All News


Registration deadline for the Society of Women in Sciences and Mathematics Symposium

The Society of Women in Sciences and Mathematics, a philanthropic group in the College of Sciences and Mathematics, will host the eighth-annual Leadership Symposium on Thursday, May 8. The deadline to register for the symposium is April 30.

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Pete Johnson Awarded an Alumni Professorship in 2014

Pete Johnson Awarded an Alumni Professorship in 2014

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Stuckwisch promoted to Associate Professor

Stuckwisch promoted to Associate Professor

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SEC’s Auburn University Faculty Achievement Award presented to biological sciences professor

AUBURN UNIVERSITY – Auburn University and the Southeastern Conference announced today that Professor Geoffrey Hill of the College of Sciences and Mathematics has been honored with the SEC’s Auburn University Faculty Achievement Award for 2013-2014. “The 2014 SEC Faculty Achievement Award winners are some of our nation’s most accomplished instructors, researchers and scholars,” said Dr. Jay Gogue, President of Auburn University and President of the Southeastern Conference. “It is my great pleasure to preside over an intercollegiate athletics conference that not only recognizes their work, but strives to support it as well.” Hill, an Alumni Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences and curator of birds for the Auburn University Museum of Natural History, will receive a $5,000 honorarium and represent Auburn as the university’s nominee for the SEC Professor of the Year. The SEC Professor of the Year will be selected from 14 nominees representing each of the SEC universities.

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American Chemical Society Award for Symon Gathiaka

Symon Gathiaka, a member of the research group of Associate Professor Orlando Acevedo, has been awarded a Chemical Computing Group Excellence Award for Graduate Students from the Computers in Chemistry Division (COMP) of the American Chemical Society (ACS). A ceremony in honor of Mr. Gathiaka will take place in August during the ACS's national meeting in San Francisco.

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Tam takes up position of Editor-in-Chief of Alabama Journal of Mathematics

Tam takes up position of Editor-in-Chief of Alabama Journal of Mathematics

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Bao accepts a two year postdoc position at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Bao accepts a two year postdoc position at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory

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Xie accepts offer from Illinois Institute of Technology

Xie accepts offer from Illinois Institute of Technology

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Ngoma invited to workshop at Institute for Mathematics and its Applications, University of Minnesota

Ngoma invited to workshop at Institute for Mathematics and its Applications, University of Minnesota

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Three BioSci Clubs participate in Sleep in the Deep event at the Tennessee Aquarium.

Three BioSci Clubs participate in Sleep in the Deep event at the Tennessee Aquarium.

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Dr. Michel Smith received grant with Common Core, Inc

Dr. Michel Smith received grant with Common Core, Inc

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Auburn Biological Sciences students visit Dauphin Island Sea Lab.

Auburn Biological Sciences students were tired but happy at the end of the day following their trip out on the R/V Alabama Discovery out of Dauphin Island Sea Lab.

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Graham Gordon accepted into Budapest Semesters in Mathematics (BSM)

Graham Gordon accepted into Budapest Semesters in Mathematics (BSM)

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Faculty members receive aid through the AU Intramural Grants Program (IGP)

Faculty members receive aid through the AU Intramural Grants Program (IGP)

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Kallenberg's manuscript General Theory of Random Measures accepted for publication

Kallenberg's manuscript General Theory of Random Measures accepted for publication

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Alan Bertl and David Lipham co-recipients of the 2014 Fitzpatrick Fellowship

Alan Bertl and David Lipham co-recipients of the 2014 Fitzpatrick Fellowship

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NSF Career Award for Patkowski

Assistant Professor Konrad Patkowski has received a five-year CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation for his proposal, “Towards an accurate and illuminating theory of weak interactions between open-shell systems”. Dr. Patkowski, a theoretical chemist, has been at Auburn University since January 2011 and is an expert on the calculation of intermolecular forces and applications of these computational techniques to a variety of systems of interest in energy research.

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Krystyna Kuperberg awarded an NSF grant as a Principal Investigator

Krystyna Kuperberg awarded an NSF grant as a Principal Investigator

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Awards for Njuma and Paul from Alabama Academy of Sciences

Olive Njuma and Samir Paul won first-place and second-place awards in the Chemistry section of the ninety-first meeting of the Alabama Academy of Sciences, held in Auburn on March 12-14, 2014. Ms. Njuma and Mr. Paul are students of Dr. Douglas Goodwin and Dr. Vincenzo Cammarata, respectively.

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2014 Arboretum Photo Contest

It’s time to gather your entries for the annual Davis Arboretum Photo Contest! Please enter photographs that will give us an amazing selection of images to choose from for our 2015 Davis Arboretum calendar. Once again all entries will be on display in Biggin Hall as well as the Student Center. The awards will be announced on our website and hung on the photos when they are on display in the Student Center. All entries must be submitted during the week of April 7-11 and must be received by 4 p.m. on April 11.

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Mentoring Matters

Members of the Promoting Academic Success for Students (PASS) Peer Mentoring Program participated in an event to bring together friends, fellowship, and service. The Promoting Academic Success for Students (PASS) Mentoring Program Reconnect Meeting was held on January 20, 2014. This meeting focused on “Mentoring Matters.”

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Registration open for Republic of Panama study abroad course on climate change

Registration for a study abroad program in the Republic of Panama, "Climate Change and Environmental Management," is now open. The registration deadline is March 30. Participants will gain basic knowledge and skills in the science of climate change, analyze trends in climatic variability and human vulnerability in Panama, explore direct and indirect effects of a changing climate on water resources management and learn to use technologies such as GIS and remote sensing. The course is co-sponsored by the College of Sciences and Mathematics' Department of Geology and Geography and the Water Center for the Humid Tropics of Latin America and the Caribbean. To read the syllabus or register, go to this website. For more information, contact Chandana Mitra at czm0033@auburn.edu.

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Outstanding Graduate Student Award for B. Maynard

Branson Maynard will receive an Outstanding Graduate Student Award from the Graduate Council at its annual awards ceremony on April 21, 2014.

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AURIC Fellowship for A. Dmytrejchuk

Ana Dmytrejchuk, a graduate student in the group of Dr. Bradley Merner, will be an AURIC Graduate Fellow in Cancer Research, effective March 1, 2014. This fellowship is awarded by the Auburn University Research Initiative in Cancer.

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Merriwether Fellowship for S. Gathiaka

Symon Gathiaka, a graduate student working in the research group of Dr. Orlando Acevedo, has been awarded the Merriwether Fellowship for academic excellence by the Graduate School.

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Promotions for G. Mills and J. Gorden

President Gogue has approved the promotion of Associate Professor German Mills to the rank of Professor and the promotion of Assistant Professor John Gorden to the rank of Associate Professor with tenure effective in the fall semester of 2014.

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SCB explores Jackson County caves with Jim Godwin

SCB explores Jackson County caves with Jim Godwin

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Associate Professor Dr. Doug Goodwin, recently recognized by the ACS as a 2014 Outreach Volunteer of the Year

Congratulations to Auburn University Associate Professor Dr. Doug Goodwin, recently recognized by the ACS as a 2014 Outreach Volunteer of the Year for his work with the Alabama Department of Corrections. We are very proud of his accomplishments and his service to the Local Section.

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Curtiss wins COSAM Advisor Award

Dr. Ashley Curtiss has won COSAM’s Faculty Advising Award for the 2013-2014 academic year.

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The COSAM Ph.D. Dean's Research Award for the 2013-2014 academic year Awarded to Branson Maynard

Branson Maynard was awarded the COSAM Ph.D. Dean's Research Award for the 2013-2014 academic year. His research with Professor Anne Gorden involves the investigation of novel actinide cyanometallate compounds.

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Comer Medal for Excellence in the Physical Sciences Awarded to Kristin Zuromski

Kristin Zuromski, a B.S. Biochemistry major, was awarded the Comer Medal for Excellence in the Physical Sciences for the 2013-2014 academic year.

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The COSAM Undergraduate Dean's Research Award for the 2013-2014 Awarded to Ethan McCurdy

Ethan McCurdy, a B.A. Chemistry major, was awarded the COSAM Undergraduate Dean's Research Award for the 2013-2014 academic year. Ethan is performing his undergraduate work with Professor Doug Goodwin evaluating the catalytic interplay of catalytic peroxidase.

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Outstanding Junior for the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry: John (Wesley) Nelson

Outstanding Junior for the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry: John (Wesley) Nelson

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Dean's Medalist for the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry: Spencer Kerns

Dean's Medalist for the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry: Spencer Kerns

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Auburn University offers students intensive study-abroad and research opportunities in Costa Rica

Auburn students interested in an intensive study-abroad program in one of the world’s most lush and adventure-filled locations can take advantage of the Organization for Tropical Studies, which owns and operates three biological field stations in Costa Rica: La Selva, Las Cruces and Palo Verde. OTS is a non-profit consortium that includes 63 universities and research institutions from the U.S., Latin America and Australia. Auburn University is the only school in the state that is a member of OTS, and since joining the consortium in 1987, Auburn students have had access to educational, research and funding opportunities in Costa Rica that are not available to non-member institutions.

