Graduate Research in Biology

Biology Projects

 

Current Master's candidates (advisors in parentheses)

Fall 2017
Emily Ashe (Seán O'Connell)
Rachael Finnigan
Brandi Guffey
Louis Luttrell (Laura DeWald)
Joseph Nacy (Joe  Pechmann)
Erin Clingerman

Spring 2017
Marcus Wind (Laura DeWald)

Fall 2016

Ethan Fite (Tom Martin)
Kenley Patanella (Barbara Ballantine)
Sarah Britton (Barbara Ballantine)
M.J. Michaels (Kelly Grisedale)
Clint Sawyer (Joe Pechmann)
Erin Condon (Beverly Collins )
Ellen Quinlan (Beverly Collins)
Wendy Harmon (Joe Pechmann)
Amanda Lafferty (Jim Costa)
Gabriel de la Iglesia (Barbara Ballantine)
Kyle Corcoran (Jerry Miller)
Chelsea Corrigan (Jeremy Hyman)
Thomas "Mack" Granger (Jeremy Hyman/Beverly)
Kelder Monar (Beverly Collins)

Spring 2016
Josh Boggs (Indi Bose)
Charlie Sither (Bryan Bird)
Hannah Sellers (Seán O’Connell)

Fall 2015
Traci Balance (Barbara Ballantine)

Spring 2015
Hannah Meeler (Kathy Mathews)

Graduates and their thesis titles (advisor in parentheses)

2016

Matthew Atkinson M.S. (Pechmann). The effects of the protist parasite Dermomycoides SP. on the Dusky Gopher Frog (Rana sevosa) and the Southern Leopard Frog (Rana Sphenocephala).

Kendell Bennett M.S. (DeWald). Genetic and phenotypic variation among fox squirrels in eastern North Carolina.

Sean Binninger M.S. (Dewald). Herb abundance and diversity among fire severity classes in pine-oak forests of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Kwame Brown M.S. (O’Connell)  Possible detection of pathogenic bacterial species inhabiting streams in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Samuel McCoy M.S. (Pechmann)  Movement and habitat ecology of protected species in North Carolina

David Russell (Wilson). Whole genome DNA sequence analysis of Salmonella enterica subspecies isolated from environmental soil and fecal samples in Western North Carolina.

 Brynn Southard M.S. (Hyman)  Effect of biogenic amines on decision-making behavior in southern devil scorpion (Vaejovis carolinianus)

Elijah White M.S. (Pechmann). The influence of abiotic and biotic environmental factors at high elevation on the life cycle of a facultatively paedomorphic salamander.

2015

Sherri Deaton M.S. (Wilson) Optimization of a method for the extraction of DNA from human skeletal remains for forensic casework.

Jeffrey Drummond M.S. (Pechmann) Aggression affects distributions and hybrid zone expansion in montane Plethodon salamanders

Jamie Harrelson M.S. (Hyman) Golden-winged warblers (Vermivora chrysoptera) of the Southern Appalachians:  behavior, ecology, and conservation of a declining neotropical migrant songbird

Usha Upreti  M.S. (Collins) Impacts of an invasive grass Microstegium vimineum (Trin.) A. Camus on growth and survival of the native herb, Impatiens capensis Meerb.

2014

Scott Abla M.S. (DeWald) dNBR Imagery and xeric pine-oak forest stand characteristics for fires of different severity in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Miranda Aiken (Martin) The efficacy of small-scale removal of an invasive species (Redbreast Sunfish,Lepomis auritus) by electrofishing

Jessica Duke M.S. (Pechmann) Assessing the effectiveness and values of wetland habitat created for amphibians in the Nantahala National Forest in NC

Jessica Krippel M.S. (Hyman) Personality influences alarm calling behaviour in song sparrows

Katie Lewis M.S. (Adkison) Testing the rationale of Candida cleanse diets

Ashley Montgomery M.S. (DeWald and Collins) Predicting Threatened Orchid (Isotria medeoloides (Pursh) Raf.) Habitat in the Southern Appalachian Region Using a Maxent Model

Carol Petricevic M.S. (Collins) Variation in germination and growth among populations of an invasive plant, Alliaria petiolata (M. Bieb) Cavara and Grande

Mary Schultz M.S. (Costa) Effects of myrmecochorous plant species abundance, diversity, and fruiting phenology on Aphaenogaster spp. (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) nesting and foraging in southern Appalachian rich cove forests

Travis Seaborn M.S. (Catley) Developing a predictive model of the autecology of the spruce-fir moss spider,Microhexura montivaga Crosby and Bishop 1925 (Araneae: Dipluridae)

