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Masters Theses

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Full-Text Articles in Life Sciences

Does Acute Preprandial Exercise Modify Postprandial Inflammation After A High Fat Meal In Young And Older Adults?, William Wisseman Aug 2019

Does Acute Preprandial Exercise Modify Postprandial Inflammation After A High Fat Meal In Young And Older Adults?, William Wisseman

Masters Theses

A single high-fat meal (HFM) can increase systemic inflammation (postprandial inflammation; PPI) and may be attenuated by recent exercise. However, the effect of preprandial exercise on PPI in older adults (OA) is not clear. Purpose: To determine if preprandial exercise attenuates PPI in YA and OA. Methods: 12 YA (23.3±3.9 years n= 5 M/7 F) and 12 OA (67.7±6 years, n= 8 M/4 F) completed two HFM challenges in a randomized order. During HFM alone, participants abstained from exercise 48 hours prior to the HFM session (except for the exercise session) and adhered ...


The Association Between Dietary Niche Variation In Rodents And Climate Change Across The Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, Hannah K. Vermeer Aug 2019

The Association Between Dietary Niche Variation In Rodents And Climate Change Across The Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, Hannah K. Vermeer

Masters Theses

Mammalian teeth play a crucial role in food acquisition and breakdown and are therefore closely tied to dietary niche. This study reconstructed the diet of early Paleogene paramyid rodents across the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) climatic event in an effort to understand the role of climate in mammalian dietary niche change. Dietary niches were quantified using three dental topographic measures: Dirichlet normal energy, relief index, and orientation patch count rotated. A Kruskal-Wallis test was conducted over eight time periods to determine if each of the dental topographic measures (i.e., diet) varied over time. Regression analysis of these measures with ...


Evaluating Remote Site Incubators To Support Restoration Of Arctic Grayling In Michigan, Alan J. Mock Aug 2019

Evaluating Remote Site Incubators To Support Restoration Of Arctic Grayling In Michigan, Alan J. Mock

Masters Theses

Remote site incubators (RSIs) have been used to rear salmonid fish eggs along streams in the Pacific Northwest since the 1980s. Recently, the successful use of RSIs for Arctic Grayling Thymallus arcticus restoration in Montana has sparked a renewed interest to reestablish the species in Michigan. To support future reintroduction efforts of Arctic Grayling in Michigan, I evaluated RSIs in three Michigan streams during 2018 and 2019 using Rainbow Trout Oncorhynchus mykiss eggs (as surrogates for Arctic Grayling). My objectives were to: (1) compare hatching success between two different RSI designs (19-L vs. 265-L RSIs), and (2) test whether the ...


Thermal Quality Explains Shift In Habitat Association From Forest To Clearings For Terrestrial-Breeding Frogs Along An Elevation Gradient In Colombia, Zachary Lange Jul 2019

Thermal Quality Explains Shift In Habitat Association From Forest To Clearings For Terrestrial-Breeding Frogs Along An Elevation Gradient In Colombia, Zachary Lange

Masters Theses

Tropical ectotherms are considered particularly sensitive to changes in the thermal environment from climate change and habitat alteration. Understanding how such species’ thermal physiology relates to their habitat associations in thermally heterogeneous landscapes may help us predict responses and develop sound conservation strategies for the future. We conducted a mark-recapture study of three terrestrial breeding anuran species (Pristimantis medemi, P. savagei, P. frater) in adjacent forest and anthropogenic clearings at field sites spread across seven elevations (415-1350 m asl) in the Colombian Andes. We also performed thermal preference and critical thermal maximum assays in the lab to investigate the relationship ...


Forest Structure Of Long-Term Conserved Areas Utilizing Different Strategies On A Continental, Glacial Moraine Formed Island, Christopher Coggin Jul 2019

Forest Structure Of Long-Term Conserved Areas Utilizing Different Strategies On A Continental, Glacial Moraine Formed Island, Christopher Coggin

Masters Theses

Understanding patterns of forest succession can help advise management plans within New England nature preserves. This study took place on Block Island, 13 miles off the coast of Rhode Island. The island has greater than 200+ years of farming practices. After 1960, conservation groups began reforesting the island using different strategies, such as actively planting with native and exotic tree species, mowing, and preventing further development. In 2018, woody vegetation was inventoried along transects within four reforested sites. Sites were characterized as the following: actively planted with exotic and native tree species and mowed (AP-M), actively planted with exotic and ...


