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Department of Biology

Department of Biology

Student Research

100_0303c.jpg Dorothy J. Cheruiyot, of Iten, Kenya, studied the effects of various parameters on the conversion of male Ceratopteris richardii to hermaphrodites. The results of her work show that the males of this fern will convert into hermaphrodites in the absence of antheridiogen. However, males exposed to higher levels of antheridiogen convert at a slower frequency compared to males exposed to lower levels. When spores were sown in the presence of the converted hermaphrodites, there was a higher frequency of male gametophytes showing that the converted hermaphrodites have the ability to secrete antheridiogen like normal hermaphrodites. Dorothy's research presentation earned 1st place in the organismic and developmental biology category at Tri-Beta National Biological Honor Society's 2004 District Convention and 3rd place at the honor society's 2004 National Convention. She is currently working toward a Master of Science in Environmental Science and teaches Swahili at Columbus State University. (Mentor: Dr. Brian Schwartz)


hand4.jpg Mary E. Hill studied the effect of aposematic coloration on the food preference of Aphelocoma coerulescens, the Florida scrub jay. The study evaluated whether the red and black coloration of noxious Abrus precatorius seeds functions as a warning, leading to avoidance behavior by the jays. The potential interaction of the two species was tested by presenting red and white model seeds to individual scrub jays. The results showed a significant tendency for A. coerulescens to choose white over red seeds, supporting the conclusion that coloration, independent of other signals, is sufficient to elicit an avoidance response. Mary was awarded the 2003 CSU Faculty Cup, and her research presentation earned 1st place in the organismic and developmental biology category at Tri-Beta National Biological Honor Society's 2003 District Convention and 1st place at the honor society's 2004 National Convention. Her findings are currently being considered for publication in BIOS. (Mentor: Dr. Harlan Hendricks)