Student research: Sarah Weiner

In recent years, many have speculated that climate change is the driving force behind the spike in cases of Lyme disease in the northeastern United States.  It would be really useful for the public if we could use climate data to predict places and times at risk for Lyme disease.  In her senior project, Sarah Weiner used public records from the United States Drought Monitor to create a climate index.  Then, with guidance from professor Felicia Keesing, Sarah built statistical models to see whether this climate index could be used to predict year-to-year variation in Lyme disease incidence at the county level.  Sarah found that climate is not a practical way to predict Lyme disease outbreaks, and that other factors, such as location, are much better predictors.

Microscopy tutorial

This spring semester, two Bard biology students (Maia Weisenhaus and Sadie Marvel) were enrolled in a microscopy tutorial with professor Brooke Jude. Every week they would come up with new ideas for projects, and then figured out how to do them as they went along. In the words of one of the students: “It’s fun to learn these microscopy techniques without the formal structure of being in a class. It’s very exploratory!”

You can see more photos from the tutorial on the tutorial tumblr.

Hudson Valley Life Science conference

Five biology students brought their senior project posters to the Hudson Valley Life Science Group (HVLSG) Spring Research Symposium, which was held at Vassar college this year. The conference was a blast, with about 30 students participating, and a great keynote lecture about frogs and owls (by Vassar professor Megan Gall).