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2018 Annual Meeting Program
November 2-3, 2018

Western Kentucky University



 
Thank you to our Platinum Sponsor

Thank you to our Gold Sponsor


Thank you to our Morning Break Sponsor

Thank you to our Afternoon Break Sponsor



Thank you to our Bronze Sponsor


Thank you to our In-Kind partners


WKU Office of Research and Creative Activity

Thank you our Local Arrangements Team at WKU:
Ryanne Gregory, Leslie North, Cheryl Davis, Claire Rinehart, Kerrie McDaniel, Richard Gelderman and Rodney King.

 

Online Program, 2018


Poster presentations are Friday from 3-6 pm and Posters will all remain in place through Saturday.

Oral Presentations are Friday from 1:15-3 pm and Saturday 8am-4pm



 
Thursday, November 1, 2018  6:30pm - 9:00pm
KAS Science Film Festival
Downing Student Union 3020
Kick off the KAS Meeting with a Science -themed mini-film festival, complete with popcorn! We've collected a few favorites, including Science in Exile ; Short films will change the way you see slime molds, bats, and the mighty coelacanth!
Friday, November 2, 2018  9:00am - 11:00am
KAS Governing Board Meeting
Downing Student Union 3029
Friday, November 2, 2018  9:30am - 11:30am
Kentucky Organization of Field Stations meeting
Downing Student Union 3004
Friday, November 2, 2018  11:30am - 5:00pm
Registration Open
Third Floor, Downing Student Union
Check-in will also be available at the National Corvette Museum after 6:30pm, during the Reception & Plenary.
Friday, November 2, 2018  12:00pm - 2:30pm
Poster Presenters check-in
Third Floor, Downing Student Union
After checking in at Registration, we ask Poster presenters to check in at the Posters table for further instructions. All posters should be setup by 2:30pm
Friday, November 2, 2018  12:00pm - 1:00pm
Science Policy & Advocacy workshop
Cupola Room (inside Fresh Dining Hall)
What do scientists need to know about public policy? Do you want to advocate for science but aren't sure how to start? This workshop is for everyone – students and faculty - regardless of discipline, who are interested in learning more about the role of science in policy-making and in becoming empowered to be a voice for science. Our colleagues at the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology will provide practical guidance on how to engage in advocacy initiatives at local, state and national levels.

This event is FULL.

Featured Speakers:

Dr. Matthew Gentry, Professor Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, University of Kentucky and Chair, Public Affairs Advisory Committee, American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Dr. Matthew Gentry received his B.S. from the University of Evansville in 1996. He then studied yeast cell cycle regulation via protein phosphatase 2A at Syracuse University in Dr. Richard Hallberg’s lab, receiving his Ph.D. in 2003. He was a postdoctoral fellow at UC-San Diego with Dr. Jack Dixon where he discovered glycogen and starch phosphatases and how they are integral for both human and plant energy metabolism.
He began his independent career in 2008 and he is currently a Professor in the College of Medicine at the University of Kentucky where he oversees projects on both Lafora disease and biofuels research. The lab focuses on the regulation of specific phosphatases and E3 ubiquitin ligases in both human glycogen and plant starch metabolism utilizing in vitro biochemical and structural techniques; in situ cell culture models; and in vivo mouse, algal and plant models. Dr. Gentry has been continuously funded by NINDS since 2006, he is an NIH K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award recipient, he received the NIH Young Investigator IDeA Maciag Award, the 2018 NINDS Landis Award, he is an NSF CAREER awardee, and PI of both a NINDS R01 and P01. He is a Journal of Biological Chemistry Editorial Board member, Director of the NIH-funded Lafora Epilepsy Cure Initiative, and Chair of the ASBMB Public Action Advisory Committee (PAAC).

 
Dr. Trent Garrison, Assistant Professor, Environmental Geoscience, Northern Kentucky University, and Co-Chair, Education and Advocacy Committee, Kentucky Academy of Science
Dr. Trent Garrison grew up in Hyden, Kentucky where he attended Leslie County High School. With an interest in science, he later went on to attend Eastern Kentucky University (BS and MS in hydrogeology), Kentucky State University (Public Administration), and then University of Kentucky (PhD – Environmental Geology). Dr. Garrison is now an Assistant Professor of Environmental Geoscience at Northern Kentucky University, where he studies a variety of environmental geology issues that affect Kentuckians, such as water issues and dye tracing techniques, as well as soil, air, and water quality in areas affected by coal fires in the state. In addition, Dr. Garrison has a strong passion for teaching, science advocacy, outreach, and interdisciplinary networking between students and professionals.
 
As Physical Science Representative and Education & Advocacy Co-Chair of KAS, Dr. Garrison was actively involved in research during the 2018 state legislative session, frequently reporting how HB 200 and other legislation would impact higher education. With input from others in KAS, he authored the letters to our state legislators opposing cuts to higher education, which, along with other groups’ advocacy efforts, led to education cuts not being as severe as originally proposed. He also assisted with KAS’s involvement in the March For Science and spoke about the importance of science outreach and involvement in policy.
 
Ms. Alexa Johnson, Ph.D. Candidate, Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Kentucky and past participant in the American Association for the Advancement of Science - Catalyzing Advocacy for Science and Engineering (CASE) workshop
Alexa is currently studying biomechanics of the lower extremity in military personnel with low back pain, as well as lower extremity loading mechanics in athletes with anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction. She previously completed her Master’s degree (MS in Kinesiology) at the University of Michigan and her Bachelor’s degree (BS in Kinesiology) at California State University Fullerton. Not only is she passionate about biomechanics and sports medicine but she is also passionate about how to translate our jargon science language to the public so everyone can understand it, aka science communication, as well as advocating for women in STEM. These passions have led to her interest in science policy, where she is now trying to figure out how she can pair a career in research and science policy simultaneously. Last March she was selected by UK to attend a workshop called Catalyzing Advocacy for Science and Engineering (CASE) put on by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) where she learned not only about science communication and science policy but also spent a day on the Hill meeting with Kentucky Congress members advocating for science funding.
Friday, November 2, 2018  1:14pm - 3:00pm
Oral Presentations- Friday Afternoon
Asterisk * denotes student research competition
Friday, November 2, 2018  1:15pm - 3:00pm
Cellular and Molecular Biology - Oral Presentations
DSU 3007
Section meeting follows talks at 3:00
1:15 * - Analysis of effects on tRNA modifications and hyphal growth by the elongator complex in C. albicans.
First Author
Justin Rabe
Northern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Rachel Morgeson 
Northern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Jenna Kappes 
Northern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Daisy Davita 
Northern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Kaylee Fox 
Northern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Olivia Gilliam 
Northern Kentucky University 
Co-author
John Carmen 
Northern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Michael Guy 
Northern Kentucky University 
Candida albicans is an opportunistic fungus found in the gastrointestinal tracts and mouths of 40-60% of humans. It grows as yeast, pseudohyphae, and hyphae. The ability to shift from yeast to hyphae is required for pathogenesis. Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a related model organism, grows pseudohyphally under certain conditions. Previous studies suggest that S. cerevisiae pseudohyphal growth is dependent on the tRNA-modifying elongator complex. We hypothesize that an elongator complex tRNA modification regulates hyphal growth in C. albicans. We are using CRISPR/Cas9 to delete the homolog of ELP1, a component of the elongator complex, from the diploid genome of C. albicans. After using CRISPR to delete ELP1, we will determine the effect its absence has on hyphal growth and tRNA modification. We are also analyzing levels of tRNA modifications in C. albicans before, during, and after hyphal shifts by inducing hyphal growth with bovine serum in YPD broth and taking hourly samples to quantify hyphal growth. We are then purifying specific tRNAs from RNA extracted from C. albicans during all stages of growth. The tRNA samples are then digested to nucleosides and analyzed by UPLC to determine differences in tRNA modification levels between growth phases.
1:30 * - Comparison of differentiation capacity between cell lines using the trilineage differentiation assay.
First Author
Priscila Garcia
Anschutz Medical Campus 
The future of induced pluripotent stem cells could lead to 'personalized medicine' in the medical field as well as a further research within developmental biology and disease research studies. Stem cells are pluripotent cells that are able to self-replicate and differentiate into any different types of cells. Using a technology that reverts mature somatic cells into embryonic stem cell-like cells, labs can create what are known as induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPSCs. Scientists were able to accomplish this through ectopic expression of Oct 3/4, Sox 2, C-Myc, and Klf4 genes. iPSCs can substitute the usage of embryo pluripotent cells (ESCs) thus avoid any ethical arguments that arise in the field of regenerative science. The most important quality of iPSCs is their pluripotency, meaning that they are able to differentiate into any type of cells in the body. A way to assess pluripotency is to use a trilineage differentiation assay. Trilineage differentiation refers to the three different types of germ layers: endoderm, mesoderm, and ectoderm. Pluripotent stem cells should be able to differentiate into all three germ layers if they are indeed pluripotent. Using iPSCs generated in the lab, we seek to differentiate multiple clones of the same line into the three germ layers in order to compare the differentiation capacity of each clone. We will confirm differentiation into the three germ layers via fluorescent immunocytochemistry, using antibodies against lineage-specific markers. We expect that each different clone of the same line will be able to differentiate into each germ layer with similar efficiency, indicating a consistent differentiation capacity among reprogrammed cell lines. If iPSCs are indeed pluripotent, their usage in the medical field and scientific research are very promising.
1:45 - Investigating How EF-24 and Cisplatin Effect Cancer and Renal Cells
First Author
Denis Hodzic
Western Kentucky University 
Cisplatin is an FDA-approved chemotherapy drug effective against several different cancers. However, this drug can cause serious side-effects, including nephrotoxicity. Curcumin, a natural plant compound, can increase cisplatin's anti-cancer activity and counteract cisplatin's renal system side-effects. Because curcumin exhibits poor bioavailability, there is considerable interest in developing synthetic curcumin analogs (curcuminoids) that are more soluble, that target cancer, and do not have side-effects. This study investigates whether the curcuminoid (3E,5E)-3,5-bis[(2-fluorophenyl) methylene]-4-piperidinone (EF-24) increases the effects of cisplatin against the human ovarian cancer cell line, A2780, and the cisplatin resistant human ovarian cancer line, A2780cis, while preventing cisplatin cytotoxicity in the human kidney cell line, HEK-293T. The effect of cisplatin and EF-24 on cellular viability was measured using the colorimetric 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. Our preliminary data suggests that cisplatin and EF-24 are effective against these cancer cell lines and that their combination in cancer and kidney cell lines is a promising application. Synergistic and nephroprotective effects identified in this project could provide relevant clinical information for treating cancer and preventing nephrotoxic effects from cisplatin treatment.
2:00 * - Oxidative stress mediated downregulation of transcription factor Glis3 results in beta cell dysfunction
First Author
Erin Clayton
Murray State University 
Co-author
Gary ZeRuth 
Murray State University 
Blood glucose levels are highly regulated to maintain blood glucose homeostasis. When blood glucose levels are elevated, the pancreatic β cells produce insulin, which signals the cells of the peripheral tissues to take up circulating glucose. In type 2 diabetes, insulin-resistance develops at the peripheral tissues and the β cells respond by increasing insulin production during a period termed compensation. The period of compensation, however transitions into a period of β cell dysfunction wherein insulin production is dramatically downregulated in the β cells. Prolonged exposure of β cells to elevated levels of glucose can result in β cell dysfunction but the molecular underpinnings of these events, collectively termed 'glucotoxicity' remain unclear. We have found that β cells maintained under glucotoxic conditions have a marked decrease in expression of the transcription factor Gli-similar 3 (Glis3), which has previously been implicated in the development of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Here we show that knockdown of Glis3 resulted in decreased insulin expression under low glucose conditions and expression of exogenous Glis3 partially rescued insulin expression under glucotoxic conditions. Together, these results suggest that β cell dysfunction in response to glucotoxicity is at least in part due to decreased expression of Glis3. We also demonstrated that Glis3 binding to the insulin promoter resulted in chromatin relaxation while loss of Glis3 under conditions of persistently elevated glucose significantly decreased accessibility to the insulin regulatory region. Finally, we demonstrated that Glis3 levels decrease under glucotoxic conditions as a result of increased oxidative stress.
2:15 * - Targeted integration of fluorescent reporters into iPSCs using CRISPR/Cas9
First Author
Chann Han
Berea College 
Co-author
Dennis Roop 
University of Colorado Denver - Anschutz Medical Campus 
Co-author
Igor Kogut 
University of Colorado Denver - Anschutz Medical Campus 
Co-author
Ganna Bilousova 
University of Colorado Denver - Anschutz Medical Campus 
Co-author
Partick Sean McGrath 
University of Colorado Denver - Anschutz Medical Campus 
Co-author
Kiel Carson Butterfield 
University of Colorado Denver - Anschutz Medical Campus 
Animal models frequently have limitations when used to study human disease. In 1998, the first isolation of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) ushered in a new era for modeling genetic diseases. However, there are still many barriers to using hESCs to study or treat human diseases including accessibility, immune rejection, and ethical concerns. The development of patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and new technologies including CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing have helped to alleviate many of the barriers to stem cell disease modeling. iPSC-derived patient-specific models are a very powerful tool in the understanding of human disease development and translational research. One valuable way to model diseases is by directly visualizing cellular and physiological phenotypes during cells' renewal and differentiation via tagging with fluorescent reporters at specific loci. We developed a strategy to construct a series of constitutively expressed fluorescent proteins for knock-in into the AAVS1 safe-harbor locus, or other genes of interest, using CRISPR/Cas9. Additionally, we have further modified each fluorescent protein to include either nuclear- or membrane-localization signals. Building additional resources into iPSCs, such as fluorescent tags and reporters, will advance the model system as a research tool. The goal of the project is to construct a library of fluorescent cell lines spanning the spectrum from blue (405-excitation) to far-red (647-excitation) for downstream applications.
2:30 - The involvement of JAK/STAT signaling during air sac primordium development in Drosophila melanogaster
First Author
Nathan Powers
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Ajay Srivastava 
Western Kentucky University 
The Janus kinase/signal transducer and activator of transcription (JAK/STAT) pathway plays diverse roles in both developmental and pathological contexts, remaining highly conserved across many metazoan species. We employed the Gal4/UAS system to begin elucidating this signaling network's contributions to lung development and metastatic invasion through the lens of air sac primordium (ASP) development in fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster). ASPs are larval precursors to thoracic air sacs that oxygenate the flight muscles of adult fruit flies, requiring several molecular phenomena with parallels in human lung development and tumoral invasion. We found that JAK/STAT signaling is activated in ASP tip cells, where many processes that facilitate invasion take place. The Drosophila JAK (hopscotch), STAT (Stat92E), ligand receptor (domeless), and one negative regulator (eye transformer) were then either overexpressed or knocked down throughout the tracheal system to evaluate the impact of JAK/STAT dysregulation on ASP development. The proportion of mutant ASP phenotypes that arose after misexpression was significantly higher compared to control groups. We also investigated which of the three signaling ligands in D. melanogaster (Upd, Upd2, Upd3) activate the JAK/STAT pathway during ASP development. We found that Upd3 is expressed throughout the trachea and ASP, but Upd3 knockdown did not yield the same results as misexpression of the other signaling components. We are currently investigating whether Upd or Upd2 is the primary activating ligand, and whether they work together cooperatively or competitively, if at all. Our work broadens the range of potential targets for further study in the context of cancer remediation.
2:45 * - Transcription factor Gli-similar 3 in pancreatic β cell development and insulin expression
First Author
Lesley Golden
Murray State University 
Co-author
Gary ZeRuth 
Murray State University 
Gli-similar 3 (Glis3), a Krüppel-like transcription factor, is critical for insulin expression in adult tissue, but its role in specification and maturation of the endocrine pancreas is unclear. Morpholino knockdown of glis3 in zebrafish produced fish that had a more restricted area of insulin expression and a disruption of normal islet architecture suggesting that glis3 is not required for β cell specification in zebrafish. Instead, glis3 may participate in subsequent β cell expansion and distribution. Because the second wave of endocrine pancreas development follows the period within which MO are most effective, a glis3 KO mutant lacking 95% of the glis3 protein was generated. The glis3sa17645/+ heterozygotes presented higher levels of insulin production than their WT peers. While there was no significant difference between WT and heterozygous fasted blood glucose levels, glis3sa17645/+ heterozygotes had significantly reduced postprandial blood glucose levels. Glis3sa17645/sa17645 homozygotes expressed an unexpected, lower Mendelian ratio and surviving knockouts were 3:1 more likely to be male than female. When glis3sa17645/sa17645 homozygotes were crossed, roughly 10% of F3 homozygotes presented with cyclopia, hydrocephalus, and ventrally curving spine within the first 72 hpf. Remaining homozygotes survived for three weeks with no apparent phenotype, though growth appeared retarded and Polycystic Kidney disease was detected in numerous individuals. By 4-5 wpf, only 10% of the glis3sa17645/sa17645 homozygotes had survived and appeared significantly smaller. These findings suggested that glis3, alongside zygotic functions, may also act as a maternal effect gene that is necessary for developmental programs occurring after the zygotic transition.
Friday, November 2, 2018  1:15pm - 3:00pm
Computer & Informational Sciences - Oral Presentations
DSU 2113
Section meeting follows talks at 3:00
1:15 - Application of Huffman Coding in Cryptographic hash function SHA-1
First Author
Mustafa Atici
Western Kentucky University 
There are many cryptographic hash functions which are broken previously and some of them are used today in real-world applications. In 1989, Ronal Rivest first introduced us to Message Digest 2 (MD2) produces 128-bit message digest. He improved on MD2 and developed MD4. In 1991, Security weakness was found in this algorithm which led to the development of MD5 (introduced in 1992) and most of the industries deployed it in their applications. In 1993, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) introduced SHA-0 very similar to MD5 and Introduced SHA-1 under FIPS 180-1 later. This algorithm produces 160-bit message digest when an arbitrary length of message less than 264 is given as input. According to NIST, all these hash functions including SHA-1 share common phenomena, Security Attacks. In 2005, a group of researchers broke the collision resistance of MD5 hash function. In this paper, we have developed a new method SHA-1 PAD(x). This new method produces a message digest, say y, so that two distinct message that generated to break SHA-1 can no longer collide.
With this new method, possible message space that may contain two distinct messages that collide using SHA-1 is bigger than the original message space of SHA-1.
1:30 * - Optically-Linked Raspberry Pi Beowulf Cluster
First Author
Christopher Harton
Murray State University 
Beowulf clusters have been a common solution for meeting scientific and large-scale calculation needs. These clusters are generally much cheaper than a supercomputer and can tackle much larger problems than a normal PC. Raspberry Pis are cheap, small computers that can be used as cost-effective nodes for a Beowulf cluster. They have been shown to be effective as nodes in a Beowulf cluster for larger calculations. Any Beowulf cluster requires a way to pass data between nodes while performing parallel calculations. Optical links provide an interesting solution for quickly passing data between computers over a short distance. This project uses beams of light as optical links to pass the data between the nodes in the cluster. This paper describes the design and development of a Beowulf cluster with Raspberry Pi nodes that are optically linked to evaluate the viability and speed of an optically-linked Beowulf cluster and compare its computation speed to a traditional Beowulf cluster.
1:45 * - Analyzing Telomere Sequences: Telomere sequence identification and analysis in fungal genomics
First Author
Harrison Inocencio
University of Kentucky Department of Computer Science 
Co-author
Michael Murray 
University of Kentucky Department of Computer Science 
Co-author
Mark Farman 
University of Kentucky Department of Plant Pathology 
Co-author
Jerzy Jaromczyk 
University of Kentucky Department of Computer Science 
Telomere sequences are repetitive sequences of DNA that are often found at the ends of chromosomes and have a lot to offer when it comes to fungal genomic research. However, because of the nature of next generation sequencing technology as well as their repetitive nature, they can be difficult to identify in genomic sequences through both observation and computational pattern matching. I developed a software program whose objective was to examine large amounts of genomic sequences in order to locate the number of telomeric repeats (the number of times a given telomere sequence repeats), count them, and eventually group them with other sequences with the same count. This allowed the isolation and analysis of specific read groups based off of their telomeric repeat count and more generally, allowed the pseudo reliable identification and quantizing of telomeric repeats within sequences.
2:00 * - Analysis of the vulnerabilities of Point of Sale (PoS) systems in the Internet of Things
First Author
Bryan Kirshe
University of Kentucky 
Co-author
Sherali Zeadally 
University of Kentucky 
Abstract:
Internet of Things (IoT) is an advanced ever-growing network of physical
objects each of which is equipped with processing and networking
capabilities and can communicate with each other. Typical IoT devices
include laptops, smartphones, and computers, smart meters, home alarm
systems as well devices such as Point of Sale (PoS) systems, cars,
refrigerators that are connected to the Internet.
In recent years many businesses (restaurants, grocery stores, and so on) have been switching from
traditional cash registers to Point of Sale (PoS) systems because of their
convenience and capabilities. As these PoS systems join the local network
of the business concerned and become accessible via the Internet, they
become increasingly exposed to various types of external attacks which can
cripple the business operations if they are not secure. Using the IoT
search engine, Shodan, we conducted an extensive analysis of the
vulnerabilities (in particular the vulnerability associated with the
Oracle PoS Systems known as CVE-2018-2636 which affected over 330,000
systems in early 2018) of PoS systems currently connected to the
Internet using a program we have developed. Our analysis revealed the
existence of 125 vulnerable PoS out of which 70 are located in the United
States but none in the State of Kentucky. Our vulnerability scanning
results of PoS systems demonstrate how vital it is to properly secure them
as they become part of the IoT ecosystem and mitigate the ever-growing
security risks they face similar to other IoT devices.
2:15 * - Utilizing Genome Assembly and Search Tools to Track Evolution of Magnaporthe Oryzae
First Author
Michael Murray
University of Kentucky 
Co-author
Kelsey Cole 
University of Kentucky 
Co-author
Jerzy Jaromczyk 
University of Kentucky 
This project is a part of research on the properties responsible for the genetic diversity of the fungal strain Magnaporthe Oryzae. For our bioinformatic contribution to this research, we were interested in assembling high quality DNA sequence of this strain. Pre-existing bioinformatics software and codebases were used to introduce us to procedures for processing the data as well as to spotlight the tasks that would need to be solved. After leveraging tools such as Mauve and MUMmer for the alignment of contiguous DNA segments, we discovered the need for more granular visualization tools, greater flexibility for placing unmatched segments of DNA and the ability to easily compare the results from multiple datasets. To combine the strengths of both programs, a Python script was written to display the processed data from MUMmer using Mauve, enabling more precise inspections of matched subsequences. This technique also proved useful for highlighting interruptions in chromosomal similarities between adjacent fungal strains, clarifying what regions of genome required additional inspection. In addition, we examined possible tools to analyze shifts in the genome of M. Oryzae--in particular, shifts in the positions of retrotransposons that are linked to telomere instability. We utilized a bidirectional index search algorithm present in Seqan, a C++ library, and tre-agrep. While tre-agrep was significantly faster, the bidirectional index search algorithm returned more matches. Ultimately, by constructing high quality DNA sequence and flagging elements of interest in an easily parsable output, we aim to expedite efforts to better understand the genetic diversity of M. Oryzae.

This project has been funded by the NSF grant #320001636 (PI: M. Farman).
2:30 * - Game Prediction in Professional League of Legends using Neural Networks
First Author
Stephen Goins
Bellarmine University 
League of Legends is a Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) where players take on the role of champions and play against other players in a competitive 5-on-5 game environment. This online game has become a popular eSport, with professional scenes in regions across the world including North America, Korea, China, Vietnam, and Europe. In North America, the conference is called NA LCS, with 10 teams currently competing. The NA LCS is divided into two splits, one in the spring and one in the summer. Using data from the player and team performances in the 2018 season, predictions about the outcome of a game based on the players and teams associated can be made through the use of neural networks and deep learning. The NA LCS was one of the most volatile regions in 2018, resulting in extremely close records between the first and last teams, for this reason the NA LCS data will be used to see if the system is able to predict such a volatile region. Based on just the season records, the system is able to predict with a mean square error of roughly 1.8%. By adjusting the variables associated with the neural network, including number of inputs, number of hidden layers, and number of nodes in each hidden layer, this mean square error fluctuates. The purpose is to illustrate prediction methods in neural networks, their effectiveness, and test that the ability to predict a professional league of legends game is possible with a high accuracy.
Friday, November 2, 2018  1:15pm - 3:00pm
Engineering - Oral Presentations
DSU 2123
Section meeting follows talks at 2:30pm
1:15 * - High-Throughput Microfluidics to Characterize Subtle Synaptic Phenotypes in C. elegans.
First Author
Jean-Pierre Amoakon
Georgetown College 
Co-author
Farhan Kamili 
Georgia Institute of Technology 
Neuronal pathologies such as Alzheimer's disease or Schizophrenia affect an increasing proportion of the population. Recently, research has shown that structure of micro-level synapses in the brain are affected in many such neuropathologies. However, the genetic basis for this correlation and the link between synaptic morphology and behavior is not well understood. Therefore, in our research, we sought to characterize how synaptic distribution and genetic variations impact behavior. For this, we used state-of-the art microfluidic devices that we specifically fabricated to image the synapses of the nematode C. elegans, which served as a model organism. The images obtained were then incorporated into a machine learning training dataset to develop an algorithm to recognize synapses. Furthermore, by coupling computer vision tools with the extraction of quantitative traits from nervous system images, we were able to characterize subtle differences in synaptic distributions of two naturally-occurring and genetically different wild-type strains: Hawaiian and Bristol. This automated approach for recognition and quantification of synaptic traits makes experiments much faster and more robust to human bias and imaging errors. Therefore, we were able to more confidently identify subtle differences in the nervous system, with the eventual goal of identifying behaviors arising from these differences.
1:30 * - Implementation of the SPICE Observation Geometry System for the Lunar IceCube Mission
First Author
Jacob Schabert
Morehead State University 
In remote-sensing science missions, understanding the observational geometry of the mission is exceptionally important in achieving the science goals. Without this information, the mission scientists would have a set of data with no feasible method of correlating it with a physical point for future reanalysis or practical applications. To meet this requirement, NASA JPL's Navigation and Ancillary Information Facility (NAIF) has developed and supported a data system and set of tools called SPICE. To meet its science requirements, SPICE is being used by Lunar IceCube as its basis for ancillary information. Lunar IceCube is a CubeSat developed by Morehead State University in partnership with NASA Goddard, NASA JPL, NASA IV&V, Busek, and others. It is one of the thirteen CubeSats selected to launch as a secondary payload on Exploration Mission 1 (EM-1) the first launch of the Space Launch System. This work will result in a well-structured set of SPICE-readable data and a SPICE-based software tool to interpret observational geometry data for the Lunar IceCube mission which will allow correlation of the observations with features on the Lunar surface. This research was supported by Kentucky's Space Grant Consortium, NASA JPL, the Morehead State University Space Science Center, and the Hal Rogers Undergraduate Fellowship for Space Science.
1:45 * - Safety Engineering for a CubeSat: Hazards and Verifications
First Author
Katerina Winters
Morehead State University 
The most powerful rocket to date, NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) EM-1, is set to launch in late 2019. 13 secondary payloads will be launched with the rocket in the form of 6U CubeSats, satellites about the size and shape of a shoe box. One of these secondary payloads is Morehead State University's Lunar IceCube (LIC) whose mission is to scan the Moon's surface to study and track water volatiles. Built at the university, LIC must adhere to NASA standards and requirements to guarantee that LIC will not harm the SLS or the other payloads during the launch. Morehead State's Safety Engineering Team, comprised of four undergraduate students, is responsible for adhering to these requirements. Hazard Reports are part of the criteria that must be met to launch on the SLS. A Hazard Report is a document explicitly listing every potential danger that could stem from a satellite's subsystem (such as the batteries, propulsion system, solar panels, etc.) and negatively affect the SLS, other payloads, or ground operations. In order to complete Hazard Reports, safety verifications must be established, approved, and closed. Verifications are safety measurements guaranteed by Morehead State University. The closure of verifications is done through adherence to NASA standards, internal and NASA reviews of LIC's design, and test results. LIC's Hazard Reports are submitted to NASA's Payload Safety Review Panel for review and approval in order to pass part of the launch criteria for the SLS.
2:00 * - Safety Engineering for a CubeSat: Materials and Usage Requirements
First Author
Akira King
Morehead State University 
In late 2019, the Morehead State University Space Science Program's Lunar IceCube (LIC) – a 6U CubeSat (or small satellite) about the size of a large shoebox– will be launched alongside 12 other secondary payloads aboard NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) EM-1, the most powerful rocket ever built. LIC is a science mission designed to observe water ice deposits on the surface of the Moon. When developing a small satellite, it is important to adhere to both NASA-defined and internal standards when designing the spacecraft to ensure that LIC can carry out its mission without harming itself, the other payloads, or – most importantly – the rocket. Informed decisions in safety, systems, and quality engineering insure that our satellite meets all the requirements for launch. This includes choosing the best materials to build the spacecraft with and ensuring those materials are implemented correctly. The Morehead State Safety Engineering Team – four undergraduate students – is responsible for assuring that all parts of our CubeSat meet the materials and usage requirements laid out by NASA for small satellites. Materials and usage information for LIC and its subsystems are documented and carefully analyzed to ensure that everything being used to build the craft is safe and will get the job done. This work utilizes government databases, NASA documents, data processing tools, and working with materials and systems engineers from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC), and private companies such as Busek and Blue Canyon Technologies.
2:15 - The ThinSat Program: Flight Opportunities and the Future of Small Satellites
First Author
Christopher Coleman
Morehead State University 
Co-author
Robert Twiggs 
Morehead State University 
Co-author
Aaron Zucherman 
Morehead State University 
Co-author
Jose Garcia 
Morehead State University 
Co-author
Matt Craft 
Twiggs Space Lab 
Co-author
Amin Djamshidpour 
Twiggs Space Lab 
Co-author
Regan Smith 
Virginia Space 
Co-author
Hank Voss 
Near Space Launch 
Co-author
Jeff Dailey 
Near Space Launch 
Co-author
Matt Orvis 
Near Space Launch 
This presentation describes the flight opportunities with the ThinSat Program available to the small satellite community, and how it can be used to meet a wide variety of education, commercial and scientific missions. The ThinSat Program is a STEM educational program, which utilizes a new pico-satellite standard developed by Near Space Launch, Inc. (NSL), with the support of Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority (VCSFA), and Twiggs Space Lab, LLC (TSL) at Morehead State University.
The design is the next iteration of the PocketQube design, with a more efficient packing factor allowing for the deployment of 21 ThinSats with a standard 3U Canisterized Satellite Dispenser (CSD). The standard is based on a common bus with set electrical and mechanical interfaces that simplifies the development and integration of diverse payloads. Tethering of individual ThinSats allow for distribution of larger payloads allowing for a more flexible system.
VCSFA has secured payload capacity on the 2nd stage of future Northrop Grumman Antares rockets launched from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. VCSFA and TSL will have the opportunity to launch 60 ThinSats on the maiden mission in the Fall 2018, and 84 ThinSats on each of the subsequent Antares ISS resupply missions through June 30, 2021. Additional capacity may be added to meet future demand. It is anticipated that initial flight opportunities (with the launch and bus) may be available for as little as $25,000 for the educational application which is far more cost competitive than any other comparable flight opportunities.
The low-cost, simplicity and large number of deployments per launch means the ThinSats have the potential to surpass the opportunities for scientific discoveries that were opened by the adoption of the CubeSat. Deploying large constellations of ThinSats in orbit at once, can achieve a level of atmospheric data available
Friday, November 2, 2018  1:15pm - 3:15pm
Environmental Science - Oral Presentations
DSU 1037
Section meeting follows talks at 3:15
WITHDRAWN - A synoptic focus on the January 2016 blizzard and tornado event using satellite and radar imagery
WITHDRAWN - American Chestnut Reintroduction in Kentucky: a GIS Approach
1:45 - An Index-Based Assessment of Tourism Development Impacts on Cold-Climate Hydrologically-Dominant Landscapes
First Author
Jason Fox
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Leslie North 
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Jason Polk 
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Sydney Herndon 
Western Kentucky University 
Tourism is a rapidly-expanding industry across many of Earth's cold-climate regions. Tourism in these regions is largely characterized by recreational and sightseeing activities at natural attractions such as fjords, glaciers, coastal cliffs, and other landforms endemic to cold regions. While the economic promise of the tourism industry can contribute to a sustainable future for cold-climate communities, the environmental implications of a hastily-developed industry cannot be ignored given that cold-climate landscapes are at risk of rapid environmental change from a warming climate. This study consists of the development of a tourism impact index for cold-climate hydrologic sites, the first of its kind, and its application and refinement in the field at various case study locations in Iceland. As no direct precedent for a tourism impact index exists, the creation of the original index draft was informed by various other indices available from the literature in related sub-disciplines. As the index was applied throughout the study regions of southwestern and southern Iceland, improvements were incorporated into the design so as to create a well-validated product that may be shared with tourism managers and developers across cold-climate regions and with researchers to aid in the continued expansion of research in tourism-environmental interactions.
2:00 * - Analysis of the Bioaccumulation of Methylmercury in the Organs and Tissues of Bald Eagles
First Author
Evan Hendrickson
Western Kentucky University 
Mercury (Hg) concentration was evaluated in an individual bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) from Mammoth Cave National Park to assess the overall mercury accumulated within its organs and tissues to determine the level of methylmercury bioaccumulation from the environment. Using an AMA 254 Advanced Mercury Analyzer, 13 r different organs and and other tissues were evaluated. Approximately 50% of the total samples ran were quality assurance and quality control samples. No full-body analysis such as this has been completed to date. This study provides an unprecedented, comprehensive understanding of the amounts of mercury within the overall environment, food chain, and apex predators. Mean concentrations reached as high as 63.69 Hg ppm in this individual and were significantly higher than those found in other bald eagles studied. Tissue concentrations ranged from 4.91 ± 0.98 to 27.70 ± 5.54, and organ concentrations ranged from 3.70 ± 0.74 to 108.78 ± 21.76. This study reports high-risk levels of mercury within the kidney, lungs, testes, and down feathers. While findings suggest that this individual was likely to have been negatively affected by the mercury levels within its organs and tissues, further work is needed to form correlations between groups of organs and their concentrations as well as the specific impacts on each organ and tissue. The finding of the high-risk levels of mercury within the testes has important implications pertaining to reproductive decline, increased offspring mortality, and the extent to which mercury is being passed from parent to offspring in fertilization.
2:15 - Assessment of Emerald Ash Borer Related Canopy Gaps in Kentucky Using Drone-Based Remote Sensing and Plot-Level Data
First Author
Brandon Preece
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Richard Cristan 
Kentucky State University 
The emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis; EAB) is a highly destructive invasive species that has caused a severe impact on the forests of the eastern United States. A lack of natural predators, coupled with a high rate of mobility, has allowed EAB to decimate the population of ash trees. Determining the long-term ramifications of this damage is essential to developing management practices for areas that were heavily populated with ash trees prior to the introduction of EAB. Invasive species often thrive in disturbance areas and could be a potential concern in EAB-impacted areas. Advances in drone technology allow the unique opportunity to collect high-resolution images of forests from less than 400 feet above the ground. The goals of this study were to assess the use of drones to identify canopy gaps related to EAB and to evaluate species regenerating in canopy gaps via on-the-ground plot-level measurements. The assessment of vegetation was conducted to determine species currently growing in canopy gaps.
Drone flights and preparation of maps occurred throughout the summer of 2018. Canopy gaps were identified and randomly selected for plot-level measurements. Trees above 5 inches in diameter were sampled on 1/10-acre plots and species, diameter, and height were recorded. Regeneration plots consisted of 1/100-acre plots and included vegetation below 5 inches in diameter; species and count of species were recorded. Leaf-area index was also recorded at the center of each gap. Plot-level measurements took place between August 27, 2018 and September 28, 2018.
2:30 - Comparison of Benthic Macroinvertebrate Sampling Methods on Non-Wadeable Waters: A Study Proposal
First Author
Ed Wilcox
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Richard Cristan 
Kentucky State University 
Benthic macroinvertebrates are part of the Environmental Protection Agency's biomonitoring program for assessing water quality. Abundant documentation exists regarding sampling methods in wadeable waterways; however, limited information is available on sampling methods in non-wadeable waterways. Non-wadeable waterways are those that cannot be waded along the length or the breadth. Additionally, if equipment such as a D-frame net is not usable, the waterway may be considered non-wadeable. Benthic macroinvertebrates can be sampled in non-wadeable waterways using artificial substrates such as Hester-Dendy samplers; however, there is limited scientific research documenting the viability of non-wadeable waterway sampling methods and even less comparing effectiveness of the sampling methods. This study seeks to compare the rates of colonization and biodiversity between Hester-Dendy multi-plate samplers, leaf pack samplers, and a hybrid sampler comprised of both Hester-Dendy multi-plate samplers and leaf pack samplers. The results of this study will determine which samplers are most effective for sampling macroinvertebrates in non-wadeable waters.
2:45 - Ecosystem Exchange of Carbon Dioxide of a Grazed Pasture in Central Kentucky
First Author
Ian Ries
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Maheteme Gebremedhin 
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Martin Matisoff 
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Ken Andries 
Kentucky State University 
In 2012, pastureland covered an estimated 1.40 million ha (3,459,198 acres) of land, about 24.7% the total farmland in Kentucky. Intensively managed pasturelands have the potential to sequester carbon at 10 to 130 g C m-2 year rate and improve biomass productivity; both are of extreme importance to the State's livestock industry. Local soil and microclimate conditions control the carbon source and sink status of pasturelands. There is little information about the amount and the stability of carbon stored on pasturelands under current soil, climate and management conditions. Long-term data are vital for assessing the status and trends and for identifying strategies and opportunities for sustainable use of pastureland. Between 2016 and 2018, this study quantified the CO2 and H2O fluxes of a pasture field at Harold R. Benson Research and Demonstration Farm, in Frankfort, Kentucky using the eddy covariance method. The objectives of the study are to: i) quantify the seasonal variations in exchange, ii) determine the carbon balance of the pastureland, and iii) identify key biophysical drivers of CO2 exchange between the surface and the atmosphere. In 2016, annual total gross for primary productivity (GPP) and ecosystem respiration (Re) were 6,351g CO2 m-2 y-1 and 5,468 g CO2 m-2 y-1, respectively. The annual net ecosystem exchange (GPP-Re), integrated over the same year was 883g CO2 m-2 y-1 suggesting that the pasture was a carbon sink. At the time of this abstract submission, data from 2017 and 2018 are still being analyzed and full results will be reported at the KAS annual meeting.
3:00 - Opportunities for collaborative research and education at a network of field stations in Kentucky
First Author
Stephen Richter
Eastern Kentucky University 
Kentucky has over twenty field stations across the state that offer opportunities for field-based research and learning. Kentucky is unique in having a field station network, the Kentucky Organization of Field Stations (KOFS). As a network, we have the opportunity to contribute to research, public education, and the preservation of nature in ways that individual stations cannot, and the benefits of establishing these networks extend well beyond science and the boundaries of each station. KOFS meets annually at one of the member stations to share ideas on establishing, maintaining, and operating field stations and to discuss collaborative research, teaching, and public education. We are actively working to expand beyond our sites to reach more partners, create new collaborations and recruit new users. In this presentation, I will discuss resources available to scientists and educators and ideas for collaborations.
Friday, November 2, 2018  1:15pm - 3:15pm
Geology - Oral Presentations
DSU 3002
Section meeting follows talks at 3:15
1:15 - A Geochemical Comparison of two Telogenetic Karst Springs During Reverse Flow, Mammoth Cave, Kentucky
First Author
Chelsey Kipper
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Patricia Kambesis 
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Jason Polk 
Western Kentucky University 
Previous studies in Mammoth Cave National Park have identified a phenomenon, referred to as stable reverse flow, that may significantly contribute to cave formation. Groundwater in the Mammoth Cave Karst Aquifer typically discharges from springs into the Green River, the regional hydrologic baselevel. When the river stage increases, water from the Green River enters River Styx Spring, flows over the drainage divide, and discharges at Echo River Spring. This study aims to quantify the geochemical and hydrologic changes that occur between the two springs during stable reverse flow. The stage of the Green River, influenced by storm events in the Upper Green River Basin, seasonal changes associated with evapotranspiration, and damming along the Green River, all control the timing and duration of stable reverse flows. Data is being collected to capture seasonal changes in karst geochemistry, flow rates, groundwater sources, and carbon transport in the karst system. Major ion concentrations, alkalinity, TOC and carbon isotopes are collected weekly; SpC, temperature, and pH are being recorded at 10-minute intervals; and pressure transducers are being used to collect water levels at two-minute intervals. Data are expected to show relationships between stable reverse flows, meteorological processes, and human influence on the river basin. Distinct changes in geochemical parameters will be used to determine when flow reversals occur. Alkalinity, TOC, and carbon isotope measurements will provide information about seasonal and temporal changes in carbon flux, and about how spring flow reversals contribute to carbonate dissolution and conduit development.
1:30 - Do Radioactive Black Shales Potentially Affect Human Health as well as Water Quality of Streams in Eastern Kentucky?
First Author
Mitchell Grothaus
Morehead State University 
Co-author
Elizabeth Hereford 
Morehead State University 
Co-author
Robert Grigsby 
Morehead State University 
Co-author
Geoffrey Gearner 
Morehead State University 
Co-author
Timothy Hare 
Morehead State University 
Co-author
Charles Mason 
Morehead State University 
This study explores the impact of radioactive and heavy metal-containing black shales of the Ohio and Sunbury formations on the water quality and public health in eastern Kentucky. Data collection includes radiation, microbiological, chemical analysis, and aquatic environmental testing. Radiation testing entails placing dosimeters, devices for measuring ionizing radiation, in four different sections located in Rowan, Bath, Fleming, and Lewis Counties. In each section, ten dosimeters are placed in the black shale units and five dosimeters area placed in other units below, above, and within the black shale units as controls. The Sunbury Shale and lower Huron Member of the Ohio Shale emit the most radiation of the shales tested while the controls emit little to no radiation. Microbiological testing encompasses sampling at stream sites related to black shale in the previously mentioned counties. Samples are analyzed for concentrations of Escherichia coli, heterotrophic bacteria, and total coliform bacteria utilizing the membrane filtration method and various culture media. Aquatic environmental testing samples are collected at the same streams sites for measuring dissolved oxygen, pH, total dissolved solids, conductivity, temperature, and discharge. Results show high pH at black shale sites while upstream and downstream are relatively neutral. Previous research indicates that environmental factors contribute to cancer risk and this research seeks to define the nature of the interaction of the radiation and heavy metals to the environment to improve health outcomes in eastern Kentucky.
1:45 - Fate of Indirect greenhouse gases in Karst Landscapes Associated with Land Use
First Author
Stacy Antle
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Jason Polk 
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
John Loughrin 
USDA-ARS 
Co-author
Pat Kambesis 
Western Kentucky University 
Greenhouse gases (GHG) (CO2, N2O, CH4) are a major environmental concern, because their concentrations have continuously risen over the past few centuries due to global population growth, fossil fuel dependency, and the industrial revolution. Since these gases are natural occurring phenomena, they will never be completely eliminated. Efforts to reduce them span across numerous scientific attempts with minimal improvements in reducing their atmospheric concentrations. In agricultural land practices, greenhouse gases are common byproducts that affect the atmosphere and groundwater. Livestock and inorganic fertilizers are key identifiers. Although dissolved GHG's (particularly CO2) have been studied frequently in groundwater, very few studies have made efforts to delineate the fate of GHGs in groundwater in karst environments, wherein the surface and subsurface are interconnected and GHGs may be stored or transported through aquifer processes and later released downstream. At Crumps Cave, indirect GHG were analyzed for seasonal changes along with other geochemistry parameters to identify if anthropogenic land use effected GHG production in the epikarst and bedrock. This study revealed that CO2 can originate in the soil due to root and microbial respiration during the growing season. CH4 is produced and consumed continuously in the epikarst and bedrock where decay of organic matter is the primary driver for seasonal change and temperature has little effect on methanogens and methanotrophs survival because of their ability of adaptation to the environment. N2O via the nitrogen cycle where nitrification/denitrifications occurs is directly affected by land use during fertilizer application and crop rotation. Nitrates from the surface is the nitrogen source that is needed for denitrification to occur and during recharge events N2O is elevated because of residence time is decreased and dissolved oxygen is elevated. It is important to consider the implications of elevated GHGs on the surface due to land use
2:00 - Incision timing and its relationship to tectonic uplift and climate change: using thermochronology to unravel Ethiopia's
First Author
Shelby Bowden
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Nahid Gani 
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Matthijs Van Soest 
Arizona State University 
Co-author
Royhan Gani 
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Paul O'Sullivan 
GeoSeps Services LLC 
Incision timing and its relationship to tectonic uplift and climate change: using thermochronology to unravel Ethiopia's past.

Ethiopia is dominated by a countrywide plateau that is similar in elevation to the Colorado Plateau. Multiple large rivers have incised through the Plateau, exposing bedrock in deep river canyons that reach 1.5 km in depth. Due to its elevation and extent, published climate modeling has suggested that the plateau uplift could have had a first-order impact on the Cenozoic East African aridification that is linked with hominin evolution. Despite the potentially far-reaching significance of the plateau's formation, its uplift timing is not well constrained. This study aims to elucidate the uplift timing of the Western Ethiopian plateau by using river incision as a proxy for uplift. Methods used to date river incision and model the thermal history include apatite (U-Th)/He and fission track theromochronometers and SEM-BSE. Samples were taken from an incised pluton along the Didessa River canyon wall. Corrected cooling ages range from 100-31 Ma, with crystallization ages from 797-635 Ma. Fission track ages range from 179-58 Ma. Results indicate that the pluton underwent Mesozoic exhumation between 100-77 Ma. Massive outpouring of basalts during late Oligocene, which indicated the arrival of the African Superplume below Ethiopia, caused partial thermal resetting of the deepest sample. Relationships between age and eU in the deepest sample indicate that the sample sat in the partial retention zone for an extended period after the flood basalt event. Thermal modeling yields a post-Oligocene cooling history characterized by initial quiescence followed by rapid cooling from the late Miocene to present day.
2:15 - Mass-Transport Deposits in the Northern Gulf of Mexico and Their Implications to Hydrocarbon Exploration
First Author
Michael Arthur
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
M. Royhan Gani 
Western Kentucky University 
This study investigates Mio-Pliocene mass-transport deposits (MTDs) in an understudied, hydrocarbon-rich region of the northeastern Gulf of Mexico. The research utilizes a high-quality 3D seismic dataset with an area of 635 km2, along with wireline logs and biostratigraphic data. With the help of quantitative seismic geomorphology techniques, detailed mapping of MTDs suggests a complex erosional and depositional history.

Deposition of an MTD unit resulted in a 180 m topographic high that substantially influenced the distribution and morphology of subsequent MTDs, specifically the bifurcation of later mass-transport flows. This bifurcation contributed to the generation of a non-shielded erosional remnant with an area of 65 km2. Depositional elements of the remnant strata are interpreted to be sediment waves. Instantaneous frequency attribute maps of the erosional remnant suggest a different lithology than surrounding muddy MTDs; and thus is interpreted to be sandy. For the first time in literature, this research documented intra-MTD channel and lobe features. The development of a sinuous channel system encased within MTD gives new insights into mass-transport processes. This provides evidence for considering MTDs as the amalgamation deposit of multiple and different-type of flow events, rather than a singular event-deposit. The channel, lobe, and erosional remnant features examined in this research demonstrate reservoir prone facies encased within MTD units, forming stratigraphic traps directly associated with mass-transport phenomena.

This research contributes to the understanding of seal vs. reservoir rock development and distribution in the study area, as well as presents new developments into MTD flow processes and their resulting morphologies.
2:30 * - Spectral Analysis of Analog Lunar and Martian Mineral Samples
First Author
Madison Howard
Morehead State University 
Co-author
Marianne Peterson 
St. Olaf 
Co-author
Prabhakar Misra 
Howard University 
This study looks at ten different lunar and Martian analog mineral samples, in order to better understand the makeup of their crusts. We will provide an in-depth analysis of several spectral peaks for each sample using mainly Raman spectroscopy. We also performed SEM image analysis and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy of silicate, oxide, phosphate, and stromatolite samples. The major Raman vibrations identified were for two olivine samples, which are members of the silicate family. These peaks occur at approximately 823 and 855 cm−1 and are caused by SiO4 symmetric stretching. This double peak identifies the olivine samples as forsterites, meaning the minerals contain a magnesium component. The scanning electron microscope (SEM) images provided information on whether the samples were grainy and/or massive on the surface. The FTIR-ATR provided additional information on the movement of the molecules within each sample. This study also contains a brief temperature dependency analysis, which is still currently being researched.
2:45 - Stratigraphic Controls on Cave Passage Development of Dogwood Cave, Hart, County, Kentucky
First Author
Patricia Kambesis
Western Kentucky University 
In the Mammoth Cave area, regional lithologic heterogeneities within the Mississippian carbonate section influence groundwater flow and cave development. The predominant lithology that expresses significant geologic control is chert. However, other lithologies may also affect groundwater flow and cave development in the region. Dogwood Cave, a small vadose cave formed at the contact between the Big Clifty Formation and the Girkin Formation, contains a distinctive exposure of shale called the Elwrin Member that is persistent throughout the cave. This research determined that the Elwrin member influenced the development of Dogwood Cave. Geologic mapping established the spatial extent of the Elwrin member and its relationship to a small, shallow aquifer that is the source of a 5-meter waterfall at the terminus of the cave. The integration of geological mapping and baseline cave survey data showed that Dogwood Cave is the result of a migrating waterfall sourced by a perched aquifer flowing on the contact between the Beech Creek and Elwrin Members of the Girkin Limestone. A void formed within a section of the Girkin limestone. When surface erosion of the Big Clifty formation fortuitously encountered the limestone void, it collapsed into it forming the breakdown entrance and slope characteristic of the cave's entrance. The water that flows at the Elrwin and Beech Creek members undermines the underling limestone by dissolution. As the limestone erodes and collapses, the waterfall migrates upstream leaving a void (cave) behind it. Hence Dogwood Cave is formed by migrating waterfall along the Elwrin Member contact.
3:00 - Tekeze River Incision Constrained from Apatite (U-Th)/He Dating
First Author
Jacob Grigsby
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Nahid Gani 
Institution 
Co-author
Shelby Bowden 
Institution 
Ethiopia spans a wide array of geologic features across its diverse landscape accommodating dynamic topography, active tectonics, volcanism, and ~ 2 km of uplift from the prevalent Ethiopian Plateau. Situated northwest of the Main Ethiopian rift system, the initiation of the Ethiopian Plateau uplift is associated with the arrival and impingement of the Afar mantle plume, evidenced by the Cenozoic flood basalts ~ 30 Ma. Research efforts have been made to constrain the exact timing and rate of uplift for the Ethiopian Plateau with conflicting results of young vs. old incision. In effort to clear the discrepancies, 1.5 km deep incisions and gorges carved out by the Tekeze River provide a rare opportunity for being utilized as a proxy to constrain the rate and timing of the Ethiopian Plateau uplift. We used low-temperature apatite (U-Th)/He thermochronologic dating for its low closure temperatures that provide a sensitive time temperature history of this plateau. Our preliminary apatite thermochronologic age results show as young as 15 Ma cooling age that is integral for quantifying the rate and timing of the Tekeze River incision, and in a larger endeavor to constrain the Ethiopian Plateau uplift record.
Friday, November 2, 2018  1:15pm - 3:00pm
Microbiology - Oral Presentations
DSU 3006
Section meeting follows talks at 2:45 pm
1:15 * - Effect of Growth Temperature on Mycoplasma iowae Pathogenicity
First Author
Brittany Boyken
Kentucky Wesleyan College 
Co-author
Justin Fraizer 
Kentucky Wesleyan College 
Co-author
Rachel Pritchard 
Kentucky Wesleyan College 
Mycoplasma iowae is an avian species of microbe that causes infection in poultry, causing joint abnormalities and in rare cases, mortality. Previous experiments have been performed to test virulence and have shown differential activity under different conditions. This experiment was performed to examine the virulence of the organism at avian body temperature as compared to standard incubation temperature. M. iowae was incubated at 37°C or 42°C and then incubated with Caenorhabditis elegans, a model organism used to measure bacterial pathogenicity. After initial runs, it appears there is a slight increase in pathogenicity at standard incubation temperature. This may indicate lower pathogenicity at higher temperatures.
1:30 - Host range shift of H3N8 canine influenza virus: A phylodynamics approach to delineate its origin and its adaptation
First Author
Alexander Lai
Kentucky State University 
Prior to the emergence of H3N8 canine influenza virus (CIV) and the more recent avian-origin H3N2 CIV, there was no evidence of circulating canine-specific influenza virus. Subsequently, H3N8 CIV emerged from H3N8 equine influenza virus (EIV). This host-range shift of EIV from horses to dogs and its establishment as an enzootic CIV is unique, as this shift was from one mammalian host to another. To understand this cross-species spread of influenza virus, we conducted a phylodynamics analysis of all available complete genome sequences. We found that: 1) the emergence of H3N8 CIV from EIV occurred around 2002, later than the year 2000 as previously reported; 2) this interspecies transmission was by a reassortant virus of then circulating H3N8 EIV Florida-1 clade virus; 3) once emerged into the canine species, H3N8 CIV spread efficiently without further significant genetic changes; 4) H3N8 CIV had evolved and diverged into multiple clades, or sublineages, and became an enzootic virus in dogs; and 5) there was reassortment among viruses in these diverged sublineages or clades. Our results provide a framework to understand the molecular basis of host-range shift of influenza virus, and that dogs are potential 'mixing vessels' for generating novel influenza virus.
1:45 * - Novel Inactivation of the Causative Fungus of White Nose Syndrome with Methoxsalen and Ultraviolet A Light
First Author
Colin Hartman
Norther Kentucky University 
Co-author
Riley James 
Norther Kentucky University 
Co-author
Joseph Mester Ph.D. 
Norther Kentucky University 
Co-author
Alan Cohen M.D. 
Norther Kentucky University 
White Nose Syndrome (WNS) is a newly recognized disease responsible for the rapid mass destruction of the North American bat populations. This study addressed the novel inactivation of fungal spores from Pseudogymnoascus destructans, the causative agent of WNS, using ultraviolet A (UVA) light at 365nm and methoxsalen, a photosensitizer from a family of compounds known as furanocoumarins. Penicillium crustosum, an environmental fungus, was studied as a comparator.
Spore suspensions were soaked in specific concentrations of methoxsalen and subsequently exposed to UVA light. The plates were examined for both spore inactivation and resultant inhibition of colony growth. The results demonstrated that methoxsalen + UVA was an effective method for inactivating fungal spores of P. destructans and P. crustosum. The importance of this study is the potential control of WNS and other destructive environmental fungi.
2:00 * - Potential Use of Essential oils as Alternative Treatment for Bacterial Skin Infections
First Author
Clarissa Gearner
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Simran Banga 
Western Kentucky University 
Potential Use of Essential oils as Alternative Treatment for Bacterial Skin Infections
Essential oils are natural plant extracts derived anywhere from the root to the flowers of plants. The oils have a rich history of therapeutic use for thousands of years and beside medicinal
treatments, the oils are also used in cosmetics, aromatherapy and household products. The
purpose of this study was to determine effectiveness of commercially available essential oils for
treatment against skin infection causing bacteria. Several essential oils were tested to measure
the potential bacteriostatic, bactericidal and anti-biofilm activity against Staphylococcus aureus,
Staphylococcus epidermidis, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Streptococcus pyogenes,
Propionibacterium acnes, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Escherichia coli. The antimicrobial
activity of these essential oils was quantified using standard methods, including disc diffusion
and MIC using 96-well plates. The anti-biofilm activity of the essential oils was analyzed on
established and newly-forming biofilms of S. aureus and Ps. aeruginosa. The effectivity of
essential oils was quantified and compared with common antibiotics used against bacterial
infections. In this study, we tested 16 different single oils and two proprietary blends and found that five single oils and one proprietary blend
possess ability to inhibit bacterial growth. Among these cinnamon oil, oregano oil and thyme oil
were found to be most effective essential oils against all bacterial strains that we tested. The
results indicate that these oils can be considered for potentially antimicrobial benefits against
bacterial skin infections in a home or professional setting, as they are known to be skin-safe and
easily accessible.
2:15 - UV Treatment of Environmental Fungi
First Author
Ashley Wentworth
Northern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Joseph Mester 
Northern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Colin Hartman 
Northern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Alan Cohen 
Northern Kentucky University 
The purpose of this project is to develop new methods for controlling fungal growth. Fungi produce spores and mycotoxins that can cause disease in humans, animals, plants, and reduce the shelf life of various products. Spores from environmental fungi were exposed to various doses and wavelengths of ultraviolet (UV) light to determine their sensitivity to UV treatment. For some experiments, the fungal spores were exposed to photosensitizers to examine if they were able to enhance the sensitivity of the fungi to UV. Our results indicated that UVA treatment with photosensitizers was able to reduce spore viability by 99% or more for most of the fungi tested. Ongoing experiments will determine which UV wavelengths, doses, and co-treatments are best for controlling fungal growth.
2:30 * - Metal and antibiotic cross-resistance among bacteria isolated from the Kentucky River
First Author
William Fenske
Eastern Kentucky University 
Co-author
William Staddon 
Eastern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Valerie Peters 
Eastern Kentucky University 
Little is known about metal and antibiotic cross resistance among bacteria in aquatic settings. Water samples were collected from six locations along the Kentucky River. Plate counting was used to quantify metal-resistant bacteria. Control and metal resistant isolates were transferred to plates containing antibiotics. Populations of cobalt, copper, silver, lead and chromium resistant bacteria were similar to the control. Cadmium and mercury resistant populations were significantly lower. Many isolates were resistant to ampicillin, cefamandole sulfamethoxazole, penicillin, and vancomycin. Most inhibition of growth was seen with ciprofloxacin, erythromycin, doxycycline and rifampin. The results suggest there are much higher levels of metal resistance amongst the river bacterial isolates than expected.
Friday, November 2, 2018  1:15pm - 6:00pm
Practice Room
DSU 2081
This space is available for speakers to practice their presentations.
Friday, November 2, 2018  1:15pm - 6:00pm
Practice Room
DSU 3004
This room is available for speakers to practice their presentations.
Friday, November 2, 2018  2:59pm - 6:00pm
Poster Session and Social Hour
Asterisk* denotes student research competition
Downing Student Union, Second & Third floors
Light refreshments will be served. Poster presenters will be at their posters during the session, and posters will remain up until the end of the day on Saturday.
Friday, November 2, 2018  3:00pm - 6:00pm
Agricultural Science - Poster Presentations
1. - Accumulation of Heavy Metals in Fruits of Plants Grown in Recycled Sewage Sludge
First Author
ERIC TURLEY
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
George Antonious 
Kentucky State University 
Vegetable growers use sewage sludge (SS) as a soil amendment to reduce the impact of landfill disposal on environmental quality while providing an affordable source of fertilizer. Sewage sludge may contain high concentrations of heavy metals, which could result in elevated concentrations in fruits and vegetables and exposure to excessive levels of these metals. A study was conducted at KSU HR Benson Research and Demonstration Farm to investigate the impact of SS on heavy metals accumulation in plants grown using SS. Eighteen plots (72 × 12 feet each) were created. The soil was mixed with SS (n=6), yard waste compost (YWC; n=6), or no treatment (control; n=6). During a 5-year study, plots were planted with potato (year 1), sweet pepper (year 2), broccoli (year 3), squash (year 4), and eggplant (year 5). The objectives of this investigation were: 1) to determine the concentration of seven heavy metals (Pb, Cd, Cr, Ni, Mo, Cu, and Zn) in SS and YWC; and 2) to monitor concentrations in edible portions of fruit at harvest. Levels of Pb, Cd, Cr, and Ni in potatoes, peppers, and broccoli grown in SS-amended soil were not significantly different from control plants, whereas concentrations of Mo, Cu, and Zn were significantly greater in potato and peppers grown in SS-amended soil than in controls. Levels of Cd, Cr, Ni, and Pb were not significantly different in potatoes, pepper, and broccoli grown in YWC-amended soil compared with SS-amended plants while Zn concentrations were significantly greater in peppers.
WITHDRAWN - Applicability of waste-reared black soldier fly larvae as an ingredient in the diet of Nile tilapia
3. * - Assessing Soil Properties of Residential Lawns in Vanderburgh and Warrick Counties of Indiana
First Author
Nathan Folz
Murray State University 
Co-author
Iin Handayani 
Murray State University 
Co-author
Brian Parr 
Murray State University 
Sprawling urban areas often result in the conversion of woodlands, grasslands, and agricultural fields into residential areas. This conversion leads to notable changes in the area's soils which exhibit significantly different properties than those of the pre-residential soil. After the initial disturbance, many factors influence the formation of the soil in these residential areas, especially time since the property's development. The objective of this research was to determine differences in soil properties due to the age of the residential lawns. The study was conducted in silt loam soils in Vanderburgh and Warrick Counties in southwest Indiana. Disturbed soil samples were taken from a forest and a grassland ecosystem in addition to the four lawns at depths of 0-5 cm and 5-10 cm to measure soil organic matter, aggregate stability, and soil acidity level. Soil compaction and soil color readings were also taken in each of the study sites. All the data will be statistically analyzed using LSD test at 5% level of significance. This research will be beneficial to homeowners seeking to improve the soil quality of their lawns and gardens.
4. * - Assessing Soil Quality Indicators in No-Till and Conventional Tillage Systems: Study Case: IL, IN, and KY
First Author
Riley Mabe
Murray State University 
Co-author
Kaeden Mollett 
Murray State University 
Co-author
Riley Mabe 
Murray State University 
Co-author
I. P. Handayani 
Murray State University 
Co-author
Brian Parr 
Murray State University 
Soil quality indicators are affected by tillage practices, like no-till (NT) and conventional tillage (CT). Therefore, using tillage systems that provides an adequate growing environment for crops is crucial. The objective of this study was to compare selected soil properties collected from NT and CT systems in Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois. Three undisturbed and three disturbed soil samples were taken from the topsoil at the depth of 0 to 7.5 cm. The samples were analyzed for bulk density (BD), water holding capacity (WHC), field capacity (FC), soil pH, soil organic matter (SOM), and compaction. Bulk density, WHC, and FC of the soil was determined from the undisturbed soil samples. Disturbed soil samples were used to determine soil pH and SOM levels. In addition, a penetrometer was used to measure compaction levels in the soil. Statistical analysis was performed to test the significant effect of tillage practices on soil properties in questions. The results of this study would help farmers justify whether implementing a no-till or conventional tillage practices can improve soil quality indicators to promote crop production and sustainability.
5. * - Assessing the Rising Plate Meter Method to Determine Forage Production on Organic Dairies
First Author
Sarah Rhodes
Asbury University 
Co-author
Ray Smith 
University of Kentucky 
Co-author
Bobby Baldridge 
Asbury University 
The Rising Plate Meter (RPM) is a tool used to estimate forage mass in pastures. This tool is primarily used in the United Kingdom and New Zealand where dense stands of ryegrass are common. The study evaluated the New Zealand calibration equation and compared its results to the actual yield of thirty-six 5x25 plots of perennial species. The results showed a difference of up to 900 lbs/acre of forage. A regression analysis was administered to find the correlation between height and yield of perennial forage. This data will be used to show that a novel calibration equation will be needed per species.
6. * - Comparing Characteristics of Soil under Various Management Conditions in Western Kentucky
First Author
River Dowell
Murray State University 
Co-author
Iin Handayani 
Murray State University 
Being able to understand the characteristics of soils that are under varying management conditions is key to proper soil management. This study was designed to evaluate the variances of overall soil quality per its characteristics and how they correlate to different land management conditions found on an operational farm. The study was conducted in Butler County, KY. Undisturbed and disturbed soil samples were taken at depths of 0-7.5cm and 7.5-15cm from a field that is under a traditional tillage method. In addition, samples were also collected in the same manner from a field planted using a no till method, a grazing pasture that has not been tilled but has active livestock present, and woodlands that have not been tilled. These samples were analyzed for soil water retention, soil organic matter, pH level, bulk density, and porosity. The results will be discussed in the poster.
7. * - Comparing Soil Properties between Corn and Soybean Conventional Tillage Practices
First Author
Jake Owen
Murray State University 
Co-author
River Dowel 
Murray State University 
Co-author
Alex Fichter 
Murray State University 
Co-author
Ashley Robert 
Murray State University 
Understanding the properties of cropland soils under conventional tillage systems is important when considering land management and yield maximization. Soil organic matter content, porosity, acidity levels, and soil fertility levels are important tools when considering the maintenance of agricultural lands. These properties are important indicators of soil quality and health to promote crop productivity. Therefore, this study was designed to determine soil properties of conventional tillage cropland and how they correlate to two respective crops; soybeans and corn. All eight fields studied were under similar management practices with each having a history of five or more years of use in rotational row-crop agriculture. This study was conducted in Butler, Calloway, and McCracken Counties in Western Kentucky and Wayne County in Southern Illinois. Disturbed soil samples were collected from a depth of 0-12cm from corn fields that were under the implementation of crop rotation and conventional tillage systems. An equal number of samples were also collected from soybean fields under the same conditions. These samples were analyzed for soil organic matter, porosity, and acidity levels. A statistical analysis was conducted to determine the effects of corn and soybean cropping on soil properties. The results of this study will be discussed in the poster.
8. * - Economic Viability of Municipal Compost and Equine Stall Waste as Media Amendments in an In-Ground Pot-in-Pot Production
First Author
Ashley Robert
Murray State University 
Co-author
Alyx Shultz 
Murray State University 
Pot-in-pot nursery production can be a viable income source for Western Kentucky farmers. One of the highest costs of production in this system was the planting media that plants were grown in. Economical alternatives to high-priced, non-renewable peat-based mixes were important to consider. Unique to this region, were two renewable soil amendments that may help farmers to widen their profit margin in a pot-in-pot system. This research looked at the economic viability of locally sourced horse stall waste and municipal compost as soil amendments to a traditional bark and peat based mix. Initial cost projections were favorable for both amendments. Further research is warranted on the agronomic suitability of the amendments to nursery stock production.
9. * - Effects of live yeast supplementation on rumen bacterial diversity of beef cattle
First Author
Kyle Cannon
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Megan Mccoun 
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Hank Schweickart 
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Ibukun Ogunade 
Kentucky State University 
Several studies have evaluated the effects of live yeast products on rumen bacterial populations in ruminants; however, comparison of responses to yeast supplementation across studies requires caution because of the diversity of yeast products and compositions. This study utilized 16S ribosomal ribonucleic acid (rRNA) sequencing to evaluate the effects of a live yeast product containing a thermally stable blend of live Saccharomyces cerevisiae, mannan oligosaccharides, and beta-glucans on rumen bacterial diversity of beef steer. Eight rumen-cannulated steers were assigned randomly to 1 of 2 treatment sequences in a study with two 25-d experimental periods and a crossover design. The steers were fed 50% concentrate-mix and 50% red clover/orchard grass hay. Dietary treatments were: control (CON; basal diet without additive) and yeast (YEA; basal diet plus 15 g/d of live yeast product; PMI, Arden Hills, MN). Bacterial diversity was examined by sequencing the V3-V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene. The results were analyzed using the GLIMMIX procedure of SAS and a model that included effects of treatment and period. Significant differences were declared at P ≤ 0.05. Live yeast supplementation increased relative abundance of fibrolytic bacteria (Ruminococcaceae and Christensenellaceae R-7) and reduced relative abundance of aerobic (Comamonas and Arcticibacter) and lactic acid-producing bacteria (Lactococcus). Salmonella was not detected in YEA and was unique to the CON treatment. These findings confirm that live yeast supports the growth of fiber digesters, optimizes utilization of oxygen and lactic acid, and inhibits the growth of pathogenic Salmonella in the rumen.
10. * - Effects of live yeast supplementation on rumen fluid metabolome of beef cattle
First Author
Megan Mccoun
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Kyle Cannon 
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Hank Schweickart 
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Ibukun Ogunade 
Kentucky State University 
High-throughput sequencing has been used to elucidate the effects of yeast products on rumen microbial population; however, alterations in the types of rumen metabolites have not been completely described. This study applied liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry-based metabolomics to evaluate effects of a live yeast product on the rumen fluid metabolome of beef steers. Eight rumen-cannulated steers were assigned randomly to 1 of 2 treatment sequences in a study with two 25-d experimental periods and a crossover design. The steers were fed 50% concentrate-mix and 50% red clover/orchard grass hay. Dietary treatments were: control (CON; basal diet without additive) and yeast (YEA; basal diet plus 15 g/d live yeast product; PMI, Arden Hills, MN). Rumen fluid was collected on the last day of each period. Metabolite identification was obtained using MS-DIAL version 2.80 and pathway analysis was performed using Metaboanalyst 4.0. A total of 311 metabolites were identified. Pathway analysis revealed that these metabolites are involved in metabolism of amino acids, energy, vitamins, and secondary metabolites. Eight metabolites were differentially expressed (P ≤ 0.10). Two metabolites (4-cyclohexanedione and glucopyranoside) were increased, whereas 6 metabolites (threonic acid, xanthosine, deoxycholic acid, lauroylcarnitine, methoxybenzoic acid, and pentadecylbenzoic acid) were decreased by YEA relative to CON treatment. Decreased levels of threonic acid, a product of ascorbic acid and oxygen interaction, and xanthosine, a product of guanosine deamination, indicates oxygen-scavenging and amino acid-sparing functions of live yeast in the rumen. This study supports the usefulness of metabolomic analysis for deciphering the mode of action of live yeast.
11. - Effects of water soluble fertilizers on growth performance of lotus plants in containers
First Author
Changzheng Wang
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Changzheng Wang 
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Lingyu Huang 
Kentucky State University 
Effects of water soluble fertilizers on growth performance of lotus plants in containers.
Changzheng Wang. Kentucky State University, Frankfort, KY 40601.

