Tag: Biology

Faculty note: Grubisha publication


Lisa Grubisha, a first-year assistant professor of biology with Natural and Applied Sciences, has published a paper titled “Microsatellite Marker Development for the Coastal Dune Shrub Prunus maritima (Rosaceae)” in the February issue of Applications in Plant Sciences. Beach plum, Prunus maritime, is endemic to the coastal dune ecosystem in New England. This plant is listed as an endangered species in three states. Within the past 100 years populations have declined due to loss of habitat to coastal dune development. Grubisha’s paper details how fourteen microsatellite markers have been developed for use in evaluating the genetic composition of remaining populations. Population genetic information will be important for developing conservation management plans.

Meet top NAS students benefitting from expanded scholarship program


The best-of-the-best students in Natural and Applied Sciences programs were honored at an annual scholarship reception held Jan. 30. Twenty-five students were awarded a total of $31,150 in scholarships that nearly doubled last year’s total of $15,200. The scholarships recognized student achievement in academics, research, and overall excellence. The new scholarships introduced this year include the Todd and Julie Bartels Scholarship, the Chad Moritz and Beth Meyer Scholarship, and the Faith Technologies, Inc. Scholarship for Engineering Technology. (Next year, NAS will introduce five additional scholarships.) Students selected to receive awards are:
 Kristine Berry, Environmental Science major; Krystal Clark, Environmental Science; Matthew Malcore, Environmental Science and Environmental Policy and Planning; Ashley Morin, Biology; Molly Dederich, Mathematics; Christa Kananen, Geoscience; Angela Smet, Environmental Science major; Jessica Finger, Biology; Brianna Messner, Mathematics and Spanish; Michael Pietraszek, Biology; Roberta Reif, Biology; Jeremiah Shrovnal, Environmental Science; Gabriel Michaels, Mathematics; Tiffany Marshall, Pre-Professional Engineering Program; Hanne Guthrie, Environmental Science, Pre-Professional Engineering Program, and Spanish; Reed Heintzkill, Pre-Professional Engineering and Chemistry; Matthew Nichols, Individual Major (related to environmental engineering) and Chemistry; Caroline Nakanwagi, Chemistry; Jordan Marty, Biology; Christi Branham, Chemistry; Samuel Frisbie, Engineering Technology (Environmental) and Geoscience; Shannon Mackey, Environmental Science; Amanda Nothem, Chemistry; Michael Xie, Mathematics major. For more on each student and the scholarship received.

Alumni rising: Kozloski provides homes to unwanted exotics

alumna rescues exotic animalsFor Jamie Kozloski, there is no such thing as a quiet day at the office.

Kozloski, a 2011 UW-Green Bay Biology graduate, is the founder and director of Kingdom Animalia Exotic Animal Rescue (KAEAR), a non-profit organization in De Pere, Wis. dedicated to “rescuing exotic animals through educational outreach,” according to their website.

“At KAEAR we are an educational-based nonprofit organization that rescues, rehabilitates, and gives refuge to unwanted, abandoned, released [or] found exotic animals,” said Kozloski, “We take in reptiles, amphibians, birds, small animals, and invertebrates.”

Jamie Kozloski realized her passion for animals early in life.

Jamie Kosloski“I fell in love with reptiles when I was 11 and at 15 I had a dream to create a sanctuary for old or unwanted animals,” Kozloski said.

After graduating from UW-Green Bay in 2011, Kozloski accomplished that dream, starting KAEAR just a year later. Since 2006, Kozloski has taken in over 900 animals and educated thousands on their care and conservation.

“Much research and hands-on work led me to work at a pet store and work animal control for Green Bay Police Department.”

While getting her Biology degree, she interned at the NEW Zoo and served as the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary’s exotic animal resource, she said. “In 2012 I decided to take the hobby I was growing and make it into my career. I incorporated and filed for non-profit status.”

She was granted 501c3 non-profit status in the summer of 2014 and leased a building to use as headquarters shortly after.

Along with caring for animals, Kozloski uses them to educate the community. KAEAR has been partnered with the East Central Regional Planning Commission and UW Sea Grant since 2013 to promote the “Habitattitude” campaign.

