A-State Science Students Recognized with Summer Research Opportunities

JONESBORO – Several undergraduate and graduate science students in the College of Sciences and Mathematics at Arkansas State University are embarking this summer on new educational enrichment opportunities beyond the campus.

Biological sciences student Izzo (Izzeldin) Ahmed was selected as one of the participants in the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

One of 65 applicants for only six available positions, he will receive a $4,000 stipend for his participation. His adviser is Dr. Fabricio Medina-Bolivar, professor of plant metabolic engineering.

Alix Matthews, doctoral student in molecular biosciences, was awarded two highly competitive grants. First, she received the Margaret Morse Nice Research Award from the American Ornithological Society to study feather mite diet and resource selection. Her proposal was ranked #1 out of more than 175 students from around the world. 

Also, Matthews received an Ernst Mayr Grant from Harvard University to travel to Brazil and conduct research on feather mite systematics and evolution. Her advisers are Dr. Than Boves, associate professor of wildlife ecology, and Dr. Asela Wijeratne, assistant professor of bioinformatics.

Alex Worm, doctoral student in environmental sciences, was awarded the Max Parker Award, for best in-state bird research proposal, from the Arkansas Audubon Society, for his proposal to study hybridization genomics in several species of flycatchers. Worm’s advisers are Boves and Dr. Drew Sweet, assistant professor of biological sciences.

William (Cayce) Guy, a master’s degree student in the environmental sciences program, was awarded a grant from the Arkansas Audubon Society for his proposal to study the costs and benefits of early season flooding of rice fields for both waterbirds and greenhouse gas emissions.

Guy’s faculty advisers are Boves and Dr. Michelle Reba, agricultural research hydrologist.

Clay Vondriska, who is working toward a doctoral degree in environmental sciences, recently was awarded a graduate fellowship from the International Coral Reef Society. 

Not only is Vondriska’s work recognized, the award is a credit to the program at A-State, which has the only active marine research group in the state. Competition for this award is international, noted his adviser, Dr. Paul Sikkel, associate professor of aquatic biology.

Press release

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