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Stanbury, Zhan and Mansoorabadi IGP proposals approved

Internal Grant Program proposals by Professor David Stanbury (“Oxidation of Sulfinic Acids”), Associate Professor Wei Zhan (“Atomic Force Microscope for Characterization of Nanomaterials and Surfaces”) and Assistant Professor Steven Mansoorabadi (“Macromolecular Crystallography at Auburn University”) have been approved for funding by the Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development.

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SCB gets guided tour at Birmingham Zoo

SCB gets guided tour at Birmingham Zoo

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Milestone for Mass Spectrometry Laboratory: Sample Number 3000

On January 17, 2014, Dr. Yonnie Wu, Director of the Mass Spectrometry Center, accepted the Center’s three-thousandth sample, which was submitted by a graduate student, Nicholas Klann, a member of Dr. Anne Gorden’s research group.

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Kathryn Milly West wins NACADA Excellence in Advising Award

The National Academic Advising Association has selected Kathryn Milly West for its 2014 Region 4: Excellence in Advising – Faculty Role Award. Ms. West, who has been the Coordinator of the Laboratory Science and Medical Laboratory Science (formerly Laboratory Technology and Medical Technology, respectively) degree programs since 1996, will receive her award at the NACADA regional conference in Savannah GA on April 2, 2014.

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Geology professor speaks out about teaching Chris Davis and the standing ovation in his classroom

Over the past 20 years, Willis Hames, a professor in Auburn University’s Department of Geology and Geography, has seen his fair share of student athletes in his classroom. He teaches Physical Geology, a large, auditorium-style science class which fills up quickly because it’s open to students from diverse academic curriculums. Last semester, one of his students was Auburn University football star and instant legend, Chris Davis. It was Hames’ class that erupted in a spontaneous standing ovation in honor of Davis on Dec. 2, the Monday following the Iron Bowl; a game which ended with Davis returning Alabama’s missed field goal for a touchdown, bringing Auburn the victory. Hames recalls the standing ovation and notes there was a feeling of the extraordinary in the air, even before Davis walked into the classroom.

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Govil to speak in Romania

Govil to speak in Romania

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Yongsheng Han invited to give talk at Harmonic Analysis and Applications international conference

Dr. Yongsheng Han, professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, has been invited to give a talk at the international conference "Harmonic Analysis and Applications" which will be held at Chern Institute of Mathematics, Nankai University, China during June 11-14, 2014.

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Tam invited to deliver plenary lecture at SICMAA 2013

Dr. Tin-Yau Tam has been invited to deliver a plenary lecture at the 2013 Shanghai International Conference on Matrix Analysis and Applications (SICMAA2013).

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Govil invited to speak at 10th International Symposium of Geometric Function Theory and Applications

Dr. Narendra Govil, a faculty member in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, has been invited to be a plenary speaker at the 10th International Symposium of Geometric Function Theory and Applications, August 25-28, 2014.

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Scott Varagona, a 2012 Ph.D. graduate in Mathematics, wins his fifth Alabama Chess Championship.

Scott Varagona, a 2012 Ph.D. graduate in Mathematics, has won his fifth Alabama Chess Championship. He is currently an assistant professor of Mathematics at the University of Montevallo.

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2014 Summer Bridge Program Applications Avaliable

The Summer Bridge program is a four-week summer program for selected freshman students who have been admitted to the College of Sciences and Mathematics (COSAM). Participants in the program will spend four weeks on Auburn University’s campus. Students will participate in classes, workshops, social activities and small group projects to aid in their making an easy transition to the university.

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COSAM hosts Minority High School Visitation Day

The COSAM annual Minority High School Visitation Day was held Oct. 18, in the Auburn Student Center ballroom. Publicized as a capstone event for college-bound junior and senior high school students, the 2013 event attracted many enthusiastic students, parents and guardians, and high school counselors. The event received an “outstanding rating” from students, parents and participating Auburn University staff. High schools represented included Auburn, Opelika, Loachapoka, Daphne, LAMP, Oak Mountain, Jefferson County International Baccalaureate and Robert E. Lee, and counselors representing several Georgia schools. Nearly 100 individuals registered on site. Registrants included local presenters, and guests and visitors from 20 high schools in Alabama and Georgia. Of those surveyed, 83 perecent said they are applying to Auburn University.

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Take a tour on the Audubon Trail in the Arboretum

The Donald E. Davis Arboretum took part in a collaborative publication with the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, a book titled, "Audubon in the Arboretum: A Field Guide." The book showcases works by Audubon along with a detailed description of the plants featured in each print. Readers will gain insight into the natural world Audubon encountered, and the publication coincides with the openings of the exhibition "Audubon in the Arboretum" at the museum and the Audubon Trail in the Davis Arboretum. Readers can tour the museum's exhibition of Audubon plates and take a walking tour of the Audubon trail at the Davis Arboretum, which features the plants in each plate. The book was published by the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, with research support from the Auburn University Libraries, the Donald E. Davis Arboretum and COSAM.

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War Eagle BEST Robotics winners announced, five teams advance to South’s BEST

Answering the nation’s need for more and better-prepared workers in scientific, industrial and technological fields, BEST Robotics (Boosting Engineering, Science and Technology) is a middle school and high school robotics program, now in its 21st year nationally and 13th year in Alabama, that is available to all schools at no cost. BEST is the third-largest educational robotics program in the nation and is the only one that is free to schools. The not-for-profit, all-volunteer program challenges students to design, build and market a robot to use in a six-week-long series of competitions, culminating in a regional championship.

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SCB Indigo Snake Reintroduction Project Work-Weekend

SCB Indigo Snake Reintroduction Project Work-Weekend

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Three from COSAM named top 20 finalists for Miss Auburn

Three COSAM students were among the top 20 finalists for Miss Auburn: Alexis Jackson, microbial, cellular, and molecular biology; Tori Jones, biomedical sciences; and Ana Burcham, cellular and molecular biology. Jackson also serves as a COSAM Leader, an exemplary group of students who serve the college as official ambassadors.

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Research Electronics Support Facility joins Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

The Research Electronics Support Facility (RESF) will report to the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry effective January 1, 2014. Larry “Autry” May will be the Director of RESF, which will retain its mission of service to the Auburn University campus.

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Physics Professor Receives Grant from U.S. Department of Defense

Physics professor Michael Bozack received a grant from the U.S. Department of Defense for research addressing the reliability of Sn-Ag-Cu lead-free solder alloys under harsh environmental conditions. The work follows a successful world-wide effort to develop alternative, environmentally friendly materials for electronics packaging. Currently, SAC alloys have replaced conventional lead-bearing solder alloys in most consumer electronics. The grant from the U.S. Department of Defense will provide Bozack and a team of Auburn University scientists with more than $2 million to run a comprehensive program of tests to fully explore solutions to the SAC solder joint reliability problem.

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Physics Faculty and Staff Submit New Patent Application

Prof. John R. Williams (Physics Emeritus Professor), Tamara F. Isaacs-Smith (Physics Department Staff), Ayayi Claude Ahyi (Physics Research Assistant Professor), Prof. Leonard C. Feldman (Professor, Vice-President, and Director Institute for Advanced Materials, Devices and Nanotechnology, Rutgers University), and Prof. Jogesh K. Sharma (School of Engineering, University of Warwick, Coventry, United Kingdom) have filed a US non-provisional patent titled "Semiconductor Devices Including Polar Insulation Layer Capped by Non-Polar Insulation Layer".

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Auburn Senior Physics Major Named Rhodes Scholarship Finalist

Auburn University senior Patrick Donnan has been selected as one of the Rhodes Scholarship finalists and will interview at the end of November.

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Auburn Senior Physics Major Named Finalist for United Kingdom's Marshall Scholarship

Auburn University senior Patrick Donnan has been named a finalist for the Marshall Scholarship for an opportunity to study in the United Kingdom next year. He will interview at the British Consulate in Atlanta Nov. 12 to possibly be chosen as one of only 40 U.S. students named as Marshall Scholars and to attend their choice of any United Kingdom university. Donnan, a native of Auburn, Ala., is a student in the Honors College double-majoring in physics and music, concentrating on the bassoon, and minoring in mathematics.

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Ortiz and Auburn Graduate Students Attend Annual Meeting NOBCChE

Dr. Vincent Ortiz, Ruth W. Molette Professor and Chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in the College of Sciences and Mathematics, and five Auburn University graduate students attended the 40th Annual National Meeting of the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE) in Indianapolis on October 1-6, 2013. The students, Symon Gathiaka, PaviElle Lockhart, Olive Njuma and Selamawit Ghebreamlak from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Zenda Davis from the Department of Chemical Engineering, participated in technical symposia, professional workshops and recruited prospective graduate and undergraduate students. NOBCChE initiates and supports local, regional, national and global programs that assist people of color in fully realizing their potential in academic, professional and entrepreneurial pursuits in chemistry, chemical engineering and related fields and encourages college students to pursue graduate degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. Auburn University and NOBCChE currently have a Technology Education Partnership that promotes access to opportunities in research and education.

