TROY students receive research grants

Posted: Thursday, 17 December 2015

TROY - Five Troy University students have received research grants from the Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society.

The grants, which total $1,700, will support student research in microbial studies in the University's Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences.

William Heath Sapp, a senior biology major from Maylene, received funding to continue studying the development of yeast cells. He hopes his research will confirm the discovery of a new assessment method. The research project is under the direction of faculty member Dr. Christi Magrath.

A student team, under the direction of Dr. Joong-Wook Park, will undertake a study of Gulf tar balls. Madison Cooper, a senior biology major from Avon, Ohio, Katrina Bokenfohr, a junior exercise science major from Enterprise, and Callie Bennett, a junior biology major from Geneva, will collect DNA from the outside and the inside of tar balls to study the bacterial community structure and potential pathogens in the tar balls.

Elena Brown, a senior biology major from Jacksons Gap, will study the impact of a 2014 chemical spill on the bacterial community contained in the Elk River (W.Va.). A chemical used for coal purification leaked into the river, but little research on its properties and toxicity to humans and the environment exists. Brown will study DNA collected from bacteria to help develop biodegradation strategies for future spills and establish safety regulations for the handling of the chemical MCHM. Park supervises this project as well.

research grants

Troy University students have been awarded grants from Beta Beta Beta for three biological sciences research projects. Receiving grants are (front, from left) Elena Brown, Callie Bennett, Katrina Bokenfohr, Madison Cooper, (back) Dr. Christi Magrath, associate professor of biological science, Dr. Joong-Wook Park, assistant professor of biological science, and student William Heath Sapp. (TROY photo/Mark Moseley)