MURDOCK, AND CHERYL SESSLER, JACKSONVILLE STATE UNIVERSITY 36265.
Hyla chrysoscelis, or Cope's Grey Treefrogs, are common in the eastern United States and are not known to be experiencing the population declines observed in many amphibian populations. Anuran metamorphosis results in remodeling of the intestinal tract from tadpoles which have simple intestinal organization to more complex adult frogs. Adult digestive tracts are more structurally similar to those of higher organisms, including mammals. Previous studies have shown that adults feed primarily on insects, while tadpoles filter feed a variety of organisms from the water column. These bacteria are believed to be highly involved in proper nutrient assimilation and immune function. The goal of this project is to molecularly identify bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract of adult Cope's grey treefrogs. Five adult H. chrysoscelis were collected from a single site in Jacksonville, Alabama and euthanized according to AVMA guidelines. Gastrointestinal tracts were removed from each frog and homogenized and pooled. Genomic DNA was extracted from the pooled sample and 16S ribosomal DNA genes were amplified using universal eubacterial primers. PCR products were cloned and sequenced. Sequence analysis and phylogenetic construction was performed using MEGA 4.0 software. After phylogenetic analysis, 98% of the samples were classified into one of four phyla--Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, Proteobacteria, and Verrucomicrobia. Sequence analysis of >97% homology provided genera suggestions for several clones. Eight novel 16S rDNA sequences were published in the GenBank database.
POPULATION DYNAMICS OF SUGAR MAPLE (ACER SACCHARUM MARSH.) AT THE SOUTHERN PORTION OF ITS RANGE: IMPLICATIONS FOR RANGE MIGRATION AND SUCCESSION. CRAIG M. TURBERVILLE AND JUSTIN L. HART, DEPT. OF GEOGRAPHY, UNIV. OF ALA., TUSCALOOSA, AL 35487.
Evidence for climate change driven range migration exists for a variety of tree species in eastern North America. Northward range migration for tree species in the region requires a decrease in population density near the southern range boundary coupled with an increase in population density at the northern range boundary. Sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marsh.) is one such species that has been projected by some biogeographic models to shift north in accord with climate. However, a widespread pattern of increased sugar maple density has been reported in the forest science literature from a variety of sites throughout the species' range. This pattern is linked to a complex of interacting factors and has been hypothesized to represent a positive feedback that facilitates sugar maple regeneration. The primary goal of our study was to test which of these hypothesis (range migration or succession) was correct for the southern portion of the sugar maple range. We used Forest Inventory and Analysis program data to compare region-wide population dynamics for this species on a plot-by-plot basis. Changes in frequency, density, and dominance of sugar maple trees and seedlings were compared over multiple years for the states of Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.
STRUCTURAL, BIOCHEMICAL AND BIOPHYSICAL CHARACTERIZATION OF THE INTERACTIONS BETWEEN HIV-1 MATRIX AND CALMODULIN. TIMOTHY F. FERNANDEZ, RUBA H. GHANAM, EMILY L. FLEDDERMAN, JAMIL S. SAAD, DEPT. OF MICROBIOLOGY, UNIV. OF ALA., BIRMINGHAM, AL 35294.
Although it is widely accepted that targeting of the Gag polypeptide to the plasma membrane is critical for proper assembly of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), Gag's intracellular interactions and trafficking to its assembly sites in the infected cell are poorly understood. HIV-1 Gag was shown to interact and co-localize with calmodulin (CaM), a ubiquitous and highly-conserved Ca2+-binding protein expressed in all eukaryotic cells and is implicated in a variety of cellular functions. Binding of HIV-1 Gag to CaM is dependent on calcium and is mediated by the N-terminally myristoylated matrix (myr(+)MA) domain. We demonstrate that CaM binds to myr(+)MA with a dissociation constant (Kd)--2 inM and 1:1 stoichiometry. Our data revealed that CaM binding to MA induces the extrusion of the myr group. However, in contrast to all known examples of CaM-binding myristoylated proteins our data show that the myr group is exposed to solvent and not involved in CaM binding. The interactions between CaM and myr(+)MA are endothermic and entropically driven, suggesting that hydrophobic contacts are critical for binding. As revealed by NMR data, both CaM and MA appear to engage substantial regions and/or undergo significant conformational changes upon binding. We believe that our findings will provide new insights on how Gag may interact with CaM during the HIV replication cycle.
