Master’s degree and Ph.D. candidates in West Virginia University’s Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Design earned accolades for their ability to communicate research at the college’s recent graduate research conference.

Students presented either a 15-minute oral research paper or a research poster. Ph.D. and master’s students were judged separately in the two categories.

Lei Wang, in reproductive physiology, took first place in the Ph.D. presentation competition. Her research, “MicroRNA-1296 Regulates Bovine Oocyte-specific Karyrophrin alpha 7 Expression During Maternal-Zygotic Transition,” is conducted with Jianbo Yao, associate professor of reproductive physiology at WVU, and George W. Smith of Michigan State University.

Eric Merriam, who is studying wildlife and fisheries resources, took first place in the Ph.D. poster competition. His research, “Complex Land Use Thresholds and Multi-Stressor Impacts to Streams in the Mountaintop Mining Region of Central Appalachia,” is conducted with Todd Petty, professor of wildlife and fisheries resources.

Jesica Jacobs, in animal and nutritional sciences, took first place in the master’s presentation competition. Her research, “Peripheral Characterization of Cellular Immune Responses to Haemonchus Contortus by Parasite Resistant and Parasite Susceptible Sheep,” is conducted with Scott Bowdridge, assistant professor of food animal production.

Kellie D’Souza, who studies reproductive physiology, took first place in the master’s poster competition. Her research, “P.G. 600 Increases Fertility and Fecundity in Non-Lactating Ewes Bred During the Anestrous Period,” is conducted with Marlon Knights, associate professor of animal and nutritional sciences, and fellow graduate students Stephanie Simpson and Adam Redhead, and post-doctoral research associate Quinn Baptiste.

Posters and presenters were judged by a panel of faculty representing the Davis College’s five academic divisions. The Davis College offers 17 master’s degree programs and Ph.D. programs in 23 different disciplines. Students may also pursue the Peace Corps Master’s International program, which combines graduate study with a direct track to a Peace Corps tour of volunteer service.



CONTACT: David Welsh, Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Design

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