The 89th Annual Academy of Science Meeting Tuskegee University Tuskegee, AL February 22-24, 2012.
DUAL LEADERSHIP SYSTEMS AMONG THE TALAMANCAN PEOPLES OF CENTRAL AMERICA AND THEIR RELEVANCE TO UNDERSTANDING COMPLEX SOCIETY IN THE SOUTHEAST. JAMES SEWASTYNOWICZ, DEPT. OF PHYSICAL AND EARTH SCIENCES, JACKSONVILLE STATE UNIV., JACKSONVILLE, AL 36265
When Europeans first encountered native peoples in the Caribbean and adjacent parts of the mainland extending from the American southeast to northern South America, they found many of them organized into hierarchical, politically complex societies. Unfortunately, many of these complex societies, particularly those anthropologists would classify as chiefdoms, succumbed to violence and disease soon after contact and before any but cursory description of their culture had been recorded. And as often as not, those descriptions were highly distorted by the ethnocentric preconceptions of their European authors, especially in regards to the nature of their political systems. That is why the remarkable but little known history of the Cabecar and Bribri of Costa Rica, collectively referred to as the Talamancan peoples, is so important. Together, they retained a remnant dual secular-religious leadership system until the early decades of the twentieth century. This paper examines what is currently known of that system, and the degree to which it may shed light on the political structure of other long-vanished complex societies of the Americas, especially those in the American Southeast.
HOLLIS IS MORE THAN A QUARTZITE: DISTRIBUTION, CONTEXT AND MEANING. HAMILTON H. BRYANT, DEPT. OF SOCIOLOGY, ANTHROPOLOGY AND SOCIAL WORK, AUBURN UNIVERSITY, AUBURN, AL 36849.
Hollis Quartzite, a locally occurring lithic resource of the Pine Mountain Group of eastern Alabama, was extensively utilized during prehistory. Outcrops of Hollis Quartzite generally occur from south of Auburn and extend northeast, across the Chattahoochee River and into west central Georgia; however, distributions in Georgia are poorly understood. A review of the Alabama State Site Files indicated 66 sites in Lee County, Alabama, have been recorded in association with Hollis Quartzite. Previous studies have demonstrated that Hollis Quartzite was exploited during the Archaic and Woodland periods. This preliminary distributional study is expected to provide insight into the lithic procurement strategies of Archaic and Woodland period inhabitants of east central Alabama.
INFLUENCE OF AGE AND STATUS ON MORTUARY ART IN ALABAMA. DANIELLE E. ASHWORTH AND BRENNA L. WILKERSON, AUBURN UNIV., AUBURN, AL 36849.
Through empirical research and literature review, this presentation analyzes the effect of gender, age at death, and status on mortuary art in several historic Alabama cemeteries. Differences in headstone size as well as the decorations and epitaphs were studied. Age at death was the most important factor in predicting the size of headstones; infants and children usually had significantly smaller headstones than adults. There were also noticeable variations in the epitaphs based on age and gender, with females and children frequently referred to by their familial relationships. Decorations varied greatly, but floral and religious designs were common. Many of the cemeteries are in disrepair due to age or vandalism, creating a need for more documentation and analysis of historic cemeteries in Alabama before they are gone forever.
LINEAR ENAMEL HYPOPLASIAS AT NEWTON PLANTATION, BAEBADOS: A COMPARATIVE STUDY IN CARIBBEAN SLAVE HEALTH. JULIA ALYSSA WHITE, DEPT. OF SOCIOLOGY, ANTHROPOLOGY, AND SOCIAL WORK, AUBURN UNIV., AUBURN, AL 36849. KELSEY E. HERNDON, DEPT. OF SOCIOLOGY, ANTHROPOLOGY, AND SOCIAL WORK, AUBURN UNIV., AUBURN, AL 36849. DR. KRISTRINA A. SHULER, DEPT. OF SOCIOLOGY, ANTHROPOLOGY, AND SOCIAL WORK, AUBURN UNIV., AUBURN, AL 36849.
Bioarchaeology of the African Diaspora has increased understandings of slave health. This study pursues health during developmental years through the lens of linear enamel hypoplasias (LEH), an indicator of systemic metabolic stress. We assessed LEH in 29 burials from Newton Plantation, Barbados (ca. 1660-1880), the largest existing African Caribbean osteological series. At 0.2069, our rate of LEH per mouth is consistent with former studies by Corruccini et al. and Shuler. We found rates to vary between Barbadian-born (0.2491; n=17) and African-born individuals (0.2857; n=7) and between females (0.2857; n=7) and males (0 2; n=10). Average age-at-death varied from 20.88 years (n=6) in individuals with LEH and 20 29 years (n=23) for individuals without LEH. Peak age-at-formation for the pooled sample was 4.5 to 5.0 years of age. Compared to other enslaved and free African populations (Catoctin Furnace, Cliffs Plantation, First African Baptist Church, and Remley Plantation), Newton has a lower LEH rate and later age-at-formation. This lower rate could be attributed to antemortem tooth loss, poor preservation (especially subadults), or death before formation of permanent dentition as is suggested by the mean age-at-death for this sample at 19.95 years. Differences in timing of onset of LEH may be relevant when considering the weaning hypothesis and other cultural practices. While LEH rates may suggest that generalized childhood stress at Newton was lower than expected, this indicator should be placed in context with other studies of health and historical accounts.
LOST IN TRANSLATION: MISCOMMUNICATION AND LANGUAGE BARRIERS IN THE MEDICAL FIELD. HAILEY E. HILLSMAN AND LAURA BURMEISTER, DEPT. OF ANTHROPOLOGY, TROY UNIV., TROY, AL 36081
Language barriers cause people to become lost in translation everyday, a phenomenon that can be seen in the United States medical field right now Imagine walking into an emergency room with a serious medical issue and not being able to communicate with any of the doctors, verbally or non-verbally. Sadly, this happens on a regular basis in our country. Approximately 49. 6 million people in the United States speak another language other than English (Flores, 2006). This causes a great deal of miscommunication in the medical field, especially in emergency situations, which can lead to issues such as: patient dissatisfaction; misdiagnosis; and overall confusion. Furthermore, it greatly affects the United States economically. A significant amount of money is being lost due to miscommunication and language barriers in the medical field. This paper seeks to demonstrate these occurrences within the medical field and explore what can be done to solve this language barrier problem with the healthcare system in the United States.
MEMORY SITS IN PLACES OF TIME; THE FEDERAL ROAD ACROSS CREEK COUNTRY. JOHN W. COTTIER, DEPT. OF SOCIOLOGY AND ANTHROPOLOGY, AUBURN UNIVERSITY, AUBURN, AL 36849.
Recent investigation have explored the archaeological context along the Federal Road across the Creek County in Macon and Russell counties. This road represented a major corridor for travelers moving generally from east to west across the lower south from around 1806 until 1840, and connected forts, taverns, and rest stops across a basically virgin forest. An additional segment of this research has been to identify landscape features as well as the attached memories of such locations. The area today remains largely rural, but present local individuals demonstrate that the perspectives of memory and places cannot be separated.
PLANK ROADS HISTORY FROM RUSSIA TO ALABAMA. PHILLIP E. KOERPER, DEPT. OF HISTORY, JACKSONVILLE STATE UNIVERSITY, JACKSONVILLE, AL 36265
Because snow, mud and marsh areas slowed passage on even the best roads, plank roads became popular for a brief time in the nineteenth century. The initial concept for plank roads originated in Russia and were later adopted in Canada in the 1830's as a practical means to transport agricultural and other materials to markets. The first plank road constructed in the United States was started in 1837 near Syracuse, New York. Builders would construct thousands of plank roads in North America. They laid planks of wood, three or four inches thick, at right angles to stringers resting lengthwise on the roadbed. Maintenance was the downfall of plank roads. Most needed repairs by the fifth year and major replacement within ten years. Paved roads eventually replaced them and they could not compete with railroad expansion. In many cases, the names remained and historical signs often indicated that the road was once a plank road. In the twentieth century, plank roads were briefly revived to cross arid lands and deserts. They were also utilized by armies to bridge the mud during the First World War in Europe, The interest in this topic resulted from an Alabama state archaeological survey grant for highway construction on the route of the Central Plank Road between Montgomery and Winterboro, Alabama.
PRELIMINARY OBSERVATIONS AND COMPARISONS FROM AN INITIAL VISIT TO THE WEST BOLTON STONE STRUCTURE SITE IN VERMONT WITH SEVERAL ALABAMA STONE STRUCTURE SITE COUNTERPARTS. HARRY 0. HOLSTEIN, DEPARTMENT OF PHYSICAL AND EARTH SCIENCES, JACKSONVILLE STATE UNIVERSITY, JACKSONVILLE, AL 36265.
In October of 2011, several New England Antiquities Research members and I had the opportunity to visit an impressive stone structure site near West Bolton Vermont. The site consisted mainly of numerous loose stone walls, stone mounds / cairns, boulder caches / split boulder outcrop cairns and u-shaped viewing / prayer seat enclosures scattered across a section of a moderate to steep mountain slope containing several small mountain streams which emanated from springheads. It became immediately apparent that the architectural types of stone structures present at this site and their placement across the landscape bore striking similarities to stone structures sites recently investigated in Northeast Alabama. This paper will discuss these stone structures placement proximity to the mountain's hydrological features, how their placements may have implications to Native American religious beliefs, and finally, the comparison between the West Bolton Stone Structure Site and Southeastern counterparts.
THE INFLUX OF PINE PLANTATIONS ALONG THE OLD FEDERAL ROAD. MATT GREENEMEIER, DEPT. OF ANTHROPOLOGY UNDERGRADUATE, AUBURN UNIVERSITY, AUBURN, AL 36849.
In investigation of archaeological sites associated with the route of the Old Federal Road through Macon and Russell counties, personal communication with local citizens suggested a relatively modern and rapid shift in regional land use. Namely, within a roughly 30 year span between the 1930s and 1960s, much of the rural countryside skirting the corridor of the Old Federal Road was modified from row crop agriculture to planted pine plantations. In applying a bottom-up approach, this study aims to illuminate both the geographic fluidity of the Old Federal Road landscape, as well as to produce potential historical explanations for demonstrated shifts in land use.
WOODLAND EXPLOITATION OF FRESHWATER MOLLUSKS IN THE UPPER ALABAMA RIVER DRAINAGE. KELLY M. ERVIN, DEPT. OF GEOLOGY AND GEOGRAPHY, AUBURN UNIVERSITY, AL 36849.
Freshwater mollusks (Family: Unionidae) excavated from three archaeological sites, 1AU139, 1WX1, and 1WX15, were identified with a comparative diagnosis using reference collections maintained at Auburn University's Invertebrate Museum to investigate mid-late Woodland Period exploitation of freshwater shellfish within the upper Alabama River drainage basin. A total of 3,220 valves were identified, representing 17 different genera of bivalves. Three genera, Fusconaia, Elliptio, and Quadrula were the most abundant species described in the collection. The bivalve taxa reported are known to occur in the sand and gravel beds of small streams and large rivers. This paper presents preliminary results offering data as a contribution to the archaeological record of central Alabama and the role of freshwater shellfish within a Woodland tradition subsistence strategy, as well as an ecological study in a portion of the Upper Alabama River drainage basin.
Anthropology Poster Abstracts
SPATIAL EVIDENCE FOR CULTURE CHANGE AT HICKORY GROUND, A MULTI-COMPONENT ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE IN ELMORE COUNTY, ALABAMA. KELLY M. ERVIN, DEPT. OF GEOLOGY AND GEOGRAPHY, AUBURN UNIVERSITY, AL 36849.
The way in which people make use of space is culturally conditioned and socially produced. This paper presents preliminary investigations on the effect of culture change on community space between a late pre-contact and post-contact Native American community at the archaeological site 1 EE89. The changing landscape between two Native American cultural traditions, the Proto-Historic (1500-1700CE) and the Historic Creek (1700-1814CE) is represented in a GIS to evaluate spatial changes within the community during the time of European contact. At the archaeological site and Historic Creek town of Hickory Ground, or 1EE89, American Indian culture that had progressed over the past 12000 years in the American Southeast underwent a significant change in response to European expansion and colonization of the New World. Field maps taken during the 2002-2007 excavations at 1 EE89 are digitized and georeferenced in a GIS creating layers of archaeological features such as structural post holes, fire hearths, middens, and human burials. The spatial patterning and organization among these features will become evident in the GIS to suggest or reject a correlation between changing community space and changing cultures.