Assessing Populations Of Eastern Brook Trout (Salvelinus Fontinalis) Above And Below Waterfalls In Mountain Streams Of Virginia, Hannah Eisemann Macmillan May 2019

Assessing Populations Of Eastern Brook Trout (Salvelinus Fontinalis) Above And Below Waterfalls In Mountain Streams Of Virginia, Hannah Eisemann Macmillan

Masters Theses

Anthropogenically driven factors, such as increasing temperature and sediment in valley streams, acidification of mountain streams, and the introduction of non-native trout, are restricting habitat suitable for healthy populations of eastern brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) throughout their native Appalachian range. Brook trout are important as predators of insects in mountain streams and as a favorite of anglers. It is crucial that remaining populations in sustainable habitats be identified and preserved. Waterfalls are geologic knickpoints preventing base-level lowering that create unique, stable landscapes above them, which may alleviate the temperature-productivity/acidity “habitat squeeze” for populations of brook trout and could serve ...


Urban Stream Restoration: An Evaluation Of Material Processing And Conveyance Channels, Madeline Berg May 2019

Urban Stream Restoration: An Evaluation Of Material Processing And Conveyance Channels, Madeline Berg

Masters Theses

Stream restoration is gaining popularity in the Mid - Atlantic region to offset impacts from urbanization. Increased levels of impervious surfaces, decreased vegetation along banks, and changes in water flow patterns make urban stream ecosystems flashy and result in high erosion rates, increasing the amount of nutrients entering the Chesapeake Bay. Different restoration practices can play a large role in the amount of nutrients and organic matter leaving a stream and the amount of habitat that is present in-stream.

Due to the recent interest in stream restoration as a tool to help the health of the Chesapeake Bay, this study was ...


How Successful High School Boys Soccer Coaches Perceive And Develop Cultural Competency: A Grounded Theory Approach, Lauren Jefferson Apr 2019

How Successful High School Boys Soccer Coaches Perceive And Develop Cultural Competency: A Grounded Theory Approach, Lauren Jefferson

Masters Theses

The purpose of this study was to examine how high school athletics coaches conceptualize the knowledge, values, and skills of cultural competence, with specific attention to learning processes and influences. In order to serve the increasingly diverse U.S. student population equitably and to the full holistic potential of extracurricular programming, high school coaches must develop a greater comfort with and capacity for exercising cultural competency. A qualitative approach using a grounded theory was applied. Seven coaches and one athletic director were recruited by purposive sampling. The research suggests a process-oriented, chronological model of how experienced coaches begin to work ...


Dental Topographic Analysis Of Maxillary And Mandibular Phyllostomid Bat Dentitions: Implications For Dietary Prediction In The Fossil Record, Colin Pellegrom Apr 2019

Dental Topographic Analysis Of Maxillary And Mandibular Phyllostomid Bat Dentitions: Implications For Dietary Prediction In The Fossil Record, Colin Pellegrom

Masters Theses

Mammalian dental anatomy has evolved in accordance with the physical properties of its diet, and multiple features on each tooth have specific functions related to the breakdown of food during mastication and ingestion. Tooth structure is under tight genetic control and much of the anatomical variation in dentition across species is related to adaptation to a specific dietary regime. This diet-dentition relationship can be exploited to reconstruct mammalian diets from fossil specimens through calculation of dental topographic metrics. To date, most studies of dietary reconstruction using dental topography have focused on mandibular molars; thus, this study seeks to test whether ...


