Research and Grants

Matthew Schwartz, Environmental Studies, and Wade Jeffrey, Center for Environmental Diagnostics and Bioremediation, have received an award of $3,500 from the Florida Sea Grant for a project titled "Preliminary Data Analysis to Test Land-Use Influence on Red Tide in Choctawhatchee Bay, Florida." This project will analyze estuarine water samples to quantify the red tide populations from two neighboring Northwest Florida bayous from an outbreak in October-December, 2007.

George Stewart, Biology, was awarded $10,515 from Alcon Research, Ltd. for a project titled "Antimicrobial Activity of Contact Lens Care Products Against Acanthamoeba." This project will provide analysis services for Acanthamoeba testing and product evaluation.

Richard Snyder, Center for Environmental Diagnostics and Bioremediation, was awarded $7,790 from the Northwest Florida Water Management District for a project, "Wet Prairie Habitat Restoration Evaluation and Measurement on Garcon Point Water Management Area." The study will continue work to evaluate and measure effects of attempts to restore the wetlands property to its natural state and provide research information that will enhance efforts for wet prairie habitat restoration, enhancement and maintenance in Northwest Florida.

Tim Royappa, Chemistry, was awarded $2,892 from Avista Technologies, Inc. for a project, "Hyperbranched PAA Chemical Literature Research and Preparation Procedures." The published literature on hyperbranched polyacrylic acid (PAA) and closely-related polymers will be reviewed. Papers containing the most promising synthetic routes to hyperbranched PAA will be identified and compiled. The published syntheses of hyperbranched PAA will be digested into "recipes" for Avista Technologies to try in their applications. These will be written laboratory procedures for Avista to use in their attempts to synthesize hyperbranched or branched PAA appropriate for a practicing chemist.

Philip Darby, Biology, was awarded $9,996 from St. John's River Water Management District to conduct a research project titled "Baseline Monitoring of Apple Snails as Indicators of Restoration Success." This project will provide a baseline monitoring network and protocol for sampling Apple Snails in the Blue Cypress Water Management Area (BCWMA) as part of a "Conservation Recommendation" for the District. The project will establish eight permanent fixed Apple Snail monitoring sites in wet prairie habitats in the BCWMA and provide baseline density estimates of adult Apple Snails for each site for one year.

The National Institutes of Health hereby awards a grant in the amount of $171,188 toHui-Min Chung, an assistant professor in Biology. This grant is to use the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster to examine the effect of a protein called gamma-secretase on animal development and aging process. The information here will shed light on how a compromised gamma-secretase activity in adults that is manifested in neurodegeneration like what occurs in patients with Alzheimer's disease.

Florida apple snail

Phillip Darby, Biology, has been funded $42,844 by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Florida apple snail (FFWCC) to continue monitoring populations of native and exotic apple snail populations and to test a variety basic hypothesis regarding wetland fauna inhabiting central Florida lakes. This is the sixth consecutive year (and ninth year overall) that Darby has been funded to provide scientifically based management recommendations for improving water management and habitat management plans for fisheries and wildlife habitats developed by the FFWCC. See website for more information.

Fish in water

Fish America has awarded $13,873 to Dr. Wayne Bennett, Professor in Biology and Karon Radzik, graduate assistant, for a project titled, "Anatomical injury and survival of red snapper vented and unvented juvenile red snapper, Litjanus campechanus, after rapid decompression, and implications for management". The University of West Florida, under the direction of Dr. Wayne Bennett and Karon Radzik, will evaluate and compare fish in the vented and unvented stage. This project is important from the standpoint of fisheries management and conservation because it addresses gaps in our knowledge of reef and hard bottom associated sport fishes relative to current management practices.

Beach Pier

The Petroleum Research Fund has awarded $35,000 to Dr. Michael Huggins, Chair of the Chemistry Department at The University of West Florida, for a project titled "Pyrrole Amides and Their Use as Building Blocks for the Preparation of Anion Receptors." The research will focus on the synthesis of novel pyrrole amides as building blocks for the preparation of molecular receptors and their potential use in sensor development, waste remediation, catalysis and disease treatments.

Amy Mitchell-Cook, Department of History and Della Scott-Ireton, of the Florida Public Archaeology Network accepted a grant for $8,668 "Save Our History" grant from The History Channel for the project, "Unearthing Pensacola's Heritage: Creating a District-Wide Educational Fieldtrip for Middle School Students."

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