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SCB Kayak Trip

SCB Kayak Trip

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NSF Grant for Ellis

Associate Professor Holly Ellis has received a four-year grant from the National Science Foundation for her proposal, “Defining the Mechanistic Strategies of Defulfonation in the Alkanesulfonate Monooxygenase System”.

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SCB goes on Gulf Coast Field Trip

SCB goes on Gulf Coast Field Trip

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Students study wildlife in Swaziland

“Warning!” reads the course description, “Mega-mammals, crocodiles, snakes, thorns, baboons, etc. may be abundant at many of the sites. Please be very careful!” The course, Field Biology and Ecology, provides one of the latest study abroad opportunities offered at Auburn University. Last summer during the inaugural course, 10 Auburn students ventured to Swaziland and South Africa for a once-in-a-lifetime, hands-on, research experience, guided by Biological Sciences professors Troy Best and Michael Wooten.

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SCB gets 2 behind-the-scenes tours at Callaway Gardens

SCB gets 2 behind-the-scenes tours at Callaway Gardens

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Disease Detection in the Palm of Your Hand

Two Auburn University professors have developed a disease-detection technology that could be the beginning of handheld, point-of-care devices – a breakthrough that would let health care professionals, first responders and even individuals quickly do blood tests for a variety of illnesses and conditions. Associate Professor Christopher J. Easley and Professor Curtis Shannon, both in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in the College of Sciences and Mathematics, led the research team that published its results in the March 27 issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

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SCB longleaf pine restoration tour

SCB longleaf pine restoration tour

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Donnan conducts physics research in Germany and gives presentation at international conference in Scotland

Physics senior Patrick Donnan made his mark as an academic elite when he was chosen as a 2013 Barry M. Goldwater Scholar , an honor bestowed upon approximately 300 students nationwide each year. The scholarship is widely considered the most prestigious award in the United States for undergraduates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines. Ever eager for more knowledge and experience in the realm of physics, Donnan, who is also pursuing a bachelor’s degree in music, spent the summer working in Dresden, Germany, at the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems under the guidance of Thomas Pohl, leader of the Complex Dynamics in Cold Gases unit.

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Night Swamp Walk taken by SCB

Night Swamp Walk taken by SCB

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2013 COSAM Visitation Day Registration Deadline October 11, 2013

We invite you to our Auburn University College of Sciences and Mathematics (COSAM) Minority High School Visitation Day on October 18, 2013 in the AU Student Center from 8:30 am - 2:30 pm CST.

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Professors Thomas and Konopka receive funding for dusty plasma research

Ed ThomasEdward Thomas, Jr. (pictured left), the Lawrence C. Wit Professor, and associate professor Uwe Konopka (pictured below), both of the Plasma Sciences Laboratory in the Department of Physics, were awarded two new grants from the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation totaling $765,000 for the project titled, “The Physics of Magnetized Dusty Plasmas.”

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Easley and Simonian win NSF grant

Associate Professor Christopher Easley and Alumni Professor Alex Simonian of Mechanical Engineering have received funding from the National Science Foundation for their collaborative project entitled “Development of multi-parametric/multimodal spectroscopy apparatus for characterization of functional interfaces.”

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SCB hosts Wild Animal Safari at COSAM Open House

SCB hosts Wild Animal Safari at COSAM Open House

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Liu receives grant from the National Science Foundation

Kaijun Liu, assistant professor in the Department of Physics, received a three-year, $240,444 grant from the National Science Foundation’s Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences. The project, “An Integrated Study of Fast Magnetosconic Waves in the Radiation Belts,” aims to comprehensively understand the excitation of fast magnetosonic waves, or “equatorial noise,” and their interactions with relativistic electrons in radiation belts. Liu and his team will use satellite data analysis, linear kinetic dispersion theory, kinetic plasma simulations, and test-particle computations to carry out an integrated study.

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COSAM programs ranked among best in the nation

In a recent edition of the newsmagazine Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, the Top 100 Degree Producer rankings of institutions that confer the most degrees to minority students was published. Auburn University received a top 100 ranking in 26 categories, including 49th for biological and biomedical sciences degrees and 53rd for degrees in mathematics and statistics. Other rankings include seventh in undergraduate degrees awarded to African American engineering students; 14th in architecture and related services; 23rd in foreign languages, literatures, and linguistics; 25th in agriculture and related sciences; and 44th for finance and financial management. Diverse: Issues in Higher Education is a newsmagazine focusing on matters of access and opportunity for all in higher education.

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Dhar receives grant from the National Science Foundation NSF

Sarit Dhar, assistant professor in the Department of Physics, was awarded a $598,777 grant from the National Science Foundation’s Partnerships for Innovation program. The grant will support collaborative research between Auburn University and industry partners CoolCAD Electronics, LLC, in College Park Md., and United Silicon Carbide, Inc., in Monmouoth Junction, N.J. CoolCAD Electronics performs design, analysis and prototyping for cryogenic SiC and IR electronics, and United Silicon Carbide works on the design, fabrication and commercialization of SiC technologies.

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COSAM welcomes new dean, Nicholas Giordano

On August 5, Nicholas Giordano began his tenure as dean of the College of Sciences and Mathematics. Previously, Giordano was at Purdue University serving as the head of the Department of Physics. “It is my great privilege to serve as the new dean of the College of Sciences and Mathematics. One of my first jobs is to get to know the college, and that means getting to know the people of COSAM,” Giordano said. “While I have only been at Auburn a short time, I have been very impressed by all of the great work being done in the college, and I look forward to further familiarizing myself with our exceptional faculty, staff, students and alumni.

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Knowles Professorship for Christopher Easley

Associate Professor Christopher Easley has been selected as the first C. Harry Knowles Professor for Leadership in Research or Outreach to Enhance Science Teaching and Learning in the College of Sciences and Mathematics. The five-year term of this appointment begins on August 16, 2013.

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Summer Science Institute at Auburn College of Sciences and Mathematics

Alabama and Georgia high school students are getting an opportunity to explore cutting-edge research topics in biology, chemistry, geology, physics and mathematics through the Summer Science Institute at Auburn University.

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Cobb conducts internship with World Food Programme’s Emergency Preparedness and Response team in Italy

Cobb conducts internship with World Food Programme’s Emergency Preparedness and Response team in Italy

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Summerlin attends international SEGF student field course, receives grants

Summerlin attends international SEGF student field course, receives grants

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ACS Award for Ryan Hasemeier

Ryan Hasemeier, recipient of the Outstanding Graduating Senior Award in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the Dean’s Medalist for Chemistry and Biochemistry for the 2012-2013 academic year, has won the Undergraduate Inorganic Chemistry Award of the American Chemical Society. He worked with Associate Professor Holly Ellis on the iron coordination center of the enzyme cysteine dioxygenase and was nominated for this ACS award by Professor David Stanbury and Associate Professor Christian Goldsmith. In the fall semester, he will begin graduate study in chemical biology at Johns Hopkins University.

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Lilly-Lovelace Award for Stephen Swann

Stephen Swann, Laboratory Manager for General Chemistry, has been selected to receive the 2013 Lilly-Lovelace Distinguished Service Award in recognition of 17 years of exceptional service to Auburn University.

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Bradley publishes book about new technologies in the life sciences

Professor emeritus of biological sciences James Bradley recently published the book, "Brutes or Angels: Human Possibility in the Age of Biotechnology." The book includes basic information on an array of new technologies in the life sciences and the ethical issues raised by each. Bradley means for the book ito facilitate informed decision-making about the personal use of biotechnologies and the formulation of public policies governing their development and use. Ten biotechnologies that impact humans are considered: stem cell research, embryo selection, human genomics, gene therapies, human reproductive cloning, age retardation, cognition enhancement, the engineering of nonhuman organisms, nanobiology and synthetic biology. For more information about Bradley, go to this website.

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Cultural Geography Spring 2013

Cultural Geography Spring 2013

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Distinguished Dissertation Award for Elizabeth Ndontsa

Dr. Elizabeth Ndontsa has received one of the three 2013 Auburn University Graduate School Distinguished Dissertation Awards in Biological/Life Sciences. Dr. Ndontsa was a graduate student in the laboratory of Dr. Douglas Goodwin.

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Research by Professors Easley and Shannon highlighted by NSF

Research performed in the laboratories of Dr. Christopher Easley and Dr. Curtis Shannon on Innovative techniques for measuring hormones and other proteins in complex fluids such as blood were featured on a web page published by the National Science Foundation.

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Arboretum awarded Level III accreditation through ArbNet

The Donald E. Davis Arboretum was awarded Level III accreditation through the ArbNet program. The accreditation recognizes the arboretum’s collection, display and dedication to woody plants such trees and shrubs for public benefit, scientific knowledge and conservation. The arboretum boasts almost 900 trees, including a post oak called the “Founder's Oak,” which measures 88 feet tall, 47.3 inches in diameter, and 89 feet across the crown width. For more information on the Level III accreditation through Arbnet, visit the website here.