Ecological Considerations And Application Of Urban Tree Selection In Massachusetts, Ashley Mcelhinney Jan 2019

Ecological Considerations And Application Of Urban Tree Selection In Massachusetts, Ashley Mcelhinney

Masters Theses

Trees provide countless environmental, economic, and societal benefits to the urban environment, and may become increasingly important to maintaining environmental quality and human well-being in the face of increasing urbanization and climate change. However, trees in these urban areas are rapidly diminishing across the United States. Much of this loss can be prevented with proper planning and management, focused on selecting tree species that are both well-suited to the area’s growing conditions and able to survive the many stress factors in an urban setting. Choosing which tree species to plant in Massachusetts is especially challenging considering the lack of ...


Photosynthesizing The Workplace: A Study In Healthy And Holistic Production Spaces, Kaeli Howard Jan 2019

Photosynthesizing The Workplace: A Study In Healthy And Holistic Production Spaces, Kaeli Howard

Masters Theses

Throughout time nature has been a prescribed healer of stress on the human condition. Its vital integration into our daily lives has been proven by scientific evidence. The majority of Americans spend approximately 1/3 of their life working, whatever that job may entail. Therefore, it makes sense that the environments that we spend so much of our life in for work at extremely important to our physical and mental health, however, current workplace models are not acknowledging that. Redefining the workplace to integrate nature would start to change work life in this country and how work itself is viewed ...


Visual Attention In Jumping Spiders, Margaret Bruce Jan 2019

Visual Attention In Jumping Spiders, Margaret Bruce

Masters Theses

The different ways that animals extract and analyze visual information from their environment is of interest to sensory ecologists. Jumping spiders, well-known for visually guided mating and hunting behavior, are an interesting model for the study of visual attention because they quickly and efficiently integrate information from eight eyes with a small brain. Stimuli in front of the spider are examined by two functionally and morphologically distinct pairs of forward-facing eyes. The principal eyes discern fine details and have small retinas and thus a small visual field. However, their position at the back of moveable tubes within the cephalothorax expands ...


Mechanisms And Mitigation Of Skeletal Muscle Fatigue In Single Fibers From Older Adults, Aurora Foster Jan 2019

Mechanisms And Mitigation Of Skeletal Muscle Fatigue In Single Fibers From Older Adults, Aurora Foster

Masters Theses

Skeletal muscle fatigue is the contraction-induced decline in whole muscle force or power, and can be greater in older versus young adults. Fatigue primarily results from increased metabolism elevating phosphate (Pi) and hydrogen (H+), which alters myosin-actin interactions; however, which steps of the myosin-actin cross-bridge cycle are changed and their reversibility are unclear. PURPOSE: This study sought to: 1) Examine the effects of elevated Pi and H+ on molecular and cellular function, and 2) Test the ability of deoxyadenosine triphosphate (dATP), an alternative energy to adenosine triphosphate (ATP), to reverse the contractile changes induced with high Pi ...


A Genome Wide Survey Of The Insertion Sequences In Halanaerobium Hydrogeniformans, A Haloalkaliphilic Anaerobic Bacterium, Kody Austin Bassett Jan 2019

A Genome Wide Survey Of The Insertion Sequences In Halanaerobium Hydrogeniformans, A Haloalkaliphilic Anaerobic Bacterium, Kody Austin Bassett

Masters Theses

"Insertion sequences (IS) are the smallest prokaryotic transposable elements. These mobile genes are highly diverse in size and structure, making them difficult to study. The transposition activity of insertion sequences has a significant role in evolution by enabling genomic plasticity via genome rearrangements. Insertion sequences are largely uncharacterized and thus methods to improve the ability to accurately identify, annotate, and infer genomic impact of insertion sequences is limited. A sequential set of methods using readily available genomic and bioinformatic tools was developed to accurately identify insertion sequences. This method was used to perform an entire genome survey of Halanaerobium hydrogeniformans ...