“We educate on non-pet release into the environment and give alternatives to releasing these pets potentially creating invasive species,” said Kozloski, “Since then we’ve spoken at two WBAY pet expo events and had two pet amnesty days where people could surrender their unwanted exotic and aquarium pets to us to give a more appealing option over release. We will be holding both events again this year.”

(Click thumbnails to enter slideshow view.)
Alumna Jamie Kosloski, founder and director of Kingdom Animalia Exotic Animal Rescue, January 2015Alumna Jamie Kosloski, founder and director of Kingdom Animalia Exotic Animal Rescue, January 2015Alumna Jamie Kosloski, founder and director of Kingdom Animalia Exotic Animal Rescue, January 2015Alumna Jamie Kosloski, founder and director of Kingdom Animalia Exotic Animal Rescue, January 2015Alumna Jamie Kosloski, founder and director of Kingdom Animalia Exotic Animal Rescue, January 2015Alumna Jamie Kosloski, founder and director of Kingdom Animalia Exotic Animal Rescue, January 2015

In addition to spreading the Habitattitude message, Kozloski presents programs on animals for local organizations using her animal ambassadors.

“Last summer I have also been starting to give native bat programs at Buboltz Nature Preserve with a complimentary night walk to observe the bats echolocating with a bat detector,” she said, “I plan to continue those as well as start up the areas only regular rabies awareness program.”

Kozloski says her Biology degree from UW-Green Bay legitimized her passion.

“I have also been given opportunities to do special projects and research papers that fueled my interest for certain topics like exotics and bats,” she said.

Looking to the future, Kozloski wants KAEAR to be known statewide as a rescue specializing in education. She hopes to raise funds in order to buy a building and grow an internship program. The organization currently exists with the help of program fees, adoptions, donations and fundraisers. Go to www.kaear.org to learn more.

“It’s been such a process and we are covering an important and much needed niche in this area for exotics, a group of animals that have little to no resources here for help,” Kozloski said.

– Story by Katelyn Staaben, editorial intern, Marketing and University Communications

Biologist Grubisha shares $60,000 USDA grant for crop-fungus research

Lisa Grubisha, who joined the Natural and Applied Sciences faculty this fall as an assistant professor of biology, has been awarded a $60,000 grant from the United States Department of Agriculture’s research division. Her project is titled “Population Structure of Aspergillus flavus communities in Wisconsin.” The three-year project in collaboration with researcher Peter Cotty of the USDA Agricultural Research Service in Tucson, Ariz., has two components. The first targets fungal communities of corn, while the second will compare microbial communities of organic and non-organic crops and vegetables. Aspergillus flavus is a soil fungus known to affect cereal grains, legumes and nuts; it often remains dormant until harvest, storage and transit. Some strains produce toxic compounds called mycotoxins. Grubisha is a Milwaukee native who earned her Ph.D. in plant and microbial biology at the University of California, Berkeley, held post-doc appointments in Fairbanks, Alaska, and Tuscon, and spent three years with Centre College (Ky.) as a post-doctoral researcher and instructor before joining the UW-Green Bay faculty. She has numerous research publications to her credit regarding the ecology and evolution of certain fungi species.

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Grubisha seeks to enlist farmers, gardeners in project — Assistant Prof. Lisa Grubisha is looking for local help in documenting the population of the Aspergillus flavus fungus in Wisconsin. Anyone interested in participating in the study, especially farmers and gardeners, should contact Dr. Grubisha by email at grubishl@uwgb.edu or by phone at (920) 465-2812.

College kid makes good: Top doctor returns to serve region’s children

tina-top-storyAsk Dr. Tina Sauerhammer about the seminal moments in her life, and the answer may surprise you.

She won’t, as one might rightly expect, start with being part of the surgical team that performed the first-ever full face transplant in the United States in 2011. She’ll gloss over the fact that she entered college at 14, graduated at 18 and completed medical school at just 22. She might mention her tenure as Miss Wisconsin, but only because it allowed her to advocate for organ donation, a cause about which she remains deeply and personally passionate. Fortuitous opportunities, she’ll say. Right place, right time.

