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Full-Text Articles in Life Sciences

Understanding The Tradeoff Between Safety And Food Quality In A Mammalian Herbivore Specialist, The Pygmy Rabbit, Jamie Lyn Utz Dec 2012

Understanding The Tradeoff Between Safety And Food Quality In A Mammalian Herbivore Specialist, The Pygmy Rabbit, Jamie Lyn Utz

Boise State University Theses and Dissertations

Conserving a sensitive animal species requires understanding the simultaneous tradeoffs between food and shelter within a landscape. Most management approaches only consider single factors like percent cover at landscape spatial scales. Quantifying the synergy between cover and food quality at a scale relevant to a foraging animal could better reveal the forces that shape habitat use. To better understand habitat use components, I investigated tradeoffs between predation risk and diet quality in a sagebrush endemic, the pygmy rabbit (Brachylagus idahoensis). This species is a rare example of a specialist herbivore that relies almost entirely on sagebrush for cover and 50-99 ...


An Examination Of Finish Time Variation For Collegiate Cross Country National Championships By Gender, Kevin Riley Peters Dec 2012

An Examination Of Finish Time Variation For Collegiate Cross Country National Championships By Gender, Kevin Riley Peters

Boise State University Theses and Dissertations

In cross country, women compete over shorter distances than men with little justification for these differences. The purpose of this study was to assess gender differences for the spread of finishing times and examine the appropriateness of shorter competition distances for females. Forty-six cross country national championship data sets (nmales = 10,788; nfemales = 10,884) from the NCAA (1999-2011) and NAIA (2005-2011) were utilized for analyses. Several measures of variation were computed to assess spread of finishing times data (i.e., Coefficient of Variation [CV]; Interpercentile Ranges [IR], and Rates of Separation [RS; IR divided by the distance ...


Dockomatic: An Emerging Resource To Manage Molecular Docking, Reed B. Jacob Aug 2012

Dockomatic: An Emerging Resource To Manage Molecular Docking, Reed B. Jacob

Boise State University Theses and Dissertations

The application of computational modeling to rationally design drugs and characterize macro-biomolecular receptors has proven increasingly useful due to the accessibility of computing clusters and clouds. AutoDock is a well-known and powerful software program used to model ligand to receptor binding interactions. A limitation of AutoDock is the inability of a user to automatically create ligands and manage the input and output of data when dealing with large numbers of simulations; a problem that arises in High Throughput Virtual Screening (HTVS) or Inverse Virtual Screening (IVS). We have designed DockoMatic, a user friendly Graphical User Interface (GUI) application that constructs ...


Resilience Limitations And Resistance Of Hyporheic Microbial Communities From Chronic Heavy Metal Contamination Environments: Analysis With The Novel Resazurin Resorufin Smart Tracer, Daniel Joseph Stanaway Aug 2012

Resilience Limitations And Resistance Of Hyporheic Microbial Communities From Chronic Heavy Metal Contamination Environments: Analysis With The Novel Resazurin Resorufin Smart Tracer, Daniel Joseph Stanaway

Boise State University Theses and Dissertations

River ecosystems are among the most threatened and rapidly altering systems in the world because of anthropogenic disturbance. Chronic heavy metal contamination of lotic environments is a global concern and a widespread environmental and human health threat. This persistent stressor can shape microbial community structure and function, often selecting for the genotypic and phenotypic characteristics that increase fitness in toxic environments and may encumber the microbial community hosting metal resistance mechanisms with additional energetic costs. This cost should be expressed in heterotrophic aerobic microbial metabolism, a primary ecological process variable and can be estimated through respiration measurements. Hyporheic respiration is ...


A Genetic Analysis Of Bald Eagles In The Pacific Northwest: Retained Genetic Diversity Following A Large-Scale Population Bottleneck, Andrew Joseph Nadeau Aug 2012

A Genetic Analysis Of Bald Eagles In The Pacific Northwest: Retained Genetic Diversity Following A Large-Scale Population Bottleneck, Andrew Joseph Nadeau

Boise State University Theses and Dissertations

Bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) populations in the continental United States experienced a dramatic population decline during the twentieth century. Populations across the species’ range have largely recovered, thanks in part to the ban of DDT, rapidly enacted conservation measures, and reintroduction efforts. Using six microsatellite loci, I tested the genetic variation of bald eagles across six states in the Pacific Northwest. Genetic analysis revealed that, despite undergoing a population-wide decline, the bald eagles in the locations sampled outside of Idaho did not exhibit the characteristics typically associated with a genetic bottleneck (i.e., a reduced number of alleles and a ...


Phylogenetic Relationships Within Columnea Section Angustiflorae: Insights Into Forces Driving Speciation, Lacie Janelle Schulte Aug 2012

Phylogenetic Relationships Within Columnea Section Angustiflorae: Insights Into Forces Driving Speciation, Lacie Janelle Schulte

Boise State University Theses and Dissertations

Determining the specific factors that played a role in speciation previously took extensive resources that made such studies nearly intractable. Despite the difficulties presented by speciation studies, we are still interested in determining what forces drive the process of evolution to gain a better understanding of divergence among species. Advances in technology allow for a new approach to speciation studies, beginning with molecular phylogenetic analyses that identify the species within a monophyletic clade and generate a species-level phylogeny. Molecular data are an independent source of data and provide a phylogeny to map both morphological characters and ecological parameters. Identifying patterns ...