Bioethics, History, and Philosophy of Science Paper Abstracts
BIOETHICS AND THE MORAL CHALLENGES OF SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNOLOGICAL ACTIVITIES: WHAT SHOULD WE DO? STEPHEN 0. SODEKE, BIOETHICS CENTER, TUSKEGEE UNIVERSITY, TUSKEGEE, AL 36088.
The importance and impact of scientific and technological activities in our lives can no longer be denied, neither can the attendant moral challenges that tend to be ignored, set aside or not holistically attended to in the heat of the moment. For instance, while the scientific and medical communities sought to understand the natural course of syphilis with the USPHS studies in Tuskegee, Macon County, Alabama from 1932--1972, and in Guatemala from 1946--1948, the moral quagmire of conducting such studies were not thoughtfully examined until recently. While advances in technology may get us close to a paperless society and save more trees, unprecedented growth in cyber attacks is worrying. Research efforts in cancer health disparities raise many ethical issues that must be addressed in efforts to eliminate the disparities. Unless we permit ourselves to reflect on the ethical vicissitudes of our insatiable appetite for growth and progress, better life may come at the expense of a hefty moral price. Bioethics as "ethics in the service of the bios", must alert us about moral sensibilities and chasms, and proactively inculcate in the citizenry the "bioethical maturity" needed to inform social policy and law. In this presentation, I will (1) Describe the nature of bioethics, (2) Highlight the concerns of bioethics regarding scientific and technological activities, and (3) Illustrate the role of Tuskegee University in promoting the infrastructure of "bioethical maturity" in the communities we serve.
BRIDGING THE GAP: SEEING THE WORLD WHOLE BY INTEGRATING THE SCIENCES AND THE HUMANITIES. CHARLOTTE R. WARD, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF PHYSICS, EMERITA, AUBURN UNIVERSITY
Half a century ago, C.P. Snow called attention to the growing schism between the sciences and the humanities in his lectures entitled "The Two Cultures." Since 1976, Auburn University has been endeavoring to bridge the gap between science and the humanities by offering a team-taught course, based originally on Jacob Bronowski's "Ascent of Man" BBC-TV series but now evolved to use a much broader base. This paper will present a brief history of the course as well as its goals and hopes for the future.
CENSORSHIP AND SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH GERARD ELFSTROM DEPT. OF PHILOSOPHY AUBURN UNIVERSITY AUBURN, AL 36849-5210
The avian influenza virus, A/H5N1, kills 59% of the people it infects. It is not easily transferred from birds to humans, and transmission from human to human is exceedingly rare. But, public health officials are concerned that it may gain those abilities. Recently, two teams of scientists discovered ways in which A/H5N1 could mutate to allow A/H5N1 to move in aerosol form from human to human. In the fall of 2011, the US National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity, ignited fierce controversy by requesting that the researchers not publish the methodology they used to create the mutation or describe the details of the mutation. The Board was concerned that terrorist organizations could use that information to create a deadly pathogen. Though the Board recognized that the chances of such events occurring are unknown, the results would surely be catastrophic. Hence, they concluded that great caution is justified. Many scientists responded that publishing the full results of the research and the methodology used is absolutely necessary to prevent tens of millions of deaths in the future. Only by making their results available to many researchers can humanity hope to spot dangerous mutations emerging and prepare a response. Examining these issues requires weighing possibility of mass death resulting from terrorist attack against the probability of saving millions of lives using the understanding of dangerous A/H5N1 mutations. This paper will analyze and assess the arguments of this debate.
ECONOMICS AS A SCIENCE: A LOOK AT TIMOTHY FERRIS'S "THE SCIENCE OF WEALTH" IN THE SCIENCE OF LIBERTY. CAROL F. DARON, HUMAN ODYSSEY FACULTY, AUBURN UNIVERSITY, AUBURN, AL 36849
Ferris details the historical progression of Western science as well as antiscience movements in academia and totalitarian governments. His chapter "The Science of Wealth" identifies economics as the social science closest to the physical sciences. Keynesians and the Chicago school are both liberal but neither has produced reliably accurate predictions. Ferris notes some weakness in economic theory and a need for sounder empirical data. Beyond these reasons, since economics does not follow the scientific method, economics cannot yet be considered science. Although economics is awash in quantification, which should precede hypothesis, the accuracy and consistency of the data are widely questioned, and free market theory has failed to predict downturns. As economic psychologists identify flaws in the theory and mathematicians work on better computer models, future downturns may be more predictable.
IS MATHEMATICS A SCIENCE? THE EVOLVING RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN MATHEMATICS AND THE SCIENCES. MICHEL SMITH, AUBURN UNIVERSITY, AUBURN AL, 36849.
Mathematics and Science: a brief historical sojourn from ancient understandings of mathematics and science to modern characteristics of these fields is undertaken. We examine the modern language definitions of these terms; we note the strong Ancient Greek influence on the modern view and development of mathematics and science; we especially note the influence of Plato and Aristotle--an influence which still pervades the fields to this day. Based on this historical exercise we give an answer to the question, "Is Mathematics a Science." Finally, we explore modem trends that may have bearings on the answer--especially on their modern interrelationship.
ISSUES IN PROTECTION OF HUMAN SUBJECTS IN RESEARCH FOR EVIDENCE-BASED PRACTICE. ELLEN B BUCKNER, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH ALABAMA.
The purpose of this paper is to describe the basic processes of review of research and evidence-based practice projects (EBP, QI/QA) and to connect these with the safeguards and structures of an IRB application. Research is defined in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 45 CR 46.102(d) as "a systematic investigation, including research development, testing and evaluation, designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge (DHHS, 2009)." This definition includes., however, projects done as demonstration or service projects, especially if participants have less than standard care or subject to increased risk. Increasingly quality improvement (QI) and quality assurance (QA) as well as intra-institutional evidence-based practice studies (EBP) are recognized as scholarly work which may contribute to the general knowledge base of the discipline. For example, the advent of the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) projects heralds a new era in nursing practice based studies which demonstrate change in ways that can exert a sustainable improvement. Clearly these fall in the realm of ethical and responsible conduct of scholarship. Categories and principles of IRB review will be discussed and provision of protection of vulnerable populations will be related to ethical issues and safeguards. Researchers must relate to ethics committees and be both knowledgeable about and effective in responsible conduct of research (RCR) and practice studies.
LANDMARKS OF REVOLUTION. CLARK E. LUNDELL, INDUSTRIAL GRAPHIC DESIGN, AUBURN UNIVERSITY, AL 36849. JAMES T. BRADLEY, BIOLOGY, AUBURN UNIVERSITY, AL 36849
Copernicus' epochal book, De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres,) published just before his death in 1543, established the point in history where the word revolution became associated with the concept of social upheaval. This upheaval would overcome the Ptolemaic belief in a geocentric heavenly system made up of concentric spheres. It is the path of this revolution that is traced through 3,000 years of historical landmarks. An Egyptian obelisk of 1835 BC in Saint Peter's square, domes of the Pantheon, Cathedral of Florence, and Saint Peter's Basilica replicating the heavens in the Ptolemaic system, and Rome's Pulcino della Minerva of 1667 AD trace the progress of a scientific revolution. These monuments give evidence to the irony and emergence of Galileo's scientific views from Pagan pantheistic theology to Christian monotheism, and Catholic geocentrism to the heliocentric Protestant scientific world system we currently embrace.
PHILIP HENRY GOSSE: AN EARLY NATURALIST'S VIEW OF DALLAS COUNTY, ALABAMA (1838). GARY R. MULLEN, DEPT. OF ENTOMOLOGY AND PLANT PATHOLOGY, AUBURN UNIVERSITY, AUBURN, AL 36849.
On May 14, 1838, a young naturalist arrived at the Port of Mobile and was soon onboard a steamboat making his way up the winding Alabama River to King's Landing in present-day Dallas County. He was to spend the next eight months in the nearby community of Pleasant Hill, employed there as a schoolmaster to teach the children of plantation owners in the cotton-rich Black Belt. Born in England, Philip Henry Gosse (1810-1888) later published his Alabama experiences in Letters from Alabama,(U.S.): Chiefly Relating to Natural History (1859). In addition to describing plantation life, the institution of slavery, and the frontier setting of the period, Gosse provides the finest early account of Alabama's rich natural history. He carefully recorded descriptions and personal observations of more than 350 species of plants and animals. Particularly fascinating to him were insects, which he beautifully illustrated in exquisite detail using the technique of painting in miniature. He titled his sketchbook of 49 pages of insect watercolors Entomologia Alabamensis. This art treasure remained unpublished for more than 150 years, first being made available in print in 2010. Upon leaving Alabama, Gosse returned to England where he went on to become one of the leading European zoologists of the 19th century, devoting much of his life to writing on natural history and religious topics. He wrote some 40 books and more than 270 scientific articles and religious tracts, corresponded with Charles Darwin, and was elected a Fellow of The Royal Society of London.
PLAN B CONTRACEPTION: BIOLOGY, POLITICS, ETHICS. JAMES T. BRADLEY, DEPT. BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES, AUBURN UNIVERSITY, AL 36849.
Plan B contraception (levonorgestrel;LO) is a progestin-only based pill. LO's primary mode of action is to prevent ovulation by inhibiting release of GnRH from the hypothalamus, which prevents release of FSH and LH from the pituitary. LO may also prevent fertilization of previously ovulated eggs by interfering with egg and sperm transport within the Fallopian tubes. There is no evidence that LO prevents implantation of previously fertilized eggs; in fact, research on non-human primates suggests that this does not happen. The FDA approved LO for prescription use in 1999 and for its non-prescription sale to women 18 or older in 2006. In 2009 a judge ordered the FDA to allow non-prescription sale of LO to 17 year olds. Girls under 17 can obtain Plan B via prescription. Two recent actions by the Obama Administration re Plan B contraception stir political controversy and raise ethical issues. HHS Secretary Sebelius overruled an FDA decision to make Plan B available to girls under 17 without a prescription. Safety concerns for Plan B use by adolescent girls were cited as reason to reject the FDA decision despite FDA scientists finding LO safe for them. What should be science's role in government and politics? In early 2012, the President mandated that under the Affordable Health Care Act all health care institutions must provide insurance coverage for employee use of contraception. The Catholic heirarchy and others mistakenly call Plan B an abortent and charge Obama with infringing upon religious freedom.
SCIENTISTS AS SYMBOLIC-ANALYTIC WORKERS. MICHELLE SIDLER, DEPT. OF ENGLISH, AUBURN UNIV., AUBURN, AL 36849.
In his 1991 book, The Work of Nations, Robert Reich describes many contemporary workers as symbolic analysts, people who "solve, identify, and broker problems by manipulating symbols." Reich locates scientists as workers in this category, but does not significantly elaborate on the work of scientists. This presentation will report on a case study of chemists to explore the notion of scientists as symbolic-analytic workers, showing how they masterfully manipulate multi-modal symbol systems and sophisticated technological interfaces in order to identify and solve complex problems.
Biological Sciences Paper Abstracts
CORY CHANCE AND JOHN N. MCCALL, DEPT. OF BIOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES, UNIVERSITY OF WEST ALABAMA, LIVINGSTON, AL 35470.
The Deepwater Horizon oil spill of 2010 has greatly impacted salt marsh ecosystems in the northern Gulf of Mexico ranging from Louisiana to Florida. These salt marsh communities act as nursery grounds and are beneficial to many species of fish and invertebrates. The oil spill provides an opportunity to study how these salt marsh ecosystems respond to stressors in their environment. Over an eleven month period, we measured meiofaunal densities in two separate locations at Point aux Pins, Alabama, in Mississippi Sound. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the eastern shoreline of Point aux Pins was impacted by oil, while the western shore was not affected. We sampled meiofaunal communities at sites on the eastern and western shorelines over an eleven month period in 2011, and detected a direct correlation between nematode and harpacticoid copepod densities at each site. Densities of both nematodes and copepods were higher at the western site in January and February, but by March, when densities had increased greatly, the two sites did not differ significantly. Both nematodes and copepods rose to their greatest peaks in the late spring, but then crashed in the late summer and early fall. It remains unclear whether the observed patterns result from oiling impact. It is hoped that further research at the site will shed light on the factors affecting meiofaunal densities in this system. Support for this work was provided by the BP Sponsored Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative.
