Undergrad Student Wins KAS Research Award

Sophomore Ben Adams has been granted an Undergraduate Research Program Award from the Kentucky Academy of Science.
Sophomore Ben Adams has been granted an Undergraduate Research Program Award from the Kentucky Academy of Science.

The Kentucky Academy of Science has announced that Asbury University sophomore Ben Adams is one of two students in Kentucky to receive a 2012 KAS Undergraduate Research Program Award.

The award, which includes funding for research, has been granted for his proposal titled, “Effects of atrazine on chemical alarm cue response in predator and prey centrarchid species.” Adams will begin his research in the Fall 2012 semester in the Department of Natural Sciences under the direction of his research advisor, Asbury University Assistant Professor Dr. Ben Brammell.

“Ben is working towards a career as a scientist and has a tremendous amount of potential,” Brammell said. “It is highly unusual for an undergraduate to have a funded proposal on his or her resume, and it will set him apart from most other candidates as he approaches graduate school.”

Adams’ research builds on research currently being conducted by senior biology major Demetria Todd. When a small fish is eaten by a larger fish, molecules are released into the water that serve as warning signals to nearby fish that predators are present. Adams’ research will explore the possibility that atrazine, the most widely used agricultural herbicide in the United States, disrupts this chemical signal. The effects of atrazine on organisms in the environment are controversial in the scientific community; Adams’ study will provide valuable insight into this largely unexplored aspect of potential herbicide impact.   

The longear sunfish is one of the species Adams will study.
The longear sunfish is one of the species Adams will study.

The Kentucky Academy of Science is a non-profit organization whose goals are to encourage scientific research, promote the diffusion of scientific knowledge and unify the scientific interests of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Established in 1914, the Academy is an affiliate of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the National Association of Academies of Science.

For more information about Asbury’s Department of Natural Sciences, click here.

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