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Biology Students Win State Mammalogy Research Awards

February 20, 2018

Three Angelo State University biology students won top prizes for their research presentations at the annual meeting of the Texas Society of Mammalogists (TSM) Feb. 16-18 at the Texas Tech University Llano River Field Station in Junction.

(L to R) Sydney Decker, Roxy Pourshoushtari and Alexandra Shaffer(L to R) Sydney Decker, Roxy Pourshoushtari and Alexandra ShafferCompeting against entries submitted by students from 17 other universities in Texas, Oklahoma and Idaho, ASU students won the following awards: 

  • Graduate student Roxy Pourshoushtari of Gaithersburg, Md., won the Robert L. Packard Award for Best Overall Oral Presentation for her research project titled “Monitoring Site Fidelity and Seasonal Activity of Mexican Long-Nosed Bats at Emory Cave Using Pit Tags.” Her project was funded in part by a grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service through a subaward from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and Bat Conservation International.
  • Graduate student Alexandra Shaffer of Anaheim, Calif., won the TSM Award for the best oral presentation in mammalian molecular biology, evolution and systematics by a graduate student for her research project titled “Genetic Variation in Subspecies of the Eastern Spotted Skunk (Spilogale putorius) with Emphasis on the Plains Spotted Skunk (S.p. interrupta).” Her project was funded in part by an Endangered Species Research Grant from the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.
  • Junior Sydney Decker of San Angelo won the Clyde Jones Award for best undergraduate poster presentation for her research project titled “Investigation of the Phylogeographic Structure of the Subspecies of Northern Yellow Bats (Dasypterus intermedius) by Molecular Analysis.” Her project was funded in part by ASU’s Faculty Mentored Undergraduate Research Program.

Also, ASU’s Andrew MacPhie of Lubbock won the student competition of the TSM Mammal Challenge quiz contest. 

Nine ASU students attended the TSM meeting accompanied by Dr. Loren Ammerman, Dr. Robert Dowler and Carla Ebeling of the ASU biology faculty and Dianna Krejsa, manager of the Angelo State Natural History Collections. Both Ammerman and Dowler are members of the TSM Executive Committee.

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