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ASU Electronic Theses and Dissertations


This collection includes most of the ASU Theses and Dissertations from 2011 to present. ASU Theses and Dissertations are available in downloadable PDF format; however, a small percentage of items are under embargo. Information about the dissertations/theses includes degree information, committee members, an abstract, supporting data or media.

In addition to the electronic theses found in the ASU Digital Repository, ASU Theses and Dissertations can be found in the ASU Library Catalog.

Dissertations and Theses granted by Arizona State University are archived and made available through a joint effort of the ASU Graduate College and the ASU Libraries. For more information or questions about this collection contact or visit the Digital Repository ETD Library Guide or contact the ASU Graduate College at gradformat@asu.edu.


Subject
Date Range
2010 2019


Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that interact with the hormone system to negative effect. They ‘disrupt’ normal processes to cause diseases like vaginal cancer and obesity, reproductive issues like t-shaped uteri and infertility, and developmental abnormalities like spina bifida and cleft palate. These chemicals are ubiquitous in our daily lives, components in everything from toothpaste to microwave popcorn to plastic water bottles. My dissertation looks at the history, science, and regulation of these impactful substances in order to answer the question of how endocrine disruptors appeared, got interpreted by different groups, and what role science played in the process. My analysis …

Contributors
Abboud, Alexis, Maienschein, Jane A, Crow, Michael M, et al.
Created Date
2018

Single cell analysis has become increasingly important in understanding disease onset, progression, treatment and prognosis, especially when applied to cancer where cellular responses are highly heterogeneous. Through the advent of single cell computerized tomography (Cell-CT), researchers and clinicians now have the ability to obtain high resolution three-dimensional (3D) reconstructions of single cells. Yet to date, no live-cell compatible version of the technology exists. In this thesis, a microfluidic chip with the ability to rotate live single cells in hydrodynamic microvortices about an axis parallel to the optical focal plane has been demonstrated. The chip utilizes a novel 3D microchamber design …

Contributors
Myers, Jakrey, Meldrum, Deirdre, Johnson, Roger, et al.
Created Date
2012

Facial projection--i.e., the position of the upper face relative to the anterior cranial fossa--is an important component of craniofacial architecture in primates. Study of its variation is therefore important to understanding the bases of primate craniofacial form. Such research is relevant to studies of human evolution because the condition in Homo sapiens--in which facial projection is highly reduced, with the facial skeleton located primarily inferior (rather than anterior) to the braincase--is derived vis-à-vis other primates species, including others in the genus Homo. Previous research suggested that variation in facial projection is explained by: (1) cranial base angulation; (2) upper facial …

Contributors
Ritzman, Terrence Bradley, Schwartz, Gary T, Kimbel, William H, et al.
Created Date
2014

One hypothesis for the small size of insects relative to vertebrates, and the existence of giant fossil insects, is that atmospheric oxygen levels have constrained body sizes because oxygen delivery would be unable to match the needs of metabolically active tissues in larger insects. This study tested whether oxygen delivery becomes more challenging for larger insects by measuring the oxygen-sensitivity of flight metabolic rates and behavior during hovering for 11 different species of dragonflies that range in mass by an order of magnitude. Animals were flown in 7 different oxygen concentrations ranging from 30% to 2.5% to assess the sensitivity …

Contributors
Henry, Joanna Randyl, Harrison, Jon F, Kaiser, Alexander, et al.
Created Date
2011

Two nearly homogenous 60 acre watersheds near Heber, Arizona, within the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, were burned at moderate and high severities during the 2002 Rodeo-Chediski wildfire. Each watershed had 30 permanent plots located on it from earlier studies. In 2011, nearly 10 years following the fire, the plots were re-measured to determine how fire severity affects the long term vegetative recovery of this ecosystem; specifically herbaceous production and tree regeneration and density. Canopy cover, litter depth, herbaceous weight, herbaceous cover and shrub cover are vital indicators of herbaceous production, and were found to be significantly different between the sites. Canopy …

Contributors
Neeley, Heidi L., Alford, Eddie, Pyne, Stephen, et al.
Created Date
2012

Despite the minor differences in the inclusiveness of the word, there is a general assumption among the scientific community that the 'pursuit of knowledge' is the most fundamental element in defining the word 'science'. However, a closer examination of how science is being conducted in modern-day South Korea reveals a value system starkly different from the value of knowledge. By analyzing the political discourse of the South Korean policymakers, mass media, and government documents, this study examines the definition of science in South Korea. The analysis revealed that the Korean science, informed by the cultural, historical, and societal contexts, is …

