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Two RU student biology researchers honored at state Wildlife Society gathering

RU's Fallon Parker and Brenna Hyzy at the VATWS awards presentation ceremony.

RU's Fallon Parker and Brenna Hyzy at the Virginia chapter of the Wildlife Society awards presentation ceremony.

At the 2014 Annual Meeting of the Virginia Chapter of The Wildlife Society (VATWS) in Front Royal, Va., Feb. 4-5, two Radford University student researchers were recognized with awards.

Fallon Parker, a junior biology major from Dandridge, Tenn., won the 2014 VATWS "Excellence in Wildlife Stewardship through Science and Education Scholarship."  Parker is the third consecutive RU student to win the annual scholarship, a $500 award given to a Virginia student pursuing a wildlife biology career.

In the student research presentation competition, Brenna Hyzy, a junior biology major from Woodbridge, Va., took second place honors and a $50 prize for a talk about her research on the condition of Virginia's gray bat population from 2009-13 since the onset of White-nose Syndrome, a sometimes-lethal fungus currently ravaging the hibernating bat population in the U.S. Hyzy was one of two undergraduate presenters in an eight-person field of presenters that included graduate and doctoral candidates.

"The presentation was quite impressive," said Karen Powers, associate professor of biology and VATWS president. "Brenna gave the best talk by an undergraduate I have seen in my seven years at RU."

Other poster presentations by RU students included:

  • "Contributing to fisheries conservation in Knoxville, Tenn." by Parker
  • "Use of Radford Army Ammunition Plant magazines as artificial bat hibernacula" by J. Alex Pearce, a junior biology major from Red House, Va.
  • "Within-season temporal variation in reproductive success of eastern bluebirds, Sialia sialis, in southwestern Virginia" by Emily Clark, a senior biology major from Roanoke.
  • "Animal surveys at the Radford Army Ammunition Plant in summer 2013" by Nikohl Miller, a senior biology major from Vinton, Va.

Twelve members of the RU chapter of the TWS attended the event which featured a panel discussion of the 40-year-old Endangered Species Act and a presentation about the toxic effects of lead ammunition ingested by humans and animals. RU is one of two chapters of the national organization that represents and serves the professional community of scientists, managers, educators, technicians, planners and others who actively work to study, manage, and conserve wildlife and habitats.

RU's chapter of the Wildlife Society at the VATWS annual meeting in Front Roya

RU's chapter of the Wildlife Society at the VATWS annual meeting in Front Royal (from left): Karen Powers, advisor, Fallon Parker, Kristy Galloway, Brenna Hyzy, Kelly Frohnapfel, Emily Clark, Renee Jessee, Alex Pearce, Michelle Maurer, Andrew Cohen, Nikohl Miller, Allyse Fritz and Kelsey Wessman

Feb 11, 2014