2005 Undergraduate Laerm Award Winners

2005 Undergraduate Laerm Winner
2005 Undergraduate Laerm Winner
2005 Undergraduate Laerm Winner

One of the recipients of the 2005 Joshua Laerm Academic Support Award for Undergraduate Students is William M. Collier, Institute of Ecology, who will conduct his research under the direction of Dr. Amy D. Rosemond. Collier will analyze the interactions of an exotic species (North American beaver [Castor canadensis]) on sub-Antarctic stream food webs in the Cape Horn Archipelago, Chile. Collier's study will quantify the impact of beavers on Fuegian aquatic ecosystems with the objective of providing information for further research and innovative management strategies. Funds will be used to support travel to his field site.

The second recipient of the 2005 Joshua Laerm Academic Support Award for Undergraduate Students is Thomas M. Luhring, a major in the Institute of Ecology and the Division of Biological Sciences, who will conduct his research under the direction of Dr. Gary W. Barrett. Luhring's study will attempt to elucidate whether nesting material and site availability are limiting factors in the regulation of population densities for the golden mouse (Ochrotomys nuttalli). Funds will be used to support travel to the American Society of Mammalogists where he will present a poster on his research.

The third recipient is a team of students who work under the direction of Dr. Joseph McHugh, Department of Entomology. The students are Lori R. Shapiro, Nathan P. Lord, and Carmen C. Rodriguez, majoring in the Department of Entomology, the Institute of Ecology, and the Division of Biological Sciences. They will conduct research to determine whether fungus-feeding beetles of the superfamily Cucujoidea respond to two chemicals normally associated with damaged trees (ethanol and turpentine) and/or to pheromones from the bark beetle (Curculionidae: Scolytinae). Bark beetles are a major forest pest that cause millions of dollars of damage to conifer forests in the southeastern United States annually. A broader understanding of these interaction may provide insights into novel methods to control this costly forest pest. The research will also consider the evolution of such chemically-based interactions and explore a new method for trapping cucujoid beetles. The team will use their Laerm support to send one member to present a paper at the Entomological Society of America 2005 annual meeting.

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