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Dr. David Siemens, Black Hills State University assistant professor, and five graduate students recently attended the National Ecological Genomics Symposium in Kansas City, Mo.       

Callie Ackerman from Hulett, Wyo.; Raeann Mettler from Rapid City; Riston Haugen from Baltic; Samantha Hersrud from Sturgis; and Shane Ziegenbein from Sturgis, all integrative genomics graduate students, presented on their ongoing research.

Ackerman’s poster “Diversity of Thermophilic Microorganisms within Hawaiian Fumaroles” presented her study of diversity within fumarolic environments.  Ackerman’s research was co-authored by Drs. Steven Anderson and Cynthia Anderson.

“Molecular Analysis of Grosbeak Hybridization in South Dakota” was presented by Mettler at the conference. Mettler and Dr. Garth Spellman researched genetics and reproductive barriers for Grosbeak bird species. 

Haugen and Siemens presented “Template for Evolutionary and Ecological Functional Genomics: Population Genetic Structure within a Population,” a poster about the need for a model system to study different genotypes within a population.

In the poster “Gene X Environment Interactions and Human Behavior”, Hersrud and BHSU psychology professor Dr. Scott Stoltenberg studied how genotypes influence stress and anxiety.

Siemens has attended the conference the last three years.  Haugen, Hersrud, Mettler, and Ackerman attended last year. The symposium aims to link responses of living systems to environmental change at the genetic level. 

For more information, contact Siemens at 642-6322 or DavidSiemens@BHSU.edu.