Awards and Recognitions for Fall 2020 | Department of Biological Sciences
October 15, 2020

Awards and Recognitions for Fall 2020

Previous Awards

Congratulations to our students who successfully defended their thesis.

Olubu Adeoye Adiji - Successfully defended his PhD thesis 'Identification, characterization and engineering of UDP-glcuronosyltransferases for synthesis of flavonoid glucuronides' on August 28, 2020. Distinguished Research Professor Dr. Richard Dixon is Ade's thesis advisor. Abdulmajeed Alharbi - Title of defense is "Role of 5.8S rRNA in Zebrafish and Human Blood Coagulation". The defense was on July 22, 2020. Abdulmajeed is now back home in Saudi Arabia. Major professor is Dr. Pudur Jagadeeswaran. Delany Baum - Her final presentation was on July 2 and was called "Documenting the presence and abundance of endangered native Texas plants and assessing their risk for extinction." She just accepted a position at Texas A&M in their AgriLife Research Agency as a Project Coordinator. Her major professor is Aaron Roberts. Sarah Daniel - Title of her dissertation is "Investigating the Effects of Traffic - Generated Air Pollution on the Microbiome Immune Responses in Wild-Type Mice Lung." Sarah defended on August 14, 2020 and her thesis advisor is Amie Lund. Sarah Johnson - The title of her thesis is "Comparative resistomics if ancient and modern human Microbiomes. She is currently a PhD student at the University of Oklahoma in the department of Anthropology. Her sub discipline is Human Health and Biology. She is working in the Laboratory for Molecular Anthropology and Microbiome Research. Sarah defended July 7, 2020. Her advisor is Dr. Rajeev Azad. Garrett Meeks - His defense was August 17, 2020 and his thesis advisor is Dr. Jeff Johnson. Karem Vazquez Roman - He defended July 6, 2020 and his thesis advisor is Dr. Warren Burggren. Faculty Appointments

Dr. Dane Crossley - has been promoted to the rank of Professor. He is n integrative physiologist investigating the power of phenotypic plasticity in establishing the limits of cardiopulmonary capacity during periods of elevated metabolic rate that accompanyexercise and digestion. Specifically I investigate developmental phenotypic plasticity and how this process "programs" exercise capacity through the resulting cardiopulmonary phenotype and I investigate the impact of environmental toxins on organismal cardiorespiratory function during performance. My laboratory addresses these questions using an integrative approach to study cardiopulmonary/respiratory function at the level of the whole animal, organ system, organ, cellular, subcellular, protein and transcriptome levels. Incorporating these levels of biological organization into my research approach clarifies how the environment impacts physiological phenotype, and provides insights into the mechanisms that underlie organismal performance and evolutionary fitness. Finding

Dr. Yangqing Deng - Sure. Here is a brief description: He graduated from the University of Minnesota with a PhD in biostatistics. Besides methodology research in statistical genetics, Yangqing also enjoys collaborating with people from different fields on medical and biological problems using statistical methods. Attached is more information.

Dr. Andrew Gregory - I am excited to be joining the faculty here at UNT this fall. I am wildlife and conservation biologist by training, with a specific research focus on the spatial ecology of wildlife. I look forward to meeting you all in person once the pandemic situation improves. In the interim, I am always interested in new and exciting collaborations, so please feel free to reach out to me with any ideas you may have.

Dr. Hyunju Kim has been a Lecturer and Faculty Advisor for the department since the fall semester of 2016. As a lecturer, she teaches Biology for Science Majors I, Microbiology, and Medical Bacteriology. As a faculty advisor, she not only advises our undergraduate students as they progress through their degree requirements, but also is involved in curriculum updates and departmental scholarships. She enriches our students' campus experiences by serving as a faculty advisor for student organizations on-campus and putting effort into connecting with our alumni.

Dr. Brian Meckes - holds a B.S. in Bioengineering from Rice University and a Ph.D. in Bioengineering from the University of California, San Diego, where he was a recipient of an NIH Ruth Kirschstein Predoctoral F31 Fellowship. Prior to joining UNT, Dr. Meckes was an International Institute for Nanotechnology and the Eden and Steven Romick Postdoctoral Fellow at Northwestern University. Dr. Meckes research group focuses on the development and application of nanopatterning for controlling diverse cell behaviors that include controlling stem cell differentiation and identifying novel nanoparticle uptake pathways. His group also synthesizes novel nanoparticles that have next generation functionality for enhanced delivery control.

Dr. Lisa Welch - Her family has lived in the area out in rural Wise County for the past 10 years. They have chickens, bees, a huge garden and fruit trees. I have previously taught at the community College level. She is excited to be here at UNT to explore new possibilities being at a top notch research institution.


Best Undergraduate Presentation Award: Overview of the University of North Texas Pecan Creek Pollinative Prairie: an undergraduate education experience aiming to reconstruct a native, north central Texas prairie in an urban setting. Texas Plant Conservation Conference hosted by the Botanical Research Institute of Texas, Restoration Session, Virtual meeting Fort Worth, Texas, August 14. Clarissa M. Molina and Savannah M. Thomas. Co-Author Dr. Jaime Baxter-Slye