Asbury Science Students Receive Top Scores for Research Presentations – Asbury University
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Asbury Science Students Receive Top Scores for Research Presentations

Students presented at Kentucky Academy of Science Annual Meeting

December 14, 2023

Among a field of more than 600 students and professional scientists from across the state, seven Asbury University students in the Shaw School of Sciences recently received top scores for research presentations given at the Kentucky Academy of Science’s 2023 Annual Meeting November 3-4 at Northern Kentucky University. Panels of scientists judged students’ research presentations and offered special recognition to top-scorers who earned 25 or more points on a scoring rubric.

“The presentations at this year’s meeting prove that students in Kentucky are adding to the world’s body of scientific knowledge in meaningful ways,” said Kentucky Academy of Science Executive Director Amanda Fuller. “The exceptional quality of the students’ work highlights the limitless potential of our state’s future science leaders.”

Asbury University students whose presentations were among the top-scorers selected for special recognition included:

  • Sara Brewer ’24: “eDNA detection of four-toed salamanders (Hemidactylium scutatum): Mitochondrial evolution rates in assay development”
  • Hope Brown ’24: “Development of environmental DNA (eDNA) qPCR assays for the detection of darter species: Significance of phylogeography”
  • Joanne Jung ’24: “Inhibition of NHE1 Reduces Self-Renewal in TALL LICs: Potential Mechanism by Mitochondrial Alterations”
  • Noah M. Clark ’24: “Floristic species richness survey along hiking trails of Kentucky River Palisades”
  • Ewing Wiley ’24: “Restoration of a Lonicera maackii invaded forest: Can native species compete in order to restore the forests?”
  • Rebekah Bogle ’24: “Modeling the structure of molten and glassy silicates from X-ray and Neutron Diffraction studies”
  • Katherine Stanley ’24: “Characterization of a Molybdenum Carboxylate Catalytic Precursor for Hydrodesulfurization”

“The success of these students reflects a variety of research and not a single area of science,” said Shaw School of Sciences Dean Dr. Vins Sutlive. “Individually, each student and their faculty mentor have produced a significant project. Collectively, they have represented the science programs at Asbury University very well.”

“It is an honor but also a huge source of encouragement to be a top scorer at KAS,” said Biology senior Brewer. “Each poster is judged by qualified scientists, so their assessment is meaningful and legitimate. As a young scientist, their endorsement of my research is the most valuable aspect of being a top scorer!”

“It means a lot to score in the top for KAS, and I want to thank Dr. Ruffner for all of the help that he offered during this whole process,” said Wiley, a senior Biology major.

Asbury science students continue to gain valuable experience while in school. This year, Veronica Rojas ’24 served as a Markey STRONG Scholar at the UK Markey Cancer Center, which gives students from underrepresented groups the opportunity to get hands-on experience in a supportive learning environment. Rojas studied cancer screening among Hispanic adults with Markey STRONG Mentor Juan Canedo, D.H.S. Learn more:

The full list of students whose research presentations received special recognition for their research can be viewed at:

For more information about the Annual Meeting – including abstracts of research presentations, photos, and video – go online to

The Kentucky Academy of Science is a nonprofit organization, founded in 1914. Its mission is to catalyze scientific communication and collaboration that will improve research, education, and evidence-based public engagement within the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

The Shaw School of Sciences offers fourteen majors and six minors, including biology, chemistry, and physics: The Shaw Collaborative Learning Center offers eleven laboratories, with spaces dedicated to eDNA research, cell and molecular biochemistry, ecology and environmental science, physics, organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, instrumentation, biology preparation, chemistry preparation, and collaborative innovation.