UC Biology Students Present at Conference

Pictured: Josey Mounce, a senior from Williamsburg, Kentucky, stands with her poster presentation at the annual meeting of the Kentucky chapter of the Wildlife Society.

Undergraduate students in the Biology Department at University of the Cumberlands (UC) are pursuing research opportunities and sharing their findings with the greater scientific community.

On Feb. 16 and 17, Josey Mounce, a senior from Williamsburg, Kentucky, presented a poster at the annual meeting of the Wildlife Society’s Kentucky chapter, while Taryn Sigl and Makayla Tomblinson will present their own research at the Blue Ridge Undergraduate Research Conference in April.

“Research for undergraduates is invaluable,” said Dr. Sara Ash, a biology professor at UC who also presented a poster at the Wildlife Society’s meeting. “It boosts their confidence and provides them with an authentic understanding of the process of science.”

Mounce’s poster, entitled “Persistence of Two Different Fluorescent Tracking Methods on Ambystoma opacum,” was the culmination of her senior research project on salamanders and received an honorable mention in the Wildlife Society’s competition for best student poster.

In April, Tomblinson, who is also a senior from Williamsburg, and Sigl will present their research on the identification of fruit fly genes.

“This research has continually tested me and my abilities, and I will use that drive toward my future endeavors,” said Sigl, a senior from Sacramento, California. “I am looking forward to sharing my research with other people who are willing to listen and learn about how much our world is increasingly becoming more intuitive about the science around us.”

Undergraduate research in all fields teaches students skills that will benefit them after graduation, whether they are immediately entering the work force or pursuing post-graduate degrees.

“Presenting that research to professional scientists really helps the students to articulate better what their research was about, why it is important and how they accomplished it,” Ash said. “These are skills that they will use in many settings, not just scientific research.”

Located in Williamsburg, Kentucky, University of the Cumberlands is an institute of regional distinction that currently offers four undergraduate degrees in more than 40 major areas of study; 10 pre-professional programs; 10 graduate degrees distributed over eight areas, including two doctorates and seven master’s degrees; certificates in education; and online programs.

Pictured: Josey Mounce, a senior from Williamsburg, Kentucky, stands with her poster presentation at the annual meeting of the Kentucky chapter of the Wildlife Society.