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Saint Francis hosts Tribeta Convention

April 5, 2012

The Saint Francis University biology department hosted the regional convention of the Beta Beta Beta National Biological Honor Society on March 31. More than 70 undergraduate students and faculty, representing six institutions in Pennsylvania and Maryland, attended the annual conference.

Following a welcome by biology chair and Tribeta chapter advisor Dr. Marian Langer, the morning session featured 11 student research talks and 19 student poster presentations. Eight Saint Francis biology majors presented their research at the event: Timothy Heiss presented the poster “Effects of alcohol on normal plant function” (Supervised by Dr. Irene Wolf); Thomas McWilliams presented the poster “Heat shock proteins as possible stress biomarkers in acid mine drainage” (Supervised by Dr. Irene Wolf); Paige Mundy presented the poster “Effects of acidic environments on Elodea plants” (Supervised by Dr. Irene Wolf); Emily Zagorski presented the talk “How do eye size and facet lens size vary by age and sex in Acheta domesticus, the house cricket?” (Supervised by Dr. Justin Merry); Erika Bendick and Phillip Harchack presented the poster “Do milkweed bugs differ in palatability if they feed on different milkweed, Asclepias, species?” (Supervised by Dr. Lane Loya); Chad Clair presented the poster “Fish consumption habits of western Pennsylvania anglers and their awareness of state advisories” (Supervised by Dr. Lane Loya); and Adam Mengel presented the poster “Odonate diversity at an acid mine drainage passive remediation site in Cambria County, PA” (Supervised by Dr. Lane Loya).

Following the morning presentations, an awards luncheon was held in the JFK Student Center. Saint Francis University student award winners included Erika Bendick and Phillip Harchack, second place poster presentation; Thomas McWilliams, third place poster presentation; and Emily Zagorksi, third place oral presentation. Dr. Charles MacVean, Dean of the School of Sciences, delivered the keynote address “Domestication of giant scale insects by the Maya of Guatemala.”

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