Summer Research Celebration to highlight motivated and enthusiastic RU undergrads

Summer Research Celebration presenter is introduced by OURS Director Joe Wirgau

A presenter at last year's Summer Research Celebration is introduced by OURS Director Joe Wirgau.

The third annual Summer Research Celebration featuring Radford University’s 2015 SURF grant recipients will be held Sept. 16 in the Hurlburt Student Center Auditorium.

The event, sponsored by the Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (OURS), will feature work done this summer by RU student researchers and scholars in a variety of fields. There will be 18 symposium presentations and six poster presentations. A special session will be devoted to screening of a video and a series of presentations relating to the Maymester RARE expedition that undertook a series of projects in the Peruvian rain forest.

The celebration will be a showcase of the breadth of research possibilities available to RU undergraduates, according to Joe Wirgau, associate professor of chemistry and OURS director.

“This is the largest Summer Research Celebration yet,” said Wirgau. “I hope it is inspirational to students about the range of academic activities in which they can engage both locally and globally.”

Research posters presentations are also featured at the the Summer Research Symposium.

Research posters presentations are also featured at the the Summer Research Symposium.

The day-long academic session will afford 2015 Radford Student Undergraduate Research Fellows (SURF) a chance to describe and answer questions about their unique academic projects.

The 2015 Summer Research Celebration schedule is:


11 a.m. –  Jessica Wood, “Creation of a non-human vs. human bone identification database”

11:15 a.m. – Charles Folsom, “Mutagenic characterization of the bacterial loop of E. coli  β-glucuronidase”

11:30 a.m. – David Foley, “A comparability study of digital evidence of bone repair in the diagnosis of child abuse”

11:45 a.m. – Renee Jessee, “Behavior and physiological correlates of snake feeding performance based on ingestion ratio”

Noon – Hannah Bell, “Top-down vs. bottom-up formation mechanism for Yttrium Carbide fullerenes”

Poster Presentations

  • Robert Huber, “Mountain Lake alternative water supply feasibility study”
  • Burke Staunton, “Chemical transformation of precious metal clay to solid silver”
  • Christina Poole, “The use of force by police officers”
  • Jean-Francois Racinet, “Development and testing of a scanning tunneling microscope for use in ultra-high vacuum”
  • Ashley Sheretz and Marisa Dameron, “Survey of insect diversity in coastal tallgrass"
  • Zach Pillis, “Phenology of insect diversity in a restored prairie”

RARE Symposium
1 p.m. – Jason Davis, “RARE Experiences” video screening 

1:20 p.m. – RARE Expedition team mini-presentations (8 minutes each)

  • Emily Guise, "Testing antibacterial properties of Amazonian native medicinal plants"
  • Diego Kendall,"The biogeography of nutrient preference in tropical wasp species"
  • Hanna Mitchell,"Using mathematics to develop an integrative genomic phylogeny of fungus"
  • Sarah Hebert, "Presence of chytridiomycosis infection in Amazonian frogs"
  • Michelle Maurer, "Variation in healing patterns of insect-induced wounds"

2:10 p.m. – Student Q&A round-table (Jessi Basham, Steve Gallas, Cassie Bonavita, Emily Guise, Diego Kendall, Hanna Mitchell, Sarah Hebert and Michelle Maurer)

2:40 p.m. – Mohsin Kazmi of Tamandua Rainforest Expeditions, “Life in the Amazon”

2:50 p.m. – Joy and Jay Caughron, “Preparing for RARE 2016”

3 p.m. – Joel Schmidt, “Forecasting the progress of global development”

3:15 p.m. – Shane Brandes, “Sex-based differences in parental care in response to predation risk in Eastern Bluebirds (Sialia sialis)”

3:30 p.m. – Lindsay Lesure, “Characterization and binding of amino acid mutants F365Y and F365W of E. coli β-glucuronidase”

3:45 p.m. – Caroline Leggett, “Selu Soundscape”

4 p.m. – Jordan Snelgrove, “Optimization of a density functional for use with endohedral metallofullerenes”

4:15 p.m. – Cassie Bonavita, “Examination of intestinal bacteria in mosquitoes in the Amazon rainforest in relation to various arboviruses, specifically Dengue Fever”

4:30 p.m. – Sharon Roller, “Pediatric antemortem healing standards based on microscopic analysis of fractures in known forensic child abuse cases”

4:45 p.m. – Annie Rudasill, “The effects of micronutrients on growth, development and herbivory”

The SURF program fosters a community of undergraduate research and engaged scholarship during the summer months at Radford University. For more on the SURF program, visit the OURS website or contact OURS at or (540) 831-7203.

Sep 10, 2015