Rachael Woods M.S. (Martin) Size, age structure and diet preferences of an invasive population of redbreast sunfish (Lepomis auritus) in Richland creek, Haywood County, North Carolina

2013

Beth Budden M.S. (Bose) Characterization of putative acetate kinase in the pathogenic yeast, Cryptococcus neoformans

Sarah Corkern M.S. (Catley) Factors affecting dispersal and web tenacity in the lampshade spider, Hypochilus pococki Platinick (Araneae: Hypochilidae)

Megan Eckhardt M.S. (Catley) Evidence of kin-specific communication in a temperate, subsocial spider Anelosimus studiosus (Araneae, Theridiidae)

Elizabeth Hillard M.S. (DeWald) Elk (Cervus elaphus L.) habitat selection in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Christopher Love M.S. (Pechmann) How conservative are sexual pheromones?: a cross-genera study of plethodontid salamanders

Rachel Myers M.S. (Hyman) Correlation between boldness and aggression of urban and rural song sparrows

April Punsalan M.S. (DeWald) The germination of Helonias bullata L. (swamp pink) in response to flooded, saturated, and dry conditions

Ryan Simmons M.S. (Bose)

Brandon Smith M.S. (Wilson) Low-level variant detection in human mitochondrial DNA using the Illumina MiSeq next generation sequencing platform

Daniel Sollenberger M.S. (Pechmann) Seasonal activity in dwarf waterdogs (Necturus punctatus): risk management or resource acquisition?

Sieberdina (Hilde) Stawski M.S. (Wilson) Preparing whole genome human mitochondrial DNA libraries for next generation sequencing using Illumina Nextera XT

2012

Kendall Fuller M.S. (O’Connell) Comparison of bacterial communities in living eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) rhizospheres versus presumably dead eastern hemlock rhizospheres

Chris Beyer M.S.(Seischab) Determination of cell viability of superoxide dismutase knockout Escherichia colistrains using oxidative stress assays

Groves Dixon M.S. (DeWald) Relationship between genetic diversity, clonal structure and sudden Aspen decline in Kaibab National Forest (Arizona)

Alex Edwards M.S. (Martin) A comparison of the external microbial assemblages between native southern strain and wild northern brook trout, Salvelinus fontinalis, of hatchery ancestry

Jessica Jaynes M.S. (Collins) A feasibility assessment of native ferns for phytoremediation of arsenic

Charles Lawson M.S. (Pechmann) Land use and eastern hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis alleganiensis) populations in three Hiwassee River tributary watersheds

Bridget Nelson M.S. (O’Connell) Increased fungal diversity associated with Aphaenogaster spp.:  more evidence for keystone mutualisms

Adric Olson M. S. (Martin) Life history traits of the mirror shiner, Notropis spectrunculus, in western North Carolina

Nicole Parrish M.S. (Collins) Habitat analysis of a disjunct population of the Carolina northern flying squirrel (Glaucomys sabrinus coloratus)

Kyle Pursel M.S. (Pechmann) The effects of rhododendron on salamander communities in the Nantahala Mountains

Jennifer Torgeson M.S. (DeWald) genetic variation in Hydrastis canadensis populations in western North Carolina

John Tupy M.S. (Pechmann) Terrestrial habitat selection by the dusky gopher frog (Rana sevosa)

2011

Kyle Boudreau M.S. (Hyman) Correlates of aggression: the interplay between boldness, testosterone, and territoriality in male song sparrows, Melospiz melodia, in urban and rural habitats

Jenny Browder M.S. (Adkison) The effect of Celastrus orbiculatus, oriental bittersweet, on the herbaceous layer along a western North Carolina creek

Jason Jarvis (Miller) Water quality in the upper Little Tennessee river and its potential effects on the Appalachian Elktoe Mussel (Alasmidonta raveneliana)

Jackson Evans (Hyman) An examination of the influence of social information on territory selection by a partially migratory population of song sparrows (Melospiza melodia)

Natasha Shipman M.S. (DeWald) Role of color and odor on the attraction of insect visitors to spring blooming trillium.