A BIOCHEMICAL ANALYSIS OF LSM8 AND U6 RNA BINDING INTERACTIONS IN VITRO. BEVERLY COX AND RACHEL WHITAKER, DEPT. OF BIOLOGY, JUDSON COLLEGE, MARION, AL 36756.
In the process of eukaryotic transcription, LSM proteins associate with small nuclear RNA to generate the spliceosome complex which helps facilitate the process of RNA splicing. Biochemical research shows that the LSM proteins form two heptameric structures, one consisting of LSM 1-7 and the other, LSM 2-8. It is the LSM2-8 complex that is active in RNA splicing. The LSM-U6 RNA interactions have been studied thoroughly; however, the LSM8-U6 RNA interaction remains unknown. Therefore, this project is focused on understanding the biochemical interactions between LSM8 and U6 RNA. LSM8 was cloned into pET15b expression vector and purified via column chromatography. Binding assays were conducted with the purified LSM8 protein and in vitro transcribed U6 RNA. The results of the assays indicate a positive interaction.
BASELINE SURVEY AND POPULATION STATUS OF AMPHIANTHUS PUSILLUS IN ALABAMA, DAVID M. WRINGS AND L. J. DAVENPORT, SAMFORD UNIVERSITY
Amphianthus pusillus (Scrophulariaceae) is a winter annual found in vernal pools on granite outcrops of Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina. The species germinates, blooms, and fruits during late winter. The current range of A. pusillus in Alabama is restricted to two isolated granite outcrops in Chambers (near the town of Penton) and Randolph (near Almond) counties. While historic records report a third population at Blakes Ferry in Randolph County, recent field studies indicate that A. pusillus has been extirpated from this location. The Penton population consists of two small pools that measure less than one square meter and one large pool that is approximately two square meters. The Almond population consists of three pools that range in size from one square meter to approximately two square meters. Both of these populations are located on private land and the Penton location has been quarried in the past. Amphianthus pusillus is listed by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a threatened species in Alabama under the U. S. Endangered Species Act. An annual survey of the two populations, consisting of a manual count of the number of individuals in each pool, was begun in January 2012. Other data, including the overall health of the population and its flowering and fruiting times, were also noted during the study. The number of individuals found at the Penton site was 2017, while that at the Almond site was 1655. This yields a total population for the year 2012 of 3672 plants in the state of Alabama. BIOLOGICAL DIFFERENTIATION OF Ll AND L3 STAGE CYATHOSTOMINAE UNDER CHEMICAL STRESSES TO DETERMINE GENE EXPRESSION. EMILY FITZGERALD AND RACHEL WHITAKER, DEPT. OF BIOLOGY, JUDSON COLLEGE, MARION, AL 36756.
Parasite control in horses is crucial to their health and as anthelmintic resistance in equine parasites increases, the more dangerous the situation becomes for the equine community. Due to this, the equine community is scrambling to stop the spread of drug resistant parasites. Therefore, biological research on the drug-resistant parasites is crucial to the development of new drug therapies. While adult worms are readily killed by anthelminitics, the larval stages actually causing the disease are much less susceptible to being killed because they are often encysted and protected by a hard capsule. My research focuses on the gene expression of Ll and L3 stages of cyathostomins. (small strongyles) the most common equine parasite. Furthermore, I will compare gene expressions of resistant populations versus nonresistant populations. A fecal egg count study was conducted to demonstrate the times of the year the parasites shed the L1 stage (eggs). With this information, we may come to a greater understanding of the properties of this parasite and be more equipped to stop the spread of anthelminitic resistance.
CHARACTERIZATION OF SEA URCHIN SCAT. LACEY N. DENNIS, MICKIE L. POWELL, ROBERT A. ANGUS, AND STEPHEN A. WATTS, UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA AT BIRMINGHAM, BIRMINGHAM, AL 35294.
Sea urchins raised in culture are usually fed a formulated diet. After ingestion, food is processed initially in the pharynx and is formed into a spherical pellet surrounded with mucus secreted by the esophagus. The feed pellet is partially digested in the gut, after which a spherical fecal pellet containing undigested materials is released from the anus. Various size classes of adult Lytechinus variegatus (3.6, 27, or 62 g average) were fed ad libitum for two weeks, after which fecal pellets were collected over several days. The pellets were analyzed using a Nikon DSFil scope-mounted digital camera and image analysis software, which was used to characterize pellet area (2-D), length, width, and circularity. Results indicated that there was a direct relation between the size of the fecal pellet and urchin size, but all other morphological demographics were similar. To examine the effect of caloric restriction, an experiment was performed in which urchins received either an ad libitum (2.5% body weight per day) or a restricted (0.25% body weight per day) ration. After several weeks, feces were collected and morphological demographics were recorded. Urchins fed an ad libitum ration produced a largely circular pellet in large quantities; however, urchins fed the reduced ration produced largely irregular pellets in smaller quantities. We hypothesize that examination of these fecal pellets may provide a noninvasive method of determining animal health and nutritional status.
COMMENSAL BACTERIA ON THE EYES OF COLLEGE STUDENT CONTACT WEARERS. TARA K. GRAYSON, UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT, DEPT. OF BIOLOGY COMPREHENSIVE PREMEDICAL. BRIAN BURNES, PROFESSOR, DEPT. OF MICROBIOLOGY. UNIVERSITY OF WEST ALABAMA, LIVINGSTON, AL 35470.
Bacterial loads are known to exist on human eyes, but how much? What kind of bacteria actually grow on a human eyeball? These are some of the questions that motivated this research. I conducted a five week study in which I collected weekly swabs from the right eye of eight college students. The eight students included four contact wearers and four non-contact wearers: two males and two females for each category. Each swab was streaked on a petri dish which was then incubated at 30[degrees]C After incubation, I counted all the different bacterial colonies on each student's petri dish for that week and recorded the data. Each week, in addition to having their eye swabbed, the students completed a stress test to determine if stress levels are correlated with bacterial growth. The potential roles of temperature and precipitation as major factors determining bacterial growth were also examined. Over the course of the five weeks, as the temperature continually dropped and precipitation increased the number of commensal bacteria increased. The bacterial loads ranged over two orders of magnitude between subjects. Molecular identification of the bacterial colonies is in progress.
DEEPWATER HORIZON OIL SPILL EFFECTS ON THE BACTERIAL COMMUNITIES OF THE GULF KILLIFISH (FUNDULUS GRANDIS). ANDREA M. LARSEN AND COVADONGA R. ARIAS, AUBURN UNIVERSITY DEPARTMENT OF FISHERIES AND ALLIED AQUACULTURES, AUBURN, AL 36849.
The skin and mucus of fish are home to complex bacterial communities known to change in composition due to fish stress and disease. Bacterial diversity decreases, with opportunistic pathogens increasing in abundance when compared to the healthy community. By observing the changes in the community over time, one can monitor the health of the fish. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in July 2010 has received attention from scientists as a potential stressor to the organisms impacted. The gulf killifish Fundulus grandis, is an estuarine fish with high abundance and site fidelity. Its sister species in the Atlantic Ocean, F. heteroclitus, is used as a model to study the impact of pollutants due to its sensitivity to these compounds. This study used RISA (ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis) to analyze the external bacterial communities of F. grandis in impacted and non-impacted sites. Dorsal fin clips were taken from fish in February, April, and August of 2011. DNA was extracted from the clips and PCR on the internal transcribed spacer region was performed using universal bacterial primers. These products were used to perform RISA. The gels were normalized and dendrograms were generated using Pearson product-moment correlations. Preliminary results of this study showed no significant difference between the communities of fish impacted by the oil spill versus those not impacted one year after exposure. Gut samples will be analyzed to investigate the oil's impact on the intestinal communities.
DIAMONDBACK TERRAPINS: EVALUATING THE HOME RANGE OF ADULT FEMALES IN CEDAR POINT MARSH, ALABAMA. TAYLOR M. ROBERGE, ANDREW T. COLEMAN, THANE WIBBELS, KEN MARION, DEPT. OF BIOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA AT BIRMINGHAM, BIRMINGHAM, AL 35294. DAVID NELSON, DEPT. OF BIOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH ALABAMA, MOBILE, AL 36688. JOHN DINDO, DAUPHIN ISLAND SEA LAB, DAUPHIN ISLAND, AL 36528.
The diamondback terrapin, Malaclemys terrapin, was once an abundant species in the salt marshes of Alabama. Further it was an important economic resource, and Alabama was home to one of the largest terrapin farms in the United States. 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. A total of 18 adult females were fitted with radio transmitters over the course of the 2010 and 2011 nesting seasons. The transmitters had a range of approximately 1.0 km and a battery life of approximately 1 year. The results indicate that not only do 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 but that their may also be migrations of females residing in surrounding marshes to Cedar Point Nesting beach to lay and then return to their home marsh after the nesting season. The results have implications for both the ecology and conservation of diamondback terrapin in Alabama. This research was funded by the Alabama Academy of Science, the Diamondback Terrapin Working Group, the UAB Department of Biology, and the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
DISTRIBUTION OF THE CONFEDERATE DAISY, HELIANTHUS PORTER', IN ALABAMA, DAVID M. FRINGS AND L. J. DAVENPORT, SAMFORD UNIVERSITY
Helianthus porteri, the Confederate Daisy (Asteraceae), is a fall-blooming annual that germinates in early summer. Typical habitat for H porteri is xeric rock escarpments or glades formed by massive sandstone or granite with full sun exposure. Populations of Helianthus porteri are documented by the USDA and other sources to occur on granite outcrops in Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. The North Carolina populations were artificially introduced at two locations in the state. The Carolina and Georgia populations are restricted to a band of counties that are located in the Piedmont Physiographic Province. The eastern Alabama populations are likewise restricted to the Piedmont, while two western outlier populations are found in the Alabama Valley and Ridge Province. Alabama counties that support populations of H. porteri include Lee, Tallapoosa, Chambers, Randolph, St. Clair, and Shelby.
EFFECT OF CHOLECALCIFEROL ON WEIGHT GAIN AND ORGAN PRODUCTION IN THE VARIEGATED SEA URCHIN, LYTECHINUS VARIEGATUS. WARREN T. JONES, DEPT. OF BIOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES, SAMFORD UNIVERSITY, BIRMINGHAM, AL. 35229. ADDISON L. LAWRENCE, TEXAS AGRILIFE RESEARCH MARICULTURE LABORATORY, TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY, PORT ARANSAS, TX. 78343. STEPHEN A. WATTS, DEPT. OF BIOLOGY, UAB, BIRMINGHAM, AL. 35294.
Adult L. variegatus were collected from Saint Joseph Bay, Florida and transported to Texas A&M AgriLife Research Mariculture Laboratory in Port Aransas, Texas. Urchins were held at laboratory conditions (32 ppt salinity, 22 C, 12:12 photoperiod) for three weeks. Sea urchins (n = 16/treatment) were fed one of nine dietary cholecalciferol diets (6.4, 73, 320, 620, 1200, 2100, 4100, 6100, or 8200 kIU cholecalciferol/kg diet). Sea urchin wet weights and test diameters were measured at weeks 0, 3, 6, 9, 12, and 15, and sea urchins were dissected at 15 weeks. High levels of dietary cholecalciferol did not result in decreased survival, and sea urchins did not demonstrate noticeable pathology. Sea urchin weight gain was similar in all dietary treatments despite the high levels of the vitamin. Sea urchin ovaries were not significantly affected by cholecalciferol, but sea urchin testes demonstrated a significant hormetic effect, suggesting a sex-specific role for cholecalciferol. Cholecalciferol may be biologically active, especially in calcified organs. Penetrometry and organic content suggests that the test is firmer and potentially able to withstand blunt force trauma in those fed high levels of cholecalciferol, with implications in resistance to predation. Further studies are needed to determine the mechanism of cholecalciferol action in sea urchins.
ENDEMISM AND POPULATION EVOLUTION - ANALYSIS OF DNA OF GEOGRAPHICALLY ISOLATED PLANT CONGENERS IN SOUTHEASTERN GLADES. TOM DIGGS, DEPT. OF BIOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA AT BIRMINGHAM, BIRMINGHAM, AL 35294.
