Cal Lutheran students to present research

Subjects range from microfibers to wildfire prediction

Kayla Cross, a senior from Bakersfield majoring in biology and minoring in chemistry, studied nttA, a protein secreted by the pathogen that causes Legionnaires’ disease, and its role in helping the bacterium establish infection.

Photo: Brian Stethem

(THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Sept. 25, 2019) More than 60 of California Lutheran University’s top undergraduates will present their findings at the 16th Annual Student Research Symposium on Saturday, Oct. 12.

Six students will give oral presentations on some of the top projects from 1 to 2:30 p.m. in Lundring Events Center on the Thousand Oaks campus:

  • Kayla Cross, a senior from Bakersfield majoring in biology and minoring in chemistry, studied nttA, a protein secreted by the pathogen that causes Legionnaires’ disease, and its role in helping the bacterium establish infection.
  • Eliana Goncuian, a junior from Calabasas majoring in biology and minoring in chemistry, studied the basic chemical reactions of a model protein involved in staph infections that may lead to new antibiotics targeting MRSA.
  • Claire Meuter, a senior from Indiana majoring in environmental science, studied intersexual dominance among squirrel monkeys in Eastern Amazonia in Brazil in a project titled “Females Rule, Males Drool.”
  • Jade Moore, a senior from Colorado majoring in psychology, researched the impact of a defendant’s race and gender on potential jurors’ willingness to discard a recanted confession.
  • Augustus Wachbrit, a sophomore from Newbury Park majoring in English and philosophy, researched the impact of a summer philosophy program on the critical thinking skills of high school students. 
  • Sheryl Zelaya, a senior from Honduras majoring in computer science and minoring in multimedia, researched the inner workings of blockchain programming, a leading technology in cryptocurrencies.

All of the students will present their results in demonstrations and posters and talk to visitors from 2:30 to 4 p.m. in Soiland Recreation Center. Additional topics that will be featured in this session include the presence of microfibers in Ventura County marine areas; the ability to predict a major fire in the county with freely available wind, temperature and precipitation data from weather stations; and the effects of using the terms “universal health care,” “single-payer” and “Medicare for all” on the political viability of the policy.

Most of the students received fellowships funded by donors or federal grants to work full time on their projects in collaboration with faculty mentors during the summer.  

Cal Lutheran’s Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Scholarship and ALLIES in STEM and McNair programs are sponsoring the free events. The locations are inside the Gilbert Sports and Fitness Center on the north side of Olsen Road. For a complete schedule, visit CalLutheran.edu/srs. For more information, call 805-493-3796 or email OURCS@callutheran.edu.

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