2010

Meredith Carroll M.S. (Hyman) The different use of an urban and rural habitat by wintering and resident song sparrows (Melospiza melodia)

Stephanie Grant M.S. (DeWald) Microsatellite Genetic Diversity of Northern Red Oak (Quercus rubra) in Western North Carolina Pre- and Post-Chestnut Blight and Pre- and Post-Harvest

Keith Hoffman M.S. (DeWald) Patterns of Recruitment and Young Culm Morphology in Arundinaria gigantea([Walt.] Muhl.) Canebrakes in Western North Carolina

Donald Patterson M.S. (Coburn) Optimization of a PS2.M-based catalytic beacon in preparation for use as a device to explore mRNA secondary structures

Jennifer Patterson M.S. (Seischab) Assessment of the effects of superoxide-generating agents on the growth and viability of Escherichia coli using traditional microbiological methods and fluorescence methods

Christina Stoehrel M.S. (Mathews) A study of the systematic relationships between members of the Trillium erectum complex

2009

Carter Dillow M.S. (O’Connell) Diversity patterns of 16S rDNA of bacteria and amoA of archaea and bacteria from Eastern Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) rhizosphere soil

Louise Burley M.S. (Costa) An analysis of the spacial distribution of egg masses in natural populations of the eastern tent caterpillar Malacosoma americanum (Lepidoptera : Lasiocampidae)

Jeremy Craft M.S. (Pechmann) Effects of an invasive earthworm on Plethodontid salamanders in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Alan Curtis M.S. (Bose) Creating Deletion Strains to Study the Role of the Argonaute and Dicer Genes in RNA Interference in Cryptococcus neoformans

Josephine Falcone M.S. (DeWald) Comparisons of arthropod and avian communities in insecticide-treated and untreated hemlock stands in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Sheree Ferrell M.S. (Martin) A comparison of macroinvertebrate and meiofauna biomonitoring metrics for streams potentially affected by the Upper Tellico OHV area, Nantahala National Forest, NC

Max Lanning M.S. (Mathews) A systematic study of the flowering plant genus Micranthes (Saxifragaceae) in the Southern Appalachians

Nicholas Martinez M.S. (Coburn) Studies toward in vitro reconstitution of plant chromatin

Amanda Schoonover M.S. (Seischab) Development of bacterial oxidative stress assays: towards using fluorescence methods

2008

Sheila Cladis M.S. (DeWald) Interactions of resin flow, sap flow and environmental variables in two pine species (Pinus strobus and Pinus echinata; Pinaceae)

Dawn Cusick M.S. (Costa) Reproductive dynamics in the cryptic Amblycorypha katydids of the southern Appalachians

Jennifer Extine M.S. (DeWald) Evaluation of habitat patch characteristics in western North Carolina golf courses

Adam Griffith M.S. (Mathews) Chemical and physical characterization of rivercane (Arundinaria gigantea(Walt.) Muhl.) soils in western North Carolina

Carly Lett M.S. (DeWald) Effects of mycorrhizal fungi and phosphorus on the growth of Celastrus orbiculatus

Christina Manee M.S. (Adkison) The effect of roads on the distribution of Microstegium vimineum

Stacie Poston M.S. (Seischab) CD44-mediated binding and internalization of high and low molecular weight hyaluronic acid in malignant mesothelioma cells

Emily York M.S. (O’Connell) Characterization of bacterial assemblages from the rhizosphere of eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) using culturing methods and molecular cloning

2007

Nathan Irwin M.S. (Martin) The short-term effects of stream restoration on fish species composition and microhabitat use near in-stream structures in western North Carolina

Michael LaVoie M.S. 2007. (Martin) Spatial and temporal patterns of drifting fish larvae in the upper Pigeon River, Haywood County, North Carolina

2006

Melissa Collins M.S. 2006. (O'Connell) Molecular diversity of bacteria from three diverse ecosystems within Great Smoky Mountain National Park

Philip Drummod M.S. 2006. (O'Connell) Diversity of Archaea from three forested ecosystems in Great Smoky Mountains National Park g

Barclay Taylor M.S. 2006. (O'Connell) Seasonal and individual differences in the bacterial microflora from wild elk in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

2005

Wes Cornelison M.S. 2005. (Martin) An ecological comparison between two strains of wild brook trout, Salvelinus fontinalis

Mark Hall M.S. 2005. (Adkison) Classification and gradient analysis of plant communities at Short Mountain Wildlife Management Area, Hampshire County, West Virginia

Weaver Haney M.S. 2005. (O’Connell) Microbial ecology of a chromium contaminated Super Fund site

Darby Harris M.S. 2005. (Rundle) The identification and characterization of a novel protein that interacts with the catalytic subunit of Arabidopsis thaliana protein phosphatase 2A

Mike Ivey. M.S. 2005. (Mathews) A taxonomic reassessment of Thermopsis mollis and T. fraxinifolia

Mia Martens M.S. 2005. (Costa) A preliminary phylogeographic study of the Diplurid genus Microhexura.