Characterization Of Chromosomal Translocations In A Group Of Killifish Species By Using Genome-Wide High-Density Snp Mapping Approach, Naznin Sultana Remex Jan 2019

Characterization Of Chromosomal Translocations In A Group Of Killifish Species By Using Genome-Wide High-Density Snp Mapping Approach, Naznin Sultana Remex

Masters Theses

"The role of chromosomal rearrangements in reproductive isolation and introgression between species is poorly understood. In heterozygous form, rearrangements may directly interrupt meiotic progression leading to partial sterility/subfertility (underdominance) or may suppress local meiotic segregation (recombination suppression). Such unbalanced meiotic segregation may also result in reproductive isolation and play roles as a driving force of speciation. The objective of this study was to gain insight into the pattern of chromosomal rearrangements in two closely related killifish species in the genus Fundulus (F. notatus, and F. olivaceus) by constructing genetic linkage maps using high-resolution single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers. Markers ...


Influence Of Shipping Container Upon Temperature, Relative Humidity, And Bacterial Growth On Broccoli, Nicholas Berus Jan 2019

Influence Of Shipping Container Upon Temperature, Relative Humidity, And Bacterial Growth On Broccoli, Nicholas Berus

Masters Theses

Temperature and relative humidity of produce throughout the cold chain can greatly affect the quality and safety of the food product. Different packaging systems or containers can provide better cooling environments for food products that could decrease temperature abuse and ultimately safety risks. In this study we compiled temperature and relative humidity profiles of broccoli packed in different shipping containers throughout the produce supply chain. The shipping containers looked at were the wax corrugated box, reusable plastic containers (RPC), and Eco Pack Green Box with and without a lid. Large differences were seen in the temperature profiles of each package ...


Apple Disease Forecasting Models: When Climate Changes The Rules, Elizabeth W. Garofalo Jan 2019

Apple Disease Forecasting Models: When Climate Changes The Rules, Elizabeth W. Garofalo

Masters Theses

With a changing global climate, plant pathologists must understand the impact aberrant weather events may have on the development of plant diseases. Fungal plant infections are largely dependent on temperature and precipitation, climate parameters that are predicted to change more in this century. Venturia inaequalis causes apple scab, one of the most destructive apple diseases of temperate growing regions. Temperature and precipitation drive apple scab infections and forecast models, which guide growers in efficient, effective fungicide applications. In some recent years in the Northeast, these models have failed to accurately predict when ascospores of this fungus are available to cause ...


Urban Biodiversity Experience And Exposure: Intervention And Inequality At The Local And Global Scale, Evan Kuras Jan 2019

Urban Biodiversity Experience And Exposure: Intervention And Inequality At The Local And Global Scale, Evan Kuras

Masters Theses

As cities expand globally, researchers must clarify how human activities and institutions shape biodiversity and conversely, how ecological processes shape human outcomes. Two features of contemporary cities motivate this thesis. First, urban residents, and especially children, are spending less time in nature and consequently, miss out on healthy and formative experiences with biodiversity. Second, residents with the least access to biodiversity tend to be those with the lowest socioeconomic status (SES). Together, these patterns convey a multi-layered environmental injustice: not only might urbanites become increasingly estranged from biodiversity, disinterested from its conservation, and disconnected from its benefits, but these outcomes ...


Ecological And Economic Implications Of Establishing Quercus Spp. In The Urban Environment, Tierney Bocsi Jan 2019

Ecological And Economic Implications Of Establishing Quercus Spp. In The Urban Environment, Tierney Bocsi

Masters Theses

As urban greening efforts continue, it is important to assess whether decisions to intensify street tree planting are meeting intended goals of improving urban canopy cover and increasing ecosystem services. Benefits of the urban forest take many forms, from ecological and economic to social and cultural, and are frequently cited in support of street tree planting. However, it is unknown to what extent factors such as species or nursery production method affect the ability of trees to successfully establish and provide ecosystem services in the urban environment. Using a system of oak trees planted along roads in South Amherst, Massachusetts ...


Studies On The Interaction And Organization Of Bacterial Proteins On Membranes, Mariana Brena Jan 2019

Studies On The Interaction And Organization Of Bacterial Proteins On Membranes, Mariana Brena

Masters Theses

Bacteria have developed various means of secreting proteins that can enter the host cell membrane. In this work I focus on two systems: cholesterol-dependent cytolysins and Type III Secretion.

