USD students receive biology research funds The Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB) has announced that Patricia Crotwell and Nathan Bird, graduate students in the department of biology at The University of South Dakota, have been selected for funding to assist in the completion of their graduate research studies.
The SICB Graduate Student Support Committee reviewed 76 research proposals from eight SICB divisions at their 2002 meeting in Anaheim, CA. The proposal applications submitted by Crotwell and Bird were two of only 27 selected for funding from a field of international and national candidates.
Crotwell, daughter of Patricia and Richard Crotwell of Spring, TX, is a Ph.D. student in the biology department at USD. The title of her proposal is "Origin and Evolution of Processes Underlying Segment/Joint Formation." Crotwell is testing the hypothesis that the genetic mechanisms underlying the formation of joints in tetrapod vertebrates arose from those involved in segmentation of basal vertebrate (fish) median fin skeleton.
Bird, son of Craig and Kathy Bird of Sioux Falls, is a master's student in the biology department at USD. The title of his proposal is "Innervation patterns in the Median Fins of Fishes." Bird's thesis project documents the development of the axial skeleton in wildtype and mutant zebrafish.
Bird and Crotwell will be continuing their research in the lab of Dr. Paula Mabee, USD professor of biology. Mabee is the chair of both students' graduate committees. Her area of study is the development and evolution of the skeletal system of vertebrates, specifically fishes.
"I came to (Dr. Mabee's) lab after taking one of her courses in developmental biology," Bird said. "It sparked an interest in the field and here I am."
The SICB is one of the largest and most prestigious professional associations of its kind.
Formed through a 1902 merger of two societies, the Central Naturalists and the American Morphological Society, its focus has remained to integrate the many fields of specialization which occur in the broad field of biology. The SICB is organized around 11 divisions, each relevant to a major segment of biology.
The SICB is dedicated to promoting the pursuit and public dissemination of important information relating to biology. Research is presented in numerous symposia during the SICB Annual Meeting.