THE EFFECTS OF INCREASING OCEAN ACIDIFICATION ON THE COVERING BEHAVIOR OF LYTECHINUS VARIGATUS. ROBERTA CHALLENER, GRANT HINKLE, AND JAMES B. MCCLINTOCK, UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA AT BIRMINGHAM, BIRMINGHAM, AL 35233.
Covering behavior in the common nearshore sea urchin Lytechinus varigetus has been evaluated in previous laboratory and field studies. Several hypotheses have been postulated to explain a covering response including protection from UV radiation and camoflauge from predation. As such, understanding the potential impacts of ocean acidification on this behavior (ubiquitous among regular sea urchins) is important. The present study investigated the effects of prolonged (3.5 month) exposure to near-term end-of-century ocean acidification (pH 7.8) and ambient seawater pH (8.2) on both the rate and amount of covering in young adult Lytechinus varigetus. In one experiment, individuals (mean diameter = x cm) were offered X? glass balls ( x cm ball diameter) and the total number of balls held on the test counted after 20 min. In a second experiment, the same individuals were offered X? glass balls and the number of balls held on the test counted every 4 hours over a 24 hour period (12 light: 12 dark photoperiod) in both pH treatments. There was no significant difference in the number of balls held on the test after 20 min in either pH treatment (mean balls held = X in pH 7.8, x in pH 8.2). While there was a pattern of increasing the number of balls held on the test over the first 12 daylight hours, and higher numbers then held through the night than the daylight hours, there was no significant effect of seawater pH on either the rate or the amount of cover. Our findings indicate that covering behavior in L. varigatus is not impacted by near-term ocean acidification.
USE OF PHYSIOLOGICAL INDICES IN MONITORING FISH STRESS. MEGAN CORDLE, AL NICHOLS, AND MARK MEADE. JACKSONVILLE STATE UNIVERSITY, DEPT. OF BIOLOGY, 700 PELHAM RD. N., JACKSONVILLE AL36265.
Diagnostic measurements often used to assess the physiological condition of humans are also useful in assessing the health and well-being of other vertebrate organisms. In fishes, diagnostic measurements are used to assess "stress" in response to environmental condition. Stress indicators may include blood glucose and cortisol concentrations, white cell counts, metabolic rates, and changes in protein expression. Mercury (Hg), a well-known pollutant in aquatic systems, bioaccumulates in food webs and likely effects many physiological systems in exposed fishes. Limited physiological data exists on the effects of mercury exposure in stream fishes, particularly acute and chronic physiological effects associated with exposure. We report here on the use of whole animal respirometry as a means of monitoring changes in metabolism in response to Hg exposure. Information on metabolism is indicative of energy partitioning and has previously been used to predict growth and fecundity potential of fishes. Metabolic rates, as determined by oxygen consumption rates, were examined in the stream minnow, Campostoma oligolepis, from various Hg-free and Hg-contaminated streams. Specifically, fish examined were collected from Shoal creek, a pristine site in the Talladega National Forest, Mill Creek, an urban site in Jacksonville, AL, and Snow Creek, an urban, Hg-contaminated site in Oxford, AL. Metabolic rates were significantly higher for fishes inhabiting the Hg-contaminated site. It is hypothesized that metabolism is increased in these fishes due to gill damage and the inability to osmoregulate efficiently.
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|Title Annotation:||p. 56-88; Cahaba, Alabama|
|Publication:||Journal of the Alabama Academy of Science|
|Date:||Apr 1, 2011|
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