Contributors
Hyun, Byunghun, Hurlbut, Ben, Maienschein, Jane, et al.
Created Date
2011

Researchers in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries identify the study of the intrinsic and external factors that influence human aging as senescence. A commonly held belief in the year 2015 is that at least some kinds of cells can replicate over long periods or even indefinitely, thereby meaning the cell does not undergo senescence (also known as replicative senescence) and is considered immortal. This study aims to provide information to answer the following question: While some scientists claim they can indefinitely culture a stem cell line in vitro, what are the consequences of those culturing practices? An analysis of a …

Contributors
Bartlett, Zane N., Maienschein, Jane, Ellison, Karin, et al.
Created Date
2015

A key factor in the success of social animals is their organization of work. Mathematical models have been instrumental in unraveling how simple, individual-based rules can generate collective patterns via self-organization. However, existing models offer limited insights into how these patterns are shaped by behavioral differences within groups, in part because they focus on analyzing specific rules rather than general mechanisms that can explain behavior at the individual-level. My work argues for a more principled approach that focuses on the question of how individuals make decisions in costly environments. In Chapters 2 and 3, I demonstrate how this approach provides …

Contributors
Udiani, Oyita Udiani, Kang, Yun, Fewell, Jennifer H, et al.
Created Date
2016

Skeletal muscles arise from the myotome compartment of the somites that form during vertebrate embryonic development. Somites are transient structures serve as the anlagen for the axial skeleton, skeletal muscle, tendons, and dermis, as well as imposing the metameric patterning of the axial musculoskeletal system, peripheral nerves, and vasculature. Classic studies have described the role of Notch, Wnt, and FGF signaling pathways in controlling somite formation and muscle formation. However, little is known about the transformation of myotome compartments into identifiable post-natal muscle groups. Using a mouse model, I have undertaken an evaluation of morphological events, including hypertrophy and hyperplasia, …

Contributors
Deruiter, Corinne, Rawls, J. Alan, Wilson-Rawls, Jeanne, et al.
Created Date
2012

Gene-centric theories of evolution by natural selection have been popularized and remain generally accepted in both scientific and public paradigms. While gene-centrism is certainly parsimonious, its explanations fall short of describing two patterns of evolutionary and social phenomena: the evolution of sex and the evolution of social altruism. I review and analyze current theories on the evolution of sex. I then introduce the conflict presented to gene-centric evolution by social phenomena such as altruism and caste sterility in eusocial insects. I review gene-centric models of inclusive fitness and kin selection proposed by Hamilton and Maynard Smith. Based their assumptions, that …

Contributors
Jacobson, Neal Bradley, Gadau, Juergen, Laubichler, Manfred, et al.
Created Date
2012

An insect society needs to share information about important resources in order to collectively exploit them. This task poses a dilemma if the colony must consider multiple resource types, such as food and nest sites. How does it allocate workers appropriately to each resource, and how does it adapt its recruitment communication to the specific needs of each resource type? In this dissertation, I investigate these questions in the ant Temnothorax rugatulus. In Chapter 1, I summarize relevant past work on food and nest recruitment. Then I describe T. rugatulus and its recruitment behavior, tandem running, and I explain its …

Contributors
Cho, John Yohan, Pratt, Stephen C, Hölldobler, Bert, et al.
Created Date
2019

In most diploid cells, autosomal genes are equally expressed from the paternal and maternal alleles resulting in biallelic expression. However, as an exception, there exists a small number of genes that show a pattern of monoallelic or biased-allele expression based on the allele’s parent-of-origin. This phenomenon is termed genomic imprinting and is an evolutionary paradox. The best explanation for imprinting is David Haig's kinship theory, which hypothesizes that monoallelic gene expression is largely the result of evolutionary conflict between males and females over maternal involvement in their offspring. One previous RNAseq study has investigated the presence of parent-of-origin effects, or …

Contributors
Underwood, Avery, Wilson, Melissa, Buetow, Kenneth, et al.
Created Date
2019

