Due to inclement weather, UVa-Wise is closed on Thursday, March 5.

Science students to present at forums


Several science majors from The University of Virginia’s College at Wise were invited to present their research papers at different symposiums in the region.

Meghan Mullins will present a paper on “An Examination of Pulmonary Function in Individuals in a Hotspot for Coal Workers’ Pneumoconiosis” at East Tennessee State University’s Appalachian Student Research Forum.

In her paper, Mullins examines the effects tobacco products have on coal miners diagnosed with Coal Worker’s Pneumoconiosis (CWP) in regions considered hotspots for CWP prevalence. Her results found the use of tobacco products does have an impact on pulmonary function for coal miners diagnosed with CWP.

Jennifer Fulton will present a paper on “Herpetofauna as indicator species in the health of riparian buffer zones” at ETSU’s Appalachian Student Research Forum.

Fulton’s paper will address the use of reptiles and amphibians found within a site to examine the health of an ecosystem. By sampling selected sites around Norton and Coeburn, Fulton found herpetofauna to be a good indicator in evaluating the health of an ecosystem.

Jesse Miles will present a paper on “Effects of Riparian Habitat Disturbance on Salamander Occupancy and Assemblage Composition” at the ETSU forum and at an upcoming symposium at Emory and Henry College.

In his paper, Miles examines the impact mineral extraction has on a habitat’s species. By examining the Guest River Gorge in Wise County, he found mineral extraction is capable of influencing a habitat’s local species.

 Kinsey Hall, and Samantha Smith will present research on the “Synthesis, characterization, and initial biophysical reactivity of [η⁶-(C₆H₆)Ru(curcuminoid)Cl] complexes” at the American Chemical Society National Meeting in New Orleans on April 6-11 and at the Emory and Henry conference on April 19.

In their research, Hall and Smith synthesized a series of oganometallic ruthenium piano-stool complexes with curcuminoids as co-ligands from the reaction of [(C₆H₆)RuCl2]2 with the curcuminoid in a methanolic solution containing potassium hydroxide. They also investigated the interactions of the complexes with calf-thymus DNA using absorption and fluorescence spectroscopies as well as viscometric methods.