What she will point to is her May 2011 UW-Green Bay commencement speech, given just weeks after the groundbreaking transplant surgery at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

“I would say that one of the pinnacles of everything, was coming back to give that speech,” says Sauerhammer. “Even more so than the face transplant, because it felt like everything I had accomplished up to that point came full circle.”

If coming back to speak at commencement was one highlight, coming back for good may just be another — and not just for Sauerhammer. In June, Prevea Health announced it had hired her to become the first fellowship-trained pediatric plastic and reconstructive surgeon based in Northeastern Wisconsin. She began her practice at the end of September.

In its own way, it’s a notable free-agent signing for Titletown and one of its other signature industries, health care. Sauerhammer represents a welcome influx of talent, and she will build her fan base one family, one young patient at a time. She’s thrilled to be home — and eager to start making a difference.

“It’s kind of indescribable,” says Sauerhammer, who most recently was practicing in Washington, D.C. “I see parents who find out their child has a cleft lip and there’s so much that’s unknown for them. One of the most rewarding things is to be able to reassure parents and educate them about what we can do to improve their child’s quality of life.

“And their son or daughter will go on to live a normal life, just like any other child. … Once you operate on a child, they’re your patient for life.”

Sauerhammer’s pediatric plastic surgery work runs the gamut from repairing cleft lips and palates to working on dog bites, fixing congenital deformities, working with burn injuries, removing extra digits and much more. Having her back home in Green Bay is a tremendous boon for the area, says Dr. Ashok Rai, Prevea Health President and CEO.

“Dr. Sauerhammer is just one of a handful of physicians in the state to be as skilled as she is in the area of pediatric, plastic reconstructive surgery,” Rai observes. “Prevea is very fortunate that she has decided to come back home to Green Bay and join a health care organization that truly cares for this town.”

‘She fit in perfectly’
It’s a town Sauerhammer knows well, having been born and raised in Green Bay with a Midwest work ethic she still credits — along with her hardworking parents — with instilling the drive that helped her get where she is today. Sauerhammer attended Montessori school and completed her high school coursework at 14. From there, her options were to go on to regular high school, attend a preparatory school out east or head right to college. Knowing she wanted to be a doctor, and knowing how much schooling that would take, she chose the third option — attending UW-Green Bay would allow her to live at home while she navigated life as the University’s youngest-ever undergrad.

Sauerhammer’s enrollment raised some eyebrows — even some of her friends, she said, questioned her decision and told her she wouldn’t make it. The University asked Associate Prof. Donna Ritch — now the Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences — to keep an eye on Sauerhammer, and make sure she was adjusting OK.

Sitting in her office in Theatre Hall, Ritch recalls checking in on Sauerhammer while she was taking a summer biology course before her first full semester.

“She and the other students were out in the hall — they must have had a break in lab,” Ritch said. “And she was just talking away to them. I went back to my office and said ‘there’s no worries there.’ She fit in. She fit in perfectly.”

That initial interaction would form the basis for a mentorship and friendship that persists today. It would be a few years before Sauerhammer had Ritch as a professor, and by that point the pair had become close friends.

“She’s always there for you, motivating you and helping you attain your goals,” Sauerhammer said. “She was awesome as a professor, but whenever I think about Dr. Ritch — she was my mentor and pre-med adviser.

I wouldn’t be where I am today without her.”

Nor, Sauerhammer said, would she be where she is without UW-Green Bay. The moderate campus size was just right for a teenager who had never even attended a traditional high school, and the relationships she formed — especially with Ritch, but also with other professors — are, for her, truly what sets the University apart.

“All of my professors… I probably remember every single one of my professors’ names to this day,” she said, “and I don’t think a lot of people can say that about their school. I always
reference Dr. Ritch because we have such a special relationship, but that being said, every single teacher has touched me or molded me in some way.”

Sauerhammer’s age was never an issue, Ritch recalls — many people knew how young she was, but with her academic and social skills she was, in many ways, just like any other student. That is, until it came time to take her driver’s test.

“I had a Physics quiz,” Sauerhammer says, laughing. “I had to ask Dr. Fischbach if I could be excused from a Physics quiz. And he said, ‘sure — but just don’t take a left turn.’ And I passed.”