Sara Martin M.S. 2005. (Adkison) Modeling the plant communities of Long Branch Environmental Education Center

Jeff Wesner M.S. 2005. (Martin) Growth and mortality under low pH of two strains of brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis)

2004

Lucas Conkle M.S. 2004. (Costa, Young) Using multiple data sources to understand the formation and the natural history of heath balds in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Jacqulyn Greenfield M.S. 2004. (Pittillo) Breaking physiological and epicotyl dormancy in Allium tricoccum Ait. Seed

Daniel Hanks M.S. 2004. (Martin) An investigation of benthic fish movement

Matias Jasin M.S. 2004. (Costa) Arsenura armida : characterization of cuticular lipids and search for trail pheromones (Lepidoptera: saturniidae: arsenurinae)

Maureen Kavanagh M.S. 2004. (Martin) A comparison of fish passage through highway culverts

Susan Robert M.S. 2004 (Costa )Effects of larval group size on thermoregulation, group foraging, and defense in the eastern tent caterpillar, Malacosoma americanum (Lepidoptera: Lasiocampidae)

Ben Salter M.S. 2004. (Martin) Isotopic fingerprinting of lead arsenate contamination in freshwater snails of the Richland Creek basin, Haywood County, North Carolina

2003

Henry Angelopulos M.S. 2003. (O'Connell) Effects of Anakeesta leachate on microbial assemblages of a southern Appalachian stream

Matt Dunn M.S. 2003. (O'Connell) Experimental evolution: Saccharomyces cerevisiae in two resource environments

Christophe Le Moine M.S. 2003 (Galbreath) Reduction of non-specific signal in the immunodetection of Hsp70 in heat-shocked erythrocytes of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)

Mike Swaim M.S. 2003 (Galbreath) An inventory of the order Ephemeroptera in Panthertown Valley, Jackson County, North Carolina

Erika Yates M.S. 2003 (Martin) Observations on the Odonata of a stream bog complex in Pantertown Valley, North Carolina

2002

Katrina Ferrell M.A. Ed. (Perlmutter)

Dawn Geverd M.S. (Mainwaring) The effects of pH on decomposition rates of leaf litter by aquatic fungi.

Sunny Himes M.S. (Wyatt) The Costs and benefits of self-fertility in poke milkweed, Asclepias exaltata

Alan Kirsch M.S. (Costa) Genetic Structure and Gene Flow in the Red-headed Pine Sawfly, Neodiprion leconti (Fitch) [Hymenoptera: Diprionidae]

Shannon Kondrad M.S. (Miller, Geosciences) Use of lead isotopes to assess sources and mobility of contaminants from Barber's Orchard, Haywood County, North Carolina

Shannon Mallison M.S. (Miller, Geosciences) Assessment of variations in heavy metal accumulation in Quercus alba: a dendrochemical-lead isotopic approach

Lorraine Maloof M.S. (Lumb) Correlation between growth at elevated temperature and heat shock gene expression in trout

Jonathan Mays M.S. (Costa) A systematic approach to sampling the arthropod fauna in Gregory's Cave, Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Lisa Mazzarelli M.S. (Tinker, Geosciences) The effects of land use legacies on ground nesting migratory forest birds.

Nga Pace M.A. Ed. (Perlmutter).

Robert Warren M.S. (Pittillo) The Encroachment of Woody Vegetation in a Southern Appalachian Wetland

2001

Robbie Flowers (Costa) Group Foraging dynamics and intra-specific communication of the red-headed Pine Sawfly, Neodiprion lecontei (Fitch) (Hymenoptera: Diprionidae)

Nathan Taylor (Bruce) The Herpetofauna of Panthertown Valley, North Carolina, with emphasis on the efficacy of coverboards in evaluating populations of terrestrial salamanders

Jeremy Sanders (Coyle) A structured inventory of the spider assemblage of an old-growth hemlock community in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and a test of species richness estimator performance

Xin Sheng M.S. 2001 (Rundle) Identification of Arabidopsis thaliana TAP46 domains necessary for interaction with protein phosphatase 2A catalytic subunit and protein phosphatase 4.