Lotus can be grown for foods because its seeds and roots are all edible and its flowers can be used for ornamental purposes. Preliminary trials have demonstrated that lotus plants could grow in containers in Kentucky. However, management of the plants such as fertilization is not well known. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of fertilization rate on the growth performance of lotus plants. Lotus (space 36 variety) were tested with four levels of fertilization were tested in an experiment with 24 plastic containers (18 gallon volume). The containers were filled with garden soil 40 cm deep and collected rain water covering the soil and 10 cm below the rim of the containers. One root tube was planted into each container on May 1, 2018. Four levels of a water soluble fertilizer (Miracle Grow), 10g, 20g, 30g or 40g was applied to each container one month after the tubes were planted into the containers and at least one standing leaf had grown in each container. The number of floating leaves, standing leaves, flowers and seeds were enumerated each week. The number of standing leaves and total number of leaves increased from containers with 10g fertilizers to containers with 20g fertilizers. However, the number of leaves tended to become lower in containers with 40g fertilizer, but the number of flowers and seeds produced tended to be higher. The results indicate that fertilization increased leaf growth or seed production. Fertilization at 40g per container tended to improve seed production more than leaf growth.
12. * - Evaluation of Soil Response to the Applications of Ammonium Nitrate and Horse Manures
First Author
Sarah Forden
Murray State University 
Co-author
Iin Handayani 
Murray State University 
Co-author
Kyle Hanenberger 
Murray State University 
Co-author
Ethan Knolhoff 
Murray State University 
Co-author
Jeffery Record 
Murray State University 
Co-author
Brian Parr 
Murray State University 
Co-author
Steve Still 
Murray State University 
The health of soil is not only important for the large-scale farmer but also a concern for those living in suburban homes and those running smaller scale farms. Although soils contain a plethora of elements, nitrogen is the most important for plant growth. It is a major component in chlorophyll, a compound by which plants, such as yard grass, use the energy of the sun to produce sugars from both water and carbon dioxide. In addition, it plays an important role in amino acids, which are the building blocks of plant proteins. In Kentucky there are 5,391 equine farms creating fresh organic manure readily available at a less expense than the common inorganic nitrogen fertilizers. By using horse manure as a nitrogen fertilizer, sustainability is encouraged as it already has the ideal C/N ratio ranging from 25:1 to 30:1 for fertile, healthy soil. In this study, nitrogen fertilizer and horse manure were applied to the top soil and sub soil. There were 4 replications of each treatment (C=Control, M=Manure, F=Fertilizer). The total plots were 24 in a completely Randomized Design (CRD). Soil color, soil pH, and organic matter were analyzed two to four weeks after applications. Statistical analysis was used to test the significant effect of soil amendments on the top soil and sub soil. Organic horse manure may become a more routine option for yard health in urban communities and gardens. Results of this experiment will be presented on the accompanying poster. This research will be beneficial for household owners to maintain healthy yards, gardens, and water systems.
13. - Food Safety Perceptions and Behaviors of Kentucky Farmer Market Consumers
First Author
Hanna(John) Khouryieh
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Marlain Khouryieh 
Western Kentucky University 
The number of farmers' markets has been increasing very rapidly in the United States. However, the number of foodborne illnesses linked to fresh produce has increased in the last decade. The purpose of this research was to assess Kentucky consumers' perceptions of safety of locally grown fresh produce sold at farmers' markets. Surveys were administered to consumers at 8 farmers' markets, and 239 completed surveys were analyzed. Around 70% of the participants were females, 65% had at least Bachelor's Degree and they were very good representation of all ages. The results showed that 42% of participants had previously purchased vegetables once a week from the local farmers' market, 29% purchased fruits once a week, 26% purchased meats 1-3 times a season, and 16 % purchased dairy 1-3 times a season. Ninety-seven percent of participants stated that product freshness and product taste were very important or extremely important reasons for shopping at the local farmers' markets. Sixty-five percent of participants reported they were concerned about the safety of perishable farmers' market purchases, while 35% were not at all concerned. The consumers believe that farmers (43.3%) are the most responsible for the safety of farmers' market products. More than 80% of consumers reported refrigerating perishable goods purchased at local farmer's market within one hour. However, 41% don't know how long it takes for pathogenic bacteria to cause foodborne illness in foods. A better understanding of consumers' perceptions allows stakeholders to make better informed decisions regarding their food safety policies and practices.
14. - Grafting success of eleven pawpaw cultivars and advanced selections using four grafting methods
First Author
Sheri Crabtree
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Jeremy Lowe 
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Kirk Pomper 
Kentucky State University 
Pawpaw (Asimina triloba) is a tree fruit native to the eastern United States. Several commercial pawpaw orchards are planted in Kentucky and elsewhere in the US and worldwide to satisfy a growing market for fresh fruit and value-added products, such as beer, wine, jam, and ice cream. Seedling fruit often have bitter or off flavors, small fruit, many seeds, and low yields; therefore, planting grafted trees of named cultivars is recommended for optimal fruit production. Over 40 pawpaw cultivars are currently commercially available and Kentucky State University has the world's largest pawpaw breeding program to develop superior new cultivars. Cultivars are propagated by grafting onto seedling rootstock, most often by chip budding or whip and tongue grafting. This study examined eleven pawpaw cultivars and KSU advanced selections and four grafting methods [chip budding, whip and tongue, TopGrafter (Raggett Industries Ltd., Gisborne, New Zealand), and a grafting tool]. Grafting success varied significantly among selections, with KSU-Atwood, Hi1-4, G5-23, and Hi7-1 (ranging from 50-83%) having better grafting success than G6-120 and Hi7-5 (0-8%). Grafting success did not vary by method or tool used. Grafting success overall was lower than is generally seen in pawpaw, possibly due to improper storage of scion wood, environmental conditions, or poor timing or technique. This study indicates that chip budding, whip and tongue grafting, or use of a tool, such as the TopGrafter or grafting tool, are equally successful methods for propagating pawpaw trees.
15. * - Growth of Pawpaw (Asimina triloba) Seedlings in Two Commercially Available Potting Mixes
First Author
Aidan Thompson
Kentucky State University 
The North American pawpaw (Asimina triloba) is a tree fruit native to the Eastern U.S., which is being produced in commercial orchards across the U.S. and internationally. Pawpaw currently has a small but growing market. Pawpaw seedlings are often grown in containers in greenhouses prior to being planted in orchards. Coconut coir is a byproduct of the coconut industry and offers increased sustainability over peat. The objective of this study was to determine whether pawpaw seedlings had better growth in a peat-based growing medium or a peat and coir-based medium. In June 2018, 60 pawpaw seeds were planted in Promix MP Organik and Promix HP CC Coconut Coir (Premier Tech Horticulture, Quakertown, PA) in one-gallon tree pots and placed in greenhouses. In September, germination rate, height, stem diameter, and number of leaves were recorded. No significant differences were observed between the two media. The results of this study indicate that growing media containing peat and coconut coir can be used without negatively impacting pawpaw seedling growth.
16. - Impact of aerobic compost tea on growth of Lactuca sativa
First Author
Ella Potts
Murray State University 
Co-author
Jessica Stoner 
Murray State University 
Co-author
Iin Handayani 
Murray State University 
Co-author
Alyx Shultz 
Murray State University 
Compost and compost tea have been shown in practice to be valuable soil amendments in many horticultural applications; however, little rigorous quantitative work has been completed on the effect of compost tea on plant health and growth. Researchers designed a side by side trial with two replications to quantifiably study the impact of compost tea on the growth of hydroponic lettuce and soil-grown lettuce. A poultry-litter-based aerobic compost tea was used for the treatment. In both trials, six plants received each treatment or control. Researchers hypothesized the treatment lettuce would show more vigor and vegetative growth than control. The null hypothesis was that treatment lettuce would be identical to control lettuce. Researchers failed to reject null hypothesis. Plants treated with compost tea were almost twice the size of control plants. Researchers concluded compost tea was superior to water. Further research is needed to delineate best practices for making compost tea and maximizing its effect on vegetative growth.
17. - Impact of integrated crop-livestock rotation including small ruminants on nitrate and phosphorus concentrations in water
First Author
Ellyn Anthony
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Shawn Lucas 
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Derek Law 
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Tony Silvernail 
Beyond the Bridge Organic Farm 
Co-author
Blake Van Sanford 
Kentucky State University 
This research focuses on soil water nitrate and phosphorus contained in soil solutions upon implementation of an organically managed corn and soybean crop-livestock rotation including small ruminants. It is well documented that agricultural contributions of nitrogen and phosphorus-containing compounds into the environment have increasingly been evaluated as pollutants to water resources, resulting in groundwater contamination, eutrophication, as well as having potentially negative effects on human health. The information obtained from this research can be utilized in evaluating the effect of the implementation of ruminant grazing and organic grain crop rotation on nitrogen and phosphorus-containing compounds in soil solution as nutrients and as potential pollutants. Using pressure-vacuum soil water samplers to obtain a water sample from below the root zone of each system, the extracted solution will be examined using microplate methods to determine total phosphate concentration and by colorimetric methods for nitrate concentrations. This information can then be comparatively evaluated between a five-year rotational pasture grazing system in organic corn and soybean production, continual grain production, and perennial pasture.
18. - Investigating the Impact of Soil Amendments on Eggplant Production
First Author
Yogendra Upadhyaya
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
George Antonious 
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Eric Turley 
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Quinn Heist 
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Lusekelo Nkuwi 
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Thomas Trivette 
Kentucky State University 
Eggplant, Solanum melongena var. Epic, was field grown in fourteen soil amendments at the University of Kentucky South Research Farm to investigate the impact of soil amendments on crop yield and fruit quality characteristics. The seven primary soil treatments were: control, sewage sludge, horse manure, chicken manure, vermicompost, organic fertilizer, and inorganic fertilizer. Biochar was added at 10 % (w/w) to each of the seven primary treatments to make a total of 14 treatments. The experimental area was comprised of 42 plots (3 replicates × 14 treatments) with a dimension of 4 × 10 sq. feet; each plot was replicated three times in a randomized complete block design. Eggplant seedlings were hand transplanted into freshly tilled soil at row spacing of eighteen inches. Five eggplant harvests were obtained during the entire growing season. In each harvest, fruits were weighted and graded according to USDA guidelines and classified into four classes (Fancy, US No. 1, US No. 2, and Culls). The total number of fancy fruits produced from soil amended with horse manure was significantly greater compared to plots amended with chicken manure and sewage sludge. Similarly, total weight of the fruits (13.7 kg/plot) and number of fruits (48 fruits/plot) obtained over all harvests was significantly greater in the inorganic fertilizer treatment compared with chicken manure, organic fertilizer, sewage sludge, and vermicompost. No significant differences were found between biochar and no-biochar soil treatments, indicating the addition of biochar had no impact on eggplant yield and fruit quality.
19. - Longitudinal Histological Study of Nosema ceranae in Honey Bees
First Author
Katherine Kamminga
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Thomas Webster 
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Martin Matisoff 
Kentucky State University 
Nosema ceranae is a fungus that infects the honey bee, Apis mellifera L., and can lead to collapse of the hive. Honey bees consume spores of the fungus through food sharing or cleaning the hive. These spores travel to the midgut, germinate, and spread through epithelial cells. A longitudinal histological examination of the spread of the disease in the midgut has not yet been described. To monitor the disease, we collected worker bees from hives located at the Kentucky State University research and Demonstration Farm in Frankfort, KY. Bees were placed singly in tubes and fed either 10 µl of 50% sucrose solution or 10 µl of 50% sucrose solution containing 20,000 Nosema spores and then placed into cages of bees with the same treatment. Beginning at 2 DAI (days after inoculation) to 12 DAI, five midguts were removed for histology and five for spore count and examination every two days. The midgut tissue used for histological purposes was treated following standardized procedures. Tissue samples were stained with calcofluor white and biebrich scarlet fluorescent stains. Infections were found to develop in small clusters in a few of the epithelial cells at 8 DAI. By 10 and 12 DAI, the infection had spread throughout most of the midgut, including the cells bordering the basement membrane.
20. * - Observing Soil Changes Under Common Cropping Practices in Kentucky
First Author
Samantha Peterson
Murray State University 
Co-author
Lin Handayani 
Murray State University 
Co-author
Alix Shultz 
Murray State University 
Co-author
Brian Parr 
Murray State University 
Cropping production and tillage systems lead to loss of soil organic matter (SOM), lowering soil pH, and soil compaction in Kentucky. However, the magnitude of the changes varied among the soil properties. Therefore, the objective of this research was to evaluate the changes of SOM, soil pH, and soil compaction under different cropping systems like corn-soybean-tobacco rotation (Field #1), continuous corn field (Field #2), hemp field (Field #3), wheat field (Field #4), pasture with animal grazing (Field #5), and canola field (Field #6). The prominent soil textures in all fields are silt loam and silt clay loam. Disturbed soil samples were taken at the depth of 0-7 cm and 7-23 cm to measure SOM and soil pH. There were three replications from each field. The results indicated that the canola field which has been under no till for over fifteen years had the highest SOM at an average of 4.2% in 0-7 cm. At similar depth, continuous cornfield had the second lowest amounts of SOM which was 2.8%. The canola field and the continuous cornfield had soil pH of 6.7 and 5.37, respectively indicating the highest and the lowest level of acidity. The averages of soil compaction from all fields were 159 psi in 0-7 cm, and 427 psi in 7-23 cm. The highest compaction was found in the field under animal grazing at 561 psi the lowest was under tobacco at 243.5 psi. The findings from this study revealed that SOM, soil pH, and soil compaction changed as affected by cropping practices.
21. - The Effect of Sulfur and Copper Fungicides on June Drop of Pawpaw Fruit.
First Author
Sijan Pandit
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Jeremiah Lowe 
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Sheri B Crabtree 
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Kirk William Pomper 
Kentucky State University 
Pawpaw (Asimina triloba) is a tree fruit native to the eastern United States and is a niche crop for local markets. Fruit drop is a natural mechanism by which the tree reduces crop load in fruit crops. Fruit drop right after flowering is known as 'First drop' whereas fruit drop during June is called 'June drop'. Although adequate fruit thinning is necessary to produce large quality fruits, excess thinning reduces the yield. Fungicides are used to control fruit diseases, but their effects on fruit drop has not been examined in pawpaw. This study aimed to determine whether the application of sulfur and copper fungicides affected June drop of 'Sunflower' and 'Susquehanna' varieties of pawpaw. The study was conducted at KSU Harold R. Benson Research and Demonstration Farm in Frankfort, Kentucky. Eight trees per variety and ten random fruit clusters per tree were selected for treatment. The fruit clusters were treated with two levels of each fungicide (sulfur: 25 and 50 ml/800 ml water; copper: 3.12 and 12.5 ml/800 ml of water) or water (control). Insecticidal soap at a concentration of 155 μl per 800 ml of water was used as an adjuvant in all treatments, including control. Treatments were applied at 7-10 day intervals until harvest. Fruit numbers in each treatment cluster were recorded the first week of June and at the time of harvesting in late August. The data were analyzed by analysis of variance and mean treatment differences using Costat statistical software. Final results will be discussed.
22. - Variation in annonaceous acetogenins activity in twig tissues of pawpaw varieties and new advanced selections using.....
First Author
HARRY MOMO
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Jeremiah Lowe 
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Sheri Crabtree 
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Kirk Pomper 
Kentucky State University 
Variation in annonaceous acetogenins activity in twig tissues of pawpaw varieties and new advanced selections using the brine shrimp test assay.

Pawpaw [Asimina triloba (L.) Dunal], a tree fruit native to eastern North America, contains annonaceous acetogenins in the fruit and vegetative tissues that display pesticidal and anti-tumor activities. Previous studies have identified asimicin, bullatacin, bullatalicin, and 40 other bioactive acetogenins in the crude extracts of twigs, unripe fruit, seeds, root, bark, and ripe fruit of pawpaw. Kentucky State University (KSU) is the site of the United States Department of Agriculture Repository for pawpaw; germplasm evaluation and collection are priorities of the program. The brine shrimp test (BST) is a useful tool in observing the biological activities of bioactive chemicals in plant extracts. In this study, we aimed to determine the variation in annonaceous acetogenin activity in twig tissues of different pawpaw varieties and new advanced selections (Hi 4-1, Hi 7-5, Sunflower, and Susquehanna). Pawpaw twigs were collected from trees of pawpaw varieties and advanced selections at KSU Research and Demonstration Farm. Dried twig tissues (2.5 g) were extracted using 25 ml of 95% ethanol. Concentrated extract from twigs was transferred to vials to create concentrations of 0, 1.0, 5.0, 10, and 15 ppm. BST was used to determine the mortality rate for twig tissues and used to calculate an LC50 for each pawpaw genotype. Study results will be discussed.
23. - Yield Performance of 'Prime-Ark® 45' and 'Black Magic' Grown Organically in Kentucky
First Author
Jeremiah Lowe
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Kirk Pomper 
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Sheri Crabtree 
Kentucky State University 
Primocane-fruiting blackberries are of interest to Kentucky growers because they can be grown organically and are able to produce a locally produced, niche-market crop from July until October. This provides an extended season for fruit sales at farmers' markets, community supported agriculture programs, and organic markets. In June 2012, a blackberry variety trial was established at Kentucky State University (KSU). Plants of the commercially available primocane-fruiting cultivars 'Prime-Ark® 45' and 'Black Magic' (both thorny, erect, primocane-fruiting) were planted at the KSU Research and Demonstration Farm, in Frankfort, KY. Plants were arranged in a randomized complete block design, with 3 blocks, including 5 plants of each cultivar per block (for a total of 15 plants of each cultivar) in a 3 meter plot. Spacing was 0.6 meters between each plant and 1.5 meters between groups of 5 plants. Rows were spaced 4 meters apart. This trial was planted on certified organic land and managed with organic practices following the National Organic Program standards. Weed control was achieved by mechanical cultivation and hand weeding. Plants were irrigated weekly with t-tape laid in the rows. Primocane fruit production began in the second week of August 2018 for both selections. 'Prime-Ark® 45' had a significantly larger fruit size than 'Black Magic' (3.8 g vs. 2.7 g) as well as a significantly larger yield (2727 kg/ha vs. 333 kg/ha). In previous years, both selections had similar fruit sizes and yields. Continued observation is needed to determine overall trends.
Friday, November 2, 2018  3:00pm - 6:00pm
Anthropology and Sociology - Poster Presentations
24. - Ethnographic Study of Ohio River Barge Deckhands
First Author
Dee Broomhead
Northern Kentucky University 
My ethnographic project explores work life, expressions of hegemonic masculinity, identity, and the role of homosocial intimacy in the context of Ohio River barge deckhands. The barge work environment is defined by isolation and 28-day work periods where crewmen live in tight proximity. Joking relationships form the basis for homosocial intimacy on board where men 'pick on' each other to reinforce social connections. Deckhands frequently express a binary mindset toward their identity in which they maintain both an on-shore identity and a river persona. This work-place identity is often referred to as being the 'real/true' self that could exist only apart from the stresses of home life. On a local scale, this work seeks to shed light on river labor and the men who perform it. Barge crews have a unique, yet little studied culture in which hegemonic masculinity is a central component. In a larger context, this research aims to provide insight into the effects participation in hegemonic gender expression can have on work life.
25. - Preliminary Results From 2017 NKU Excavations at the Glacken Site (15BE272), Big Bone Lick State Historic Site
First Author
Alessa Rulli
Northern Kentucky University 
Big Bone Lick State Historic Site is famously known as the birthplace of American paleontology. However, work by NKU students and faculty during the 2017 Archaeological Field School at the Glacken Site illustrate that both Late Archaic (5700-3200 BP) and Early Woodland (3200-2300 BP) prehistoric remains are common in deposits at Big Bone Lick. I report on this excavation which revealed rich archaeological potential for understanding the lives of prehistoric peoples of this area. Artifacts found at the Glacken site during the field school include lithic tools, animal bones, and freshwater shell. An ongoing study of these materials, and specifically the lithic material using size-grade and flake attribute analysis, provides information about human occupation at the site during the Late Archaic and Early Woodland periods.
26. * - Multidisciplinary Approaches to Research and Abolitionism Through the Parker Academy
First Author
Andrea Shiverdecker
Northern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Samantha Hamilton 
Northern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Cooper Pfalz 
Northern Kentucky University 
The Parker Academy (1839-1892) had a longstanding history of being a home for the abolitionist movement. Founded in 1839, the Parker family of New Richmond, Ohio created the first all-inclusive academy that provided education to students regardless of race, gender, political identity, or religious affiliation. Students from across the country attended the Academy. The multidisciplinary approach the Parkers used to facilitate inclusion aimed to establish an all-encompassing educational environment, which was not only fascinating, but uniquely ahead of its time. By closely networking with educators, artists, students, religious leaders, politicians, lobbyists and freedom fighters, the Parkers established a school of inclusiveness far exceeding the standard of the mid to late 1800's. Spanning the ranges of scientific study from anthropology, archaeology, history and public history, to local historians and educators; researchers have been able to piece together groundbreaking discoveries of the underground abolitionist movement throughout the Ohio River Valley. Investigating the Parker Academy connections and networks through anthropological methods has allowed for new depths in the study of the abolitionist network to be reached. Through researchers' efforts in applying the same multidisciplinary approach facilitated by the Parkers, it has taught us to utilize resources previously untapped by the constraints of our individual subjective disciplines. While opening our realms of research to new ideas and methods, a more holistic approach allows for a wider breadth of knowledge. For example, an accompanying art installation was composed using the Abby Warburg's mnemosyne concepts of memory to show and to emphasize the multiple aspects of research used.
27. * - Uncovering the Women of Parker Academy
First Author
Delaney Gilliam
Northern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Lyndsey Mcnabb 
Northern Kentucky University 
The Parker Academy in New Richmond, Ohio was founded in 1839. The school also served as an open home to many children who were given opportunities that they would not have had otherwise. The Parker Academy was an educational institution that taught many children who came from different backgrounds, regardless of race or gender. Students at the Academy were all taught in the same rooms and all had the same opportunities. With the murmurings of women's rights, the girls educated at the Academy found a voice. The Academy's instructors taught them that they too have rights to be educated, to educate and to create a difference in society. With the fact that the Academy itself has almost been forgotten, so have the young women who attended the Academy, who so wanted to express themselves in broader American culture. Through the written records of the Parker family's archives their voices and ideas have been revitalized. Historical analysis of the Parker family archive and the students detailed in it show that even before the confirmed start date of women's suffrage that women were already beginning to realize that they too mattered. When young women graduated from The Parker Academy, they realized important position in society, and they went on to be influential parts of the abolitionist and the suffrage movements.
Friday, November 2, 2018  3:00pm - 6:00pm
Botany - Poster Presentations
28. * - Cultivation of Peanuts in Oak Tree Saw Dust to Increase Resveratrol
First Author
Wendy Cecil
Western Kentucky University 
Resveratrol (3,5,4'-Trihydroxystilbene) is a polyphenol found naturally in plants which is linked to biochemical properties that may reduce risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other conditions when consumed. Peanut sprouts (Arachis hypogaea) are one of many plants that naturally contain resveratrol, and this work studied the effects of fermented oak tree saw dust on germination of peanuts in order to increase germination and consequently increase resveratrol. Germination of peanut sprouts was quantified in two initial trials under optimal growth conditions. For germination, the most important conditions are temperature and moisture. The temperature was maintained in the range of 25°C-33°C and watered at predetermined intervals of time. The varying factor in the sprout germination was the fermentation time of the saw dust prior to planting the peanut seeds. Saw dust fermented for 0 days, 30 days, 45 days, and 60 days were used in this study. In these initial trials, the results indicate that oak tree saw dust fermented for 45 days was most efficient in increased germination. In the future, more trials will be conducted, and resveratrol content will be analyzed as well as the microbiome content. The next phase of this study is to utilize chitinase water for reduced fungal growth interference to further increase germination of peanut sprouts for increased resveratrol.
Friday, November 2, 2018  3:00pm - 6:00pm
Cellular and Molecular Biology - Poster Presentations
29. - A Genetic Screen for Proteins Involved in ASP Invasion of the Wing Disc of Drosophila melanogaster
First Author
Anas Gondal
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Hasan Salim 
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Ajay Srivastava 
Western Kentucky University 
Fruit flies (D. melanogaster) are ideal genetic model organisms that can closely replicate human genetic anomalies and characteristics. The invasion of the Air Sac Primordia (ASP), an organ analogous to the human lung, into the Wing Imaginal Disc (WID) of larval fruit flies is closely related to tumor metastasis in humans, as both processes use similar mechanisms to break down the basement membrane. By studying genes responsible for ASP invasion, researchers may be able to identify analogous genes in humans responsible for tumor metastasis. A genetic screen, using 65 protein trap lines, was conducted to find genes expressed in ASP and potentially involved in ASP invasion. The protein trap lines tagged endogenous proteins with a Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) to indicate tissue localization of selected proteins under a fluorescent microscope. WID were isolated from 10 third instar larvae of each line and imaged using fluorescence microscopy. Thirteen of the 49 lines screened exhibited GFP expression in the WID, but not in the ASP. Only one of the 65 lines exhibited GFP expression in the ASP. The gene responsible was Apontic (apt). Apontic's role in ASP invasion will be further investigated using RNA interference to knock down the gene. The screen is ongoing and we hope to be able to identify more genes expressed in the ASP.
30. * - Cerebellar gene expression of cabin1
First Author
Krista Dunn
Murray State University 
Co-author
Dena Weinberger 
Murray State University 
Co-author
Apoorva Vashist 
Murray State Univeristy 
Co-author
Carmen Bandy 
Murray State University 
To better understand the role of Calcineurin-binding protein 1 (Cabin1) in the developing nervous system, the zebrafish cerebellum was used as a model system during the different stages of maturity to asses cabin1 cell type-specific gene expression. Cabin1 is a gene that acts as a negative regulator to proteins that are known to control cerebellar granule cell production and survival. Therefore, cabin1 is expected to be expressed in granule cell precursors and mature granule cells. The gene probes for olig2, atoh1b, ptf1ɑ, parv7, and slc17a7 were paired alongside cabin1 to test cabin1's presence in their corresponding cell types. The cell types being tested for cabin1 expression were granule cells, Purkinje cells, eurydendroid cells, and their precursors. Single and double in situ hybridization were used to assess the spatial and temporal patterns of gene expression.
31. * - Characterization of a Basement Membrane Associated Protei
First Author
Aref Ranjbar
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Ajay Srivastava 
Western Kentucky University 
Basement Membranes (BM) are important for normal development and tumor progression. In order to get a better understanding of BM dynamics we identified genes that encoded BM interacting proteins. One such gene is predicted to be involved in vesicle-mediated transport in Drosophila melanogaster. Here we characterize this gene by utilizing molecular biology techniques like immunohistochemistry, RNA in situ hybridization, and Western blot analysis utilizing antibodies generated in the laboratory. Western blot analysis identified this protein to be ~30.8 Kilo Daltons in size. Anti-body staining indicates tissue and cell specific localization pattern for this protein. This pattern is similar to RNA in situ hybridization pattern observed in various tissues. Data related to this proteins' involvement in vesicle-mediated transport will be presented.
32. - Cloning Lectins for the Detection of Flavivirus Nonstructural Protein 1
First Author
Natalie Mercer
Kentucky Wesleyan College 
Co-author
Krystal Hamorsky 
Kentucky Wesleyan College 
Nonstructural protein 1 (NS1) functions in the replication of positive-sense RNA genomes of flaviviruses, such as Zika virus, and is highly homologous among flaviviruses. Glycosylated NS1 can be found in the blood of infected individuals up to nearly two weeks after infection, therefore having the potential to be targeted for flavivirus diagnosis. One option for detection of NS1 in the bloodstream could entail taking advantage of the carbohydrate-binding properties of lectins. These proteins have been isolated from a variety of eukaryotes and prokaryotes and often bind to carbohydrate chains with high specificity. The objective of this project is to determine the binding of several recombinantly-produced lectins to various NS1 proteins and subsequently design biosensors for each NS1 using the optimal lectin as the recognition element and a fluorophore as the reporter element. Various lectins have been cloned using DH5α Escherichia coli and transformed into BL21-DE3 E. coli for expression. The expression of these lectins will be tested and purified prior to determining the binding affinity and selectivity of each lectin and the specific carbohydrate moiety of NS1. If an optimal lectin-NS1 pair is found, a biosensor will designed as a rapid screening tool for flaviviruses. Many communities could benefit from the introduction of a more rapid and cost-effective diagnostic tool with high specificity.
33. - Cysteine Thiol Directed Chemical Modification of a KCNE1 Protein N-Terminus
First Author
Sharman N Sugumaran
Berea College 
Co-author
Keenan Taylor 
Vanderbilt University 
The chemical tagging of a protein at or near its N- or C- terminus has remained a challenge when multiple reactive cysteines are present. The development of such a technique would be widely useful in a variety of applications. As a model system, we selected KCNE1, a single span membrane protein that functions in conjunction with KCNQ1 to form a functional potassium channel. The KCNE1 and KCNQ1 complex regulates ion flow during the cardiac action potential. Mutations in the KCNE1 gene causes long QT syndrome (LQTS), which results in cardiac arrhythmia. We added a cysteine residue within the N-terminal hexa-Histidine tag thereby providing a thiol (-SH) reactive site. However, the problem arises when the protein has other cysteine residues with similar affinity towards thiol-reactive reagents. The goal of this project then, is to explore potential ways to specifically modify a Cys-SH group located at the protein N-terminus without modifying other reactive Cys-SH groups. While bound to Ni-NTA, the native Cys-SH was modified with a blocking reagent while we hypothesized that the N-terminal Cys residue would be sterically occluded. An Ellman's Reagent (DTNB) assay was conducted to determine the number of reactive cysteines in the protein as well as an electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA). Interestingly, comparing the data from both assays with that of a wild-type variant reveals an unreactive native cysteine. Unfortunately, the cysteine embedded in the His-tag remained reactive, even when bounded to the Ni-NTA. The results from this study leaves much to ponder about the reactive properties of cysteine residues.
34. * - Damage to Danio Rerio's Developing Neuromuscular Junction Could Lead to Expanded Synaptic Plasticity
First Author
Diana Schweitzer
Murray State University 
Co-author
Dena Weinberger 
Murray State University 
The neuromuscular junctions of most vertebrates perform synaptic transmission with acetylcholine as the primary neurotransmitter which binds with the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, resulting in muscular depolarization. Studies involving frog and rat neuromuscular junction preparations have shown that disruption of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor as the post-synaptic cell results in expanded plasticity of the neuromuscular junction, leading to the appearance of functional non-cholinergic receptors. The present study hypothesizes the same receptor plasticity is seen in the developing neuromuscular junction of Danio rerio (zebrafish). Embryos are allowed to develop to ages between 12 hours post fertilization (hpf), before neurons have first made contact with the muscle and 6 or 7 days post fertilization (dpf), when larva are free-swimming, and harvested at several time points in-between. When the embryo reaches the desired age, they are fixed and stained with receptor labeling antibodies or fluorescently labeled toxins to identify the different classes of receptors present at the neuromuscular junction. We are currently examining the expression of GABA, glycine, and NMDA receptors.
35. * - De Novo Prediction of the Tail and Capsid Structure of Mycobacteriophage MooMoo
First Author
Alexander Stewart
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Claire Rinehart 
Western Kentucky University 
Despite the prevalence of isolated Mycobacteriophages, surprisingly few have had their structure characterized. The purpose of this study was to reconstruct the structural elements of Mycobacteriophage MooMoo using molecular modelling systems such as I-TASSER and Rosetta. MooMoo is a singleton cluster siphovirus with a prolate capsid that has an approximately 4:1 length-to-width ratio. Prediction of the major capsid protein structure revealed possible similarities to the icosahedral capsid of HK97. Prediction of tail structure was consistent with other studies on Mycobacteriophage structure, with a ~28.5° rotation and a distance of ~37 Å between tail hexamers. Based on these findings, although MooMoo has a vastly different morphology, it may be similar to presently characterized phages. Further EM research is required in order to verify these predictions.
36. - Detection of antibiotic resistance genes using engineered zinc finger proteins immobilized on the silane polymer-coated
First Author
Jiyoung Shim
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Moon-Soo Kim 
Western Kentucky University 
Specific DNA recognition is of great importance for clinical and biomedical applications as well as public health. Emerging applications include detecting cancer biomarkers, pathogens, and antibiotic resistant genes (ARGs). Zinc finger proteins (ZFPs) are the most abundant DNA binding domain in eukaryotic genomes. ZFPs provide a versatile scaffold to design for direct detection of double-stranded (ds) DNA. In this study, a sandwich assay for detecting specific ARGs has been demonstrated by employing a pair of ZFPs which consists of capture and detection probes. The capture probe ZFP was conjugated on the silane polymer-coated surface through APDMES (3-aminopropyldimethylethoxysilane) cross-linking, creating an anticipated self-assembled monolayer with the capture probes conjugated homogeneously. The APDMES-functionalized surface was utilized as a platform for detection of specific dsDNA. The organic dye-labeled ZFP was used as the detection probe in this assay, generating the fluorescence signals from the bound complex of capture probes, dsDNA, and detection probes upon ZFPs binding to target DNA. We have demonstrated for the first time that the APDMES monolayer surface can be used to detect dsDNA along with conjugated DNA-binding proteins.
37. * - Effect of HER2 expression on NUPL2 protein in cervical cancer cells
First Author
Tristan Haight
Brescia University 
Co-author
Ryan Oates 
Brescia University 
Co-author
Mary Eichholz 
Brescia University 
Co-author
Jennifer Minton 
Brescia University graduate (alumni) 
Co-author
Maggie Ballou 
Brescia University graduate (alumni) 
Co-author
Jacob Adler 
Brescia University 
Cervical cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths in women worldwide. Frequently, patients with recurring cervical cancer have highly expressed Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor 2 (HER2) protein. HER2-positive cancer cells show enhanced gene expression of Nucleoporin-like 2 (NUPL2). NUPL2 protein is a part of the nuclear pore complex that serves to selectively export substances from the nucleus to the cytoplasm. In this study, we expressed HER2 in model cervical cancer cells (HeLa cells) in order to examine the effect on NUPL2 protein expression and localization. Interestingly, there was no discernible expression differences in NUPL2 protein between HER2-expressing cells and non-expressing cells confirmed via immunofluorescence imaging and Western blot analysis. Importantly, we did find significant instances where the localization of NUPL2 was affected by the expression of HER2, which we quantified in a large sampling of cells. These combined findings indicate that HER2 expression does not contribute to NUPL2 protein production levels, but instead is leading to a change in NUPL2 localization, which could impact the function of NUPL2 and its ability to selectively export substances like Rb from the nucleus. This is significant because it suggests a mechanism as to how HER2 promotes excessive cancer growth and thus NUPL2 may warrant consideration as a possible target of gene therapy, especially for patients with recurring and poor prognosis cervical cancer.
38. - Evaluation of Genes that May Mediate Individualization in Spermatogenesis
First Author
Olivia Honaker
Centre College 
Co-author
Darren Paris 
Murray State University 
Co-author
Douglas Harrison 
University of Kentucky 
The process of individualization in spermatogenesis occurs after both meiosis and mitosis have occurred to produce a bundle of 64 spermatid cells surrounded by two somatic cyst cells. During individualization, acrosomes form, axonemes elongate, nuclear chromatin compacts, histones are replaced with protamine, and investment cones travel along the spermatids, removing cytoplasm, organelles, and the bridges connecting them. The JAK/STAT cell signaling pathway is known to initiate the process of individualization in spermatids. Spermatids themselves may secrete the Unpaired (Upd) ligand that initiates the JAK/STAT signaling in the somatic cells which then communicates back to the spermatids to initiate individualization. However, the signal (Signal X) from the somatic cyst to the spermatids to produce the Upd ligand is unknown. To determine how signal X is regulated, 12 genes that showed reduced expression from STAT knockdown were selected. The genes were knocked down in Drosophila melanogaster using RNAi paired with the GAL4/UAS system and then evaluated to determine whether spermatogenesis or individualization was impaired. Genes that have roles in cell polarity were found to have an effect on early stages of individualization and spermatogenesis, and genes that had roles in carbohydrate processes, JAK/STAT pathway regulation, and leucine-rich regions have an effect on individualization in somatic cells.
39. * - Examining how the FGF signaling pathway effects gene expression within the pharynx during embryonic development
First Author
Elizabeth Wilke
Northern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Emily Shifley 
Northern Kentucky University 
Examining how the FGF signaling pathway effects gene and protein expression within the pharynx during embryonic development
The pharynx is a region of the vertebrate embryo that gives rise to many important structures in the head and neck. Embryonic cells in the pharynx use proteins as signaling molecules for cell to cell communication. The absence or mutations of these signaling proteins can cause birth defects. I analyzed the role of the Fibroblast Growth Factor (FGF) genetic signaling pathway during the development of the pharynx. I inhibited the FGF pathway in developing Xenopus laevis embryos and used in-situ hybridization to detect changes in gene expression. To verify that FGF signaling pathway was inhibited, embryonic proteins were analyzed with western blotting where I found reduced levels of di-phosphorylated ERK proteins. When the FGF pathway was inhibited, I also found that Iroquois gene expression in the pharynx was reduced compared to control embryos. In the future, this research may help us understand why certain birth defects occur in the pharynx.
40. * - Examining the Role that Iroquois Genes Play During Embryonic Development
First Author
Maria Stewart
Northern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Emily Shifley 
Northern Kentucky University 
Embryonic cells use genetic signals to guide their development and differentiation. My study focused on the FGF signaling pathway which is known to be important for the development of the pharynx, an embryonic structure that gives rise to craniofacial features. We previously identified targets of the FGF pathway and hypothesized that they play important roles in development. I analyzed the expression patterns of several of these FGF target genes and am working to use RT-PCR to verify during which stages these genes are expressed. One group of FGF targets, the Iroquois genes, are expressed in the developing pharynx. We inhibited Iroquois in developing embryos and analyzed these embryos with in situ hybridization to visualize any changes in gene expression during development and with skeletal preparations to identify defects in their craniofacial features. Overall, we have identified and begun to characterize several FGF signaling pathway targets in developing Xenopus embryos.
41. * - Fishing for fertility: Creating a PAM-1 substrate trap to isolate novel fertility-governing proteins
First Author
Autumn Graves
Murray State University 
Co-author
Chris Trzepacz 
Murray State University 
Mutations in the conserved C. elegans PAM-1 aminopeptidase and its orthologs result in reduced fertility in numerous organisms. However, the substrates of PAM-1 have yet to be determined. We propose to use a bacterially expressed and purified maltose binding protein (MBP):PAM-1 fusion protein to fish for PAM-1 specific substrates from a C. elegans lysate. Candidate substrates will be resolved by SDS-PAGE, excised from the gel, and identified by mass spectroscopy. The discovery of these substrate identities will help create a foundational map to define PAM-1 interactions, which in turn will provide further insight into the common mechanisms that govern fertility in C. elegans, humans, and potentially all multi-cellular organisms.
42. * - Generation of a transgenic beta cell line for study of Glis3 using CRISPR/Cas9 technology
First Author
NancyAnn Webster
Murray State University 
Co-author
Gary ZeRuth 
Murray State University 
Blood glucose levels are highly regulated to maintain blood glucose homeostasis within an organism. When blood glucose levels are elevated, the pancreatic β cells produce insulin, which signals the cells of the peripheral tissues to take up circulating glucose. Expression of insulin is mediated by a number of transcription factors that associate with the proximal promoter of the insulin gene. Many of these transcription factors are also important in β-cell development and maturation. The Krüppel-like transcription factor, Gli-similar 3 (Glis3) is fundamental for the development of β-cells and is critical for insulin expression in adult tissue. Glis3 has been found to associate with the primary cilia, tiny hair-like sensory organelles extending from the surface of most mammalian cells. It is unclear whether Glis3 is required for ciliogenesis, whether the primary cilia are required for proper Glis3 signaling or whether Glis3 associates with the primary cilia on pancreatic β or ductal cells. There is currently no antibody against Glis3. Thus, most studies of Glis3 have been conducted under overexpression conditions that likely do not represent activity under normal physiological expression levels. To overcome this obstacle and to create a tool that can be used for future studies, we are generating a β cell line that expresses a chimeric Glis3-EGFP fusion protein from the endogenous Glis3 locus using CRISPR/Cas9 technology. This novel cell line will subsequently be used to investigate Glis3 protein localization, posttranslational modifications, and protein-protein interactions under experimental conditions, including chronically elevated levels of glucose and conditions of oxidative stress.
43. * - Generation of transgenic zebrafish line by CRISPR/Cas9 to evaluate pancreas development and function
First Author
LilyAnne Grieve
Murray State University 
Co-author
Gary ZeRuth 
Murray State University 
Blood glucose levels are highly regulated to maintain blood glucose homeostasis within an organism. When blood glucose levels are elevated, the pancreatic β cells produce insulin, which signals the cells of the peripheral tissues to begin circulating glucose. The recently identified Krüppel-like transcription factor, Gli-similar 3 (Glis3) is important for insulin expression in adult tissue. Morpholino (MO) knockdown of glis3 in early zebrafish development resulted in some fish that exhibited cyclopia, hydrocephalus, and ventrally curving spine that were not observed in control MO injected animals. Insulin was detected in glis3 morphant fish, however, its expression encompassed a smaller area. Moreover, immunohistochemistry indicated that glis3 MO disrupted the normal islet architecture of injected animals. The cyclopia, hydrocephalus, ventrally curving spine, and disrupted islet architecture present in morphant fish is indicative of primary ciliary defects that have previously been associated with glis3. These results suggested that glis3 is not required for β cell specification in zebrafish but may have roles in β cell expansion and distribution. To determine the spatio-temporal distribution of glis3 expression during development, we are using the CRISPR/Cas9 system to engineer a glis3 fusion protein that expresses an in-frame EGFP sequence at the glis3 amino terminus in the jh2Tg ins:mCherry zebrafish background. The establishment of EGFP-glis3 fish line will allow for studies to investigate the localization of glis3 protein in different tissues and examine glis3 localization to the primary cilia. The EGFP-glis3 line will also permit identification of glis3 target genes and glis3 interacting partners and posttranslational modifications.
44. * - Integrin β1 Promotes Kras-Mutated Lung Cancer Proliferation Via Mapk-Indepependent Mechanism
First Author
Kateryna Nabukhotna
Berea College 
Co-author
Scott Haake 
Vanderbilt University Medical Center 
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Integrins are transmembrane receptors consisting of 18 alfa- and 8 β-subunits that combine to form 24 distinct heterodimers that function as the principal extracellular matrix receptors of the cell. KRAS is the most commonly mutated oncogene in lung cancer, and studies suggest that KRAS-mutated lung cancers require integrins to activate downstream mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling and form tumors. However, preliminary data from our group suggests that KRAS-mutated cells are able to activate MAPK signaling irrespective of integrin β1 (ITGB1) expression. In order to further understand the impact of β1 integrins on growth factor-mediated activation of MAPK signaling in KRAS-mutated lung cancer, we directly evaluated KRAS activation in human lung adenocarcinoma cell lines with CRISPR-mediated β1 knock out (KO). A KRAS-activation assay was performed to selectively pull-down GTP-KRAS from parental KRAS-mutated human lung adenocarcinoma cell lines and CRISPR-mediated integrin ITGB1-KO cells. Cells were either serum starved or spiked with calf serum and GTP-KRAS was quantified via immunoblotting. We observed increased GTP-KRAS in ITGB1-KO cells relative to wild-type cells, suggesting that KRAS is able to activate appropriately in ITGB1-KO cells. Therefore, ITGB1 promotes KRAS-mutated lung cancer via a MAPK-independent pathway, and increased KRAS signaling may represent a novel mechanism of compensation for loss of ITGB1-dependent signaling.
45. * - Investigating a transient expression system in Nicotiana Benthamiana for the production of Novel TALE Proteins
First Author
Colleen Jackson
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Wendy Cecil 
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Kibum Kim 
Chung-Ang University 
Co-author
Moon-Soo Kim 
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Kisung Ko 
Chung-Ang University 
Transcription Activator-Like Effectors (TALEs) are a new class of DNA-binding proteins which selectively bind to double-stranded (ds) DNA with the 12th and 13th amino acids of each repeat, termed repeat variable diresidues (RVDs) controlling the nucleotide specificity. TALE proteins can therefore be designed using the RVDs to be selective for any target DNA sequences. In this study, TALEs were engineered to recognize specific DNA sequences of the stx2 gene encoding for Shiga toxin present in E. coli O157. We investigated a new approach using a plant expression system to improve the production of TALEs that were previously expressed in Escherichia coli. A transient plant expression system using the pEAQ vector and Nicotiana Benthamiana was used to express the two custom-designed TALE proteins. Each TALE was subcloned into different pEAQ vectors and transformed into Agrobacterium tumefaciens, which were agroinfiltrated into the plants to start expression. Leaves were then harvested and the two proteins were isolated using Nickel columns. The purified TALE proteins were characterized.
46. * - Platinum Leaving Ligand Effects on Mammalian Cells
First Author
Emily Nole
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Jessica Schlabach 
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Brooke Duke 
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
B.Blairanne Williams 
Western Kentucky University 
Cisplatin, Carboplatin, and Oxaliplatin are the three FDA approved platinum based chemotherapeutic agents. Each compound is defined by two ligands attached to a central platinum atom. Intracellularly, the nonleaving ligands remain attached to the central atom. However, the leaving ligands are released from the platinum and allow the platinum to bind to cellular components such as DNA. It is the coordination of the platinum atom with the attached nonleaving ligand to DNA that induces apoptosis, the primary mechanism of death for these compounds. Compound structure correlates with compound efficacy as a cancer treatment. For example, Cisplatin and Carboplatin have similar non-leaving ligands and are approved by the FDA for treatment in many of the same cancer types. Oxaliplatin is a structurally distinct compound from cisplatin and carboplatin and is approved to treat cancers arising from different tissues. This project compares cell-specific toxicity of novel platinum compounds in both cancerous and noncancerous cell lines to better understand the role of structure in cytotoxicity. We tested two novel compounds, Dichloro(ethylenediamine)platinum(II), abbreviated as Pt(en)Cl2, which differs from Cisplatin only in the non-leaving ligand, and Dichloro((S,R,R,S)-N,N'-dimethyl-1,2-diaminocyclohexane)platinum(II), abbreviated as Pt(Me2dach), which differs in both ligands. Pt(en)Cl2 was tested in both cancerous and noncancerous cell lines and preliminary data shows higher toxicity in cancerous cell lines versus non-cancerous lines. Pt(Me2dach) was tested in a noncancerous line and shows toxicity similar to Pt(en)Cl2.
47. * - Potential for the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii to degrade lignin
First Author
Meg Dillingham
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Cydne Kitchens 
Western Kentucky University 
Plants can be degraded to produce biofuels, an alternative energy source. A component found in the cell wall, lignin, may be degraded to produce biofuel. Laccase proteins can degrade lignin and are of interest for biofuel use. The green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii has genes very similar to laccase genes, suggesting the alga may degrade lignin in the soil by secreting laccase protein into the environment. In this study, we are testing for the production of laccase by measuring laccase enzyme activity in the media of C. reinhardtiii cultures grown with lignin or wood chips. To this point, we have tested for laccase activity in these cultures under light/dark cycles and extended darkness with inconclusive results. We have also characterized the effect of these culture conditions on growth rate. Our current focus is on optimizing the culture growth conditions to increase reproducibility.
48. * - Role of Shear Stress on Endothelial Insulin Sensitivity
First Author
Areli Medina Hernandez
Berea College 
Co-author
Lauren Walsh 
University of Missouri 
Co-author
Thaysa Ghiarone 
University of Missouri 
Co-author
Luis Martinez-Lemus 
University of Missouri 
Co-author
Jaume Padilla 
University of Missouri 
The vasodilator actions of insulin contribute to glucose uptake by skeletal muscle, and previous studies have demonstrated that acute and chronic physical activity improves insulin-stimulated vasodilation and glucose uptake. Because this effect of exercise primarily manifests in vascular beds highly perfused during exercise, it has been postulated that increased blood flow-associated shear stress on endothelial cells is an underlying mechanism by which physical activity enhances insulin-stimulated vasodilation. Accordingly, herein we tested the hypothesis that increased shear stress can acutely render vascular endothelial cells to become more insulin-responsive. To test this hypothesis, we cultured endothelial cells in the presence or absence of a 1-h increase in shear stress from 3 to 20 dynes/cm2. The increased shear stress caused a significant (P<0.05) shift in insulin signaling characterized by greater activation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) relative to mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK). These experiments on endothelial cells were part of a larger study in which isolated arterioles exposed to 1-h of intraluminal shear stress (20 dynes/cm2 ) subsequently exhibited greater insulin-induced vasodilation compared to arterioles kept under no-flow conditions. We also found that in humans increased leg blood flow induced by unilateral limb heating for 1-h subsequently augmented insulin-stimulated popliteal artery blood flow and muscle perfusion. In aggregate, these findings across models (cells, isolated arterioles, and humans) support the hypothesis that elevated shear stress causes the vascular endothelium to become more insulin-responsive and thus are consistent with the notion that shear stress may be a principal mechanism by which physical activity enhances insulin-stimulated vasodilation.
49. - Spinal Cord Injury and its effect on Circadian Rhythm
First Author
Charles Thaler
KBRIN 
The purpose of this study was to determine how Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) affects circadian rhythm. Our Hypothesis was that SCI would cause an alteration in circadian rhythmicity of the SCI mice. In order to determine the effects of SCI on circadian rhythmicity, 19 bl7/9 wildtype mice were used in this study. A contusion SCI, was administered to the lower thoracic (T10) part of the spinal cord to 10 of the mice. The other 9 mice were used as shams. All of the mice were allowed to recover for 6 weeks post-surgery, after that time, their activity was monitored for 2 weeks under standard housing conditions (12:12, light dark /LD/), followed by 3 weeks in constant darkness (24D) to remove the light time cue and in this way unmask the intrinsic rhythmicity. The activity was scored using a BMS scale. The results showed that both SCI mice and shams proved to be clearly rhythmic with a similar gross rhythmicity pattern. Changes between the groups are mostly in distribution of activity bursts during the main active period while the rest breaks are spread differently and, paradoxically, SCI mice may be more active. Such effects may not necessarily be caused by altered rhythm but by other factors such as differential endurance and/or SCI-associated neuropathic pain that is relieved by activity. Our preliminary data suggest that after thoracic level, moderate contusion SCI, the circadian rhythm of activity is largely intact.
50. * - The Bioinformatics of Mycobacteriophage Drake94
First Author
Andrea Compton
Spalding University 
Co-author
Jennifer Doyle 
Spalding University 
Mycobacteriophages are viruses that infect the genus mycobacterium and are readily found in environmental samples. The Science Education Alliance-Phage Hunters Advancing Genomics and Evolutionary Science (SEA-PHAGES) is a mycobacteriophage research project consisting of phage isolation and phage genome annotation. In the spring of 2017, a mycobacteriophage was discovered on the bank of an artificial landscape pond at an urban apartment complex in Louisville, KY. The mycobacteriophage was isolated by using Mycobacterium smegmatis as a host, and later named Drake94. Drake94 has a very turbid plaque that is 1.2 mm in diameter 24 hours post inoculation. Drake94 underwent DNA extraction at Western Kentucky University and sequencing at North Carolina State University. It was determined that Drake 94 belonged to subcluster A 10 according to BLAST alignments and phamerator map comparison. Cluster A is one of the largest clusters, which is highly diverse and temperate. Drake 94's genome sequence is being annotated using the Phage Evidence Collection and Annotation Network (PECCANN). Drake94 has 77 possible genes at a genome length of 49890 base pairs with 3 possible tRNAs and 3' 10 base pair overhangs.
51. * - The effect of light pollution on immunoresponse and neurogenesis in zebra finches
First Author
Matthew Knerr
Western Kentucky University 
The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of artificial light at night (ALAN) on the daily rhythmic patterns of cytokine gene expression (IL-1β, IL-6, and IL-10) of zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata). One group of finches was subjected to 12 h light (L): 12 hours darkness (D), whereas the another group was subjected to 24 h of constant light (24LL). After both groups were properly adjusted to light conditions for 7 days, birds were sacrificed at 6 time points throughout a 24 h period (1,5,9,13,17, and 21 h). Three brain tissues (hypothalamus, hippocampus, and nidopallium), and three peripheral tissues (liver, fat, and spleen) were excised. RNA levels were isolated and measured in all six tissues, and reversed transcribed to synthesize cDNA. The cDNA samples were run through RT-qPCR, with PPIA as a house-keeping gene. Statistical analysis was performed on the results of RT-qPCR. Significant daily rhythmic patterns were found in all three genes across all six tissue samples in birds subjected to 12L:12D: 10 of the 18 samples had significant patterns. Significant daily rhythmic patterns were found in only 2 of the 18 samples that involved IL-6 expression,. ALAN was proven to disrupt the daily oscillatory patterns of genes that serve as a reliable biomarker of immune and inflammatory response in zebra finches.
52. * - The Effects of Acute Sleep Fragmentation on Microglial Cells
First Author
Anna Strunjas
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Ila Mishra 
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Noah Ashley 
Western Kentucky University 
A worldwide increase in obesity has led to a higher incidence of obstructive sleep apnea, which often leads to extensive metabolic, cardiovascular, and neurobiological damage and morbidities. Obstructive sleep apnea is associated with fragmentation of sleep due to the repeated occurrence of end-apneic arousal throughout the night. The focus of this study was to observe possible effects that acute sleep fragmentation had on microglial cells and whether chemical sympathectomy could combat these effects. Mice were injected with vehicle (phosphate-buffered saline) or were given 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) and were then sleep fragmented for 24 hours. There was also a control group in which mice were injected with either vehicle or 6-OHDA but did not receive the sleep fragmentation. 6-OHDA is an agent used for chemical sympathectomy. It was hypothesized that if the adrenergic system is shut down, the proposed increase in microglial activity associated with sleep fragmentation will not occur. Immunostaining was performed to visualize the microglia in the hippocampus, Preoptic area, and cortex of the brain to assess the effect of sleep fragmentation on the number of microglia, microglia area, and ramification. It was found that sleep fragmentation affected cell count in all three areas and cell area in the Preoptic area. Sleep fragmentation had no effect on the ramification of cells in any region. The drug treatment of 6-OHDA was shown to have worked in combating the microglial activation caused by acute sleep fragmentation.
53. * - The effects of oxidative stress on p75NTR signaling in dopaminergic neurons.
First Author
Kendall Nelson
Eastern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Montana Schemanski 
Eastern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Cassandra Escobedo 
Eastern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Carter Waugh 
Eastern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Alborz Kalantar 
Eastern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Bradley Kraemer 
Eastern Kentucky University 
The p75 Neurotrophin Receptor (p75NTR) is a transmembrane protein with multiple functions, including the regulation of neuronal survival in tissues affected by various pathological conditions. In injured tissue regions, secreted neurotrophins bind and activate p75NTR, thereby triggering its pro-apoptotic signaling cascades. During this process, the metalloprotease TNFα-converting enzyme (TACE) cleaves p75NTR within its extracellular domain, and the γ-secretase complex cleaves the receptor within its transmembrane region. These sequential enzymatic events release p75NTR fragments to interact with a variety of downstream pro-apoptotic mediators. Recently, proteolysis of p75NTR in this manner was demonstrated to occur in sympathetic neurons subjected to oxidative stress, a cellular condition common to numerous neurological disorders. Surprisingly, however, activation of p75NTR in this context did not require neurotrophins. Whether this novel, ligand-independent mechanism of receptor activation underlies neurodegeneration within the central nervous system has not been explored. Presently, we report that p75NTR is expressed in the soma and neurites of dopaminergic cells. Exposure of the cells to 6-hydroxydopamine (6 OHDA), a compound that induces oxidative stress, induces proteolysis of p75NTR. Our preliminary data indicates that this oxidative stress-induced cleavage of p75NTR is mediated by sequential activities of a metalloprotease and the γ-secretase complex. We are currently investigating whether inhibition of these enzymatic activities will protect dopaminergic neurons from neurodegeneration associated with oxidative stress, as well as evaluating whether oxidative stress-induced activation of p75NTR occurs through a ligand-dependent mechanism. This work will enhance our understanding of p75NTR signaling mechanisms and their contributions to neurodegenerative conditions affecting the central nervous system.
54. - The FGF signaling pathway plays an important role regulating gene expression in developing Xenopus laevis embryos
First Author
Kelsey Donahue
Northern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Emily Shifley 
Northern Kentucky University 
The pharynx is a region in developing vertebrate embryos consisting of a system of arches and pouches which eventually gives rise to craniofacial features. The FGF and RA genetic signaling pathways are used by cells in the pharynx for communication. If these cellular signals are disrupted, craniofacial defects can occur. We hypothesized that inhibiting FGF signaling in developing embryos would disrupt gene expression in the embryonic pharynx. We analyzed FGF-inhibited and control embryos with in-situ hybridization and found that certain genes such as Cyp26a1 and Raldh2, members of the RA pathway, are downregulated with FGF inhibition. Additionally, Sox2 and Pax7 are markers of the endodermal pouches of the pharynx. We tried to visualize these proteins in the pharynx with immunohistochemistry and have some preliminary data that will require optimization. These studies will help build a model of how different genetic signaling pathways interact to guide the development of the pharynx.
55. - The Role of Polarity Genes in Esophageal Adenocarcinoma Metaplasia
First Author
Young Koh
Asbury University 
Co-author
Pei Guo Ding 
University of Texas Southwestern 
Co-author
David Wang 
University of Texas Southwestern 
Co-author
Malinda Stull 
Asbury University 
Recently within the United States, there has been an increase in the incident rates of Esophageal Adenocarcinoma (EAC) affecting the male population in particular. The risk factors associated with EAC include obesity and gastroesophageal reflux disease, with Barrett's esophagus as the primary risk factor. When a patient develops Barrett's esophagus, there is a conformational change in the orientation of the lower esophageal epithelia transitioning from normal squamous epithelia to columnar and glandular epithelia, similar to that which is found within the small intestine. This conformational change is termed as cellular metaplasia, and this experiment examines metaplastic change between normal squamous esophageal epithelia, Barrett's esophageal epithelia (BAR-T), metastatic cancers cells (LX-18) and non-metastatic cancer cells (OE-33). Cellular conformation and orientation is, in a large part, controlled by a class of genes also known as polarity genes. Polarity gene expression is known to determine the apical/basolateral nature of cells as they divide, and this experiment focuses primarily on the CRB3, PARD6A, PARD3, SCRIB, and DLG1 genes when studying the metaplastic change that takes place within the various cells of interest using a combination of real-time (QT) PCR and agarose gel electrophoresis. These particular genes are chosen primarily due to a known elevated level of expression in epithelial cells. The results of the experiment show an upregulation of up to 3.5 fold in the PARD6A gene in non-metastatic cancers in comparison to metastatic cancer cells and Barrett's cells using normal squamous cells as a standard and an upregulation of CRB3, DLG1, PARD3, and PARD6A genes when the non-metastatic cancer cells are compared to the metastatic cancer cells using the Barrett's cells as a standard.
56. * - Therapeutic and toxicity profile of Pt-Mal-LHRH, a target direct chemotherapeutic for triple negative breast cancer.
First Author
Adam Gehlhausen
EKU 
Co-author
Emily McCord 
EKU 
Co-author
Lindsay Calderon 
EKU 
Co-author
Margaret Ndinguri 
EKU 
In the United States one in eight women will be afflicted with breast cancer. Triple negative breast cancers (TNBC) account for 10-20% of all breast cancers and are significantly more aggressive than other subtypes. There are minimal treatment therapies for TNBC due to a lack of expression of the ER, PR, and HER-2/neu receptors. Our recent work revolves around developing a novel chemotherapeutic agent that will specifically target TNBCs while exhibiting reduced systemic distribution to healthy cell.
Studies have shown the luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) receptor is overexpressed on 4T1 and MDA-MB-231 cells. We have designed and synthesized a Pt-Mal-LHRH compound that attaches the LHRH peptide to cisplatin to selectively target and deliver platinum to the cancer cells. Platinum is used in chemotherapy in common compounds such as cisplatin and carboplatin, however, both of these compounds elicit debilitating side effects without targeting TNBCs. Moreover, cisplatin has high rates of resistance in patients.
To address, whether Pt-Mal-LHRH is more selective and therapeutic than carboplatin and cisplatin we tested our compound in-vivo. First, we verified the therapeutic index of Pt-Mal-LHRH and found it to be safer than cisplatin. There was no toxicity induced from 2.5-40 mg/kg injection doses, however, lethality for cisplatin is around 11 mg/kg. Further, we found that Pt-Mal-LHRH does exhibit immune suppression, which is similar to other chemotherapies, however, it does not reduce it below basal. Lastly, we compared Pt-Mal-LHRH to carboplatin and found that it is significantly more effective at reducing tumor size at doses 2.5-20mg/kg. Taken together we have found that Pt-Mal-LHRH is therapeutically more effective at reducing tumor size compared to carboplatin, while, showing a safer toxicity profile than cisplatin.
Friday, November 2, 2018  3:00pm - 6:00pm
Chemistry: Analytical/Physical - Poster Presentations
57. * - The Chemical Characterization of Kentucky Honeys
First Author
Rebecca Jenkins
Morehead State University 
Co-author
Chelsea Fitzpatrick 
Morehead State University 
Co-author
Brandon Van Ness 
Morehead State University 
Honey is a complex and interesting substance comprised of several organic compounds that differ based on botanical origin. Eight samples of various Kentucky honeys were collected for experimentation and evaluation. In this ongoing experiment, each sample will be evaluated for (including a standard, industrial processed clover honey) moisture content by way of refractometry, hydroxymethylfurfural content with UV-vis, reducing and inverted sugar identification using the Lane-Eynon method, and flavonoid and phenolic compound identification with HPLC. Although there are several different types of honey, the experiment will be controlled by using only clover honey.