Heartbreaking loss … and a new opportunity
UW-Green Bay’s youngest graduate ever in 1999, Sauerhammer enrolled in medical school at UW-Madison. On commencement day four years later, she again claimed the “youngest ever” distinction, this time at a place with a 100-year tradition.

Always focused on her goal of becoming a doctor and working with children, she did experience one change of heart. She was following a track toward general pediatrics until a surgery rotation during her third year of med school changed her mind. Sauerhammer started a general surgery residency that included a rotation in plastic surgery.

“I saw my first cleft lip repair and I just completely fell in love with it,” she said. “I got to work with kids and do surgery, but these kids were for the most part healthy. And it was very technical — but the other part about pediatric plastic surgery that I loved is that not only can you help children locally, but you can go on mission trips and provide these services to children in other countries.”

Sauerhammer was in Madison for about a decade before departing for the east coast. And although she had happily discovered her passion by the time she left Wisconsin, the journey was not without its challenges. When she was a fourth-year medical student, her father, Randy, died from complications of a rare autoimmune illness called Wegener’s disease. He was on the wait list for a kidney transplant that could have saved his life.

She wanted to quit — but her mother, Oki, insisted she stay the course. It’s what her father would have wanted, she said. So Sauerhammer finished medical school — but wasn’t yet emotionally ready to continue with her training.

So she took a year off before starting her residency in general surgery — and won the title of Miss Wisconsin 2003.

“My main goal that entire year was to promote organ and tissue donation,” she said, “so that’s what led me to Miss Wisconsin. But that year, I grew as a person. It’s made me a better physician, being able to interact with people from all walks of life, and to promote something that I felt very strongly about.

“And that has really opened so many doors, too. All of that, I attribute to my father.”

A community ‘that means so much to me’
Sauerhammer relished her time living and working out east, but soon, she found home was calling — both personally and professionally.

“I feel it is important to leave and get those experiences and training,” she said, “and the best thing I can do is bring everything that I’ve learned back home, and share it with the community that means so much to me.”

She’s had a great time getting reacquainted with that community, spending time with her mom, hitting up the Green Bay Farmer’s Market, taking in a Green Bay Packers game — and even, she says with a smile, running into people who were friends with her dad. When she sat down in her office for a September interview with UW-Green Bay’s Inside magazine, she was still in the process of unpacking — and more nervous about navigating the building and learning the computer system than starting her practice and meeting her first patients. For that, she couldn’t wait.

Sauerhammer’s affable manner comes through immediately — despite her accomplishments, she is humble and friendly. Again, Randy and Oki get the credit.

“My dad worked at a paper mill; my mom is a seamstress,” she said. “I didn’t grow up with much but what little my parents had, they always wanted to make sure I had the best education.

“My mom always tells me, ‘dreams are not free.’ You can have goals, but you have to work hard to achieve those goals. And with my Green Bay upbringing — that’s why I am the way I am. I wasn’t given everything and I appreciate the hard work it takes to achieve those goals.”

Her goal now? To give back — and to ensure that for the first time, children in Northeastern Wisconsin have access to the kind of care she can provide. And to reconnect with the places that gave Sauerhammer her start.

“I owe everything I have to this day (to) my education at UWGB,” she said. “I literally would not be where I am today without it.

“I owe so much — and I just want to give back, not only to the community of Green Bay, but also to UWGB.” — Kelly Moore

Wolf and Howe: Back from China and NSF event


Profs. Amy Wolf and Bob Howe of Biology and Natural and Applied Sciences participated in the fourth Diversity and Forest Chance Workshop at the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden in southern Yunnan Province, China, from July 28 to Aug 8. The event, funded by the National Science Foundation and Chinese Academy of Sciences, brought together 48 field ecologists from 16 countries to share information and ideas from large forest research plots in the Smithsonian Institution’s “ForestGEO” network including the UW-Green Bay Cofrin Center for Biodiversity’s Wabikon Forest Dynamics Plot near Crandon. In addition to giving a research presentation, Wolf and Howe worked with colleagues from other plots on collaborative research papers. After the workshop, they visited the Danum Valley Conservation Area in eastern Borneo (Sabah, Malaysia), location of a ForestGEO plot established in 2010.