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COSAM alumnus Cara Tupps joins Peace Corps

Cara Tupps, a May 2013 graduate with a bachelor of science in microbiology, joined the Peace Corps and will teach biology to middle and/or high school students in the Republic of Mozambique in Africa. In preparation for her two-year commitment to the Peace Corps, Tupps will donate her long hair for the fourth time to Locks of Love, a nonprofit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis.

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Bennett family establishes Ralph B. Bennett Memorial Endowed Fund for Excellence

The Dr. Ralph B. Bennett Memorial Endowed Fund for Excellence was established for the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. The endowment was established in memory of Ralph Blount Bennett by his wife, Donna V. Bennett, and daughters, Rebecca Ruth Bennett and Leah Elizabeth Bennett Edwards, for the purpose of providing funds for excellence in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics.

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Fogle receives NSF grant for international collaboration

Professor Mike Fogle received a one-year grant in the amount of $21,511 from the National Science Foundation's Catalyzing New International Collaborations program, which is funded through the Office of International Science and Engineering. The grant, titled, "U.S.-Sweden Planning Visit: Research on the Dynamics of Complex Systems with Ion Storage Rings," will cover travel costs for Fogle and a graduate student to travel to Stockholm, Sweden, to develop a collaboration with Richard Thomas, a research associate at Stockholm University. Thomas' research group in Stockholm recently completed construction of a new, state-of-the-art ion storage ring facility, the Double Electrostatic Ion Ring Experiment, which will be used to investigate the detailed structure and dynamics of molecular systems under precisely controlled interaction conditions. No devices of this type exist in the U.S.

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Havird and Santos receive NSF grant

Justin C. Havird and Scott R. Santos, both of the Department of Biological Sciences, are the recipients of a two-year grant from the National Science Foundation's Division of Environmental Biology. The research proposal is titled, "Assessing evolution of euryhalinity in anchialine shrimps," and the funding will allow Havird and Santos to further investigate the evolution of the molecular mechanisms of osmoregulation in shrimp species from coastal ponds and pools. According to Havird, the molecular mechanisms of ionic and salt regulation in crustaceans have only been characterized for a narrow range of species, mainly crabs with a marine ancestry.

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Bond receives NSF grant to study millipedes

Jason Bond, professor of biological sciences and director of the Auburn University Museum of Natural History, received a three-year, $548,000 grant from the National Science Foundation's Division of Environmental Biology for his research proposal titled, "Millipede Systematics: Developing phylogenomic, classification, and taxonomic resources for the future." The grant funding will allow Bond to conduct research on millipedes which are in the arthropod class Diplopoda, comprising some 12,000 described species distributed worldwide in nearly every biome. According to Bond, the group has a deep evolutionary history that includes some of the first terrestrial animals, dating from the mid-Silurian over 400 million years ago. Despite their ecological importance as decomposers in forests, wealth of diversity with an estimated 20,000 to 80,000 species, and prominence as chemical warriors owing to their vast array of defense secretions, the group is woefully understudied. Bond and his team will revise the current ordinal and family-level classification systems using a modern phylogenomic framework based on next-generation sequence data and then employ these data to explore the evolution of chemical defense secretions and their precursors.

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Singh receives Fulbright grant

Narendra Singh, professor of biological sciences, has been awarded a Fulbright grant to teach and conduct research in India from August to December 2013 at SRM University. Singh's research and teaching involves the molecular biology of stress tolerance in plants, genetic manipulation of higher fungi, and edible vaccines that can be mixed with feed to ward off diseases that cause massive damage to the poultry industry. In India, he will teach and co-teach graduate courses in plant molecular biology and biotechnology, and offer a senior seminar course for undergraduate students. He plans to focus his research on the elucidation of mechanism of action of a plant protein he discovered in 1985 and named osmotin.

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Alumni news: Khandaker Zahid (MS 2005) joins Chevron

Alumni news: Khandaker Zahid (MS 2005) joins Chevron

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Congratulations to Nur Uddin Md Khaled Chowdhury

Congratulations to Nur Uddin Md. Khaled Chowdhury for receiving an AAPG grant in aid through SEAPEX, the South East Asia Petroleum Exploration Society, for his thesis research on the petrofacies and geochronology of Gondwanan sequences in South Asia.

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SETCA 2013 at Auburn

More than 80 scientists attended the 2013 meeting of the Southeast Theoretical Chemistry Association at Auburn University on May 9-11, 2013. This meeting was organized by faculty and graduate students in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and was sponsored by Gaussian, Incorporated, the College of Sciences and Mathematics and the Office of the Vice President for Research. Pictures of the conference will be posted at the conference web site.

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Nicholas Giordano named dean of Auburn’s College of Sciences and Mathematics

AUBURN UNIVERSITY – Following a national search, Purdue University Professor and Head of the Department of Physics Nicholas Giordano has been named dean of the Auburn University College of Sciences and Mathematics, effective Aug. 5. “The experience Dr. Giordano brings from both the classroom and administrative perspectives will be very valuable not only to the college but the university as a whole,” said Auburn Provost Tim Boosinger. “We look forward to the level of leadership he will provide.”

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SWSM Outstanding Graduate Student Award for Caley Allen

The Society of Women in Sciences and Mathematics has given its Outstanding Graduate Student Award to Caley Allen, who received her Ph.D. at the May commencement. Dr. Allen was a graduate student in the research group of Associate Professor Orlando Acevedo and will soon begin a postdoctoral fellowship at Georgia Tech.

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Dr. John Dykes makes emergency trip to Panama to save two-day old infant

Dr. John Dykes, microbiology '05, is conducting a three-year fellowship in pediatric cardiology at Miami Children's Hospital. As a fellow, Dykes rotates through the Cardiac Catheterization Lab, Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, Echocardiography, and inpatient and consultation services. When needed, he assists in medical transport and flies with the specialized pediatric paramedic transport team to retrieve high-risk patients. Recently, he even made an emergency trip to Panama to pick up a two-day-old baby who was suffering from a complex congenital heart disease called Transposition of the Great Arteries, a condition where the major vessels leaving the heart are switched, and oxygenated blood cannot get to the baby's systemic circulation.

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Arboretum honored for sustainability at first annual Spirit of Sustainability Awards

The Donald E. Davis Arboretum received a Spirit of Sustainability Award from the Auburn University Office of Sustainability. Winners were announced at the first annual Spirit of Sustainability Awards ceremony on April 16. The campus-wide awards program was established to recognize Auburn University students, faculty, staff and alumni that exemplify the Auburn spirit by demonstrating accomplishments promoting sustainability on campus or in the community at large. Over the past several years, the arboretum has committed to educating the campus community and the public about the relationship between land use, land cover and the impacts of stormwater runoff. The arboretum implemented numerous low-impact development practices, including an integrated system of pervious parking and walkways, small- and large-scale rainwater harvesting systems, rain gardens, an innovative network of underground stormwater detention, and a self-guided Water Tour of these innovations.

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Engleman discusses what to look for in the summer night sky, upcoming celestial events and tips

Do you want to learn more about the night sky? Nicole Engleman, a graduate student in physics at Auburn who has taught the astronomy lab, suggests two simple things people can do to enhance their sky-watching enjoyment: purchase a pair of binoculars and locate a start chart. "The night sky is awesome. There is so much up there, so a star chart, whether you print one out or download one to your smart phone, helps you to know what you are looking at, which is really cool. Once you know you are looking at certain constellations, the night sky is 100 times more amazing," Engleman said. "And using a pair of binoculars is an inexpensive way to enhance your view of space without investing a lot of money in a telescope." Engleman said that there are many easy objects to identify, such as the Big and Little Dipper, Polaris, also known as the North Star, which is found in the Little Dipper, and the fifth-brightest star, Vega, which is part of the Lyra constellation. "Honestly, the summer sky is kind of boring compared to other times of year," Engleman said. "Orion is not even up there in the summer, and you can see it at other times of year. It's also not as easy to see as much in the summer because the atmosphere is humid. The moisture makes it more difficult to see the sky because water vapor reflects light."

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COSAM opens Biodiversity Learning Center

On Friday, April 19, the College of Sciences and Mathematics hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony commemorating the opening of the new Biodiversity Learning Center. Construction of the Biodiversity Learning Center was made possible by a $3.5 million bond, and the 15,000 square-foot facility is located between Funchess Hall and Rouse Life Sciences Building on campus. The Biodiversity Learning Center is the new home of Auburn University's Museum of Natural History. The museum includes hundreds of thousands of specimens representing the rich history of Alabama, the Southeast and beyond. For more than 25 years the museum collection was located in Funchess Hall and the Physiology Building on campus, and Auburn has maintained natural history collections for more than 50 years. The Biodiversity Learning Center represents years of dedication and planning by supporters of COSAM, including faculty, staff, administration and alumni.

