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ramsey scholar presenting public health research

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Malcolm Barnard – Ecology, Forestry (MS)

Research has been an integral part of my experience at UGA. From hydrology to entomology and from marine science to tropical ecology, I have learned crucial research skills and participated in many amazing projects under fantastic professors.

My primary research area and the focus of my master’s research is investigating the effects of algae on water quality in freshwater lakes and rivers. Beginning the first semester at UGA, I was able to continue my research from high school utilizing my patent pending algal filtration device to utilize algae to create potable water from polluted freshwater lakes. I am currently working in Dr. Susan Wilde’s lab in the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, as well as with Dr. James Porter and Dr. Alan Covich in the Odum School of Ecology and Dr. Todd Rasmussen in Warnell. The tremendous opportunities for discussion and one-on-one learning have transformed my research and educational experiences here at UGA. Mentors have encouraged me to consider new ideas; suggested interesting courses, seminars, and contacts; and have worked together to create the best path for me to reach my goals. I am currently working in Dr. Wilde’s lab as a research assistant and preparing my algal research for publication.

I was honored to present my research at multiple conferences in 2015. At the Odum Graduate Symposium, I received second place in the undergraduate poster session. I then presented at the UGA Sustainability Symposium, receiving first place in the student poster session. A talk I presented at the Georgia Association of Water Professionals meeting in March has led to a potential opportunity to test my algal filtration device at a water treatment plant. At UGA’s CURO Symposium, I shared research with students and faculty from across campus. Selected as a student moderator and poster presenter, I was sponsored by IECA to attend the International Erosion Control Association’s Environmental Connection Conference in Portland, Oregon, where I met professors, students, and professionals from around the globe. My favorite conference was the Ecological Society of America (ESA) Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland in August 2015. Sponsored by Warnell, I was selected for presentation at ESA’s Centennial Meeting. This conference was an incredible opportunity to learn from top ecologists and receive their feedback. In 2015, I was also selected to give a TEDxUGA talk about the global water crisis at the TEDx UGA Student Idea Competition.

I also study Tachinid fly parasitism of horned passalus beetles under Dr. Andrew Davis in the Odum School of Ecology. The larval parasite that we are studying has not previously been reported in adult horned passalius beetles. We hope to publish this study sometime later this year.

With a Ramsey travel grant, I traveled to Costa Rica to study tropical ecology. I researched leaf cutter ant behavior in the tropical rain forest at the La Selva Biological Station and the impacts of herbivory on the rate of plant pollination in the cloud forests of Monteverde. From Costa Rica, I went to the UGA’s Marine Institute on Sapelo Island, where I researched the effects of tides on marine phytoplankton. This program also included coursework at the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography and an oceanic research cruise on the R/V Savannah.

Ramsey Scholar Tuan Nguyen

Mihir Patel Pharmaceutical & Biomedical Sciences

Research has been an indispensable part of my time at UGA. For the past two years, I’ve been involved in research on ovarian cancer under the supervision of Dr. Mandi Murph in the College of Pharmacy. My work has focused on the effects that mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) and RGS10 (regulator of G-protein signaling 10) have on ovarian cancer cell growth and proliferation. If down regulation of either or both of these protein complexes is successful in curbing cancer growth, a new treatment centering on such down regulation may be developed.

Last summer, I conducted paid research with Dr. Lin Mei at Georgia Regents University. This research was largely neuroscience based and focused on the schizophrenia related protein TMEM108 (transmembrane protein 108). We used animal models to determine the site-specific expression of TMEM108 in the brains of mice at various times throughout their lives.

This summer, I’m interning with the U.S. Department of Agriculture at the Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory. Although my research is only in the early phases, it will most likely focus on the Newcastle Disease virus and avian influenza. For me, research is about satisfying my desire to discover new aspects of the world we live in.

2015-2016 research presentations

Jenny Alpaugh  Examining Diversity in High School Publication Staffs. Presented at Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities (CURO) Symposium, Athens, GA

Melissa Cousins  Optimizing Plique-à-Jour Enameling. Presented at Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities (CURO) Symposium, Athens, GA

Shreya Ganeshan  What Good is a Low-Carbon City if No One Can Afford to Live There? Presented at Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities (CURO) Symposium, Athens, GA

Heather Huynh  Closing the Diversity Gap: Creating Support Programs for STEM Minority Students. Presented at Roosevelt Institute, Athens, GA

Evan Knox  Effects of Cognitive Reserve and MPOD Levels on Personality in Older Adults. Presented at Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities (CURO) Symposium, Athens, GA

Megan Murphy  White Matter Structure Differs Between Schizophrenia and Healthy Comparison Groups as a Function of Cognitive Control and Age. Presented at Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities (CURO) Symposium, Athens, GA

Vineet Raman  Eliminating Cultural and Linguistic Boundaries in Healthcare: Creating Standards and  Funding for Medical Interpreters. Presented at Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities (CURO) Symposium, Athens, GA and The Tomorrow People Public Health Conference 2016 in Kuching, Malaysia

ramsey scholar presenting public health research

Ramsey Honors
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