Dalea cahaba J. Allison is a prairie clover endemic to dolomitic glades in Bibb County, Alabama. Dalea gattingeri (A. Heller) Barneby is endemic to limestone glades east of the Mississippi River, in Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Missouri, and Arkansas. Given that most Dalea species are restricted to west of the Mississippi River, and that D. cahaba and D. gattingeri occur mostly east of the river, the question of their evolutionary origin arises. It is hypothesized that D. cahaba and D. gattingeri speciated from a widespread congener (hypothesized to be D. candida Michx ex Willd or D. purpurea Vent.) during a period of climatic change, and were isolated in the glades. The internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions of D. cahaba and D. gattingeri were amplified and compared to published data for D. purpurea and D. candida using a Bayesian phylogenetic approach.
GENETIC TRANSFORMATION OF THE GREEN FLUORESCENT PROTEIN THROUGH THE BACTERIAL PLANT PARASITE (AGROBACTERIUM TUMEFACIENS) INTO THE BANANA PEPPER (CAPSICUM ANNUUM). ANNA RICHBURG AND RACHEL WHITAKER, DEPT. OF BIOLOGY, JUDSON COLLEGE, MARION, AL 36756.
Agrobacterium tumefaciens, a plant pathogen, has the ability to compromise the integrity of a plant's genome, incorporating foreign genes into the host's genome which are expressed as gene products. Previous studies have utilized this pathogen to demonstrate the effectiveness of infection and gene expression within the host plant. This bacterium plays a central role in the genetic modification of numerous diploid plants. However, incorporation of foreign genes into Capsicum annuum through this method has yet to occur. To test this methodology, we have chosen the Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) as our foreign gene of choice. We aim to transform the Banana Pepper plant with Agrobacterium tumefaciens expressing GFP. Through a rigorous freeze-thaw method, A. tumefaciens strain 6V3850 was successfully transformed with an expression vector harboring the GFP gene, pBINm-gfp5-ER. Thus far, our attempts at infecting the Banana Pepper plant with A. tumefaciens have yielded promising, yet inconclusive results. Therefore, we plan to continue our experiments.
GEOLOGIC CONTROL IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF ROCK GLADES IN ALABAMA, DAVID M. FRINGS, SAMFORD UNIVERSITY
Rock habitats or glades are unique ecosystems that support a diversity of rare plants and animals in Alabama. While the primary geologic control in the development of rock ecosystems is lithology, there are a combination of structural geologic aspects that play a major role in the formation, extent and distribution of these habitats. The presence of structural feature such as folds, faults, or a combination of these structures can make the difference between a simple bluff rock-house and an expansive flat to gently sloping glade. More than eight rock ecosystems can be differentiated and classified based on the interrelationships of lithology and structural geology. Understanding these geologic controls can be used in conjunction with aerial photography to predict areas in the state where these unique ecosystems occur.
GRAVIMETRIC DETERMINATION OF THE WATER CONTENT IN ANHYDROBIOTIC MEIOFAUNA. M. B. MOELLER, HALEY D. ALBRIGHT, DEPT. OF CHEMISTRY AND INDUSTRIAL HYGIENE, AND P. G. DAVISON, DEPT. OF BIOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF NORTH ALABAMA, FLORENCE, AL 35632.
Certain meiofauna are known to survive dry conditions by entering an anhydrobiotic state in which their metabolism reversibly comes to a standstill. In investigating this phenomenon, we have developed a procedure using an ultra microbalance and a drying oven for determining the water content of individual specimens weighing as little as 2 micrograms. This procedure has been applied to a newly discovered microturbellarian, Bryoplana xerophila, an extraordinary flatworm in its ability to survive unpredictable, prolonged periods of drought. The weight measured for individual microturbellaria in the animated state ranged from 3.4 to 8.4 micrograms with the average weight being 5.2 micrograms (N = 20). The weight percent water in these specimens ranged from 59% to 78%. There was no correlation between the mass of an animal and its weight percent water (R2 = -0.05). Preliminary results (N = 7) for microturbellaria in the anhydrobiotic state have weights ranging from 1.1 to 3.7 micrograms and weight percent water ranging from 22% to 76%. We have also recently begun making similar measurements on a species of tardigrade, Milnesium tardigradum.
GROWTH RATES AND AGE ESTIMATIONS OF PLEUROBEMA STRODEANUM AND FUSCONAIA BURKEI, SPECIES PROPOSED TO BE LISTED UNDER THE ESA. EVELYN a REATEGUI-ZIRENA, PAUL M. STEWART, AND JONATHAN M. MILLER. DEPARTMENT OF BIOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES, TROY UNIVERSITY TROY, AL 36082.
The United States has the highest freshwater mussel diversity in the world. About 70% are extinct, endangered, or in need of special protection. Pleurobema strodeanum (Fuzzy Pigtoe) and Fusconaia burkei (Tapered Pigtoe) are proposed to be listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The purpose of this study was to estimate growth rate and age of these species. Mussels had been tagged and measured in 2004 and again in 2011, at Eightmile Creek, Walton County, Florida. Twenty eight P. strodeanum of 161 originally tagged and measured, and four F. burkei of 32, were remeasured. Growth rate percentages were determined based on length, width, height, and volume. Age estimations for Pleurobema strodeanum were performed using the von Bertalanffy growth equation. Results showed that over a period of seven years, P. strodeanum grew 0.48 (SD = 0.14) mm/year, while F. burkei grew 0.42 (SD = 0.07) mm/year. In Pleurobema strodeanum, there was a significant difference in growth rate percentages when considering length, width, and volume between smaller and larger individuals. Therefore, smaller P. strodeanum individuals had a faster growth rate than did larger individuals. The age estimations for P. strodeanum in this study ranged from 48.7 to 74.5 years old in 2011. Mussel individuals in these populations are growing and this can be considered one sign of a healthy population.
INTROGRESSIVE HYBRIDIZATION AND THE EVOLUTION OF NORTH AMERICAN BAMBOOS AS REVEALED BY NUCLEAR AND CHLOROPLAST DNA. JIMMY K. TRIPLETT AND JESSE W. JAMISON, DEPT. OF BIOLOGY, JACKSONVILLE STATE UNIVERSITY, AL 36265. JUN WEN, DEPT. OF BOTANY, NATIONAL MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY, SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION, WASHINGTON, DC 20560.
The North American cane bamboos (Poaceae Bambusoideae: Arundinaria sensu stricto) are an ecologically important but taxonomically difficult group of forest grasses in the Southeastern US. Recent phylogenetic research supported the recognition of three species (A. appalachiana, A. gigantea, and A. tecta) and implicated hybridization as a source of taxonomic confusion. The studies also identified East Asian bamboos (Pleloblastus sensu Sasa, and Sasamoipha) as the closest relatives of the cane bamboos, while highlighting divergent lineages for A. gigantea (the river cane Glade) and A. appalachiana + A. tecta (the switch cane Glade). The current study utilized DNA sequences from three nuclear genes and multiple chloroplast gene regions to investigate the origin and evolution of Arundinaria. Each of the nuclear gene trees confirmed hybridization among cane bamboos. Moreover, chloroplast DNA haplotypes revealed that hybridization has been bidirectional and, in combination with nuclear data, provided evidence of introgression and chloroplast capture. Consistent with previous studies, the new data failed to support the monophyly of Arundinaria; in contrast, analyses suggested a new hypothesis that river cane and switch cane lineages arose independently in East Asia and hybridized with Asiatic species prior to migration. Due to limited population-level sampling, a more conclusive insight into the phylogeographic history is still impossible, but these new observations form the basis of our future studies.
LIFE HISTORY STUDY AND MORPHOLOGICAL COMPARISON OF BURROWING CRAYFISH CAMBARUS (LACUNICAMBARUS) DIOGENES AND C (TUBERICAMBARUS) B BIJAY B. NIRAULA, JONATHAN M. MILLER, EVELYN G. REATEGUI-ZIRENA, AND PAUL M. STEWART DEPT. OF ENVIRONMENTAL AND BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES, TROY UNIVERSITY, TROY, AL 36082.
Dramatically declining crayfish populations require life history information for their management and conservation. Primary burrowing crayfishes make up 15% of total crayfish species, but account for 32% of those imperiled. Primary burrowers are much less studied as compared to secondary and tertiary burrowers. The purpose of this study was to observe the life cycles of two primary burrowing crayfish species: Cambarus (Lacunicambarus) diogenes and C. (Tubericambarus) sp. B. Sampling occurred in two streams near Troy, AL, using hand excavation at one-month intervals for 10 months (project continuing). Form II males of both species were found throughout the study period, while more form I males of C diogenes (N = 158) and C. sp. B (N = 147) were found in November and December. Females of C. diogenes, with active glair glands, were collected throughout the year, but fewest in September and October. An ovigerous C. diogenes was collected in March, and juveniles were collected in March and November showing that reproduction had occurred. Females of C. sp. B, with active glair glands, were collected throughout the year, and the number was highest in June, August, and December. Juveniles of C sp. B were collected in June, August, November, and December. Crayfish life history studies provide valuable information on timing of reproductive activity that can be helpful in their conservation practice.
LIGHT SPECTRA AND GONAD COLOR IN THE SEA URCHIN LYTECHINUS VARIEGATUS. J. CHRISTOPHER TAYLOR AND STEPHEN A. WATTS, UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA AT BIRMINGHAM, BIRMINGHAM, AL 35294.
An important factor in the marketability of sea urchin gonad (uni) is color. A marketable color is suggested to be dependent upon the in vivo accumulation of red and yellow carotenoid pigments within the gonad. Carotenoids obtained through the diet can be modified in sea urchins, but the function of these carotenoids is unknown. We hypothesize that differential light exposure can affect carotenoid deposition and, as a consequence, gonad color in sea urchins. We performed two experiments to determine if light spectra affect gonad color of Lytechinus variegatus. In the first experiment, urchins were fed a formulated feed supplemented with or without [beta]-carotene and held beneath three lighting systems designed to emit differing wavelengths of the visible spectrum. After a period of 12 weeks, urchins were dissected and the color of the harvested gonads was measured with a Pantone Capsure RM200. Our findings suggest no significant difference in gonad color among light treatments; however, there was increased color in the orange and yellow spectra in the gonads of individuals fed the [beta]-carotene diet. In the second experiment we raised urchins under lamps specialized to emit UV radiation or mimic natural sunlight for 9 weeks. All urchins in this experiment received diets containing [beta]-carotene. There appears to be no significant difference in harvested gonad color between these light treatments. These data suggest that light quality does not affect carotenoid deposition in the gonads.
PHOTOSYNTHETIC GAS EXCHANGE OF PHLOX BIFIDA AND SEDUM ALBUM IN RESPONSE TO WATER DEPRIVATION AND RECOVERY ON A SOUTHEASTERN GREEN ROOF. JULIE G. PRICE AND STEPHEN A. WATTS, DEPT. OF BIOLOGY. AMY N. WRIGHT, DEPT. OF HORTICULTURE, AUBURN UNIV., AUBURN, AL 36849. JASON T. KIRBY AND ROBERT W. PETERS, DEPT OF CIVIL, CONSTRUCTION, AND ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING, UAB, BIRMINGHAM, AL 35294.
Green roofs are engineered ecosystems that rely on evapotranspiration from soil and vegetation to provide reductions in stormwater runoff Green roofs are typically planted with succulent species that generally exhibit lower transpiration rates than other species, facilitating survival during drought. Higher transpiration rates are also desired on roofs following rainfall to free pore space in soils for future water retention. Photosynthesis, an indication of plant environmental stress tolerance, and transpiration were measured on an herbaceous dicot, Phlox bifida, and a succulent dicot, Sedum album, growing in green roof mesocosms. Species received well-watered and water-limiting conditions, and parameters were measured during drying and rehydration. Phlox bifida had higher rates of transpiration and photosynthesis than S. album under both soil moisture conditions. Photosynthesis and transpiration of P. bifida were not reduced until percent soil moisture was near zero. S. album had lower photosynthetic rates during dry-down in the water-limiting treatment. S. album exhibited nighttime (CAM) photosynthesis regardless of soil moisture. These data suggest that while both species can tolerate temporary drought conditions, P. bifida maintains higher transpiration and photosynthesis than S. album regardless of soil moisture and thus may be more effective for stormwater retention on green roofs in the Southeast.