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Fulbright Fellowship for James Barnett

Mr. James Barnett, an undergraduate researcher in the laboratory of our former colleague Dr. Susanne Striegler, has been awarded a Fulbright Fellowship for study in Spain. Later this year, Mr. Barnett will begin to conduct research at the University of Barcelona.

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Behind the predictions at The Weather Channel: student group receives tour

Students in assistant professor Chandana Mitra's Climatology class in the Department of Geology and Geography visited The Weather Channel in Atlanta in March. The purpose of the trip was to engage students in learning opportunities outside of the classroom.

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Geology and Geography Canoe Trip

Geology and Geography Canoe Trip

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2013 Distinguished Graduate Faculty Lectureship for Emeritus Professor Worley

Auburn University’s Distinguished Graduate Faculty Lecturer for 2013 is Emeritus Professor S. D. Worley, author of over three hundred publications and patents, winner of numerous professional and scientific awards and innovator of antibacterial polymers with extensive commercial and public-health applications. Dr. Worley has maintained an active research group since his retirement from the faculty in 2009.

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Chris Marlow was recently awarded the Alabama Geological Society's John G. Newton Scholarship for 2012.

Chris Marlow was recently awarded the Alabama Geological Society's John G. Newton Scholarship for 2012.

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Geology and Geography Annual Picnic 2013

Geology and Geography Annual Picnic 2013

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2013 Arboretum Photo Contest Winners

The 2013 Arboretum Photo Contest is over and it's time to announce the winners!

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Congratulations to Ryan Hile for receiving the 2013 David W. Icenogle Award for Outstanding Senior in Geography.

Congratulations to Ryan Hile for receiving the 2013 David W. Icenogle Award for Outstanding Senior in Geography.

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Davis Arboretum receives 2013 Spirit of Sustainability Award

The Arboretum staff was honored at the Spirit of Sustainability Awards ceremony on Tuesday April 16, where they were recognized for their many activities and programs that promote sustainability. Curator Dee Smith (on right in photo) and staff members Patrick Thompson (on left in photo) and Teri Briggs (center) received a custom-designed ceramic bowl from Office of Sustainability Director Mike Kensler and Program Manager Matt Williams. Among other programs, the Arboretum has been involved with stormwater management demonstrations and collaborative projects over a number of years and with a wide range of campus partners.

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John Gorden, Honors Professor of the Year

Assistant Professor John Gorden has been named Honors Professor of the Year by AU’s Honors Congress and will accept this award at the Honors Gala on April 19, 2013.

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PGOP Fellowship for Charmaine Tutson

Charmaine Tutson, a graduate student advised by Dr. Anne Gorden, has been selected for a three-year President’s Graduate Opportunity Program Fellowship, according to an announcement by Dr. Overtoun Jenda, Associate Provost for Diversity and Multicultural Affairs.

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Night Swamp Walk taken by SCB

Auburn University’s chapter of the Society for Conservation Biology (SCB) took a nighttime stroll in swamps at Tuskegee National Forest after our last meeting of the semester (April 8). Led by Ecology Lab Coordinator Shawn “Gator” Jacobsen and DBS faculty member Debbie Folkerts, 16 members identified frog calls, observed the eyeshine of spiders, found a variety of other invertebrate species both aquatic and terrestrial, and otherwise explored the nocturnal world for several hours on a warm spring evening.

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Elizabeth Ndontsa, International Graduate Student of the Year

Elizabeth Ndontsa, who recently passed her oral examination for the Ph.D. degree under the supervision of Dr. Douglas Goodwin, has been named International Graduate Student of the Year in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

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Kathryn Milly West featured on ASCP web site

Kathryn Milly West, Coordinator of the Laboratory and Medical Technology in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, was recently featured on the web site of the American Society of Clinical Pathology.

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Wilkes 2013 NASA Volcanology Field Workshop

Congratulations to Cheryl Wilkes, who got into the NASA Planetary Volcanology Field Workshop in Hawaii

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Donnan named a 2013 Goldwater Scholar

Patrick Donnan, an Auburn University Honors College student double-majoring in physics and music, has been chosen as a 2013 Barry M. Goldwater Scholar, an honor bestowed only to approximately 300 students nationwide each year. The scholarship is widely considered the most prestigious award in the United States for undergraduates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines.

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Ashford to share birding knowledge at wildlife refuge and late-summer festival

Dick Ashford, mathematics '66, will co-lead a trip to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge from May 30 to June 2 for the Klamath Bird Observatory. Malheur NWR is a world-renowned birding destination where participants will see bobolinks, sage sparrows and eastern kingbirds, and the area provides a breeding ground for the sandhill crane, Swainson's and Ferruginous Hawk and the prairie falcon, among others.

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COSAM postpones Celebrating Biodiversity with E.O. Wilson

Due to an unforeseen emergency, it is with deepest regrets that COSAM must postpone the Celebrating Biodiversity with E.O. Wilson event that was scheduled for the evening of April 10th at the Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center.

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Saunders receives NSF grant

James Saunders, professor in the Department of Geology and Geography, received a three-year National Science Foundation grant for his research project titled, "Transport and Deposition of Metallic Nanoparticles as a Hydrothermal Ore-forming Process." The grant is supported by the Petrology and Geochemistry program and will allow Saunders to expand his research in the realm of metallic nanoparticle transport, particularly those involved in the formation of shallow deposits of gold and silver, which were the type of precious-metal ores commonly mined in the western U.S. in the 1800s.

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Bradley Merner to become Assistant Professor in Fall 2013

Dr. Bradley Merner, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Montreal, will become an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in the fall 2013 semester. Dr. Merner, who obtained his doctorate from Memorial University in Saint John’s, Newfoundland, specializes in synthetic organic chemistry, compounds of medicinal importance and carbon nanostructures.

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Nature article by Assistant Professor Mansoorabadi

Assistant Professor Steven Mansoorabadi is a co-author of an article entitled “Mechanistic studies of an unprecedented enzyme-catalysed 1,2 phosphono-migration reaction” which will be published in the April 4, 2013 issue of the prestigious journal Nature. Dr. Mansoorabadi joined the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Auburn University in August 2012.

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Dana Lashley awarded inaugural Livant Graduate Fellowship

Dana Lashley, a Ph.D. student in the research group of Professor Stewart Schneller, has been named the initial recipient of the Peter Livant Graduate Fellowship, which was made possible by the generosity of one of Professor Livant’s former students. This fellowship will be awarded annually to an organic chemistry graduate student. Ms. Lashley’s research is on the organic synthesis of antiviral therapeutic candidates.

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2013 Women of Distinction Faculty Leadership Award to Dr. Anne Gorden

Associate Professor Anne Gorden has received the 2013 Women of Distinction Faculty Leadership Award from the Auburn University Women’s Resource Center and will be honored at their Awards Luncheon on April 5 at the Auburn University Hotel and Conference Center.

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Searching for evidence of life on the Red Planet

Has there ever been life on Mars? Shawn Wright, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Geology and Geography suggests we can only answer that question by looking in the right places, including deep craters on Mars.

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Promotion and Tenure for Christopher Easley and Christian Goldsmith

Auburn University President Jay Gogue has approved promotion to Associate Professor and tenure for Assistant Professors Christopher Easley and Christian Goldsmith, effective in the fall semester of 2013.

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Congratulations to Sarah Sheffield for winning the COSAM Graduate Research Award.

COSAM held the Dean’s Research Awards ceremony on March 6. The awards provide the dean with an opportunity to acknowledge outstanding COSAM faculty and students for their research and scholarly accomplishments.

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SCB February meeting features Anima-Palooza by Jimmy and Sierra Stiles

Auburn University’s chapter of the Society for Conservation Biology (SCB) held its February meeting on the 28th, and the 27 members in attendance were treated to a display of animals by DBS graduate students Jimmy and Sierra Stiles. The Stiles use their collection of animals for conservation education, and brought an assortment of salamanders, frogs/toads, turtles, lizards and snakes (plus a baby alligator) to the meeting. Jimmy and Sierra regaled the group with stories about the conservation significance of the collection, and we discussed our plans to for a workday weekend in March at Conecuh National Forest.

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SCB participates in Conecuh National Forest work weekend on Indigo Snake Project

Auburn University’s chapter of the Society for Conservation Biology (SCB) continued to volunteer to aid the Indigo Snake reintroduction effort in Conecuh National Forest. A small but dedicated band (4 students plus faculty advisor Boyd) helped Dr. Craig Guyer and his lab group remove snake pens that had been installed several years ago on the national forest for experimental purposes but had now outlived their usefulness. Despite very cool weather, during the 2 days on the site we almost completely removed hundreds of t-posts and hundreds of meters of hardware cloth fencing to help prepare the site for a prescribed burn during the coming months.

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Prof. Lin Selected as a Changjiang Chair Professor

Coordinated by the Chinese Ministry of Education, Changjiang Scholars Program is one of the most prestigious higher education development programs of China provided by the Ministry of education and Li Ka Shing Foundation.

