Research Days 2022

Departmental Event

Date:  Apr 01, 2022 - 08:30am

Location: Castetter Hall

31st Annual Research Days

Thursday, March 31 &
Friday, April 1, 2022

A Presentation of Student Research Celebrating
Discovery and Education in the Biological Sciences

The event will kick off with a special in-person seminar by UNM Biology Professor Rob Miller on Thursday March 31st. Then on Friday April 1st, the day will be filled with student talks and posters, biology laboratory tours, a buffet lunch, and a keynote seminar by our Research Day speaker, Dr. Pamela Padilla, from the University of North Texas. The day will wrap up with a ceremony announcing scholarship recipients and talk and poster award winners. See below for detailed schedule. Research Day is open to all and we encourage presentations from undergraduate and graduate students.

2022 Keynote SpeakerDr. Pam Padilla

Seminar Title: "The nematode C. elegans as a model for human health related issues"

Listen to seminar recording

Dr. Pam Padilla is a native New Mexican, two-time UNM Biology graduate (BS, PhD), a genetics Professor and Dean of the College of Science at the University of North Texas, and the President of the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS).

Special Thursday Seminar: Dr. Rob Miller

Seminar Title: "Ancient conservation and evolutionary plasticity in cells of the immune system"

Listen to seminar recording

Dr. Rob Miller, Professor and CETI Director in the Department of Biology, University of New Mexico. Research focus: the evolution of vertebrate immune systems. 

Schedule of Events

Download schedule (pdf)

Event locations map (pdf)

