NEWPORT, R.I. – Six Salve Regina University science students were among the winners at the 4th Annual Northeast Undergraduate Research Development Symposium (NURDS) held March 10-11 at the University of New England’s Biddeford, Maine campus.
The symposium, funded in part by the National Science Foundation (NSF), is the largest undergraduate research conference north of Boston and attracted students from New Haven to Nova Scotia.
More than 180 students from 38 different colleges and universities presented at the 2012 symposium. Through talks and poster presentations, students shared their research in the natural and social sciences, in disciplines such as ecology, evolution, genetics/molecular biology, psychology, oceanography, marine biology, physics, medical biology, and chemistry.
Among the 2012 NURDS poster presentations awardees were:
Wayne Bainter and Justin Gay, Salve Regina University: T-type voltage-sensitive calcium channels are differentially inhibited by pyrethroid insecticides.
Brittany Bertone, Salve Regina University: Future of anti-cancer drugs: hydroponically crocus yields saffron.
Alexandra Igo, Salve Regina University: The effect of seasonal change on bacterial contaminants within the Aquidneck Island watershed.
Caitlyn Farragher, Salve Regina University: Seasonal flux and eutrophic conditions in the Aquidneck Island watershed, Rhode Island.
Craig Irving, Salve Regina University: Characterization and expression of the human N-type voltage-sensitive calcium channel (Cav2.2) into xenopus laevis oocytes.
Many students are preparing their research for submission to publications, and the symposium provided a venue to refine their research, presentation and networking skills.
Markus Frederich, Ph.D., UNE associate professor of marine sciences, is the principal investigator of the NSF grant that funds NURDS, as well as faculty advisor for the event. “The NURDS conference models a real scientific conference with talks and poster sessions, moderators and even hands-on workshops,” he said. “The students become real scientists, presenting their work, which often is truly innovative science, in front of their peers. The funding from the National Science Foundation allows us to make this a larger regional event, and some universities sent their students for the fourth year to present at NURDS.”
The 2012 NURDS keynote address was delivered by Dr. Michael Grace, Ph.D., associate professor at the Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, FL, who spoke about his research with undergraduates, in his presentation titled, “Some Like it Hot! The Infrared Vision in Pit Vipers and Pythons.”
Keynote speakers at previous NURDS conferences included Peggy Maher, aerospace education specialist at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, and Dr. Jeffrey Osborn, former president of the National Council of Undergraduate Research.
PHOTO CAPTION: Biology major Wayne Bainter, pictured researching electrophysiology on frog eggs to measure electrical activity of calcium channels, was one of several science students to win at the 4th Annual Northeast Undergraduate Research Development Symposium .