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SCB pitches in to clear out invasive plants along Parkerson Mill Creek

Auburn University’s chapter of the Society for Conservation Biology (SCB) joined in the Parkerson Mill Creek Showdown on the morning of Saturday, February 23. The event combined our 8 SCB members (see photo) with volunteers from the Davis Arboretum staff, Facilities Management, the Department of Horticulture, the AU Office of Sustainability, the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, and the Alabama Invasive Plant Council. We spent several hours clearing invasive plants from the banks of Parkerson Mill Creek behind the McWhorter Center, and then enjoyed a chili lunch provided by the sponsoring groups.

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U.S. Geoscience Enrollments and Degrees Grow Robustly in 2011-2012

Alexandria, VA – New data collected by the American Geosciences Institute (AGI) and published in Geoscience Currents 68 reaffirms a decade-long trend of continued growth in U.S. undergraduate enrollments in the geosciences during the 2011-2012 academic year.

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Prof. Duin receives NASA funding

Professor Eduardus Duin is a co-investigator for a project funded by NASA on “Iron-sulfur clusters in the evolution of the Enzymatic Synthesis of RNA” in collaboration with scientists at the University of Arkansas and Ehime University in Japan.

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IGP grant for Professors Goodwin and Calderon

Professor Douglas Goodwin and Professor Angela Calderon of Pharmacal Sciences have received funding for their Internal Grant Proposal, “Toward new antitubercular drugs: Uncovering mechanistically appropriate inhibitors of Mycobacterium tuberculosis shikimate kinase from natural products”.

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IGP funding for Professors Easley, Shannon and Simonian

Professors Christopher Easley and Curtis Shannon of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Aleksandr Simonian of the College of Engineering have received funding for their Internal Grant Program proposal entitled “Surface Dynamics of a Highly Sensitive and Versatile Protein Quantitation Method, the Electrochemical Proximity Assay”.

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Prison Outreach Award for Prof. Goodwin

Dr. Douglas Goodwin and his collaborators Ms. Kyes Stevens and Dr. Alan Wilson have received a Competitive Outreach Scholarship Grant Award for their proposal entitled “Bridging a Curriculum Gap in Prisoner Education: A Collaboration of Colleges Innovating Solutions”.

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PASS Mentoring Program Update

Members of the Promoting Academic Success for Students (PASS) Peer Mentoring Program participated in an event to bring together friends, fellowship, and service on Jan. 21st.

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K!DSPARK held Jan. 19 in Birmingham, AL

The 2013 K!dspark Conference “Explore the Future and Plan for Success” was held on Saturday, Jan. 19 at George Washington Carver High School in Birmingham, AL.

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Featured article by Prof. Acevedo

An article on Hepatitus C Virus by Professor Orlando Acevedo and his former graduate student Sambasivarao Somisetti has been highlighted by the Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling in a special issue on HCV therapies.

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Logan Chair celebrated with recognition dinner

On Jan. 15, a dinner was held in recognition of Chris Rodger, the inaugural recipient of the Logan Chair, established by Don and Sandy Logan. Rodger is the associate dean for research and graduate studies for COSAM. The Logan Chair is designed to support superior faculty of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics who possess academic leadership in the pursuit of excellence in teaching, research and university and professional service, including outreach activities, within the department, with each category weighted equally. Additionally, the recipient of the Logan Chair is expected to work to strengthen and enhance mathematics, and serve as a positive role model for students and colleagues.

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Dinner held in honor of Stewart W. Schneller chair

Kenneth Halanych, alumni professor and former coordinator of the marine biology program in the Department of Biological Sciences, is the inaugural recipient of the Stewart W. Schneller Chair, which was established by friends, alumni, students and colleagues in honor of Schneller. A dinner was held recognizing Halanych and Stewart Schneller, former dean of COSAM, on Nov. 5, 2012.

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Tam invited as plenary speaker

Tin-Yau Tam has been invited as a plenary speaker of the 19th ILAS conference at Sung Kyun Kwan University, Suwon, KOREA, August 6 - 9, 2014. ILAS 2014 is one of the main satellite conferences of ICM (International Congress of Mathematicians). The conference organizers will provide him partial travel support.

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GFE Award for Ruychev

The Provost’s office has selected Dr. Veselin Ruychev’s General Fee Equipment proposal for funding. To create a more interactive and safer environment for organic chemistry laboratory courses, Dr. Ruychev proposed the installation of a centralized multimedia system. Video monitors in each laboratory will be connected to a computer through which graduate teaching assistants can efficiently interact with many students simultaneously.

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New antimatter method to provide ‘a major experimental advantage’

Prof. Francis Robicheaux is co-author of a study published in the Journal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics that describes a method for cooling trapped antihydrogen which they believe could provide ‘a major experimental advantage’ and help to map the mysterious properties of antimatter that have to date remained elusive.

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Auburn University Scientists to embark on six-week Antarctic cruise

On Jan. 1, a team of scientists from Auburn University's College of Sciences and Mathematics will embark on a research cruise to one of the world's most secluded and mysterious places, Antarctica. The voyage will last approximately six weeks, during which time the team will explore the genetic diversity of marine organisms found in the waters surrounding Earth's southernmost continent.

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Arboretum creates stormwater tour

The Donald E. Davis Arboretum is home to more than 500 species of native-Alabama plants. Many factors work to sustain the plant life in the arboretum, including sunlight and nutrients from the soil. Perhaps most important to plant survival, however, is water. Vegetation at the arboretum receives water from a variety of sources, including irrigation, and, most often, rainfall. While rainfall is a much needed resource for plant life, it can also be a destructive force on ecosystems, resulting in erosion and even death.

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Drs. Shannon and Stanbury receive endowed Professorships

President Jay Gogue, Provost Timothy Boosinger and Interim Dean Charles Savrda presided at a ceremony on October 10, 2012 to recognize the award of several endowed professorships to members of the faculty. Among those honored were Professor Curtis Shannon and Professor David Stanbury of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Dr. Shannon now holds the Andrew T. Hunt Professorship and Dr. Stanbury now is the J. Milton Harris Professor.

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Donald E. Davis Arboretum and Environmental Awareness Organization to host Native Plant Workshop

The Donald E. Davis Arboretum and the student-run Environmental Awareness Organization will co-host a native plant workshop, “Let us Help You Connect With Native Alabama,” on Monday, Nov. 5 at 5 p.m. in 112 Rouse Life Sciences Building.

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SCB visits caves in North Alabama

Auburn University’s chapter of the Society for Conservation Biology (SCB) visited caves in Jackson County Alabama for the third year in a row October 20-21, 2012. Led by Jim Godwin of the Alabama Natural Heritage Program, 9 members visited 5 caves on Saturday, seeing cave salamanders, cave crayfish, cave crickets, bats, and Allegheny woodrats (among other sights). On Sunday, we visited the Nature Conservancy’s Keel Mountain Preserve to see the federally endangered plant, Morefield’s Leatherflower, before returning to Auburn via the Talladega Scenic Drive to enjoy the fall foliage.

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Internal grant triggers interdisciplinary work and multiple projects

Luke Marzen, professor in the College of Sciences and Mathematics, or COSAM, and Art Chappelka, professor in the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, or SFWS, spurred collaboration between Auburn University and the U.S. Geological Survey Alabama Water Science Center to produce an exact, three-dimensional model of the Toomer’s oaks. The model provided both a means of measuring the overall health of the trees, as well as documentation of the historic oaks. It was produced using a tripod-mounted laser scanner, also known as terrestrial light detection and ranging, or T-LiDAR. The T-LiDAR sends out a laser that scans anything within range and produces a three-dimensional replica.

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SCB visits Gulf Coast Zoo, Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge, and Splinter Hill Bog

Auburn University’s chapter of the Society for Conservation Biology (SCB) had its first-ever two-night field trip Sept. 28-30, 2012. Ten members left Auburn late Friday afternoon and drove to the Nature Conservancy’s Splinter Hill Bog, where we spent the night in their house located right on the Preserve. The next morning we drove to Gulf Shores to visit the Gulf Coast Zoo (where AU alum and former SCB member Jessica Larson now works). After lunch, we met with Dr. Mike Wooten of our department at Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge to tour the beach and dunes, which are habitat for the federally-endangered Alabama Beach Mouse (found nowhere else in the world). We returned to the Splinter Hill house to spend the night, and then spent Sunday morning touring the pitcher plant bogs of the reserve to round out a very full weekend of conservation-oriented activities!

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SCB hosts Wild Animal Safari at COSAM 2012 Open House

Auburn University’s chapter of the Society for Conservation Biology (SCB) invited Wild Animal Safari (of Pine Mountain, GA) to bring some animals to COSAM’s Open House on Aug. 29, 2012 to help advertise our group and its activities. Safari staff brought a serval, a Burmese python, a tarantula, a blue and gold macaw, a spiny-tailed lizard, and a baby pygmy goat to the event. There was great interest from staff and students, and even Aubie posed (or played in the case of the serval) with some of the animals. Anyone interested in joining SCB can contact our President, Scott Clem (csc0013@tigermail.auburn.edu).