Cholesterol is a molecule that is critical for physiological processes and cell membrane function. Not only can improper regulation lead to disease, but also the role cholesterol plays in cell function indicates it is an important molecule to understand. In response to this need, probes have been developed that detect cholesterol molecules in membranes. However, it has been recently shown that there is a need for probes that only respond to ...


Sex, Motivation, And Reversal Learning In The Common Marmoset (Callithrix Jacchus), Alyssa Carlotto Jan 2019

Sex, Motivation, And Reversal Learning In The Common Marmoset (Callithrix Jacchus), Alyssa Carlotto

Masters Theses

This study examined the relationships between motivation and cognitive performance in male and female common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus). This question was driven by prior data from the Lacreuse lab showing a robust female impairment in reversal learning, as assessed by the number of trials needed to acquire a reversal following a simple discrimination between two stimuli. This thesis tested the hypothesis that the female impairment in reversal learning was mediated by deficits in motivation. Two sets of measures were used to test this hypothesis. I evaluated physical effort via testing on the progressive ratio (PR), a test that requires animals ...


Garlic Mustard (Alliaria Petiolata) Management Effectiveness And Plant Community Response, Erin Coates-Connor Jan 2019

Garlic Mustard (Alliaria Petiolata) Management Effectiveness And Plant Community Response, Erin Coates-Connor

Masters Theses

The control and eradication of the invasive biennial herb garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) and the restoration of invaded forest habitats present important linked challenges to land managers in North America. Removing garlic mustard by hand and by glyphosate herbicide application have both been used as eradication strategies with mixed results. Each method has advantages and disadvantages, but they are rarely compared for effectiveness and community impact across multiple years of management. Some previous studies have shown improvements in species diversity and plant community composition following management, while others have found no differences. To better understand both garlic mustard population and ...


One Year Change In Cognitive Function In Male And Female Common Marmosets (Callithrix Jacchus), Brianna Healey Jan 2019

One Year Change In Cognitive Function In Male And Female Common Marmosets (Callithrix Jacchus), Brianna Healey

Masters Theses

Long term cognitive studies in humans and nonhuman primates such as macaques are difficult because of their long lifespan. The common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) is a non-human primate who shares with humans many features characteristic of primates, including a complex brain and cognitive function. They also have a short lifespan (~10 years) that makes them a great model in studies of cognitive aging. This study focuses on the rate of decline in cognitive function in male and female marmosets based on performance on reversal learning tasks over 2 years of testing.

We found that marmosets improved their overall performance from ...


The Efficacy Of Nanoemulsion-Based Delivery Systems To Improve Vitamin D3 Bioaccessibility And Bioavailability, Alagu Selvi Kadappan Jan 2019

The Efficacy Of Nanoemulsion-Based Delivery Systems To Improve Vitamin D3 Bioaccessibility And Bioavailability, Alagu Selvi Kadappan

Masters Theses

Vitamin D deficiency is an epidemic issue in all age groups in Western countries and that affects both skeletal and non-skeletal functions. Even with the wide application of food fortification, vitamin D deficiency tends to increase continuously. Being hydrophobic in nature, vitamin D has poor solubility; thereby it negatively affects its absorption and bioavailability when compared to other hydrophilic dietary compounds. The need to develop a novel strategy is of greater importance to enhance its bioavailability and thereby improving vitamin D level in the body.

In this study, lipid-based delivery of oil-in-water nanoemulsion (diameter < 200nm) was utilized to improve the bioaccessibility and oral bioavailability of vitamin D3. First, we examined the in ...


Changes In Color Guidance Over The Course Of A Complex Visual Search, Ryan Papargiris Jan 2019

Changes In Color Guidance Over The Course Of A Complex Visual Search, Ryan Papargiris

Masters Theses

When searching for an object, we store a mental representation of the target, which guides our search through the use of attention. The effectiveness of this search guidance varies depending on the task and the relationship between target and distractors. With a better understanding of how search guidance changes over time within a trial, we can better compare the differences between experimental conditions. Eye tracking data from a variety of search tasks were analyzed to determine how color guidance varied over the course of the trial. Color guidance for a given fixation was evaluated based on the distance in color ...