The goal of this experiment is to 1.) identify and analyze the organic components of honey and 2.) determine whether Kentucky honey contains flavonoids or phenolic compounds specific to the region when compared to the standard and/or other studies done on the topic. Careful analytical procedure will be taken in order to determine the amounts and identities of compounds found in the honeys chosen to run the experiment on. In doing this, the greatest focus will be on flavonoid and phenolic compound identification, in which flavonoids/phenolics will be separated from the sugars and other polar compounds using Amberlite XAD-2. The utilization of HPLC will take advantage of retention times established in other academic articles (in addition to spiking with standard flavonoid/phenolic samples as needed) to determine the identities of the chemicals present in honeys farmed in Kentucky.
58. * - Profiling whiskey fungus using the gas chromatography/mass spectrometry and laboratory serial dilutions methods
First Author
Amber Persons
Kentucky State University 
In 2016, Kentucky alone housed 52 distilleries and provided a third of the national employment in the distilling industry. The distillation of spirits, and more specifically bourbon, has contributed many great things to the state of Kentucky, but few seem to be aware of how this industry affects homes and businesses that are in close proximity to the distilleries. For quite some time, it was unbeknownst to many that the ethanol vapor, a byproduct of the ageing process in making bourbon, was aiding the growth of a fungus that plagued miles of local property. The colloquially named 'whiskey fungus', or Baudoinia compniacensis, has a black, sooty-like appearance and becomes thick and brittle with age. Local residents of several prominent distilleries in Kentucky attempted to pursue class-action lawsuits in 2012, claiming that the fungus was causing severe property damage and that distilleries were negligent. The federal lawsuits were dismissed in 2016 due concluding that distilleries should not be held responsible for the ethanol emissions due to a clause in the government's Clean Air Act, leaving local residents without a solution. The purpose of this study and in researching Baudoinia compniacensis was to find possible preventative measures for those whose property is at risk by testing different fungicides through serial dilutions in the laboratory, and to attempt to separate and identify the organic components of the fungus by using the GCMS (Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry) analytical method to obtain an organic fingerprint of the fungus for future identification.
59. * - Solid Phase Extraction of Tylosin from Cattle Waste With Determination by Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometry
First Author
Anne Carlisle
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Keerthi Appala 
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Eric Conte 
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
John Kasumba 
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Getahun Agga 
USDA 
Co-author
John Loughrin 
USDA 
Solid Phase Extraction of Tylosin from Agricultural Samples With Determination by Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometry
Tylosin is a common antibiotic that is given to poultry, pigs, and cattle. The antibiotic not only fights against bacteria, but it also increases weight gain in livestock. Tylosin is fed to about 42% of beef calves to prevent liver abscesses. Over time however, bacteria become resistant to the antibiotic, and that resistance can pass on to humans through food consumption. The amount of antibiotic resistance an animal's bacteria has developed can be associated with the concentration of the antibiotic in the animal's waste. The purpose of this study is to establish a method to quantify tylosin in cattle waste. This was accomplished by freeze drying the waste and then performing solid phase extraction and liquid chromatography mass spectrometry. The results of this method in terms of percent recovery, detection limits, and sensitivity will be presented.
60. * - Temporal Trend of Illicit and Neuropsychiatric Drug Consumption
First Author
Brittney Nelson
Murray State University 
Co-author
Tara Croft 
Murray State University 
Co-author
Bikram Subedi 
Murray State University 
Conventional survey-based approaches of determining the consumption rates of drugs in our communities are suffered from non-response biases, and typically underestimate the actual consumption. Time and cost-intensive conventional approaches, therefore, can't be utilized to determine high-resolution temporal variability in drugs consumption. In this study, the temporal trend of consumption of 10 illicit and 26 prescribed neuropsychiatric drugs was determined at hour-level resolution utilizing sewage epidemiology. The hourly composite raw wastewater (every 10 minutes) samples were collected for three consecutive days in a typical week (total of 72 samples), analyzed for target drug residues using LC-MS/MS, and back-calculated the consumption rate of drugs in a community. Time-sensitive consumption pattern of drugs can be critical information for authorities to combat drug abuse and addiction.
61. * - Using the Liquid Sampling-Atmospheric Pressure Glow Discharge with Capillary Channeled Polymer Fibers for Analysis of Pr
First Author
Daisy Sullivan
Berea College 
Co-author
Dr. R. Kenneth Marcus 
Clemson University 
One of the major drawbacks of mass spectrometry (MS) to date has been the necessity to use two distinct types of instruments to analyze elemental and molecular information. Traditionally, elemental information has been acquired by using inductively coupled plasma (ICP) MS, however, due to the energetics of the plasma, molecular information (i.e. protein structure) is lost. In order to overcome these barriers the liquid sampling-atmospheric pressure glow discharge has been interfaced with Orbitrap mass spectrometers with the goal of developing a single system that can provide both elemental and molecular information eliminating the need for separate instrumentation.
Another significant limitation of MS is its inability to distinguish different proteins from a mixture. Therefore, the use of high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) is necessary to separate these proteins prior to MS analysis. For these experiments capillary-channeled polymer (C-CP) fibers were used as the stationary phase for the separation. These fibers have been employed for fast protein separations in the reverse phase (RP) mode.
These results would open doors in applications of the pharmaceutical industry and would allow for quicker and cheaper analysis.
62. * - Application of an Analytical Assay for Quantification of Polyphosphate Using Silicon Photonic Microring Resonators
First Author
Beau Schweitzer
University of Michigan 
Inorganic polyPhosphate (polyP) is a linear polymer of orthophosphates. In vivo, polyP mediates the contact pathway of blood clotting and displays procoagulant, and proinflammatory properties. It facilitates clotting at several junctures in the clotting cascade, accelerating the action of clotting factors, and augmenting fibrin clot structures. This molecule is an integral actor in the pathophysiology of sepsis, thrombotic diseases, bleeding disorders, and trauma; it is secreted by activated platelets. The quantification of polyP in plasma, serum, or other complex biological samples, therefore, is of great interest but presently proves to be an extremely arduous process. The practical inconveniency of current polyP quantification methods renders them infeasible to implement into clinical studies or medical detection procedures. We have undertaken the development of a novel analytical assay for the detection of polyP in vitro using silicon photonic microring resonators. These instruments utilize a series of sensor arrays on a silicon substrate to perform rapid multiplexed binding assays. The exquisite surface sensitivity of the silicon photonic platform allows quantification of polyP binding at physiological concentrations.
63. * - Purification and Analysis of LHRH using HPLC
First Author
Sean Greer
Eastern Kentucky University 
The purpose of the project was to use of high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) for purification of antioxidants and peptides and to efficiently and effectively operate the instrument. The methodology for the project included running several samples through the HPLC to gain greater understanding of both the principles that HPLC is based on and its current use in industry, and to purify samples. The results of the project included learning how to operate the HPLC instrument, interpret data from the chromatograms, gain a more thorough understanding of the principles of separation for HPLC and the different types of HPLC. In conclusion, HPLC allowed for the separation and purification of compounds within complex mixtures like peptide, antioxidants, and dyes. Separation and analysis of luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) peptide will be discussed.
64. - Detection of Polyions with Pulsed Chronopotentiometry - Screening Antidotes for the Anticoagulants Low Molecular Heparin
First Author
Kyle Rowe
Northern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Kebede Gemene 
Northern Kentucky University 
Heparin is a polyion that is often used as an anticoagulation agent during medical procedures. Once the procedure is completed, another polyion, protamine, is used to cleanse the body of the heparin. These two compounds have the potential to cause bleeding complications and adverse side effects when used. Newly introduced low molecular weight heparins (LMWHs) are more efficient anticoagulants and are safer. One drawback of LMWHs is that they do not have an antidote to consume them when they are no longer needed. The purpose of this research is to further develop the analytical technique of pulsed chronopotentiometry in order to monitor LMWH anticoagulant-antidote binding affinities. Chronopotentiometry measures the potential difference of a membrane by means of a reference electrode and a working electrode. A third counter electrode regenerates the membrane allowing for uninterrupted measuring to take place.
65. * - Determination of Ochratoxin A in Kentucky Black Walnuts
First Author
Bryce Forry
Asbury University 
Co-author
Bruce Branan 
Asbury University 
Previous research has shown that edible tree nuts are potential substrates for mycotoxins. Black walnuts (Juglans nigra) are frequently collected, dried, and consumed with minimal processing, especially in rural communities. This presents health risks if black walnuts contain high levels of mycotoxin contamination. This study aimed to determine the levels of one mycotoxin, ochratoxin A (OTA), in black walnuts from Kentucky. Black walnut samples were collected from three geographical locations near Lexington, Kentucky plus one commercially available sample (nut meat only) from another state. Analysis was performed using immunoaffinity column concentration and separation of the OTA followed by high-performance liquid chromatography with fluorescence detection (HPLC-FLD). Results from analysis of the commercial nuts and samples of the wild husks and nuts showed no quantifiable ochratoxin A present, even though analysis of OTA standards and of oat-containing cereals did test positive for OTA in expected levels.
66. * - Investigating the Diffusion Behavior of Analytes subjected Peak Parking Capillary Electrophoresis
First Author
Lauren Rigg
Northern Kentucky University 
This investigation utilized Capillary Electrophoresis (CE) in order to observe the diffusion behavior of several different species of analytes through an open capillary. The focus of the trials was to determine the diffusion coefficients of the analytes being analyzed. The peak parking method was utilized. This method pauses the advance of the species in the open capillary for specified amounts of time. A series of uninterrupted trials served as a baseline for each species, to help understand the unmanipulated behavior. Subsequent trials of 0.1, 15, 30, 45, 60, and 75 minute puses were administered on each analyte and recorded for analysis. A 75:25 acetonitrile:Tris solution served as the mobile phase.
67. * - Predicted Protein Structure and Function of the Bacteriophage: Mithril
First Author
Moria Magre
Spalding University 
Co-author
John Burden 
Spalding University 
A blast search was done on the protein sequence from the given phage Mithril, which is then compared to homologous structures of the protein. Several of the proteins have a homologous structure with identified function such as protein 1 is homologous to existing ParB protein sequence. From these existing homologous sequences, they are then submitted into the program COFACTOR, which then finds the template of the protein structure from an already existing structure from the PDP (Protein Data Bank) website. From there, further development with the homology model is done to further differentiate the 3D structure of the protein.
68. * - Modeling Molecular Relaxation Dynamics for Diatom Clathrates
First Author
Levi Curtis
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Jeremy Maddox 
Western Kentucky University 
Diatom clathrates are composed of diatomic molecules locked inside an array of noble-gas atoms. When the diatom inside this matrix is excited by photons of light, it will naturally favor transitioning to its original lower energy state. The diatom is able to reach a lower energy state by transferring its energy to the molecules which surround it, the noble-gas matrix. Furthermore, there is a distribution of energies that each individual clathrate structure may have. This project focused on developing new mathematical models for representing how this distribution changes with respect to time when a system of clathrates is coupled to a sufficiently large thermal bath.
69. * - Protocols for UHF and UCCSD Potential Energy Curves
First Author
Elizabeth Hedrick
Western Kentucky University 
The purpose of this study was to examine UHF and UCCSD potential energy curves constructed in Gaussian and to use develop protocols to remedy common errors that occur within UHF and UCCSD potential energy curves. UHF curves were first found for diatoms H2, C2, O2, N2, HC, HCl, and HF until a stable wavefunction was found for each diatom. Many UHF jobs didn't converge to an energy or jumped between energy states. Keywords and restarts from successfully converged jobs at other bond lengths were also tried. Morse variable coordinates were then used to decrease the amount of points a potential energy curve required while still maintaining accuracy. Morse variable coordinate fixed inconsistences with nonconverging points and state jumping the most efficiently.
69.5 * - Unraveling Subtle Intermolecular Interactions in Crystals of a Solar Thermal Fuel.
First Author
Alexander Thome
Murray State University 
Co-author
Erin Calvert 
Murray State University 
Co-author
Kasey Clear 
Murray State University 
Co-author
Sebastian Jezowski 
Murray State University 
Molecular crystals of functionalized anthracene (Bis-Anthracene, BA) show promise in renewable chemical fuel storage systems. Solar energy is harvested and later released on demand by a Solar Thermal Fuel such as BA. With the aim of developing enhanced, tunable energy storage systems we performed in-depth analysis of some of the physicochemical properties of the crystals of protonated as well as selectively deuterated BA-d8. FT-IR spectroscopy and Hirshfeld surface analysis performed on the crystal structures of both homologues strongly points to the existence of attractive in nature C-H ···π interactions. Among the various hydrogen bonds, C-H ···π bonding is the weakest and, unlike regular hydrogen bond, does not require the existence of highly electronegative atoms such as oxygen. In BA and its selectively deuterated homologue, the C-H ···π interactions operate in a crystal phase between C- H (or C-D) groups from dimethyl bridges, acting as donors, and the aromatic rings of neighboring BA (or BA-d8) molecules acting as acceptors of this 'hydrophobic' interaction. Through our detailed study, we have been able to determine that this weak interaction is stronger in the selectively deuterated BA-d8 rather than its protonated counterpart in which the prevailing intermolecular interactions are the van der Waals forces. We hypothesize that the enhanced C-H ···π network is responsible for greater molecular stabilization in crystals of BA-d8, manifested by its higher temperature of decomposition and the existence of yet another polymorph, not seen in crystalline BA.
70. - The Effectiveness of Thin Layer Spin Coating Sodium Acetate
First Author
Corey Mattic, Jr.
Kentucky State University 
Spin coating is a technique that implies the coating of a substrate by spinning them. It is a quick and simple procedure that can uniform films, on the nanometer levels of thickness. Working with the University of Kentucky's Department of Chemical and Material Engineering, the effectiveness and most effective way of spin coating a Sodium Acetate film was able to be produced.
71. * - Avidin Functionalized Coverslips for Model Membrane Imaging
First Author
Sergio Perez Cruz
Berea College 
Co-author
Tessa Calhoun 
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville 
Co-author
Lindsey Miller 
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville 
Interactions between drug and cell membranes are integral to antibiotic success. A more detailed understanding of these interactions can be obtained through the use of optical microscopy. This is done through the imaging of model systems, which mimic more complex biological systems. We have investigated two aspects of this model system's preparation: the synthesis of model membranes, more specifically giant unilamellar vesicles (GUVs), and their immobilization for imaging. Immobilization was accomplished by utilizing the strong binding affinity between avidin and biotin. Coverslips were functionalized with avidin, a naturally occurring protein, while lipids containing the biotin head group were incorporated into the GUVs. Two methods for GUV preparation were attempted. These were formation through sonication and electro-swelling. The imaging results from these two methodologies indicated that electro-swelling shows increased yield and size control. Guv immobilization was tested in a flow cell using an isosmotic sucrose solution.
72. * - Effects of Various Buffers and Parameters on the Structure and Behavior of Stimuli-Responsive Polymers
First Author
Madisyn Hayes
Northern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Eric Milner 
Northern Kentucky University 
An Investigation on the Effects of Various Buffers and Parameters on the Structure and Behavior of Stimuli-Responsive Polymers

The goal of this investigation was to determine the components, their concentrations, and the conditions necessary to produce a malleable solid polymer with 70-75% DMAEMA (dimethylaminoethyl-methacrylate) using propanol as the porogen. The DMAEMA was crosslinked with styrene. The primary component under scrutiny for these polymers was the sodium phosphate buffer. It was thought that the 5mM dibasic (Na2HPO4) sodium phosphate buffer was the best route, but it produced inconsistent results, often not polymerizing at all. To address this, the buffer concentration was adjusted to 2.5mM. Trials were ran using both the dibasic and monobasic (NaH2PO4) sodium phosphate buffers. Better results were seen with lower concentrations, for various volumes of casting solution as long as the polymers were left in for a substantial amount of time. The time necessary for polymerization seemed to range from 4 to 6 days in a 90 degree Celsius water bath. When polymerization was successful, the created polymers were made into samples and exposed to 1M HCl or 1M NaOH. Over time, samples of these were taken and ran through the UV Visual spectrometer. The data collected from the spectrometer was organized into graphs to allow analyses of the solution. The results from the UV Visual spectrometer showed a time-reliant change in composition for the solutions.
Friday, November 2, 2018  3:00pm - 6:00pm
Chemistry: Organic/Inorganic - Poster Presentations
73. - A Dispersed REU Program on Theoretically Interesting Molecules (TIM)
First Author
KC Russell
Northern Kentucky University 
Co-author
John Benber 
Grand Valley State University 
Co-author
Shannon Biros 
Grand Valley State University 
Co-author
Peter Iovine 
University of San Diego 
Co-author
Jeff Katz 
Colby College 
Co-author
Kristine Nolin 
University of Richmond 
Co-author
Ellen Ellen Yezirski 
Miami University 
Run for the first time in 2002, and now completing its fourth funding cycle mentoring over 100 undergraduates, the TIM REU program is unlike any other chemistry REU program. The TIM Consortium is not located at a single university like traditional programs, but is dispersed over a number of primarily undergraduate institutions (PUIs) across the country. Each of the participating PUIs has a robust research program where faculty work directly with undergraduates, as none of the schools have graduate students. Each participating PUI faculty member takes one student from their own institution and one or two students from schools where undergraduate research opportunities are absent or severely limited. Where possible students are also selected from groups normally underrepresented in STEM disciplines. Joined by an internationally recognized mentor from a R1 university, the entire group meets twice during the summer for 'supergroup' meetings, once at a national meeting and once at one of the host schools. This poster will highlight the history of program and benefits to its participants and the broader the chemical community.
74. - Synthesis of Oxacalixarenes from Silyl Protected Precursors
First Author
KC Russell
Northern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Kimberly Richards 
Northern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Bailey Hardey 
Northern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Rachel Holland 
Northern Kentucky University 
Calixarenes are macrocyclic molecules composed of phenol rings linked together by a short bridge. Oxycalixarenes are a class calixarenes where arenes are linked together by oxygen atoms. A major theme of the Russell Research Group is to synthesize o,m,o,m-oxacalix[4]arenes that bear annulenes or phenylethynyl groups around the periphery. Key reactions in these syntheses are iodination through electrophilic aromatic substitution and Sonogashira coupling. However, these reactions require protection of the phenolic groups that are ultimately incoporportated into the oxacalixarene. We have found that oxacalixarenes can be prepared directly from protected intermediates, eliminating the need for deprotection and an additional purification step. This reaction can be used to prepare known oxcalixarenes under milder conditions than previously reported. This poster will detail our progress in the direct synthesis of oxacalixarene compounds from silyl-protected diphenol compounds.
75. - Catalytic Bis(imino)pyridine Iron Complexes for Carbene Reactions of Diazo Compounds
First Author
Ban Wang
Western Kentucky Univeristy 
Co-author
Isaac Howard 
Western Kentucky University 
Metal coordinated complexes are well-known catalysts used to catalyze carbene transfer reactions. Current research mainly focus on the development of precious metal catalyzed carbene transfers, including rhodium, ruthenium, gold, platinum catalysts. Iron is the second most abundant metal on the earth, however, its application in catalytic carbene transfers is underdeveloped. In this research, we report here the first bis(imino)pyridine iron catalyzed cyclopropanation reaction of diazo compounds. The iron complexes we synthesized are efficient in catalyzing the transformation of diazo compounds. A series of achiral bis(imino)pyridine iron complexes have been successfully synthesized in our lab. And the aryl substituted bis(imino)pyridine iron catalysts 1 exhibit high catalytic activity towards the cyclopropanation reaction of phenyldiazoacetate and styrene. Further investigation of the chiral bis(imino)pyridine iron catalyzed asymmetric cyclopropanation reaction is undertaking. This research will deliver a new type of iron catalysts for the catalytic carbene transfer reactions, which will promote the construction of molecular complexity in a more economically and environmental friendly approach.
76. - Interaction of a platinum tri-amine complex having a seven-membered chelate ring with 5'-GMP and N-AcMet
First Author
Jae Ko
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Kevin Williams 
Western Kentucky University 
Previously [Pt(Et2dien)Cl]Cl (Et2dien=N,N-diethylethylenediamine) was synthesized and reacted with 5'-Guanosine monophosphate (GMP) and N-Acetyl-L-Methionine (N-AcMet). [Pt(Et2)dienCl]Cl showed an unusual reactivity by forming [Pt(Et2dien)(N-AcMet)(5'-GMP)], with a partial displacement of the triamine ligand. In this study, a triamine ligand with some structural resemblance to Et2dien but with a 7-membered heterocyclic ring has been reacted with K2PtCl4 Pt to produce Chloro[2-(4-Methyl-1,4-diazepan-1-yl)ethanamine]platinum(II) chloride (compound 1). When compound 1 was put in D2O, displacement of the Cl- occurred after several days. 5'-GMP and N-AcMet were added to compound 1 individually and together. When compound 1 interacted with 5'-GMP, several new NMR resonances were observed. As temperature increased, some coalescence was observed indicating rotational isomers were likely present. When there was a competition between 5'-GMP and N-AcMet, compound 1 reacted with Met first, but overtime unreacted Met signals increased, and 5'-GMP products appeared. Thus, unlike [Pt(Et2dient)Cl]Cl, compound 1 does not have its triamine ligand partially displaced when N-AcMet and 5'-GMP react in sequence.
77. * - Synthesis of metal-organic frameworks mimicking carbonic anhydrase enzyme.
First Author
Simrat Kaur
WESTERN KENTUCKY UNIVERSITY 
Co-author
BANGBO YAN 
WESTERN KENTUCKY UNIVERSITY 
The purpose of our research is to design, synthesize and characterize metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) possess active sites similar to those in carbonic anhydrase enzymes. Studies have found that these porous MOFs can not only capture and store carbon dioxide, but also be used as catalysts to hydrolyze carbon dioxide with high efficiency by imitating the features of the structural and catalytic properties of carbonic anhydrase. Carbonic anhydrase is a metalloprotein enzyme with zinc present at the active site. The enzyme assists in rapid inter-conversion of carbon dioxide and water into carbonic acid, protons and bicarbonate ions. Unfortunately, the high cost, thermal and chemical instability, sensitivity to environment, and fragile nature of carbonic anhydrase hinder it from wide application. Therefore, this research will help in overcoming these shortcomings of the carbonic anhydrase enzyme. MOFs have been found most suitable for this purpose because of their highly ordered tailored cavities which have the ability to provide the hydrophobic environment similar to natural enzymes. As a new type of functional porous materials, MOFs are highly crystalline inorganic−organic hybrids that are constructed by assembly of metal ions or metal-containing clusters with organic ligands via coordination bonds. In this presentation, we will report the synthesis of MOFs using zinc, copper, or cadmium ions in combination of organic linkers containing imidazole functional group such as histidine.
77.5. - An in vitro Study on Skin Protection Across the UV Spectra
First Author
Cheyenne Boone
Kentucky State University/University of Kentucky 
Skin cancer is the number one cancer in the United States. Lack of awareness of how harmful UV radiation is could be the cause of the over two million cases reported since 2012. It appears that there is not a lot information on the active ingredients used in sunscreens. Some of the compounds have been linked to birth defects, hormone disruptions, and the bleaching of coral reefs. Samples of commonly used sunscreens (both sprays and creams), cosmetic foundation, essential oils, lotions, and three pure organic actives were tested at specific concentrations and ran through a UV spectrometer. The results have shown that there is little to no protection being provided in the UVA spectra (320-400 nm) which makes up over 95% of the radiation that we are exposed to daily. Although UVB rays (320-290 nm) are considered to be the main source of sunburn and cancer, it cannot be ignored that UVA rays can produce the same outcome, especially since it penetrates the skin deeper than UVB rays. By producing active ingredients that effectively block UVA light and the lower end of the visible spectra (such as blue light), broad spectrum protection can be achieved.
78. * - Phosphonium-containing Poly(ionic liquid) Networks Prepared From Thiol-ene 'Click' Photopolymerization
First Author
Samantha Sims
Murray State University 
Co-author
Rachel Whittaker 
Murray State University 
Co-author
Kevin Miller 
Murray State University 
Thiol-ene 'click' photopolymerization was utilized to prepare a series of covalently crosslinked poly(ionic liquid) networks. Several bis-phosphonium-containing 'ene' monomers were prepared with variable alkyl chain linkers (R = C4 or C12), 'ene' end-groups (allyl vs. hexenyl) and/or R groups on the phosphorous atom (alkyl vs. phenyl) in order to determine how changes in the monomer structure effected the thermal, mechanical and conductive properties of the resulting networks. Conductivity, as determined from dielectric relaxation spectroscopy (DRS) measurements, indicated that glass transition temperature (Tg) plays a major role in determining the ionic conductivity.
79. * - Highly efficient and selective oxidation of sulfides catalyzed by manganese corroles with iodobenzene diacetate
First Author
Ben Willis
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Davis Ranburger 
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Benjamin Kash 
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Christian Alcantar 
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Rui Zhang 
Western Kentucky University 
Manganese corrole complexes catalyze the highly chemoselective oxidation of sulfides to sulfoxides with iodobenzene diacetate [PhI(OAc)2] as the oxygen source. Under mild reaction conditions, various aromatic sulfides can be efficiently oxidized to sulfoxides with quantitative conversions and excellent selectivies without over-oxidation to sulfones. The high reactivity, excellent chemoselectivity, and improved stability of corrole-manganese catalysts is attributed to the slow and steady-state formation of PhIO from PhI(OAc)2. Manganese(IV) corroles showed much higher catalytic activities than manganese(III) complexes with the same ligands. Kinetic and Hammett correlation studies have both suggested that the observed manganese(V)-oxo corrole is not the active oxidant under catalytic conditions.
80. * - Enantioselective Cross Aldol Reactions of Aldehydes
First Author
Samantha Bradley
Morehead State University 
Co-author
Chase Slone 
Morehead State University 
Co-author
Brandon Vanness 
Morehead State University 
The goal of this project was to test the limitations of the MacMillan (2002) enantioselective catalytic cross-aldol reactions of aldehydes using proline as a catalyst for use in natural product synthesis. Propionaldehyde was used as the aldol donor and kept consistent throughout every trial. The aldehyde aldol acceptor was varied to determine how differences in R-group structures affected reaction outcomes, specifically those of aldol acceptors with enolizable alpha-hydrogens. The molar equivalency of aldol acceptor to aldol donor was also varied from 10:1, to 5:1, to 1:1 to determine if yields of the beta-hydroxyaldehydes could be improved. These experiments indicated that aldol acceptors with enolizable alpha-hydrogens need a 10:1 molar equivalency to afford the desired beta-hydroxyaldehyde in acceptable yields.
81. * - Investigating the Synthesis of LMA-P2
First Author
Sarah Little
Morehead State University 
Co-author
Brandon Van Ness 
Morehead State University 
The ongoing objective of this project is to develop research techniques and organic synthesis strategies while progressively completing the synthesis of LMA-P2. The overall project is divided into three separate phases of synthesis in which each phase individually focuses on reactions necessary to synthesize precursors for LMA-P2. Each phase revolves around a key synthetic transformation. In order, the phases are as follows: a MacMillan cross-aldol reaction, a Takai olefination reaction, and a Nozaki-Hiyama-Kishi nickel(II) catalyzed coupling reaction. Phase one has been completed with the synthesis of the allylic alcohol from the MacMillan cross-aldol reaction being successful, while phase two and three remain as ongoing endeavors of this research project. This project continues to allow undergraduate researchers to gain valuable experience in chemical transformations, purification techniques, and characterization that is vital for careers that involve synthetic chemistry.
82. * - Palladium-Catalyzed Heteroarylation Under Microwave Irradiation
First Author
Adrianna Goodwin
Northern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Claire Poling 
Northern Kentucky University 
Over the summer, nine-palladium-catalyzed reactions were completed. Reaction conditions were 0.55 equivalents of ketone, 0.5 equivalents of heteroaryl, 1.2 equivalents of NaOtBu, toluene, and XPhos Pd Gen 4. Reactants were combined in the glovebox and then microwaved for 20 minutes at 120℃. The products with two or fewer heteroatoms underwent Medium-Pressure Liquid Chromatography (MPLC) with hexanes and ethyl acetate as solvents. Products with more than two heteroatoms present utilized methanol and methylene chloride as solvents. The final products were characterized by Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) and High Resolution Mass Spectroscopy (HRMS). Out of the nine reactions, seven were successful.
83. * - Generation and kinetic studies of porphyrin-manganese(IV)-oxo intermediates
First Author
Seth Klaine
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Mike Winchester 
Western Kentucky Univeristy 
High-valent metal-oxo complexes are significant active oxidants in enzymatic and synthetic catalytic oxidations. In this study, three electron-withdrawing and one electron-donating porphyrin-manganese(III) complexes were synthesized, purified, and spectroscopically characterized. Using the mild oxidant iodobenzene diacetate, manganese(IV)-oxo intermediates, i.e. [MnIV(Por)O] (Por = porphyrin ligand) were successfully generated. In addition, the same [MnIV(Por)O] can be produced through a novel photochemical approach by visible light irradiation of the photo-labile manganese(III) chlorate precursors. The kinetics of oxygen transfer atom (OAT) reactions with aryl sulfides by these chemically-generated [MnIV(Por)O] were studied in CH3CN solutions. The apparent second-order rate constants for sulfoxidations by these active oxo species were on average a magnitude larger than the rates for epoxidation of the aryl alkenes. The kinetic studies will be discussed, which provided insights into the transient oxidants in oxidation reaction where actual reactive intermediates are not observable.
84. * - Synthesis and photocatalytic properties of three metal-organic framework materials
First Author
Hannah Brooks
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Bangbo Yan 
Western Kentucky University 
Three different 1D coordination polymers were synthesized by reacting ruthenium (III) chloride, 2,2′−bipyridine−4,4′−dicarboxylic acid (bpc =2,2′−bipyridine−4,4′−dicarboxylic acid), and 3d metal salts in a basic aqueous solution. The resultant heterogeneous structures consist of zig-zag chains of [Ru(bpc)3]n− complex ions linked by 3d metal ions. Characterization of the structures involved X-ray diffraction, thermoanaylsis, IR spectroscopy and fluorescence spectroscopy. The structure's capabilities to act as a photocatalyst in the reduction of carbon dioxide to formate were studied. The heterogeneous crystals were placed in an organic solution and exposed to carbon dioxide within the solution under visible light. The solution was then analyzed via ion chromatography to detect formate.
85. * - The Syntheses of Heteroatom-activated Antibiotics
First Author
Kiah Gledhill
Kentucky Wesleyan College 
Co-author
Sydney Goff 
Kentucky Wesleyan College 
Co-author
Kyle Watson 
Kentucky Wesleyan College 
β-lactam antibiotics are some of the most widely known and widely used medications in the world and have been hailed as medical miracles since their discovery in the earlier part of the 20th century. However, due to antibiotic overuse and misuse, the effectiveness of these drugs is diminishing. Oxamazins are a class of heteroatom-activated β-lactam antibiotics that show good activity against a spread of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. The goal of our research is to progress through a traditional synthesis of a simple oxamazin starting with readily available amino acids before progressing to solid-phase synthesis.
86. * - Iron Catalyzed Oxidation of Amines to Imines
First Author
Rachel Chute
Murray State University 
Co-author
Rachel Whittaker 
Murray State University 
This project explored ways to directly oxidize amines using milder conditions than established methods. Previous methods for directly oxidizing amines to imines require harsh conditions, such as the use of strong oxidants. Milder conditions would increase the amount of usable substrates and the variety of imine products. In this study, an iron catalyst was used, using acetone as the oxidant, to synthesize imines from amines. Amines with various electronic and steric factors, as well as pKa's, were tested under these conditions, with additional acidic and basic additives as well. Research work is still ongoing to establish a general method to efficiently oxidize amines to imines.
87. * - Solid Phase Organic Synthesis of an Antibody Drug Conjugate Linker
First Author
Levi Blevins
Berea College 
Co-author
Ominica Crockett 
Berea College 
Antibody-Drug Conjugate Linker or ADCL is a new method for cancer treatment with a promising future. With ADCL, treatments can become more specific to certain cancer tissue. This results in ADCL methods not being as harsh as chemotherapy is on the body. With time and research, more diverse methods for the cleavage to deliver their cytotoxic payload to their intended target can be discovered. In exploring diversity, methods such as Solid Phase Organic Synthesis or SPOS is becoming a rapid player in the advancement of ADC. By using SPOS as a form of synthetic chemistry, it aims to accelerate its development due to assisted separation and prohibition of additional purification of both intermediate and target products. While also, providing excess reagents to force reactions to completion which typically resulted in the increase of product when compared to the contemporary form of synthesis linkers by several folds once cleaved and purified. Through this research, the main objective was to use SPOS to design and synthesize cleavable peptide biotin labeled linkers to conjugate to cancer-specific antibodies such as CD-5.
88. * - Phenylethynyloxacalixarenes Synthesis
First Author
Jacolby Gardner
University of Kentucky 
Co-author
KC Russell 
Northern Kentucky University 
Calixares have applications in areas including molecular recognition, self-assembly and catalysis. The goal of this work is to develop new methods to prepare the less well studied oxacalixarene analogues. The shape of oxacalixarenes is expected to endow them with novel recognition and self-assembly properties not found in their carbon-bridged counterparts, ultimately expanding the utility of calixarene-type compounds in general.
This poster will illustrate our work on the synthesis of a series of p-substituted phenylethynyl-o,m,o,m-oxacalix[4]arenes. After many failed attempts to synthesize a phenylethynyl-o,m,o,m-oxacalix[4]arene with the strongest electron withdrawing group (NO2), it was determined that as the substituent group becomes more electron withdrawing, the formation of the oxacalixarene becomes less likely. Model studies will be presented that led to the exclusion of strongly electron withdrawing groups from the list of targets. The methodology presented here will serve as proof of concept key to the synthesis of annulene-oxacalixarene hybrids, which is explained in more depth in another poster.
89. * - Synthesis and Mechanism study of Isocoumarin Analogues
First Author
Elizabeth Osifalujo
Northern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Andrew Quillen 
Northern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Lili Ma 
Northern Kentucky University 
90. * - Annulene-Oxacalixarene Hybrids
First Author
Emily Brown
Berea College 
Co-author
Nicholas Spark 
colleague 
Co-author
Eli Biedenbender 
colleague 
The Russell Research group at Northern Kentucky University has previously published the synthesis of a series of dehydrobenzoannulenes, compounds where arenes are connected by triple bond bridges. Oxacalixarenes are compounds where arene rings are connected by oxygens atoms. In collaboration with the Katz group (Colby College) efforts are being made to synthesize hybrids consisting of dehydrobenzoannulenes (DBAs) are appended onto an o,m,o,m-oxacalix[4]arene core. These hybrids will allow for the study of the interactions between cofacial DBAs, providing a deeper understanding of aromaticity and antiaromaticity. This poster will present the current progress being made to synthesize these hybrid compounds.
91. * - Synthesis and reactivity of platinum(II) anticancer drug analogs with unsymmetrical ligands
First Author
Shino Sleeper
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Hayley VanMeter 
Western Kentucky University 
Two unsymmetrical platinum (II) anticancer drug analogs containing one tertiary nitrogen and one primary nitrogen have each been synthesized. First, potassium tetrachloroplatinate was reacted with potassium iodide. Two ligands were examined in this experiment, one being N,N-diethyldiethylenediamine (Et2en) and the other being 1-(2-aminoethyl)piperidine (aep). These ligands were added to the compounds to produce Pt(Et2en)I2 and Pt(aep)I2, respectively. Silver nitrate was added to both of the samples to make the more soluble nitrate complexes. The new products were each reacted with guanosine 5'-monophosphate (5'-GMP) at different ratios. In general, lower GMP:Pt ratios lead to coordination of a single 5'-GMP to each platinum complex whereas a second 5'-GMP will coordinate when excess GMP is added. NMR experiments collected at a variety of pH values and temperatures indicates that rotational isomers are present due to the restricted rotation caused by the tertiary nitrogen. When N-acetylmethionine (N-AcMet) and 5'-GMP are added simultaneously, reaction with N-AcMet occurs within ~1 hour and eventual addition of a 5'-GMP to the other available coordination position occurs after several days. Overall, our results indicate the steric hindrance caused by the tertiary nitrogen affects reactivity at the adjacent coordination position.
92. * - Solid Phase Organic Synthesis of an Antibody Conjugate Linker​
First Author
Ominica Crockett
Berea College 
Co-author
Levi Blevins 
Berea College 
Antibody-Drug Conjugate Linker or ADCL is a new method for cancer treatment with a promising future. With ADCL, treatments can become more specific to certain cancer tissue. This results in ADCL methods not being as harsh as chemotherapy is on the body. With time and research, more diverse methods for the cleavage to deliver their cytotoxic payload to their intended target can be discovered. In exploring diversity, methods such as Solid Phase Organic Synthesis or SPOS is becoming a rapid player in the advancement of ADC. By using SPOS as a form of synthetic chemistry, it aims to accelerate its development due to assisted separation and prohibition of additional purification of both intermediate and target products. While also, providing excess reagents to force reactions to completion which typically resulted in the increase of product when compared to the contemporary form of synthesis linkers by several folds once cleaved and purified. Through this research, the main objective was to use SPOS to design and synthesize cleavable peptide biotin labeled linkers to conjugate to cancer-specific antibodies such as CD-5.
Friday, November 2, 2018  3:00pm - 6:00pm
Computer & Informational Sciences - Poster Presentations
93. * - Machine Learning in Breast Cancer Detection
First Author
Amanda Hansford
Morehead State University 
Co-author
Heba Elgazzar 
Morehead State University 
Cancer is the general term used to group of over 100 related diseases where abnormal cells rapidly multiply and create malignant tumors in the body. For women worldwide, breast cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed form of cancer. Since breast cancer affects so many people worldwide, finding better ways of detecting it are extremely important. The goal of this research project is to accurately classify cancerous cells using various machine learning algorithms. This presentation demonstrates how machine learning can aid in identifying cancer to help both the doctors and the patients facing the disease. Three machine learning algorithms were used in this research project to classify cancer and the experimental results show a high accuracy in identifying cancerous cells.
94. - Encoding and Decoding Messages in Android Applications
First Author
Richard Pike
Western Kentucky University 
Encoding and decoding messages is an important computer functionality. The purpose of this project was to create an application to encode and decode messages. The application was written in Java using the IDE Android Studio and operates on Android phones and tablets. The user types a message into a text field, selects one or more encoding options to apply to the message, and clicks an "Encode" button. The message is encoded and the encoded text can be copied with a "Copy" button to paste into another application. The encoded messages can be decoded by pasting them into the text field, selecting encoding options to apply in reverse, and clicking a "Decode" button. Messages can theoretically be up to 2,147,483,647 characters in length, and can include any ASCII characters. Potential future developments for this app include creating and adding numerous other encoding and decoding options, including an Enigma machine cipher and a password cipher. This app could also be published to the Google Play App Store.
95. * - Smart Routing Schemes for Dynamic Spectrum Access Network Architectures
First Author
Brian Luciano
University of Kentucky 
Reliable communication in Smart Cities is a growing concern with the increase in the number of connected devices to the Internet. Currently, the available network technologies, such as 3/4G, GSM, LTE, and LTE-A, are rapidly reaching their limit mainly due to spectrum scarcity, cross technology interference and increased traffic demand. These limitations are only going to worsen in the next years, due to the advent of Internet of Things technologies that are expected to interconnect billions of devices to the Internet. Dynamic Spectrum Access (DSA) has been proposed to overcome such limitations and exploit unused spectrum resources over multiple electro-magnetic spectrum bands. In this paper, we propose a DSA-based architecture in which DSA radio devices are deployed on the Smart City's urban vehicles (e.g., public buses, taxis, municipal vehicles, etc.), that act as data mules to gather and forward the various types of data. This results in a Delay Tolerant Network (DTN) in which devices can operate over multiple bands, if available. Current research in routing schemes for such networks struggle with band selection, forwarding strategies, and buffer management. We propose several Smart Epidemic flooding based routing protocols to handle these issues. Preliminary results on realistic traces based on the map of Lexington, KY, USA, show that our approaches can improve certain network quality of service metrics, such as successful message delivery, network latency, and average energy expenditure. Hence, we conclude by pointing out that further research is needed, since significant performance improvements are still possible by designing routing schemes that are specifically tailored for DSA Smart City networks.
96. * - Neighborhood Graphs for Cities in Kentucky: comparison for two distance measures
First Author
Luke de Castro
Henry Clay High School 
Co-author
Jerzy Jaromczyk 
University of Kentucky 
Geometric graphs and their edges are based on the concept of distance and/or neighborhood defined for the input points. The graph edges, or their lack, make relations among the points/vertices more pronounced. These geometric graphs may be then compared and contrasted with other graphs, not necessarily geometric, such as social and similar networks. This project computes neighborhood graphs for cities in Kentucky, one using geographic distances and the other using road distances. We compare neighborhood graphs with respect to various graph features. The presentation includes a discussion on important geometric graphs and their properties, and present software tools that can be used to calculate and visualize them.
This project has been sponsored by the KY Young Researchers Program.
Friday, November 2, 2018  3:00pm - 6:00pm
Ecology - Poster Presentations
97. * - Nutrient Export of the Kentucky River to Detect Possible Eutrophication
First Author
Ieisha Hopwood
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Kazi Javed 
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Tamara Sluss 
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Li Lu 
Kentucky State University 
This eutrophication research project is aimed to compare nutrient concentration and water quality variables in the Kentucky River and its tributary Benson creek. Nutrient concentration and water quality variables are factors that cause algae to bloom. Getting a better understanding of nutrients and algae in freshwater will help to identify harmful algal blooms, predict where they may occur, and make efforts to avoid blooms. Water samples were collected from the Kentucky River and its tributary Benson creek in March and April, 2018. To explore eutrophication, the concentrations of nutrients such as nitrate, nitrite, ammonia and phosphate were tested. Other parameters such as water pH, temperature, level of dissolved oxygen, and turbidity were also recorded. The data and the possibility of eutrophication in Kentucky River will be discussed. Future research may be needed to closely observe the water quality of Kentucky River.
98. - Litter Breakdown and Invertebrate Detritivores from a Hydrologically Restored Stream
First Author
Jacob Becraft
Eastern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Amy Braccia 
Graduate Advisor 
The breakdown of coarse forms of detritus into finer forms is an ecosystem function of forested headwater streams. Many factors influence the rate of litter decay, but there is a lack of research into how stream restorations, that aim to restore hydrologic functions, influence litter breakdown. This study compared litter processing rates and macroinvertebrate detritivore assemblages between a hydrologically restored stream (Slabcamp Creek) and an un-restored control stream (White Pine Branch) in the Daniel Boone National Forest in Rowan Co., KY. Red maple (Acer rubrum) leaves were placed in mesh bags (80 total) and deployed in riffles at the restored and control sites on December 15, 2017. Four litter bags were retrieved from each stream on five separate occasions. The last set of bags were retrieved on April 7, 2018 after 113 days in the streams. The rate of decay from the restored stream was slightly larger (k = 0.020 d-1) than the rate from the un-restored stream (k = 0.017 d-1), but ANCOVA indicated no significant difference in rates between streams (p = 0.88). Further, there was not a significant difference (p = 0.78) in litter mass between the restored (0.75 ± 0.26 g AFDM) and un-restored (0.84 ± 0.14 g AFDM) streams on the last retrieval date. The density and biomass of macroinvertebrates will be compared between streams to explain the factors influencing litter breakdown rates in the streams.
99. * - Influence of Salamanders on Leaf Litter Decomposition in Appalachian Headwater Streams
First Author
Emily Jones
Eastern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Joseph Baecher 
Eastern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Amy Braccia 
Eastern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Stephen Richter 
Eastern Kentucky University 
Headwater streams are unique, allochthonous ecosystems in which salamanders are the top predators. They depredate macroinvertebrates, including shredders, that occur within the detritus of the stream bed. If predation affects macroinvertebrate leaf shredders abundance, we expect that this would reduce the rate at which leaves decompose in a stream. This study took place in two headwater streams in Eastern Kentucky University's Lilley Cornett Woods Appalachian Ecological Research Station in eastern Kentucky. Red Maple (Acer rubrum) leaves were placed in leaf litter bags, 10 bags containing salamanders and 10 excluding salamanders in each stream. The bags were left in a stream for a total of 10 weeks. The mass left was 1.57 ± 0.04 g Ash Free Dry Mass (AFDM) in control bags and 1.24 ± 0.03g AFDM in treatment bags. The AFDM was smaller in treatment bags than in control bags but was not significantly different (p = 0.08). However, this trend suggests that leaf litter mass decreased in the presence of salamanders, which is counter to our prediction. The macroinvertebrate communities between the control (no salamander) and treatment (salamander) leaf bags will be compared for family richness, abundance, and relative composition of macroinvertebrate functional groups (i.e., shredders, collectors, etc.), which will allow us to determine how these factors relate to leaf litter decomposition. This study provides a baseline for further investigations into mechanisms affecting leaf litter decomposition, including the possibility that salamanders increase rates of forest litter breakdown.
100. - The Effects of Salinity on the Juvenile Freshwater Crayfish Procambarus clarkii
First Author
Alexandra Ghinn
Bellarmine University 
High salinity (> 20 ppt) is known to cause negative impacts to freshwater organisms and ecosystems. Freshwater crayfish are an integral component of freshwater ecosystems, however, the impacts of high salinity exposure to freshwater crayfish are not well studied. The objective of this experiment was to study the effect of long-term exposure to high salinity levels on juvenile Procambarus clarkii. Salinity (using commercial road salts) was increased gradually by 3 ppt every five days to 9 ppt (n = 8) and 18 ppt (n = 8) whereas the control remained at 0 ppt (n = 8). Growth (weight and body length) was measured each week for three months. Exposure to increasing salinity levels did not significantly affect weight (two-way repeated measures ANOVA, p = 0.262) but time did affect weight with all treatments increasing over time (RMANOVA, p < 0.001). Salinity exposure nor time significantly affected length (two-way RMANOVA, p = 0.312 salinity, p = 0.466 time). Therefore, the results of this study suggest that prolonged high salinity exposure does not negatively affect juvenile P. clarkii growth. Increased amounts of road salts entering waterways may affect other physiological aspects of crayfish, but the results of the study indicate that required energy for overall growth of the organism may not be affected.
101. * - Evaluation of biomass and filtration method on eDNA detection of fantail darters (Etheostoma flabellare).
First Author
Ramon Guivas
Asbury University 
Co-author
Kyle Laufenburger 
Asbury University 
Co-author
Ben Brammell 
Asbury University 
Estimating fish abundance/biomass holds great importance for freshwater ecology and fisheries management, but current techniques can be expensive, time-consuming, and potentially harmful to target organisms. Environmental DNA (eDNA) has proven an effective and efficient technique for presence/absence detection of freshwater vertebrates. Additionally, recent studies report correlations between total fish biomass and eDNA levels although widespread application of this technique is limited by the number of studies examining this relationship in various species and settings. Additionally, filter clogging is a commonly encountered issue in eDNA studies in environments with significant sediment and/or planktonic algae. Frequently a sample must be split into multiple aliquots and filtered separately to process the entire sample. The present study examines both the relationship between biomass and eDNA and the effects of single versus multiple filter sampling on eDNA concentrations of fantail darters (Etheostoma flabellare) in a laboratory setting. Tank tests were performed in quadruplicate at four environmentally relevant fantail biomass levels. eDNA samples were collected and processed in duplicate (once as a whole through a single filter, once in parts through multiple filters). Species-specific primers and a probe were developed for E. flabellare from cytochrome b sequences obtained from locally collected specimens, and real-time quantitative PCR was used to analyze eDNA levels at each biomass. These data should be useful in refining the accuracy of eDNA based biomass estimates.
102. * - Use of eDNA in detection of multiple salamander species in eastern Kentucky streams
First Author
Angie Flores
Asbury University 
Co-author
Florene Bell 
Asbury University 
Co-author
Kenton Sena 
University of Kentucky 
Co-author
Thomas Maigret 
University of Kentucky 
Co-author
Chi Jing Leow 
Asbury University 
Co-author
Ben Brammell 
Asbury University 
Environmental DNA (eDNA) utilizes DNA released from aquatic organisms into the environment to detect their presence and provides an effective, non-invasive method to determine organism presence or absence in an efficient manner. We developed species specific eDNA primers for southern two-lined (Eurycea cirrigera) and northern dusky (Desmognathus fuscus) salamanders. Primers were designed based on cytochrome b sequences amplified from specimens collected from the study site using published primers. The developed eDNA primers proved specific to the appropriate target species in tissue tests with all sympatric salamander species. Interestingly, species specific primers developed for four toed salamanders (Hemidactylium scutatum) collected from central New York State failed to recognize four-toed salamander DNA from eastern KY. The primers developed in our lab will now be used to analyze species specific eDNA concentrations in water samples previously filtered from eastern Kentucky streams. The data obtained should add to the growing pool of knowledge concerning eDNA monitoring of salamander species and should provide useful reference data and molecular tools for future monitoring or range delineation studies.
103. * - Detection of species using eDNA in high elevation habitats in the Sierra Nevada in Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park.
First Author
Chi Jing Leow
Asbury University 
Co-author
Michael C. Mcgrann 
William Jessup University 
Co-author
Sumathi Sankarn-Walters 
William Jessup University 
Co-author
Christopher C. Pauley 
Asbury University 
Co-author
Ronald B. Sams 
Asbury University 
Co-author
Cierla V. Mcguire 
Asbury University 
Co-author
Ben F. Brammell 
Asbury University 
Co-author
Malinda A. Stull 
Asbury University 
Mountain yellow-legged frogs (Rana muscosa and Rana sierrae) are endemic to high altitude lakes in the Sierra Nevada and historically one of the most abundant vertebrates in these areas. Despite the remote nature of these habitats, their populations currently exist at 7% of their historical localities. Environmental DNA (eDNA) utilizes DNA released from aquatic organisms to detect their presence. It provides an effective, non-invasive method to determine organism presence in an efficient manner but thus far has only been applied in limited instances in remote, wilderness settings. We adapted established methods to collect eDNA samples from 40 sites in the remote wilderness of Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park (SEKI) along a 65 mile section of the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail (PCT) in 2015. Samples were collected by filtering 500 ml of water through disposable sterile filter funnels using a small portable hand pump. Samples were then preserved in alcohol until they were returned to the lab. Filters were extracted according to established methods in a laboratory setting. Species-specific environmental DNA primers were developed based on published literature. Analysis indicates successful detection of Rana sierrae (Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog) and Salvelinus fontinalis (brook trout) in a manner consistent with field observations. S. fontinalis is a well-known amphibian predator that has been introduced to high-elevation streams and lakes, accelerating the extirpation of amphibian species. These data should assist greatly both in expanding the range knowledge of Rana muscosa/sierra and in establishing the technique for future work in similar settings.
104. - Effect of Plastic Microbeads in Two Face Washes on Zebrafish Reproductive Success
First Author
Autumn Holley
Georgetown College 
Co-author
Indigo Thoman 
Georgetown College 
Co-author
Tracy Livingston 
Georgetown College 
Plastic microbeads, such as polyethylene beads, were commonly used in cosmetics, but the Microbead-Free Waters Act in 2015 stated that rinse off cosmetics could no longer be produced with plastic microbeads. These plastic microbeads have been shown to accumulate and pick up chemical pollutants (STAC Review Report Winter 2016), and are ingested by marine life (Mazurais et. al 2015). Although the production of rinse off cosmetics with plastic microbeads is now illegal, microbeads are still used in other cosmetics that are likely to end up in the water supply eventually, so research determining the effect is still necessary. Zebrafish were exposed to 1:100,000 and 1:1,000,000 concentrations of Neutrogena Deep Clean Invigorating Foaming Scrub and Clean & Clear Deep Action Exfoliating Scrub. It was thought that fish in higher concentrations would be ill by the end, and that all concentrations would affect reproduction. Fish were exposed for ten days, then placed in water and bred. Three factors were recorded for each treatment: the number of fertilized and unfertilized eggs, the numbers of eggs hatched and still unhatched by day three, and the number of hatched and unhatched fertilized eggs. Twelve Chi Square Tests were performed comparing each treatment to the control for examined variables. All treatments affected the variables in a statistically significant way, with the exception of fertilized and unfertilized eggs in the Neutrogena 1:100,000 solution (p=0.54). However, results were not dependent on concentration, as a higher concentration did not increase, and in some cases decreased the significance of the results. The solutions of Clean & Clear and Neutrogena face washes clearly affected the reproductive success of zebrafish, but not in a way that is clear from the data. More research is needed to determine if concentration does play a role, as small sample size may contribute to unclear results.
105. - Accessing the Direct Toxicity of the Plant Volatile Indole on Herbivores
First Author
Rakhi Patel
University of Louisville 
Co-author
Abhinav Maurya 
University of Louisville 
Co-author
Christopher Frost 
University of Louisville 
When plants in nature are attacked by herbivores, they frequently release airborne volatiles. These herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs) help the plant defend itself against herbivore attack by calling in natural enemies, but HIPVs may also be directly toxic to herbivores. Indole (C8H7N) is a common HIPV that is toxic to caterpillars, but its relative toxicity to different caterpillars has not been explored. Here, we tested the toxicity of indole using a range of seven different indole concentrations in artificial diet. Six replicate cups were used for each concentration, with 10 first instar caterpillars (those that just hatched from eggs) per cup. Herbivore survivorship was determined at 24 hours and 72 hours after initial placement into experimental cups. We have thus far sampled two pest herbivore species: cabbage looper (Trichoplusia ni) and beet armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda). These two species show different toxicities to indole: whereas T. ni caterpillars have shown a significant drop in survival at 0.05 mg/mL of indole, S. frugiperda died at 0.1 mg/mL of indole. We are currently assessing indole toxicity on five other common pest herbivore species. Ultimately, we predict that the toxicity of indole will increase as the host range of the caterpillar species decreases.
106. * - Honeysuckle leaf blight increases leaf loss in Amur honeysuckle
First Author
Natalie Holsclaw
Northern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Allison Jones 
Northern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Richard Boyce 
Northern Kentucky University 
The invasive deciduous shrub Amur honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii (Rupr.) Herder; Caprifoliaceae) is affected by the native fungus honeysuckle leaf blight (Insolibasidium deformans (C.J. Gould) Oberw. & Bandoni; Platygloeaceae). In Northern Kentucky, blight symptoms were first noticed in 2012. Honeysuckle leaf blight causes young leaves to yellow and eventually become necrotic, leading to premature leaf loss. Previous research has found that leaf blight causes growth decline in honeysuckle seedlings in a greenhouse setting. This study focused on the impact of leaf blight on growth in the field. Twenty shrubs at NKU REFS (Research & Education Field Station) in Melbourne, KY, were chosen, and two shoots from each were labeled, one with low incidence of blight and the other with high incidence. Shoot lengths were measured every week, starting in early June into early August, with occasional measurements thereafter, and the number of blighted as well as total leaves were recorded. High-blighted shoots had a significant decline in proportion of blighted leaves. Low-blighted shoots retained more of their leaves and had a constant proportion of blighted leaves. Shoots with high amounts of blight had increased leaf loss. By early August, the low-blight shoots showed a leaf loss of 28% compared to a leaf loss of 47% by high-blight shoots. These findings are consistent with leaf blight being a cause of the observed dieback of Amur honeysuckle in our region.
107. - Ecosystem functional consequences of top predator amphibian mortality due to the invasive shrub, Lonicera maackii
First Author
Josey Berta
Eastern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Cy Mott 
Eastern Kentucky University 
Lonicera maackii (Amur Honeysuckle) is an invasive woody plant species that is present across the United States. Previous studies have assessed the biotic effects of honeysuckle, as well as abiotic effects such as changes in soil chemistry, altering ground level light, and forest floor temperature. Although directs effects of L. maackii on native terrestrial plant communities are well studied, little is known about its indirect effects, especially in aquatic ecosystems. Based on limited prior studies, we predicted addition of L. maackii leaves to aquatic systems would increase mortality of a top amphibian predator due to the release of phenolic compounds that inhibit respiration. We developed mesocosm experiments to characterize the cascading effects of increased top predator (Ambystoma maculatum) mortality on larval growth, invertebrate densities, zooplankton densities, leaf litter decomposition, primary production, and soluble nutrients. Although this research is ongoing, survival was lower in tanks with L. maackii (1%) than in tanks with native leaf litter alone (38%). Mesocosms with L. maackii leaves also contained substantially more mosquito larvae, suggesting reduced water quality. Continued data collection and analyses will determine if increased apex predator mortality in L. maackii mesocosms alters aquatic ecosystem functions. Since L. maackii increases mosquito colonization, oviposition, and/or larval survival, it may be considered that L. maackii has serious potential human health concerns.
108. * - Elevated Resistance to AITC in Wild Bacterial Endophytes of Arabidopsis thaliana
First Author
Yohannes Amsalu
Berea College 
Co-author
Matalynn Shealy 
Berea College Biology Dept. 
Co-author
Esther Abiara 
Berea College Biology Dept. 
Co-author
Brian Traw 
Berea College 
Isothiocyanates and their glucosinolate precursors are chemicals produced by Arabidopsis thaliana and other plants in the order Caparelles. While these compounds are known to reduce bacterial growth, whether they may structure bacterial associations with the plants has not been addressed previously. In this study, we ask whether bacteria induce glucosinolate production, whether allylglucosinolate or allylisothiocyanate influence bacterial growth in media, and whether bacteria collected from the leaves of A. thaliana in nature differ in resistance to these compounds. We found that infection of plants with Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000 increased plant concentrations of glucosinolate relative to controls. Sinigrin did not reduce bacterial titer, indicating that parent glucosinolates are not toxic to bacteria. We then tested the effect of allyl isothiocyanate (formed from the hydrolysis of sinigrin) on six bacterial strains, five of which were collected from wild Arabidopsis plants. The effect of allyl isothiocyanate (AITC) was highly variable but was most toxic to the lab strain, Pst DC3000. The wild strain P. syringae MEB081 tolerated concentrations of AITC that were nearly double the lethal dose for Pst DC3000. Two additional bacteria species, Mesorhizobium loti and E. coli were also highly resistant to AITC. Additionally, we found that plants infected with bacteria produce more glucosinolates than healthy plants. In order to investigate the role of glucosinolates during infection, plants deficient in myrosinase, the enzyme that hydrolyzes glucosinolates to isothiocyanates, were challenged with Pst DC3000. There was no difference in bacterial titers between wild type plants and plants with reduced myrosinase expression in vivo, but when assayed in vitro, bacterial titers increased when grown in plant tissue with reduced myrosinase expression. These results suggest a role of isothiocyanates in the defense of plants from bacterial pathogens and the potential of coevolution between plants and these enemies.
109. - Differences in plant communities at natural and constructed upland-embedded wetlands in the Daniel Boone National Forest
First Author
Rachel Fedders
Eastern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Stephen Richter 
Eastern Kentucky University 
Upland-embedded wetlands, which are depressional wetlands surrounded completely by uplands, have been widely constructed in the Daniel Boone National Forest (DBNF) to benefit bats and game species. However, it is unknown whether plant communities at these constructed wetlands are similar to those of co-occurring natural wetlands. We evaluated differences in plant communities at 10 natural and 10 constructed upland-embedded wetlands in the DBNF. We estimated cover class of each understory species in several plots at each wetland and performed visual surveys. We also measured wetland slope, depth, hydroperiod, and percent canopy closure. Characteristics were compared between wetland types using Mann-Whitney U tests. Communities were compared using Nonmetric Multidimensional Scaling (NMDS) with a post-hoc PERMANOVA comparison. Natural and constructed wetlands differed significantly (α = 0.05) regarding total species richness and nonnative species richness, which were higher at constructed wetlands; and mean coefficient of conservatism, floristic quality, and percent canopy closure, which were greater at natural sites. Natural wetlands tended to be ephemeral and constructed wetlands tended to be permanent. The NMDS and PERMANOVA revealed that communities were significantly different between wetland types. A history of disturbance at constructed wetlands from factors including logging, soil compaction, and vehicle use have resulted in these sites having lower floristic quality, lower ecological conservatism, and more invasive species. Shade-tolerance plays a major role in observed differences in understory composition. Constructed wetlands should be monitored recurrently to gauge whether plant communities are progressing to a more natural state, and invasive species should be suppressed.
110. - Ecosystem functional consequences of body size variation in an apex predator
First Author
David Smith
Eastern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Cy Mott 
Eastern Kentucky University 
Efforts to conserve and increase biodiversity often emphasize diversity at the species level where each species is assigned a mean functional trait value. However, populations within a species, and individuals within a population, often exhibit considerable intraspecific functional variation. Therefore, instead of focusing on species' mean trait values, we must incorporate intraspecific variation when considering species' ecological role and conservation value. The primary objective of this study was to determine the effects of variation in body size (a functional trait in many aquatic taxa) in an apex predator on ecosystem functioning. We characterized trophic cascades initiated by larval populations of Ambystoma jeffersonianum that varied in size structure based on diversity of maternal lines. We quantified the effect of size structure on larval survival, densities of Hyla chrysoscelis tadpoles, benthic macroinvertebrates, zooplankton, phytoplankton, and biofilms, as well as leaf-litter decomposition rates and release of soluble nutrients in cattle tank mesocosms. Results to date indicate salamander survival was significantly higher with increasing population size structure. While we are still collecting data on the other response variables, the current results indicate the importance of considering trait variation when assessing species' function roles and conservation implications.
111. * - Trophic effects of intraspecific body size variation among exploitative and interference competitors
First Author
Renae Steinberger
Eastern Kentucky University 
Despite the importance of intraspecific variation to population ecology studies, community ecologists have historically modeled predator-prey interactions with an assumption of functional equivalence among members of a single species. To more accurately predict the outcomes of ecological interactions, recent theoretical approaches have incorporated aspects of intraspecific trait variation into community ecology, disregarding mean trait values and instead focusing on the importance of variation around the mean. In larval salamanders, intraspecific body size variation is considerable and may impact predator-prey dynamics through associated risks of cannibalism at high levels of size variation. We manipulated body size variation around a standardized mean body size in two apex predators (larval Ambystoma talpoideum and A. maculatum) to determine the effects of size variation on intraspecific aggression, microhabitat partitioning, and attacks on/consumption of zooplankton prey. Despite broad differences in competitive strategy among larval A. talpoideum (interference competitor) and A. maculatum (exploitative competitor), intraspecific body size variation did not influence any of our response variables. However, interspecific differences independent of the influence of body size variation were observed for the number of attacks on zooplankton prey and the amount of zooplankton captured, with the exploitative competitor (A. maculatum) exhibiting higher totals for both. Our results indicate that increased size variation did not promote increased cannibalism among larval salamanders or associated release from predation for zooplankton prey, though the short-term nature of our study may have limited longer-term ecological consequences of intraspecific body size variation.
112. * - Determining the Cyanogenic Potential of Two Land Races of Lima Bean, Phaseolus lunatus
First Author
Maria Shields
University of Louisville 
Co-author
Grace Freundlich 
University of Louisville 
Co-author
Christopher Frost 
University of Louisville 
Plants use a variety of chemical means to defend themselves against insect herbivores. One example of a potent chemical defense is cyanide, which occurs in a number of plant higher taxa, including various legume species. In these plants, cyanide is stored in undamaged plant cells as cyanogenic glycosides (CG), in which cyanide is conjugated with a hexose; cyanide is released when plant tissue is damaged and the CGs interact with beta-glucosidase. The purpose of our study was to determine the cyanogenic potential (CP) of two cultivated varieties of lima bean, Phaseolus lunatus. We have adapted a previously established CP protocol for use with small sample volumes. We were able to establish a wide concentration range of linear responses for the CP protocol, and initially have showed CP of ~150 micromoles per gram in our field lima beans leaves. We are now using this protocol to assess whether CP is inducible in lima bean plants attacked by two different species of insect herbivores, the beet armyworm (Spodoptera exigua) and the velvetbean worm (Anticarsia gemmatalis). Quantifying plant defense chemistry is essential for understanding ecological interactions and their impact on human health.
113. * - Do Drip Tips Benefit Leaves in Both the Understory and Canopy of a Neotropical Rainforest?
First Author
Makenna Thibodeaux
University of Louisville 
Co-author
Chris Frost 
University of Louisville 
Drip tips are structures formed on the apex of leaves of plants adapted to expel water from the surface of a leaf by creating a sloped, funnel surface. They are primarily found in tropical rainforest plants adapted to high rainfall and humidity, which promotes the growth of potentially damaging epiphylls. In contrast, the canopies of these forests are characterized by relatively arid conditions, where drip tips may not provide the similar benefits. However, forest canopies also experience intense sunlight, and water droplets on leaves may cause sunburn and sun-induced necrosis. We assessed this possibility using the ACTS canopy walkway in the northeastern Peruvian Amazon. We scored leaves for the presence of drip tip, and also scored each understory leaf for presence of epiphylls and each canopy leaf for sun-induced necrosis. We found that, as expected, leaves in the understory with drip tips had less epiphyll growth and overall plant damage relative to leaves without drip tips. In the canopy, leaves with drip tips had less sun-induced necrosis than did leaves lacking drip tips. Together, our results indicate that drip tips may influence in the longevity and health of plant leaves for two reasons at two distinct vertical locations in a neotropical forest.
114. * - Do phenotypically plastic apex predators exhibit discrete patterns of local adaption to their invertebrate prey?
First Author
Austin Farson
Eastern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Cy Mott 
Eastern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Howard Whiteman 
Murray State University 
The ability of a single genotype to produce two or more discrete phenotypes, or polymorphism, is hypothesized to increase fitness in species inhabiting highly variable environments. Recent studies indicate that even the individual forms of polymorphic species (e.g. 'carnivore' versus 'omnivore' morphs) exhibit discrete pond-level phenotypic differentiation following local adaptation. However, it is unclear whether such patterns of small-scale differentiation occur among species exhibiting generalized phenotypic plasticity, or continuous morphological variation resulting from genotype x environment interactions. To address this question, we examined the relationships between morphology of larval spotted salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum) and the density and composition of their invertebrate prey. From six ponds in western Kentucky, we sampled zooplankton and benthic macroinvertebrate communities while recording several morphological features in salamander larvae considered important to the pursuit and capture of invertebrate prey. Larval morphological measurements were obtained from the largest and smallest individuals in ponds to determine if morphological differentiation, if present, develops early or late during ontogeny. Results to date indicate that the overall zooplankton densities do not differ among ponds, but that some larval morphological features exhibit pond-level differentiation. Analyses of benthic macroinvertebrate samples are underway, but our results to date indicate that observed patterns of larval morphological differentiation do not appear to be associated with densities of zooplankton, their most common prey.
115. - Does Life History Variation Mediate the Effects of Disease?
First Author
Alex Woolen
Murray State University 
Co-author
Howard Whiteman 
Murray State University 
The amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has been implicated in the decline or extinction of over 200 species of amphibians worldwide. Bd only infects keratinized tissue, and consequently is more often fatal to metamorphosed frogs, which have a higher proportion of keratinized skin, than to larvae, which only have keratin in mouthparts. This pattern is likely present in salamanders as well, and in some populations, is complicated by an additional life history strategy, facultative paedomorphosis, in which some individuals in a population reach sexual maturity while remaining aquatic and retaining larval characteristics such as gills, enlarged caudal fins, and, critically with respect to Bd, non-keratinized skin. This project will investigate this differential infection of Bd across life stages in populations of salamanders which exhibit paedomorphosis. Sampling for Bd via skin swabs and eDNA water sampling has already been conducted on 15+ populations of tiger salamanders in Colorado, and will also sample species in the Pacific Northwest and the upper Mississippi delta. If the differential infection of life stages is confirmed in paedomorphic salamanders, it poses significant evolutionary and conservation implications. If Bd is more infectious to metamorphs, then this added selection pressure will increase the relative frequency of paedomorphs over time. A newly discovered close relative of Bd, Batrachochytrium salamdrivorans (Bsal) was recently implicated in several dramatic amphibian declines in Europe. If Bsal arrives in North America, the presence of chytrid-tolerant, sexually mature paedomorphs will be essential in maintaining populations of several species.
116. - A phylogenetic examination of the Pseudanophthalmus cave beetles (Carabidae) of western Kentucky.
First Author
Jedidiah Nixon
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Keith Philips 
Western Kentucky University 
The cave-specialized beetle genus Pseudanophthalmus (Carabidae) is endemic to eastern North America and highly biodiverse, containing 170 + described species – the most of any North American terrestrial troglobite group. While they have been separated into several species groups, the relationships among and within the species groups and their monophyly are still uncertain and in need of resolution via molecular phylogenetic analysis, as nearly all current taxonomic work on Pseudanophthalmus has been strictly morphological.
This work is using molecular sequence data to elucidate the phylogenetic relationships of Pseudanophthalmus, especially the P. pubescens species-group; relationships will be a lens to hypothesize the degree to which reproductively isolating geographical features, such as underground streams and karst, have helped sculpt their evolution.
117. - The Effect of Malathion Toxicity on Zebrafish Caudal Fin Regeneration
First Author
Indigo Thoman
Georgetown College 
Co-author
Autumn Holley 
Georgetown College 
Co-author
Tracy Livingston 
Georgetown College 
This study revisits the effects of Malathion toxicity on zebrafish caudal fin regeneration and development of zebrafish larva. Malathion is a man-made organophosphate insecticide. It is used most widely to control mosquito populations. The two concentrations used were 0.5 mg/L and 3.0 mg/L of Malathion. 0.5 mg/L is the recommended environmental concentration that is safe for fish and other vertebrates, yet lethal to mosquito population. 3.0 mg/L concentration was tested to see if this high of a concentration would make a more prominent effect on the fin regeneration and development of larva. Adult zebrafish had their caudal fins amputated while living in test environments. Fin regeneration growth was recorded every five days for a duration of 20 days. Hatching rates of the experimented on adult zebrafish were also recorded. The findings for this experiment did not detect any significant differences in regeneration. In conclusion, the Malathion did not affect the zebrafish ability to regenerate the caudal fin according to our statistical findings.
Friday, November 2, 2018  3:00pm - 6:00pm
Engineering - Poster Presentations
118. - Comparison Study of Various CNN AI architectures for Prediction of Metal Sample Failure based on SEM images
First Author
Lawrence Madriaga
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Ivan Novikov 
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Morteza Nurcheshmeh 
Western Kentucky University 
Comparison Study of Various Convolutional Neural Network architectures for Prediction of Metal Sample Failure based on Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) images