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Consequences of the oil spill on the Gulf Coast environment revealed

Two researchers in Auburn University’s College of Sciences and Mathematics have delivered preliminary results of ongoing research into the effects of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and results indicate potentially serious consequences for the environment. The researchers, Ming-Kuo Lee, Robert B. Cook professor of geology, and Ken Halanych, alumni professor of biological sciences, carried out two separate projects surveying different regions in the gulf, and in each location, effects of the oil spill are persistent. The research suggests the oil spill may have caused massive harm to the environment at a microscopic level, which in turn could have serious repercussions on the food chain in the long term.

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New Assistant Professors Gorden and Mansoorabadi

Dr. Steven Mansoorabadi will join the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry as Assistant Professor in August 2012. Dr. Mansoorabadi received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he worked with Prof. George H. Reed at the Institute for Enzyme Research.

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2012 - 2013 Mathematics & Statistics Administrative Team

The 2012 - 2013 Mathematics & Statistics Administrative Team has been announced.

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NOBCChE President’s Award for Ortiz and Roberts

Vincent Ortiz, Ruth W. Molette Professor and Chairman of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and Christopher Roberts, Uthlaut Professor of Chemical Engineering and Dean of Engineering, will receive 2012 President’s Awards from the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE). Dr. Victor McCrary, President of NOBCChE, will present these awards to Ortiz and Roberts at this organization’s Annual Conference in Washington DC on September 28, 2012. Roberts, formerly Chairman of Chemical Engineering, and Ortiz will be recognized for initiating and supporting the Technology Education Partnership between Auburn University and NOBCChE and for providing increased opportunities and a more receptive environment for under-represented students to pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in the Departments of Chemistry and Biochemistry and of Chemical Engineering.

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AubieSat-1 mission is a success

The Auburn University student-built satellite, AubieSat-1, was the first student-built CubeSat in the state to be accepted by NASA for launch. A “CubeSat” is a 4-inch, cube-shaped satellite that is used primarily for research. The satellite launched into space at 2:48 a.m. PDT on Oct. 28, 2011, from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California aboard a NASA-sponsored Delta II rocket. For approximately eight months, AubieSat-1 orbited the globe, and numerous universities and individual ham radio operators signed up to help track the satellite. The first signal was received shortly after launch from Vigo University in Spain. The signal was heard as far away as Japan and as nearby as the University of Alaska, and daily information arrived to the AubieSat-1 team via an amateur radio operator named Mike Rupprecht, who lives in Germany.

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NIH Grant for Assistant Professor Easley

Dr. Christopher Easley has received an R01 grant from the National Institutes of Health for a project entitled “Interrogating Dynamics of Acute Secretion of Adiponectin Multimers from Adipose Tissue” in collaboration with Dr. Robert Judd, Associate Professor of Pharmacology.

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Outstanding Dissertation Award

For the second time in three years, a graduate student affiliated with Emeritus Professors S. D. Worley of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Emeritus Professor Royall Broughton of the Department of Polymer and Fiber Engineering has won the Graduate School’s Outstanding Dissertation Award. This year’s winner is Idris Cerkez, who obtained his undergraduate degree in Turkey. The previous winner was Hasan Kocer, who now has an academic position in Turkey.

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Physics student speaks at annual meeting

Senior Patrick Donnan was invited to give a talk at the 43rd annual meeting of the American Physical Society’s Division of Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics in Orange County, Calif., that was held June 4 - 8. Donnan, who is double majoring in physics and music, gave a presentation during the undergraduate session of the national meeting titled, “Calculations of Hyperfine Antihydrogen Spectroscopy.”

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2012 - 2013 COSAM Leaders announced

The COSAM Leaders are an exemplary group of students who serve the college as its official ambassadors.

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COSAM Graduate finalist for Walter Byers Postgraduate Scholarship

Two former Auburn student athletes are among six finalists for the 2012 Walter Byers Postgraduate Scholarship, the NCAA's highest academic award: 2010 COSAM honors graduate in chemistry Dan Mazzaferro; and Mary "Katy" Frierson, women's soccer, who graduated in 2011 from the College of Liberal Arts.

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COSAM student takes first place at SEC championship tournament

The fifth-ranked Auburn women's golf team won the Southeastern Conference Championship on Sunday, April 22, and Patricia Sanz, a senior in biomedical sciences, won the individual title at the championship tournament.

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Society for Conservation Biology update

Members of Auburn University’s chapter of the Society for Conservation Biology, or SCB, participated in an invasive species cleanup project on April 22, in honor of Earth Day (pictured). Participants worked in Auburn to eliminate privet and other nuisance plants that were choking out native species.

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SCB completes workday on Indigo Snake Reintroduction Project

SCB completes workday on Indigo Snake Reintroduction Project

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The Auburn Tiger Trapdoor Spider – A new species discovered from a college town backyard

Researchers at Auburn University reported the discovery a new trapdoor spider species from a well-developed housing subdivision in the heart of the city of Auburn, Ala. Myrmekiaphila tigris, affectionately referred to as the Auburn Tiger Trapdoor spider, is named in honor of Auburn University’s costumed Tiger mascot, Aubie.

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SCB members help remove alien plants for Earth Day 2012

Eight members of Auburn University’s chapter of the Society for Conservation Biology (SCB) joined Dr. Sharon Hermann of DBS and Dr. John Kush from Forestry and Wildlife Sciences for several hours of alien plant removal on Sunday April 22 (Earth Day 2012). The group enjoyed surprisingly cool weather and got a lot of plant removal done on a site on campus that is being restored to its native longleaf pine habitat type.

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Long-time faculty member recognized for excellence

Lawrence Wit, associate dean for academic affairs for the College of Sciences and Mathematics, has been selected to receive one of two, 2012 Gerald and Emily Leischuck Endowed Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching. The award is a prestigious honor which recognizes those faculty members who demonstrate effective and innovative teaching methods, and a continuing commitment to student success through advising and mentoring inside and outside the classroom. The award carries a $10,000 stipend for each recipient. Emeritus senior administrators, Gerald and Emily Leischuck, established the endowment in 2005 to recognize the university’s teachers, and Auburn presented the first Leischuck Endowed Presidential Awards the same year.

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2012 Arboretum Photo Contest Winners!

The Donald E. Davis Arboretum 2012 photo contest winners were announced on April 20. The contest, a collaborative effort between the arboretum and the Department of Art, featured nearly 100 entries that were judged in five categories including: Davis Arboretum, Birds and Mammals, Other Wildlife, Flora and Landscape. A People’s Choice award was also presented, allowing the public to participate.

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NSF graduate research fellowships awarded to DBS students


Department of Biological sciences graduate students Alex Bentz, Nicole Garrison and Rebecca Koch each won a prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. The fellowship is the oldest fellowship of its kind and has a long history of recipients achieving high academic and professional success. GRFP fellows often become life-long scientific leaders and educators. Bentz's mentor is assistant professor Wendy Hood; Garrison is being mentored by professor Jason Bond; Koch's mentor is professor Geoff Hill.

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COSAM Prepares: Shadowing opportunities for pre-health students

Job shadowing is critical for acceptance to professional school programs such as medical school and optometry school, and several medical offices in the Auburn area allow COSAM's pre-health students the opportunity to spend time alongside a physician, giving the student a chance to observe and learn what a career in medicine entails.

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COSAM awards the 2012 Dean’s Outstanding Outreach Award

COSAM named two recipients of the 2012 Dean’s Outstanding Outreach Award, David King, professor of geology, and Ash Abebe, associate professor of mathematics and statistics. The annual Outstanding Outreach Award is given to COSAM faculty members with recent records of service and outreach performance that extend beyond normal expectations.

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Halanych awarded NSF grant

Ken Halanych, professor of biological sciences, has been awarded a National Science Foundation grant along with his collaborator, Craig Smith of the University of Hawaii. The combined $800,576 of funding will begin in September of 2012 and allow Halanych and Smith, along with collaborators from five different countries, to continue their research on the diversity of deep-sea organisms.

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COSAM Appoints New Associate Dean

Vince Cammarata, associate professor of chemistry, was appointed to succeed Larry Wit as COSAM's associate dean for academic affairs. Cammarata, who is an analytical chemist, received his Bachelor of Science from California Institute of Technology, his Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and conducted post-doctoral work at the University of Minnesota.

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Auburn University senior awarded Fulbright Scholarship to study in Germany

Paul Bergen, a senior in COSAM double majoring in microbiology and German, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study in Germany for the 2012-13 academic year. At the Technical University of Munich, he will continue to pursue his research in microbiology."Paul is an inquisitive and engaging young man with a range of interests and activities that go well beyond the lab and range from the study of German politics, culture and language to being an active member of Auburn's nationally recognized mock trial team," said Paul Harris, associate director of the Auburn Honors College. "He will gain so much from his classes and interactions with German students and faculty and he will represent himself, Auburn University and the United States with distinction.