Thursday's schedule
all day Judges preview posters
12:30 p.m. Grad lunch with Dr. Pam Padilla CAST Room 1420 (PiBBs)
3:30-4:30 p.m. Special Seminar: Dr. Rob Miller, CAST Room 100 Ancient conservation and evolutionary plasticity in cells of the immune system
Friday's schedule
all day BGSA Silent Auction and Bake Sale CAST Greenhouse
all day MSB Display Table CAST Lobby
8:30–9:30 a.m. Session 1 Student Talks CAST Room 55
 Diego Demmon Diversity of the T Cell Receptor Repertoire in Lungfish (Dipnoi)
 Anthony Abeyta-Lopez Defining the Correlation of Estrogen Receptor Alpha mRNA and Protein Expressions Following HIV-Latency Reversal Agents (LRAs) Treatment
 Danielle Vigil Tetraspanin CD82 regulates EGFR localization in response to chemotherapy in AML
 Claire Doherty New Insights into Early T Lymphocyte-Mediated Immunity to Toxoplasma gondii
8:45–9:30 a.m. Session 2 Student Talks CAST Room 51
 Anastasia Pittis Through the Lens of the Microbiome: How the External Microbiota of Bats Changes After the Arrival of WNS
 Abigail Granath Stress Resistance of Root-Associated Fungi to Heat and Desiccation
 Alana Robinson Amino Acid Metabolism in Southern Sea Otters
9:30-10:00 a.m. Coffee Break Greenhouse
10:15–11:00 a.m. Session 3 Student Talks CAST Room 55
 Aurora Kraus Olfactory detection of viruses shapes brain immunity and behavior
 Gonzalo Morales Chaya Transcription factor AP-2 expressed in Drosophila Type II Neuroblast Lineages Regulates Central Complex Brain Formation and Sleep Behavior
 Alexander Achusim High throughput automation of C. elegans lifespan experiments
10:00–11:00 a.m. Session 4 Student Talks CAST Room 51
 Quin Baine Eurytoma parasitoid specialization in two co-occurring sister Tephritidae gallers
 Ethan Gyllenhaal History of a discontinuous contact zone of Bell's Vireos on the Rio Grande
 David Tan Visualising and quantifying the effects of Pleistocene sea level change on island archipelagos
 Jade McLaughlin NATIVE BEE PHENOLOGY: How phenological traits relate to bee life history, phylogeny, and year-to-year abundance in the Chihuahuan Desert, New Mexico, USA
11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Buffet Lunch CAST Basement
12:30–1:30 p.m. Session 1 Student Posters CAST 1st floor
 Brenda Ramos (#1) Detection of avian malaria in Peru using microscopic examination
 Ben Garcia (#3) Discovery of lymphocyte aggregates in the nasal cavity of rainbow trout and their role in immune responses to nasal vaccines
 Ryan Ozatalar (#5) The Biogeochemical Role of Microbes in Lava Caves
 Naija Cuzmar (#7) Pathogen prevalence across the geographic distribution range of Southern Leopard Frogs (Rana sphenocephala)
 Huachan Liang (#9) Population genetics of sand shiner (Notropis stramineus) across the Great Plains
 Carolina Valderrama (#11) Growing five different species of Symbiotaphrina; a genus of fungi in the phylum Ascomycota
 Trinity Casaus (#13) Cryptic Sexual Dimorphism in Sandhill Crane Tracheae
 Emi Casares (#15) Galls on Galls: Community ecology of ectogaller midge Rhopalomyia on Aciurina bigloviae galls
1:30-2:30 p.m.  Session 2 Student Posters CAST 1st floor
 Daisy Belmares-Ortega (#2) Developing a Centrifugal Hydrogel Method of Liver Spheroid Formation for Hepatotoxicity Assays
 Julian Rojo (#4) Interrogation of immune checkpoint signaling dynamics through single molecule imaging
 Victoria Castillo (#6) Impairment of Executive Function and Neuronal Expression following Prenatal Alcohol Exposure
 Frances Twohig (#8) SARS-CoV-2 infection elicits variable antibody titers in convelescent patients
 Teah Amirkabirian (#10) Severe COVID-19 and Mortality in Hospitalized Patients is Characterized by Elevated SARS-CoV-2 Viral Loads
 Danika Nelson (#12) Effects of Prenatal Ethanol Exposure on Histamine H3 Receptor-Effector Coupling and Sigma1 Receptor Modulation of Histamine H3 Receptor Function
 Cory Henn (#14) Impact of enterobacterial infections on the nervous system
 Aysu Nora Caglar (#16) Molecular Mechanisms That Regulate Fate Specification of Dorsal Fan-Shaped Body (dFB) Neurons in Drosophila melanogaster
12:30-2:30 p.m. Open Lab Tours
12:30-1:00 Rudgers Lab, 252 CAST Animal Ecology, Conservation Biology, Evolutionary Biology, Global Change Biology, Microbial Ecology, Physiological Ecology, Plant Biology, Population Genetics & Phylogenetics, Riparian Ecology, Terrestrial Ecology, Theoretical Biology
1:00-1:30 Taylor Lab, 3545 CAST Evolutionary ecology of plant-microbe interactions; fungal biodiversity
1:00-1:30 Smith Lab, 107 CAST Animal Ecology, Historic Ecology, Paleoecology, Terrestrial Ecology, Vertebrate Biology
1:30-2:00 Takacs-Vesbach Lab, 3540 CAST Aquatic Ecology, Microbial Ecology, Terrestrial Ecology
1:30-2:00 Newsome Lab/Center for Stable Isotopes, PAÍS 1315 Animal Ecology, Physiological Ecology, Vertebrate Biology
2:00-2:30 V. Martinson Lab, 255 CAST Genetics, Invertebrate Biology, Microbial Ecology, Microbiology
2:00-2:30 E. Martinson Lab, 255 CAST Computational Biology & Genomics, Evolutionary Biology, Invertebrate Biology, Molecular Evolution
3:00-4:00 p.m. Keynote Seminar: Dr. Pam Padilla, CAST 100 The nematode C. elegans as a model for human health related issues
4:00-6:00 p.m. Student Scholarships & Awards Ceremony 50/50 Coffeehouse, 2122 Central Ave SE

Committee Members

Co-Chair: Lee Taylor
Co-Chair: Tom Kennedy