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Jamie Crait

Program Director, WRSP

Ag-C, Rm 5007

1000 E University Ave

Laramie, WY 82071

Email: craitj@uwyo.edu

__________________________

Tabatha Spencer

Project Coordinator, UW Science Initiative

A&S Rm 152A

1000 E University Ave

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: 307-766-4447

Email: tspence5@uwyo.edu

WRSP logo

2019-20 WYOMING RESEARCH SCHOLARS

Hanna AhujaHanna Ahuja

 

Hometown: Rock Springs, WY

Major: Physiology

Hanna is a UW senior and a transfer student from Western Wyoming Community College. She is also an INBRE transition fellow. She is working with Dr. Nicholas Blouin (Molecular Biology) on a project dealing with genomic sequencing of a brown algae, Ascophyllum nodosum.


Nathan Barrus

 

Hometown: Worland, WY

Major: Zoology

Nathan is a UW senior and is working with Dr. Frank Rahel (Zoology and Physiology) on a project involving identifying appropriate taxa as baselines for stable isotope ecology in aquatic systems.


Rebecca Brenner

Rebecca Brenner

 

Hometown: Harrisburg, NE

Major: Physiology; Molecular Biology

Rebecca is a UW senior and is working with Dr. Zhaojie Zhang (Zoology & Physiology) on a project exploring the colony development of budding yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae). Specifically, she studies the possible function of N-Acetylgalactosamine, which is necessary for intercellular communication, and is concentrated in sensory nerve structures in humans, in the formation and possible protection of yeast colonies. She employs sophisticated, high-resolution microscopic imaging techniques for this study. Her research could influence our understanding of yeast and how we might use yeast to study the perineuronal net within the human brain. 


Bradon Bryngelson

 

Hometown: Gillette, WY

Majors: History, Secondary Education

Bradon is working with Dr. Joseph Schroer (School of Teacher Education) on a project entitled "Gender differences in STEM: research into declines in women participants in STEM-oriented majors".


Elle BuserElle Buser

 

Hometown: Lawrenceburg, KY

Majors: Physics, Math

Elle is a UW sophomore and has been working with Dr. Chip Kobulnicky (Physics and Astronomy) researching contact binary stars and stellar mergers. By collecting data on a set of stars through observation and analyzing the data in search for decreasing periods in a binary system, they hope to find the next binary collision. Studying binary systems allows us to gain information on the stars such as their mass, velocity, and size. Observing a colliding binary will help in understanding the evolutionary process of a binary system.


christensen,amanda_205x205Amanda Christensen

 

Hometown: Buford, WY

Major: Chemical Engineering

Amanda is a UW junior working with Dr. Amy Navratil and Dr. Brian Cherrington (Zoology & Physiology) to determine the role of the reproductive hormone prolactin on milk production by looking at the changes it causes in mammary proteins. She is focusing on histone proteins that alter gene expression and ultimately the proteins produced in the milk, and architectural proteins of the mammary gland.


Adam CouldridgeAdam Couldridge

 

Hometown: Casper, WY

Majors: Geology, Chemistry

Adam is a transfer student from Casper College. Dr. Simone Runyon (Geology) is his current research mentor. His area of research is currently focused on the Laramie Anorthosite Complex. In particular looking at the concentration of incompatible elements within Fe-Ti oxide and mafic minerals enriched areas that contain the mineral apatite.


Olivia Croft

Olivia Croft

 

Hometown: Sundance, WY

Major: Secondary Education--Biology and Earth Sciences

Olivia is a UW senior researching with Dr. Amy Krist (Zoology and Physiology); her research is centered around the interactions between parasites and the freshwater snail Pyrgulopsis idahoensis, in Polecat Creek in Grand Teton National Park. More specifically, Olivia is interested in how snail behavior in a temperature gradient may influence their infection rate by trematode parasites. Through this research, she hopes to better understand how climate change may influence parasitism of snails and thus the greater freshwater ecosystem.


Emma Dixon

Emma Dixon

 

Hometown: Lawrence, KS

Majors: Environmental Systems Science, Outdoor Recreation & Tourism Management

Emma is a UW freshman who is working with Dr. Ramesh Sivanpillai (Botany and WyGISC).  They are analyzing peer-reviewed articles about the human-elephant conflict found near Coimbatore, India to create a synthesis article on the subject. She hopes to travel to India to conduct her own research on human-elephant conflict by interviewing famers and other citizens affected by this issue.


Colin Finlay

Colin Finlay

 

Hometown: Jackson, WY

Major: Microbiology

Colin is a UW senior and is working with Brent Ewers and Mario Bretfeld (within the Ewers lab). He is looking at how soil microbes recover after a forest fire; specifically, he is looking for an interaction between fire intensity and the development of antibiotic resistance.