Chip Singletary (Coyle) A structured inventory of stoneflies (Plecoptera) in Panthertown Valley, Jackson County, North Carolina

Jonathan White (Rundle) The effects of heat shock and age on translation effects of the alternately spliced AtB' a 5'UTR of Arabidopsis thaliana

2000

Matthew L. Rhea (West) Movement of brown, rainbow, and brook trout within Shining Creek, Shining Rock Wilderness

V. Laura Spell (Costa) Nymphal Odonate assemblages in selected streams and a southern Appalachian bog in Panthertown Valley, Jackson County, North Carolina

Steve A. Tipton (Mainwaring) Comparison of embryological development rates in diploid and triploid rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)

Stephanie Waters-Stocks (Costa) Distribution and Life History Analysis of Fattigiaa pele (Ross) [Trichoptera: Sericostomatidae] with Natural History Observations

Cynthia C. Gill White (Bruce) An analysis of spatial utilization by the terrestrial salamander Plethodon metcalfi

Emily C. Axt Whiteley (Coyle) A structured inventory of the spiders in a southern Appalachian bog

1999

Grace E.W. Bockoven (West) Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) restoration in the southern Appalachians

Deborah Stewart Cochran (Rundle) Altered expression of type 2A protein phosphatase regulatory B' subunit isoforms in transgenic Arabidopsis [i.e. Arabidopsis thaliana]

Aaron R. Cooper (Pittillo) Classification and description of old-growth hemlock communities in the Cataloochee watershed of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Kevin J. Hining (West) An assessment of annuli counts from scales and otolith for aging rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) in the southern Appalachians

Larissa G. Knebel (Pittillo) Changes in old growth hemlock forests of the Cataloochee watershed in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park: preparing for the arrival of the hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae)

Robert W. Louque (Costa) Foraging behavior of the red-headed pine sawfly, Neodiprion lecontei (Fitch) (Hymenoptera: Diprionidae)

James A. MacKenzie, Jr (Lumb) Characterization of DHA-induced apoptosis in HL-60 cells

Paige McGuire Sibley (Lumb) Influence of DHA on terminal differentiation of human promyelocytic leukemia (HL-60) cells

Ian C. Stocks (Coyle) Systematics and natural history of Barronopsis (Araneae, Agelenidae)

1998

William R. Edwards (Coyle) A comparison of the effectiveness of three sampling methods for surveying ground spider diversity in an old growth hemlock community

Juliet G. H. Haynes (Rundle) Studies of in vivo and in vitro subunit interactions of Arabidopsis thaliana protein phosphatase type 2A

Peter W. Julius (Pittillo) Avian community composition and density of ten forest types within the southeastern Blue Ridge Escarpment

Chittam U. Thakore (Rundle) High divergence between the promoter regions of the 55kDa B subunit isoforms of Arabidopsis protein phosphatase type 2A

1997

Angela Kirsten Burcham (Mainwaring) Effect of nuclear DNA amounts on the rate of growth, nuclear distribution, and hyphal size in Allomyces arbuscula

Chad L. Hallyburton (West) Fatlips minnows (Cyprinidae: Phenacobius crassilabrum): phenology, reproduction, food habits, shoaling behaviors, and microhabitat use

Patricia G. Livingston (Bruce) A morphometric study of larvae of four species of hemidactyliine salamanders (Caudata: Plethodontidae)

Charles J. Moore (West) Genetic origin of brook trout, Salvelinus fontinalis, in selected streams of the Pigeon River watershed

John S. Owen (Lumb) Temperature dependence of the deacylation of ether-linked phosphatidylcholine in leukocytes of the rainbow trout

Robin T. Stamey (Rundle) Molecular characterization of a novel isoform of the catalytic subunit of protein phosphatase type 2A in Arabidopsis thaliana

Linda G. Trunk (Lumb) Heat shock and apoptosis in rainbow trout leukocytes

1996

Minghua Chen (Wallace) Flavonoids of select species of the Hymenophyllaceae (filmy ferns) and their potential chemotaxonomical value

Phillip B. Corbin (Lumb) Effect of stress on rainbow trout platelet-activating factor acetylhydrolase

John W. Corum, III (Rundle) Molecular characterization of a novel isoform of the B regulatory subunit of protein phosphatase type 2A in Arabidopsis thaliana

Floyd A. Cribbs, IV (West) Emergence times, diet, size, and condition factor of postemergent brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) in Rough Butt Creek, a southern Appalachian stream in Jackson County, N.C.

Andrew J.P. Hartung (Rundle) Characterization of recombinant Arabidopsis thaliana protein phosphatase type 2A

Neil D. Hetrick (West) Descriptions and phylogeny of four limnephiloid caddisflies (Trichoptera) based on first instar larvae

Jeremy A. Miller (Coyle) Systematics of the erigonine spider genus Sisicottus (Araneae, Linyphidae)

Steven D. Roberts (Pittillo) Classification and description of old-growth communities within the Kelsey Natural Area

Douglas S. Toti (Coyle) Species richness and the taxonomic and guild composition of the spider communities of a grass bald and heath bald in the Great Smoky Mountains

Charles E. Zartman (Pittillo) Inventory and ecological analysis of spray cliff plant communities in the Chattooga Basin

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