We present the preliminary results on using deep learning neural network to predict a steel sample failure based on a set of images obtained with a Scanning Electron Microscope.

Steel sheet samples were prepared according to ASTM E8/E8M-11 standards for a tensile test. Each sample was ingrained with circles of known measurements (2.5mm diameter) and then stressed on a tensile machine. Stress and strain values were obtained by measuring dimensions of each elongated circle. The stress and strain values were used to determine a failure likelihood for the sample.

Multiple SEM images of each steel sample were taken at various locations. SEM images were taken using Large-Chamber SEM (LC-SEM) at the WKU NOVA Center. The LC-SEM accommodates a large sample up to 40 inches in diameter eliminating the need to cut samples. All SEM images were tagged with previously obtained stress and strain values. Using set of SEM images, we trained deep neural network to predict sample failure. Comparing the accuracy of each trained Neural Network to our calculated failure prediction, different architectures are classified on effectiveness.
119. - Using NASA's Land Information System (LIS) for hydrological and land-atmosphere coupling studies and as a lower boundary
First Author
Charles O'Connell
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Eric Rappin 
Western Kentucky Universtiy 
The land surface and overlying atmosphere are coupled when it comes to shallow, deep, and precipitating clouds, particularly in the warm season when large-scale forcing (weak northern hemisphere temperature gradient) is minimal. The atmosphere behaves much like a boiling pot of water in which the incoming solar radiation is largely ignored in its passage through the atmosphere, neglecting scattering and reflection, heating the Earth's surface and the atmosphere through conduction and convection. The availability of moisture, while strongly controlled by advection, is also influenced by land cover type, modifying the Bowen Ratio and subsequent boundary layer growth. In order to address the importance of surface and hydrological processes, the Land Information System (LIS version 7.2) will be utilized. LIS is a flexible land surface modeling and data assimilation framework that provides modeling tools to integrate satellite- and ground-based observational data products and advanced land surface modeling techniques to produce optimal fields of land surface states and fluxes. LIS can be run offline to produce dynamically adjusted land surface initial conditions that incorporate the impacts of irrigation and overland, sub-surface, and channel water routing. Preliminary studies with LIS will be presented, including extratropical Harvey (2017) during its passage through the Commonwealth.
Friday, November 2, 2018  3:00pm - 6:00pm
Environmental Science - Poster Presentations
120. - A Karst Disturbance Index Map for Hidden River Cave
First Author
Anna Harris
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Patricia Kambesis 
Western Kentucky University 
The American Cave Conservation Association (ACCA) is quadrupling the amount of space available to visitors at Hidden River Cave through the installation of a 100-foot swinging bridge. Hidden River Cave is an active cave system, located in the town of Horse Cave, Kentucky, southeast of Mammoth Cave National Park. There are 25 km of mapped passageway, with the Hidden River flowing continuously on the lowest level. Hidden River Cave is historically known for its contamination in the early 20th century but it was not until 1989 when remediation began.

Current research is being conducted to monitor the impact of the new tourist infrastructure and the occurrence of discrete pollution from unknown sources. The following methods are being applied: impact mapping, surface and subsurface infrastructure mapping, dye tracing, and monitoring of stream discharge levels at existing monitoring stations in the cave. The field data is being integrated into a preliminary GIS-based Karst Disturbance Index map (KDIM), elucidating the hydrologic disturbance in the downstream section of Hidden River Cave while dye tracing indicates connections between land-use (including storm sewers), and the new infrastructure in the cave.
121. * - A Synoptic Analysis of the 2012 Ohio Valley Heat Wave and an Investigation of the Effect on Public Health in Kentucky
First Author
Christopher Padgett
Western Kentucky University 
The purpose of this study is to set the basis for a 'worst case' scenario that has happened in the recent past and to create a summary highlight. Data from the Kentucky Mesonet, National Centers for Environmental Information, technical reports and media news sources will be utilized and presented using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Python-scripting programs. Relating experiences to a recent event can help increase the response to public health information and planning. The keystone event, the June 27-July 9, 2012 Ohio Valley Heat Wave, will be examined from the meteorological perspective and provide information on daily minimum/maximum temperatures, and daily maximum dewpoint temperatures. In addition to these directly measured values, data will be compiled on the number of hours with temperatures above specific thresholds, diurnal temperatures, synoptic patterns, and temperature records broken/tied. The keystone event will also be investigated using Emergency Room visit data provided by the Kentucky Department of Health. Initial findings have shown that maximum temperature records were broken every day across Kentucky, with maximum temperatures reaching over 100°F for ten out of the thirteen days. There was a noticeable increase in the instance of hospitalizations due to heat-related illnesses.
122. - Can remote sensing be used to accurately predict beaver activity?
First Author
Melody Feden
Murray State University 
Co-author
Haluk Cetin 
Murray State University 
Beavers, known as a keystone species, are incredibly important to freshwater ecosystems because of their dams, which create complex habitat and regulates flow. The North American beaver (Castor canadensis), once almost completely extirpated in the United States, has recently seen steady population growth due to decreased trapping and a changing narrative about their value to aquatic ecosystems. Population information for beavers is difficult to obtain because of their elusive nature and often remote nature of their habitat. One way to estimate beaver populations is utilizing equations using the number of beaver dams. Counting beaver dams via walking surveys can be time intensive and in locations that are difficult to access. My hypothesis is that the number beaver dams can be closely estimated remotely using aerial imagery. During the spring of 2018, drone flights at a height of 70 meters were conducted over Kimball Creek, Colorado. Concurrently, the entire stream was walked and beaver dams were counted. Kimball Creek is in the Colorado river basin and is home to a dense beaver population. For this project, the drone footage was used to count beaver dams and compared to the number achieved from walking surveys. My prediction is that the drone footage will under represent the actual number of beaver dams by approximately 10 percent. With an accurate number of dams, beaver populations can then be estimated in large areas and/or difficult to access locations.
123. * - Case Study of the Significant Cold Temperatures February 14th-20th, 2015
First Author
Jennifer Van Antwerp
Western Kentucky University 
February 14-20th, 2015 is often regarded as one of, if not the, coldest weeks in recent Kentucky history. However, there is debate over the validity of the temperature reports from the Kentucky Mesonet stations due to fairly large discrepancies of up to 10 degrees Fahrenheit between some of the Mesonet readings and those from the National Weather Service stations around Kentucky. Malfunctioning fans at almost all the Kentucky Mesonet stations at different points throughout that week also added to the doubt of validity. Possible causes of the temperature discrepancies were investigated to find the reliability of the temperatures at the affected Mesonet stations. These causes were found by looking at the topography around the stations, the wind patterns on the days in question, and the status of the batteries at the stations. The findings were that for most stations, the batteries were properly working throughout the studied period therefore eliminating the possibility of bad readings due to the battery. It was also found similar situations occurred for most of the stations in question. At the Madison County ELST station, the frigidly cold temperatures were most likely due to the wind causing an eddy to form over the station area. Meanwhile, for many of the other stations, cold air pooling looks to have caused the colder temperatures. Also examined when applicable were reports from automated surface observing stations (ASOS) relatively near the Mesonet sites. When the ASOS were in similar topographic locations as the Mesonet sites, the reports matched within a few degrees. These results are important because they establish the credibility of the temperature readings, proving that the Mesonet station reports are reliable and the week of February 14-20th, 2015 is the coldest within recent Kentucky history.
124. - Deriving Climate Statistics based on Kentucky Mesonet Observations
First Author
Eric Rappin
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Stuart Foster 
WKU, Kentucky Climate Center, Kentucky Mesonet 
Co-author
Megan Schargorodski 
WKU, Kentucky Climate Center, Kentucky Mesonet 
Co-author
Andrew Quilligan 
WKU, Kentucky Climate Center, Kentucky Mesonet 
Co-author
Patrick Collins 
WKU, Kentucky Climate Center, Kentucky Mesonet 
Co-author
Charles O'Connell 
WKU, Kentucky Climate Center, Kentucky Mesonet 
The Kentucky Mesonet is a valuable asset for the Commonwealth of Kentucky in a multitude of ways, from detailed storm monitoring to building a detailed climate record. A climate record is essential to provide context for identifying and analyzing observations of extreme weather. Observations from Kentucky Mesonet stations are being used to derive approximately 75 indices. These indices include frequency, extremes, range, duration, and trends of precipitation, droughts, and extreme temperatures. For example, calculations of Warm/Dry days (daily mean temperature > 75th percentile of daily mean temperature and daily mean rainfall < 25th percentile of daily precipitation sum where the percentiles are based on a climatology taken from reanalysis between 1961 and 1990) are done for monthly, seasonal, bi-annual, and annual aggregation periods. Tools will also be developed based on interactions with policymakers and stakeholders as they will be making decisions today that impact the region's main economic sectors (e.g. water, energy, transportation, etc.). Infrastructure erected today will likely be in place when the climate is different than at present. We will present the list of indices and explain how they add to our understating of Kentucky's evolving, yet distinct, climate systems (e.g. Appalachia compared to the Southern Mississippi River Valley).
125. - The Kentucky Forecasting System
First Author
Eric Rappin
Western Kentucky University 
The Kentucky Forecasting System (KFS) provides detailed forecasts specifically designed for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The Ohio and Tennessee River Basins exemplify the nexus of the water-climate-energy-transportation sectors, all of which are vital to the region's economy and will shape future growth. A weather forecasting system focused on the greater Ohio River Basin can provide forecasts that are applicable from the local (~1 km) to the regional (~100 km) spatial scales with physical parameterizations that can be tuned for specific forecasting goals (e.g. agriculture, bourbon, tourism, etc.). Currently, the KFS applies a type of four-dimensional data assimilation called observational nudging with the Weather and Research Forecasting Model (WRF). Observations from the Kentucky Mesonet are assimilated into the model for six hours prior to initialization and nudge the magnitude of the surface heat and moisture fluxes to match the observed temperature and humidity in order to provide a more accurate initial condition for the integration. A planned upgrade for the warm season of 2019 is to utilize NASA's unified WRF model (NU-WRF) which couples the WRF atmospheric-land surface model with hydrological and chemical transport models (See the poster by Charles O'Connell on use of the Land Information System). The transition will permit not only a dynamically adjusted lower boundary condition, but provide hydrological forecasts of surface runoff, channel flow, lake/reservoir flow, sub-surface flow and land-atmosphere exchanges. In addition, the updated KFS will run continuously in cycles, similar to the High-Resolution Rapid Refresh model from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, with the goal of providing improved forecasts of stochastic summertime precipitation. In addition, the KFS will move from observational nudging to the grid-point statistical interpolation scheme for the continuous assimilation of observations, both surface and free atmosphere (e.g. mesonet, radiosondes, satellite, ASOS, etc.).
126. - Evaluation of gluconic acid for the control of Nosema ceranae, a microsporidian infecting honey bees, Apis mellifera
First Author
Jacob Vincent
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Katherine Kamminga 
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Thomas Webster 
Kentucky State University 
One cause of recent honey bee colony decline is the microsporidian Nosema ceranae. This pathogen is now more prevalent than Nosema apis in the western honey bee, Apis mellifera. Fumagillin is a common treatment for Nosema apis, but studies contradict each other as to whether or not fumagillin is effective against N. ceranae. Organic acids are thought to contribute significantly to honey's antibacterial and antifungal qualities. Gluconic acid is the most abundant organic acid in honey constituting about 0.5% of honey by weight. Due to the need for alternative treatments for N. ceranae, we tested the ability of gluconic acid to inhibit the growth of N. ceranae. Honeybees were inoculated with 20,000 N. ceranae spores in a sugar syrup solution, randomly separated into a control and treatment group, and placed into an incubator set at 32°C. The control group was fed a 60% sucrose solution ad libitum and the treatment group was fed a 60% sucrose solution containing 0.5% gluconic acid. 10 days post-inoculation, 8 midguts were collected from bees from both groups, macerated, and a spore count was acquired using a hemacytometer. The control group had a spore count of 7.6 x 106 while the treatment group had no visible spores. These preliminary results indicate that gluconic acid could be a viable treatment for N. ceranae infection.
127. * - Mercury Bioaccumulation in Bats from Mammoth Cave National Park
First Author
Isabel Chumbler
Western Kentucky University 
Environmentalists have labelled Kentucky as a 'hot spot' for mercury due to the number of regional coal-fired power plants. Mammoth Cave National Park is impacted from emissions from a nearby coal-fired power plant and from atmospheric deposition. This project evaluates mercury levels in bat hair samples collected at Mammoth Cave National Park. Atmospheric deposition occurs because of industrial and natural sources. Mercury bioaccumulation in bats is a result of this. Atmospheric elemental mercury is transformed to methylmercury in the environment, which bio-accumulates and may impact reproductive success, growth, and survival of bats. The bat hair samples were collected over sampling seasons and were analyzed in 2018 using the LECO AMA 254 Thermal Mercury Analyzer which reports mercury levels in parts per million. A total of 130 hair samples from bats were analyzed. Most of these samples were from one of eight species of bat. These species are Rafinesque's Big-Eared (Corynorhinus rafinesquii), Tricolored (Perimyotis subflavus), Northern Long-Eared Myotis (Myotis septentrionalis), Indiana (Myotis sodalis), Gray (Myotis grisescens), Big Brown (Eptesicus fuscus), Evening (Nycticeius humeralis), and Eastern Red (Lasiurus borealis). Results indicate that levels of mercury vary with species. Gender and age are trends considered only if there are sufficient samples of the same species. Juveniles and females follow a trend where those data groups have lower levels of mercury.
128. * - Testing Nutrient Levels of Water Kentucky River for Harmful Algae Bloom Forecasting
First Author
Imani Harris
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Li Lu 
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Javed Kazi 
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Tamara Sluss 
Kentucky State University 
Author:
Imani Harris; Dr. Li Lu; Dr. Tamara Sluss; and Dr. Kazi Javed
Abstract
Title:
Testing Nutrient Levels of Water from Kentucky River for Harmful Algae Bloom Forecasting
The research project was conducted during summer 2018 at Frankfort, KY. The main objective was to keep track of water qualities of Benson creek, Old Lawrenceburg River, and the Kentucky River to analyze the possibility of harmful algae blooms in these freshwater systems. Water samples were mainly collected during June and July. The water samples were tested for nutrient (nitrates, nitrites, ammonia, and phosphate) levels and for organic: inorganic content. The possible presence of harmful algal species was also assessed with microscopes and Polymerase Chain Reaction method. Based on our observations, there is little risk of harmful algae bloom in Kentucky River system in 2018.
129. * - Use of a Reduced Sulfur Gas Chromatograph with Custom-made Permeation Tube for Analysis of Sulfur Compounds
First Author
Spencer Toms
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Philip Silva 
USDA-ARS 
Co-author
Anna Wilkin 
USDA-ARS 
The TRS-Medor gas chromatograph (GC) is an instrument used to measure reduced sulfur compounds. The TRS-Medor GC is equipped with an internal calibration system designed to use permeation tubes as internal reference standards. Custom ordering of permeation tubes is costly and permeation tubes expire quickly, needing to be replaced roughly every six to twelve months. As an inexpensive alternative, a method was developed to create custom-made permeation tubes in the laboratory. In a recent field study, the TRS-Medor was deployed at a poultry farm in Hadley, Kentucky to measure gaseous sulfur emissions from animal waste in the house. The instrument was calibrated using a custom-made dimethyl sulfide (DMS) permeation tube. The construction and calibration method for a DMS permeation tube along with the results of the field study are presented.
130. * - Using remote sensing and GIS to study the development of Harmful Algal Blooms in Lake Erie.
First Author
Steven Collett
Murray State University 
Harmful algal blooms (HAB's) pose a serious threat to America's waterways. The blooms produce anoxic conditions, which are toxic to the local wildlife. Frequent exposure to HAB's carry a significant human and animal health risk. Humans consuming animals exposed to HAB's are at risk, as the toxins cannot be cooked or boiled out. Exposure to water contaminated can cause paralysis, liver failure, and seizures. The study of algal blooms can help in understanding, tracking, and mitigating the effects of HAB's. This study gathers satellite imagery from Landsat OLI and Sentinel-2, using the US geological survey Earth Explorer program. Spectral mixing, and ratio mixing were used to mask clouds. A data correction algorithm was applied to the image to minimize sun glint on the image. An unsupervised classification was used to isolate water pixels, and regression modeling was used to detect the characteristic blue-green algae. The extent of the images taken at roughly the same time over ten years tracks the spatial extent of the algae. This study has shown that the algal blooms in the Lake Erie area are dynamic over the past ten years with the highest concentrations of algae being in Maumee Bay and Sandusky Bay, both densely populated areas.
Friday, November 2, 2018  3:00pm - 6:00pm
Geography - Poster Presentations
131. - A high-wind climatology for the eastern U.S. during 1973-2015
First Author
Josh Durkee
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Tori Murley 
ECTC 
High-wind events occur across every region of the United States and result in hundreds of fatalities, as well as thousands of dollars in damages annually. These events are classified as sustained high-winds or high-wind gusts and can be generated from convective or non-convective weather systems. The purpose of this study is to investigate convective and non-convective high-wind observations across the eastern U.S. during a 43-year climatological period (1973-2015) for spatial and temporal variations in wind speed and direction. Hourly surface wind observations were gathered from the National Centers for Environmental Information Data Center Integrated Surface Database. This dataset includes quality-controlled wind observations from 391 first-order weather stations east of the Rockies. Initial findings show that convective high-wind gusts were most dominant in the Midwest and typically occurred during the warm season. Non-convective high-wind gusts were more prevalent throughout the entire U.S. and were most common during the cool season. Sustained high-winds were not observed as frequently compared to high-wind gusts and typically originated from non-convective systems. A westerly and southwesterly directional preference was indicated for both sustained high-winds and high-wind gusts however, sustained high-winds exhibited greater variability. Additionally, convective and non-convective sustained high-wind magnitudes have decreased with time. Convective high-wind gust magnitudes have also decreased while non-convective high-wind gust magnitudes have increased during the period of record.
132. * - The Impact of Urban Heat Island Magnitude on Organized Convective Systems
First Author
Logan Twohey
University of Louisville 
Co-author
Jason Naylor 
University of Louisville 
The Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model was used to conduct simulations of an organized convective system interacting with a large urban area (Louisville, KY) in order to determine if urban heat island magnitude has a strong impact on the structure and intensity of convective storms. Four different simulations are presented: A control simulation, two simulations in which the urban heat island over Louisville is enhanced through observational nudging, and a simulation where the urban area of Louisville is removed via changes to land use (no-city simulation). Results show that the downwind enhancement of convective cells is strongest in the simulation with the largest heat island. However, differences between the control and the no-city simulations seem to be just as large, if not larger, than the differences between the control and enhanced heat island simulations. This suggests that surface roughness may be just as influential to the modification of organized storms as the urban heat island, although the locations of these two effects are not coincident. Modification due to surface roughness is most noticeable on the upwind edge and over the center of the city while the impact of urban heat magnitude is most noticeable on the downwind edge of the city.
133. * - Comparing water quality variables between first order streams located in agricultural and heavily forested communities
First Author
Caitlin Mullins
Kentucky State University 
Comparing water quality variables between first order streams located in agricultural communities and heavily forested communities to assess sustainability for aquatic life
Caitlin Mullins, Jarod Jones, Buddhi Gyawali, Kentucky State University

​Water quality variables can be used to determine not only the overall quality of the system, but also to determine the ability of the system to sustain aquatic life. Dissolved oxygen, pH, and temperature are important variables in determining water quality, stream health, and the ability to sustain aquatic life. For this project, water quality data on dissolved oxygen, pH, and temperature were collected from four different sites located in Kentucky three times a week for three months in the summer of 2018. Two of the sites were located in areas used for agricultural purposes and the other two were located in areas that were heavily forested. Water quality data were collected using a YSI probe. Statistical analysis was performed using Microsoft Excel using single-factor ANOVA as well as two-tailed t-tests. Preliminary results suggest significant differences exist between sites for all three variables. The differences aligned the hypothesis that streams located in forested areas would have better water quality due to protection from the larger riparian zones than streams in areas used for agricultural purposes due to smaller riparian zones and reduced protection from chemical runoff entering the water from irrigation. These results were also expected due to the abundance of aquatic life at the more forested site and the lack of aquatic life at the agricultural sites.
134. - Trends in Total Suspended Solids(TSS) Discharge of Headwater Streams in Agricultural and Forested Watersheds
First Author
Jarod Jones
Kentucky State University 
The state of Kentucky has an abundance of natural resources that provide a wide variety of ecosystem services, including sustaining its agriculture and industry. The intensification of large-scale land uses that exploit these resources, such as large farms, affect the natural environment and ecosystems by altering the local soil characteristics and water chemistry. The purpose of this project was to study nonpoint, agriculturally-sourced surface water pollution in headwater streams of Henry and Shelby counties in the outer bluegrass region of Kentucky. This was accomplished by collecting water quality data from six streams three times per week (37 total samples) throughout the growing season to assess sediment loads of streams with various percentages of forested and agricultural land covers that originate in watersheds within this region. Water quality data was collected in situ with a YSI ProDSS water meter and Marsh-McBirney Flo-Mate 2000 portable flow meter for a period of six months. Land cover was determined based on a geographic information system (GIS) analysis using publically available data from the KyGeonet and the United States Dept. of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service Cropland Data Layer Program (USDA NASS CDL) in conjunction with ESRI's ArcGIS 10.5. Preliminary results indicate that there is significant difference in sediment loads between the streams located in agricultural watersheds compared those that originate in forested watersheds. The streams in the agricultural watershed have higher sediment loads on average as compared to the streams in the forested watersheds.
135. * - Observing Trends in Foodborne Illnesses and Health and Food Codes in the United States
First Author
Megan Paule
Murray State University 
Every year, millions of people are affected by foodborne illness in the United States. Surveillance and prevention programs are set in place to protect those who may have been affected, or soon will be, but outbreaks continue to happen. This study examines the trends found in outbreaks of Salmonella and Noroviruses, two of the top causes of foodborne illness in the United States, in 2000 and 2015. The initial hypothesis was examining trends in the number of cases that each state had for both years and comparing that to the size of the population to find trends in cases and number of people in each state. Data on the number of outbreaks, reported cases, and deaths were collected from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and total population by state was collected from the Census Bureau. It was found that, regardless of the size of the state's population, it did not explain the number of cases. Then the illness data was analyzed alongside each state's version of Food Code to test the hypothesis that updated Food Code may contribute to lessen the occurrences of these illnesses in the states. It was found that many states used outdated versions; however, this did not explain the number of outbreaks or cases that they experienced each year. This shows that Salmonella and Norovirus are unpredictable using the data collected for this study. This highlights the importance of each food establishment ensuring that all employees are following through with hygiene and food preparation protocol.
136. * - Comparing Accuracy of Supervised Image Classification of Wetlands in the Kentucky River Basin to the NLCD
First Author
Meri Koskelainen
Eastern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Kelly Watson 
Eastern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Elizabeth Malloy 
Eastern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Andrew Hensley 
Eastern Kentucky University 
Co-author
David Brown 
Eastern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Stephen Richter 
Eastern Kentucky University 
Wetlands support many ecological services and provide habitat for a wide variety of species. Kentucky has lost more than 80% of its original wetland cover. Many remaining wetlands have been significantly impacted by human activities from surrounding areas. Remote sensing methods can be used to assess wetland disturbance; however, achieving high levels of accuracy with geospatial techniques remains a research challenge. Our objective was to compare the accuracy of individualized supervised image classifications of wetlands using high-resolution imagery with the existing 2011 National Land Cover Database (NLCD). The NLCD is a 16-class land cover database derived from 30 m Landsat imagery. We hypothesized individualized classifications would have higher levels of accuracy, but expected that higher disturbance levels would negatively affect the overall accuracy of both the individualized classifications and the NLCD. We performed maximum likelihood supervised image classifications on ten wetlands greater than 50 acres in size in the Kentucky River Basin. Following classification, we carried out accuracy assessments at each sampling site for both the NAIP imagery and the NLCD. Our sampling sites were randomly assigned within 100 m and 500 m buffers around each wetland. We assigned 25% of sampling sites within a 100 m buffer for field verification and 75% of sampling sites within 500 m buffer for verification with high-resolution imagery. Our results show that individualized supervised classifications of high-resolution imagery require significantly more time and expense to carry out; however, higher accuracy may be achieved over the use of the existing NLCD.
137. * - The spatial distrubution of local and organic food availabitly in Kentucky
First Author
Ariel Smith
Kentucky State University 
Few things are as essential to human health and well-being as the food we consume for energy to support our 21st-century lives. Recently, Kentucky and other states have had a rapid increase in the availability of locally produced, organic produce; however, much of this growth is removed from the people who would benefit the most from access to it. This project constructed a spatial database using data from the USDA Local Food Directory for understanding 1) where locally produced food is available and 2 how access aligns with the distribution of population demographics. A spatial database to populate summaries for highlighting spatial distributions of local outlets and for supplying location-based analytics to a mobile app is being developed with stakeholders in eastern Kentucky.
Preliminary results show that the distribution of farmers markets generally align with population centers in the most densely-populated areas, such as Louisville and Lexington, and with transportation networks in rural areas, although this may not lead to high availability in all areas. The real distribution of local organic producers, however, is not the same so it is unlikely that all varieties of products are equally distributed among individual farmers markets. Work continues on an app for connecting consumers to information regarding where to find local and organic products.
Friday, November 2, 2018  3:00pm - 6:00pm
Geology - Poster Presentations
138. * - Anthropogenic Impacts on Encrusters in Association with Mercenaria mercenaria in Long Island Sound
First Author
Marie White
Murray State University 
Co-author
Michelle Casey 
Murray State University 
Long Island Sound is an urban estuary from which many people make their livelihood. Years of pollution and commercial fishing have resulted in changes in water quality, including the intense eutrophication in the western part of the sound near Manhattan leading to bottom water hypoxia. The aim of this study is to use dead shells to test for the effects of decreasing water quality on benthic fauna. Mercenaria mercenaria is a hard-shelled clam abundant throughout the sound, whose thick and relatively large shell is an excellent substrate for benthic organisms. Long Island Sound was divided into four geographic areas based on their water quality and commercial fishing regulations, with M. mercenaria specimens collected from each. Due to the dramatic differences in oxygen and fishing throughout these areas, one would expect to see certain epibionts (encrusters) and endobionts (borers) associated with the clams. For example, we expect nutrient-loving Crepidula sp. to colonize a greater proportion of shells in the heavily eutrophied west. Preliminary results indicate a complex relationship between the E-W dissolved oxygen gradient and encruster diversity, with the greatest diversity and highest rates of encrustation occurring at both ends of the study area. The westernmost site of Rye, NY has banned commercial fishing, suggesting that it acts as a refuge for these organisms, while the easternmost site of New London, CT has the highest amount of dissolved oxygen in the waters. Death assemblages provide a wealth of ecological data which can be collected without disturbing the living fauna.
139. * - Dye Trace Study of Karst Groundwater Flow at Mystery Spring and Wildcat Culvert in Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky
First Author
Constance Brown
Northern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Daniel Martin 
Northern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Trende (Trent) Marc Garrison 
Northern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Benjamin Currens 
University of Kentucky 
In areas underlain by carbonates, dissolution of carbonate rocks may occur, resulting in groundwater flow dynamics that may be quite different than granular flow. In such areas, sinkholes, conduits, sinking streams, and other karst features direct groundwater flow anisotropically. According to Kentucky Geological Survey, 38% of Kentucky has karst at or near the surface, including the city of Lexington. The purpose of this study was to test connectivity from a sinkhole by William T. Young Library on the University of Kentucky's campus to Mystery Spring (1.5 miles away) near RJ Corman Railroad in Town Branch, and measure groundwater velocity thereto. A secondary aspect of the study was to measure travel time from a storm drain at the bottom of the aforementioned campus sinkhole to 'Wildcat Culvert' that discharges into Town Branch (100 meters downstream of Mystery Spring). This was done using a Cyclops 7 Probe data logger and charcoal dye receptors. A map of the groundwater flow patterns in the area was published in 1996 based on mostly unpublished dye trace research. The last known work on Mystery Spring was conducted in 1989 by James Currens at Kentucky Geological Survey. In 1994, the William T. Young Library was built near the subject sinkhole that involved the construction of over 200 concrete and steel pylons, potentially disrupting the previous groundwater flow. In order to determine whether the construction affected karst conduits in the area, we conducted a second dye trace study in July of 2018 recreating, in many ways, the unpublished study from 1989.
140. * - Quantifying Hyporheic Flow in Beaver Ponds of Varying Size and Stream Morphology
First Author
Colton Sanders
Murray State University 
Mountain desert ecosystems tend to have intermittent surface water flows. Driven by snowpack melt, these low-order streams lose the majority of their water by the late summer months. Since the reintroduction of beavers (Castor canadensis), surface water is able to remain year round due to the dams ability to slow water velocity and pond water. This results in an increase of water retention time which allows for a greater hyporheic zone and surface to ground water interaction. In concept, beaver ponds of larger sizes should have an increased surface to ground water interaction. To test this hypothesis and quantify seepage flux in beaver ponds, 18 seepage meters were placed along 6 beaver ponds of differing area and stream morphology. Meters were run for 4 weeks during the summer months and 1 week in the fall. Surface to ground water interactions had a positive relationship with pond size. This supports the hypothesis that beavers noticeably affect the interaction of surface and ground water in low-order desert streams.
141. - Seismic Interpretation of the North-Central Gulf of Mexico: Implications for Salt Tectonic Modeling
First Author
Adam Mattson
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Royhan Gani 
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Nahid Gani 
Western Kentucky University 
The North-Central Gulf of Mexico is a proven hydrocarbon province with numerous oil and gas fields and discoveries. The primary success of the area is linked to the mobilization and remobilization of allochthonous Louann Salt, which controls deepwater depositional systems, forming hydrocarbon traps and providing migration pathways. While previous research focused on the Neogene salt remobilization and sedimentation in and around the area, little has been done on the older stratigraphy. With advances in seismic acquisition and processing, and the recent exploration activity in the deepwater Norphlet Formation, the Paleogene and Mesozoic stratigraphy can be interpreted more reliably, resulting in an improved understanding of the Mesozoic salt evolution in the Northern Gulf of Mexico. New interpretation of the Paleogene and Cretaceous section shows multiple salt wings, pseudo-downlap surfaces, primary welds, and large Cretaceous allochthonous salt masses indicating active salt mobilization period(s) during the Cretaceous. This is in contrast to the Neogene section, which contains detached salt diapirs and salt-withdrawn basins, indicating a relatively simple and uniform salt remobilization period. By identifying deep salt and salt-influenced structures, more effective constrains can be applied for salt reconstruction models. These models can then be used to predict the depositional location and subsequent remobilized location of Oxfordian, Tithonian, Cenomanian, and Neogene sandbodies for hydrocarbon exploration.
Friday, November 2, 2018  3:00pm - 6:00pm
Health Science - Poster Presentations
142. * - Altered Immune Cell Profile Contributes to Increase Risk of Heart Disease in Aging Mice
First Author
Aubrey Melton
Berea College 
Co-author
Renee Donahue 
University of Kentucky Saha Cardiovascular Research Center 
Co-author
Marlene Starr 
University of Kentucky Nutritional Sciences and Pharmacology 
Co-author
Ahmed Abdel-Latif 
University of Kentucky Saha Cardiovascular Research Center 
Cardiovascular disease accounts for one of every four deaths in the United States, making it the leading cause of death of men and women. Many factors contribute to cardiovascular disease risk including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking and aging. As you age, your risk of heart disease doubles due to factors such as heart enlargement, wall thickening and valve stiffening. It is well known that after cardiac tissue damage, macrophages play an important role in the balance of pro- and anti-inflammatory processes which have a direct effect on angiogenesis, vascularization, scar spread, and functional outcome. We hypothesize that as we age, the cardiac macrophage immune cell profile may be altered, which can play an important role in developing increased risk for heart disease. Therefore, the goal of the present study was to characterize the basal cardiac immune cell profile of 23-24 month aged mice and compare it to that of 6-8 week young mouse hearts. We used immunohistochemical methods to examine the level of endothelial formation (Isolectin B4), the macrophage profile (Iba-1 and CD206), and scar size and fibrosis (Masson's Trichrome and Picrosirius Red). Analyses show a significant increase in blood vessel formation and anti-inflammatory macrophage numbers and a visual decrease in fibrosis in young mice compared to the aged mice. This may contribute to the increased risk of heart disease seen as we age. Quantification of fibrosis and pro-inflammatory macrophages is ongoing.
Dr. Abdel-Latif is supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (P20 GM103527) and the NIH Grant R01 HL124266. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, P30 CA177558.
143. * - Glutamate-Induced Apoptosis on Olfactory Neuroepithelial Progenitors Derived from Bipolar and Non-Bipolar Subjects
First Author
Kristen Miller
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Yonglin Gao 
University of Louisville School of Medicine 
Co-author
Rifaat El-Mallakh 
University of Louisville School of Medicine 
Glutamate-Induced Apoptosis on Olfactory Neuroepithelial Progenitors Derived from Bipolar and Non-Bipolar Subjects. Kristen Miller*, Yonglin Gao, Rif S. El-Mallakh, University of Louisville School of Medicine- Department of Psychiatry, Louisville, KY; *Department of Psychological Sciences, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY.

Post-mortem studies have linked bipolar disorder (BD) with increased brain matter loss due to higher levels of cellular apoptosis. Apoptosis may be related to glutamatergic cytoxicity and studies have suggested BD subjects may have higher levels of glutamate. Higher levels of glutamate increases cytoxicity and activates the cellular apoptotic process. Drugs that normalize glutamate levels may slow the apoptotic process and lead to improved outcomes for BD subjects. Lithium has been established to prevent glutamate-induced cytoxicity in olfactory neuroepithelial progenitor cells (ONPs) cultured from BD subjects.

The aim of the current study is to examine if ONPs from BD subjects are more sensitive to glutamate-induced apoptosis and to quantify the rate of ONPs undergoing glutamate-induced apoptosis within a cell population. In addition, the study aims to replicate previous findings that suggest BD subjects have increased sensitivity to glutamate-induced apoptosis compared to control subjects using ELISA Cellular DNA Fragmentation Assays and flow cytometry. Analysis of ELISA assays showed no significant difference between BD subjects and controls, but did significantly differ within-group when ONPs were treated with 0.1M glutamate for 24 hours. Flow cytometry data were inconclusive due to a heterogeneous cell population. Results obtained from ELISA Cellular DNA Fragmentation Assays disconfirmed results from previous ELISA histone-associated assays suggesting increased sensitivity to apoptosis in BD subjects. Further experimentation is being conducted to determine if flow cytometry can be used to study apoptosis in ONPs and to confirm the ELISA DNA Fragmentation Assay or previous ELISA histone-associated results.
144. * - Relationship between boneless meat yield and the size of Asian carp
First Author
Kaitlyn Sudd
Kentucky State University 
Relationship between boneless meat yield and the size of Asian carp. Kaitlin Sudd, Lingyu Huang, Changzheng Wang. Kentucky State University, Frankfort, KY 40601.