A Pipeline For Exogenous Gene Expression And Biomass Analysis In Plants, Bijay Bisunke Jan 2019

A Pipeline For Exogenous Gene Expression And Biomass Analysis In Plants, Bijay Bisunke

Masters Theses

Biological pretreatment of biomass is typically required for the production of liquid biofuels, which are viable alternatives to traditional fossil fuels. While traditional thermomechanical pretreatments are effective at helping to deconstruct lignocellulose, they are often expensive and tend to generate environmentally dangerous waste materials. An alternative to traditional pretreatment strategies is biological pretreatment, which has focused on lignocellulose-degrading organisms, such as white-rot fungi. While direct pretreatment of biomass with white-rot fungi has shown great promise, directly expressing functional white-rot fungi genes in plants (i.e. in planta expression) has the potential to be even more efficient because the biomass itself ...


Investigating The Prevalence Of An Insecticide Resistance Gene In Culex Mosquito Populations Of Central Illinois, Kylee R. Noel Jan 2019

Investigating The Prevalence Of An Insecticide Resistance Gene In Culex Mosquito Populations Of Central Illinois, Kylee R. Noel

Masters Theses

The globalization of society has led to the spread of the vectors, mosquitoes, and diseases. Each year millions of people are killed by diseases vectored by mosquitoes. For example, West Nile Virus alone killed over 2,000 people in North America in 2017; 8 of those deaths being in Illinois. Two prominent vectors of West Nile Virus are Culex pipiens and Culex restuans; which are difficult to differentiate based upon morphological features. In this study, mosquitoes collected from two Illinois counties, Coles County and Champaign County, were first identified based upon morphology and this identification was then compared to probe-based ...


Impacts Of Plant-Microbe Interactions On Seedling Performance In A Riparian Forest Invaded By Lonicera Maackii, Taylor E. K. Strehl Jan 2019

Impacts Of Plant-Microbe Interactions On Seedling Performance In A Riparian Forest Invaded By Lonicera Maackii, Taylor E. K. Strehl

Masters Theses

Soil microbes have profound impacts on plant growth and survival and can either promote or inhibit plant dominance. Exotic plants are often strongly invasive because they have escaped their natural enemies, potentially including antagonistic soil microbes. I examined how the invasive shrub Lonicera maackii and a common native tree, Acer negundo, responded to soil microbial communities to determine the role of soil microbes in regulating invasion success. This was done by growing both species with microbes from invaded (L. maackii) and uninvaded (A. negundo) soils collected from three locations within a riparian forest. Seedlings were grown both in isolation (Experiment ...


Creg1: Its Role As A Master Regulator Of Liver Function, Iffat Jahan Jan 2019

Creg1: Its Role As A Master Regulator Of Liver Function, Iffat Jahan

Masters Theses

Mammalian development involves a complex system of regulatory signals and reactions resulting in highly differentiated cell types with specific structure and function. The liver is a major organ that has been studied extensively to understand underlying genetic processes responsible for specification, establishment and maintenance of tissue identity. Hepatoma and hepatoma variant cell lines have been used as models to understand genetic networks responsible for liver function. Whole genome microarray analysis of hepatocyte cell lines has revealed candidate genes that may serve as regulators or master regulators of liver specificity. In two previous studies in our lab, the role of candidate ...


Assessment And Recovery Of Stream Restoration Efforts On Fish Communities, Jessica Marie Rohr Jan 2019

Assessment And Recovery Of Stream Restoration Efforts On Fish Communities, Jessica Marie Rohr

Masters Theses

Aquatic systems are subjected to disturbances of various types, including natural and anthropogenic, or can deteriorate due to accumulating unfavorable conditions, including receding banks, decreasing riparian vegetation, and disrupted flow patterns. An analysis was done on a variety of streams in central Illinois that experienced one or multiple anthropogenic disturbances without remediation to determine the natural recovery dynamics of each system. A separate analysis was performed on a multi-site restored stream with a complex restoration project with a variety of restoration methods. This data were collected over at periods of time spanning from 5-15 years, including time prior to disturbance ...