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Biology Student Wins State Mammalogy Research Award

February 11, 2019

Virginia Jaquish of Granville, Ohio, a graduate student in the Angelo State University Biology Department, won the top prize for her research presentation at the annual meeting of the Texas Society of Mammalogists (TSM) Feb. 8-10 at the Texas Tech University Llano River Field Station in Junction.

Virginia Jaquish and Dr. Loren Ammerman at the 2019 TSM MeetingVirginia Jaquish and Dr. Loren Ammerman at the 2019 TSM MeetingJaquish won the Robert L. Packard Award for Best Overall Oral Presentation and a $500 honorarium for her research project titled “Pollen Identification Provides Evidence that Pallid Bats Visit Agave Species in the Chihuahuan Desert.” Her presentation beat out entries submitted by students from nearly 20 other universities in Texas, Oklahoma, Wyoming, New York, Ecuador, Kenya and Europe. Dr. Loren Ammerman, ASU professor of biology, is her faculty research mentor.

Ammerman was also recognized by being named an Honorary Member of the Texas Society of Mammalogists for her decades of contributions, research and mentorship of students. An ASU faculty member since 2002, Ammerman joins fellow ASU biology professor Robert Dowler as an Honorary Member of TSM.

ASU students, faculty, staff and alumni attended the 2019 TSM MeetingASU students, faculty, staff and alumni attended the 2019 TSM MeetingASU students Roxy Pourshoushtari of Gaithersburg, Md., Kamren Jefferson of Upper Marlboro, Md., and Matthew Hamilton of Seagraves also presented their research projects at the TSM Meeting. Pourshoushtari’s project is titled “Genetic Variability of the Mexican Long-Nosed Bat (Leptonycteris nivalis) Based on Microsatellites,” and Ammerman is her faculty mentor. Jefferson and Hamilton jointly presented “Preliminary Results: Spatial Ecology and Population Demographics of the Plains Spotted Skunk (Spilogale putorius interrupta) in Southeastern Texas.” Dowler is their faculty mentor.

Krysta Demere with her designKrysta Demere with her designAlso, ASU biology alumna Krysta Demere of Water Valley provided the original art for the TSM Meeting official program, T-shirt and other souvenirs. She earned her bachelor’s (2013) and master’s (2016) degrees from ASU and now works as a research associate at the Texas A&M Natural Resource Institute.

Seven ASU students attended the TSM Meeting accompanied by Ammerman, Dowler, Dr. Michael Dixon and Carla Ebeling of the ASU biology faculty and Dianna Krejsa, manager of the Angelo State Natural History Collections.

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