Asian carp is harvested from Kentucky lakes and rivers for processing into products for human consumption. The weight and length of the fish vary. It is very desirable for processors to have a good estimate of potential meat production from a catch so that adequate amount of personnel and equipment resources can be arranged in advance. Twenty five silver carp and big head carp caught from Kentucky Lake were measured in length from head to the tail fork, and each fish was headed and gutted, filleted with skin on and then fed through a deboner with a 3 mm drum. The whole body weight, headed and gutted weight and the weight of the boneless meat were obtained for each fish. Regression was used to analyze the relationship among the various parameters measured. Overall, whole body weight, headed and gutted weight, were linearly correlated with the length of the fish (r2=0.92, r2=0.77). Larger resulted in higher yield of headed and gutted weight, and deboned meat, but deboned meat as a percent of the whole fish was only weakly correlated with the body length (r2=0.28). On average, deboned meat accounted for 37% of the total body weight. Whole body weight was linearly correlated with headed and gutted weight (r2=0.96) and the deboned meat yield (r2=0.88). Compared with silver carp, big head carp with comparable size yielded slightly less boneless meat. These results indicate that whole body weight is a better predictor of headed and gutted weight and deboned meat yield than body length of Asian carp.
145. * - Parasite load as an indicator for zoonotic disease prevalence in feral cats versus shelter cats
First Author
Nicole Creeden
Murray State University 
Feral cats are a public health concern due to their potential to carry zoonotic microorganisms such as Giardia lamblia, Balis ascaris, and hookworms. The objective of our study was to quantify the prevalence of zoonotic microorganisms in animal shelter and feral cats by comparing parasite load and the prevalence of zoonotic disease. Our null hypotheses were that there is no significant 1) relationship between parasite load and presence of zoonotic disease and 2) difference in zoonotic disease prevalence between shelter and feral cats. Partnering with the Murray Calloway County Humane Society, we caught feral cats using hav-a-hartÃÆ'‚® traps. Voided feces from the cats (n=10) were collected and the number of parasite eggs per g of feces, Cryptosporidium presence, and prevalence of parasite taxa were determined. Fecal samples from cats at the Calloway County Animal Shelter (n=16) were also collected and analyzed. We rejected both of our hypotheses. Cats with zoonotic microorganisms had twice as many parasite taxa in their feces compared with cats with no zoonotic microorganisms. On average, feral cats had 16x the number of parasite eggs per g of feces compared with shelter cats. All feral cats harbored at least one zoonotic taxa, while Giardia was only present in shelter cats. Our results indicate that feral cats may pose a health threat to humans in Calloway Co. Public health concerns relating to feral cats can be mitigated with programs such as 'trap, neuter, and release' which are designed to prevent the spread of feral cats.
146. * - Physical Activity and Health Patterns of Berea Trail Town Users
First Author
Jaden Johnson
Berea College 
Co-author
Louisa Summers 
Berea College 
Co-author
Glendy Pineda 
Berea College 
Berea, Kentucky was certified as a Kentucky Trail town in 2016. As a trail town, Berea has successfully created multi-use trails that connect the middle of city to the Pinnacle trail at Indian Fort Theater. The purpose of the study was to gather demographic information and physical activity patterns of users. The researchers utilized intercept surveys, infrared sensors, and observational data to record the information. Data collection occurred 12 hours on four different days in May and June of 2017 and 2018. The surveys were used to compare the users to one another and to the Surgeon General's Report and the State Indicators Report of Physical Activity (CDC, 2010). The US Surgeon General recommends 30 minutes or more of moderate intensity physical activity on five days per week. The results indicated that users on the Arena Theater and Indian Fort trails were spending an average of 47 minutes on the trail and 11 additional minutes of physical activity accessing the trails. Upon further examination, the researchers saw that the Lexington and in-state residents were active an average of three to four days a week, as compared to the Berea residents who were active five days per week. Lastly, 90% or more users of the trails stated they were in good (or excellent) health, as compared to the Center for Disease Control 57% of reported Kentuckians. In conclusion, the residents of Berea were meeting and exceeding the weekly and daily guidelines for physical activity, whereas some visitors were not.
147. * - Effects of corn starch on the textural characteristics of fish meatballs prepared from deboned Asian carp meat.
First Author
Changzheng Wang
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Lingyu Huang 
Kentucky State University 
Effects of corn starch on the textural characteristics of fish meatballs prepared from deboned Asian carp meat.
Lingyu Huang, Changzheng Wang. Kentucky State University, Frankfort, KY 40601.

Harvesting Asian carp for human consumption has been proposed as one of the tools to reduce or eliminate Asian carp from Kentucky waters. Deboned Asian carp meat can be made into fish meat balls. Salt added at 2% to 2.5% of the meat resulted in acceptable binding and good texture of fish meat balls. However, the texture of the meat balls became very poor after freezing storage. The objective of this project was to determine the effect of starch on the gelling properties of Asian carp meat. Asian carp captured from the Mississippi River were deboned through a drum with 3 mm orifice by a commercial fish processor. Batches of Asian carp mince were mixed with 2% salt plus 0%, 5%, 10%, 15% or 20% corn starch, respectively, and blended for 30 minutes in a blender (Kitchen Aid KSM75WH) with the speed setting at 4. Meatballs were formed manually, and heated in hot water at 90°C till they floated to the surface. The hardness and stickiness of fish meatball were measured with a texture analyzer (TX2 Plus). The meat balls were compressed by 35% of its original height. The hardness of meatballs was increased from 2600g to 8356g by increasing corn starch from 0% to 20%. The adhesiveness of the meatball was 2 g without corn starch addition. Adding corn starch at 5% or more brought adhesiveness near zero. Preliminary tasting suggest that addition of corn starch above 10% resulted in doughy mouth feel. The results suggest that 10% of corn starch can be added to improve the texture of Asian carp meat meatballs.
WITHDRAWN - Assessment of learning styles and learning retention among the elderly population in Frankfort, Kentucky
149. * - Sterilization of Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa using Sanitrol
First Author
Riley James
Northern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Joseph Mester 
Northern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Jonathan Schneider 
Rem Brands 
Sanitrol is an odor- eliminating chemical that is non-toxic to humans. It displays antimicrobial properties and has potential as a disinfectant. The overall intent of the study was to determine the effectiveness of this chemical in sterilization of Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, two common hospital pathogens. Specifically, this study looked at the effectiveness of the chemical in the dry state to mimic a clinical application as a disinfectant. To test this, a control, the chemical vehicle, and the variable, 1% Sanitrol, were diluted in water and dried onto petri dishes overnight. Two subsets of tests were conducted post chemical drying: 24 hour drying of S. aureus and 30 minute wet contact of P. aeruginosa. Plate inoculations via spotting were done at time points of 1 day, 7 days and 14 days post drying of the chemical. Spots were swabbed and inoculated in sterile saline and then run through a dilution series to determine sterilization effectiveness. The chemical displayed approximately 2 to 3 logs killing of S. aureus after 1, 7, and 14 days as well as 2 to 3 logs killing of P. aeruginosa at 7 and 14 days. This displays potential as a long term surface disinfectant that may only need to be applied once every one to two weeks in a clinical setting.
150. * - L-Serine Reduces Reactive Oxygen Species Yield in Cisplatin Treated Zebrafish Utricles
First Author
Elvin Irihamye
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Satya Moolani 
Western Kentucky University 
Cisplatin is a chemotherapy compound effective against a variety of cancers. However, it can act as an ototoxin and cause hearing loss by promoting reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in auditory tissues. The antioxidant amino acid, L-serine has been hypothesized to lower levels of cisplatin-mediated ROS. In this project, we investigated whether L-serine can reduce cisplatin-mediated ROS production in auditory tissue and potentially act as an otoprotectant during cisplatin chemotherapy. We used a zebrafish utricular tissue culture system and fluorescent ROS indicator dye to spectro-photometrically measure if L-serine could decrease reactive oxygen species levels in cisplatin-treated tissues. We found that cisplatin treatment increased ROS yield in the utricular tissue while L-serine treatment alone did not alter ROS levels. Interestingly, we also found that equimolar L-serine treatment with cisplatin restored ROS to control levels. These results could be due to L-serine acting as an ROS scavenger. However, it is possible that L-serine could chemically inactivate cisplatin in these tissues. Future experiments are needed to see if L-serine can act as an otoprotectant in auditory tissue without mitigating the effects of cisplatin in cancer cells.
151. * - Role of Gonadal Hormones in Cognitive Impairment Due to Hypovolemic Dehydration
First Author
Evy Perler-Tomboly
University of Kentucky 
Estrogen improves performance on cognitive tests and has protective effects on fluid balance. The Santollo lab previously demonstrated that object recognition memory following hypovolemic dehydration was impaired in diestrous females (a time of low ovarian hormone release), but not estrous female (a time of high ovarian hormone release) or male rats. This suggests that ovarian hormones in females protect against cognitive impairment in the face of dehydration. This led us to investigate if these protective effects extend to testosterone in male rats. We directly tested this hypothesis by manipulating gonadal hormones in both male and female rats to determine if object recognition memory after hypovolemic dehydration was impaired in gonadectomized rats. Thirty two male and 32 female Sprague Dawley rats underwent castration (n=16), sham castration (n=16), ovariectomy (n=16), or sham ovariectomy (n=16) surgery. After a two week recover period rats underwent training and testing in the Novel Object Recognition paradigm. This involved one 10 min session of habituation to the open field (Day 1), three 5 min training sessions with two identical objects (Days 2-4), and a test day (Day 5) consisting of treatment with 20 µg/kg furosemide (to induce hypovolemia) or 0.9% saline control and 3 h later a 5 min test session with one copy of the original object and a novel object. Activity was recorded during the test day. Time spent interacting with the novel and original object was quantified along with general activity. We can establish that the male rats interacted significantly more with the novel object, indicating learning of the original object. Male rats without gonadal hormones were unable to learn the original object. This may show a protective effect of testosterone on hypovolemic dehydration induced cognitive impairment.
152. - Loss of plasmid in plasmid-carrying strains of Escherichia coli treated with phenoxazines
First Author
K.N. Thimmaiah
Northwest MS Community College 
Co-author
Mark Montgomery 
Northwest MS Community College 
Co-author
Larry Sylvester 
Northwest MS Community College 
Co-author
Padma Thimmaiah 
Northwest MS Community College 
Co-author
Ashish Pagare 
Northwest MS Community College 
Co-author
Paul Grisham 
Northwest MS Community College 
Co-author
Lindsay Massie 
Northwest MS Community College 
Co-author
Piya Adris 
Northwest MS Community College 
Co-author
Sarah Holt 
Northwest MS Community College 
Co-author
Darrell Barnes 
Northwest MS Community College 
Loss of plasmid in plasmid-carrying strains of Escherichia coli treated with phenoxazines and a novel approach to study their DNA binding properties

The effect of sub-inhibitory concentrations of 2-trifluoromethyl-N10-substituted phenoxazines on plasmid-coded antibiotic resistance in Escherichia coli was investigated. Phenoxazine treatment resulted in the loss of resistance markers to an extent of 8-63% in all the strains tested, and the disappearance of plasmid DNA in phenoxazine sensitive colonies was evidenced by agarose gel electrophoresis. The resistant strains were sensitized in the presence of phenoxazines with a concomitant reduction in the MIC (minimum inhibitory concentration) values. The UV, fluorescence spectral, and ethidium bromide displacement agarose gel assay methods revealed that phenoxazines are intercalated with plasmid DNA. Progressive addition of DNA led to a significant reduction in the peak intensity of the absorption maximum of phenoxazine derivative. Further, destabilization of ethidium bromide-DNA complex as seen from fluorescence microscopy in the presence of phenoxazines was observed. The potency of phenoxazines to sensitize the resistant organisms follows the order: butyl > propyl > acetyl derivatives. Further studies are in progress.
153. - Survival time distribution of advanced stage metastatic melanoma among Whites and Minority populations in Florida
First Author
Frederick Bebe
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Shasa Hu 
University of Miami, Miller College of Medicine 
Co-author
Tony Brown 
NIH, National Cancer Institute 
Co-author
Orien Tulp 
University of Science, Arts and Technology 
Differences in genetic profiles and environmental exposure may impact on the prognostic factors of metastatic melanoma with major implications on survival of minorities with advanced stage disease at presentation. This study determines the impact of stage at diagnosis, tumor location, grade and histologic type on overall survival time distribution among non-Hispanic Whites, Hispanic Whites and African Americans in Florida. A dataset of 80,349 Non-Hispanic Whites (NHW), African Americans (AA) and Hispanics Whites (HW) stage III and IV metastatic melanoma patients at presentation was obtained from Florida Cancer Data System (FCDS). Measures related to impact of stage at diagnosis, anatomic/primary site or tumor location, grade and histologic type on overall survival time distribution across racial groups are reported. Data were analyzed using SAS. Mean time univariate and multivariate survival statistics across races were analyzed by Kaplan-Meir Method and the nonparametric Log Rank Tests were used to test homogeneity of survival curves. Significant differences in survival time are reported among the races in primary sites, histology and stage at diagnosis, but not in terms of tumor grade; survival curve distributions were still significantly different even when adjustments were made for age, nodes, lymphatic invasion and tumor size.
154. * - The Effect of Chronic Sleep Fragmentation and 6-OHDA on Microglia Activation
First Author
Kristen Eads
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Ila Mishra 
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Noah Ashley 
Western Kentucky University 
Obstructive sleep apnea can lead to adverse health affects such as metabolic, cardiovascular, and neurobiological problems, and has become increasingly more common. Catecholamines are produced when the sympathetic nervous system is activated due to sleep loss. Research suggests that microglia are activated during sleep loss, which triggers inflammation in the brain. In this study, the neurotoxin 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) was used to chemically sympathectomize mice. Three groups of mice did not receive the 6-OHDA treatment and three groups of mice did receive it. The groups were the control group, the chronic sleep fragmented (SF) group, and the chronic sleep fragmented (SF) plus recovery group. The recovery period lasted for one week. The mice were sleep fragmented by being placed in a cage with a moving bar that swept across the bottom of the cage during the 12-hour light period. After the study, microglia were examined from the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, and preoptic area of the brain using Sholl analysis. Analysis showed that chronic sleep fragmentation increased microglia number, cell area, and ramifications in all three areas of the brain. It also showed that the one-week recovery was enough time to return the microglia levels to that of a rested state in the preoptic area and prefrontal cortex, but not the hippocampus. This is likely because the hippocampus requires a longer recovery period to return to normal. The 6-OHDA was shown to decrease microglia activity. Chronic sleep fragmentation increased microglia activation, while 6-OHDA decreased microglia activation.
Keywords: sleep, microglia, inflammation, brain
155. * - The Health and Economic Impact of the Pinnacle Trails in a Kentucky Trail Town
First Author
Glendy Pineda
Berea College 
Co-author
Louisa Summers 
Berea College 
Co-author
Jaden Johnson 
Berea College 
The Pinnacles at Indian Fort Theatre is located in a rural Appalachian city and is the number one attraction in the city of Berea Kentucky (https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g39187-Activities-Berea_Kentucky.html). The purpose of this study was to compare the health and economic impact of the trails in 2017 as compared to 2018 to interpret the importance of this trail for the community. Intercept surveys (Cook, O'Brien, Jackson, Findley, & Searcy, 2016), hand counts and infrared sensors were used to estimate the number and type of trail users. In 2017 and 2018, surveys were completed for 12 hours over four days during May, June and July. Participants completed a 15-question survey either before or after their trail use. In 2017, 82 surveys (51% male, and 49% female) were completed. Residents included 23%, and 77% of people were from out of town or out of state. Trail users averaged 95.4 minutes of physical activity on the trail, with 20.9% residents using the trail more than twice times per week. Trail users averaged $6.06 per person (range $10-$60). In 2018, a total of 186 people were surveyed (89 males and 97 females), and non-residents composed 69% of the sample. The average of money spent in the city of Berea increased to $15.83 (range $2-$275). This attraction and trail is providing two for one benefits, 'Health for participants, and income for local businesses'. Future data may improve annual usage and expenditures as there will be a connection of this trail straight to the city center.
156. * - Vitreous Syneresis in the Human Eye
First Author
Meg Glenn
KBRIN (UofL) 
Co-author
Douglas Borchman 
University of Louisville 
Vitreous syneresis, or 'eyeball liquefaction," is a natural aging process. The typically thick, gel-like consistency of the human eye is maintained by an interwoven matrix of hyaluronic acid (HA) and collagen molecules. When the network of HA and collagen in the human eye is disturbed, collagen aggregates. This causes the eye to become less gelatinous and less transparent. The mechanism of vitreous syneresis is established, but it is not fully known what contributes to the disruption of this matrix.
Although vitreous syneresis is a process that naturally progresses from birth to death, it develops differently in extent and pace between people. It can cause several health issues, including dry eye and blurry vision. Vitreous syneresis has also been shown to contribute to the formation of cataracts. Determining the contributing factors in this process would allow for further development in treating these maladies.
In order to determine some of the contributing factors, the propensity of HA to bind different lipids was examined. Seven naturally present lipids were chosen to test whether they could be binding HA and thus contributing to vitreous syneresis. These lipids were chosen for a variety of reasons, but the main purpose of this project was to test lipids that had previously gone unexplored.
1H NMR spectroscopy was used to analyze the extent to which the chosen lipids bound HA. Each lipid was combined with HA, and a decrease in signal strength from HA indicated that it had bound the lipid. Several lipids showed a strong propensity for binding to HA. Several others showed a weaker but present indication of binding. Most of these lipids could be contributing to the disruption of the collagen and HA matrix in the eye.
Friday, November 2, 2018  3:00pm - 6:00pm
Mathematics - Poster Presentations
157. - Investigating Tire Tracks to Determine a Vehicles Direction
First Author
Richard Cyrus
Morehead State University 
In 'The Adventure of the Priory School' by Arthur Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson argue over the direction of a bicycle based on the track that was left by bike's wheels. By considering tangent lines drawn from the curve representing the rear wheel will intersect the curve of the front wheel at a fixed distance. By using multiple tangent lines along the path from the rear wheel to the front wheel we can find the fixed distance between the two wheels. The distance formed from the point where the tangent line intersects the same curve is constant. From this information we can investigate if this applies to an automobile that has 4 wheels and similar structure of a bike.
158. - Predictive MLS Soccer Ratings
First Author
Taylor Ray
Morehead State 
In this project, my advisor and I used the Massey Matrix to determine the ranking of each of the twenty-two MLS soccer teams. Using this ranking, we then developed a predictive ranking that allowed us to determine the possible outcome for each game between two teams. Using the rankings, we can determine which of the top six teams in each conference would make it to the knock-out round of the MLS Cup tournament, then use the predictive element of the rankings to determine which teams advance, and will become the new MLS Cup Champion.
Friday, November 2, 2018  3:00pm - 6:00pm
Microbiology - Poster Presentations
159. - A Close Look at the K1 Bacteriophages Capricorn and Dalmuri, Including Similarities and Differences
First Author
Harrison Gover
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Claire Rinehart 
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Anmol Sandhu 
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Sahil Chhabra 
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Samuel Chang 
Western Kentucky University 
Capricorn is a cluster K1 mycobacteriophage isolated from an enriched soil sample in Upton, KY by Amanda Staples. The genome of Capricorn is 59,708 bp long and has 96 protein-encoding genes with 1 tRNA. 50 genes of the phage contain an assigned function, with the rest being unknown. Like other cluster K1 phages, Capricorn possesses a frameshift within its tail assembly chaperone genes. Capricorn shares all but 22 bps within its sequence with Dalmuri, another cluster K1 mycobacteriophage that was found by Jenna Rowlett. Dalmuri and Capricorn are 99.96% similar. Although there are differences in bp's, Dalmuri and Capricorn share protein structure in an uncommon number of places and no genes express separate functions, due to a lack of amino acid changes. All annotations were completed using the PECAAN program, and information about the phage is from Phagesdb.org.
160. * - An Introduction to the Forms and Functions of the A4 Mycobacteriophage Wizard007
First Author
Samuel Chang
Western Kentucky University 
The bacteriophage Wizard007 was found in Hopkinsville, KY city limits in 2009 and was isolated from Mycobacterium smegmatis mc155. The annotations were done with the PECAAN program and refined multiple times.

Wizard007 was isolated from near the South Fork Little River in a residential area in Hopkinsville, KY. It was sequenced at the Virginia Commonwealth University Nucleic Acids Research Facilities and is classified as an A4 phage.

Wizard007 has a genome length of 51029 base pairs and consists of 63.8% guanine-cytosine base pairs and 36.2% adenine-thymine content. It is a temperate phage and goes through a lytic and lysogenic cycle jointly, mostly using the lysogenic cycle.

Of the 51029 base pairs, 89 genes were discovered, but only 86 were verified to be correct. Of these 86, only 54 had known functions that were discovered during annotations. There were no found tRNAs.

Differences between Wizard007 and other A4 phages are varied throughout the genome, but most are clustered near the 3' end of the classified region of the genome. One valid comparison is with the bacteriophage Peaches, where Wizard007 is 95% identical to Peaches. Variations occur at genes 1, 54, 70, 74-76, and 81-85 and include differences in range, center, and pham classifications.

A frameshift occurs in both Wizard007 and Peaches between 15100 and 15968 base pairs. It causes an overlap between proteins 23 and 24.
161. - Characterization of Mycobacteriophage MooMoo
First Author
Amanda Staples
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Rodney A. King 
Western Kentucky University 
Mycobacteriophages infect the bacterium Mycobacterium smegmatis (M. smeg) and are grouped into clusters based on genetic similarity. Phages that do not show appreciable homology with other mycobacteriophages are called singletons. Bacteriophage MooMoo is a singleton that forms turbid plaques, but clear plaque mutants can be readily isolated. Both the turbid or clear plaque derivatives of MooMoo are capable of lysogeny, however the parental phage has a higher lysogeny frequency. Phage repressor proteins play an important role in the lysis/lysogeny decision; therefore, we expected to find a mutation in the repressor. Surprisingly, whole genome sequencing revealed a single base pair mutation in the minor tail protein near a D-ala-D-ala-carboxypeptidase domain. It is unclear how this mutation affects the plaque phenotype. To locate the phage repressor, we used bioinformatics to identify several candidate genes with potential DNA binding motifs. Each candidate was cloned and transformed into M. smeg. Clones of gene product 44 (gp44) and gp45, did not prevent MooMoo infection, whereas a clone of gp43 prevented phage growth. Based on these results, we conclude that gp43 is the phage repressor. We also investigated if lysogeny affects M. smeg physiology. Phenotypic microarrays of wild-type M. smeg and MooMoo lysogens showed no changes in resource utilization suggesting the presence of the prophage has no significant affect on host physiology. Our analysis provides important new information about a genetically unique phage and suggests the minor tail protein has an unexpected role in plaque phenotype.
162. * - Clostridium isolate growth in a zinc-limited environment
First Author
Kamila Nurmakova
Berea College 
Co-author
Christopher Lopez 
Vanderbilt University Medical Center 
Co-author
Eric Skaar 
Vanderbilt University Medical Center 
Commensal intestinal bacteria from the genus Clostridium play a role in resistance to pathogens and host immunity. However, how commensal Clostridium respond to changes in the gut environment is unclear. The pathogen Clostridium difficile induces intestinal inflammation and subsequent changes in the relative abundances of commensal Clostridium bacteria. The mechanisms describing how inflammation alters Clostridium abundances is not well understood. Part of the host's response to C. difficile is the release of the metal-binding protein calprotectin. Calprotectin binds and sequesters nutrient metals, including zinc, that are necessary for bacterial growth. While calprotectin is released as a part of the host response to limit pathogen growth, zinc sequestration may also affect the growth of non-pathogenic Clostridium species. To determine how Clostridium respond to zinc limitation, Clostridium were isolated by selecting for spores from C. difficile-infected mice by heating mice fecal pellets and plating anaerobically on rich Eggerth-Gagnon media. Three isolates were putatively identified as C. sulfidigenes, C. bifermentans, and C. xylanolyticum by sequencing 16s rRNA genes from isolates. We found that the Clostridium isolates grow differently in zinc-replete and zinc-limited media, with optimal growth of C. sulfidigenes occurring in zinc-limited media. Future work will examine clostridial metabolic changes in response to calprotectin and zinc-limitation.
163. * - Effect of Growth Temperature on Mycoplasma iowae Pathogenicity
First Author
Christopher Frazier
Kentucky Wesleyan College 
Co-author
Brittany Boyken 
Kentucky Wesleyan College 
Co-author
Rachel Pritchard 
Kentucky Wesleyan College 
Mycoplasma iowae is an avian species of microbe that causes infection in poultry, causing joint abnormalities and in rare cases, mortality. Previous experiments have been performed to test virulence and have shown differential activity under different conditions. This experiment was performed to examine the virulence of the organism at avian body temperature as compared to standard incubation temperature. M. iowae was incubated at 37°C or 42°C and then incubated with Caenorhabditis elegans, a model organism used to measure bacterial pathogenicity. After initial runs, it appears there is a slight increase in pathogenicity at standard incubation temperature. This may indicate lower pathogenicity at higher temperatures.
164. * - Immunity Repressor Gene Regional Difference May Control Gene Expression of Lytic and Lysogenic Life Cycles
First Author
Sahil Chhabra
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Harrison Gover 
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Samuel Chang 
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Anmol Sandhu 
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Claire Rinehart 
Western Kentucky University 
Centaur is an A2 cluster mycobacteriophage isolated from soil found in Upton, KY by Amanda K. Staples. Annotation was completed with the PECAAN program. Its genome consists of 53,001 bp and 97 protein-encoding genes and 1 tRNA. There are 44 genes with assigned functions. The A2 cluster phages Equemioh13, Updawg, Flare16, NaSiaTalie, and Baehexic are Centaur's closest relatives at 98% identity.
There is an organizational difference between Centaur and Equemioh13 to the right of gene 75, the immunity repressor gene. Updawg and Baehexic are also similar to Equemioh13 and all three have an extra gene. Flare16 and NaSiaTalie are similar to Centaur in this position and do not have the extra gene. The space between gene 75 and 76 may be the location of a promoter and regulator that controls gene expression for plaque morphology between lytic and lysogenic life cycles.
The plaques for these phages are not dissimilar. However, the expression of the lytic and lysogenic phase may be controlled by other factors including, but not limited to, temperature of incubation.
165. - Role of tRNA modifications in the regulation of pseudohyphal growth in yeast
First Author
Kaylee Fox
Northern Kentucky University 
Co-author
John Carmen 
Northern Kentucky University 
Determining the role of tRNA modifications in the regulation of pseudohyphal growth in yeast

Kaylee Fox, Hannah Sizemore, Olivia Gilliam, Daisy DiVita, Rachel Morgeson, Jenna Kappes, Michael P. Guy, and John C. Carmen

Some yeast have the ability grow as hyphae, long branching filaments that allow the fungi to spread out in search of nutrients. Some pathogenic fungi must shift from unicellular to hyphal growth to cause disease. The model yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae does not form hyphae, but can form pseudohyphae under certain conditions such as nutrient limitation. Previous studies in this yeast have indicated that the shift to pseudohyphal growth requires elongator complex genes such as ELP2, suggesting that tRNA modifications are involved in the transition. We are using S. cerevisiae as a model to study the role of elongator complex tRNA modifications in the shift to pseudohyphal growth. We have generated S. cerevisiae mutants lacking genes that code for elongator complex proteins to analyze their role in pseudohyphal growth by investigating which tRNA substrate(s) is involved in the shift. To examine the growth patterns of these mutants, we have used two assays to differentiate the yeast cells qualitatively and quantitatively: a plate washing assay and a single cell invasive growth assay. We are developing a method to quantify pseudohyphal growth using the SCIGA in order to determine the effect of elongator subunit gene deletion on pseudohyphal growth.
166. * - Ruin Genome
First Author
Anmol Sandhu
WKU 
Ruin is an A4 mycobacteriophage that was isolated from dry soil underneath a tree in Bowling Green, KY in 2015 by Xavier Brickeen. It was isolated from the host mycobacterium smegmatis mc2 155. It has a length of 51365 bp, 92 genes were found, and has no tRNAs and has 88 protein-encoding genes. It is 63.9% Guanine-Cytosine base pairs and 36.1% Adenine-Thymine content. It is a temperate phage, meaning that it goes through the lytic and lysogenic cycle, primarily lysogenic. The genome was annotated using NCBI Blast, HHPRED, Phagesdb Blast, and phamerator. It has 46 genes with assigned functions. It is a 99% match with the Mycobacteriophage Peaches at the nucleotide level and so is almost identical. The few differences that occurred were at gene 1, 3, 54, and 59 and are the variations were in order(forward or reverse), range, start site, and jumps in genes. There was a frameshift that occurred at 15,094 and continued until 15,465. This caused genes 23 and 24 to overlap.
167. - The House Sparrow as a Better Model for the Human Gut Micrbiome
First Author
Joshua Nowacki
KBRIN 
Co-author
Jordan Stacy 
KBRIN 
The use of proper model organisms in experimentation is crucial for the development of more effective methods of testing ideas and procedures. The mouse is typically thought of as a suitable model organism to simulate the function of the human body. However, the mouse is very different from the human in a variety of aspects. When looking specifically at the gut microbiome, it might be more suitable to use the common house sparrow rather than a mouse to model the internal rhythm of the human gut microbiome. Circadian rhythm studies of house sparrow gut tissue indicate the presence of an internal rhythm that functions without the presence of the pineal gland, and our research supports this. This internal circadia is of particular interest as humans display their own internal gut microbiome rhythm, however, more testing must be done to develop an argument for using house sparrows over other model organisms for gut research.
Friday, November 2, 2018  3:00pm - 6:00pm
Physics and Astronomy - Poster Presentations
168. * - Contemporaneous Ground-Based Observations of Blazars Observed with NASA's K2 Mission
First Author
Zoe Ward
Western Kentucky University Dept. of Physics and Astronomy 
Co-author
Michael Carini 
Western Kentucky University Dept. of Physics and Astronomy 
Blazars are extreme examples of the Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) phenomena. The blazar class includes BL Lacertae (BL Lac) objects and flat spectrum radio quasars (FSRQ). Blazars are defined by continuum variability at all wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum on timescales of minutes to decades. My project is to compare the optical variability of a set of blazars observed with NASA's K2 mission with contemporaneous ground based optical observations obtained with WKU's Robotically Controlled Telescope (RCT) in order to calibrate and validate the variability observed in the K2 data. I am reducing an analyzing the RCT observations of 5 blazars observed with K2. In this presentation, I report the initial results of my study.
169. * - Development of a LabView Controlled Rotational Support System for the Dual Radiation Rotating Scattering Mask
First Author
Devon Loomis
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Alexander Barzilov 
University of Nevada, Las Vegas 
Co-author
Lawrence Madriaga 
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Ivan Novikov 
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Seth Harper 
Western Kentucky University 
A Dual Radiation Rotating Scattering (DRRS) Mask was built at the Applied Physics Institute, Western Kentucky University. This mask is used in application for localization of gamma and neutron radiation sources simultaneously. The mask is composed of both UHMW poly to scatter neutrons, and lead to scatter gamma rays. UHMW and Lead cubes of 1 cubic inch dimensions were fabricated and epoxied together in the formation of a hollow cylinder that enables the placement of the Cs2LiYCl6:Ce (CLYC) gamma/neutron scintillating detector. The mask is placed in a system that uses a high torque stepper motor along with several gear reductions connected to a table that rotates the mask. The motor is driven by a Pololu stepper driver which has pulse input provided by a LabView executable developed by the team. We present the progress in the construction of the DRRS mask, as well as some of the first experimental results of the CLYC detector.
170. * - Electrochemical Desulfurization and Electroactivity of Molybdenum Disulfide (MoS2) Nanocatalysts on Reduced Graphene
First Author
Taylor Robinson
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Jacob Dobler 
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Sanju Gupta 
Western Kentucky University 
Electrocatalytic water splitting resulting in hydrogen production using platinum (Pt) and palladium catalysts has high impact in energy generation. However, high cost hinders their widespread applications. Recent developments in graphene and related materials including molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) are gaining popularity as efficient and cost-effective catalysts. In this work, we prepared few-layer molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) and aerogels with reduced graphene oxide (rGO) hydrothermally as nanocatalysts and electrochemically desulfurize for accelerated hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) activity via point defects (S-vacancy) in basal plane and exposed edge sites. Moreover, the interaction between rGO and MoS2 create emergent hetero-interfaces with desirable physicochemical properties (specific surface area, mechanical strength, faster diffusion, facile electron and ion transport). The applied desulfurization potential and operating duration is varied for controlled HER activity. This unique method of tuning the properties of MoS¬2 is promising for creating noble metal-free catalysts. We also performed electrochemical stability tests to confirm long-term operation of the catalysts and established structure-catalytic activity correlations.
171. * - Engineered Nanocomposite Materials Properties through Embedding of Smaller Nanoparticles in a Polymer Matrix
First Author
Alex Henson
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Sanju Gupta 
Western Kentucky University 
Polymer nanocomposites are significant for modern and future technologies due to their tailored properties, lightweight and low-cost. However, 'forward' engineered polymer (host matrix) composites with smaller size nanoparticles (guest) providing desired properties targeting specific applications remains a challenging task as they depend on nanoparticles size, shape and loading. This study investigates polymer nanocomposites impregnated with 'organic-inorganic' silsesquioxane nanoparticles (diameter ~2-5nm) and graphene nanoribbons (lateral dimension ~5-10 nm) in poly(2-vinylpyridine) (P2VP) matrix (segment ~5nm) and investigates microscopic structure and interfacial dynamics to predict macroscale properties. This approach reinforces the role of molecular parameters controlling the structure and interfacial layer dynamics. The atomic force spectroscopy will reveal morphology and the lattice bonding, interfacial stress transfer and conjugation length are determined from Raman spectroscopy. Temperature dependent broadband dielectric spectroscopy provided fundamental insights into the interfacial and diffusion dynamics above and below glass transition temperature and to establish microstructure-property correlations.
172. * - Graphene-mediated Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy for Detection of Biomolecules and Monitoring DNA Hybridization
First Author
Alexander Banaszak
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Sanju Gupta 
Western Kentucky University 
In this work, we prepared graphene-mediated surface-enhanced Raman scattering (G-SERS) substrates comprising few-layer graphene nanosheets decorated gold and silver nanoparticles for bio-nanotechnology. Raman scattering and particularly, SERS is a surface-sensitive spectroscopy technique useful for rapid and precise identification of biological molecules, industrially relevant chemical dyes at ultralow concentration and DNA hybridization due to the enhanced signal by several orders of magnitude on SERS-active surfaces. While SERS technology is based on metal nanoparticles, which generates localized surface plasmon resonances, diameter and interparticle gap on graphene supports offer an advance toward sensitive G-SERS substrates via localized hybridization at the interface. We used thermal reduction to produce few-layer functionalized graphene and wet chemistry for size tunable gold and silver nanoparticles for strategic G-SERS platforms. High-throughput arrays (or 'biochips') are developed as well as sandwiching gold and silver nanoparticles and few-layer graphene for cascaded signal amplification to differentiate among nucleotide bases (adenine; A, thymine; T, cytosine; C, guanine; G), DNA hybridization and to detect beta-carotene and malachite green chemical dye.
173. * - Graphene-Polymer Thin Film Composite Membranes as Efficient and Anti-fouling Membranes for Water Purification
First Author
Brendan Evans
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Sanju Gupta 
Western Kentucky University 
Water is our planet's most precious resources and life's most basic indispensable component. Reverse osmosis (RO) filtration is highly adopted, growing technologies to produce clean water by removing undesired (charged or uncharged) solute species. However, polymer and ceramic membranes suffer from low permeability, structural breakdown and fouling. Graphene, a form of carbon, provides the foundation for the production of highly permeable membranes as an emerging technology for RO desalination. Adding oxygen to few-layer graphene nanosheets, i.e. graphene oxide (GO), opens allows efficient adsorption of charged ionic species (selectivity) and augmented flow of water molecules (ultrafast permeability). This works reports on the development of novel graphene oxide thin film nanocomposite (G-TFNC) membranes embedded with a thinner active polymer layer via interfacial polymerization to tackle the trade-offs among water flux transport and salt ionic species rejection, robustness and anti-fouling characteristics. This study overcomes the gap between drinkable freshwater demand and supply through nanotechnology-enabled high performance graphene composite membranes.
174. * - Hydrothermally Synthesis and Properties of Mesoporous Molybdenum Disulfide (MoS2)  Reduced Graphene Oxide Composites
First Author
Jacob Dobler
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Taylor Robinson 
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Sanju Gupta 
Western Kentucky University 
Graphene and related two-dimensional layered materials are attracting attention due to inherent advantages as potential game changers at the grand challenges of energy-water nexus. These technologies require delicate control over geometric and electronic structures affecting physical-electrochemical properties. In this study, we prepared three-dimensional aerogels consisting of varying graphene oxide-MoS2 (molybdenum disulfide) ratio under hydrothermal conditions (P < 20 bar, T <200 oC) and synergy of EDA and components. We systematically characterized designed heterostructure interfaces, understand interaction through optical absorption and Raman spectroscopy (RS), to correlate between number defect density (via RS) and electrocatalytic activity. We demonstrate that controlled defects density (desulfurization), edges plane sites, hierarchical porosity and topological interconnectedness (monolithic aerogels) invoked can finely tune morphological structure and enhance activity towards electrocatalytic hydrogen production with a low Tafel slope ~77 mV·dec−1. Additionally, Raman spectral bands are analyzed and the pore size distribution and mesoporosity are determined from electron microscopy and tomography.
175. * - Improving Accuracy of Parity Violation Measurements for NOPTREX Experiment at LANL
First Author
Daniela Olivera Velarde
Berea College 
Co-author
Danielle Schaper 
University of Kentucky 
Co-author
Christopher Crawford 
University of Kentucky 
The main goal of the Neutron Optics Time Reversal Experiment is to look for new sources of time reversal (T), which could explain the matter/antimatter asymmetry in the universe. As part of our search, we need higher (within 1\%) accuracy measurements of the parity violating spin-dependent forward neutron scattering amplitude in La-139 \cite{Yuan} and other nuclei, which share the same matrix element as time-reversal odd amplitudes. Since lanthanum has a large (~10\%) PV transmission asymmetry, we can use it as both the polarizer and target (analyzer), which eliminates the tedious measurement of the neutron polarization and associated systematic uncertainties that accompanies the use of a traditional 3He polarizer. This presentation will discuss the analysis of the beam intensity profiles (necessary to calculate the neutron spin-flip efficiency) and the magnetic field maps done at Los Alamos National Lab.

This material is based upon work supported by the US National Science Foundation under award OIA-1355438 and the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Nuclear Physics, under Award Number DE-SC0014622.

\bibitem{Yuan} Yuan, Bowman, et al., Phys. Rev. C. {\bf 44}, 2187 (1991).
176. * - Investigating the Efficacy of Histotripsy on Drug Delivery
First Author
Heather Thompson
Berea College 
Co-author
Benjamin Wollant 
St. Olaf College 
Co-author
Kenneth Bader 
University of Chicago 
In recent studies, therapeutic ultrasound has the potential to be developed into a non-invasive tool that can be used to advance therapeutic drugs into cancerous tissue and deep-vein thrombi using histotripsy, a focused ultrasound that uses microbubbles. Using the mechanical action of microbubble clouds produced by histotripsy, we hypothesized that such action will improve drug delivery methods by increasing penetration and diffusion of therapeutic drugs. The effects of histotripsy on drug-delivery was investigated by administering Evans Blue Dye through a flow loop located in an in vivo agar phantom. The agar phantom was used to mimic the tissue-fluid interface between thrombi and blood within a vessel. The phantom was subjected to an ultrasound that produced different peak negative pressures with the same pulse duration and frequencies in order to produce microbubbles. Dye was administered to model the diffusion of chemotherapeutic or thrombolytic agents in order to indicate the effect of histotripsy on the diffusion of drugs. A camera was used to document the diffusion of dye throughout the flow phantom in order to quantify the extent of drug delivery. Modeling the perfusion of therapeutic drugs proved to be inconclusive given the noise present from the passive diffusion of the dye although a tunneling phenomenon was observed. Quantifying the extent of drug delivery is a fundamental step in understanding the means by which histotripsy can be used to improve treatment of disease pathologies such as deep vein thrombosis and cancer.
177. * - Microstructure and Properties of Layered Transition Metal Carbides (Ti3C2Tx) MXenes Phases
First Author
Wyatt Ringo
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Sanju Gupta 
Western Kentucky University 
Two-dimensional (2D) layered materials are increasingly studied in effort to discover new compounds and the fascinating properties engineered by their sheet-like structure. Graphene, atomic layer of carbon, is the most researched among 2D materials, albeit limited to just carbon in its composition. Recently, a new emergent family of 2D transition metal carbides and carbonitrides â€' so called 'MXene'- are synthesized that may have wide-ranging applications, including energy storage, polymer nanocomposite fillers, water purification, transparent optical conductive coatings and electronic devices. Nevertheless, before the best application is identified, the fundamental physics of these materials must be understood and therefore synthesis-structure-property relationships must be established. To our expanding interests in this emerging class of materials, we investigate the structure and properties of layered transition metal carbides (Ti3C2Tx) MXenes phases for renewable energy prepared by collaborator. We employed electron microscopy, optical absorption spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy and advanced electrochemistry to determine surface morphology, nanoscale structure, lattice vibrational properties and surface sensitive electrochemical properties at solid/liquid interface.
178. * - Phase transitions in charged black holes
First Author
Emily Frame
Northern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Sharmanthie Fernando 
Northern Kentucky University 
This project is a case study of thermodynamics of black holes. Thermodynamic properties that were focused are pressure, temperature, Gibbs free energy, and specific heat. I started with a single function describing the geometry of the black hole. This function depends on the distance from the center of the black hole, mass, charge, and cosmological constant. The event horizon of the black hole is where the function is equal to zero. I also found the pressure and temperature equations of the black hole. I plotted these equations and found that this black hole undergoes phase transitions similar to the Van der Waals phase transitions between liquid and gas. Phase transitions for black holes are manifested as a change in size, between small and large black holes, depending on pressure. Currently, we are studying a low dimensional black hole to see if it has phase transitions.
179. * - Photon Simulation Studies for the Dark Energy Science Collaboration (DESC) at LSST (Large Synoptic Survey Telescope)
First Author
Sean Lawless
Bellarmine University 
Co-author
Carlos Galindo 
Bellarmine University 
Co-author
Akhtar Mahmood 
Bellarmine University 
Co-author
Muhammad Saleem 
Bellarmine University 
Photon Simulation Studies for the Dark Energy Science Collaboration (DESC) at LSST (Large Synoptic
Survey Telescope) Using Bellarmine University's Tier2 Grid Supercomputer
Bellarmine University is part of the LSST (Large Synoptic Survey Telescope) project and is a member of
LSST's Dark Energy Scientific Collaboration (DESC). LSST will have a 3.2 Gigapixel camera (the world's
largest digital camera once completed). LSST will conduct a 10-year survey of 37 billion stars and
galaxies that will deliver large volumes of images and data sets (astronomical catalogs) that is thousands
of times larger than previously compiled to address some of the most pressing questions about the
structure and evolution of the universe, such as understanding Dark Energy that is driving the
acceleration of the cosmic expansion. LSST is a Big Data Science project in Astronomy and Astrophysics.
LSST will produce 15 Terabytes of raw data images per night. LSST will produce about 100 Petabytes of
imaging data over 10 years of operation, which will be the largest astronomical data set in the world.
We are pioneering and spearheading the LSST grid computing efforts using the OSG cyberinfrastructure.
The LSST is developing a set of sophisticated simulation tools to produce realistic LSST images.
Photon Simulator (PhoSim) is one of the major simulation tools for the LSST project. Our
efforts are aligned with the LSST-DESC Science Roadmap. We implemented a dedicated grid site
at Bellarmine University using the Open Science Grid (OSG) cyberinfrastructure in order to run the
PhoSim Monte-Carlo simulation tasks and some of the LSST DC2 (Data Challenge2) simulation jobs on
the grid for the LSST's Dark Energy Science Collaboration (DESC). PhoSim package uses FFTs (Fast
Fourier Transforms) and fast intercept calculations to determine a comprehensive physical description
of the atmosphere and the LSST telescope & CCD camera in order to simulate realistic optical/Infrared
astronomical images.
180. * - Robotics with Humanoid Robot NAO and Hexapod (Robotic Spider)
First Author
Carlos Galindo
Bellarmine University 
Co-author
Muhammad Saleem 
Bellarmine University 
Co-author
Akhtar Mahmood 
Bellarmine University 
Robotics is an exciting field. Various types of robotics devices are being used in many sectors of the industry, in NASA's Mars missions, hospitals and movies, among others. Since robotics technology has witnessed a remarkable growth, there is a need to educate the next-generation undergraduate STEM students in robotics. We have been conducting research in fully-autonomous robotics with our Humanoid-Robot NAO and in semi-autonomous robotics with Hexapod in our Robotics Lab. We have programmed a humanoid robot, called NAO that has the ability to detect the surroundings and can hear, communicate, carry out conversations with humans and can even sense/detect being touched. We have programmed NAO in Python to become fully-autonomous. NAO has 25 degrees of freedom and has multiple touch sensors, and hence is able to carry out specific tasks in the lab and can work alongside with students. NAO is controlled by a specialized Linux-based Operating System, called NAOqi, which allows NAO to interpret and understand data received by its sensors. NAOqi powers the robot's hardware, which includes four microphones (for voice recognition and sound localization), two speakers (for multilingual text-to-speech synthesis) and two HD cameras (for vision, including facial and shape recognition).

Natural and human-created disasters often leave search-and-rescue missions reliant on human efforts in dangerous scenarios. We have experimented with applying semi-autonomous functionality by building a Hexapod robot using a PlayStation-2 controller that can be used to aid human operators in search-and-rescue operations. Using this controller, we are able to investigate the movements of the hexapod and understand its physical capabilities, which is necessary to determine whether a hexapod could function in diverse environments. We will highlight the advantages of implementing semi-autonomous human-operated robotics.
181. * - Self-Assembly of Spheres on a Cone Surface
First Author
Talha Rehman
Berea College 
Self-assembly in a confined space is interesting because the geometrical constraint due to a finite size can lead to unique 3-D structures. We studied self-assembly of submicron-sized colloidal spheres on cone surfaces which have zero Gaussian curvature like cylinders, however unlike cylinders, cones have a varying diameter. Depletion interaction which is a short-ranged between the spheres, and between the spheres and conical surface is responsible for the self-assembly. This assembly would lead to different crystalline structures depending on the ratio of the particle diameter to the cone circumference at a particular length. Since, only a certain number of particles can be accommodated at a particular circumference of the cone, densest packing is achieved by having a defect, which arises from packing constraints when a perfect crystal cannot be accommodated. We manufactured our cones using the 3-D lithography tool called Nanoscribe as well by using micro-pipette puller. Initial results show progress in manufacturing of cone surfaces on which depletion can take place. To improve the crystal lattice on the surface various techniques were explored. We observed crystal growth as well as formation of unique defects.
182. * - Systematic Study of the Effect of Incorporation of Carbon Nanotubes into GexSe1-x Glass System
First Author
John Adamick
Northern Kentucky University 
Co-author
John Rademacher 
Northern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Wayne Bresser 
Northern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Chari Ramkumar 
Northern Kentucky University 
We have successfully synthesized GexSe1-x (x = 0.225) glass samples and have doped commercially produced (US Research Nanomaterials, Inc.) carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and commercial carbon (Sigma Aldrich) into them. We investigated the glass transition temperature (Tg) using Modulated Differential Scanning Calorimetry (MDSC). The glass without the CNTs has a Tg of 231(°C). We found that the Tg lowers when 5% CNT by mass is added as compared to the base GexSe1-x glass. Additionally, we find the presence of a crystalline phase developing (Tx ≅ 300°C) in the first heating scan of the glass sample. In the second heating scan both Tg and Tx disappear and finally a melting of the material (Tm) occurs at Tm ≅ 210°C in the third heating. The pure carbon in the GexSe1-x produced different results (no crystalline phase) than the CNT, but more work needs to be done for conclusive results. The decrease in Tg with 5% CNT indicates the occurrence of an intermediate phase (stress-free glass systems) at lower temperature, which could be potentially useful in material science applications.
183. * - XMM-Newton Observations of the Galactic Supernova Remnants G5.9+3.1 and G32.4+0.1
First Author
Lori Porter
Craft Academy 
Co-author
Thomas Pannuti 
Morehead State University 
While nearly 300 supernova remnants (SNRs) are now known to exist in our Galaxy, only a tiny fraction of these sources have been studied in significant detail at multiple wavelengths. To remedy this situation and to improve our knowledge of general properties of SNRs and SNR-related phenomena, we are analyzing a sample of pointed archival X-ray observations made of poorly-studied Galactic SNRs with the XMM-Newton Observatory. We present here our analysis of two of the sources in our sample â€' G5.9+3.1 and G32.4+0.1 â€' for which we have obtained complementary archival radio observations made with the Murchison Widefield Array and the Very Large Array. Our initial analysis indicates that the X-ray emission from G5.9+3.1 is thermal in origin that varies widely in spectral properties across the angular extent across the SNR. In contrast, the X-ray emission from G32.4+0.1 appears to be synchrotron radiation from cosmic-ray electrons accelerated by the SNR.
184. - Time series analysis of the rapid optical variability observed in Blazars with NASA's K2 Mission.
First Author
Kennedy Pendleton
2001 
Co-author
Michael Carini 
Department of Physics and Astronomy Western Kentucky Univers 
My project is to characterize the rapid optical variability of a sample of blazars observed with NASA's K2 mission. Blazars are extreme examples of the Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) phenomena. The blazar class includes BL Lacertae (BL Lac) objects and flat spectrum radio quasars (FSRQ). Blazars are defined by continuum variability at all wavelengths on timescales of minutes to decades. K2 has uncovered rich and complicated variability in blazars down to the most rapid timescales (30 seconds) sampled. My K2 sample of blazars represents a unique set of blazars with light curves sampled on timescales not possible with ground-based observatories. Via Fourier analysis, I am determining the shape of the power spectral density (PSD), which yields information on any characteristic variability timescales present in the light curve and on the nature of the underlying variability process.
185. - Procedure improvement for FAPbI3 perovskite solar cells
First Author
Valeria Rosa Rocha
Berea College 
Co-author
Somin Park 
University of Kentucky 
Solar energy is likely the most promising and abundant source of renewable energy, and therefore, the study of new methods for using the sun's energy is crucial for the future of our society. Perovskite solar cells are a newly developed method to convert sunlight into energy that has impacted the renewable energy field by displaying a radical increase in laboratory efficiencies in a very short time. Efficiency of 17.9% was achieved after only 4 years of research while the state of the art silicon solar cells achieve a max of 25% in laboratory conditions. Perovskite cells are constructed using an organic-inorganic structure, building thin layers of chemicals that work as electron transporting layer (ETL) and hole transporting layer (HTL), framed by electrodes that close the circuit. Two challenges associated with perovskite solar cells are 1) finding substances that produce the best interface interactions and 2) finding an optimal procedure that can deliver stable, reproducible, and efficient cells. My work with such devices was focused on procedure improvement and identifying the impact of certain techniques on the perovskite film quality and final efficiency. Tests were performed on FAPbI3 perovskite cells in DMF and NMP. Variations were made in annealing temperature, HTL, anti-solvent and anti-solvent drop time, spin coating process, and other parameters. I will discuss the results of each variation made to the process.
186. - Measurements of the entanglement of quantum of lights due to spontaneous parametric down conversion
First Author
Eli Prater
Berea College 
Co-author
Martin Veillette 
Berea College 
Co-author
Brian Leist 
Berea College 
Co-author
Mothi Ghimire 
Berea College 
Measurements of the entanglement of quantum of lights due to spontaneous parametric down conversion in beta barium borate crystals

This project investigates the quantum nature of single photon, a quantum a light. Single photons were produced by a process known as spontaneous parametric down conversion. Starting with a powerful blue laser (405 nm), this process divides the initial beam (or pump) into two light cones (the signal and the idler). This process is different from the use of a beam splitter because it involves dividing a photon into two through a Beta Barium Borate crystal, a nonlinear medium that combines wide transparency, phase matching and a large non linear susceptibility coefficient. The two photons must obey the conservation of energy and momentum. Consequently, the two light cones must each have twice the wavelength of the pump (810nm) and they must be separated by an angle of 3.0 degrees in both directions from the direction of propagation of the pump. Only in a billion blue-photon will undergo such spontaneous parametric down conversion. We have measured coincidence photons with a correlation coefficient of (0)=0.689+-0.162 demonstrating that we produced single photons. In addition, we have design a Mach-Zehnder (MZ) interferometer on a kinematic stage. Actuating of the mirrors of the MZ interferometer, we have observed single photon interference with a visibility of V= 0.3. We demonstrated that spontaneous parametrical down-conversion delivers sufficient power for both single photons and coincidence counting. The SPDC contained biphoton states that cannot be attributed to coincidences of the classical field.
Friday, November 2, 2018  3:00pm - 6:00pm
Physiology and Biochemistry - Poster Presentations
187. * - A functional module for a response to low nutrients in Arabidopsis
First Author
Muntathar Alshimary
Berea College 
Co-author
DeQuantarius Speed 
University of Chicago 
Co-author
Jean Greenberg 
University of Chicago 
Plant survival and performance depend on the plant's ability to efficiently explore their environment to find water and nutrients. Zinc (Zn) and Iron (Fe) are essential micronutrients for plants. A recent report suggests that the protein AZI1 promotes root growth in low Zn media. AZI1 also has a role in salt stress tolerance and systemic immunity to pathogens. In these processes, AZI1 functions in a module with its paralog EARLI1 and the proteins MPK3/MPK6. MPK3/MPK6 are kinases that regulate AZI1's localization to multiple membranes, including plastid envelopes, an important site of defense metabolite production.

