Awards & Distinctions

Coe Wins National Biology Research Award

Siena Heights University graduate Lauren Coe '12 won a national biology award for her presentation at the national Beta Beta Beta Biological Honors Society research conference in May 2012 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Coe, a native of Perrysburg, Ohio, earned the Frank Brooks Award in ecology for her presentation on the effects of leaf color on the landing choice, egg-laying preference and larval growth of the cabbage white butterfly.

“Why female butterflies prefer to lay their eggs on certain plants, but not others, has puzzled biologists for over a century,” said SHU Professor of Biology Dr. Jun Tsuji, who guided and supervised Coe’s research. “The prevailing thought is that the females choose to lay eggs on plants that are the most suitable for the growth of their offspring. Lauren’s research results, however, suggest that female butterfly behavior may not always be for the benefit of her offspring.”

Coe is only the second Siena Heights student to earn a first place at the national biology conference. Billy Houghteling also received the honor in 1996.

Coe was one of more than 300 students from 52 colleges and universities who presented at the conference. An 11-member delegation from SHU’s Xi Omega chapter of Beta Beta Beta attended the national conference. She also received a first place for her presentation at the regional Beta Beta Beta conference in March. 

In addition, Jared Pirkle '12 earned a third place for his presentation at the same conference in May 2012.

Pirkle, a native of Deerfield, Mich., earned the John Johnson Award in organismal biology for his poster presentation on the circadian activity of the house mouse.

According to SHU Professor of Biology Dr. Carl Kaster, who guided and supervised Pirkle’s research, Pirkle used the house mouse during his research project to study circadian activity.  

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Lacey Wilmot Rao '02

Biology Graduate; Orthopedic Surgeon
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