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Auburn researchers play role in antimatter breakthrough featured in journal Nature

A recent scientific breakthrough could lead to changes in the world of antimatter physics, according to Francis Robicheaux, an Auburn University physics professor and member of ALPHA, the international team of scientists conducting the antimatter research. Last year the ALPHA (Anti-Hydrogen Laser Physics Apparatus) team was able to trap and hold the antimatter version of the hydrogen atom. They have now accomplished the goal they set at that time of being able to measure the fundamental properties of antihydrogen. An article in this week’s edition of the journal Nature, titled “Resonant quantum transitions in trapped antihydrogen atoms,” describes the progress made in that research. The article reports that ALPHA has made yet another monumental step toward being able to make defendable and precise comparisons between atoms of matter and those of antimatter. Recently, Robicheaux and collaborators were able to measure the frequency needed to alter the magnetic properties of the antihydrogen atom by sending microwaves through the atom trap. “This is the first baby step into doing great experiments with antihydrogen atoms,” Robicheaux said. “This is the first time any properties of antihydrogen have been measured with any type of precision.”

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Gorden awarded Intramural Grant

Anne Gorden, associate professor of Chemistry, received an intramural grant from Auburn University’s Office of the Vice President for Research for $160,000. The grant was awarded based on her proposal, “Ultraviolet-visible/ Fluorescence Microspectrophotometer.” Collaborators on the grant include assistant professor Christian R. Goldsmith and associate professor German Mills, both of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, as well as Virginia A. Davis, associate professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering. Funding from the grant will be used money to purchase an ultraviolet-visible/ fluorescence microspectrophotometer for the University to be housed in Chemistry. Gorden notes that not only will this machine be available for use by other departments, many of which have already shown interest, but it will also help attract additional funding to the University.

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COSAM junior is "Ballin' for Books"

Blanche Alverson, junior in biomedical sciences and guard on Auburn's Women's Basketball team, has been named to the 2012 Southeastern Conference Women's Basketball Community Service Team. This is the second consecutive year Alverson has earned the honor. Alverson founded her own community service project this year, "Ballin' for Books."

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Auburn University’s Donald E. Davis Arboretum earns national recognition for oak collection

As the College of Sciences and Mathematics Donald E. Davis Arboretum prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary, it has other big news to also celebrate. The Auburn landmark has been recognized as a member of the North American Plant Collections Consortium, or NAPCC, Multi-Site Quercus Collection, or MSQC. “This recognition of the arboretum's oak collection is really exciting for the university,” Dee Smith, curator of the Davis Arboretum, said. “It integrates Auburn University into a national organization of collections and increases the visibility of our research and conservation efforts.”

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Auburn researchers: climate change plays major role in decline of blackbird species

Populations of the rusty blackbird, a once-abundant North American species, have declined drastically in recent years, and Auburn University researchers say climate change is to blame. That’s the finding of graduate students Chris McClure, Brian Rolek and Kenneth McDonald published recently in the scientific journal Ecology and Evolution. Under the direction of ornithology professor Geoffrey Hill, McClure, Rolek and McDonald studied the blackbird decline and wrote the paper “Climate change and the decline of a once common bird.” The group analyzed rusty blackbird breeding data and climate indices and examined temperature oscillations in the Pacific Ocean, and concluded that climate change does in fact play a major role in the recent decline of the population.

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Auburn University and Auburn City Schools educators fly in NASA's "Weightless Wonder"

Educators from Auburn University and Auburn City Schools floated like astronauts during a once-in-a-lifetime flight on NASA's "Weightless Wonder" aircraft. The team of six educators call themselves the "Flying Tigers," and as they floated, they conducted experiments that were set up in a clear plastic box to see how various objects and scientific concepts would alter under a reduced gravity environment. According to the team, words cannot accurately describe the feeling of being weightless.

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AU Student Space Program featured on Alabama Public Television

Alabama Public Television did a feature on COSAM's Auburn University Student Space Program as they prepare for the launch of the first student-built satellite in the state, AubieSat-1.

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Physics professor receives $2.1 million grant

Physics Professor and Director of the Plasma Sciences Laboratory, Edward Thomas, received an NSF award through the Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) program. This competitive program research training in our nation's institutions of higher education, museums, science centers and not-for-profit organizations. The total amount awarded to Thomas is $2.1 million, which includes a 30 percent cost-sharing by Auburn University. This project represents one of the largest MRI projects ever awarded to Auburn University.

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Ph.D. candidate explores remote Guiana Shield

For the past several years, Lesley de Souza has focused her research efforts in a place so remote, it's nearly impossible to access: the Guiana Shield. A mountainous, forested region just north of Brazil, the Shield has no cities, cold drinks or showers. Instead, it welcomes visitors with attractions such as anacondas, piranhas, jaguars, venomous snakes and a tiny fish called a candiru that is rumored to invade humans by swimming up the urethra. de Souza knows that should she ever receive a poisonous snake or spider bite in the field, not much could be done; there is no medic standing by. But for her, the dangers are worth the rewards of researching the area's rich biodiversity.

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Auburn University hosted residential science program for incoming freshmen

A group of 22 highly motivated incoming Auburn freshmen were on campus this summer during the month of June for the 15th annual Summer Bridge Program hosted by the College of Sciences and Mathematics. The four-week residential program kicked off June 5, and engaged students from groups traditionally underrepresented in sciences, mathematics and engineering in activities designed to help them make a smooth transition from high school to the Auburn campus.

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Geography professor helps preserve historic Toomer’s Oaks

Luke Marzen has been a geography professor at Auburn for 10 years. Originally from Iowa, Marzen said he has grown to love Auburn, especially the traditions surrounding university athletics. “I have rolled Toomer’s corner a couple of times but more than anything, I like to go there after football wins and just enjoy the atmosphere,” Marzen said. “I was in Washington for the annual Meteorology Society meeting when the news broke that the trees had been poisoned. I was pretty shocked when I heard. My first thought was of trying to contact my former student, Dusty Kimbrow (’08), to do a scan of the trees.”

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Physics professor involved in anti-matter breakthrough

Last year, an international team of scientists including Auburn University physics professor Francis Robicheaux made a scientific breakthrough by trapping and holding the anti-matter version of the hydrogen atom. When the discovery was initially announced, the team, known as ALPHA, had captured 38 atoms of antihydrogen, storing each for a mere sixth of a second. Since then, ALPHA has made significant progress by trapping 309 antihydrogen atoms, with some held for as long as 15 minutes.

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Auburn University working to restore threatened species to native Alabama habitat

The copperhead is responsible for more venomous snake bites in the Southeastern U.S. than any other snake, and their populations are increasing. In south Alabama population growth of the copperhead may be due in part to the absence of the once-prevalent eastern indigo snake. “Copperheads used to be a very rare snake to see in south Alabama,” said Professor and Herpetologist with Auburn’s Department of Biological Sciences Craig Guyer. “Now copperheads are the most commonly occurring snake in the region. Eastern indigo snakes eat other snakes, including venomous snakes like copperheads, and the decline of the eastern indigo snake has corresponded to an increase in copperheads.”

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Dr. Christopher Easley discusses his diabetes research

Diabetes is a disorder of the endocrine system signified by high levels of blood glucose resulting from defects in insulin production, insulin action, or both. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S. and results in $174 billion in direct and indirect medical costs per year. Indeed, medical costs are more than two times greater for those with diabetes, due in part to a host of health problems that can result from the disease including: blindness and eye problems, kidney failure, limb amputation, heart disease, stroke, hypertension, pregnancy complications and depression.

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The Society for Conservation Biology gets a behind-the-scenes tour of the Birmingham Zoo

The Birmingham Zoo's Indo-Chinese tiger, Kumar, weighs 230 lbs. As a means of monitoring the tiger's overall health, Kumar gets weighed twice a month by trained zoo keepers utilizing a strategic series of hallways and barriers, or holding area, connected to his exhibit. Indeed, all of the Birmingham Zoo's big cats are monitored in this fashion, and the Society for Conservation Biology, or SCB, got a behind-the-scenes look at how the system works.

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Auburn Family Can Take Solace in Campus Trees

In the wake of the poisoning of Auburn University's beloved, more-than-a-century-old, tradition-rich oak trees at Toomer's Corner, Forestry graduate student Nicholas Martin believes the Auburn Family can take solace from the fact that it is the campus-wide collection of trees, and particularly those in the Donald E. Davis Arboretum, that will leave the most significant and lasting impact on current and future generations of Auburn students and the community.

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Assistant Professor Orlando Acevedo receives Chemluminary Award

Assistant Professor Orlando Acevedo has received the Chemluminary Award from the American Chemical Society for his service in local and regional activities.

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COSAM Student Awarded Rhodes Scholarship

Jordan Anderson, a senior in Biomedical Sciences, was recently awarded the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship, joining only three former Auburn University students with this recognition.

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Grants - News - Auburn University College of Sciences and Mathematics


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Grants - News - Auburn University College of Sciences and Mathematics


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Last updated: 09/19/2013