RBST(RECOMBINANT BOVINE SOMATOTROPIN)AND PROTEIN CONTENT IN MILK. SUPRAJA SRIDHAR
The study was developed based on studies indicating a tenuous link between rBST and cancer (Morris). Milk with rBST is believed to contain increased amounts of the protein Insulin-Like Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1). IGF-1 has been linked to intestinal cancers in humans A Bradford Assay was completed in order to compare the protein content of milk with and without the hormone rBST. The milk samples were then centrifuged before the Bradford Assay was completed in an attempt to obtain a more accurate reading. Based on the Bradford Assay completed, milk with rBST seems to have less protein, in most cases for milk of all fat contents. However, based on hypothesis testing, there is no statistical significance between the two types of milk. The different types of proteins and the amount present in milk with and without rBST, if possible, should be compared. Understanding the effects rBST has on milk and the humans who consume it can help determine the safety of using rBST. If rBST does cause cancer, the dairy industry gains a small profit while putting the lives of its consumers at risk. If milk with rBST is a major cause of cancer, not only will the discovery save lives but may lead researchers into finding a cure for cancer through the understanding of how rBST and associated proteins cause cancer. Special thanks to Dr. David Johnson and Dr. Ronald Hunsinger from Samford University and Dr. Catherine Shields and Mr. Nicholas Gerontakis from Jefferson County IBS.
ROAD--KILL SURVEY OF ALABAMA RED--BELLIED TURTLES ON THE MOBILE BAY CAUSEWAY--XI. 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 October 2010 through September 2011 to assess the numbers of Alabama red-bellied turtles (Pseudemys alabamensis) that were killed by automobile traffic. During the 11-year study, a total of 646 mortalities of the endangered, Alabama red-bellied turtle was recorded: 486 hatchlings, 141 adult females (most gravid), 16 juveniles, and 3 males. A majority of the hatchlings (96%) had over--wintered in their nests to emerge during the following springs (March-April). Mortalities of adult females were greatest during nesting seasons: May, June, and July. Each year, from 3 to 28 nesting females (mean = 12.8 ) were killed by vehicular traffic on the road. Because of the limited availability of favorable nesting sites in the lower delta, gravid females are attracted to elevated roadsides where they deposit eggs (and may incur mortality). 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, 21 in 2010, and 18 in 2011. Compared to 2007, these data represent yearly mortality reductions of 75%, 82%, 81%, and 84%, respectively. Last year's decline in mortality may have been affected also by unusually saline conditions in the lower delta caused by severe drought. 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.
STUDY OF THE MICROBIAL DIVERSITY USING NEXT-GENERATION SEQUENCING FROM MICROBIAL MATS IN LAKE JOYCE, ANTARCTICA. JONATHAN P HUANG AND ASIM K. BEJ, DEPT. OF BIOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA AT BIRMINGHAM, BIRMINGHAM, AL 35294. DALE T. ANDERSEN, CARL SAGAN CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF LIFE IN THE UNIVERSE (SETI INSTITUTE), MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA, 94043.
The calcified microbial mats, which exist in Lake Joyce in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica offer a unique opportunity to identify the microorganisms that are involved in the biogeochemical cycling and the sustainability of this lake. Furthermore, understanding the microbial diversity of the perennially ice covered lakes in the McMurdo Dry Valleys may provide a significant insight into the formation of these calcified mats that are analogous to ancient stromatolites in a cold and pristine ecosystem. The diversity of the microbial communities in these microbial mats was determined using bacterial tag-encoded FLX amplicon pyrosequencing (bTEFAP). Overall bTEFAP and bioinformatic analyses of the V3-V4 regions of the 16S rRNA gene sequence indicated the presence of 13 different bacterial phyla and 3 archaeal phyla in the microbial mats of Lake Joyce. Mapping of the operational taxonomic units showed that similar microorganisms are found between different mats, but each mat also possessed unique microbial signature. Some of these common microbial operational taxonomic units may play an important role in the biogeochemical cycling of nutrients in this lake. Predictive nutrient cycling between the different microbial mats through putative microbial functions were correlated with biochemical data from this lake through a previously published study. 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 and their function in biogeochemical cycling to establish a balanced ecosystem in Lake Joyce.
THE CLAM SHRIMP CYZICUS MEXICANUS (BRANCHIOPODA, DIPLOSTRACA), A NEW SPECIES REPORT FOR ALABAMA, KEVIN J. MORSE AND DAVID M. FRINGS, SAMFORD UNIVERSITY
In 2011, field investigators at Oak Mountain State Park in Shelby County, Alabama, encountered specimens of the clam shrimp, Cyzicus mexicanus (subphylum Crustacea, class Branchiopoda, order Diplostraca, family Cyzicidae.) The shell of this bivalve crustacean is very similar in appearance to that of a mollusk. The valves are held together by strong closing muscles that form a scar on the internal surface of each valve. The North American distribution of C. mexicanus appears widespread, although scattered, with populations reported in vernal pools from the Great Plains regions of Canada and the United States south into central Mexico. Currently, only a third of the states in the United States have documented populations. A single population of C. mexicanus was found in a vernal pool at Oak Mountain State Park that developed in an unimproved park maintenance road. There the species can be found in all seasons, as long as the pool contains sufficient water. This is the first documentation of C. mexicanus in Alabama.
THE EFFECT OF STOCKING DENISTY ON GROWTH AND MORPHOLOGY IN JUVENILE LYTECHINUS VARIEGATUS LAURA E. HEFLIN AND STEPHEN A. WATTS, UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA AT BIRMINGHAM, BIRMINGHAM, AL 35294
Juvenile Lytechinus variegatus. (ca. 5mm diameter) were stocked at four densities: 150/m2, 500/m2, 1,500/m2, and 4,500/m2 to examine the effects of stocking density on growth and morphological phenotype. Urchins were fed ad libitum a formulated feed and urchins were weighed and photographed both horizontally and vertically for image analysis measurements of test shape. Density dependent variation in growth rates among treatments was observed within four weeks, with individuals stocked at 4,500/m2 having the lowest growth rate (ca. 919% weight gain) and individuals held at 150/m2 exhibiting the highest growth rate (ca. 2,134% weight gain) by six weeks. At six weeks, individuals stocked at a high (1,500/m2, growth restrictive) density were restocked at lower densities of 150, 500, or 750/m2. All other urchins were maintained at initial stocking densities. At twelve weeks, individuals restocked at reduced densities of 150/m2 or 500/m2 exhibited compensatory increases in growth rate. At twelve weeks, height: diameter ratio was greatly reduced (compared to lower densities and to field populations) in urchins held at the highest density, 4,500/m2, indicating that morphological phenotype responds to density. The biological consequence of changes in morphology is not known. For intensive sea urchin aquaculture, relaying populations from high densities to lower densities may be an effective strategy to maximize space utilization and biomass yield.
WATER QUALITY MONITORING AND ASSESSMENT OF FACTORY CREEK IN SUMTER COUNTY, ALABAMA. R. ALSABROOK, T. TAYLOR, B. BURNES, DEPT. OF BIOLOGY, UNIV. OF WEST ALA., LIVINGSTON, AL 35470
In 2001, the Alabama Department of Environmental Management placed Factory Creek on the Clear Water Act 303(d) list for failing to meet standards in four parameters (total nitrogen, total phosphate, turbidity, and dissolved oxygen) at site 7. We have monitored these parameters monthly from June to December 2011 at site 7, as well as upstream sites 41, 42, and 43. Our results show that the standards for total nitrogen, total phosphate, and turbidity were frequently not met at all sites and the standard for dissolved oxygen has not been met at least once at two sites. Monitoring will continue for six more months.
Biological Sciences Poster Abstracts
A PRELIMINARY MOLECULAR SURVEY OF CILIATES PRESENT IN FOUR ALABAMA COASTAL SITES AFTER THE DEEP HORIZON OIL SPILL. *KELSEY CAFFY, LEXI FITCH, AND ANNE CLAIRE AYCOCK, DEPT. OF BIOL AND ENV. SCIENCES, SAMFORD UNIVERSITY, BIRMINGHAM, AL 35229
The Deepwater Horizon oil spill resulted in an unparalleled amount of petroleum hydrocarbon pollution to a marine ecosystem, making the biological effects difficult to fully assess due to magnitude and scale of the spill. Ciliates are an essential part of the marine food web because they are the primary consumers of bacteria. Our study aims to investigate the effects of the spill on ciliate communities, including whether any unique ciliates have emerged in response to the increase of oil-degrading bacteria. Samples were taken at four Alabama coastal sites and SSU rDNA genes were amplified, cloned, and sequenced. For this preliminary survey, data was analyzed from collection sites: one near Fort Morgan and one on Dauphin Island. BLAST searches were performed, and 17 unique ciliate species were identified. Geneious Pro Software was used to construct a neighbor-joining tree showing the phylogenetic relationships between the ciliate sequences. Dauphin Island sequences had greater diversity than Fort Morgan sequences, with one of the Dauphin Island ciliates possibly being a new species.
ANTIMICROBIAL SUSCEPTIBILITY TESTING OF PASTEURELLA MULTOCIDA USING A SPIRAL GRADIENT ENDPOINT TESTING METHOD. SHURRITA DAVIS, DUSTIN SMITH, JANAK KHATIWADA, LEONARD L. WILLIAMS, N.C.A&T STATE UNIV., GREENSBORO, AL 27411. JACQUELINE U. JOHNSON, ALABAMA A&M UNIVERSITY, NORMAL, AL 35762
Pasteurella multocida is an important bacterial pathogen responsible for large economical losses among farmers worldwide. P. multocida is the causative agent for a range of diseases in animals including fowl cholera in avian species, pneumonia in cattle, and snuffles in rabbit. Antimicrobial therapy is used to prevent and control clinical infection in food producing animals. Antibiotic therapy is becoming less effective as a high degree of resistance emerges among the commonly used antibiotics. The objective of this study was to determine the antimicrobial susceptibility pattern of P. multocida from veterinary sources against 11 antimicrobial agents (AA's) using the Spiral gradient endpoint method (SGE). All isolates were characterized for their susceptibility to 11 antimicrobial agents using SGE. In addition, the presence of two virulence factors (fim A, and tox A), and the KMT gene, the identification of all P. multocida using PCR. Ciprofloxacin, Enrofloxacin, and Tetracycline were the most effective against tested isolates. Isolates were most resistant to Clindamycin, Spectinomycin, and Penicillin, having a average GMIC rage of 106.33--128.0 [micro]g/ml and a EC range of 64-79.65 Eighteen percent of the isolates tested presented the KMT gene. None of the isolates tested presented any of the tested virulence factors. The results of this study suggest that antimicrobial resistance of P. multocida is increasing. Future studies should include annual surveillance using antimicrobial susceptibility to track the pathogen's antimicrobial resistance.
BACTERIAL COMPARISON OF OILED AND UNOILED SEDIMENTS IN AN ALABAMA SALT MARSH. ALYSIA K. SHAW AND BRIAN S. BURNES, DEPT. OF NATURAL SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS, UNIV. OF WEST ALA., LIVINGSTON, AL 35470.
In this study, bacterial communities found in the sediments of two sites of a salt marsh were compared. One site was affected by the B.P oil spill and the other site was unaffected by the spill. Multiple sediment cores were collected monthly from the sites during 2011. Sediments samples were fixed in formalin, stained with DAPI, and counted using epiflourescent microscopy. Total bacterial counts from each site closely tracked one another and appeared to be inversely related to temperature. Significantly lower counts were seen at the oil impacted site during the months of April, May, and June. These results will be compared to other environmental parameters as an ongoing study of the BP oil spill.
BIOMONITORING USED TO ASSESS THE WATER QUALITY OF ALAMUCHEE CREEK IN ALABAMA. S. J. MCDILL, DR. DOUGLAS A. WYMER, DR. JOHN MCCALL, DEPT. OF BIOLOGY, UNIV. OF WEST ALA., LIVINGSTON, AL 35470.