Kaatje Fisk

Kaatje Fisk

 

Hometown: Salt Lake City, UT

Major: Molecular Biology

Kaatje Fisk is a UW sophomore working with Dr. Jason Gigley (Immunology and Molecular Biology); her research focuses on the immune system’s response to Toxoplasma gondii infection in mice models. She is working with the Gigley team to look closely at the relationship between the innate and adaptive immune responses in the host during Toxoplasma infection. Through this research she hopes to uncover the biological mechanisms responsible for the unique interactions between NK and CD4 T cells.


Sydnie Fossberg

 

Hometown: Las Cruces, NM

Major: Biology

Sydnie is a UW sophomore and is working with Dr. Matthew Carling (Zoology & Physiology) to study the health of hybrid birds in the Great Plains area, specifically indigo and lazuli buntings. Isotopic analysis and physical evaluation is being used to determine how effectively the birds are able to devote energy to growth and physical maintenance. She is also observing the birds' behavior around molting and migration seasons to see if their hybrid nature is causing them to molt irregularly or migrate in a different direction than either parent species.


Rebecca Franke

 

Hometown: Stillwater, MN

Major: Zoology & Physiology

Rebecca is working with Patrick Kelley on a project titled "Response of army ant-following birds to predation risk: an experimental test".


Melanie Griffith

Melanie Griffith

 

Hometown: Cheyenne, WY

Major: Computer Engineering

Melanie is interested in applying computer engineering techniques to astronomy. She would like to use her background in computer engineering to understand star formation and what compounds stars are made of.


Grace Hartman

Grace Hartman

 

Hometown: Newtown, PA

Major: Environmental Systems Science

Grace is a UW senior who is working with Dr. David Williams (Botany). She is interested in glacial recession research and her study area is located in the Dinwoody Cirque of the Fitzpatrick Wilderness. She collects and filters snow samples from surrounding snowfields and glaciers for black carbon particulate analysis (Light Absorbing Heat Method).  She is also looking into the relationship of lichen growth on cacti relative to fog proximity found in the Atacama Desert of South America.


Zoe Hendricks

Zoe Hendricks

 

Hometown: Colorado Springs, CO

Major: Physiology

Zoe is working in Dr. Cynthia Hartung's Attention & Learning Lab (Psychology). As a lab assistant, Zoe is researching the baseline health differences in college students with and without ADHD in relation to obesity, aerobic capacity, handgrip strength, and health habits. Additionally, the lab is studying the positive effects of exercise on cognition as a potential treatment for ADHD.


Theresa Higgins

Theresa Higgins

 

Hometown: Cedar Park, TX

Majors: Zoology, Physiology

Theresa is working with Dr. Corey Tarwater (Zoology & Physiology) and Rebecca Wilcox researching Song Sparrow personalities and behavioral syndromes in an isolated island population (Mandarte island) off Vancouver, Canada.


Alexandra Higley

Alexandra Higley

 

Hometown: Parker, CO

Majors: Physics, Astronomy & Astrophysics

Alexandra works with Dr. Adam Myers and Brad Lyke with quasar spectra by visually inspecting them to find accurate redshift measurements and writing algorithms to find outliers. Data collected from quasars is essential to cosmology and better understanding dark energy.


Caleb Hoopes

Caleb Hoopes

 

Hometown: Sheridan, WY

Major: Chemistry

Caleb works with Dr. Michael Taylor and researches how organic compounds that interact with light can modify proteins.


Bryant JeromeBryant Jerome

 

Hometown: Rawlins, WY

Major: Physics

Bryant is a UW senior and is working in Dr. Aidhy’s Computational Microstructure Group on understanding how much energy it takes to form small imperfections, namely irradiation-induced point defects, in uranium nitride (UN). UN is a candidate accident-tolerant nuclear fuel for next-generation nuclear reactors. By modeling these point defects, we can gain a greater understanding of the thermo-mechanical properties of the nuclear fuel, and directly contribute to explaining recent experimental observations.


McKell LyonMcKell Lyon

 

Hometown: Green River, WY

Major: Physics


Adrienne MackenzieAdrienne Mackenzie

 

Hometown: Wright, WY

Major: Animal & Veterinary Science

Adrienne works with Dr. Holly Ernest in the Wildlife Genomics and Disease Ecology lab through the Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory. She studies Broad-tailed Hummingbirds (Selasphorus platycercus), which are a critical component of the ecosystem in the Rocky Mountains where they act as important wildflower pollinators. She is specifically interested in the prevalence, diversity, and distribution of hemoparasites (avian malaria) in Wyoming and Colorado hummingbird populations.


