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Biology Students Win State Mammalogy Research Awards

March 08, 2021

  • Kamren Jefferson and one of her research subjects in the field

Kamren Jefferson of Upper Marlboro, Md., and Zoey Stormes of Keller, biology students at Angelo State University, both won top prizes for their research presentations at the recent annual meeting of the Texas Society of Mammalogists (TSM) that was conducted virtually this year.

Jefferson, a graduate student, won the Robert L. Packard Award for best overall oral presentation, which includes a $500 honorarium. Her presentation, “Rest site selection of plains spotted skunks (Spilogale putorius interrupta) in a highly altered prairie landscape,” pertains to her work on the ASU Department of Biology’s state-contracted research project on plains spotted skunks in the Katy Prairie area near Houston. She has been radio tracking spotted skunks for two years in that region as part of a collaboration between ASU and Texas Tech University that is funded by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. Her ASU faculty advisor is Dr. Robert Dowler, professor of biology.

Zoey Stormes Zoey Stormes Stormes, an undergraduate student making her first presentation to a professional organization, won the Bobby Baker Award for best undergraduate oral presentation in mammalian molecular biology, evolution and systematics. Her research project is titled “Screening of genetic markers to distinguish morphologically-similar species of cottontail rabbit,” and her award also includes a $400 honorarium. Stormes earned an ASU Faculty Mentored Research Grant to fund her project, and her faculty advisor is Dr. Loren Ammerman, professor of biology.

Jefferson and Stormes also continued ASU’s tradition of excellence with the TSM. This marks the fourth year in a row and the sixth time in the last nine years that ASU students have won research presentation awards at the TSM annual meeting.