Alamuchee Creek flows through Lauderdale County, Mississippi and Sumter County, Alabama and drains approximately 146 km2 of land in the two counties. As of 2010, no complete water quality assessment had been conducted for the stream. Beginning in October 2010, a profile was initiated for the stream, outlining land use patterns in the Alamuchee drainage basin and the effects of those patterns on the quality of water. Topographic maps and aerial photographs were used to map the perimeter of the drainage basin. Aquatic insects were used in a multimetric approach to water quality assessment. Species richness, Ephemeroptera/Plecoptera/Trichoptera richness, EPT:chironomid ratio, species diversity, percent EPT, and family biotic-index metrics were included in the study. Four sampling areas were selected along a section of the stream between Kewanee, Mississippi and Livingston, AL. Sites were selected based on ease of access. Specimens were collected by D-frame net in various habitats of the sample area. A representative subsample of 100 organisms was collected from each site. Environmental parameters including water temperature, conductivity, and dissolved oxygen content were taken along with insect collections. Insects were sorted morphologically then identified to genus level in most cases. Results showed reasonable amounts of species richness and diversity among the four sample sites along with an average family biotic-index rating of "good" according to the North Carolina family biotic index, which indicates possible traces of pollutants but overall a healthy aquatic environment.
EFFECTS OF VITAMINS C AND E ON MCF-7 CELLS. WILLIAM GRAY*, WILLIAM FAGAN, DANA PETERSON, UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA AT BIRMINGHAM DEPARTMENT OF BIOLOGY.
Michigan Cancer Foundation 7 (MCF-7) is a cell line of malignant breast ductal carcinoma. In this procedure, MCF-7 cells are co-cultured with varying physiological concentrations of vitamins C or E for 24 to 72 hours. After each vitamin exposure, cell numbers were analyzed using visible spectrophotometry. Exposing MCF-7 cells to higher physiological concentrations of vitamin s C or E resulted in significant cell loss. This procedure demonstrates high dose vitamin C and E infusion treatment may provide a new therapeutic alternative for malignant breast ductal carcinoma.
FISH COMMUNITY STRUCTURE IN AN ALABAMA SALT MARSH. RACHAEL MA ULORICO AND JOHN MCCALL, DEPT. OF BIOL. AND ENV., UNIV. OF WEST ALABAMA, LIVINGSTON, AL 35470
The Deepwater Horizon disaster impacted ecological communities along the northern Gulf coast. In 2011, researchers from the University of West Alabama examined impacts on invertebrate communities at two ecologically similar sites in an Alabama salt marsh. One site was indicated by NOAA to have been impacted by BP oil, while the other site remained unimpacted. In the course of this investigation, serendipitous observations suggested that fish assemblages in the tidal creek systems differed. As a result, in July 2011, we began an investigation of fish assemblages at the two sites and the environmental factors affecting utilization. Sampling will continue through September 2012, but we offer this interim report. Sampling is conducted monthly at each of the locations. At each site, fish collections are made with seine nets in a small tidal creek (< 2 meters across), a large tidal creek (~10 m across), and in the nearshore waters at the mouth of the tidal creek system. We simultaneously collect information on meteorological conditions, tide stage, water depth, temperature, dissolved oxygen, and salinity. Fish are field identified and enumerated. While the species found at the two sites are similar, dramatic differences exist in numerical abundance and diversity. In addition, there are differences in the time of appearance of seasonally abundant juveniles. It is unclear whether any of the observed differences can be related to oil impacts, as the sites seem similar with regard to most environmental parameters. Future investigations hope to elucidate factors affecting assemblage composition. Support was provided by a Walter Coxe Foundation Scholarship from the Birmingham Audubon Society.
FISH MORTALITY ASSOCIATED WITH TOMBIGBEE RIVER LOCKS. TYLER NEWB URN, DR. BRIAN BURNES, DEPT. OF BIOLOGY UNIVERSITY OF WEST ALABAMA, LIVINGSTON, AL 35470
Fish mortality was observed during a three week survey down the 500 nautical miles of the Ten-Tom Waterway and Tombigbee River from Pickwick Lake, at the confluence of the waterway with the Tennessee River, to Weeks Bay near the river's mouth in Alabama. The Tombigbee River system has gravity-fed navigation locks throughout the river, which result in high fish mortality. I collected fish carcasses down the length of the river system and identified them to species. Freshwater drum (Aplodinotus grunniens) suffered the highest mortality, and represented 22% of total carcasses. They were followed in abundance by blue catfish (Ictalurus furcatus) with 12% of total carcasses while both smallmouth buffalo (Ictiobus bubalus) and striped bass (Morone saxatilus) made up 10% of total carcasses observed during my research period. It is unclear whether differences in mortality represent different survival risks, or are simply correlated with abundance. Mortality rates are constantly changing in response to ship traffic, with higher trafficking causing higher numbers of fish deaths.
OPTIMIZATION OF REPRODUCTIVE STATUS IN RABBITS USING RECOMBINANT LEPTIN. JACQUELINE U. JOHNSON, DEPT. OF FOOD AND ANIMAL SCIENCE, ALABAMA A&M UNIVERSITY, NORMAL, AL 35762
Leptin, a hormone produced by adipose tissue is believed to have multiple organ system interacts, including stimulatory effects on the hypothalamus and pituitary gland which have primary responsibility in regulating reproductive function (Moschos et al, 2002). Leptin receptors have been demonstrated in the rabbit ovary and influence increased ovulations and offspring in young super-ovulated does (Sirotkin et al, 2009).Yet, no demonstration of leptin influencing, enhancing or reversing fertility in aged or barren rabbits has been performed. Thus in these preliminary studies we set out to determine an effective treatment dose and exogenous route of recombinant Leptin administration in rabbit does with a longstanding history of conception failure, repeat breeding and failure to kindle ([greater than or equal to] 1 to 4 years); The results showed that 5[micro]g Leptin intraperitoneal (IP) exerts a positive effect on fertility and the number of kits born in leptin-treated NZW females increased by two compared to control does of the same breed (9 kits per litter versus 7 kits per litter) given PBS. Creme d'Argent does had 4 kits born per litter when treated with 5[micro]g leptin IP, but given 10 mg IP did not kindle. Birth weights (ranging from .04kg to .09kg) among live offspring and the number of kits born dead per litter did not differ between the two breeds of rabbit. However, the number born dead increased by one in leptin-treated NZW versus NZW control. Serum Leptin levels were 1.4-2.0 ng/ml (kindling does) to 3.8-4.4 ng/ml (non-kindling does).
ORAL MICROBE REMOVAL EFFICACY: HOW LONG TO BRUSH? KATIE G. LEMAY & BRIAN S. BURNES
It has long been known that microbes are present on the oral surfaces of the human mouth. The practice of tooth brushing has been known to remove some of these oral microbes and is considered one of the main components of personal daily hygiene. This project was designed to test one type of toothbrush, a Crest Spinbrush, and toothpaste, Crest 3D whitening gel, to determine their success in reducing the total number of oral microbes in a person's mouth. This was accomplished by collecting and quantifying the number of microbes that were dislodged from teeth at thirty second intervals over the course of two and a half minutes of brushing. I used an image processing system to count the number of microbe colonies on my agar plates so that the microbes dislodged from my teeth were able to be quantified. The results do not indicate a large difference in the five time intervals I used, although they do seem to show that the longer you brush, the more microbes you will dislodge.
OZONE STRESS RESPONSE IN NORTHERN RED OAK.DANTRIA GRACE, HRISTEN NELMS, AND KETIA SHUMAKER, THE UNIVERSITY OF WEST ALABAMA, LIVINGSTON, AL, 35470. TEODORA BEST, TYLER WAGNER, CHARLES ADDO-QUAYE, DONGHWAN SHIM, JOHN E. CARLSON, PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY, UNIVERSITY PARK, PA, 16802
Northern Red Oaks (Ouercus rubra L.) are ecological and economically important hardwood trees found in North America. The increase of exotic pests and diseases, combined with climate change, threaten the sustainability and regeneration of oaks. In the United States, ozone is responsible for approximately $500 million in reduced crop production each year. Ozone pollution places environmental stress on trees resulting in early leaf aging and loss of photosynthetic capacity. To help solve this problem, undergraduate students from a minority serving university were trained for ten weeks at a research-one institution funded by the National Science Foundation. The focus of this study was to identify and examine the genes responsible for environmental stress responses in red oak seedlings when exposed to 30 days of ozone concentrations (150, 225, and 300 parts per billion) in greenhouses. Leaf tissue of the control and ozone-treated red oak seedlings were harvested and genetic material was isolated after the exposure period. Results showed that specific stress genes were activated as ozone concentrations increased. The results of this project are significant in helping the scientific community use innovative genetic tools to overcome environmental stresses that are threatening our forests This project is supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation Plant Genome Research Program (OIS-1025974).
PLANT COMMUNITY RESPONSE TO OILING IN AN ALABAMA SALT MARSH. BOBBY H. EDWARDS HI, DEPARTMENT OF BIOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES, UNIVERSITY OF WEST ALABAMA, LIVINGSTON, AL 35470 AND LEE E. STANTON, DEPARTMENT OF BIOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES, UNIVERSITY OF WEST ALABAMA, LIVINGSTON, AL 35470
In April 2010, the Deepwater Horizon released approximately 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, which impacted many near shore and coastal ecosystems of the Northern Gulf Coast. Among those affected were intertidal salt marshes, which serve as critical nursery areas for many commercially important and ecologically sensitive species. This event provided a unique opportunity to assess the manner in which salt marsh plant communities respond to stressors of this nature. We established permanent plots in oiled and non-oiled monospecific Spartina alterniflora marsh at Point aux Pins (PAP) salt marsh in south Mobile County, Alabama. Information from NOAA's SCAT-Mobile Ground Observations on August 3, 2010 indicated light to moderate oiling on the eastern shore of PAP, as well as comparable non-oiled areas. Similar samples were collected quarterly from salt marsh locations near Port Fourchon, Louisiana. The SCAT-LA Ground Observations indicated heavily oiled locations in Timbalier Bay marshes beginning in May of 2009, with adjacent areas free from oiling. While both Louisiana and Alabama salt marshes are fundamentally different in structure, a comparison of oiled to non-oiled sites in the two areas provided insight into how these two communities responded to and recovered from oil stress. We measured above-and below-ground biomass, stem height and density of oiled and non-oiled Spartina alterniflora from January to December 2011. In general, our results indicate that oiling reduces above-ground Spartina biomass and height in both Alabama and Louisiana, yet had no clear impact on below-ground biomass or stem density.
PRELIMINARY CHARACTERIZATION OF A VERNAL POOL IN SHELBY COUNTY, ALABAMA, RAYMOND P. FITZPATRICK HI AND DAVID M. FRINGS, SAMFORD UNIVERSITY
Vernal pools are an important wetland habitat for amphibian and macroinvertebrate species. The purpose of this study is to conduct a comprehensive field survey that characterizes the biotic and abiotic features of a vernal pool that is located in Oak Mountain State Park in Shelby County, Alabama. Previous field work found that amphibian species that use the pond for breeding include Ambystoma maculatum, Ambystoma opacum, and Scaphiopus holbrookii. This study will expand the work of previous studies by defining the boundary of the pond and drainage basin, geologic setting, classification of the soil, recording rainfall data, water quality parameters, classifying plant and animal species, and recording data on the breeding of each species. These data will be useful for park planning in the future by the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
PRELIMINARY RESULTS OF A FLORISTIC SURVEY OF COMMUNITIES IN THE BIG CREEK WATERSHED, BARBOUR COUNTY, ALABAMA. BAILEE DYKES*, *DEREK MORRISON*, *LAUREN RYAN*, AND *MICHAEL WA YNE MORRIS, DEPT. OF BIOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES, TROY UNIVERSITY, TROY, AL 36082.
The Big Creek Watershed, Barbour County is located in the Gulf Coastal Plain of southeastern Alabama and is approximately 95 km southeast of Montgomery. The study area is included in the Southern Red Hills physiographic region and the Choctawhatchee--Pea River Watershed. Habitat types characterized here are the following* sandbars along Big Creek, Nyssa biflora swamps, marshes, mixed hardwoods on natural levee and ridge bottom of Big Creek, bay swamps, shrub bogs, sandy seepage areas with Sphagnum, springs, upland mixed pine-hardwoods, open sandy uplands, and ruderal areas such as roadside embankments and powerline rights-of-way. Nine primary collecting trips were made at regular intervals from August 2011 to November 2011 in this floristic study. Initial trips to the site were conducted in May 2008 and in May and Obtober 2010. A total of 364 species of vascular plants has been documented so far and includes 15 pteridophytes, 2 gymnosperms, and 347 angiosperms. To date, plant families with 20 or more species are Asteraceae, Poaceae, Fabaceae, and Cyperaceae. Nestronia umbellula, Stenanthium leimanthoides, and Stewartia malacodendron are rare taxa documented within the study area that are tracked by the Alabama Natural Heritage Program in Auburn. Additional species present in the Big Creek Watershed that have been tracked by NatureServe are Rhapidophyllum hystrix and Verbesina aristata. A collection of Lespedeza angustifolia in Barbour County confirms only the third county record of this legume in Alabama. Partial financial support for this project from the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Troy University is gratefully acknowledged.