Paul MathewsPaul Mathews

 

Majors: Agroecology, Chemistry

Paul is a second bachelors student majoring in Agroecology and Chemistry, with interest in food science. He is working with Kurt Dolence (School of Pharmacy).


Aylin McGough-Peker

Aylin McGough-Peker

 

Hometown: Huntsville, AL

Major: Physics; Astronomy & Astrophysics

Aylin is a UW senior and is studying exoplant photometry with Dr. Michael Pierce on the construction of FHiRE, a high-velocity-precision spectrograph that will be installed and operated at WIRO. FHiRE will accompany NASA's TESS mission, an all-sky exoplanet transit survey, with precise ground-based follow-up observations.


Nesha Michaels

Nesha Michaels

 

Hometown: Gillette, WY

Majors: Wildlife & Fisheries Biology & Management, Environment & Natural Resources

Nesha works with Dr. Kevin Monteith. Her research involves laboratory analysis of fetal eye diameter measurements and associated birth dates of bighorn sheep lambs. Her goal is to determine if birth dates can be better predicted based upon the measurable progression in fetus growth.


Isabella Mijares

 

Hometown: Pagosa Springs, CO

Major: Speech Language & Hearing Sciences

Isabella is working with Dr. Mark Guiberson (Communication Disorders) on a study of speech pathology investigating language barriers vs. communication disorders.


Tyler Myers

Tyler Myers

 

Hometown: Sheridan, WY

Major: Chemistry

Tyler is a UW senior and is working with Dr. Michael Taylor (Chemistry).


Sai Kit Ng

Sai Kit Ng

 

Hometown: Laramie, WY

Major: Microbiology

Kit is working with Dr. Jason Gigley in investigating how immune factors such as non-classical MHC Qa-1b contributes to immunity by infecting mice with the obligate intracellular parasite Toxoplasma gondii in the presence or absence of Qa-1b antibody blockade. He will also investigate how Qa-1b contributes to development of the immune response to Toxoplasma gondii. How immune factors such as non-classical MHC Qa-1b contributes to immunity to this parasite has never been tested. He will then determine the impact of Qa-1b blockade on infection and immunity to Toxoplasma gondii. He will use mice and flow cytometry in my experiments.


Isabel Noyes

Isabel Noyes

 

Hometown: Laramie, WY

Major: Molecular Biology

Isabel is a UW junior and is working with Dr. Grant Bowman (Molecular Biology).  She is studying the specific binding capabilities of the bacterial protein PopZ, using DivL protein to gauge specific binding whether through a certain structure or sequence. 


Kianna Olson

Kianna Olson

 

Hometown: Laramie, WY

Major: Astronomy & Astrophysics; Physics


Kianna is a UW senior working with Dr. Michael Brotherton (Physics & Astronomy) on the MAHA Project. With the MAHA project, they are doing reverberation mapping, a technique that will allow us to better determine the size of Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN).  Another key interest of this project is to search for binary supermassive black holes.


Reid OlsonReid Olson

 

Major: Zoology; Computer Science

Reid is a second bachelor's student and is working with Dr. Katie Wagner (Botany) investigating the potential role of hybridization in the cichlids of Lake Kivu from the East African Rift Lakes.


Emily Purifoy

 

Hometown: Cheyenne, WY

Major: Animal & Veterinary Science


Tatiana Rice

Tatiana Rice

 

Hometown: Casper, WY

Major: Physiology; Spanish

Tatiana is working with Dr. Guanglong He (School of Pharmacy), studying the effects of e-cigarettes on the cardiovascular system of mice at the molecular, tissue, and system level.


Sarah Rich

 

Hometown: Powell, WY

Major: Chemistry

Sarah is a UW senior and a tranfer student from Northwest College. She is working with Dr. Brian Leonard (Chemistry) to explore rare-earth element doped quantum dots with enhanced optical and magnetic properties.


Nicholas Robinson

Nicholas Robinson

 

Hometown: Casper, WY

Major: Mechanical Engineering

Nicholas is interested in research related to thrust.


Benjamin Romanjenko

Benjamin Romanjenko

 

Hometown: Story, WY

Major: Microbiology

Ben has been working with Dr. Chhatre (INBRE Bioinformatics Core) completing research pertaining to plant genetics. By analyzing RNA expression of grapes under salt stressed conditions as well as looking at hybridization in wild poplar genomes Ben hopes to better understand genetic based tolerance to abiotic stresses that are a result of climate change.