I hypothesized that AZI1 acts together with EARLI1, MPK3 and MPK6 to modulate root growth in nutrient-limited conditions. To test this, I grew mutants lacking these proteins on –Zn, –Fe, and complete media and compared their root lengths over time. Unlike wild type, the mutants failed to show increased growth on Zn-limited media. Thus, AZI1, EARLI1, MPK3 and MPK6 may constitute a functional module in root growth in low Zn conditions. However, there is no evidence that they promote root growth on limited iron.
AZI1's protein features suggest that it uses a non-typical signal anchor mechanism for plastid localization. I produced a fusion protein to test whether AZI1's plastid envelope location might involve AKR2, a chaperone in the signal-anchor pathway. This construct will enable future research concerning targeting mechanism of AZI1. Investigating AZI1's function and localization is important for understanding how plants respond to environmental stressors, which is a necessary step in ensuring global food security.
188. * - Computational and experimental approaches to study the role of protein modifications by urea in kidney disease
First Author
JT Toebbe
Murray State University 
Co-author
Michael Merchant 
University of Louisville 
Co-author
Daniel Wilkey 
University of Louisville 
Urea is a metabolic by-product of living cells and is eliminated through renal excretion. Urea is also a chemical denaturant that is routinely used in proteomic sample handling to improve sample proteolysis and to eliminate the presence of detergents through the filter-assisted sample preparation (FASP) protocol. Increases in blood urea have been correlated with loss of kidney function and with chemical derivatization of blood proteins. The blood is modified by the urea, causing a carbamylation on lysines and arginines. We hypothesized the use of the urea analogue, thiourea, would enable use of the FASP protocol and enable identification of endogenous sequence specific carbamylation of proteins and peptides. In silico and in vitro experiments were conducted to determine how significant these modifications are, and if thiourea can eliminate the carbamyl modifications.
In silico analysis of a published datasets for breast cancer and for lung cancer determined addition of the carbamylation modification increased numbers of identified proteins significantly (breast cancer study â€' 73 unique proteins; lung cancer study- normal tissue 148 and lung cancer tissue 1,269 new proteins). The results of the experimental in vitro data from FBS studies demonstrated sample handling dependent carbamylation modifications can be eliminated by substitution with thiourea.
Sample dependent introduction of amino group carbamylation by use of urea was significant, led to large numbers missed identifications, but was averted through use of alternative chemical denaturants. Our experimental protocol presents a viable, alternative work-around for the traditional FASP method of sample preparation.
189. * - Disruption of cell adhesion, loss of Arp2/3 complex function in macrophages are not sufficient to induce NF-kB activity
First Author
Imelda Saintilma
Berea College 
Co-author
Jeremy Rotty 
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences 
The Arp2/3 complex is a seven-subunit protein complex that is essential for the regulation of the actin cytoskeleton in eukaryotic cells. Arp2/3 is stimulated by Wiskott - Aldrich syndrome protein (WASP) and other WASP family members. The Arp2/3 protein complex plays a major role in cell motility and endocytosis. NF-κB a protein complex that controls DNA transcription. NF-kB is also a major regulator of the immune response to infection. It translocates to the nucleus upon activation. In addition, incorrect regulation of NF-κB leads to various disease and other pathological issues such as cancer and other inflammatory disorders. Integrin-based adhesion and Arp2/3 based actin polymerization both contribute to regulating NF-κB signaling. Based on these findings, we hypothesize that integrin-based adhesion and Arp2/3 based protrusion collaborate to tune macrophages response to inflammatory stimuli by regulating NF-κB. Testing our working hypothesis led to several major findings: loss of integrin-based adhesion has no effect on NF-κB nuclear localization. We also demonstrated that Arp2/3 knockout macrophages (Arpc2-/-) upon inhibition alone did not induce NF-κB nuclear translocation. Neither loss of adhesion nor Arp2/3 inhibition is sufficient to aberrantly induce NF-Kb activity. Future studies will be aimed at investigating the cellular signaling of NF-kB and the adaptation of Arp2/3 null cells.
190. * - Disruption of choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) by congenital mutations: Screening potential therapeutic leads
First Author
Abigail Whitaker
Berea College 
Co-author
David Rodgers 
University of Kentucky 
Acetylcholine (ACh) is a vital neurotransmitter that is present throughout the nervous system and is synthesized by choline acetyltransferase (ChAT). Disruption of the synthesis or degradation of ACh can cause many neurodegenerative disorders. Mutations in ChAT are known to cause congenital myasthenic syndrome with episodic apnea (CMS-EA). Within the literature, it has been discovered that there are 24 missense mutations widely distributed throughout the enzyme. It was hypothesized that these mutations cause structural changes which are propagated to the active site, causing a decrease in enzymatic activity. Furthermore, it is thought that the poor core packing of ChAT allows these point mutations to easily affect the active site. Working closely with the L102P mutant, we screened a library of 31 compounds for possible ligands that bind in ChAT cavities, improving core packing and reducing the effects of point mutations. Our approach was to compare the effects of these ligands on both wild type ChAT and CMS-EA mutant ChAT, more specifically the L102P mutant, in vitro. A series of kinetic assays were performed using a Molecular Devices SpectraMax M5 plate reader and black, clear bottom 96-well plates. The wild type ChAT was treated as the control group for each compound and was tested against the L102P mutant. Out of the 31 compounds, a single compound designated (9)-F10 showed promising results as a potential therapeutic lead. Future work will consist of further development with this compound, such as obtaining a crystal structure to determine the binding site of the ligand.
191. * - Dose-dependent induction of circulating SAA, and pulmonary inflammation after ozone exposure: Alzheimer' Disease Link
First Author
Helina Asrat
Berea College 
Co-author
Michelle Erickson 
US Department of Veterans Affairs 
Ozone is a widespread chemical in air pollution, and contributes to adverse effects of air pollution on health. Emerging evidence has shown that ozone exposure is a risk-factor for mid-life cognitive decline and Alzheimer's dementia. However, the mechanisms that link ozone inhalation to CNS dysfunction are unclear. Recently, the liver-derived acute-phase protein serum amyloid A (SAA) has been implicated as a possible mediator of lung-to-brain communication following ozone-induced pulmonary damage: SAA is substantially increased in liver, blood, and brain following exposure to 3ppm ozone, and can cross the intact blood-brain barrier. The present study explores the dose-dependent responses of pulmonary inflammation and SAA induction following ozone exposure. Female Balb/c mice aged 12 weeks were exposed to 3ppm, 1ppm or air for 4 hours, and then studied 24-26 hours after the start of exposure. There was a significant increase of SAA in the blood and liver of mice at 3ppm ozone exposure but not 1ppm. Pulmonary neutrophils were significantly increased by 3ppm ozone, but not by 1ppm. In the encounter of inflammatory stimuli like ozone, leukocytes leave the spleen decreasing its normal weight. A significant reduction in spleen weight was observed following exposure to both 1ppm and 3ppm ozone concentrations. These findings encourage future behavioral studies with the aim to find a link between ozone induced SAA and dementia as well as depression. Another aim is to see if pulmonary inflammation is required for the increased SAA levels.
192. * - Effects of TEA and 4-AP on Firing Frequency of Proprioceptive Neurons in Crustaceans
First Author
Emma Higgins
University of Kentucky 
Co-author
Allison Lane 
University of Kentucky 
Co-author
Alexandra Stanback 
University of Kentucky 
Co-author
Maddie Stanback 
University of Kentucky 
Co-author
Ross Basham 
University of Kentucky 
Co-author
Bernardo Aguzzoli Heberle 
University of Kentucky 
Co-author
Aaron Silverstein 
University of Kentucky 
Co-author
Bennett Collis 
University of Kentucky 
Co-author
Bharath Chithrala 
University of Kentucky 
Co-author
Robin Cooper 
University of Kentucky 
Ion channel pathologies can lead to severe neurological problems because these channels are required for normal electrical function and conduction. In neuronal conduction, repolarization of the membrane to resting state is typically dependent on potassium channels. Examining proprioceptive neurons in model animals while blocking K channels which are 4-AP and/or TEA sensitive can help reveal the contribution of these channel types in whole organ function within a range of physiological functions. Both 4-AP and TEA block potassium channels, though different potassium channels may show differing sensitivity to these drugs. The actions of 4-AP and TEA independently, as well as combined, were explored in both the blue crab propodite-dactylopodite (PD) chordotonal organ the Crayfish muscle receptor organ (MRO). The PD organ monitors joint position in relation to rate of movement and static position. The MRO is analogous to the muscle spindle in humans. Varying concentrations were used on both preparations. Extracellular recordings were collected and analyzed for changes in firing pattern observed with the application of these drugs. Based on previous research, an alteration in activity in an intact sensory unit is expected to occur with the application of these drugs; the extent to which this occurs was investigated. It is expected if sensory neurons are not able to repolarize rapidly the rate of firing will be compromised. Blockage of K channels may lead to cells remaining depolarized, potentially leading to voltage gated Na channels staying inactivated, completely silencing neuronal activity.
193. * - Mechanism of quinolone resistance in Escherichia coli type II topoisomerases
First Author
Nyasha Gombami
Berea College 
Co-author
Alexandria Oviatt 
Vanderbilt University 
Co-author
Neil Osheroff 
Vanderbilt University Medical Center 
Quinolones, such as ciprofloxacin, are used to treat bacterial infections that include anthrax, urinary tract diseases and gonorrhea. The cellular targets of quinolones are the bacterial type II topoisomerase, gyrase and topoisomerase IV. Quinolones kill cells by stabilizing covalent enzyme-cleaved DNA complexes generated by bacterial type II topoisomerases, inhibiting the overall catalytic activity of these enzymes, or both. Gyrase and topoisomerase IV maintain DNA topology by generating transient breaks in the double helix. Furthermore, gyrase relaxes positive supercoils ahead of the replication fork, while topoisomerase IV separates sister chromatids after replication. Unfortunately, due to overuse, there has been a rise in quinolone resistance since the 1990s. Mutations occur in the amino acid residues that anchor the water-metal ion bridge through which quinolones and type II topoisomerases interact. To better understand how these mutations cause resistance, we examined how the catalytic cycles of wild-type and mutant quinolone-resistant Escherichia coli gyrase and topoisomerase IV are affected by ciprofloxacin. Assays were carried out to assess the impact of the quinolone on DNA cleavage, supercoiling, and relaxation. Ciprofloxacin enhanced DNA cleavage mediated by wild type E.coli gyrase, and inhibited the introduction of negative supercoils. Moreover, the drug inhibited the relaxation of positively supercoiled DNA by E.coli topoisomerase IV. Based on our findings, we propose that mutations may cause quinolone resistance in E. coli cells by stabilizing DNA cleaved complexes mediated by type II topoisomerases in addition to inhibiting the relaxation of positive supercoils.
194. - P. gingivalis infection debilitates anti-viral immune responses in gingival epithelial cells
First Author
Ashley Cravens
Bellarmine University 
Co-author
Diane Price 
University of Louisville 
Co-author
Juhi Bagaitkar 
University of Louisville School of Dentistry 
Co-author
Richard Lamont 
University of Louisville School of Dentistry 
The oral mucosa and epithelial tissues are frequent sites of viral infections. While most viral infections are benign and self-resolving, chronic viral infections can lead to considerable morbidity and may enhance risk for oral epithelial cancers in susceptible individuals. Epidemiological and clinical studies correlate prevalence of chronic oral viral infections with periodontitis, a chronic inflammatory disease associated with profound inflammation elicited by a dysbiotic oral microbiome. However mechanistic data underpinning an association between periodontitis and susceptibility to viral infections are lacking. We investigated whether infection of gingival epithelial cells (GECs) with the periodontal pathogen and oral colonizer Porphyromonas gingivalis hindered subsequent immune responses to viral agonists. Interferons are pleiotropic cytokines that play an integral role in anti-viral defenses at the gastro-intestinal and respiratory mucosal surfaces. We found that resting GEC actively produce low levels of IFN- - a cytokine recently described to play key role in anti-viral responses specifically at the barrier surfaces. Additionally, challenge of GECs with the synthetic viral agonist ORN (single stranded viral nucleic acid analogue) strongly activated Type I (IFN-) and further augmented Type III (IFN-) production in a dose dependent manner. While P. gingivalis infection alone did not elicit any IFN responses in GECs, pre-infection with P. gingivalis significantly debilitated host responses to the viral agonists. Reduced IFN responses in P. gingivalis infected GECs correlated with the down-regulation of interferon-stimulated genes such as IRF-7. Our studies demonstrate that periodontal pathogens may impair host anti-viral responses at the oral mucosal barrier by inhibiting interferon production and the expression of interferon stimulated genes.
195. * - Pharmacological identification of cholinergic receptor subtypes in modulation of neural circuits in D. melanogaster
First Author
Umair Bhutto
University of Kentucky 
Co-author
Eashwar Somasundaram 
University of Kentucky 
Co-author
Robin Cooper 
University of Kentucky 
Pharmacological identification of cholinergic receptor subtypes in modulation of neural circuits in Drosophila melanogaster

Acetylcholine (ACh) is an abundant neurotransmitter and neuromodulator in many species. In Drosophila melanogaster ACh is the neurotransmitter used in peripheral sensory neurons and is a primary excitatory neurotransmitter and neuromodulator within the central nervous system (CNS). The receptors that facilitate synaptic transmission at cholinergic synapses and beyond are divided into two broad subtypes: the ionotropic nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) and the metabotropic muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChRs). This receptor classification is shared in both mammals and insects; however, both the pharmacological and functional characterization of these receptors within the Drosophila nervous system has lagged behind its mammalian model counterparts. In order to identify the impact of ACh receptor subtypes in regulating the performance of select neural circuits within the larval CNS, we have used a behavioral and electrophysiological approach to assess cholinergic modulation of locomotion, feeding, and sensory-CNS-motor (sensorimotor) circuit activity. We have exposed intact 3rd instar larvae to ACh agonists and antagonists to observe modulation of these behaviors and also expose an intact nervous system directly to solutions containing these compounds to address their influence on sensorimotor circuit efficacy. We reveal that chronic ACh exposure enhances locomotion but reduces feeding behavior and acute application excites a sensorimotor circuit. Nicotine exposure reduces activity through suspected rapid receptor desensitization. Moreover, chronic muscarine exposure reduces locomotion and feeding, but acute exposure enhances sensorimotor circuit activity. These results suggest a role for both nAChRs and mAChRs in modulating these select circuits and illuminates important pharmacological properties of cholinergic receptor subtypes in vivo.

Funding Dept. of Biology, Kentucky Science and Engineering Foundation (KSEF-3712-RDE-019) at the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation (RLC) & personal funds (RLC).
196. * - Placental Transfer and Metabolism of FDA-approved Drugs Repurposed for Novel Tocolytic Use
First Author
Allison Harper
Berea College 
Co-author
Shajila Siricilla 
Vanderbilt University 
Co-author
Raymond Johnson 
Vanderbilt University 
Co-author
Lauren Lambert 
Vanderbilt University 
Co-author
Jennifer Herington 
Vanderbilt University 
Preterm birth (PTB) rates continue to increase, with over 15 million PTB/yr worldwide, constituting ~10% of live births globally. There are currently no FDA-approved tocolytic drugs used to inhibit preterm uterine contractions. Our laboratory previously identified 20 promising novel tocolytics after screening 1,180 FDA-approved drugs using a drug discovery contractility assay. The objective of the study was to examine the transfer and metabolism of a novel tocolytics across the placenta to determine which drugs readily cross the placenta and expose the fetus to significant concentrations. To do so, we obtained placentas from term-pregnant patients receiving a cesarean delivery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Placental microsomes were isolated to examine the extent of metabolism and intrinsic clearance of drugs to be repurposed for tocolytic use. The closed model of ex vivo placental perfusion was used to assess an equilibration point between the maternal (donor) and fetal (receiver) perfusates following administration of drugs on the maternal side. We expect most drugs will cross the placenta, though at different transfer rates. Drugs which transfer slower indicate better half-life on the maternal side. We hope to perform these studies to identify an efficacious drug that will not transport nor metabolize across the placenta to have minimal side effects on the fetus.
197. - Regulation of Programmed Genome Rearrangement in the Sea Lamprey
First Author
Taylor Stewart
Centre College 
Co-author
Gena Wilson 
Murray State University 
Co-author
Cody Saraceno 
University of Kentucky 
Co-author
Jeramiah Smith 
University of Kentucky 
The sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) alters the DNA content of its genome during early embryonic development via programmed genome rearrangement (PGR), resulting in the physical elimination of 20% of the genome from somatic progenitor cells with this same 20% being retained within the genome of germ cells. During anaphase of early embryonic mitoses, DNA slated for elimination forms bridges of lagging chromatin between the spindle poles and is subsequently packaged into discreet subcellular structures (micronuclei) prior to elimination from the cell. Though PGR occurs in relatively few species, elucidating its mechanism may reveal clues to the mechanisms of gene silencing in other vertebrates, including humans, which has major implications for understanding molecular mechanisms underlying cancer and other forms of aberrant gene expression. Common silencing mechanisms, including DNA and histone methylation/acetylation, are known to participate in PGR. To further resolve the functions of these processes in PGR, we tested the hypothesis that two methylation genes, DMNT3b [DNA (Cytosine-5-)-Methyltransferase 3] and MBD2 (Methyl-CpG Binding Domain Protein 2), one acetylation gene, HAT1 (Histone Acetyltransferase 1), and one anaphase regulating gene, ANAPC11 (Anaphase Promoting Complex subunit 11) are involved in DNA elimination. We disrupted the function of these genes via Cas9-mediated site-specific mutagenesis and observed the formation of features associated with PGR (lagging chromosomes and micronuclei) relative to wildtype embryos. Our results indicated that at least two of these genes participate in PGR, setting the stage for studies aimed at further unraveling the molecular mechanisms of PGR and specific interactions with other silencing pathways.
198. - TBF-B Pathway in relation to down regulation of PTTG gene expression
First Author
Alanis Morgan
Kentucky Biomedical Research Infrastructure Network 
Targeting ovarian cancer with debulking surgery and chemotherapy or radiation is effective 70-80% of the time, however, 80-90% of patients experience a recurrence of the disease within five years. Cancer stem cells (CSC), self renewing cells that are resistant to common cancer treatments, are left in the body. CSC's are involved in the processes of metastasis and metastasis is another way that a recurrence can occur. Through Epithelial Mesenchymal Transition (EMT) and Mesenchymal Epithelial Transition (MET) a cell loses or gains epithelial and mesenchymal cell properties, travels through the body, and forms a tumor distant from the primary site. The oncogene Pituitary Tumor Transforming Gene (PTTG) has been shown to possibly induce this metastatic process. The downregulation of PTTG on the A2780 ovarian cancer cell line resulted in down regulation of TGF-B, Snail, Slug, and Zeb1. This demonstrates an increased likelihood of involvement of PTTG in EMT.
199. * - The Role of Reactive Oxygen Species in Regulating TRPV4 Responses to Stimuli
First Author
Zackery Hill
University of Pikeville 
Co-author
Karthik Suresh 
Johns Hopkins Div of Pulmonary and Critical Medicine 
Co-author
Xin Yan 
Johns Hopkins Div of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine 
Co-author
Laura Servinsky 
Johns Hopkins Div of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine 
Co-author
Haiyang Jiang 
Johns Hopkins Div of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine 
Co-author
Larissa Shimoda 
Johns Hopkins Div of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine 
In Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), elevated levels of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) and intracellular calcium levels ([Ca2+]i) contribute to increased permeability of the lung microvascular endothelial cell (LMVEC) barrier. Previous studies have shown that high doses of exogenous ROS increase intracellular ([Ca2+]i) levels in LMVECs via the transient receptor potential vanilloid-4 (TRPV4) channel. In this study we assessed the effects of lower doses of either exogenous (H2O2) or endogenous (treatment with Antimycin AA, a known inducer of mitochondrial ROS production) ROS on TRPV4 sensitivity to agonism by chemical (GSK, a specific TRPV4 agonist) and physical stimuli (heat). Using rat LMVEC (RLMVECs), we found that low concentrations of H2O2 (50µM) or Antimycin A (10µM) increased TRPV4 sensitivity to GSK. In contrast, TRPV4 sensitivity to activation by heat was unchanged when RLMVECs were pre-treated with ROS. In conclusion, our data suggest that ROS regulates TRPV4 channel sensitivity to chemical agonists (GSK) but no other activating stimuli such as heat. This suggests that TRPV4 channel sensitivity is an agonist specific phenomenon; the mechanisms regulating agonist-specific sensitivity in TRPV4 warrants further investigation.
Friday, November 2, 2018  3:00pm - 6:00pm
Psychology - Poster Presentations
200. * - Appraisal: The Effect of Electronic Media on Decision Making
First Author
Yabsira Ayele
Berea College 
Social norms have primed most of humanity to behave pro-socially even when it is irrational. With the rise of technology some social norms have been subverted. Electronic media can enhance or subvert social cues and norms, this research studies the effect of electronic media on social norms that influence appraisal and decision making through the use of the Prisoners' Dilemma. Thirty undergraduate students all from low to middle class social economic background participated in an iteration of the Prisoner's Dilemma for the opportunity to win a cash prize. The participants were divided into three conditions - text, video conference, or face to face. The participants communicated via the media with a confederate, tasked with showing signs of compliance, for no longer than five minutes. At the end of five minutes participants made the decision to cooperate and or defect. The results for defecting behavior were not analyzable because of the unbalanced groups. Out of the entire sample, only three participants defected. However, there was a significant difference in the level of confidence in appraisal between text and video, as well as text and face to face. The results indicate that the most accurate and confident appraisals on average are made in the video condition. Future research should change reward structure to find differences in decision making behavior and encompass a more economically diverse research sample.
201. * - Sustaining Attention: The Effects of Fidgeting and Break type
First Author
briana beckler
berea college 
Abstract
The responsibility of holding attention to a task is one that experienced by nearly every person at some point. That holding attention to tasks becomes more difficult as time passes is known as vigilance decrement and considerable research has been dedicated to alleviating this circumstance. While breaks have been found to do this, nature breaks may have a restorative effect unlike other breaks. Additionally, the creation of attentional tools such as fidget devices depend on perceptual load theory to support the positive effects of fidgeting on attention. Can perceptual load theory be used to develop tools to improve attention? To answer these questions, 26 Berea College students participated in a study with 3 fidget device conditions and 2 break type conditions. Results showed no difference in scores between nature and video game conditions. Results showed that people in the puzzle condition scored significantly worse than the cube and control conditions, who had very little difference between them. While the evidence shows that break types do not affect attention differently and perceptual fidgets do not improve attention, further research may want to look deeper into this issue.
202. * - User Acceptance of Automated Vehicles
First Author
Vanessa Jones
Morehead State University 
Co-author
Emily Lush 
Morehead state University 
Co-author
Jorden Crowe 
Morehead State University 
Co-author
Abigail Mohr 
Morehead State University 
Co-author
Sydney Young 
Morehead State University 
Co-author
Gregory Corso 
Morehead State University 
The purpose for our study was to investigate attitudes toward and acceptance of autonomous vehicles. Even though most of the research about autonomous vehicles is concerned with safety and sensors, a very big concern should be on user acceptance of these types of vehicles. If there is very little user acceptance for these types of vehicles, then any benefits that might result will be annulled. In order to assess user acceptance, a prior developed questionnaire (Nees, 2016, used with permission) was administered to volunteers from introductory psychology classes. Based on news reports, if any age group would be accepting of autonomous vehicles one would presume it would be this age group. The questionnaire was comprised of 24 items and each item was responded to using a 1 to 7 point Likert scale that were anchored with 'strongly disagree' and 'strongly agree'. The results from the survey were subjected to a factor analysis. Six factors emerged from the analysis overall, with three main factors of driving enjoyment, control, and emotions toward autonomous vehicles. The remaining three factors appeared to have little relation to autonomous vehicles. The most relevant item on the questionnaire was 'Self driving cars will be safe' and it accounted for 33 percent of the variance. Additional research into autonomous vehicle acceptance may be necessary before a majority of the public is willing to give up their driving privilege.
203. * - The independence of implicit and explicit sequence learning
First Author
Allison Ludwig
Morehead State University 
Co-author
Brandi Carey 
Morehead State University 
Co-author
Gilbert Remillard 
Morehead State University 
Implicit sequence learning is learning a sequence without conscious awareness of the sequence. In contrast, explicit sequence learning involves a conscious attempt to learn a sequence. Evidence suggests that implicit and explicit sequence learning do not use the same mechanisms and could be considered independent of one another. For example, working memory correlates with explicit sequence learning but not implicit sequence learning. The present study further examined the independence of implicit and explicit sequence learning by determining whether the two types of learning are uncorrelated with one another. Participants (N=167) performed three computer-based tasks. The serial reaction time task (SRTT) measured implicit sequence learning and required participants to respond to the location of a target that, unbeknownst to participants, followed a repeating sequence of locations. The prediction task followed the SRTT and assessed the participant's awareness of the SRTT sequence. The explicit sequence learning task (ESLT) required participants to learn a repeating sequence of target locations through observation. Analyses showed no correlation between implicit and explicit measures of sequence learning. This indicates that implicit and explicit sequence learning are independent of one another and occur through two different systems.
204. * - Amazon Mechanical Turk Responses vs. Student Responses
First Author
Emily Lush
Morehead State University 
Co-author
Jorden Crowe 
Morehead State University 
Co-author
Vanessa Jones 
Morehead State University 
Co-author
Abigail Mohr 
Morehead State University 
Co-author
Sydney Young 
Morehead State University 
Co-author
Gregory Corso 
Morehead State University 
In a study conducted by Nees (2016), Amazon Mechanical Turks were used to collect data. These individuals, known as 'turkers,' are paid to participate in surveys online, the hope being that the results will be more generalizable to the population. To determine whether these results compare to traditional means, we conducted an experiment using Morehead State University (MSU) students, each receiving credit for participating. The experiment was split up in two parts, each separated by at least one week. The first session required participants to read and sign a consent form and fill out three separate surveys: a personality inventory, a survey regarding the participants' opinions about autonomous vehicles, and a demographic survey. The second session required participants to take a near- and far-sighted eye exam and to complete the Test of Variables of Attention (TOVA), an attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) diagnostic tool. The second session was not used for this experiment. As stated above, participants (N=18) completed a physical questionnaire regarding their opinions on autonomous vehicles. Using the Self-driving Car Acceptance Scale (Nees, 2016), there were 8 sub-groups that the survey measured, our study focusing on the 'perceived reliability/trust of automation.' When comparing levels of trust between our study and the one conducted by Nees (2016), MSU students reported a much lower level of trust than 'turkers.' While studies are ongoing, this finding could potentially lead to future research regarding the validity of mass surveys, a growing trend in today's psychology.
205. - Emphasis and "only" influence sentence interpretation
First Author
Victoria Nash
Morehead State Univeristy 
Co-author
David Potter 
Morehead State University 
Co-author
Katy Carlson 
Morehead State University 
In an ambiguous sentence like 'Kathy claimed that Alex had lied on Monday,' the phrase 'on Monday' can modify when the earlier verb (claimed) or the later verb (lied) take place. The present studies examine how words like 'only,' in conjunction with prosody, or making certain words louder and longer, influence how listeners understand ambiguous sentences. Experiment 1 found that placing 'only' before either the first verb ('claimed') or the second verb ('lied') affected how written sentences were interpreted. When 'only' appeared before the first verb, 'on Monday' modified the first verb 62% of the time. When 'only' appeared before the second verb, 'on Monday' modified the first verb only 27% of the time. Experiment 2 examined the interaction between the placement of 'only' with prosody in spoken sentences. Again, the modifier 'only' was placed before either the first or second verb of the sentence. Additionally, in two of four conditions, the verb next to 'only' was accented, e.g. spoken louder and longer. In the other two conditions, 'only' appeared without an accent. While one might have predicted that conditions with both 'only' and an accented verb would draw attachment of modifiers like 'on Monday' to the accented verb more than conditions with just 'only,' the presence of 'only' lessened the effect of the accent but drew modification itself. Combined with earlier results showing that accent draws attachment, this work shows how emphasis conveyed through accent or a word like 'only' influences sentence structure.
Friday, November 2, 2018  3:00pm - 6:00pm
Science Education - Poster Presentations
206. - An Interactive Earth: Augmented Reality and Hands-On Earth Science Inquiry in Schools
First Author
Olivia Santangelo
Western Kentucky University 
Visualizing 3D elements presented in a 2D format can be a challenge for learners of all ages. Using models assists in the visualization of landforms and geologic processes that may otherwise be difficult to teach. This is why utilizing augmented reality technology in the classroom is so beneficial. This project is centered around WKU's new augmented reality sandbox, an incredible teaching tool which can be used in a variety of ways for a large number of topics in an earth science or geography classroom. Students of all ages can take advantage of this hands-on learning, and it provides educators with an innovative teaching opportunity as well. . Using this program, students will have the opportunity to view geographic structures as such as mountains, valleys, and rivers in a three dimensional space. Allowing them to manipulate the simulated environment will increase geospatial awareness and provide a working model as to how these features and the changing of these features affects the relationship between the distance of contour lines and the relief of a structure. It can also demonstrate the direction of water flow and more clearly model the 'rule of V's'.
207. * - Impact of Problem Based Team Learning on Underserved Students in Introductory Biology and Genetics Courses
First Author
Shelby Diener
Northern Kentucky University 
The use of active learning techniques in science courses has been shown to increase student success, particularly students coming from underserved backgrounds (Freeman 2014, Wieman 2014). More recent research has begun to focus on specific ways to optimize active learning (e.g. Adams, Garcia, and Traustadottir 2016). In this study we analyzed the impact of problem-based team learning (PBTL) on underserved populations including first-generation college (self-reported), low-income (determined by Pell grant eligibility), and/or under-represented minority (self-reported). PBTL increases student engagement and teamwork, while reducing lecture time (Michaelsen et al. 2004). We compared the percentage of underserved students who received a D, F, or W grade in the course in the semesters before (2010-12) and after PBTL was implemented (2013-15). From the analysis it is clear that PBTL had a positive impact on student success rates overall, however there was not a statistically significant impact on underserved students specifically. To further the research, data is currently being analyzed from an introductory biology course to determine the impact of PBTL. The goal of this research is to improve student success in undergraduate science courses and disseminate impactful practices.
Friday, November 2, 2018  3:00pm - 6:00pm
Zoology - Poster Presentations
208 * - Effects of Foraging Enrichment Predictability on the Behavior and Space Use of Zoo-housed Elephants
First Author
Cassondra Perkins
Kentucky Wesleyan College 
Co-author
Greg Vicino 
San Diego Zoo Global 
Co-author
Angela Mackey 
Kentucky Wesleyan College 
There is always a risk that the zoo environment can be highly predictable, which can result in lower levels of motivation for animals living under human care. Previous research has shown that implementing feeding strategies with moderate amounts of unpredictability (both temporally and spatially) can change outcomes of animal behavior, including increased behavioral diversity and decreased levels of inactivity (Watters et al., 2011). The current study aimed to examine the effect of feeding predictability on the space use of a group of zoo-housed elephants. Automated winch systems delivered extra feeding opportunities to the elephants in four predictability conditions: 0% (completely random), 25%, 75%, and 100% (completely predictable). Space use data were collected for each elephant in each condition via a GPS anklet that recorded the elephant's position within the exhibit every 5 seconds. Our manipulation did not result in any significant change in space use for the elephants as a group; however, there were individual differences in behavioral response to the manipulation. The pattern of these individual differences was related to the position of the individual elephant within the dominance hierarchy, with individuals lower in the hierarchy exhibiting decreased space use and walking distance when foraging opportunities were 100% predictable. As elephant walking activity has been suggested as a meaningful measure of elephant welfare (Miller et al., 2014), a decrease in these measures is a possible concern. These results appear to support the idea that dominance plays a significant role in foraging strategies. Thus, zoos should consider temporal predictability when implementing any feeding paradigm.
209. - Zebrafish Spawning Conditions and Their Effects on Egg Success and Clutch Size
First Author
Sydni Anderson
Murray State University 
Co-author
Dena Weinberger 
Murray State University 
Zebrafish are a common experimental model used in biological studies. They are often bred and raised in a laboratory setting because they mature quickly and produce an abundance of offspring (Harper and Lawrence 2011). The importance of zebrafish in science generates the necessity to understand its breeding preferences. Despite their common in-house breeding, very little effort has been paid to identify the best spawning conditions, which are especially important for successfully breeding transgenic fish which may not breed as readily as wild-type fish. This study identified the conditions for successful zebrafish spawning and higher egg count. Zebrafish were spawned under various conditions and egg counts were recorded. The variables tested were the presence and absence of barriers, plastic aquarium plants, and marbles in spawning tanks. The spawning room temperature and the ratio of male to female fish in spawning tanks were also recorded in relation to egg count. The age of the fish spawned was another variable tested. After analysis, researchers found that while marbles correlated with spawning success, other variables had no significant effect. None of the variables reliably affected egg count.
210. * - The Influence of Endotoxic LPS on Primary Sensory Neurons in Crustaceans
First Author
Maddie Stanback
University of Kentucky 
Co-author
Alexandra Stanback 
University of Kentucky 
Co-author
Kelsi Vela 
University of Kentucky 
Co-author
Ross Basham 
University of Kentucky 
Co-author
Bernardo Aguzzoli Heberle 
University of Kentucky 
Co-author
Aaron Silverstein 
University of Kentucky 
Co-author
Allison Lane 
University of Kentucky 
Co-author
Bennett Collis 
University of Kentucky 
Co-author
Bharath Chithrala 
University of Kentucky 
Co-author
Robin Cooper 
University of Kentucky 
Gram negative bacteria, such as Serratia marcescens and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, not only infect humans and other land animals but also freshwater and seawater organisms. Like mammals, the endotoxin lipopolysaccharide (LPS), which is released from gram negative bacterial strains, induces an immune response. While the actions of the immune system has been well investigated, it is unknown if LPS itself has direct actions on sensory neurons in either crustaceans or mammals. An early study reported LPS resulted in a Ca2+ leak in motor neurons in crayfish. Thus, it is reasonable to postulate that sensory neurons may also be directly affected. Since investigations of the direct action of LPS on sensory neurons in mammals and crustaceans is lacking, we used two model preparations to study sensory neuronal function, which have functional correlation to mammalian proprioception. The propodite-dactylopodite (PD) chordotonal organ in the blue crab was used as it monitors joint activity by the rate of movement and static position. The crayfish muscle receptor organ (MRO), which is analogous to the human muscle spindle, was also used and is comprised of sensory endings rooted within muscle fibers. The endotoxin did not demonstrate clear, direct effects for the crab PD organ or the crayfish MRO. It was noted that, as the movement was performed on the MRO, the muscles seemed to tighten and contract on their own after the addition of LPS. Further studies are being conducted with various combinations of LPS in different types of gram negative bacteria.
211. - Do Males Adjust Courtship Displays According to Female Feedback?
First Author
Brooklyn Samons
Murray State University 
Co-author
Laura Sullivan-Beckers 
Murray State University 
In sexually reproducing species, male that use signals to attract females for mating face the challenge of signaling through variable signal environments. One possible solution is that males may improve transmission by paying attention to female feedback to focus their displays in more effective signal substrates. This adjustment by male signalers in response to feedback has been demonstrated in the wolf spider, Schizocosa rovneri. Males of S. rovneri display to females using a single-component vibrational signal and while femaels are aggressive toward males, both of which suggest strong evolutionary pressure for males to signal effectively. In the sister species Schizocosa ocreata, male displays are multi-modal, incorporating visual and vibrational components. Additionally, pre-sexual cannibalism is not observed as frequently in S. ocreata. Here, we tested whether males of S. ocreata similarly adjusted signaling behavior with female feedback. We measured a male's use of signaling substrates (filter paper or granite) before and after receiving positive female feedback. When Schizocosa females are receptive to mating, they produce a pivoting display that creates cues that are visual and vibrational. This feedback was mimicked with a puppet which we could manipulate to provide males with both visual and vibrational cues, one of the cues, or neither (control). We found that S. ocreata males did not significantly adjust their use of signaling substrates. Given that males use multiple signal components in their displays, and females of this species are not as aggressive, these males may be less reliant on female feedback for effective transmission.
212. * - Taking Advantage of Changing Conditions: Microhabitat and Movements of the Bigeye Shiner, Notropis boops (Gilbert).
First Author
Jonathan Eisenhour
Morehead State University 
Co-author
Matthew Fossett 
Morehead State university 
Co-author
David Eisenhour 
Morehead State University 
The Bigeye Shiner, Notropis boops (Gilbert), is a sensitive minnow species that occupies clear, rocky streams of the Midwest and Appalachian highlands. Unfortunately, little data on this fish has been published, which is needed to make conservation management decisions. We studied the microhabitat preferences and movement patterns of the Bigeye Shiner during the summers of 2017 and 2018 in Triplett Creek. A total of 120 Bigeye Shiners were tagged with Visible Implant Elastomer (VIE) tags at eight sites in April and June 2018. We subsequently surveyed for tagged minnows four times. Only seven Bigeye Shiners were recaptured, six of which were encountered in a different site. The average distance moved was 210 m. However, upstream and downstream movements were about equal; the average movement was 52 meters upstream. This pelagic species appears to be much more mobile than published movements of benthic darter species, suggesting a relatively high vulnerability to instream barriers. Principal component analysis of 145 microhabitat plots assessed in 2017 indicated Bigeye Shiners occupy calm or slow-moving water immediately adjacent to faster current, over heterogeneous substrates of sand and gravel, often with American Water Willow, Justicia americana L., or woody cover. We suspect this 'edge' microhabitat offers reduced swimming costs (calm water), but easy access to drifting terrestrial insect food sources (in the adjacent current). Location of this microhabitat changes with water levels; the relatively high mobility of Bigeye Shiners might allow it to exploit the transient nature of its preferred habitat.
213. - Polyandry and polygyny in green salamanders, Aneides aeneus
First Author
Paul Cupp Jr
Eastern Kentucky University 
Formation of male-female pairs leading to courtship and mating in Aneides aeneus may occur during spring and/or fall. Pairs occur in specific rock crevices or sometimes in adjacent crevices for periods of days or weeks. Pairing increases chances of courtship and mating, and allows for mate guarding thus reducing chances for polyandry and polygyny. But, not all A. aeneus pair for an extended time. Spontaneous pairing and mating may occur in rock crevices or on the surface. I released a gravid female into a rock crevice with a resident male, and mating ensued and was completed with spermatophore deposition and pickup within two hrs. Also, six instances of courtship and mating using unfamiliar males and gravid females were recorded on videos in the lab, and completed within 1-4 hrs. In addition, in five instances, single males were observed close to 2-3 breeding crevices, each containing a female with eggs, indicating that these males mated with multiple females. Females with eggs tend to aggressively reject unfamiliar or nonpaternal males from nest sites. Further, one specific male was monitored and located in the same position near 2-3 nest sites over seven years indicating that he is the paternal male. These observations indicate that some males may mate with more than one female and females more than one male during a breeding season. These behaviors are adaptive in that males may produce more young in a breeding season, while females that mate with unfamiliar males will produce young with greater genetic variation.
214. * - Comparing the seasonal variation in distribution and abundance of anuran species in Daviess Co, KY.
First Author
Jordan Danflous
Kentucky Wesleyan College 
Co-author
Shannon Finerty 
Kentucky Wesleyan College 
In this preliminary study of anuran abundance and distribution, a quantitative index was used to score the relative intensity of breeding call activity for six anuran species in Daviess County, KY from the Spring of 2016 through the Fall of 2017. Call surveys are a simple way of determining what species of anurans occur in the survey area. In addition, locational data was also collected for each breeding call encounter to suggest which sites are preferable to breeding populations.
Breeding calls were scored using a 0-5 index with 0 being the absence of calling and 5 being high intensity, continuous calling. The most abundant fall breeding species were the American toad (Anaxyrus americanus), and the Crawfish frog (Lithobates areolatus). The most abundant spring breeding species included the Spring peeper (Pseudacris crucifer), the Upland Chorus frog (Pseudacris feriarum), the Southern Leopard frog (Lithobates sphenocephalus), and the Crawfish frog.
Differences of abundance were also compared between the 2 fall breeding species and the 4 spring breeding species, as well as specifically the Crawfish frog, which was the only species to be encountered in both breeding seasons. An independent-sample t-test indicated no significant difference in population abundance between fall breeding and spring breeding species (p=0.156), as well as for the Crawfish frog (p=0.051) between breeding seasons.
These results indicate healthy anuran breeding areas in both spring and fall, however, future studies on Crawfish frog population may indicate an change in breeding area health specific to this species.
215. * - Overwintering implications for the cercaria of the diagenetic treamatode, Proterometra macrostoma
First Author
Sarah Tabor
Berea College 
Proterometra macrostoma is a digenetic trematode which is widely distributed in the eastern United States and incorporates a snail intermediate host and a fish definitive host. The objective of this study was to assess whether or not cercarial development inside the redia ceases at or below the MDTT (minimum development temperature threshold) based on: (1) the number of cercariae emerging from the snail following sustained incubation at temperatures below the MDTT (i.e., 10-12° C) and (2) possible changes in the population structure of cercariae within a redia following cold treatment. Naturally infected snails were collected from North Elkhorn Creek. Baseline cercarial emergence was recorded over 7 days at 20° C for three replicates of 26 infected snails each. Replicates were then maintained at 7.5° C for 28 days followed by a post-cold treatment analysis of cercarial emergence over 7 days at 20° C. No significant differences were observed in the average number of cercariae released/snail/7days between the baseline and cold treatments of the three replicates. Only one mature cercaria was found per redia from the 24 rediae examined following cold treatment which was no different from baseline observations. These results suggest that during winter months there is no loss of infection, and parasite development remains in a type of stasis or maintenance mode.
Friday, November 2, 2018  7:00pm - 10:00pm
Reception and Plenary at National Corvette Museum
Facilitated by President-Elect Leslie North
Free Shuttles to Corvette Museum begin at 6:30
"Behind the Scenes at the Corvette Cave-In"

Get the inside story from scientists on the now-famous sinkhole at the National Corvette Museum and find out how an interdisciplinary team of scientists and technicians came together to study and repair the sinkhole, as well as develop the Corvette Cave-In Sinkhole Exhibit at the museum.
The reception and plenary are included in your meeting registration, and entrance to the museum is included with this event. Tour the exhibit with your fellow scientists and learn about the cars and the karst!

The 2018 Science Education & Outreach Award will be presented at this program

The reception includes a cash bar, and we invite you to take advantage of free shuttles, available between Downing Student Union, the National Corvette Museum and the Hyatt Place beginning at 6:30pm.

Bring a guest- Guest tickets for this Friday night event are available for $25

 

Featured Speakers

Jason S. Polk, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Geography and Geology
Western Kentucky University
He also is the Director of the Center for Human-GeoEnvironmental Studies (CHNGES) and HydroAnlaytical Lab. Dr. Polk earned his doctorate degree from the University of South Florida in Geography and Environmental Science and Policy. His current research investigates climate change, karst landscapes and processes, water resources and sustainability, isotope hydrology and geochemistry, and global climate dynamics. Dr. Polk is a Fellow of the National Speleological Society, Chair of the Geological Society of America Karst Division, and conducts research in various places all over the world, including the Caribbean, Vietnam, Iceland, and elsewhere. Dr. Polk will be speaking about the science of sinkholes and how the team used a variety of geoscience methods to study the NCM sinkhole and plan its remediation. 


Katie Ellison
Marketing & Communications Manager
National Corvette Museum & NCM Motorsports Park

Katie Ellison joined the National Corvette Museum team in 2009 after serving as Marketing Director of the Bowling Green Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. A graduate of Western Kentucky University and Leadership Bowling Green, Katie serves on the boards of the Professional Marketing Association, Bowling Green Area Lodging Association and The Center for Gifted Studies at WKU.











Ric Federico, PG, CHMM, HEM
EnSafe Business Lead and Branch Manager

Ricardo (Ric) Federico graduated from Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Kentucky in 1994 with a B.S. in Geography and an emphasis in karst hydrogeology.  Ric has 24 years of environmental consulting experience, the last 17 of them with EnSafe where he serves as the Branch Manager and Business Lead in their Bowling Green, Kentucky office.  Ric’s practice specialties include soil and groundwater investigation & remediation; merger and acquisition support including environmental site assessment; vapor intrusion assessment; and brownfields redevelopment. Ric will talk about EnSafe’s primary contribution to the project, which was vetting assessment options and methods, then designing and conducting a karst geophysical survey of the SkyDome collapse area using microgravity. He will discuss challenges – perceptual, physical, and logistical – to project approval and implementation, discuss hurdles along the way, and summarize the results and excellent correlation with the WKU cave survey data.



 



S. Craig Smith, PE,
Senior Project Manager, Hayward Baker Inc.

Mr. Smith joined Hayward Baker in 2005 as an Area Manager overseeing the geotechnical construction markets in Tennessee and Kentucky. Currently, he is a Senior Project Manager based in the Knoxville, TN office where he manages Hayward Baker’s large and/or high-risk projects throughout the southeastern United States.  Mr. Smith’s primary area of focus is in the drilling and grouting sector consisting of micropile installation, anchored retaining walls, landslide repair, structural underpinning, and grouting techniques for ground improvement including karst mitigation. 

Prior to joining Hayward Baker, Mr. Smith worked for a large site development contractor overseeing large bulk earth moving projects, landfill construction projects, and landslide repair projects throughout the southeastern United States.  Mr. Smith started his career working for a geotechnical design firm specializing in the design of coal tailing impoundments in the eastern coal fields, landslide mitigation design, and performing design work for various Hayward Baker offices.

Mr. Smith is a Geotechnical Engineer with more than 20 years of experience receiving both his B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Tennessee Knoxville in 1992 and 1994 respectively.



 
    

  

 
Saturday, November 3, 2018  7:00am - 4:00pm
Registration Open
Third Floor, Downing Student Union
Saturday, November 3, 2018  7:58am - 4:00pm
Posters on Display
Downing Student Union, Second & Third floors
Saturday, November 3, 2018  7:59am - 12:00pm
Oral Presentations - Saturday morning
Asterisk * denotes student research competition
Saturday, November 3, 2018  7:59am - 4:00pm
Practice Room
DSU 2081
This room is available for speakers to practice their presentations.
Saturday, November 3, 2018  7:59am - 4:00pm
Practice Room
DSU 3004
This room is available for speakers to practice their presentations.
Saturday, November 3, 2018  8:00am - 11:00am
Agricultural Science - Oral Presentations
DSU 3005
Section meeting follows talks at 11:45
08:00 - Monensin alters the functional and metabolomic profile of rumen microbiota in beef cattle
First Author
James Adeyemi
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Hank Schweickart 
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Ibukun Ogunade 
Kentucky State University 
Monensin can enhance the efficiency of feed utilization by modulating rumen fermentation; however, little is known about its impacts on the functional and metabolomic attributes of the rumen microbiota. To identify differences in rumen function as a result of feeding monensin to beef cattle, rumen fluid metagenomics analysis by shotgun sequencing and metabolomics analysis by ultra-performance liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry were used to identify differences in functional and metabolomic attributes of rumen microbiota in beef steers fed no or 200 mg/d of monensin. Eight rumen-fistulated steers were used in the study for a period of 39 days. The steers were housed in individual pens and had ad libitum access to red clover/orchard grass hay. Rumen fluid samples were collected on the last day of the experiment. Monensin increased relative abundance of Selenomonas sp., Prevotella dentalis, Hallella seregens, Propionispira raffinosivorans, and Prevotella brevis, but reduced relative abundance of Robinsoniella sp., Butyrivibrio proteoclasticus, Burkholderia sp., Clostridium botulinum, Clostridium symbiosum, and Clostridium butyricum. Monensin increased the relative abundance of functional genes involved in metabolism of amino acid and lipid. A total of 245 metabolites were identified. Thirty-one metabolites, including acetate and propionate, were differentially expressed based on t-test (P ≤ 0.10). Pathway analysis of the differentially expressed metabolites revealed upregulated metabolic pathways associated with linoleic acid metabolism, phenylalanine, tyrosine and tryptophan biosynthesis, and histidine metabolism. These findings confirm that monensin affects rumen fermentation of beef cattle by altering volatile fatty acid profile, and by reducing amino acid degradation and biohydrogenation of linoleic acid in the rumen.
08:15 - A Cyanide Group Reduced Cypermethrin Half-Lives on Cucumber Grown Under Greenhouse Conditions
First Author
George Antonious
Kentucky State University 
A method was developed to determine permethrin [3-Phenoxybenzyl (1RS)-cis, trans- 3-(2, 2-dichlorovinyl) -2, 2-dimethylcyclopropanecarboxylate] and cypermethrin [cyano-(3-phenoxyphenyl) methyl] 3-(2, 2-dichloroethenyl)-2, 2-dimethylcyclopropane-1-carboxylate] residues on cucumber leaves and fruits sprayed with a mixed formulation of the two insecticides. Fruits and leaves were collected at different time intervals of 1 h to 25 d following spraying of the two pyrethroid insecticides (permethrin and cypermethrin) to determine their dissipation constants (K values) and half-lives (T1/2 values) on cucumber. A simultaneous extraction procedure was carried out using hexane and the crude extracts were cleaned-up using a 1.2 × 2 mm i.d. open glass chromatographic column packed with Florisil. A gas-chromatograph (GC) was used for quantification of individual insecticide using an electron capture detector (GC-ECD). Residues of the two pyrethroids were confirmed using a GC equipped with a mass selective detector (GC-MSD) in total ion mode. The GC mass spectra revealed the presence of permethrin isomers at retention times of 26 and 26.6 min which correspond to the cis- and trans-isomers, respectively. The GC mass spectra also revealed the presence of cypermethrin isomers at retention times of 30.3, 30.9, 31.3, and 31.5 min which correspond to its four main isomers. The initial total residues were greater on the leaves than on fruits. T1/2 values of permethrin were reduced from 3.3 and 13.0 days to 1.3 and 3.3 days on cucumber leaves and fruits, respectively due to the presence of cypermethrin cyanide group.
08:30 - Quantification of tylosin antibiotics and antibiotic resistance genes in cattle waste.
First Author
Keerthi Appala
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Eric Conte 
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
John Kasumba 
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Getahun Agga 
USDA 
Co-author
John H Loughrin 
USDA 
Co-author
Anne Carlisle 
Western Kentucky University 
Each year 2 million people suffer from the infections caused by bacteria, which are resistant to antibiotics, and about 23,000 people will die as a result. New drugs are coming into the market but are at the threat of developing resistance. One reason for the development of antibiotic resistance is the overuse of antibiotics in the livestock production. Tylosin is a macrolide antibiotic found naturally as a fermentation product of Streptomyces fradiae and is mainly used in promoting growth and treating infections in animals. Tylosin acts by inhibiting protein synthesis in bacteria. In cattle, tylosin is used for treating the bovine respiratory complex, foot-rot and calf diphtheria, while in swine it is used to treat swine arthritis, swine pneumonia, and swine erysipelas. The products from livestock, treated with antibiotics, such as milk, meat (Chicken, pork, cattle beef), excreta and manure pose residual antibiotics and antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) which are consequently passed to humans.
This research is focused on developing and validating a solid phase extraction (SPE) procedure and an LC-MS/MS method for quantifying tylosin in cattle waste. A sodium-EDTA buffer solution and methanol are added to the cattle waste samples. The samples are then cleaned up using Strata polymeric weak cation cartridges. Chemical analysis of the extracted tylosin is performed using a Varian 212-LC HPLC and Agilent 500 Ion Trap mass spectrometer detector. The results of this study will be presented, which include the percent recovery of tylosin in the cattle waste of tylosin treated cattle compared with a control group, which did not receive tylosin. Also, resistant genes in the cattle waste samples will be examined.
08:45 - Evaluation of Stocking Density in a Live Holding Recirculating System for Food-size Largemouth Bass, Micropterus salmoid
First Author
Sujan Bhattarai
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Kenneth Semmens 
Kentucky State University 
Distributing locally grown food fish live may provide aquaculture producers in Kentucky a more profitable market opportunity than selling fish as a commodity. Holding fish live in recirculating systems will be required for this approach. In this study, investigators evaluated water quality and physiology of largemouth bass held live at two stocking densities: 20 kg/m3 and 40 kg/m3.

Largemouth bass with a mean weight of 0.83 kg were weighed into recirculating aquaculture systems after simulated hauling for three hours. Water quality in each holding tank was measured at stocking and daily thereafter (24, 48, 72, 96, 120, 144, 168, and 192 hours). Total ammonia nitrogen (TAN), unionized ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, and conductivity were measured daily. Alkalinity, hardness, CO2 and turbidity was measured every other day. Blood samples were obtained from fish to evaluate physiological responses.

TAN and unionized ammonia significantly increased (P<0.05) over time in the 40 kg/m3 treatment. Water pH over time was significantly lower (P<0.01) at 40 kg/m3 than 20 kg/m3. In both treatments, nitrite and nitrate concentration increased over time, with a greater increase in the 40 kg/m3 treatment. Blood glucose was highest after hauling fish for 3 hours (hour 0) and was significantly higher (P<0.05) than blood glucose measurements taken at hour 24, 72, 120, or 168. There was no fish mortality. In both the treatments, mean weight loss was 4% during the experiment. Shock loading is an important water quality consideration with increasing density.
09:00 - Rove beetles in blackberry plots bordered by native perennials or pasture and treated with biological insecticides.
First Author
Sathya Govindasamy
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
John Sedlacek 
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Karen Friley 
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Mamata Bashyal 
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Megan McCoun 
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Jill Fisk 
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Krystin Moody 
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Katherine Buckler 
Kentucky State University 
Conservation biological control (planting native perennial plants, such as flowering plants and grasses, and applying biologically based insecticides) may reduce insect pest populations. Spotted wing Drosophila (SWD), Drosophila suzukii (Matsumura), is an invasive fruit fly of soft-skinned fruit, including strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries. Female SWD oviposit eggs inside undamaged fruit, which makes implementing management strategies difficult since the eggs and larvae are protected within the fruit. The objective of this research was to identify and quantify predatory rove beetles, Staphylinidae. Native perennial flowering plants were chosen so blooms were present throughout the growing period. Grasses were chosen to provide microclimates for beneficial insects. Biologically based insecticide treatments were Grandevo (Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc., Davis, CA) applied as foliar spray, soil spray, or foliar and soil spray, Entrust foliar spray (Dow AgroSciences LLC, Indianapolis, IN) or water foliar spray (control). Grandevo and Entrust were sprayed every other week for a total of three times. Grandevo was rotated with Entrust while Entrust was rotated with PyGanic insecticide (MGK, Minneapolis, MN). All three insecticides are approved by the Organic Material Review Institute. Five pitfall traps were placed in each border row and one in the middle of each treatment areas within the blackberry rows. Traps were set every other week and collected after one week. Rove beetle subfamilies were identified and quantified. Preliminary results show that the most abundant subfamilies are Phloeocharinae, Staphylininae and Paederinae. Results with respect to border type and biologically based insecticides will be discussed.
09:15 - Parental gender preference as a factor in population sustainability
First Author
Elmer Gray
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Sai Pavan Adigarla 
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Sravya Patil Bagli 
Western Kentucky University 
Study was focused on the relationship between gender composition of children and family size. Survey data were obtained from students enrolled in lower division science and health courses at Western Kentucky University. The survey was repeated five times at approximately decadal intervals from 1968 to 2016, and included statistical data for the parental, present, and projected generations. Objectives were: 1.) to evaluate data from successive time intervals as replication in studies of family size, sex ratios, and generational relationships, 2.) to measure effects of gender composition of children in existing families on parents' decision to have additional children, and 3.) to explore relationships between gender preference and population sustainability. Our results indicated that college level students were knowledgeable about the parental generation, were from completed present generation families, and were at the point in life to give serious consideration to their gender preferences for the projected generation. Results showed that parents for both the present and projected generations had two gender preferences- sons and both sexes- that influenced further child bearing. The most preferred family consisted of two children, both genders, with male first born. Attainment of this outcome significantly reduced the frequency of additional children in the family. Smaller family size reportedly is associated with slower population growth and greater sustainability. Realization of the desired generation data would have resulted in an imbalanced sex ratio of140 males: 100 females.
09:30 - Yield of zucchini, Cucurbita pepo, grown in various soil amendments
First Author
Quinn Heist
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
George Antonious 
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Eric Turley 
Kentucky State University 
Zucchini (Cucurbita pepo) is an important agricultural crop and represents a vital nutrient source for consumers around the world. This experiment aimed to determine the best fertilizer for producing the greatest yield and quality of zucchini fruits. Zucchini plants, C. pepo var. Raven, were grown in seven fertilizer treatments (chicken manure, horse manure, vermicompost, organic fertilizer, inorganic fertilizer, sewage sludge, and no-mulch [control] treatment) with or without biochar (a product of wood pyrolysis) as a soil amendment. Three replicates of each treatment were used with a total of 42 plots. Plants were harvested seven times during the growing season and the total weight, number, and quality of fruits were recorded for each treatment. Significant differences were found when comparing the highest and lowest fruit weights, when comparing the highest and lowest fruit numbers, and when comparing the treatments that produced the greatest number of medium-sized zucchini. Sewage sludge without biochar produced the greatest weight at 5.5 kg per plot, whereas no mulch without biochar produced only 2.7 kg per plot on average. Sewage sludge without biochar produced the greatest average number of fruits (12 fruits per plot), while no mulch without biochar produced the lowest average fruit number (5.5 fruits per plot). Based on this study, biochar had no effect on the yield, number, or quality of zucchini fruits, although different fertilizers, specifically sewage sludge and vermicompost, resulted in an increase in yield, number, and quality of zucchini produced.
09:45 * - Do Online Shoppers Have Knowledge on Community Supported Agriculture Programs?
First Author
Wyatt Lucas
Western Kentucky University, Dept. of Agriculture 
Co-author
Dominique Gumirakiza 
Western Kentucky University, Dept. of Agriculture 
The purpose of this study is to explain online shoppers' awareness and their likelihood of joining Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs. This study, conducted in 2016, uses data from a stratified random sample of 1,205 individuals who live in the southern region of the United States and were considered online shoppers. 'Online shoppers' in the context of this study are those consumers who have made at least two online purchases in the six months prior to participating in this study. Results indicate that 19 percent reported to have a clear knowledge and understanding of what Community Supported Agriculture programs are, and how they operated. We found that the likelihood for a random, online shopper in the southern region of the United States to already be a CSA subscriber is only four percent. Upon being educated on what CSA programs are, and how they work, 43% of the sample like the program and would consider being a member. This study is key to advocating for the increased use of programs like these. With the ever growing 'locavore' status of consumers and the increasing popularity for online shopping, findings from this study are useful to growers/marketers in the local food industry. Researchers can use this information when addressing study topics regarding CSA's, as they are a topic that is fairly unknown to the current consumer market (as shown by the 19 percent of the study participants actually knowing what they are).
10:15 * - Evaluation of drug-resistant Enterobacteriaceae on produce from small farms.
First Author
Tavin Marshall
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Shreya Patel 
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Avinash Tope 
Kentucky State University 
In recent years, the number of bacterial food-borne outbreaks associated with contaminated produce has increased substantially. Escherichia coli contribute to the majority of foodborne illnesses. In addition to the conventional practices, and with more small farmers starting organic production, there is a vulnerable segment which demands continuous microbial safety assessments. In the current study, two small produce farms from Boone County, KY participated in a survey outlining farmers' procedures during their routine operations. These farms were visited thrice, during the pre-growing, harvest, and post-harvesting seasons. Samples of the produce were collected using aseptic techniques. Using selective, differential media, members of Enterobacteriaceae family were isolated and identified using VITEK. Although no Escherichia coli was detected, samples tested positive for Enterobacter cloacae complex, Buttiauxella agrestis, and Sphingomonas paucimobilis. Antibiotic susceptibility to 14 antibiotics of the isolates was performed using Kirby Bauer Method. Although most of the isolates were sensitive to all the antibiotics tested, Enterobacter cloacae showed resistance to the two antibiotics Ceftiofur and Ceftoxitin. This indicates that 'ready-to-eat' foods such as fresh vegetables can be a source potential opportunistic pathogens with multiple drug resistance (MDR). The participating farmers were counseled on the Good Agricultural Practices and the findings were shared with them.
10:30 - Optimizing Non-Phytate Phosphorus in Soybean Meal-Based Diets for Largemouth Bass Micropterus salmoides
First Author
Kasondra Miller
1994 
Co-author
Gagan Kolimadu 
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Habte-Michael Habte-Tsion 
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Waldemar Rossi 
Kentucky State University 
Plant feedstuffs are among the most cost-effective and sustainable sources of nutrients and energy for farmed aquatic animals but in general have low phosphorus (P) availability. The increased utilization of soybean meal (SBM) as a substitute for fish meal inevitably depletes available P in feeds. Thus, precise supplementation of inorganic P is necessary to ensure optimum production performance and health while minimizing P output to the environment.
A 9-week feeding trial was conducted to evaluate graded levels of dietary P (as Ca-P monobasic) in SBM-based diets for largemouth bass (LMB), Micropterus salmoides. A SBM-based basal diet (Basal) containing 40% crude protein, 12% lipid, and 0.4% non-phytate P (NP-P) was supplemented with Ca-P to obtain dietary NP-P ranging from 0.4 to 1.10%. Each diet was fed twice daily and to apparent satiation to triplicate groups of 20, feed-trained LMB (9.5g) stocked in a recirculating aquaculture system.
LMB fed actively on the SBM-based diets and survival was > 90% in all treatments (P > 0.05) (Table 1). Likewise, regression analyses on weight gain (WG, % of initial), thermal-unit growth coefficient (TGC), and feed efficiency (FE) reveled no significant effects of dietary NP-P on the production performance of LMB. However, whole-body P of the fish responded to dietary P and according to a four-parameter saturation kinetics (4-par SK) model, the dietary NP-P supporting 95% of maximum theoretical whole-body P of LMB is 0.71% (Fig 1.).
In conclusion, this study indicates that SBM-based diets for LMB should contain a minimum of 0.71% non-phytate P.
10:45 - Assessing the Use of Biochar for Immobilization of Trace Elements in Sewage Sludge
First Author
Lusekelo Nkuwi
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
George Antonious 
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Eric Turley 
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Quinn Quinn Heist 
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Yogendra Yogendra Upadhyaya 
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Thomas Trivette 
Kentucky State University 
Louisville's Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) produces around 70 tons of municipal sewage sludge (SS) each day. This could potentially cost $2,100 a day for disposal. MSD gives SS as organic, slow-release fertilizer, known as Louisville Green, to farmers at no cost. However, SS contains trace elements, such as Cd, Pb, Cu, Cr, and Ni, that are harmful to humans and the environment. A field trial was established at Kentucky State University HR Benson Research and Demonstration Farm, Franklin County, KY, to assess the use of biochar (a product of wood pyrolysis) on immobilization of trace elements in SS into green fruits of pepper (Capsicum annuum var.) plants grown using SS and/or biochar. Four soil treatments were used in a randomized complete block design : 1) no mulch bare soil (NM), 2) biochar-amended soil at 10% (w/w; Bio), 3) sewage sludge (SS), and 4) biochar mixed with sewage sludge (BioSS). The weight and number of pepper fruits obtained at harvest were not significantly (P> 0.05) different among treatments in both harvest 1 and harvest 2. In harvest 2, Cr, Cu, and Ni concentrations were not different among the soil amendments tested. Cd concentrations were significantly lower in pepper fruits of plants grown in BioSS (0.09 µg/g dry fruits) compared to plants grown in NM (0.18 µg/g dry fruits). Pb concentration was also reduced from 1.13 µg/g (dry fruits) in NM to 0.66 µg/g (dry fruits) in BioSS.
11:00 - Efficacy of a fertilization solution created with testes extraction and maceration in largemouth bass
First Author
Amit Sharma
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Kenneth Semmens 
Kentucky State University 
Artificial propagation of largemouth bass (LMB) is constrained by the fact that stripping milt from fish induced to spawn is not reliable. Current induced spawning methods rely on obtaining a fertilization solution (FS) following extraction and maceration of testes. This investigation examines the efficacy of the method.

Mature LMB were injected with hormonal inducing agents; HCG or GnRH IIa. Males (n:48; mean weight: 1049 [SD=259] g) were euthanized; testes were extracted, macerated, screened to remove tissue, and irrigated with 0.85% saline to create FS. Each solution was sampled to observe sperm concentration and motility. Eggs were collected from females and fertilized. Samples of eggs were incubated in bowls while the remaining portions of spawns were segregated by spawning agent before incubation. All result are presented as mean(SD).

Testes (mean weight: 6.6(2.1)g) yielded mean spermatozoic density of 6.0(3.2) billion/ml. Inducing agent had no significant effect on FS sperm density. Sperm motility videos revealed mean progressive motility was 7.9(2.9)%; values for non-motile and non-progressively motile spermatozoa were 75.5(6.2)% and 16.6(4.9)%, respectively. Mean duration of motility was 116(18) seconds.

Fry yield from hatching jars among all treatments ranged from 0.5-19.5% (mean yield: 8.5(5.1)%). Fry yield from eggs incubated in bowls ranged from 4.2-38.9% (mean yield: 19.8(11.2)%). Many unfertilized-transparent eggs (mean: 38(20.3)%) were present at 48 hours post-incubation in bowls. In conclusion, although this method of creating a FS solution may be useful, the quality/viability of the sperm suspension is poor.
11:15 - Determination of Glucosinolate Concentrations in Broccoli Grown Under Three Soil Management Practices
First Author
Thomas Trivette
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
George Antonious 
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Eric Turley 
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Quinn Heist 
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Lusekelo Nkuwi 
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Yogendra Upadhyaya 
Kentucky State University 
Broccoli, Brassica rapa var. Ruvo was field-grown under three soil management practices: soil amended with blood meal (BM), soil amended with feather meal (FM), and no-mulch (NM) native soil to study the impact of soil amendments on the concentration of glucosinolates (GSLs) in their plant shoot tissues. GSLs, secondary metabolites that have pesticidal properties were extracted using boiling methanol and separated by adsorption on Sephadex ion exchange disposable pipette tips filled with DEAE, a weak base, with a net positive charge that exchange anions, including GSLs. Quantification of GSLs was based on inactivation of broccoli raab cell myrosinase (thioglucosidase) and liberation of the glucose moiety from the GSLs molecule by addition of external myrosinase and quantification of the liberated glucose moiety. Results showed that the average GSLs concentration in harvest 2 on June 28, 2018, (54 ± 7.2 µg/g fresh shoot tissue) was significantly (P< 0.05) greater than harvest 1 on June 14, 2018, (20 ± 3.8 µg /g fresh shoot tissue). BM amended soil increased GSLs concentrations to 74.2 ± 12.4 µg/g compared to 52.4 ± 10.9 and 45 ± 12.5 µg/g fresh shoot tissue in broccoli shoots of plants grown in FM and NM amended soils, respectively. In harvest 1, weights of plants grown in BM and FM treatments were significantly higher compared to plants grown in NM treatments. This increase in plant weight showed no significant increase in GSLs concentrations among the three soil treatments investigated.
11:30 - Low-Tech hydroponics for beginning and limited resource farmers
First Author
Nanaaishat umar
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Siddhartha Dasgupta 
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Richard Bryant 
Kentucky State University 
Low-tech hydroponics for beginning and limited-resource farmers
Nanaaishat Umar, Siddhartha Dasgupta and Richard Bryant
Aquaculture Research Center
Kentucky State University
Frankfort, KY 40601
Nanaaishat.umar@kysu.edu


Beginning and limited-resource farmers face difficulties accessing capital. This project alleviates that struggle as it allows farmers to use a low-cost hydroponics system for producing leafy greens. Traditional hydroponic systems pump fertilizer solutions across the roots of plants and bubble air into the solutions so that plant roots can receive nutrients and oxygen. Low-tech hydroponic systems eliminate the need for pumps and electricity, reducing the costs of business startup and operations.