RARE VASCULAR PLANTS OF BULLOCK COUNTY, ALABAMA. DEPT. OF BIOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES., TROY UNIVERSITY, TROY, AL 36082. BAILEE DYKES AND ALVIN DIAMOND.
Bullock County is located in the southeastern section of Alabama and has an area of 1,623 sq km. It lies entirely within the Coastal Plain, with the Chunnennuggee Ridge dividing the county into two distinct areas. The Alabama-Mississippi Blackland Prairie, commonly called the Black Belt, lies in the northern part of the county, while the Chunnenuggee Hills and Red Hills cover the southern part of the county. Herbarium records indicate that 707 species of vascular plants from 396 genera and 129 families have been documented from the county. Seven of these species are listed on the 2010 Inventory List of Rare, Threatened, and Endangered Plants, Animals and Natural Communities of Alabama. Five additional species were considered likely to occur in Bullock County based upon records from adjacent counties. The purpose of this study was to visit known locations of these taxa to determine their status, and to search for additional populations. Of the seven rare plant species previously reported from Bullock County, Baptisia megampa, Trillium reliquum, and Schwalbea americana, were re-documented in this study. Isoetes melanopoda, Croomia pauciflora, Brickellia cordifolia, and Stewartia malacodendron were not re-located. Pachysandra procumbens and Sal ix humilis were documented during this study, but had not previously been reported from Bullock County.
STUDY OF THE ANTIMICROBIAL EFFECT OF A PIGMENT EXTRACTED FROM AN ANTARCTIC BACTERIUM ON A BROAD RANGE OF GRAM-POSITIVE BACTERIA. HALEY E MABREY*, *KAQUANTA L BARLOW, JONATHAN P HUANG, AND ASIM K BEJ, DEPT. OF BIOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA AT BIRMINGHAM, BIRMINGHAM, AL 35294.
Recent increases in the prevalence of pathogenic Gram-positive human bacterial strains have become a serious concern. Therefore a significant effort has been devoted to bioprospecting alternative antimicrobial agents from natural sources that can control the spread of nosocomial Gram-positive bacterial pathogens. In this study, we have examined a purple violet pigment (PVP) from a Gram-negative microbial strain Ant 5-2 that was isolated from a proglacial Lake Podprudnoye located in East Antarctica. The 16S rRNA gene analysis and a series of biochemical tests revealed that Ant 5-2 is a previously undescribed eubacterium belonging to genus Janthinobacterium. This bacterium produces copious amount of extracellular polymeric substance (EPS) and PVP. We have purified PVP from this bacterium and determined the chemical structure using liquid chromatograph mass spectrometry (LCMS) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) analyses. In a previous study, we have shown that PVP has a potent antimicrobial activity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis and multiple drug resistant (MDR) and methicillin-resistant (MRSA) strains of Staphylococcus aureus. Utilizing the Resazurin assay, we determined the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of PVP on a broad range of pathogenic Gram-positive bacteria including Staphylococcus epidermidis, Micrococcus luteus, and Entercocccus aerogenes. The results suggest that PVP has the ability to reduce the occurrence of nosocomial infections caused by the opportunistic pathogens. The biomedical application of natural products as potential antimicrobial compounds could be used to combat the growing number of opportunistic pathogenic Gram-positive bacteria that poses a serious health risk to humans
SURVEY OF TREES ON THE TOMBIGBEE RIVER. EREKA L WINTERS, DR. BRIAN BURNES, DEPT. OF BIOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF WEST ALA,. LIVINGSTON, AL 35470.
The purpose of this investigation is to describe tree ranges along the Tombigbee River. While traveling the length of the entire Tombigbee River, covering over 400 miles in 15 days, leaf samples were collected, photographed, and catalogued according to name and location. The trees collected included: American Beech, American Elm, American Holly, Ashe Magnolia, Bald Cypress, Black Locust, Black Tupelo, Black Willow, Eastern Cottonwood, Eastern Redbud, Eastern Red Cedar, Live Oak, Red Elm, Red Maple, Sassafras, Silver Maple, Southern Red Cedar, Sour Wood, Southern Magnolia, Sugar Maple, Swamp Bay, Sweet Gum, Tulip "Yellow" Poplar, Water Oak, Wax Myrtle, White Oak, Yellow Buckeye, and various pine trees. The trees that were distributed in the greatest abundance were the Sweet Gum and the Tulip "Yellow" Poplar trees.
TAKING FLIGHT ON THE TOMBIGBEE RIVER. SHERILYN GARNER AND BRIAN BURNES, DEPT. OF NATURAL SCIENCES AND MATHEMATICS, UNIV. OF WEST ALA., LIVINGSTON, AL 35470
Natural waterways are heavily utilized by many different bird species. Depending on the size and the geographical location of the waterway, the species of birds may vary. The Tombigbee River is one of the two major rivers that unite to form the short Mobile River and acts as introductory to the Mobile Bay on the Gulf of Mexico. It runs approximately 400 miles in length and surrounds much of the rural plain of Western Alabama and northeastern Mississippi, flowing southward. In this study, I surveyed the various types of birds on the Tombigbee River. Over the course of 15 days, while traversing nearly 400 miles of the river, I identified over 300 birds according to their physical appearance, flight, habitat and their distinctive calls. I organized my data according to the location where each bird was spotted. My results showed that many of the birds identified were found only in specific locations whereas other birds were located along the entire course of the river. The most abundant birds observed were the black vulture and the turkey vulture, which came as no surprise to me.
TEMPERATURE-DEPENDENT SEX DETERMINATION OF LOGGERHEAD SEA TURTLES. KRISTIN ARMSTRONG, J. LAYTON, R. HUNSINGER, DEPT. OF BIOLOGY, SAMFORD UNIVERSITY., BIRMINGHAM, AL 35229.
Loggerhead sea turtle was designated as threatened on July 28, 1978. In an effort to bring attention to the plight of this species in 1988 state senator of South Carolina at the time, John Drummond, introduced a bill in the legislature to make the loggerhead sea turtle the state reptile. Since then conservation efforts have been introduced in states along the coast who have nesting beaches for the loggerhead. Efforts are being made in Georgia in collaboration with the University of Georgia-school of Forest Resources, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the United States Navy-Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay to name a few. Since the loggerhead has temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD) it is possible to monitor and determine the optimal temperature for an equal ratio of males/females in a clutch or to skew the hatchlings in one direction. This allows for the most favorable sex ratio to ensure survival. In this experiment histology was used in sexing sea turtle hatchlings that died after leaving the nest but before reaching the ocean.
WILDLIFE USE OF URBAN PRESERVES. M. CLAIRE JOHNSTON AND SCOT DUNCAN, DEPT. OF BIOLOGY, BIRMINGHAM-SOUTHERN COLLEGE, BIRMINGHAM, AL 35254.
Urban nature preserves can be crucial habitats to wildlife in a highly developed landscape. However, little is known about movement patterns and habitat use within urban preserves. In this study we examined whether wildlife preferentially used riparian or forest interior habitats within 10 preserves in the Birmingham metropolitan area. Baited wildlife camera traps were deployed in each treatment along routes of movement, such as game trails, for two weeks at a time. We detected 12 species and a minimum of 74 individual animals. The three most common species captured were Procyon lotor (Common Raccoon), Odocoileus virginianus (White-tailed deer), and Sciurus carolinensis (Eastern gray squirrel). Measured by species richness or capture frequency, wildlife used riparian and interior habitats equally. One interpretation is that both habitat types may be important for urban wildlife. It is also possible that our use of baited traps (vs. unbaited) influenced wildlife movement patterns. More research with additional techniques is needed to examine habitat use by wildlife in urban preserves.
Chemistry Paper Abstracts
EFFICIENCY OF EXTRACTION AND SEPARATION OF PETROLEUM COMPOUNS FROM CRUDE MIXTURE. CALVIN J. SCOTT AND DR. NIXON 0. MWEBI, DEPT. OF PHYSICAL AND SCIENCE, JACKSONVILLE STATE UNIVERSITY, JACKSONVILLE, AL 36265.
The presence of hydrocarbons has been shown in preliminary studies of liquid and solid samples from the Gulf of Mexico. The method of extraction of those samples is now the subject of interest. Various methods were used to optimize the output of hydrocarbons. In this study, two stages of extractions are employed with a mixture of solvents. The first is either vortex or shaking. The second stage is a choice of extraction methods that prepare the sample for analyzing. Analysis is performed using UV, HPLC, and NMR respectively.
SYNTHESIS AND CHARACTERIZATION OF PYRIDINE-2,6-DICARBOXAMIDE BASED DENDRIMERS WITH CLEAVABLE TERMINAL GROUPS. STEPHEN A. SMITH, AMANDA H. COFFMAN, UNIVERSITY OF NORTH ALABAMA, FLORENCE, AL 35630
First generation dendritic wedges consisting of pyridine-2,6-dicarboxamide repeating units will be synthesized with functionalized tetraethylene glycol terminal groups. The glycol terminal chains will impart solubility in aqueous media as well as a carboxylate group that can be selectively ionized. The branched, radial polymer will yield a molecule with multiple ionizable functionalities that could provide numerous positions for potential covalent or ionic bonding interactions. The analysis of these intermolecular interactions with smaller molecules could lead to the development of a novel dendrimer-drug conjugate and delivery system. The design of these dendritic molecules should prove to be an effective controlled transport of drugs. The preliminary synthesis and characterization of the first-generation dendritic wedge is described here-in.
THE NERVE GAS PLANT AT MUSCLE SHOALS, ALABAMA. RICHARD C. SHERIDAN (RETIRED), TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY, MUSCLE SHOALS, AL 35661.
A secret plant for the production of methyl phosphonic dichloride, an intermediate in the synthesis of the nerve agent sarin (often called nerve gas), was built by the U. S. Army at Muscle Shoals, Alabama, in the 1950s. Raw materials were phosphorus, chlorine, and methonal. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) operated the facility for the Army and produced large amounts of the precursor between 1953 and 1957. The product was shipped to an out of state military facility for storage and use as needed. No nerve gas was made in Alabama. The plant was placed in standby condition in 1958. Modifications were made in one of the two trains in 1962-1964 but never tested. Some decompostion of the methyl phosphonic dichloride occurred during prolonged storage and it was returned to Muscle Shoals for re-distillation in 1987. At that time, an ion chromatographic procedure was developed and used to analyze air samples from the work area. The plant remained inactive until it was demolished in 1992 as part of an international agreement to destroy nerve agents and facilities for producing them.
Chemistry Poster Abstracts
AB INITIO STUDY OF THE MOLECULAR STRUCTURE OF 3,4-METHYLENEDIOXYMETHAMPHETAMINE (MDMA) ANDY D. HILL AND LAWRENCE A. COVICK, DEPT. OF NATURAL SCIENCE, ATHENS STATE UNIVERSITY, ATHENS, AL 35611
Ab initio calculations were completed at the HF and MP2 levels using 6-31 G and 6-311 G basis sets for 1-(1,3-Benzodioxo1-5-y1)-N-methylpropan-2-amine, which is more commonly known as 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine or MDMA. Bond lengths and bond angles for the neutral, gas phase molecule will be presented. Results for dopamine, which is structurally similar to MDMA will be included for comparison.
BIOFUEL PRODUCTION FROM CELLULOSE USING NANO-CATALYSTS. KRISTY CREWS, ALBERT RUSSELL AND MICHAEL CURRY, DEPT. OF CHEMISTRY AND TUSKEGEE CENTER FOR ADVANCED MATERIALS, TUSKEGEE UNIV. AND CRYSTAL REEVES, DEPT. OF CHEMISTRY, TUSKEGEE, UNIV., TUSKEGEE, AL 36088.