Kinematics And Muscle Activation Patterns During Simulated Uphill Pedaling On An Indoor Cycle Ergometer, Benjamin Thomas Stein Aug 2012

Kinematics And Muscle Activation Patterns During Simulated Uphill Pedaling On An Indoor Cycle Ergometer, Benjamin Thomas Stein

Boise State University Theses and Dissertations

INTRODUCTION: An indoor cycle ergometer allows for competitive and recreational mountain bike cyclists to simulate uphill conditions with precisely controlled and monitored pedaling. While simulating an uphill condition indoors, with or without a climbing block, the cyclist body may not be in the same position as while pedaling outdoors. This possible difference in body position may have training implications. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to determine if there are differences in kinematics and/or muscle activation patterns while pedaling on a level surface compared to an inclined surface while pedaling on a mountain bike on an indoor cycle ...


Ribosomal Rna Gene-Based And Multigene Phylogenies Of Smittium (Harpellales) And Allies—Toward Unraveling Relationships Among Early-Diverging Fungi, Yan Wang May 2012

Ribosomal Rna Gene-Based And Multigene Phylogenies Of Smittium (Harpellales) And Allies—Toward Unraveling Relationships Among Early-Diverging Fungi, Yan Wang

Boise State University Theses and Dissertations

Smittium is one of the oldest members of the Harpellales, a group commonly referred to as the “gut fungi”. Gut fungi are endosymbiotic microorganisms that live in the digestive tracts of various Arthropods, worldwide. During the 75 years since the first species, Smittium arvernense, was described, Smittium has increased in number and now includes 81 species. Research on this genus has also helped to advance our understanding of the gut fungi, by serving as a “model” for laboratory studies of the fungal trichomycetes. Many isolates of Smittium have been used for ultrastructural, physiological, host feeding, serological, as well as isozyme ...


Productivity And Habitat Features Of Swainson's Hawks (Buteo Swainsoni) Nesting In Suburban And Agricultural Areas Of Southwest Idaho, Steven Edward Alsup May 2012

Productivity And Habitat Features Of Swainson's Hawks (Buteo Swainsoni) Nesting In Suburban And Agricultural Areas Of Southwest Idaho, Steven Edward Alsup

Boise State University Theses and Dissertations

I compared nesting success and productivity of Swainson’s Hawks nesting in suburban and agricultural areas in southwest Idaho to assess the effects of land use change on Swainson’s Hawk reproduction. I also evaluated habitat parameters and land use patterns around nesting areas to determine if nest site, habitat, and/or landscape features were related to reproductive success in Swainson’s Hawks. I recorded habitat characteristics, nest tree characteristics, distances to four habitat features, and disturbance types, as well as land use patterns within a 1500m radius around nest trees to assess any differences in nest site characteristics, habitat ...


Optimization Of A Novel Two-Stage Whole-Cell Enzyme Production And Lignocellulose Hydrolysis Reactor Design, Brian Daniel Deis May 2012

Optimization Of A Novel Two-Stage Whole-Cell Enzyme Production And Lignocellulose Hydrolysis Reactor Design, Brian Daniel Deis

Boise State University Theses and Dissertations

Production of lignocellulosic biofuels is one mechanism by which we can reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and enhance the carbon neutrality of transportation fuels. Current biochemical platforms for lignocellulosic biofuel production are not economically viable due to the high costs of hydrolytic enzymes for the conversion of lignocellulose to fermentable sugars. One solution to reducing these costs is the incorporation of on-site enzyme production for consolidated bioprocessing of lignocellulose to fermentable sugars. I have optimized and incorporated a whole-cell encapsulation approach into a novel two-stage fed-batch bioreactor consisting of a nursery reactor and hydrolysis reactor. This design spatially separates ...


Raptors Present But Unobserved: Detectability At A Western Migration Watch-Site And Its Effect On Trend Analysis, Eric G. Nolte Feb 2012

Raptors Present But Unobserved: Detectability At A Western Migration Watch-Site And Its Effect On Trend Analysis, Eric G. Nolte

Boise State University Theses and Dissertations

Annual counts of migrating raptors (Accipitriformes, Falconiformes) are used as indices of population size. Variation in the proportion of the raptor population counted may decrease precision of trend estimates, thereby reducing power of inference. The proportion counted is the product of sample coverage and probability of detection. It is possible to improve the power of trend analysis by the adoption of techniques, such as double-observer or distance sampling, which estimate the probability of detection. I used a dependent double-observer method to estimate detectability at the annual fall raptor migration count at Lucky Peak, Idaho, in 2009 and 2010. I used ...