This project investigated the business feasibility of a low-tech hydroponic greens operation. Data were collected from Extension demonstration projects growing lettuce, kale, collard greens, and mustard greens. These data were used to develop business feasibility measures, such as the starting investment, annual costs, profits, and returns on investment.

This low-tech hydroponic system resulted in five cycles of production per year. A small-scale system can generate up to $2,000 in revenue per year. The total operating cost per year was $845, creating an annual profit of $1,291, which translated to a net return of $13.45 per square foot.
Saturday, November 3, 2018  8:00am - 12:00pm
Chemistry: Analytical/Physical - Oral Presentations
DSU 3007
Section meeting follows talks at 10:30
08:00 * - Consumption Profiles of Illicit and Neuropsychiatric Drugs in Urban and Rural Communities Using Sewage Epidemiology
First Author
Tara Croft
Murray State University 
Co-author
Bikram Subedi 
Murray State University 
The consumption rate of drugs in a community is typically determined based on self-reported surveys, overdose/toxicological reports, and drug-related crime statistics. Cost and time-intensive conventional methods are, therefore, prone to underestimate community use of drugs. Drug's residues in raw wastewater collected from the centralized wastewater treatment plants were utilized - Sewage Epidemiology - to determine the consumption rate of 10 illicit and 26 prescribed neuropsychiatric residues in two urban communities in eastern Kentucky and two rural communities in western Kentucky. Communities investigated in eastern Kentucky had ~10-fold larger population and ~2-fold higher per-capita income than in western Kentucky. Cocaine was the dominant illicit drug consumed in the eastern communities (~3-fold higher than in western communities) while methamphetamine controls the consumption profile in the western communities (2 folds higher than in eastern communities). However, venlafaxine and citalopram were the two major prescribed neuropsychiatric drugs consumed in all communities. While the opioid epidemic has been declared as a national public health emergency in the USA, codeine and hydrocodone were the most consumed prescription opioids. The discharged wastewater was also found to be a source of several neuropsychiatric and illicit drugs into the receiving creeks.
08:15 - Investigating caffeine levels in water sources in Morehead, Kentucky
First Author
Brandon VanNess
Morehead State University 
Co-author
Melanie West 
Morehead State University 
Co-author
Sarah Little 
Morehead State University 
Pharmaceutical contaminants in surface water sources is a major environmental challenge which necessitates attentive monitoring. Caffeine has been shown to be an indicator of water contamination from anthropogenic pollution (Bradley et al., 2007). While caffeine originates from primarily tropical plant species, it is a prevalent non-prescription drug that is found in various foods, beverages, and pharmaceuticals. Water sources around the Morehead, Kentucky area have been monitored over the past year for caffeine contamination. Solid phase extraction (SPE) and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) were used to measure the caffeine concentrations. Caffeine was detected at four sites around the Morehead, KY area in the 1.0 – 5.0 ppm range.
08:30 * - Various Tools for Quantifying Diffusion of a Model Analyte Set via Capillary Electrophoresis
First Author
Corbin Arrasmith
Northern Kentucky University 
The goal of this project was to investigate Polyaromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) series (Naphthalene through Chrysene), and thoiurea using Capillary Electrophoresis (CE). This analytes were chosen analyze the kinetics in an open capillary at room temperature and an adjusted temperature of 25°C, and mobile phase concentration of 75% acetonitrile:25% Tris base. This series and mobile phase were selected based on their use in previous studies in other publications. The Second goal on the project was to experiment with a Labsmith High Voltage Sequencer on the fabrication of a small microfluidic CE instrument. This was investigated by using small reservoirs and capillary channels to migrate a fluorescent marker across a UV detector using flow by an ion buffer.
08:45 * - Temporal Changes in Dissolved Calcium Levels in Stream and River Waters in Western Kentucky
First Author
Adam Martin
Student 
Co-author
Bommanna Loganathan 
Professor 
Co-author
Susan Hendricks 
Professor 
Zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) are an exotic and invasive mollusk that have spread extensively through various rivers and lakes in the United States. While having been present in the Tennessee River drainage with occasional small reproducing populations since the early 1990s, zebra mussels were never abundant or widespread. In 2017, high densities were found on structures and solid substrates throughout the lower portion of Kentucky Lake. Calcium is one of the essential elements that contributes to the growth and reproduction of zebra mussels. Calcium concentrations of 20-22 mg/L are considered the threshold for survival and reproduction of zebra mussels. The specific aim of this study was to determine if dissolved calcium levels in the lower reach of Kentucky Lake had increased and reached that threshold. Surface and bottom water samples were collected during Kentucky Lake Monitoring Program (KLMP) cruises as well from selected locations in the Ohio River and two tributary streams. Samples were filtered using 0.45 µm filters, acidified and analyzed for calcium using an Atomic Absorption Spectrometer. Calcium levels and long-term monitoring data on chloride levels in Kentucky Lake were examined for temporal trends. The results showed an increasing trend in calcium concentrations during the past decade. The higher levels of calcium are likely from increased use of road deicing brine over the past several years. Increasing levels of these calcium ions may play a role in the elevated occurrences of zebra mussels in Kentucky Lake.
09:00 * - Effect of kappa-carrageenan on the Stability of Oil-in-water Emulsions
First Author
Andrew Ballard
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Hanna Khouryieh 
Western Kentucky University 
The purpose of this research is to investigate the effect of whey protein isolate WPI/kappa (κ-) carrageenan complexes on the stability of fish oil-in-water (O/W) emulsions. The WPI-stabilized emulsions were consisted of κ-carrageenan gum at 0, 0.05, 0.1, 0.2, or 0.4% at pH values of 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7 with no salt and 100mM. The physical stability of these emulsions were tested by measuring the oil droplet particle size, zeta potential, creaming index and viscosity. The results indicated that salt, pH and concentration of κ-carrageenan had substantially affected the stability of the emulsions. As the κ-carrageenan concentration increased, the emulsion stability increased. Emulsions containing 0.4% of κ-carrageenan were stable when adjusted to a pH of 5 and 6. κ-carrageenan emulsions with 0.2 and 0.4% gum displayed highest viscosities for this gum type at pH 4 and 5 respectively. At pH 4 and 5 zeta potential was near 0 mV indicating minimal electrostatic interactions. The particle size in 0, 0.05, and 0.1% emulsions peaked at pH 4 and 5, indicating increased flocculation due to the low electrostatic interaction. The results of this research will aid in the delivery of cod liver oil, allowing for healthier foods with a greater shelf life to be produced.
09:30 * - Identifying Fecal Biomarkers of Obesity in Mouse Model Using Proton Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Metabolomics
First Author
Yacine Choutri
Berea College 
Co-author
Paul Voziyan 
Vanderbilt University Medical Center 
Co-author
Donald Stec 
Vanderbilt University Institute of Chemical Biology 
Obesity is a complex multifactorial disease and a major health concern. It is difficult to treat, and its mechanisms are not well understood. One approach to understand mechanisms of obesity is metabolomics, which studies small molecules generated during metabolism. These molecules can be biomarkers in the early diagnostics of obesity and/or targets of prospective therapies. We utilized nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) technology to identify potential biomarkers of obesity in feces of mice receiving high-fat vs. normal diet. Feces collected from obese and normal mice were extracted with buffer, supplemented with the NMR standards and analyzed using a 600 MHz NMR spectrometer. The proton-NMR spectra were analyzed using a principle component analysis and metabolites were identified with Chenomx. The differences between obese and normal mice were determined by statistical analysis using a Bonferroni (cut-off p-value = 0.083) correction for multiple comparisons. We found 18 fecal metabolites with significantly different levels between obese and normal mice: 13 of these metabolites had lower levels, while 5 metabolites had higher levels in obese vs. normal mice. Six metabolites were present in both groups, while the rest were present in one group but not the other. We conclude that these metabolites have potential as biomarkers of obesity.
9:45 * - Monitoring Photolysis of Organic Pollutants Using Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy
First Author
Ryan Lamb
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Matthew Nee 
Western Kentucky University 
Recent studies show increasing amounts of harmful organic pollutants in wastewater. Fortunately, many organic pollutants can be broken down into harmless end products via photolysis. However, more information on the kinetics and intermediates of these reactions is needed to determine their safety. Ideally, Raman spectroscopy can be used to monitor reactions in real time, 100 times faster than gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). However, Raman spectroscopy has low sensitivity, so molecules at low concentrations (such as 10^-5 M) do not produce high enough Raman intensity to be effectively observed. In response, gold nanoparticles can be used to greatly enhance the Raman intensity of molecules in water, termed Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS). Gold nanoparticles aggregate to form large clusters of nanoparticles which could precipitate and decrease the overall Raman intensity. A capping agent can be used to arrest the formation of large clusters. Using the stable ('capped') nanoparticles, photolysis can be monitored by analyzing the changes in the Raman spectra of the analyte over time. The capped nanoparticles were found to be stable in acidic and basic conditions (pH 3 to 11). In this experiment, rhodamine 6G (R6G), a common dye and organic pollutant, and paraquat, a pesticide, were used as the analytes being monitored and sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) was the capping agent for the gold nanoparticles.
10:00 - Incorporation of metal oxides into a polymer substrate for buoyant photocatalysts
First Author
Lovence Ainembabazi
Western kentucky university 
Due to challenges faced in the degradation of organic compounds by conventional water treatment methods, advanced oxidation processes that include photocatalytic degradation have been developed. Transition metal oxides as photocatalysts have attracted a lot of attention in the treatment of aqueous organic waste because of stability, non-toxicity and low cost. However, when metal oxide powders mix with the waste waters, they form suspensions, which are difficult to separate from the treated water. Incorporation of the metal oxide powder in to a buoyant material such as poly dimethyl siloxane (PDMS) makes it float and thus formation of suspensions is eliminated. In this research, tungsten (111) Oxide was incorporated into PDMS beads and used to degrade Methylene Blue (MB) under UV-radiations. MB lost color entirely by the end of the degradation process and the photocatalyst was successfully filtered off the clear water using a filter paper. Characterization of WO3/PDMS was done by SEM, EDS and Roman spectroscopy, both before and after using them for degradation. In all cases, the crystal structure of WO3, element composition and surface morphology remained unaltered. This confirms that incorporation of WO3 in to PDMS beads makes it buoyant and thus easy to separate from water after the whole treatment process.
10:15 - Electrochemical Method for Fabrication of Metal Nanostructures Across Micron Gap Electrodes
First Author
Krista Riggins
Eastern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Radhika Dasari 
Eastern Kentucky University 
Silver (Ag) and Palladium (Pd) nanostructures were deposited across micron gap electrodes using a simple, low cost, and highly parallel electrochemical approach. The fabrication of these structures involves metal electrodeposition on one set of electrodes (E1), where the metal deposits, grows and makes a connection with a second set of electrodes (E2) of an Au interdigitated array of electrodes with a 5 µm separation. However, different metals deposited in different fashions. Ag grew in the form of wires and Pd deposited in the form of dendrites. Here we report the factors that influence the morphology of the nanostructures electrodeposited across the micron gap electrodes. We are currently investigating the affect of i) metal concentration, ii) applied potential and iii) mode of electrodeposition (sweep vs. step method) on the morphology of nanostructures across micron gap electrodes. Understanding this would aid in better controlling the morphology of metal electrodeposition across micron gap electrodes.
Saturday, November 3, 2018  8:00am - 12:00pm
Ecology - Oral Presentations
DSU 1037
Section meeting follows talks at 11:30
08:00 - Towards rapid assessment of wetland biological condition using indicator species
First Author
Suneeti Jog
Murray State University 
Co-author
Jason Bried 
Murray State University 
Co-author
Tommi Fouts 
Northeastern State University 
Floristic quality assessment is a proven method of wetland monitoring and evaluation but requires taxonomic expertise and sampling entire plant assemblages. Indicator species can be used to reduce the time and expertise of floristic quality assessments and may reflect general classes of floristic quality. In lieu of expanded floristic surveys, we explore the use of plant indicators of wetland floristic quality classes in Oklahoma, USA while testing the prediction that indicator performance will improve with increasing environmental stratification. We analyzed vascular plant assemblages of 117 non-forested wetlands grouped at three stratification levels: all sites in prairie ecoregions (least stratified), depressional sites in prairie ecoregions (moderately stratified), and depressional sites in the Central Great Plains ecoregion (most stratified). Using indicator species analysis extended for species combinations, we found indicators with higher predictive value and lower false-positive rates at the most stratified level. Indicators of floristic quality were determined at both, the least and most stratified levels to facilitate coarse assessments in Oklahoma prairie regions and because indicator performance did not noticeably improve with moderate stratification. Our next step is to conduct validations using the current data along with newly sampled wetland sites. We propose a similar study for the state of Kentucky.
08:15 - Experts and models can agree on species sensitivity values for wetland assessments
First Author
Jason Bried
Murray State University 
Species sensitivity values can be used to trigger management interventions and prioritize areas for conservation, with sensitivity estimation methods ranging from expert opinion to empirical modelling. The opinion and modelling approaches each have strengths and weaknesses, raising questions of how much they (dis)agree or which one to follow. We compared conservatism values assigned by botanists to modelling estimates of sensitivity (change in predicted abundance between current and reference conditions) for 123 wetland macrophyte species. Scores from each method were positively correlated and most differences were small. A few species had large mismatch between conservatism and model-based scores, but these cases resulted from extenuating factors and do not reflect systematic bias in expert opinions or the modelling process. Overall the results indicate potential for general agreement between quantitative and qualitative methods of sensitivity estimation. A complementary approach of expert opinion and modelling may offer the most valuable currency for wetland assessments.
08:30 - Verification of a Vegetation Index of Biotic Integrity (KY-VIBI) and a Rapid Wetland Assessment (KY-WRAM) in western KY
First Author
Elizabeth Malloy
Eastern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Stephen Richter 
Eastern Kentucky University 
Co-author
David Brown 
Eastern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Kelly Watson 
Eastern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Michelle Cook 
Kentucky Division of Water 
Despite the benefits wetlands provide, 80% of Kentucky's wetlands have been lost. The Kentucky Vegetation Index of Biotic Integrity (VIBI) was developed to assess wetland condition and contains two metrics: Mean Coefficient of Conservatism and Absolute Cover Nonnative. Although prior validation studies in other regions of the state have been successful, previous attempts in the Four Rivers region were not sufficient to validate the KY-VIBI. Preliminary results reported here are based on 26 sites previously sampled in this region during EPA's 2016 National Wetland Condition Assessment. KY-VIBI data were verified by comparing scores to a Disturbance Index (DI). Vegetation data were also compared with the Kentucky Rapid Wetland Assessment Method (KY-WRAM), which measures wetland condition. Among the original 26 sites sampled in the Four Rivers region, over half of the sites received the highest score possible for one of the two VIBI metrics. The Mean Coefficient of Conservatism metric displayed a moderate correlation with Disturbance Index scores. Alternate measures of nonnative abundance, such as Relative Cover Nonnative, appear to correlate more strongly with DI scores than the original Absolute Cover Nonnative metric. This provides evidence that the creation of a VIBI to assess wetland condition in the Four Rivers region of Kentucky is feasible, but may potentially require some adjustments. We are continuing to process vegetation data from 16 wetland sites (10 low quality and 6 high quality) sampled in 2018. Once the VIBI is completed, it will be used to validate the KY-WRAM in the Four Rivers region.
08:45 - Does increasing food-web stability mediate the effects of cattle grazing in aquatic ecosystems?
First Author
Hannah Moore
Murray State University 
Co-author
Howard Whiteman 
Murray State University 
Anthropogenic activities have led to habitat degradation in streams throughout much of Western North America. In particular, cattle grazing has caused a loss of riparian vegetation resulting in higher water temperatures and an increase in nutrient runoff. The effects of habitat degradation on food quality and quantity for aquatic consumers could have large implications for stream communities. Since omnivores feed at multiple trophic levels, they increase community complexity and may be resilient to altered food webs. Theoretically, this would allow them to stabilize communities in degraded habitats where resources have been reduced. To test the hypothesis that omnivores positively impact community stability in degraded habitats, I established artificial mesocosms using 1000L cattle tanks with varying levels of two disturbance factors: shade (loss of shade mimicking a degraded riparian zone) and nutrients (increased nutrients representing agricultural fertilizer inputs), and the presence or absence of the omnivorous speckled dace (Rhinichthys osculus). I compared the rate of change of community structure and ecosystem function by analyzing invertebrate biodiversity and biomass, algal biomass, and water chemistry in order to determine if dace play a stabilizing role in degraded streams. By understanding the role omnivory plays in degraded aquatic systems, we can gain insight into both the management and restoration of these ubiquitous habitats.
09:00 - Population Dynamics and Foraging Ecology of Copperheads in the Red River Gorge, KY.
First Author
Josh Hendricks
Eastern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Jesse Sockman 
Eastern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Kyle Muennich 
Eastern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Austin Owens 
Eastern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Stephen Richter 
Eastern Kentucky University 
Recreational areas can be a useful economic resource, as well as an effective tool for public outreach, education, and wildlife conservation. Paradoxically, recreational areas also facilitate a certain level of habitat fragmentation and human-wildlife interaction. Managing these trade-offs can be a difficult task, especially when organisms, like venomous snakes, that are generally perceived as dangerous by the public, are involved. Copperheads (Agkistrodon contortrix) are one such species commonly encountered by humans in recreational areas. In order to explain the prevalence of these interactions, we investigated the demographic structure and unique foraging behavior of a population of copperheads that are known to utilize a recreational area. By combining capture–recapture and observational data, we constructed generalized linear mixed models (GLMM's) within an Information-Theoretic framework to estimate the probability of survival and recapture as it relates to various biotic (size, sex, foraging behavior) and abiotic (air temperature, ground temperature, humidity) factors. Our goal is to use this knowledge of copperhead ecology to develop sustainable management practices in recreational areas that (1) reduce the level of human conflict with copperheads, and (2) facilitate public understanding of ecological concepts in order to promote conservation, as well as recreation.
09:15 - The Kentucky Arboreal Ant Survey: ant communities among forests and urban greenspaces
First Author
Daniella Prince
University of Louisville 
Co-author
Benjamin Adams 
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County 
Co-author
Stephen Yanoviak 
Department of Biology, University of Louisville 
Arboreal ant communities in temperate forests are not well described, and factors that influence their diversity are poorly understood. We established the Kentucky Arboreal Ant Survey (KAAS) in 2017 to inventory arboreal ants at field stations in the Kentucky Organization of Field Stations (KOFS) network across the state, and to provide educational opportunities for naturalists and students affiliated with KOFS sites. KAAS participants baited 50 trees at their site, collected ants, and recorded tree characteristics. These collections mirrored our previous survey of ants in urban greenspaces and forests around Louisville, specifically the University of Louisville (UofL), Iroquois Park, Horner Wildlife Sanctuary and Bernheim Research Forest. We received 154 samples from KAAS participant sites WKU Green River Preserve, UK Ecological Research and Education Center, St. Anne Woods and Wetlands Research and Education Center, and Thomas More College Field Station. In total we identified ants collected from 593 trees across eight sites, representing a variety of habitat types. We found 36 ant species on the 39 tree genera sampled, with a mean species richness of 11.75 across sites. UofL was the most diverse site, with 22 species and the highest proportion of nonnative species. In addition to serving as an educational tool, the KAAS contributes to our understanding of the effects of urbanization on arboreal ant communities and the distribution of ant diversity across habitat types in Kentucky.
09:30 * - Soil function assessment of urban prairie restoration.
First Author
Sarah Benton
University of Louisville 
Co-author
Sarah Emery 
Univserity of Louisville 
Prairie restorations often focus on rehabilitating plant and animal communities but ignore the biogeochemical processes needed to maintain ecosystem health. Soils play important roles in regulating ecosystem processes in prairie restorations but are not widely studied. Understanding the drivers of soil health are key to the development of best management restoration practices. In this study, we evaluated biotic and landscape factors influencing soil health in seventeen urban prairie restorations in and surrounding Jefferson County, KY. We measured six aspects of soil health in these sites, including water holding capacity (WHC), total nitrogen, total phosphorus, percent organic matter, pH, and abundance of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF). We also quantified plant species richness in these sites. We used ArcGIS to calculate landscape factors, including surrounding land use and soil type. AMF abundance was not correlated with other measures of soil function. Plant diversity was positively correlated with WHC but not other measures of soil health. Landscape factors, including surrounding impervious surface and soil parent material, were found to be more important predictors of soil function. Land managers interested in restoring prairies should note that while biotic factors can influence soil health, landscape factors and local geology may override other management decisions.
09:45 - Beaver-mediated restoration in a degraded desert ecosystem
First Author
Melody Feden
Murray State University 
Co-author
Howard Whiteman 
Murray State University 
Anthropogenic landscape modification has homogenized stream morphology and negatively affected water quality leading to extinctions, extirpations, and shifts in species composition. An acknowledgement of aquatic habitat degradation is increasingly accompanied by efforts toward ecological restoration. Due to a lack of funding and resources, managers often choose passive restoration techniques, like beaver reintroduction, particularly for deeply incised degraded streams. Beavers can shape freshwater ecosystems on a watershed scale by creating dams which raise the water table, decrease stream velocity, and form ponds that widen the riparian zone. However, few studies have quantified the effectiveness of using beavers as a passive restoration tool, especially at high beaver population densities. I tested the effectiveness of using beavers as a passive restoration tool by collecting data on stream morphology, community structure, and ecosystem function in beaver pond and riffle habitat. My hypothesis is that beavers are effective at restoring a degraded stream ecosystem with respect to increasing aquatic habitat, sediment storage, and increasing macroinvertebrate diversity and biomass.
My study took place during the summer of 2018 in Kimball Creek, a degraded stream in western Colorado, with a density of beaver dams at approximately 20 dams per km. Preliminary results indicate that beaver ponds increased aquatic habitat and created pockets of cold water refugia which can be up to 5℃ cooler than surface water. Analyses are ongoing and will be interpreted in regard to the hypothesis.
10:15 - Varying duration periods of the herbivore-associated cue differentially affect fitness in P.lunatus and C.annuum
First Author
Grace Freundlich
University of Louisville 
Co-author
Liana Greenburg 
Wageningen University 
Co-author
Sarah Bissmeyer 
University of Louisville 
Co-author
Carly Nunamaker 
University of Louisville 
Co-author
Chris Frost 
University of Louisville 
Plants rely on environmental cues to anticipate danger and maximize fitness. Within a plant-herbivore context, HIPVs (herbivore-induced plant volatiles) are reliable signals of herbivory. Recognition of a cue, such as an HIPV, allows a plant to respond more quickly and aggressively once attacked via Defense Priming (DP). Since DP is an inducible phenomenon, fitness costs are expected after volatile exposure alone. Additionally, fitness costs may also be affected by volatile duration. Since longer duration periods may reflect herbivore presence, increased volatile duration may heighten fitness effects from volatile exposure. To test this prediction, we exposed field grown lima bean and pepper to varying duration periods of the herbivore-associated cue cis-3-hexenyl acetate (z3HAC) of 10ng/hour. Lima bean and pepper plants were exposed to either a continuous exposure or one of two intermittent duration periods: a single 24 hour pulse (transient) or a weekly 24 hour pulse treatment (pulsed). While continuous exposure peppers had decreased leaf biomass and fruits, pulsed and transient treatments had little to no effect relative to controls. In lima, continuous exposure plants had increased biomass and flower production while pulsed and transient treatments had varying effects on biomass. If fitness costs are relatively minor or non-existent from shorter volatile duration periods, this may explain why DP is observed within the plant kingdom.
10:30 - Assessment of Native Pollinator Habitat Planting Densities and Site Preparation Treatments on Abandoned Agriculture Land
First Author
Louis Ross
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Richard Cristan 
Kentucky State University 
Abandoned agricultural lands can cause non-diverse habitat conditions and can be heavily impacted by invasive species if not maintained after being taken out of production. Planting native plant species in these areas can increase habitat diversity that is conducive to pollinators and wildlife. This study will determine effectiveness of different planting rates for a common native wildflower and grass mixture and site preparation methods on a bottomland agricultural field in Henry County, Kentucky, that was abandoned for approximately 15 years.
The site (2.4 ha) was cleared of all trees, shrubs, and invasive species. Treatments included three planting densities (7.8, 9.5, and 11.2 kg/ha) of a southern short grass meadow mix and three site preparation methods (2018 bush hog only, 2018 bush hog and spring herbicide application, and 2018-2019 bush hog, spring herbicide, fall herbicide, spring herbicide applications). The study design includes three replicates of each treatment for a total of 27 plots. Eighteen plots were planted in June 2018. An additional 9 plots will be planted in 2019 after the longer site preparation treatment is completed. Planting was conducted using a no-till seed drill. Measurements include percent ground cover (in 3.04 m x 3.04 m plots) and presence/absence of species (in .91 m x .91 m plots) sampled over 16 weeks starting in June 2018 and ending in October 2018. This assessment is expected to provide much-needed information on selecting seeding rates and site preparation methods for planting native pollinator habitats on abandoned agricultural lands.
10:45 - New methods utilized to deter elephant (Loxodonta Africa) from crop raiding in the Kasigau Wildlife Corridor, Kenya
First Author
R. Lynn Von Hagen
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Bruce Schulte 
Western Kentucky University 
Human elephant conflict (HEC) continues to escalate as human settlements and agricultural developments further expand into African elephant habitats. Elephants commonly cross from areas of refuge at night into farming communities and consume or trample crops, exacerbating the threat to the livelihood of farmers and the conservation of elephants. While traditional methods are affordable and practical, they rarely prevent habituation by elephants. Scientists and local people have worked to develop more modern deterrent methods which utilize signal theory coupled with a negative association to prevent habituation, though these also have been met with limited success. This study evaluated the efficacy of several deterrent methods as well as a newly developed metal strip fence (Kasaine fence) technique in a large-scale paired control study utilizing farm plots present in the Sasenyi farming community in the Kasigau Wildlife Corridor near Tsavo East National Park. Four blocks of farmland comprised of 4 different deterrent methods and their matching controls were ranked for efficacy. The study found that the Kasaine fence was effective at deterring elephants, and even more so when used in combination with a second deterrent method. Surprisingly, the control method for this deterrent measure, a single strand wire, was also sometimes effective at deterring elephants from crop raiding. These new methods show promise towards alleviating the conflict between rural farmers and the elephants that live among them.
11:00 - 2018 State of the Resource: Mammoth Cave National Park
First Author
Autumn Turner
Western Kentucky University, Crawford Hydrology Laboratory 
Co-author
Lee Anne Bledsoe 
Western Kentucky University, Crawford Hydrology Laboratory 
Co-author
Chris Groves 
Western Kentucky University,Crawford Hydrology Laboratory 
Co-author
Cate Webb 
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Rickard Toomey III 
National Park Service, Mammoth Cave National Park 
Co-author
Bobby Carson 
National Park Service, Mammoth Cave National Park 
Co-author
Katie Algeo 
Western Kentucky University 
The Natural Resource Condition Assessment Program (NRCA) is used by the National Park Service to provide park managers with a 'snapshot' report of current conditions for use in resource stewardship strategies, vulnerability reports, and management decisions. We have found in our comprehensive analysis of Mammoth Cave National Park and its resources-surface, subsurface; geological, biological, hydrologic, atmospheric, and astronomical, that this is a well understood, carefully protected national park with many resources in good to improving condition.

Improvements in regional coal combustion have, for example, raised rainfall pH by a whole unit, dropped rain SO4 by 75%, and improved visibility. Even though the world's longest known cave is the basis for the park being here, the Green River has nationally significant biodiversity, and the park protects numerous threatened and endangered species, sensitive wetlands, and rare plants. Interrelationships become clear in this kind of holistic examination. There are also challenges: White Nose Syndrome has killed at least 70% of at least three species of bats, emerald ash borers now threaten the park's ash trees, and one day hemlock wooly adelgids may impact the beautiful (and rare this far west) hemlocks in the valleys of Bylew Creek and Cubby Cove.

Conclusions are based on quantitative data and provide credible science to assist with park resource management and necessary strategic planning to face the challenges of protecting, restoring, and maintaining Mammoth Cave National Park and all of its resources in good condition.
11:15 * - Impact of season, game fencing, moon phase, and vegetation on activity overlap of ungulate species in Namibia
First Author
Emma Reasoner
Berea College 
Co-author
Laurie Marker 
Cheetah Conservation Fund 
The African grassland supports a variety of ungulate species which share a similar ecological niche. Species that are of similar body size and utilize a similar foraging strategy may use temporal avoidance to differentiate their niche and avoid interspecies competition. This study analyzed camera trap data obtained by the Cheetah Conservation Fund's Go Green project. The commercial farmland surrounding Namibia's Greater Waterberg National Park was mapped in a grid of 4 X 4 km squares. A motion sense game camera was deployed in the center of each grid square for one year. Using time of photo capture, the 24 hour activity of thirteen ungulate species was plotted by kernel density estimation. These curves were overlapped with those of other species to obtain a coefficient of overlap, indicating the extent to which the species are active at the same time. These values were then compared between the wet and dry season, game and cattle fenced areas, the four moon phases, and vegetation density. The objective of this study is to determine how the interactions of ungulate species' in the Greater Waterberg landscape are influenced by these factors, revealing more about the balance of ungulate biodiversity in the sub Saharan ecosystem.
Saturday, November 3, 2018  8:00am - 5:00pm
Physics and Astronomy - Oral Presentations
DSU 3020
Section meeting follows talks at 3:15
08:00 - Thermoelectric Properties of Graphene-Carbon Nanotube Aerogels as 'Organic' Energy Harvesters
First Author
Romney Meek
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Sanju Gupta 
Western Kentucky University 
In this work, we prepared graphene-carbon nanotube (Gr-CNT, hereon) and nitrogenated analogs three dimensional scaffolds using facile hydrothermal technique as thermal and thermo-electrochemical energy harvesters. The resulting aerogels are structurally ordered with ultralow densities and tunable mesoscopic pore sizes by means of organic wet chemistry used to cross-link the component nanomaterials yielding multiplex hierarchical topologies. In contrast to methods that utilize physical cross-links between GO nanosheets, this approach with polymeric linkers and organic functionalization provides covalent carbon bonding among the graphene nanosheets and molecular attachment with carbon nanotubes, facilitating rapid and facile electron and ion transport. They exhibit large internal surface area thus promote enhanced surface ion adsorption viable for use in thermal energy harvesting technologies. They have shown improved electrical conductivities (> 5 S.cm-1), relatively higher Seebeck coefficient (> 0.5 V.K-1), and moderate thermal conductivity (~0.028 W.m-1.K-1). Complementary characterization techniques such as electron microscopy, Raman spectroscopy and scanning electrochemical microscopy established structural property-activity-performance correlations.
08:15 - High Amplitude variabile Active Galactic Nuclei
First Author
Dirk Grupe
Morehead State University 
I will report on the most recent discoveries by the NASA Neil Gehrels Swift mission of Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) with high amplitude variabilities. While AGN typically vary with factors of 3 on times scales of days to years, some AGN exhibit outbursts or dramatic drops in the X-ray fluxes by factors of even more than 100. Recent examples are IRAS 23226-3843, RX J2317-4422 and repeatedly Mkn 335 on which we triggered XMM/NuSTAR and HST observations in July 2018. I will also mention recent triggers we had with XMM-Newton and NuSTAR on NGC 1566 (see also talk by B. Mikula) which has shown similar behaviors as seen in the Seyfert 2 galaxy IC 3599.
08:30 - Citizen CATE: citizen scientist observations of 2017 total solar eclipse
First Author
Richard Gelderman
Western Kentucky University 
The total solar eclipse of 21 August 2017 passed over the continental United States, allowing millions of citizens the opportunity to experience a beautiful celestial event. The Citizen Continental-America Telescopic Eclipse (CATE) Experiment trained 70+ teams of volunteers and assigned them to sites selected for overlapping observational coverage of the eclipse. Data acquired from these sites has been combined into a continuous 90-minute video, allowing the inner solar corona to be studied for an unprecedented length of time.
08:45 - Nanosecond pulsed laser deposition of Pb thin film on Si (111)
First Author
Devon Loomis
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Bektur Abdisatarov 
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Ilhom Saidjafarzoda 
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Donald Price 
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Ali Er 
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Mikhail Khenner 
Western Kentucky University 
Pb thin film was deposited onto a Si (111) substrate by pulsed laser deposition (PLD). The Pb target was ablated with a Q-switched 1064 Nd:YAG pulsed laser with 5 nanosecond pulse width, 10 Hz repetition rate, 1 mm beam diameter. Laser energy density, temperature wavelength and the number of pulses were changed. Different thicknesses of the film ranging from 5 to 70 nm were obtained. Morphological structures of the films were measured using scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy. Our results shows that laser energy density, wavelength and temperature play an important role on morphology. In addition, quantum size effects (QSE) were observed on the ultra-thin films and coarsening effects were observed on the films that underwent high-temperature deposition. Experimental observation is supported by theoretical simulations. Ongoing results on Pb film growth on a copper sample will also be presented.
09:00 * - NGC 1566: A Temperamental Changing Look AGN
First Author
Rebecca Mikula
Morehead State University 
Co-author
Dirk Grupe 
Morehead State University 
The Seyfert Galaxy NGC 1566 was detected in an X-ray outburst by INTEGRAL in June 2018 and triggered several observatories with follow-up observations including the Neil-Gehrels Swift Observatory. I will report on the long and short term X-ray and UV/Optical light curves and how we can explain this outburst by an accretion disk instability. Interestingly, optically NGC 1566 is a 'changing look' AGN which changes its optical spectroscopic classification from a Seyfert 1.5 type to a Seyfert 1. In addition, strong coral iron lines were found in the current optical spectra. High-resolution X-ray spectroscopy also suggests the presence of outflowing gas with velocities of 500 km/s.
09:15 * - Fabrication of Aluminum Nanoparticles via Pulsed Laser Ablation for Bacterial Deactivation
First Author
Lauren Cooper
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Khomidkhodzha Kholikov 
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Saidjafarzoda Ilhom 
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Ali Er 
Western Kentucky University 
Antibiotic resistance to a widening range of diseases is one of the looming problems in current medicine; a new biocompatible antibiotic material is thus needed. To aid in this issue, metal nanoparticles are being investigated for their antibacterial properties due to favorable properties such as high tunability. We propose the use of aluminum metal nanoparticles as a novel material for bacterial deactivation. Aluminum metal nanoparticles were fabricated using pulsed laser ablation at different laser powers and wavelength in both alcohol and DI water. The particles were characterized using UV-Vis spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and photoluminescence spectroscopy. The laser power, wavelength, and type of solvent were found to play an important role in final product. Aluminum nanoparticles in a variety of sizes were formed. Initial results in combination with 9,10-Anthracenediyl-bis(methylene)dimalonic acid (ABMDMA) for light therapy showed that the produced particles were effective in producing singlet oxygen which is a highly reactive species to deactivate bacteria. Amount of singlet oxygen showed size dependency. The results of this work could be used to treat skin diseases, prosthetic joint infections, and cancer.
09:30 * - Computer Simulation of Atomic-Scale Defects in Intermetallic Compounds
First Author
Christopher Weaver
Northern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Matthew Zacate 
Northern Kentucky University 
Atomic-scale defects in intermetallic compounds affect their physical properties, and computer simulations can be used to predict material behavior before investing in expensive material prototypes. A simulation technique known as the Modified Embedded Atom Method (MEAM) was used to investigate 48 metallic compounds with B2, L12, and C15 crystal structures. Changes in the energy, entropy, and volume due to vacancy and anti-site defects were calculated using total energy minimization of supercells. The simulations predict that the majority of compounds exhibit anti-site disorder, in agreement with conventional wisdom. Calculations also predict that 10 of the compounds will exhibit mixed vacancy-anti-site disorder. The reliability of these predictions will be discussed by comparing these results to previous defect studies, which are available for 6 of the compounds studied. Work continues to investigate relationships between physical properties of constituent elements and defect properties in the compounds they form. This work is funded in part by NSF Grant DMR 15-08189. We gratefully acknowledge the important contributions of Nicholas Sharp and Caleb Kirschman to this work.
09:45 * - Effects of Plastic Deformation and Tensile Strain on Polycrystalline Solids
First Author
Jesse Tapp
Murray State University 
Co-author
Dylan Weaver 
Murray State University 
X-ray diffractometry is an analysis technique allowing scientist to gather data about the microscopic properties of solids. By emitting coherent x-rays incident on a solid sample at differing angle, one can acquire information regarding the sample solid to a high degree of accuracy. This is done by analyzing the interference pattern produced by the reflecting x-rays which are then received via detector. Some such information that can be gathered includes atomic radii, crystal structure, and the focus of our experiment, stress. Our efforts were to detect the specific effects of a macroscopic operation such as plastic deformation, on the microscopic crystal structures of metals. This deformation which can be produced by either tension or compression, has been predicted to cause specific changes in the interference patterns, such as peaks of maximum constructive interference shifting to different angles, or possibly the formation of different peaks. Furthermore, we would interpret the meaning of these interference patterns and deduce effect of the stress upon the microscopic crystal structure.
10:15 * - Dependence of Helium Atmospheric Pressure Plasma Jet-Induced DNA Damage on Voltage Pulse Frequency and Irradiation Time.
First Author
Kemo Jammeh
Berea College 
Co-author
Sylwia Ptasinska 
University of Notre Dame 
Interest in Atmospheric Pressure Plasma Jets (APPJs) has increased due to the great potential they have in medical applications. In this study, the dependence of APPJ-induced DNA damage on voltage pulse frequency was investigated. The APPJ source consists of two cylindrical brass electrodes and a dielectric silica capillary connected to a power supply and a pulse generator. The plasma generated from the source is used to irradiate DNA samples at different frequencies and the damage (single-stranded breaks SSBs, double-stranded breaks(DSBs), and denatured DNA) resulting from the irradiation is quantified using agarose gel electrophoresis and imaging techniques. It was found that total DNA damage increased with increasing frequency. Time of irradiation studies was also performed, and the results showed that total DNA damage was higher for longer times of irradiation at a constant frequency. Furthermore, it was found that, while this time dependence trend holds for other frequencies, the extent of damage varied significantly for the same set of irradiation times.
10:30 * - Blue Light and UV Blocking Lenses
First Author
Marissa Walls
Morehead State University 
Co-author
Jennifer Birriel 
Morehead State University 
We examine the efficacy of protective glasses designed to block light at specific wavelength, specifically UV blocking and blue light blocking eyeglasses. UVA rays can damage eyes, potentially causing cataracts. Blue light exposure can suppress melatonin production, cause eyestrain, and is linked to macular degeneration. The unshielded radiative output of known sources of blue light (such as digital screens on computers, tablets, and phones) was measured using a Vernier light probe fitted with a blue band filter. Then, a pair of blue blocking eyeglasses was placed immediately in front of the blue filtered Vernier probe. Other sources known to emit UVA and UVB (such as compact fluorescent bulbs and various blacklight bulbs) were measured using Vernier UVA and UVB sensors, first unshielded and then shield with 'amber' UV blocking glasses. We report our results on the transmittance of each type of protective eyewear and discuss implications for eye safety.
10:45 * - Investigating the Anode Heel Effect at 75kV and 140kV
First Author
Casey Christian
Morehead State University 
Co-author
Ignacio Birriel 
Morehead State University 
Co-author
Michael Gossman 
Tri-State Regional Cancer Center 
The anode heel effect is a variation across an x-ray beam that is a result of the geometry of the anode head; it results in a decrease of the intensity of the beam from the cathode side to the anode side of the resulting radiation. This experiment, conducted at the Tri-State Regional Cancer Center in Ashland, KY, was an investigation of the heel effect at energy levels of 140kV and 75kV. An ArcCHECK dosimeter, which is a cylindrical imaging phantom that contains 1386 n-type silicon diodes arranged in a helix over the apparatus, was used to acquire beam profiles and dose distribution plots of x-ray beams at both energy levels. It was noticeable from the plots that the anode heel effect had visible effects at both 140kV and 75kV, and that the severity of the effect increased with decreasing beam intensity.
11:00 - Modular Bootstrap Bounds at Finite Central Charge
First Author
Casey Christian
Morehead State University 
Co-author
Joshua Qualls 
Morehead State University 
Conformal field theories (CFTs) describe many physical phenomena, ranging from phase transitions to quantum gravity via the AdS/CFT correspondence. While relatively little is known about nonsupersymmetric CFTs even in the best-understood case of two dimensions, in recent years a number of constraints on their spectra and entropies have been obtained using modular bootstrap techniques. By considering unitary 2d CFTs with modular-invariant torus partition functions, we find new universal constraints on the CFT spectrum for finite central charge. As a specific example we specialize to the case where the central charge c = 9 and find that the ratio of marginal operators to tachyonic primary operators is bounded above by 165,000. In addition to directly constraining consistent CFTs of, for example, low-dimensional condensed matter systems, these bounds on the number of states translate into bounds on black hole entropy in theories of three-dimensional quantum gravity.
11:15 * - Energy Determination in the ISS-CREAM Instrument Using Simulations
First Author
Tyler LaBree
Northern Kentucky University 
The ISS-CREAM instrument was launched to the International Space Station in August of 2017 to study the elemental composition of cosmic rays, which permeate the galaxy. The calorimeter (CAL) is one of four detector systems and consists of 20 layers of tungsten and scintillating fibers. Each layer is one electromagnetic radiation length thick. The CAL determines the particle energy by measuring the fraction of the shower energy deposited in the scintillating fiber. Computer simulations are essential in understanding what fraction of total shower energy is deposited, and with what accuracy the original particle's energy can be determined. This talk reviews the results of these simulations.
11:30 * - Analyses of Jet measurements in Relativistic Heavy Ion Collisions
First Author
Ricardo Santos
Berea College 
Co-author
Christine Nattrass 
University of Tennessee 
Co-author
Soren Sorensen 
University of Tennessee 
Co-author
Redmer Bertens 
University of Tennessee 
Co-author
James Neuhaus 
University of Tennessee 
Co-author
Austin Schmier 
University of Tennessee 
Co-author
Jerrica Wilson 
University of Tennessee 
Co-author
Mariah McCreary 
University of Tennessee 
The Quark Gluon Plasma is a state of matter that is formed when heavy ions collide at relativistic speeds. These collisions are conducted at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Geneva, Switzerland. Detectors such as ALICE (A Large Ion Collider Experiment) are used to capture details of the progression of the medium since the QGP only occurs for a fraction of a second. The way to study the medium is to observe jets, collimated sprays of high energy particles created by partons which have traversed through the QGP. The measurement of jet suppression further confirms expectations of the nuclear modification factor using different approaches of jet quenching. Charged jet suppression provides information on the differences between different resolutions parameters used to observe the collision. Experimental analyses were implemented in the RIVET framework to make systematic comparisons between data and Monte Carlo models developed by the JETSCAPE collaboration. The implementation of the jet measurements in the RIVET framework will be presented.
11:45 * - Nylon or Steel?
First Author
Tanner Tackett
Morehead State University 
Co-author
Ignacio Birriel 
Morehead State University 
We investigate the difference between nylon and steel guitar strings. A standard hollow body six-string guitar was used for each of the two sets of strings. We acquired data for various musical chords using the Vernier microphone. Using the Vernier LoggerPro software, each chord for each type of guitar string was examined using Fourier analysis. These studies revealed that although the frequencies are the same, there are differences in amplitudes of the fundamental frequencies and there are differences in the harmonics produced.
13:15 * - X-ray Diffractometry and Compression of Materials
First Author
Hayden Johnson
Murray State University 
Co-author
Jacob Hall 
Murray State University 
A crystalline solid is composed of arrangements of highly-ordered microstructures, called unit cells. Some properties of materials can be determined by investigating these structures using X-ray diffractometry, an analytic technique of exposing solid materials to an incident beam of X-rays and observing the angle at which they refract. The collected data could yield information about the properties of a given material, such as type of crystalline structure, dimension of the unit cell, percent crystallinity, composition, and the residual stress. Through the use of an X-ray diffractometer, we are investigating the occurrence of any significant changes in the diffraction pattern of the samples subjected to plastic deformation through a significant one-dimensional compression. The implications of how physical changes affect the unit cell could lead to future development of force and pressure transducers.
13:30 - TESS: Initial Results and Follow-Up Work at the University of Louisville
First Author
Garrison Turner
Big Sandy Community and Technical College 
With the recent launch of the TESS spacecraft, astronomers are bracing for a large volume of data on the stars visible from TESS's cameras. This talk will discuss the instrumentation, initial results, and the role the University of Louisville will play in follow-up observations in regards to both exoplanet candidates and variable stars.
13:45 - A look at Swift observations of the highly variable Active Galactic Nucleus RX J0148-2758
First Author
Parker Poulos
Morehead State University 
Co-author
Dirk Grupe 
Morehead State University 
I present a long-term variability study of the Narrow-Line Seyfert 1 Galaxy (NLS1) RX J0148-2758 with the Neil-Gehrels Swift Observatory. RX J0148-2758 was one of the first AGN observed by Swift (Grupe et al. 2006) and it has been monitored by Swift since 2005. It was discovered during the ROSAT All-Sky Survey (RASS) as a bright Soft X-ray AGN(Grupe et al. 1998). The X-ray emission is highly variable, but the UVOT emission seems relatively stable. The Swift X-ray spectra suggest the presence of a partial covering absorber or X-ray reflection on the accretion disk. I will discuss the physical models that may explain the X-ray variability found in RX J0148-2758.
14:00 - Long term X-Ray and UV monitoring of the Narrow Line Seyfert 1 Galaxy, RXJ2217.9-5941
First Author
Alanna Cavins
Morehead State University 
I will report on the long-term UV and X-ray monitoring of the Narrow-Line Seyfert 1 galaxy RX J2217-5942 with the Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory. RX J2217-5942 was detected as a bright soft X-ray source by ROSAT (Grupe et al. 1998). However, when it was observed again in 1998 by ASCA it indicated a drop into a deep minimum X-ray flux state. When Chandra observed it again in February and August of 2003 (Grupe et al. 2001, 2004) it dropped by a factor of 30 compared with the ROSAT observations. Swift started monitoring it since 2006. According to these observations, RXJ2217.9-5941 remains in its very deep minimum state. Its X-ray spectrum can be explained by a partial covering absorber model. In addition to the strong X-ray long-term variability, RXJ2217-5941 still exhibits strong variability on shorter time scales. I will discuss the physical models of the variabilities of the spectral energy distributions of RX J2217-5942.
14:15 - An XMM-Newton Observation of the Galactic Supernova Remnant CTB 1 (G116.9+0.2)
First Author
Thomas Pannuti
Morehead State University 
The Galactic supernova remnant (SNR) CTB 1 (G116.9+0.2) is one of the best-known examples of mixed-morphology SNRs. These sources are characterized by a shell-like radio morphology with a contrasting center-filled X-ray morphology, where the observed X-ray emission originates not from a central pulsar wind nebula but instead from a thermal X-ray emitting plasma. In the case of CTB 1, the X-ray emission is seen to extend through the gap in the northeastern sector of the radio shell. The origin of these contrasting morphologies is unknown though it is generally believed that an interaction with an adjacent molecular cloud plays a prominent role. Prior X-ray observations of CTB 1 revealed that the interior X-ray emitting plasma is oxygen-rich: this remarkable result has only been seen in a handful of other Galactic SNRs and indicates that the SNR had a massive stellar progenitor. A new pointed X-ray observation made of CTB 1 by the XMM-Newton observatory is presented and discussed here: this new observation has helped to probe the spatial distribution of oxygen within the plasma (along with the distribution of other elements), the properties of the candidate X-ray neutron star associated with CTB 1 that was discovered previously and a new flaring object seen in projection toward the interior of the SNR. Initial results from the analyses of these sources will be presented and discussed.
14:30 - Night Sky Quality at Mammoth Cave National Park
First Author
Chris Groves
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Bobby Carson 
Mammoth Cave National Park 
Co-author
Barclay Trimble 
Mammoth Cave National Park 
Co-author
Vickie Carson 
Mammoth Cave National Park 
Co-author
Dave Spence 
Mammoth Cave National Park 
National parks protect night skies by minimizing contamination by light pollution. This impacts wilderness conditions as conceived in the Wilderness Act of 1964 through preservation of 'Solitude or a primitive and unconfined type of recreation: the opportunity for humans to experience these values, unaffected by signs of modern civilization…or reminders that a developed society exists.' There is also a critical role in ecosystem function.

Night skies above Kentucky's Mammoth Cave National Park are in good condition, especially considering its location in the eastern United States, as indicated by several measures evaluated at various times over the past decade. These include the Bortle Scale, Unihedron Sky Quality Meter (SQM) data, and Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) data from the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP) satellite. Conditions are expected to improve through ongoing implentation of an Outdoor Lighting and Lightscape Management Plan in the park, which includes modification of lights and fixtures, public education and cooperative efforts with local communities outside of the park. Simultaneously, while south-central Kentucky's atmosphere has long been degraded by regional coal combustion, air quality-including visibility-has improved over the past decade through imroved combustion technology, use of cleaner Wyoming coals, and conversion to natural gas.

Most of the park has a Class 4 rating on the Bortle Scale as well as consistent SQM readings over 21.0, which qualifies it for Silver Tier Status from the International Dark Skies Association for 'exemplary nighttime landscapes.'
14:45 - System Parameters for the Eclipsing B-star Binary BD+11 3569
First Author
Wesley Ryle
Thomas More College 
Co-author
Stephen Williams 
United States Naval Observatory 
Co-author
Terri Perrino 
Thomas More College 
Co-author
Sierra O'Bryan 
Thomas More College 
We present the results from a combined spectroscopic and photometric in-depth study of the binary system BD+11 3569. Fits to Johnson V , Cousins R and I photometry and radial velocities yield an orbital period of 1.497126 +/- 0.000001 days and an inclination of 82.9 +/- 0.3 degrees. The combined light curve and radial velocity solution give masses and radii of M1 = 5.26 +/- 0.06 solar masses with M2 = 4.33+/- 0.04 solar masses and R1 = 3.51 +/- 0.02 solar radii with R2 = 2.57 +/- 0.03 solar radii. This work represents the first set of parameters for an eclipsing binary system measured using equipment at The BB&T Observatory of Thomas More College.
15:00 * - Design and Implementation of a Data Processing and Statistical Analysis Tool for the Unihedron Sky Quality Meter
First Author
Zachary Pater
Morehead State University 
Co-author
Jennifer Birriel 
Morehead State University 
The sky quality meter (SQM) is a useful instrument to measure the quality of the nights sky to study light pollution at a desired location; however, the default data output can be improved upon to trim out the unnecessary data and organize the useful data for use. The goal is to provide a data processing tool to 'clean up' the logged data coming from the SQM in such a way to make it easier to use and apply certain analytical tools to. Using the C++ programming language for its efficiency and vast array of standard and non-standard libraries, a piece of software has been developed to provide the necessary requirements to create the SQM data processing and analysis tool.
Saturday, November 3, 2018  8:00am - 12:00pm
Physiology and Biochemistry - Oral Presentations
DSU 2123
Section meeting follows talks at 10:00
08:00 * - Identification of conserved motifs important for Trm732 function in yeast
First Author
Daisy DiVita
Northern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Michael Guy 
Northern Kentucky University 
Post-transcriptional modifications are abundant in, and are required for, the proper function of tRNAs. 2'-O-methylation of tRNA residues 32 (Nm32) and 34 (Nm34) is conserved among eukaryotes, including yeast and humans. Trm7 methyltransferase interacts separately with Trm732 and Trm734 to form Cm32 and Gm34 on tRNAPhe, respectively. Trm7 and FTSJ1 have both been shown to interact with THADA to modify C32 in yeast. Mutations in FTSJ1 (human Trm7) cause intellectual disability and mutations in THADA (human Trm732) have been linked to polycystic ovary syndrome and type 2 diabetes. The exact function of Trm732 is currently unknown, but we are analyzing the conserved DUF2428 domain within Trm732 to help determine the role of the protein. Site-directed mutagenesis was used to generate variants within the DUF2428 domain to identify regions important for Trm732 function. Preliminary qualitative results indicate three important motifs important for Trm732 function: RRS748, GLP752, and RH701. Once the conditions were optimized for accurate Cm quantification, Ultra-Pressure Liquid Chromatography (UPLC) was utilized to analyze the Cm levels in each variant. In comparing our quantitative and qualitative results, we determined that the variant Cm levels correlate with decreased function of Trm732. We will be continuing to analyze the function of Trm732 in the methyltransferase reaction, both biochemically and genetically. tRNATrp and tRNALeu(UAA) will also be purified from each variant to quantify the Cm levels via UPLC. Binding between Trm7, Trm732, and tRNA will also be analyzed using yeast-2-hybrid and immunoprecipitation.
08:15 * - Characterization of the Molecular Diversity of Pulmonary Sensory Neurons
First Author
Issac Domenech
Berea College 
Co-author
Mark Krasnow 
Stanford University 
Co-author
Yin Liu 
Stanford University 
The visceral sensory neurons, which sense our internal environment and communicate with the central nervous system, are crucial for maintaining physiological homeostasis of our bodies. Our research focuses on a subset of these neurons that specifically innervate the lungs, the pulmonary sensory neurons (PSNs). Over the past decades, PSNs have been extensively studied in their electrophysiological properties, which revealed their heterogeneity, however, the full molecular, morphological, and functional diversities of these neurons have only recently begun to be appreciated. Previous work in the lab using single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-Seq) has identified eight subtypes of PSNs based on their genome-wide transcriptional profiles. This study aims to validate and challenge the scRNA-Seq results by assessing mRNA and protein expression in situ using RNAscope and immunohistochemistry. The genes we selected for this study are specific to one subtype or a cluster of subtypes based on the scRNA-seq data. Our results showed that Slc18a3-expressing PSNs do not overlap with either Trpv1- or Piezo2-expressing PSNs, consistent with the scRNA-seq results. Neurons that express Calb1 and Atp1a3 are largely non-overlapping, however, we did find two cells that express both. This work adds to our confidence on the scRNA-Seq results which we can then utilize to further study each subtype on where it terminates in the lung, what stimuli it senses, and what physiological responses it mediates.
08:30 - Graphene oxide-based sensing technology for screening antibiotic resistance genes utilizing zinc finger proteins
First Author
Dat Thinh Ha
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Moon-Soo Kim 
Western Kentucky Universtity 
Title: Graphene oxide-based sensing technology for screening antibiotic resistance genes utilizing engineered zinc finger proteins

