2007 Graduate Laerm Award Winners
Two students share the 2007 Joshua Laerm Academic Support Award for
Graduate Students. James A. Robertson, Department of Entomology, will
conduct his research under the direction of Dr. Joseph McHugh. He will
attempt to decipher species within the Dastarcus elophoroides species
complex. This beetle is a good candidate to serve as a biological
control agent of several pest species which cause considerable damage
both in the United States and elsewhere; but it must first be determined
whether this is a single species or several to ensure that the correct
species is used to control the appropriate pest. To accomplish this
study, James will examine mtDNA to delimit the species which might be
hidden by current taxonomy.
The second recipient of the 2007 Joshua Laerm Academic Support Award for Graduate Students is Carol E. Colaninno, Department of Anthropology, who studies with Dr. Elizabeth J. Reitz. Carol will use oxygen isotope signatures in the growth increments of otoliths from hardhead catfish (Ariopsis felis) to predict paleotemperatures of the mid-Holocene environment. These calcium carbonate structures in catfish record water temperatures experienced by these fish during their lives. The study will enable Carol to correlate how environmental change, specifically fluctuating temperatures and rising sea levels, affected coastal resources and human use of these on a Georgia sea island between 4500-3000 B.P.