Aeriana Roth

 

Hometown: Sheridan, WY

Major: Electrical Engineering

Aeriana is working with Domen Novak (Electrical & Computer Engineering) on a project involving rehabilitation robotics.


Wyatt Schiermeyer

Wyatt Schiermeyer

 

Hometown: Geneva, NE

Major:Environmental Geology & Geohydrology

Wyatt works with Dr. Fabian Nippgen (Ecosystem Science and Management). He is using sUAV-based Remote Sensing to assess the affect of beaver activity on sediment transport and water quality in the Laramie Range.


Kaci Schmick

 

Hometown: Torrington, WY

Major: Pre-Pharmacy


Andrea Schmitt

Andrea Schmitt

 

Hometown: Parker, CO

Major:Physiology

Andrea works with Dr. Jonathan Prather studying decision-making in female songbirds. Specifically, she is interested in the neural pathways and mechanisms involved in the female songbird’s song evaluation and mate choice. Andrea is doing retrograde tracing studies in a brain site that is involved in the decision making pathway. Ideally, at the end of the project, she will be able to define additional brain sites involved in the decision-making pathway.


Kevin Schnedecker

Kevin Schnedecker

 

Hometown: Berthoud, CO

Majors:Microbiology, Molecular Biology

Kevin's research interests include microbiological and molecular biological research related to genetics.


Jacob Schneider

 

Hometown: Cincinatti, OH

Major: Petroleum Engineering


Frederick "Alex" Slane

 

Hometown: Fort Collins, CO

Major: Physics

Alex is a UW senior and is working with Dr. William Rice (Physics & Astronomy), looking for photoluminescence in InSb quantum dots as an indication of multi-exciton generation.


Austin Stephen

Austin Stephen

 

Hometown: Cheyenne, WY

Major: Computer Science

Austin's research interests include artificial intelligence and deep learning, especially as relates to the construction of neural nets and their applications.


Hunter Swilling

Hunter Swilling

 

Hometown: Cheyenne, WY

Majors: Physiology, Molecular Biology

Hunter works with Dr. Li to determine how neural activity in the prefrontal cortex carries information that guides behavior; including how neural activity is impacted by a variety of neural disorders such as dementia, depression, and autism. They then look at how these changes in neural activity caused by the disorders translate to changes in behavior. They use miniScope in vivo calcium imaging in freely behaving mice, as well as optogenetics and viral-genetic tools, to study this.


Delainy Szmyd

Delainy Szmyd

 

Hometown: Sheridan, WY

Major: Physiology

Delainy is working with Dr. Rachel Watson and the Shanghai Nordic Ski Team athletes at UW involving components of both physiology and psychology.


Josephine Tagestad

Josephine Tagestad

 

Hometown: Thornton, CO

Major: Biology

Josephine is a UW senior and is working with Dr. Corey Tarwater (Zoology & Physiology) and Dan Albrecht-Mallinger researching the display calls of red-capped manakins at lek sites in Panamá in an effort to understand identity, variation, and recognition. This will result in a deeper knowledge of population assessment, recruitment, climate change, and bioacoustics.


Rachel TenneyRachel Tenney

 

Hometown: Casper, WY

Major: Chemistry; Physics

Rachel is a UW senior and a transfer student from Casper College. She is working with Dr. Elliott Hulley (Chemistry) on a project involving organometalliccomplexes used in studying the generation of protons from carbon-hydrogen bonds (heterolytic C-H activation).


Narisse Trippel

Narisse Trippel

 

Hometown: Worland, WY

Major: Mechanical Engineering; Energy Systems Engineering

Narisse is a UW junior and is working with Dr. Erica Belmont (Mechanical Engineering) on using various types of biomass samples to create biochar and bio oils to test the feasibility of a particular biomass for regular use as alternative fuels.


Tanner Warder

Tanner Warder

 

Hometown: Sheridan, WY

Major: Wildlife & Fisheries Biology & Management

Tanner is a UW junior and is working with Dr. Matthew Kauffman (Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Unit) to research Wyoming's Red Desrt to Hoback mule deer migration, which takes place every spring and fall. Some of these ungulates travel nearly 150 miles between their summer and winter range, and Tanner is looking to assess their interactions with fences and other barriers along their migration corridor using trail cameras.

Contact Us

Jamie Crait

Program Director, WRSP

Ag-C, Rm 5007

1000 E University Ave

Laramie, WY 82071

Email: craitj@uwyo.edu

__________________________

Tabatha Spencer

Project Coordinator, UW Science Initiative

A&S Rm 152A

1000 E University Ave

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: 307-766-4447

Email: tspence5@uwyo.edu

WRSP logo

1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
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