Due to the recent increase in oil prices, alternative energy sources have been of great interest. Currently in the United States, 97% of nonrenewable petroleum is used as a source of fuel for vehicles and other gas burning systems. There are several incentives for developing renewable energy sources, such as the depletion of our current oil source; the U.S. relies heavily on foreign energy sources; increased energy consumption across the globe; and the significant negative impact on the environment that results from the burning of fossil fuels. Cellulosic production of ethanol has become a promising alternative due to the abundance of cellulose in nature and exclusion from the human food chain, providing a lower cost production route. However, lignin and hemicellulose interfere during the conversion of cellulose to sugar, and has limited the commercial production of cellulosic ethanol. We have shown that these limitations can be reduced through heterogeneous catalysis. Highly reactive metal nanoparticles (Pt, Co) were synthesized via dendrimer templating and, subsequently, used to facilitate the release of small molecules (i.e., sugar) from cellulose. UV-vis analyses show the formation of Pt and Co nanoparticles during the dendrimer templating process. HPLC and TLC results confirm the breakdown of cellulose into sugar monomers, i.e., the release of small molecules due to cleavage of the C-0 bond within the lignin-cellulose backbone.
EXTRACTION FROM ZANTHOXYLUM CLAVA-HERCULIS BARK. ZACHARY L. RILEY, UNIV. OF WEST ALABAMA, LIVINGSTON, AL 35470. KWANGYUL MOON, DEPT. OF CHEMISTRY AND BIOCHEMISTRY, UNIV. OF ARKANSAS, FAYETTEVILLE, AR 72701. YUNHO KIM, PH. D, DEPT. OF PHYSICAL SCIENCES, UNIV. OF WEST ALABAMA, LIVINGSTON, AL 35470.
Zanthoxylum clava-herculis is commonly called toothache tree since it was used by Native Americans as an anesthetic for tooth aches. Zanthoxylum clava-herculis tree bark has been suspended in 90% methanol for a week, filtered, further suspended for 4 days in chloroform, and purified using gravity filtration. After evaporation under vacuum, the extract was subject to flash column chromatography with which 3 fractions were yielded. The major crude product (2nd fraction) was further subject to analysis and was identified. The fractions are thought to have neurological effects on mammals and shall be tested on such in the future.
HEAVY METAL MOBILIZATION IN SLUDGE AMENDED SOILS OF NORTH EAST ALABAMA. DR. NIXON 0. MWEBI, DEPT. OF PHYSICAL AND EARTH SCIENCES, JACKSONVILLE STATE UNIV., JACKSONVILLE, AL 36265. KEYTON FIKE
Millions of tons of composted sludge are released annually into the environment. The most efficient method for recycling the aforementioned is using the compost as fertilizer for lawns and gardens.--Though appealing, this method has been a source of controversy for a long time primarily due to the fact that lawn and garden fertilizer is thought to contain heavy metals that may be leached into the environment once applied to soil. Furthermore, the rate and amounts of these trace metals released may largely depend on other variables such as pH of surrounding soil, acid rain existence, and method of application. Since the intrinsic toxicity of the heavy metals contained in fertilizer is an issue of utmost importance, the analysis must be efficiently carried out in batch revisions. In this study compost (in the form of commercially available fertilizer) was evaluated for its heavy metal content of Iron and Chromium. The analysis of possible heavy metal mobilization in a compost-soil mixture was carefully carried out in batch studies, and the results of this study are presented.
INVESTIGATING ACETAL FORMATION USING GC-MS. JOHN A WHITEN, CINDY P TIDWELL, AND PRAKASH BHARARA, DEPARTMENT OF BIOLOGY, CHEMISTRY, AND MATHEMATICS, UNIVERSITY OF MONTEVALLO, MONTEVALLO, AL 35115.
This research project investigated the solvent and concentration effects on the acetal formation using the gas chromatograph to separate the components of the reaction mixture and mass spectroscopy as the detection method. Different solvents were investigated to determine the steric effects of nucleophilic attack on product formation. Solvents used were methanol, ethanol, and t-butyl alcohol. From these results, an undergraduate laboratory experiment was designed for the organic chemistry classes. The approach of the experiment is investigative in nature. The students expect to see a mass spectrum of the aldehyde but actually observe formation of the acetal or hemiacetal and are asked to provide a mechanism to explain their results. Keyword: Investigating
STUDIES TOWARD A CONVERGENT TOTAL SYNTHESIS OF MOTUALEVIC ACIDS A-E FEATURING AN OLEFIN CROSS-METATHESIS. DR. FRANK A. DIAZ, COREY W. WILLIAMS; DEPARTMENT OF CHEMISTRY AND INDUSTRIAL HYGIENE, UNIVERSITY OF NORTH ALABAMA, FLORENCE, AL 35630.
The motualevic acids are a group of brominated long chain acids that show antibiotic and antifungal activities. They contain a long chain diene portion that contains dibrominated and amide ends. These compounds lend themselves to developing new analogs that can be screened for improved biological activities. Our group has been working on developing a novel, convergent synthesis for several of the members in this group of compounds. We also plan to use our developed synthesis to access a number of interesting analogs. One of the key steps in our planned synthesis is a Grubb's catalyzed cross-metathesis to couple the left and right fragments.
SYNTHESIS AND CHARACTERIZATION OF A NOVEL PORPHYRIN. ANNY SU, CINDY TIDWELL, PRAKASH BHARARA, DEPT. OF BIOLOGY, CHEMISTRY, AND MATHEMATICS, UNIVERSITY OF MONTEVALLO, MONTEVALLO, AL 35115. KEN BELMORE, DEPARTMENT OF CHEMISTRY, UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA, TUSCALOOSA, AL 35487.
The objective of this project was to synthesize a novel porphyrin, 5,10,15,20-tetra[3,4-dibenzyloxy]porphyrin. Once synthesized, the porphyrin was purified using silica gel column chromatography with chloroform as the eluent. The porphyrin was then characterized using proton and carbon nuclear magnetic resonance, UV-visible and fluorescence spectroscopy. The manganese and copper complexes of this porphyrin have been synthesized and are currently undergoing characterization. Keyword: Synthesis
SYNTHESIS OF ANTIMICROBIAL METAL NANOPARTICLES VIA DENDRIMER TEMPLATING.APU MAZUMDER AND MICHAEL L. CURRY, DEPARTMENT OF CHEMISTRY, TUSKEGEE UNIVERSITY, TUSKEGEE, AL 36088.
Interest in the synthesis of metal/metal oxide nanoparticles with controllable sizes and chemical properties has increased due to their potential applications in technological devices (e.g., data storage) and biological systems (e.g., Antimicrobials). As of date, several synthesizing methods have been explored, such as solgel processing, chemical reduction, and even photochemical reduction in presence of an appropriate ligands. However, size control and conglomeration of formed metal nanoparticles during syntheses have become a big challenge for researchers during the synthesis process. Poly (amidoamine) "PAMAM" dendrimers have emerged as one of the key routes to synthesizing nanoparticles with highly controllable chemical architectures and functionalities. Dendrimers are three dimensional, highly branched macromolecules that are controllable in size (generation number) and chemical functionalities (terminal groups) and provide many sites for the complexation of metal ions. The objective of this research is three-fold: a) to synthesize fourth generation amine terminated dendrimer-templated Ni nanoparticles, b) characterization of formed nanoparticles through TEM and XRD, and c) to evaluate their microbial activity. In short, Ni (NO3)2.6H20 solutions were mixed with dendrimer solutions to form Ni-dendrimer complexes and, subsequently, formation of Ni nanoparticles "Ni (0)" through chemical reduction methods. From the UV-visible spectrum and TEM results, it has been proved that the Ni nanoparticles are formed and the size of the particles is less than 10 nm. Disk diffusion assay and minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC), both antimicrobial tests confirm that the formed particles have the antimicrobial property. (Supported by Department of Chemistry, Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, AL 36088). Keywords: Synthesis; Nickel; Nanoparticles; Dendrimer
SYNTHESIS OF N-HETEROCYCLIC CARBENE COMPLEXES. ETHAN CAGLE AND CAMERON GREN, UNIVERSITY OF NORTH ALABAMA.
Arduengo carbene ligands are useful in organometalic chemistry and can be used to catalyze organic transformations along with polymerizations. Chelating carbenes and their ability to block access to a metal center could prove to be useful for catalytic functions. This project seeks to synthesize and assess properties of chelating carbene ligands.
Engineering and Computer Science Paper Abstracts
TUNING OF DC MOTOR PID SPEED CONTROLLER USING PARTICLE SWARM OPTIMIZATION BENEDICTA OBENG, DR MARC KARAM
Our current research is based on applying PSO to the Proportional-Integral-Derivative (PID) speed control of a permanent magnet (PM) DC motor. PSO is a population-based stochastic optimization technique developed by Dr. Eberhart and Dr. Kennedy in 1995 that emulates the behavior of a flock of birds or a school of fish. The system is initialized with a population of random solutions and the searches for optima are carried on by updating generations. The potential solutions, called particles, fly through the problem space by following the current optimum particles. Each particle keeps track of its coordinates in the problem space which are associated with the best solution it has achieved so far that is called pbest When a particle takes all the population as its topological neighbors, the best value is a global best and is called gbest. The PSO concept consists of changing the velocity of each particle toward its pbest and gbest locations. In our research, we designed the initial PID control gains so that the system response exhibits a given overshoot and settling time. Based on these gains we designed an initial set of particles that were subsequently modified using PSO technique with the goal of reducing the overshoot and settling time. Implementing the PSO algorithm successfully led to the desired swarming since the PID gains converged, causing the overshoot and settling time to get below the desired threshold.
MANISHA VANGARI, TONYA PRYOR AND LI JIANG, DEPT. OF ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING, TUSKEGEE UNIV., TUSKEGEE, AL 36088
Supercapacitors are devices that are capable of storing energy and supplying power. They offer several advantages over conventional energy storage devices including high cycling ability, relatively high energy storage capacity and high power density. These properties make supercapacitors candidates for various applications including portable power systems. The materials employed for a supercapacitor's components such as electrodes, electrolytes and substrates play a major role in determining its applications. For portable power applications, it is pertinent to study materials that allow for physical flexibility in a supercapacitor, while optimizing its energy and power characteristics. We report on our present efforts to develop flexible supercapacitors. Different electrode materials including grown or sprayed-on carbon nanotubes (CNTs), silver nano-particulate ink, and nanocomposite of CNTs and polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) are being studied to achieve high values of planar capacitance. Flexible electrode substrates such as ultrathin stainless steel sheets and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) sheets are being explored. Composites of phosphoric acid and PVA are being studied as integrated electrolyte and separator material. Our ultimate goal is to develop a renewable energy source comprising of high efficiency flexible solar cells with flexible supercapacitor integrated with military outerwear for powering mobile electronic components and systems. The lightweight large area device is expected to serve as a portable source with storage capability, providing power both in the presence and absence of sunlight. This work is supported in part by the US Army Research Office contract #W911NF-11-1-0214.
A COMPARISON OF THE FINITE DIFFERENCE AND FINITE ELEMENT METHOD IN THE HEAT EQUATION.SAMUEL ALLEN JAMES, JR, DEPT. OF ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING AND COMPUTER SCIENCE, ALABAMA A&M UNIVERSITY NORMAL, AL 35762
The heat equation describes the spatial distribution of heat and heat flow. It can be applied in many different fields of engineering, mathematics, and physics. Various techniques are used for solve the heat equation. Two useful techniques are the Finite Difference Method (FDM) and the Finite Element Method (FEM). For example, the finite difference method initializes a network of grid points in either two dimensional or three dimensional forms to determine the initial bounds of a given point on that grid. Once the initial conditions have been determined, the temperature of that point can be approximated on the x-axis and y-axis of the grid. The finite element determines the temperature at any point using piece-wise function rather than grid points. C++ programs were developed to visually see and understand the comparison of both methods with heat equation. The software implementation shows reasonable results; our main objective is to implement both methods in a reconfigurable hardware device known as a Field Programmable Gate Array. The purpose of this implementation is to find ways numerical analysis can be implemented in a hardware application rather than software.
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|Title Annotation:||p. 1-35|
|Publication:||Journal of the Alabama Academy of Science|
|Article Type:||Conference notes|
|Date:||Apr 1, 2012|
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