Abstract:
Antibiotic resistance is a serious, and rapidly growing global threat. Here, we will design a sensitive screening method to detect antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) in bacteria using a graphene oxide-based biosensor utilizing engineered zinc finger proteins (ZFPs). Our approach relies on the on and off effect of fluorescence signal in the absence and presence of target ARGs, respectively. Two-dimensional graphene oxide (GO) sheet possesses unique electronic, thermal, and mechanical properties. The quenching ability of GO creates novel methods for detection of biomolecules. Quantum dot-labeled DNA-binding zinc finger proteins (ZFP) can bind to GO via stacking interactions of aromatic and hydrophobic residues in conjunction with hydrogen bonding interaction between hydroxyl or carboxyl groups of GO and hydroxyl or amine groups of the protein. Due to fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) between quantum dot (QD) and GO when they are in close proximity, fluorescence signal of QD-labeled ZFP will be quenched. In the presence of target DNA, the bound DNA-protein complex is released from GO, restoring the fluorescence signal.
08:45 * - Early Detection of Breast Cancer Through Changes in Amino Acid Metabolism
First Author
David Kelley
Thomas More College 
Co-author
Kyle Damen 
Wood Hudson Cancer Research Laboratory 
Co-author
James Deddens 
Wood Hudson Cancer Research Laboratory 
Co-author
Larry Douglass 
Wood Hudson Cancer Research Laboratory 
Co-author
Leila Valanejad 
Wood Hudson Cancer Research Laboratory 
Co-author
Julia Carter 
Wood Hudson Cancer Research Laboratory 
Early identification of cancer progression is critical to reduce or stop tumor growth. Asparagine (ASN), which is a non-essential amino acid, is responsible for sustaining malignant tumor growth. Asparaginase (ASPG) is the enzyme responsible for converting asparagine to its metabolites, aspartic acid and ammonia. Asparagine synthetase (ASNS), however, converts aspartic acid back to asparagine. The regulation of both ASPG and ASNS is necessary to maintain cellular homeostasis. The dysregulation of ASN resulting in excess ASNS and decreased ASPG will result in tumor progression, invasion, and ultimately metastasis. Previous research has shown a decrease in ASPG expression in Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, but a combined dysregulation of ASNS and ASPG has not yet been studied in breast cancer. Thus, we hypothesized that increased expression of ASNS and decreased expression of ASPG will aid in the growth of breast cancer and the ratio of ASNS to ASPG can serve as a novel biomarker for early breast cancer detection. Preliminary immunohistochemistry has supported the proposed hypothesis by illustrating increased ASNS expression and decreased ASPG levels with increased tumor invasiveness. Initial western blot analysis has revealed a dose-dependent increase of ASNS in asparagine-treated T47D. Future research will include the effects of ASPG treatments on ASN expression levels of breast cancer cells, as well as the effects of gene silencing of ASPG and ASNS.
09:00 * - Expression of Cathepsin L, HSP-90, and MAP kinase pathway proteins in bladder cancer characterized by physiology
First Author
Ryan Moore
Northern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Kyle Damon 
Wood Hudson Cancer Research Laboratory 
Co-author
Zachary Taylor 
Wood Hudson Cancer Research Laboratory 
Co-author
Julia Carter 
Wood Hudson Cancer Research Laboratory 
Bladder Cancer is the fifth most prevalent form of cancer with an estimated 81,190 new cases and 17,240 deaths in 2018. Heat shock Protein 90 (HSP-90) and Cathepsin L are therapeutic targets for cancer while mutations of the MAPK pathway are vital to the development of cancer. The expression of HSP-90, Cathepsin-L, and the MAPK pathway in relation to the physiological characterization of five bladder cancer cell lines was investigated in this project through western blot analysis. Our research focused on five bladder cancer cell lines isolated from low-grade noninvasive papilloma to high-grade metastatic carcinomas. Bladder cancer cell lines: RT4, T24, HT-1376, 5637, and TCCSUP were previously characterized as basal or luminal subtype. Basal versus luminal subtypes have distinct clinical behaviors and sensitivities to chemotherapy. Here we analyzed the expression of HSP-90, Cathepsin l, and proteins of the MAPK pathway in relation to their basal or luminal subtype. Our preliminary results indicate loss of expression of Cathepsin-L with increased stage and grade of bladder cancer. HSP-90 showed greater expression in basoluminal and less expression in basal cell type while MAPK pathway proteins showed greater expression in basoluminal compared to basal subtype. In conclusion, our data suggests that the loss of differentiation, increase of stage and grade, and basal subtype expression contributes to bladder cancer progression through the loss of expression of HSP-90, Cathepsin L, and the mutation and overexpression of MAPK proteins.
09:15 * - Mapping the Binding Sites of FATTY ACID SYNTHASE on Chikungunya Viral RNA
First Author
Clara Reasoner
Berea College 
Co-author
Yuqi Bian 
Vanderbilt University 
Co-author
Jeffrey Jian 
Vanderbilt University 
Co-author
Katherine Rothamel 
Vanderbilt University 
Co-author
Byungil Kim 
Vanderbilt University 
Co-author
Manuel Ascano 
Vanderbilt University 
Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is a zoonotic arbovirus with a positive-sense single-stranded RNA genome. Despite increasingly high rates of infection worldwide, the early stages of its entry and the host cellular machinery used to promote replication are not well understood. Past research has demonstrated that the absence of the host enzyme FATTY ACID SYNTHASE (FASN) results in a significant decrease in CHIKV replication. However, this work focused solely on the proviral enzymatic activity of FASN in lipid metabolism. Recently, using the novel technique VIR-CLASP, we determined that FASN is a non-canonical candidate RNA binding protein (RBP) that binds directly to the CHIKV RNA genome immediately upon viral entry. The impact of FASN binding to viral RNA genomes – let alone the function of FASN as an RBP – is under investigation. To formally establish that FASN is a bona fide RBP, we seek to identify the regions on FASN protein that confer RNA binding and to map the FASN binding sites on the CHIKV genome. I will describe my progress towards the localization of the binding site of FASN on CHIKV RNA. Towards this goal, I will describe my use of photochemical biological approaches via RNA-protein crosslinking and immunoprecipitation, followed by reverse-transcription and quantitative PCR. This project serves an essential first step for a structure-function based analysis towards understanding the mechanism of FASN proviral activity on CHIKV replication and infection.
09:30 * - Expression of translation initiation factor eIF4E and phospho eIF4E is increased in human ovarian cancer.
First Author
Kalin Russell
Wood Hudson Cancer Research Laboratory 
Co-author
James Dedden 
University of Cincinnati 
Co-author
Larry Douglass 
Wood Hudson Cancer Research Laboratory 
Co-author
Julia H. Carter 
Wood Hudson Cancer Research Laboratory 
Co-author
Grace Restle 
Wood Hudson Cancer Research Laboratory 
Ovarian cancer (OvCa) is a heterogeneous disease that is histopathologically divided into two categories. Type 1 OvCa is indolent, can develop from precursor lesions, such as borderline tumors, and is usually confined to the ovary at diagnosis. Types 2 OvCa, can arise de novo from the tubal or ovarian surface epithelium. Type 2 OvCa is also genetically unstable, associated with rapid progression and is often diagnosed at late stages. Early detection of OvCa through specific biomarkers may increase opportunities for early treatment. The PI3K pathway is involved in regulating the cell cycle. EIF4E and peIF4E are translation initiation factors within the PI3K pathway. We hypothesize that ovarian tumors will express higher levels of eIF4E and peIF4E as it is associated with increased protein synthesis which is necessary in cell proliferation leading in some cases to tumorigenesis. We will analyze a custom-made Tissue Microarray of benign and malignant ovarian cancer samples using immunohistochemistry. Staining area and intensity of each specific core was semi-quantitatively scored to compare eIF4E and peIF4e cytoplasmic and nuclear staining of Type 1 OvCa to Type 2 and stroma control samples. Our data shows that there is not a statistical difference in the cytoplasmic and nuclear histoscores between Type 1 and Type 2 tumors. However, all ovarian cancers expressed more eIF4E and peIF4E than adjacent normal tissues and connective tissue stroma. Correlation analyses shows that eIF4e and peIF4E staining are highly correlated, p<0.0001. Future directions will include the examination of additional proteins within the PI3K pathway in order to establish additional biomarkers for the early detection and treatment of Type 2 OvCa.
09:45 * - Developing engineered zinc finger proteins immobilized on acrylamide gel surface as diagnostic probes for detecting path
First Author
Caleb Sedlak
WKU 
Zinc Finger Proteins (ZFPs) are one of the most common DNA-binding domains. ZFPs can be engineered to bind to specific genes on a double stranded DNA. Developing a rapid and reliable method for detecting specific pathogens would be greatly beneficial to modern biomedicine as well as more resource-limiting areas. A pair of ZFPs was used in a two-step process to first capture the target DNA and then apply the second detection probe ZFP labelled with a fluorescent molecule. A stx2 gene was chosen as a target DNA, which encodes for Shiga toxin a food born pathogen E.coli O157. The ZFP array takes the capture ZFP probe and immobilizes it on an acrylamide gel surface. After target DNA was added, the detection probe ZFP labeled with a fluorescent molecule was applied to the bound complex of the capture probe and the target DNA. At the final step, fluorescence intensity was measured to compare the signals between target DNA and non-target DNA. Our system has demonstrated the sensitivity of 5.0 nM of DNA.
Saturday, November 3, 2018  8:00am - 12:00pm
Zoology and Botany - Oral Presentations
DSU 2113
Section meetings follow talks at 11:15
08:00 - Seasonal variation in the communication system of the field cricket Gryllus rubens (Orthoptera: Gryllinae)
First Author
Oliver Beckers
Murray State University 
Co-author
Nicholas Norman 
Murray State University 
Co-author
Jacob Pease 
Murray State University 
Co-author
Kai Murphey 
Murray State University 
In animal communication, the signal and the receiver's preference for the signal have to match for successful reproduction to take place. However, phenotypic plasticity can introduce variation in either part of the communication system, potentially disrupting this match or requiring its evolution to compensate for plasticity. Male field crickets produce mating songs by rubbing their wings against each other, resulting in sound pulses that are interspaced by intervals of silence. Each species has its own species-specific mating signal that displays relatively little variation to secure species identity. In KY, the field cricket, Gryllus rubens, has a spring and a fall generation. We report that males of the fall generation produce significantly different mating songs than spring males: fall songs have faster pulse rates, shorter sound pulses and shorter intervals, and a higher dominant frequency compared to spring songs. We used phonotaxis experiments to test which song type is more attractive to females from each generation. We found that spring females were more attracted to the spring song and fall females were more attracted to the fall song. Thus, both male signals and female preferences for these signals display concomitant phenotypic plasticity, ultimately facilitating reproduction in each season. The evolutionary implications of this phenotypic plasticity are discussed.
08:15 - The kinematics of envenomation by the yellow stingray, Urobatis jamaicensis
First Author
Steve Huskey
WKU 
Co-author
Ruth Hughes 
University of Notre Dame 
Co-author
Kristen Pedersen 
University of Southern California 
The yellow stingray, Urobatis jamaicensis (Cuvier 1817), is a common saltwater stingray species that can administer a fast, venomous sting, usually as the result of being inadvertently stepped upon. This species has been studied by a number of investigators, however, little is known about the kinematics of its strike, or the strike of any other ray species. High-speed cinematography was used to film vertical strikes catalyzed by a foot-like apparatus used to pin the animal down. The average maximum velocity of 213.15 cm/s was found to occur 61.3% through the total strike; strikes lasted, on average, 0.23 seconds. The average maximum acceleration was determined to be 3067.34 cm/s/s. To accomplish a successful envenomation, a stingray will arc its tail upward then depress the tip of its tail in order to reveal the venomous spine, forming an angle with the tail with a mean of 35.73 degrees. This angle appears, on average, at a point 58.8% through the path of the strike, or just before maximum velocity. Morphological analyses determined that this angle is accomplished by a significant reduction in the dorso-ventral height of the vertebral column, as well as spacing between haemal arches and processes, creating a 'hinge-like' feature that allows the tail-tip to flex away from the spine. Yellow stingrays are morphologically and behaviorally adapted to deploy their venomous spine as a means of defense against threats, and a better understanding of this mechanism may aid in the prevention and treatment of stingray inflicted wounds in humans.
08:30 - Effect of sleep loss on cognitive function and baseline plasma corticosterone levels in an arctic-breeding songbird
First Author
Brett Hodinka
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Noah Ashley 
Western Kentucky University 
Effect of sleep loss on cognitive function and baseline plasma corticosterone levels in an arctic-breeding songbird, the Lapland longspur (Calcarius lapponicus)


Sleep is a fundamental and essential component of vertebrate life, although its exact function remains unknown. Animals that are deprived of sleep typically show reduced neurobiological performance, health, and in some cases, survival. However, a number of animals exhibit adaptations that permit them to carry out normal activities even when sleep is restricted or deprived. Lapland longspurs (Calcarius lapponicus), arctic-breeding passerine birds, exhibit around-the-clock activity during their short breeding season, with an inactive period of only 3-4 h/day (71°N). Whether these birds suffer behavioral and physiological costs associated with sleep loss (SL) is unknown. To assess the effects of SL, wild-caught male longspurs were placed in captivity on long days (16L:8D) and trained for 2 months using a battery of memory tests, including color association, spatial recognition, and color reversal to assess executive function. Birds were then subjected to automated sleep fragmentation cages that interrupt sleep every 2 min (30 arousals/h) for 12 h or control conditions. The criterion for success on each test was marked by completing the operant task correctly within 10 min. After SL (or control) treatment, birds were bled from the alar wing vein to measure plasma corticosterone levels. Preliminary data suggest that SL individuals performed equally, if not better than non-SL individuals, on cognitive tests. These results indicate that this arctic-adapted species may have evolved behavioral and/or physiological adaptations to withstand the costs associated with SL.
08:45 - New Discoveries of Relationships in Spider Beetles and Related Families Using Molecular Phylogenetics
First Author
Olivia Gearner
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Keith Philips 
Western Kentucky University 
Insects are the most diverse and speciose group of organisms on the planet. Beetles (Coleoptera) alone comprise 25% of described animal species worldwide. One less commonly known group of beetles that is vastly understudied but highly diverse is the bostrichoids, which include four main groups, the dermestids, bostrichids, anobiids, and the spider beetles. Hypotheses on the evolution of the bostrichoids are currently poorly supported, and almost all are based on morphology. This project looks to improve on previous phylogenetic analyses of the group by increasing the sampled taxa and using the standard genes previously used for an earlier molecular phylogenetic analysis. Gene fragments were sequenced and then analyzed using parsimony, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian methods. Results will be used to hypothesize the evolution of morphological traits and lifestyles as well as the basis for a classification based on monophyly, with an emphasis on the spider beetles.
09:00 * - Heritable Behavioral Tendencies of the African Lion
First Author
Natalie Mercer
Kentucky Wesleyan College 
Co-author
Milan Lstibůrek 
Czech University of Life Sciences Prague 
Co-author
Jan Stejskal 
Czech University of Life Sciences Prague 
Co-author
Shannon Finerty 
Kentucky Wesleyan College 
The African lion, Panthera leo, is a vulnerable species and is the only member of Felidae to live in family groups. Therefore, captive-breeding and release programs, such as the one operated by the African Lion and Environmental Research Trust (ALERT), must contemplate the social cohesiveness among individuals considered for release together, and this cohesiveness may vary depending upon similarity of relative time spent performing various behaviors. The purpose of this study was to determine to what extent behavioral tendencies are the phenotypic expressions of quantitative traits in P. leo. It was hypothesized that social interaction, environmental interaction, and self-grooming varied significantly among lion familial lines as a result of genetic variation. Behavioral observations were recorded over hour-long focal follow periods every two minutes and subsequently compiled into individual activity budgets. Phenotypes for each behavioral category were expressed as the percentage of daylight time spent in the activity. A Restricted Maximum Likelihood & Best Linear Unbiased Prediction combined mixed model analysis, utilizing the Animal Genetic Evaluation model and the full pedigree, was employed to determine the heritability of time spent in each behavioral category from the ethogram. A univariate analysis was able to provide preliminary heritability (h2) estimates for environmental interaction (h2=0.83), territoriality (h2=0.96), and resting behavior (h2=0.91). Future work may include repeating this study with a larger population, as well as exploring the relationship between social bond formation and similarity of behavioral phenotypes and relatedness, determining covariance of behavioral traits, and identifying QTLs functioning in the determination of these phenotypes.
09:15 * - Courtship behavior, communication, and copulation in Tigrosa annexa
First Author
Samuel White
Murray State University 
Co-author
Laura Sullivan-Beckers 
Murray State University 
The evolution of multimodal communication, where signalers use multiple signal components in multiple sensory modalities, has become the subject of investigation by many researchers. Signaling puts males at risk of predation, so why do males of some species evolve extra signals that may increase this risk? In some wolf spider species, males incorporate many visual and vibrational signals into a display that they use to attract a female for mating. Female spiders are often aggressive toward courting males and so the male display also functions to decrease the odds of cannibalism. Female wandering spiders deposit silk containing pheromones that communicate their condition to the males. Here, we investigate the complex mating displays and male-female interactions involved in reproduction in a locally-abundant wolf spider, Tigrosa annexa. We describe the male courtship display and observe male mating success and frequency of cannibalism. Males were exposed to the pheromone-laden silk of females and their courtship was recorded in the absence of a female. We also conducted mating trials in which a male and a female interacted for 30 minutes to measure rates of copulation and cannibalism. We found that males readily initiated courtship when exposed to cues from a female in a variety of conditions, and that females rarely engaged in cannibalism, despite our manipulation of their diet. The results of these experiments suggest that cannibalism by female T. annexa spiders may not have been a strong evolutionary force on male courtship display.
WITHDRAWN - Genealogical history and admixture proportion of tiger salamanders in Black Lake, Mono County, California.
09:45 * - Bioenergetic measurements of macroinvertebrates in northern temperate streams using digital technologies.
First Author
Rachel Prokopius
Northern Kentucky University 
Co-author
John Piccolo 
Karlstad Universitet 
Co-author
Eva Bergman 
Karlstad Universitet 
Co-author
Larry Greenberg 
Karlstad Universitet 
Co-author
Denis Lafage 
Karlstad Universitet 
Co-author
Richard Durstche 
Northern Kentucky University 
Bioenergetic measurements of macroinvertebrates in northern temperate streams using digital technologies.
Macroinvertebrates are a major component of the biodiversity and ecosystem services provided by streams and rivers. They are an integral part of the aquatic food web, and are key components in the decomposition of allochthonous litter. In addition to taxonomic identification, macroinvertebrates are often assessed based on their contribution to biomass and lotic system energy content. Standard length-mass measurements have historically determined biomass, with energetic content estimated through calculations. We questioned these standards based on linear dimension error rates that could exist given the range of morphologies found among macroinvertebrate taxa, and proposed the use of digital technologies to increase accuracy in body size measures. We focus on the use of digital imaging to establish surface areaâ€'mass ratios for macroinvertebrate taxa from the tributaries of the Clear River (Klarälven) in Varmland, Sweden. In addition, links were made between these ratios and the energetic content for different macroinvertebrate taxa. Macroinvertebrates were collected monthly from November 2017 to May of 2018 and analyzed in research laboratories at Karlstad Universitet, Sweden. After sorting and identification, digital imaging was performed on specimens live, and then preserved in either ethanol or frozen to determine the effect of preservation on body size. Once preserved and imaged, specimens were dried to a constant mass at 65ËšC and their energetic content determined using bomb calorimetry. Our northern temperate findings from Sweden will be compared to temperate macroinvertebrate bioenergetics findings from Northern Kentucky streams to determine attribute differences between these two biomes.
10:15 - Growth and Reproduction of the Bigeye Shiner, Notropis boops
First Author
Matthew Fossett
Morehead State University 
Co-author
Jon Eisenhour 
Morehead State University 
Co-author
David Eisenhour 
Morehead State University 
Growth and Reproduction of the Bigeye Shiner, Notropis boops. The Bigeye Shiner (Notropis boops Gilbert), occupies clear, rocky streams in much of the Midwest, but has declined in many areas. Despite its recognition as a sensitive species, little data have been published, needed to make conservation management decisions. We studied growth and reproduction of the Bigeye Shiner for eight months in 2017 in Triplett Creek in northeast Kentucky. Length frequency analysis showed Bigeye Shiners averaged 38.2 mm SL (standard length) at 12 months and 52.2 mm SL at 24 months. Individuals in age class 1 ranged from 30-45 mm SL; those in age class 2 (a few possibly age 3) were 46-62 mm SL. Sexually mature individuals, distinguished by examination of gonads, appeared in collections from the 18th of May through the 3rd of June, and were 40.1-55.2 mm SL. These mature Bigeye Shiners were in the 1 and 2+ age classes, according to age assignments based on length frequency analysis. The number of age 2+ Bigeye Shiners rapidly declined during the summer and fall months, suggesting few individuals live past 2 years. Females had 120-259 (mean=177) advanced mature to ripe ova per ovum. Analysis of gonadosomatic indices (GSI) suggests spawning occurs in May through July. Sampling throughout late summer and early fall yielded few young-of-the-year (YOY) Bigeye Shiners, perhaps due to multiple large flood events in 2017. The Bigeye Shiner is a short-lived species, thus disturbances to spawning or recruitment of juveniles, particularly over a multi-year period, could result in sharp population declines.
10:30 - Canopy Conditions and Light Availability as Predictors of Running Buffalo Clover Population Trajectories
First Author
Jessica King
Eastern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Jennifer Koslow 
Eastern Kentucky University 
The endangered native forb Trifolium stoloniferum (Muhl ex. A. Eaton) is commonly stated to require partial sunlight, but its specific light needs have yet to be quantified. Count-based surveys of T. stoloniferum were performed in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, and 2018 at the Bluegrass Army Depot in Richmond, Kentucky. In 2018, all 50 patches of T. stoloniferum were also assessed for canopy closure using hemispherical photography. The changes in population numbers were considered in conjunction with canopy closure calculated using ImageJ. Preliminary analysis suggests that canopy closure less than 90% is correlated with population decline or extinction. With the advent of digital photography and image processing, hemispherical photography represents an accessible and consistent way to measure canopy closure and should be considered as a tool for management of plant species and communities. Conservation and restoration of T. stoloniferum may prioritize populations based upon canopy conditions and light availability especially following changes to canopy structure due to natural or artificial disturbance.
10:45 * - Molecular analysis of glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase genes in Ragweed (Asteraceae).
First Author
Kiana Mattingly
Bellarmine University 
Co-author
Robert Day 
Bellarmine University 
Co-author
Joann Lau 
TLH 
Co-author
David Robinson 
Bellarmine University 
There are at least 21 different species of Ragweed (Ambrosia spp.) growing in the U.S. To date, we have collected genomic DNA from 15 of these species. In a preliminary study, we have isolated a gene for Glyceraldehyde 3-Phosphate Dehydrogenase (GAPDH) from two of these species: Common Ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia L.) collected in Louisville, KY, and Cuman Ragweed (Ambrosia psilostachya DC.) collected outside of Montgomery, AL. GAPDH is an important enzyme in plants, as it plays a critical role in the glycolytic pathway. The genes for eight different GAPDH enzymes have been isolated in Arabidopsis thaliana, with some isozymes being either NAD+ or NADP+-dependent and located in the cytosol, and others being NADP+-dependent and found in plastids. Both of the Ragweed species yielded two alleles each for the GAPDH gene homologous to the GAPC-2 gene of Arabidopsis. All four of these sequences encode an identical protein sequence (201 amino acids) which includes the active site of the enzyme. While the intron structure of the 1178 bp genomic sequences for each of these alleles was similar, there is a 45-bp gap in the intron of one allele (from A. artemisiifolia), that is identical to one of the alleles of A. psilostachya. This intron variation might therefore, be very ancient. We are also utilizing the 15 Ambrosia species to study the evolution of pollen allergenic proteins thought to cause hayfever in people.
11:00 - A Statistical Approach to Defining the Typical Herbarium
First Author
Maggie Whitson
Northern Kentucky University 
With an increasing number of herbaria employing techniques such as bar-coding, specimen imaging, and records databasing, we know more about the holdings of US herbaria than ever before. Can we use this information for a bit of self-reflection? Defining the "typical herbarium" could be useful for determining where one's institution stands and finding peers and benchmarks for comparison and inspiration. The idea is simple, but is there a rigorous way to address it? Data from Index Herbariorum and digital portals (SERNEC, iDigBio, gbif) was used to estimate typical herbarium sizes and distributions. Statistical methods for analysis of data types typically associated with herbarium specimens (ex. total specimens held, specimens per state or county, numbers of taxa) will be discussed, as well as what constitutes "typical" in Kentucky and the broader U.S.
Saturday, November 3, 2018  9:00am - 3:00pm
Exhibitors Tables
Third Floor, Downing Student Union
Visit our Exhibitors to find out about career opportunities, graduate schools, and to connect to great services & resources!
Saturday, November 3, 2018  9:00am - 3:00pm
Statistics consultations
DSU 3018
Calling all researchers!  Take advantage of the experts at UK's Applied Statistics Lab, courtesy of KBRIN ! If you have data you're working with now, or if you're still designing a project, let the statistics experts help you sort out your data analysis. Find out more and make an appointment in advance: https://www.kyscience.org/statistics_consults_at_kas.php
Saturday, November 3, 2018  9:00am - 4:00pm
Student Competition Awards
Third Floor, Downing Student Union
All day Saturday we'll be announcing student competition winners. Come check the screen by the registration desk to see winners. Student winners, we'll be taking your photos to post on our website.
Saturday, November 3, 2018  12:00pm - 1:00pm
Past Presidents Lunch & Annual Business Meeting
Cupola Room (inside Fresh Dining Hall)
All KAS members are welcome to this meeting. At this time there are no more lunch tickets available but we are making arrangements for anyone to attend the meeting who wishes to join us.
 
Saturday, November 3, 2018  1:14pm - 4:00pm
Oral Presentations - Saturday Afternoon
Asterisk * denotes student research competition
Saturday, November 3, 2018  1:15pm - 4:00pm
Chemistry: Organic/Inorganic - Oral Presentations
DSU 3007
Section meeting follows talks at 3:00
13:15 * - Synthesis of iron-nickel heterodinuclear metal-organic coordination polymers.
First Author
Junhao Huang
Western Kentucky University 
The goal of this research is synthesize new iron-nickel coordination polymers using a combination of photosensitizer complex centers and active catalyst centers using bridging ligands into a single material. The targeting compounds will have [Fe(bpc)3]nâˆ' (bpc =2,2′âˆ'bipyridineâˆ'4,4′âˆ'dicarboxylate ), ions connected by Ni(II) metal ion centers. The complex ion [Fe(bpc)3]nâˆ', mimicking [Ru(bpy)3]2+ (bpy =2,2′âˆ'bipyridine), can act as both a sensitizer and a catalyst. Two methods were used for the synthesis of the designed materials. Effect of temperature, reaction time, pH and types of solvents and mole ratio of three reactant to the product yield were tested. The first method is a one-step reaction in which bpc, iron(II) chloride tetrahydrate and nickel nitrate hexahydrate with different mole ratio were dissolved into either water or dimethylformamide. The second method is a two-step reaction. In the first step, bpc, iron(II) chloride tetrahydrate with different mole ratio were dissolved into either water or dimethylformamide. The pH of the solution was changed by adding acid or base. The reaction mixture was heated at different temperature. In the second step, nickel nitrate hexahydrate was added to the product of the first step.
13:30 * - Heteroaryl Isocoumarins as Potential Aromatase Inhibitors: Substrate Scope Investigation
First Author
Quynh Nguyen
Northern Kentucky University 
Co-author
William Renzenbrink 
Northern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Stephen Ramirez 
Northern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Lili Ma 
Northern Kentucky University 
Isocoumarin compounds have found significant application in various medicinal chemistry researches due to their wide range of biological activities. This project focuses on substrate scope investigation of domino reactions which generate heteroaryl isocoumarins as potential anti-breast cancer drug candidates. A variety of ketones and heteroaryl halides were tested under optimized reaction conditions with assistance of microwave irradiation. Over a dozen of heteroaryl isocoumarins were successfully synthesized in efficient time with minimal waste produced. Future work will focus on bioassay with aromatase enzyme to test compounds' efficacy in aromatase inhibition.
13:45 * - Discovery of New Heteroaryl Aromatase Inhibitors through Computer Modeling
First Author
Ayanav Roy
Northern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Matthew Neiser 
Northern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Stephen Ramirez 
Northern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Andrew Quillen 
Northern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Lili Ma 
Northern Kentucky University 
About 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, so the search for effective treatment is an urgent one. Fortunately, aromatase inhibitors provide a new approach for the discovery of breast cancer drugs. These compounds block the function of the enzyme aromatase, which prevents the production of estrogen and thus, stops the proliferation of breast cancer cells. The purpose of this study is to utilize computer modeling to predict crucial interactions between heteroaryl-containing aromatase inhibitors and the active site of aromatase. Possible inhibitors were imported to the program GOLD, which was used to predict their binding affinity with aromatase. Then, the program MOE was used to visualize the bonding interactions of these molecules. After docking over sixty possible structures, MN-A148 was found to have the highest affinity with the enzyme. Selected compounds were tested by fluorescence enzyme inhibition assay and MN-A148 was confirmed to have the highest inhibition against aromatase. Further research will involve the synthesis and bioassay for MN-A148 derivatives in an attempt to find improved drug candidates for breast cancer.
WITHDRAWN - Pyridine N-Oxide Assisted Activation of Alkynes by Visible Light Photo-Redox Catalysis
14:15 * - Synthesis and structures of a 3D porous metal-organic framework [Fe(bpc)]
First Author
Cristina Throckmorton
Western Kentucky University 
Synthesis and structures of a 3D porous metal-organic framework [Fe(bpc)]. CRISTINA THROCKMORTON, BANGBO YAN, Department of Chemistry, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY 42101.

Photocatalytic reduction of carbon dioxide is a topic of broad scientific interest, and solar energy harvesting is important to society. Our goal was to synthesize porous metal-organic frameworks composed of iron(II) and bpc ligands (H2bpc =2,2′âˆ'bipyridineâˆ'4,4′âˆ'dicarboxylic acid) as photocatalysts for reduction of carbon dioxide. We have successfully made a new porous metal-organic framework [Fe(bpc)]. The framework is composed of iron (II) ions linked by bpc ligands. The compound is characterized by X-ray diffraction, UV-vis, IR spectroscopy and fluorescence spectroscopy.
14:30 * - Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of Heteroaryl Ketones
First Author
Stephen Ramirez
Northern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Quynh Nguyen 
Northern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Alexander Rosen 
Northern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Matthew Neiser 
Northern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Ayanov Roy 
Northern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Lili Ma 
Northern Kentucky University 
Breast cancer affects over 200,000 people every year. One class of drugs called aromatase inhibitors are currently used to treat hormone receptive breast cancer. This project investigates the viability of heterocyclic ketone compounds in aromatase inhibition at an efficiency similar to or better than common aromatase inhibitors such as Letrozole. The compounds were synthesized through the palladium-catalyzed direct α-heteroarylation of ketones. The optimized reaction conditions were: 1.1 equiv. ketone, 1 equiv. heteroaryl halide, 2% XPhos Palladacycle Gen. 4 catalyst, 2.4 equiv. Sodium tert-Butoxide with microwave irradiation at 120 °C for 20 minutes. The structures and purity of the compounds were verified by proton and carbon-13 nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. The molecular weights were verified using high-resolution mass spectrometry. Using the docking programs MOE and GOLD, samples were selected for the initial bioassays on the basis of their high chemscores. Lastly, microplate enzyme assays tested the inhibition of aromatase by measuring through the fluorescence activity at varying substrate concentrations. The half-maximal inhibitory concentration, or IC50, of the ketones, varied significantly by magnitudes of thousands uM but some compounds showed significant potential. Of the compounds analyzed, the diaryl ketone showed the lowest average IC50 at 2.42 uM. As a result, this investigation supports the hypothesis that simpler heterocyclic ketone compounds could be potential treatments of hormone receptive breast cancer. Further work will synthesize derivatives of the most effective base compounds and examine the most effective functional groups in inhibition.
14:45 * - Synthesizing Cleavable Antibody Drug Conjugates via Solid Phase Organic Synthesis
First Author
Michael James
Berea College 
Co-author
Levi Blevins 
Berea COllege 
Co-author
Ominica Crockett 
Berea College 
Co-author
Elizabeth Thomas 
University of Pikeville 
There is a need for cancer treatment to become more effective and more specific for cancerous tissue, and antibody drug conjugates are a promising method for doing just that. While the concept behind them is promising, they lack diverse cleavage methods to deliver their cytotoxic payload to their intended target. Therefore, cathepsin B mediated cleavage was explored as a delivery mechanism for antibody drug conjugates because of the increased cathepsin B expression in cancerous cells (especially metastatic cancer) and its ability to promote the specific release of cytotoxic drugs within. Modified pentapeptides were designed with the purpose of conjugating detectable molecules such as drugs to cancer specific antibodies to test the effectiveness of a valine-citrulline or valine-alanine cleavable bonds in cellular cancer models. Pentapeptide derived linkers were synthesized via solid phase organic synthesis, and characterized by high performance liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry, confirming the synthesis of five modified pentapeptide linkers. Antibody conjugation yielded unfavorable results based on SDS-PAGE and Western blot analysis, so future endeavors seek to improve conjugation and refine linker design.
Saturday, November 3, 2018  1:15pm - 4:00pm
Geography - Oral Presentations
DSU 2123
Section meeting follows talks at 3:15
13:15 - Inadvertent local climate modification at a regional university in Kentucky, USA
First Author
Donald Yow
Eastern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Matthew Ruggless 
Eastern Kentucky University 
Simultaneous air temperature observations from two stations are compared to assess the urban heat island effect in the urban canopy layer. The 'urban' station is located on Eastern Kentucky University's Richmond campus; the 'rural' station in a non-irrigated pasture 12.7km away. Urban heat islands impact energy consumption for heating and cooling and affect numerous biological processes including human health. EKU's heat island follows a typical diurnal pattern, developing during the hours surrounding sunset and dissipating soon after sunrise. Dry air masses with little to no cloud cover and calm winds are favorable for UHI development. Analyzing only nocturnal observations when wind speed was less than 1 ms-1, revealed an average urban-rural temperature difference of 3.36°C, and a maximum difference of 14.25°C. Impacts on warm season cooling costs and potential mitigation strategies will be discussed.
13:30 * - URBAN HEAT AND DEMOGRAPHIC CHANGE: A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF THE LARGEST 100 CITIES OF THE TEMPERATE-FORESTED ECOREGION
First Author
Tori Farrow
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Jeremy Sandifer 
Kentucky State University 
Long recognized as a consequence of urban living, the urban heat island (UHI) continues to be among the many important factors that decision-makers and land managers must consider when planning for the future. In addition, populations from lower socioeconomic classes continue to be disproportionately impacted by negative health issues brought on, in part, by higher temperatures, especially at night. This study was designed to characterize 1) the magnitude and change over time of the UHI and 2) the physical and 3) socio-economic attributes for the largest 100 cities of the temperate-forested ecoregion of the U.S. The Random Forest (RF) algorithm diagnostics statistics were employed to estimate the importance of each of the variables by comparing each variable relative importance to model predictions.
Sourced data included the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectro-radiometer (MODIS) land surface temperatures (LST) 8-day 1-km product (2010-2018), United States Geological Survey land cover products (2011), and the 2016 American Community Survey (ACS).
Preliminary results suggest 1) that UHIs exist at all measured locations;2) UHIs are growing in many places; and 3) that socio-economic indicators, such as race and household type, are as effective for predicting UHI magnitude as physical attributes of percent impervious or tree cover. Overall, the findings highlight the importance in understanding the physical impact social norms have on phenomena like UHIs.
13:45 - Analyzing sanitary sewer overflow event response to storm frequency
First Author
Christopher Andrew Day
University of Louisville 
Uncontrolled releases of untreated stormwater as sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs) are a serious issue facing many communities across Kentucky. Such events typically occur during and after high-intensity storm activity, classified as 'wet-weather overflow events'. Rainfall dependent inflow into sanitary sewer systems can exceed the hydraulic capacity of the wastewater collection system in one or more locations. These 'wet-weather' flow events temporarily increase the normal 'dry-weather baseflow' of the sanitary sewer system, which accounts for the sewer capacity under normal dry-weather conditions. Despite the frequent occurrence of SSOs across the Louisville Metro area, there is limited existing documented research into quantifying and modeling these events. This research analyzed the hydraulic behavior of a single known multiple SSO sewershed in response to a series of recorded storm events between 2014-2017. Relationships were explored between maximum and mean rainfall intensity, total depth and duration to determine minimum storm thresholds for SSO events to occur. Total volume and duration of SSO events were also examined to assess the overflow sensitivity of the sewershed to storm events. Research that documents the causes of, and quantifies, SSO releases would help establish a possible framework for assessing and mitigating the impacts of SSOs and further raise public awareness of this source of pollution in the future.
14:00 - Comparing Sediment Yield of Selected Forest Ecosystems Using SWAT in Bell Watershed, Kentucky
First Author
Aman Bhatta
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Buddhi Gyawali 
Kentucky State University 
Surface runoff and erosion in combination with the increase in human population causes more disturbance to chemical and physical properties of soil resulting in increased non-point source water pollution. The sediment yield and discharge of nutrients through runoff and erosion into water sources degrades water quality. This study focused on observing different sediment yields resulting from different types of soil and slope gradients in forest ecosystems and whether this has changed due to the growing population. The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT), a popular watershed scale model, was used for quantifying the sediment yield of different sub-basins of the Cumberland River watershed located in Bell County, Kentucky. SWAT, an extension of GIS, delineates a watershed (Bell Watershed) and small Hydrologic Response Units (HRU), which are small, identical land units with same land use and soil type. Crop data layer obtained from the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), Landsat data, Digital Elevation Model (DEM), boundary polygons from Kentucky Geoportal, sediment yield, and daily flow of water measured at United States Geological Survey (USGS) gauge stations, were obtained for the calibration and validation of the SWAT model. The calibrated and validated model for the watershed simulated the runoff and sediment yield for each HRU and sub-basin. Preliminary results show that, as expected, units with high slope had higher sediment yield compared to areas with low slope, but the study failed to show significant differences between sediment yields when compared based on soil types.
14:15 - Land cover classification and change detection using remote sensing imagery in Morgan County, Kentucky
First Author
Saaruj Khadka
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Buddhi Gyawali 
Kentucky State University 
Co-author
Tilak Shrestha 
Kentucky State University 
Varied land uses and land cover patterns have affected the ecosystem and biodiversity in Kentucky. This study focuses on using remote sensing imagery in land cover classification and to detect changes in use between 2001 and 2016 in Morgan County, Kentucky. The Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper and Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager were used to perform supervised classification using maximum likelihood classification techniques and accuracy analysis was conducted using kappa statistics. Ground truth data for the analysis were compiled using the National Land Cover Dataset and National Agriculture Imagery Program data. The results measured changes in agriculture, forest, pasture, developed land, and water bodies. The change detection at the pixel level between major land cover classes was performed using the classified maps to identify areas where higher rates of land conversion occurred. Preliminary results suggest that many forest lands were converted to surface mining, which impacted local biodiversity and agroecosystems.
14:30 - How economic geography might have saved the Mammoth Cave Mushroom Company
First Author
Katie Algeo
Western Kentucky University 
The Mammoth Cave Mushroom Company was created in 1881 with the intention of engaging in large-scale production of culinary mushrooms inside the eponymous cave that is now the centerpiece of a national park. This paper outlines the early months of the company's existence and introduces the men who created it. A stock company was formed to raise capital, and an experienced mushroom grower hired to run it. Then things started to go wrong. Interpersonal conflict flared as funds ran out. Weber's industrial location theory suggests that the business plan was inherently flawed, and the company would have floundered even if sabotage had not led to the business's early demise. An understanding of the economic geography of weight-losing production could have produced an alternative, more fiscally sustainable plan. The company's options were limited, however, once early decisions had been made. The paper contributes to an understanding of the historical geography of mushroom production in the United States, as well financial circumstances that eventually led to calls for the nationalization of Mammoth Cave.
14:45 * - Observing Boundary Layer Heights over Mountainous Terrain Using Aircraft Vertical Profiles
First Author
Dallas McKinney
Western Kentucky University 
The boundary layer height separates turbulently mixed air and pollutants emitted at the ground from the free troposphere above and is an important parameter in numerical weather prediction and air pollution dispersion models. Discerning the boundary layer height over mountainous terrain is difficult due to complex interactions with upper level winds, venting of humidity and aerosols into the free troposphere, and large spatiotemporal variability. Mountain boundary layers can closely follow the terrain, be flat, or be more shallow than valleys below, depending on the time of day, season, and synoptic conditions. To determine the extent to which the boundary layer height follows terrain, I used aircraft meteorological and trace gas data collected by NASA's DC-8 Airborne Science Laboratory during accents and descents over mountains across Central and Southern California during the 2018 Student Airborne Research Program. Meteorological variables included water vapor, potential temperature, and turbulence. Carbon monoxide, methane, and carbon dioxide enhancement ratios were used to consider when observed atmospheric layers were last in contact with the ground surface. Vertical profiles over the southern Sierra Nevada, San Emigdio, and San Bernardino Mountains indicated that boundary layer heights follow the topography of these areas, being higher over ridges and lower over valleys.
15:00 - Mapping Opioid Epidemic in Kentucky's Counties
First Author
Charlie Zhang
University of Louisville 
Kentucky is among states that have been hardest hit by the opioid epidemic in the U.S., especially for rural counties located in the Appalachian Mountains. This paper investigated the spatial patterns of opioid overdose mortality among Kentucky counties using GIS and spatial analysis methods. In particular, we tested a hypothesis that rural counties are more likely to have higher opioid overdose mortality rates than their urban counterparts because of less access to drug addiction treatment facilities and services after accounting for other confounding factors. Moreover, we extended the existing literature one step further by analyzing the spatiotemporal aspects of opioid overdose deaths aggregated to ZIP codes within the Louisville metropolis and examining racial/ethnic disparities in opioid-induced deaths. Findings from this research can inform public health policies and strategies to stem the opioid epidemic in Kentucky and nationwide.
Saturday, November 3, 2018  1:15pm - 4:00pm
Health Science - Oral Presentations
DSU 3005
Section meeting follows talks at 2:30
13:15 * - Activation of Human Immune Responses by Novel Vaccines for Hepatitis C Virus
First Author
Samuel Adams
Northern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Brett Messmer 
Northern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Hunter Morgan 
Northern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Ryan Fitzpatrick 
Northern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Joseph Mester 
Northern Kentucky University 
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is one of the most prevalent and deadly blood-borne pathogens. No vaccines are currently available to prevent or treat HCV infection. Using recombinant DNA techniques, we developed several novel vaccines for HCV using a modified herpesvirus backbone. Primary human antigen presenting cells exposed to the vaccines demonstrated immune activation and chemokine expression that would attract other immune cells to the site of vaccination. In addition, RNA sequencing results have shown significant increase in genes responsible for immune response. These results demonstrate the immune activating potential of the vaccines, which may someday be used to prevent HCV infection.
13:30 - Prevalence of Dyslipidemia in Young African Americans
First Author
Bisola Asaolu
Kentucky State University 
Introduction: Research shows that African Americans have a higher prevalence of metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular diseases than other race/ethnic groups. However, there is a dearth of evidence on the nature and progress of the correlates of metabolic syndrome in this population. Dyslipidemia, an imbalance in lipid levels, is one such correlate. Dyslipidemia is the elevation of plasma cholesterol, triglycerides, and or a low concentration of HDL cholesterol (HDL-C).

Aim: To determine the prevalence of dyslipidemia as determined by the concentration of plasma HDL-C in young African Americans at a historically black university (HBCU).

Methods: This study defined dyslipidemia as < 40mg/dL in men and < 50mg/dL in women. Students at an HBCU were recruited to take part in a health screening for a research-cum-outreach program. The final analytic sample was 90 participants. Their lipid profiles were determined using Cholestech cassettes. The resulting data was analyzed using Stata v.14.

Results: The study sample was made up 50% female and 50% male and their mean age was 20.2 years old with a standard deviation of 2.2 years. About 50% of the participants (n=44) showed abnormally low levels of HDL-C.

Discussion and Conclusion: Given the high prevalence of dyslipidemia in this population, more effort is needed to design interventions aimed at preventing and managing and abnormal HDL-C levels among young African Americans. Also, as this cohort grows older, it is imperative to seek effective means of mitigating their risk of metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular diseases by managing predisposing factors including dyslipidemia.  
13:45 * - Epidemiology of HPV-Associated Cancers: ​ Changing Trends and Future Burden ​
First Author
Yeongha Oh
Berea College 
The Southeast region of the United States has the highest incidence of HPV-related malignant cancers and the lowest HPV vaccination rates in the country. In order to facilitate HPV research, Vanderbilt created a consortium of researchers and students called HPV-ACTIVE. Three initial pilot projects were funded through this group. The objective of project 1 was to determine the burden of HPV-associated cancers and precancers and to create a virtual biorepository of all HPV-associated cancers and precancers diagnosed at Vanderbilt. Natural language processing was used to search for all pathology reports generated at Vanderbilt from 2005 to 2017 for HPV-associated keywords. These pathology reports are currently being manually reviewed to confirm the presence or absence of an HPV-related cancer or precancer. Of 29,618 identified pathology reports, 21,753 (73%) have been manually reviewed. To date, 798 cancers and 9,605 precancers have been identified. All information is housed in a secure online database (REDCap) that allows researchers to easily search for HPV-related malignancies and to link those cases with archived tissue specimens available for research. After the completion, this project has the potential to be the largest biorepository of HPV-related malignancies serving as an invaluable tool for future HPV research.
14:00 - Bacterial deactivation by using Graphene quantum dot as an effective photodynamic therapy agent
First Author
Ermek Belekov
Western Kentucky University Physics and Astronomy Department 
Co-author
Lauren Cooper 
Western Kentucky University Physics and Astronomy Department 
Co-author
Khomidkhodzha Kholikov 
Western Kentucky University Physics and Astronomy Department 
Co-author
Ilhom Saidjafarzoda 
Western Kentucky University Physics and Astronomy Department 
Co-author
Michael Smith 
Western Kentucky University Biology Department 
Co-author
Dave Monroe 
Western Kentucky University Biology Department 
Co-author
Omer San 
Oklahoma State University 
Co-author
Ali Er 
Western Kentucky University Physics and Astronomy Department 
Antibiotics are commonly used in bacterial infection. However, the widespread use of antibiotics has resulted in the emergence of multidrug-resistant or pathogenic bacterial strains. Consequently, the need for developing new bactericidal materials and techniques arose. Photodynamic therapy is proposed as an alternative approach. In PDT, light interacts with certain materials and chemicals to induce damage to bacteria. Graphene quantum dots (GQD) are one of the most promising antimicrobial agents since they possess high germicidal activity against a broad range of microbes. In our project, we aim to investigate an effective, inexpensive and available compound which will hold even higher antimicrobial activity and lower toxicity toward human blood. For this purposes, we used GQD and methylene blue (MB). GQDs were grown by focusing nanosecond laser pulses into benzene and were later combined with MB. The Gram-negative bacteria, Escherichia coli, and Gram-positive bacteria, Micrococcus luteus, were deactivated by GQD/MB. Detailed characterization was performed with transmission electron microscopy (TEM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR), UV-Visible (UV-Vis), and photoluminescence (PL) spectra.
14:15 - Effects of alpha & beta-adrenergic receptor blockade upon inflammatory responses & microglia activation to sleep loss.
First Author
Nicholas Wheeler
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Noah Ashley 
Western Kentucky University 
Sleep is a rejuvenating activity, however, when it is dysregulated, there are subsequent cognitive, metabolic, immunological, and inflammatory consequences due to sleep loss and are detrimental to human health. For example, adequate sleep is imperative for an optimally functioning immune system, and studies have shown that immune system suppression is correlated with decreased sleep duration. Understanding sleep-immune associations has important public health consequences due to the increasing prevalence of sleep loss in modern society, particularly in close association with individuals inflicted with obstructive sleep apnea. This novel study tests the influence of the sympathetic nervous system on inflammatory responses to sleep loss, female C57BL/6 mice will be injected with a single injection of a non-selective β adrenergic receptor antagonist propranolol, a non-selective α-antagonist phentolamine, or saline. Thirty minutes later, mice will then be exposed to control or 24 h of SF conditions. After SF for 24 h or control conditions (6 h SF/18h rest), mice will be killed for assessment of cytokine inflammatory gene and protein expression using RTPCR, ICC, ELISAs, as well as data analysis. Preliminary data suggests that mice that subjected to acute sleep fragmentation experience an increase in mRNA expression of the pro-inflammatory cytokine, IL-1 (interleukin 1) in white adipose tissue, heart, and brain. Furthermore, mice subjected to sleep loss also display microglial activation in hypothalamus. These results indicate that catecholamines play a regulatory role to inflammation induced by sleep fragmentation. It's anticipated catecholamines will increase central and peripheral inflammation as well as increase microglial activation in the brain.
Saturday, November 3, 2018  1:15pm - 4:00pm
Mathematics - Oral Presentations
DSU 3002
Section meeting follows talks at 4:00
13:15 * - A Study of Non-Linearity in a Simple Pendulum
First Author
Ethan Caudill
Morehead State University 
Co-author
Jennifer Birriel 
Morehead State University 
A common introductory physics demonstration utilizes the motion of a pendulum to introduce the idea of harmonic motion. However, one of the caveats is that the pendulum never swings in large arcs, to avoid creating large amplitudes. This is because when the amplitude approaches its maximum, the harmonic nature of this system begins to degrade and become nonlinear. This presentation will show what happens when the pendulum reaches large amplitudes through experimental data and provide an in-depth analysis of the equations of motion for a pendulum disregarding the oversimplification of the small angle approximation.
13:30 * - Using Topology to find Copyright Infringement
First Author
Jeremiah Halter
1997 
Using topology to find copyright infringement
Copyright infringement is to the music industry as plagiarism is to the academic world. In the realm of academia though, there are different algorithms that can be used to identify when a paper is plagiarizing another source. The goal of this research was to develop a method to identify copyright infringement using topology. The focus was to develop different metrics to find different 'distances' between two songs. The goal of the research was to create a program using these metrics that could be applied to court cases to determine whether or not copyright infringement occurred.
13:45 - From the Hardwood to the Spreadsheet
First Author
Christopher Napier
Morehead State University 
This project attempts to build a simulation model for NBA games that considers a player's entire body of work as a player in the NBA. The goal is to be able to accurately project an NBA season. The inspiration for this project comes from watching players such as Vince Carter, which we would assume are at the end of their careers, still contributing to their teams by putting up good statistics on a nightly basis. Thus, the project tries to embody the idea that all players have a certain potential they could reach, such as Vince Carter potentially scoring 20 points one night, but also realizing it's not very likely to happen on average.
14:00 - Dr. Strangelog or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Slide Rule
First Author
Dwight Smith
Kentucky Community and Technical College System 
Nowadays, students think of logarithms as numbers you punch into a calculator, or expressions that have mysterious properties they have to remember. Before the advent of hand-held calculators in the 1970's, logarithms were taught extensively in College Algebra, much more than today. Logarithms were often used to solve problems that involved much tedious calculation, using those mysterious properties I alluded to above. The device used to enhance such calculations was the slide rule, which was based on logarithms. In this talk, I plan to show how a slide rule works. If you are old enough to remember using a slide rule (as I am), brings yours along and we can have some fun!
14:15 - Additive 3-Choosability of Planar Graphs with Girth 20
First Author
Axel Brandt
Northern Kentucky University 
Co-author
Nathan Tenpas 
Vanderbilt University 
Co-author
Carl Yerger 
Davidson College 
The additive choice number of a graph G, denoted ch∑(G), is the minimum positive integer k such that, whenever each vertex is given a list of at least k positive integers, vertex labels can be chosen from respective lists in such a way that adjacent vertices have distinct sums of labels on their neighbors. Recently, bounds on the additive choice number have been proven for planar graphs under certain girth assumptions. In this talk, we use the Combinatorial Nullstellensatz to streamline arguments within a proof using the discharging method to show that ch∑(G)≤3 for planar graphs G with girth at least 20.
14:30 - Rational Points on Circles and the Birch and Swinnerton-Dyer Conjecture
First Author
Andy Martin
Kentucky State University 
In teaching a course in abstract algebra, I discovered that a definition in the 3rd edition of a beloved textbook from my undergraduate days (Fraleigh's A First Course in Abstract Algebra) did not match that of our text, Hadlock's Field Theory and its Classical Problems. I of course assigned my students the task of determining whether their two definitions of a 'circle in Q' were equivalent. In then researching the problem on my own I came upon a 1979 American Mathematical Monthly article 'A Characterization of Circles which Contain Rational Points' by Paul Humke and Lawrence Krajewski. In this talk I will present the two definitions, and summarize the article's results which resolved the definitional conflict. In addition, I will show how this topic leads naturally into the Birch and Swinnerton-Dyer Conjecture, one of the remaining six unsolved million-dollar Millennium Problems.
14:45 - Applying the Hastings-Metropolis algorithm to chessboard placement problems
First Author
Doug Chatham
Morehead State University 
In an article entitled 'It's Puzzling' in the September 2018 issue of The College Mathematics Journal, C.D. Howard describes using the 'Hastings-Metropolis algorithm' to quickly generate 4-by-4 crossword puzzles. Inspired by that article, we produced a program to place pawns and queens on an n-by-n board so that no two queens attack each other. In this talk we describe and demonstrate our program and compare our results to those found by other methods.
15:00 - An Examination of Discrete Least Squares Approximation Techniques
First Author
Mark Robinson
Western Kentucky University 
The most familiar use of discrete least squares approximation is the least squares linear model or 'line of best fit,' as well as other polynomial models. However, the least squares approach is also applicable with a broader class of models that can be used in cases in which polynomial models are not appropriate for the given data. The use of various types of models (including linear, polynomial, and trigonometric) is examined, including illustrative examples.
15:15 - Random Operators and Dynamical Localization
First Author
Kyle Besing
Kentucky Wesleyan College 
Physical systems are often disordered. Crystals will often include impurities and the components of metallic alloys are distributed randomly through the material. This disorder subjects electrons moving through the material to random forces. A model for these systems using random operators will be presented along with several ways to introduce disorder. The introduction of disorder often leads to the powerful result of dynamical localization. Dynamical localization will be introduced and its implications to physical systems will be discussed.
15:30 - PDE Model for Solid-State Dewetting of a Binary Alloy Thin Film
First Author
Mikhail Khenner
Western Kentucky University 
A multi-physics model that consists of the coupled, strongly nonlinear evolution PDEs for the composition and surface morphology of a thin, metal alloy film has been developed. This model accounts for the surface and bulk diffusion of the alloy components, the bulk phase separation, and the surface segregation. Computations show various scenarios of the core-shell particles formation upon film dewetting the substrate. The stability of a planar film surface with respect to small perturbations of the shape and/or composition is analyzed, revealing
the dependence of the particles size on major physical parameters. Also, the closed-form analytical relation that expresses the surface segregation of one component of a binary alloy was derived. The results of the modeling are semi-quantitatively matched to the published experiments. (Reference: Journal of Applied Physics 123, 034302 (2018), DOI: 10.1063/1.5011676; preprint at http://arxiv.org/abs/1801.00764)
15:45 - A Deeper Look into Open Coverings of the Rationals that do not Cover the Reals
First Author
Justin Trulen
Kentucky Wesleyan College 
There exists a none trial open covering of the rational numbers of (0,1) that does not cover (0,1). This fact feels very counter-intuitive given the fact that the rational numbers are dense in the interval (0,1). One immediate question that arises is what are the nature of the numbers that can be excluded by such an open covering. Furthermore we will look at the nature of such open coverings of the rational numbers in (0,1).
Saturday, November 3, 2018  1:15pm - 4:00pm
Science Education - Oral Presentations
DSU 3006
Section meeting follows talks at 2:45
13:15 - Death Knell for le Grand K.
First Author
Andy Martin
Kentucky State University 
For 138 years, the kilogram has been defined as the mass of the platinum-iridium prototype (Le Grand K) kept inside the innermost of three nested bell jars in a vault in Sevres, France. But later this month that will probably change, as members of the General Conference on Weights and Measures gather in Versailles (France) to vote on a new definition for the kilogram, alongside that of the ampere, kelvin and mole. The new definition will be based on a DEFINED numerical value for Planck's Constant (not an approximation). How is this possible?
13:30 - Why do students leave quantitative STEM majors?
First Author
Hannah Brewer
Morehead State University 
Co-author
Wilson Gonzalez-Espada 
Morehead State University 
Co-author
Robert Boram 
Morehead State University 
The process of selecting and changing any college major, including STEM, is a deeply personal process that is influenced by many factors. More than half of the entering college freshmen who declare STEM majors switched out of them, especially in quantitative disciplines. In this presentation, the literature on STEM attrition will be summarize and preliminary findings based on student interviews will be highlighted. It is expected that the study's findings will inform the brainstorming of strategies aimed at reducing STEM attrition and increasing graduation rates in these quantitative disciplines, both in regional and national contexts.
13:45 - Evaluating the effectiveness of a concept-map oriented curriculum in a flipped chemistry classroom
First Author
Bharath Kumar
Midway University 
In this study, 'flipped' pedagogical approach was implemented across general and organic chemistry coursework. A concept map curriculum was developed to support the study. The purpose of the curriculum is of two-fold a) students can visualize connection between concepts and b) mastery learning. The lecture content was pushed outside the classroom using pre-recording technology allowing for self-paced learning. A 'reliable' 24-item Likert scale survey along with 10 open ended item response component was administered to assess student perceptions. Phase 1 of the research aimed to understand and evaluate (a) student satisfaction with a flipped chemistry classroom, and (b) effect of concept map curriculum on student academic performance on course and standardized examinations. Student perception/satisfaction responses were positive, increasing from 3.9 to 4.5 on a 5-point scale. Phase 2 of the research aimed to map the mixed method data obtained from Phase 1 on to the model proposed by Abeysekera and Dawson (2015). They presented theoretical argument that flipped approaches might improve student motivation and help manage cognitive load. Data obtained can only be mapped over 5 out of the 6 propositions. Student perceptions and academic achievement will be shared, as well as lessons learned while implementing the flipped classroom.
14:00 - PowerPoint Reimagined: Enhancing Lessons to Guide Reasoning, Foster Collaboration, and Promote Active Learning
First Author
Kevin Revell
Murray State University 
What makes a great science lesson? This presentation will offer tools, tips, and design principles to improve content delivery in your classroom. Specifically, it will focus on clean, concept-focused design, animation sequences to streamline problem solving, incorporating collaboration and active learning in your lecture/content delivery material, and tips and tricks for keeping students engaged. Animation templates will be available for attendees upon request. Examples will come from general and organic chemistry, but the principles and techniques are useful across science disciplines.
14:15 - Science Seminar Series of WKCTC: Going Strong for 33 Years
First Author
Karen Hlinka
Kentucky Community and Technical College System 
In February 2018, West Kentucky Community and Technical College celebrated its 200th Science Seminar. Established in 1985, this Series provides a forum for the presentation of advanced topics in diverse science related fields. Three times each semester, students, community members, and faculty, are exposed to cutting edge scientific research, innovative industrial applications of science, career opportunities, or topics of local interest related to science. A tremendous variety of subjects portraying practical applications of science have been presented. Students have gained an appreciation for the ways in which the basic, foundational science they are learning today can be applied to real-life applications in their future careers. In addition, community relationships have been strengthened. The logistics of developing and sustaining a Science Seminar Series will be presented.
14:30 - Middle School Investigation of Global Climate Change
First Author
Shira Rabin
University of Louisville 
Co-author
Bennet Kolb 
Jefferson County Public Schools 
Co-author
Bronwyn Williams 
University of Louisville 
Co-author
Adam Stieglitz 
University of Louisville 
Co-author
Mary Brydon-Miller 
University of Louisville 
It can be difficult to teach abstract topics like climate change to students, and it is even harder to provide ways to make issues matter to them both now and into the future. In February 2018, 60 sixth grade students from Marion C. Moore Middle School came to University of Louisville for a Day of Science. Graduate students and faculty from the departments of Biology, Geography & Geosciences, and Sociology showed the students how climate change is studied at the university level. The students rotated through workshops focusing on tropical insects, seed design, melting glaciers, and 'heat islands' within cities. Afterward, they wrote presentations and made a movie that could be shared with students in other countries. The Day of Science is part of a pilot project to help middle school students from around the world develop a greater understanding of the local and global impacts of climate change. The goal of the project is to work with students to investigate the physical, economic, social, cultural, and political impacts of climate change in their own communities and to share their insights with students in other countries.
Saturday, November 3, 2018  1:15pm - 4:00pm
Social Sciences: Anthropology/Sociology/Psychology
DSU 2113
Section meetings to follow talks
13:15 * - Haptic Distance Ratios: The Geometry of Space within the Hands
First Author
Sydney Wheeler
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Farley Norman 
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Lauren Pederson 
Western Kentucky University 
Co-author
Catherine Dowell 
Western Kentucky University 
Vision and touch are the two sensory modalities by which humans perceive environmental distances. In the current experiment, 20 younger (mean age: 22.0 years) and 20 older adults (mean age: 73.1 years) used active touch to estimate distance ratios (how long one distance is relative to another). Nine tactile stimuli were created from wooden dowels; each consisted of two perpendicular rods/dowels. One dowel (for all stimuli) was 8 cm long (width/diameter: 1.2 cm). To create the nine experimental stimuli, the length of the perpendicular rod/dowel (diameter: 0.4 cm) was varied from 8 to 40 cm, creating distance ratios from 1.0 to 5.0 (e.g., perpendicular lengths of 8 and 40 cm for a particular object produced a stimulus ratio of 5.0). Each participant used both hands to actively explore (for 30 seconds) a single stimulus object on every trial (36 total trials per participant, 4 repeated trials for each stimulus object). The participants' task was to numerically estimate the distance ratio. Overall, the participants' judgments were precise; the overall magnitude of the Pearson r correlation coefficient was 0.938 and did not differ for younger and older adults. While the participants' judgments were precise, they were not completely accurate: the average slope (of the relationship between actual and judged distance ratios) for all participants was significantly greater than 1.0 (1.22). The results of the current study demonstrate that older adults (at least up to the age of 80 years) retain an excellent ability to perceive distances using their sense of touch.
13:30 * - Water Deposits Connection to Decreased Evidence of Burial Practices in Iron Age Britain and Ireland.
First Author
Amanda Lilly
Northern Kentucky University 
A characteristic of Iron Age Britain and Ireland is a lack of burial evidence, leading some to argue in favor of water deposition to account for the missing population. This study will investigate the strength of this argument through a cross-cultural comparison with Viking and modern day Hindu burial practices to analysis ideological significance of watery contexts. In addition, this study will explore the ideological significance of Iron Age bog bodies to provide further context to water deposits. In this study water deposition and liminality practices will be focused on to aid in the hypothesis of Iron Age cultures interring cremated remains as a symbolance of ritualisitc and religious practice. The semblance water maintains within these and other cultural religious practices will be utilized to explore an importance of water as a way of communication with the afterlife.
1:45 - Five minute presentations
First Author
Poster Presenters
Poster presenters from Anthropology, Sociology and Psychology will be included in this session to give 5 minute summaries of their research.
Saturday, November 3, 2018  2:00pm - 5:00pm
Physics Teaching Workshop - Ky Association of Physics Teachers
Ogden College Hall Room 1007
This workshop is open to any registered KAS meeting participant.

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