During the early surge of undergraduate research and transformative learning at UCO, we conducted a study of Mediterranean Geckos for which the data were collected by undergraduate students as part of a class project. For six consecutive Spring Semesters (2012-2017) students in General Biology for Majors – Principles (BIO 1204) conducted nightly . . .
Christiana Obioma, a 2018 Biology-Biomedical Sciences graduate and current student at the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, is featured in the online “Anatomy of an Applicant” series of the Association of American Medical Colleges. While at UCO, Christiana worked with Dr. Caroline Bentley, health professions advisor and associate . . .
Dr. Christopher Butler, professor of biology, has received a four-year $332,100 grant from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. His project, "Comparing detectability and efficiency of multiple methods for surveying rails," will improve detection rates of Black Rail and King Rail species on the Texas Gulf Coast.
Dr. Andrew Taylor, assistant professor of biology, received a $119,361 grant from the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. Dr. Christopher Butler, professor of biology will serve as a Co-Principal Investigator on the grant. The two-year project, “Detection and Occupancy of Bluntface Shiner (Cyprinella camura) in Wadeable Streams of . . .
Biology professor Dr. Jim Bidlack and his research group are investigating gene transfer in bacteria. Better understanding of how bacteria become multidrug resistant can help researchers develop new techniques that can control bacterial infections and save human lives. Coincidently, a new gene locus encoding for bile salt sensitivity in bacteria . . .
Drs. Robert Brennan and Sean Laverty are part of a multi-institutional NSF EPSCoR grant to research tick-borne diseases including Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. The four-year $3,921,229 grant, “Marshalling Diverse Big Data Streams to Understand Complexity of Tick-borne Diseases in the Southern Great Plains,” is a collaboration . . .
Dr. Andrew Taylor is in his second year as an Assistant Professor within the Biology Department. With a background in fisheries biology and management, Dr. Taylor’s research focuses on the conservation of native fish biodiversity within riverscapes, the effects of non-native and invasive fishes, and the management and conservation of native black bass (Micropterus spp.) diversity. Since arriving at UCO, Dr. Taylor has been busy teaching Diversity for Majors, General Biology, Vertebrate Zoology, and developing the first comprehensive Ichthyology course offered at UCO. Dr. Taylor is also curating the UCO Museum of Natural History’s Ichthyology Collection and developing plans to integrate these collections into research efforts on campus and abroad.
“The Taylor Fish Lab” has started several local research projects that allow students opportunities to gain valuable field experience, including monitoring stream fish community change in Chisholm Creek and revisiting the taxonomic descriptions of Smallmouth Bass in Oklahoma’s Ozark and Ouachita mountains ecoregions. The lab anticipates beginning a large-scale survey for a state-listed minnow species in summer 2021 with the support of an external grant with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s State Wildlife Grant program, in partnership with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.
Dr. Taylor is always looking for motivated students with an interest in fish or aquatic habitats to join the lab! You can follow along with his lab’s adventures on Twitter (@TaylorFishLab1) or at his lab’s website www.andrewtaylor.fish.
Briant Nguyen is a senior at UCO and will be earning his B.S. degree at the end of the Fall 2020 semester. Briant came into UCO with a particular interest and curiosity about fish and fishing. Briant has been working within the UCO Natural History Museum for a year, lending his eye for fish to help identify and accession fish into the Ichthyology Collection. To date, over 1,400 fish have been added to the collection.
Briant began working alongside Dr. Taylor in Fall 2019, devising a study to examine changes in local stream fish communities in relation to land-use changes. Briant has worked closely with state agencies and universities to obtain historical data collections, and he is pairing these collections with some of his own data collections in Chisholm, Deer, and Cottonwood creeks. The ultimate goal of this study is to quantify fish community changes over time and identify potential anthropogenic drivers.
Over the summer of 2020, Briant served in a paid internship with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation’s Stream Survey program. Briant was able to travel across our great state while learning different methods used to sample fish, how to collect environmental data, and how to identify many of Oklahoma’s native fishes.
Briant plans to continue his ichthyological studies at UCO by pursuing an M.S. degree in biology. Alongside co-PI’s Dr. Taylor and Dr. Butler, Briant will focus on estimating native stream fish distributions in Oklahoma.