Biology 101: Generous educators help next generation

morgans-top-story“My family and I deeply appreciate your kindness. It means so much to me that you believe in, and encourage, the studies of UW-Green Bay students like me.”

Early this year, Linda Vang, a senior Biology major, got the chance to meet the couple whose generosity made possible her UW-Green Bay scholarship.

The young woman from Green Bay had written a thank-you note but it wasn’t until she attended a donor-recipient reception with them that she discovered much in common with Mike and Gloria Morgan. They believe in education as a life-changing opportunity. They regard UW-Green Bay as a special place. They share a passion for the study of environmental sciences.

Vang also learned that Mike Morgan, professor emeritus of Natural and Applied Sciences, has reason to be especially proud of her chosen program, Biology. He helped create the major when the University was new (1968), taught thousands of students in 37 years, and wrote the book on the emerging field of environmental studies. (In 1973, Morgan, Joseph Moran and James Wiersma co-wrote An Introduction to Environmental Sciences, one of the first comprehensive and widely used textbooks on the topic.)

Mike, who retired about a decade ago, says the decision to stay involved and take the additional step of establishing a scholarship fund seemed like a natural. Gloria, who founded and taught a preschool program for 24 years, felt the same way.

“We know how challenging it has become over the years for students to afford college,” Mike says. “With my history with the University, knowing students and alumni, and our shared history in education, we decided to make a gift.”

The Morgan/Macaluso Family Endowed Scholarship in Natural Sciences is named for the couple’s parents. Gloria notes her father, George, had to leave school early to support his family but remained an active adult learner throughout his 95 years. The scholarship gives preference to upper-level students with proven field experience in botany, ecology or field biology.

Vang says she plans to pursue graduate studies in entomology with the aim of contributing to better insight into plant-insect interactions and improved conservation management.

A version of this article was published previously in the 2013 Annual Report of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Foundation Inc.

Phuture Phoenix awards Radder accolade for spring 2014

The Phuture Phoenix program recently awarded its Whitney Radder Phuture Phoenix Phenomenal Role Model Award for spring 2014 to freshman Spencer Turriff. A Biology major and Education minor, Turriff was nominated and selected for the honor due to his commitment and service, as well as the relationships he built tutoring students at Green Bay West High School. Turriff accumulated 99 field hours during the semester, nearly three times the minimum requirement of 35 hours. The award he received is named for Whitney Radder, a UW-Green Bay student and Phuture Phoenix role model who was killed in a car accident in 2010. Click here for more details and a photo.

Phuture Phoenix presents Whitney Radder award

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UW-Green Bay’s Phuture Phoenix program recently awarded the Whitney Radder Phuture Phoenix Phenomenal Role Model Award for the Spring 2014 semester to freshman Biology major and Education minor Spencer Turriff.

Turriff was a Phuture Phoenix role model during spring semester at Green Bay West High School, tutoring students to increase academic achievement. He was nominated and awarded this honor due to his commitment, service and the strong relationships he built with students and staff at West. Turriff accumulated 99 field hours for the semester, nearly three times the minimum requirement of 35 hours. This award is given to a deserving role model in honor of Whitney Radder, a UW-Green Bay student and Phuture Phoenix role model pursuing a degree in Education who was tragically killed in a car accident while a student at UW-Green Bay.

Pictured from left to right are Phuture Phoenix Director Kim Desotell, Spencer Turriff, Phuture Phoenix Phellow Jared Spude, Institute for Learning Partnership Associate Director Juliet Cole and Institute for Learning Partnership Director and Education Chair Tim Kaufman.

 

Katers, recent grad Grossmeier talk women in STEM for Press-Gazette story

One of UW-Green Bay’s newest alumni (a cum laude grad and Chancellor’s Medallion winner, to boot) was featured in a Saturday (May 17) Green Bay Press-Gazette cover story about the trends on women in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Corinne Grossmeier, who graduated this weekend with a double major in Biology and Environmental Science, spoke with reporter Patti Zarling about her early interest in the sciences, talking about positive influences from her parents and sometimes not-so-positive feedback from peers. NAS Chair Prof. John Katers also is quoted, saying he tells students that jobs and opportunities are there — regardless of gender. The story also looks at some interesting statistics pertaining to women in STEM at UW-Green Bay. Full story.