Students Shine at Florida Undergraduate Research Conference

Published: Mar 21, 2012

Ten students represented The University of Tampa at the second annual Florida Undergraduate Research Conference (FURC) at Stetson University March 16-17.

The students all gave poster presentations on the research they’ve completed with UT faculty. The research ran the gamut from marine biology and ecology to microbiology and genetics to evolutionary adaptations and chemically-related research.

“This showed the breadth and depth of the undergraduate research being performed with professors at UT,” said Ann Williams, associate professor of biology.

The experience also allows students the opportunity to see and be seen by professors at other Florida universities and colleges.

“For the past two years, two of my research students have been approached by professors at other Florida institutes to recruit them for jobs,” Williams said, adding that the experience gives students a hands-on opportunity to present their research in a scientific way at a conference.

The students and their presentations include the following:

  • Tavya Benjamin ’12, chemistry major with a pre-medicine concentration; working with Eric Werner, assistant professor of chemistry
    Luminescent Europium(III) Complexes for Anion Sensing Applications

  • Taryn Cranford ’12, biology major with a concentration in molecular biology; working with Rebecca Bellone, associate professor of biology
    Genetic Investigation of Limbal Squamous Cell Carcinoma in Haflinger Horses

  • Travis Williams ’12, biology major; working with Ann Williams, associate professor of biology
    The Biofilm Viability and Antibiotic Sensitivity of A Naturally Isolated Tetracycline Resistant E.coli Strain

  • Catharine Hargenrader ’14, Tessa Skilton ’15 and Madeline Gagne ’15, marine science biology majors; working with Kevin Beach, professor of biology
    Spatial and Temporal Variation in Epiphytic Macroalgal Community on Mangrove Pneumatophores in Tampa Bay

  • Michael Whiteside ’12, marine science biology major; working with Yasoma Hulathduwa, assistant professor of biology
    Effects of predatory blue crabs on the byssus production in the non-native Asian green mussel Perna viridis in Tampa Bay

  • Elizabeth Kowalski ’12, biochemistry major; working with Rebecca Bellone, associate professor of biology
    A Genome-Wide Association Study Identifies Locus for Eye Color Variation in Puerto Rican Paso Fino Horses

  • Angel Chinea ’12, biology with a pre-medicine concentration; working with Mason Meers, associate professor of biology
    A Comparative Study on the Dysmorphological Features of FAS Across Various Animal Models

  • Yasmin Serajfar ’12, biology major; working with Mason Meers, associate professor of biology
    The effect of dietary divergence and founder populations on tooth curvature and sharpness in two closely related monitor lizards