Throughout the Southwest, complex geology and physiography concomitant with climatic variability contribute to diverse stream hydrogeomorphologies. Many riparian plant species store their seeds in soil seed banks, and germinate in response to moisture pulses, but the climatic controls of this response are poorly understood. To better understand the ecological implications of a changing climate on riparian plant communities, I investigated seed bank responses to seasonal temperature patterns and to stream hydrogeomorphic type. I asked the following questions: Are there distinct suites of warm and cool temperature germinating species associated with Southwestern streams; how do they differ between riparian and terrestrial …

Contributors
Setaro, Danika, Stromberg, Juliet, Franklin, Janet, et al.
Created Date
2016

Greater than 11% of the total population of Americans age 12 and older were illicit drug users with close to 1 million suffering from cocaine use disorder in 2017 alone (SAMHSA, 2017), yet there are no effective pharmacological treatments for this disorder. Previous research from the Neisewander Laboratory in male rats found that administration of a 5-HT1BR agonist facilitates cocaine intake when given prior to a daily self-administration session, while inhibiting cocaine intake and attenuating drug-seeking behavior following 21 days of protracted abstinence, yet it is not known whether such effects are observed in female rats. Women face unique challenges …

Contributors
Scott, Samantha Nicola, Neisewander, Janet L, Olive, Michael F, et al.
Created Date
2019

The Multiple Antibiotic Resistance Regulator Family (MarR) are transcriptional regulators, many of which forms a dimer. Transcriptional regulation provides bacteria a stabilized responding system to ensure the bacteria is able to efficiently adapt to different environmental conditions. The main function of the MarR family is to create multiple antibiotic resistance from a mutated protein; this process occurs when the MarR regulates an operon. We hypothesized that different transcriptional regulator genes have interactions with each other. It is known that Salmonella pagC transcription is activated by three regulators, i.e., SlyA, MprA, and PhoP. Bacterial Adenylate Cyclase-based Two-Hybrid (BACTH) system was used …

Contributors
Tao, Zenan, Shi, Yixin, Wang, Xuan, et al.
Created Date
2018

Advocacy groups work across many aspects of “death with dignity” practice and treatment, and provide insight across multiple aspects of “death with dignity”. This study argues that key advocacy groups in the American death with dignity movement influenced the broader conceptualization of death with dignity in a way that makes patients more able to achieve it. This influence has been a dynamic process across different periods of practice starting the discussion of “death with dignity” in 1985 through today, although this thesis extends only to 2011. The question in this study is how do the three main historical advocacy groups …

Contributors
Cohan, Hailey E, Ellison, Karin, O'Neil, Erica, et al.
Created Date
2019

ABSTRACT 1. Aposematic signals advertise prey distastefulness or metabolic unprofitability to potential predators and have evolved independently in many prey groups over the course of evolutionary history as a means of protection from predation. Most aposematic signals investigated to date exhibit highly chromatic patterning; however, relatives in these toxic groups with patterns of very low chroma have been largely overlooked. 2. We propose that bright displays with low chroma arose in toxic prey species because they were more effective at deterring predation than were their chromatic counterparts, especially when viewed in relatively low light environments such as forest understories. 3. …

Contributors
Douglas, Jonathan Marion, Rutowski, Ronald L, Gadau, Juergen, et al.
Created Date
2013

Sexual violence, as defined by the Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network (RAINN), is used as an all-encompassing term to include crimes of sexual assault, rape, and sexual abuse (RAINN, 2016). There are numerous negative impacts of sexual violence on a victim. Victims of sexual violence experience negative health impacts, such as physical injuries from the result of sexual violence and unwanted reproductive consequences, such as the risk of sexually transmitted infections or unwanted pregnancy (Shahali et. al, 2016). They also suffer from long-term psychological impacts, such as long-term emotional trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (Reddington & Kriesel, 2005). The …

Contributors
Kim, Grace, Maienschein, Jane, Ellison, Karin, et al.
Created Date
2017

The phycologist, M. R. Droop, studied vitamin B12 limitation in the flagellate Monochrysis lutheri and concluded that its specific growth rate depended on the concentration of the vitamin within the cell; i.e. the cell quota of the vitamin B12. The Droop model provides a mathematical expression to link growth rate to the intracellular concentration of a limiting nutrient. Although the Droop model has been an important modeling tool in ecology, it has only recently been applied to study cancer biology. Cancer cells live in an ecological setting, interacting and competing with normal and other cancerous cells for nutrients and space, …

Contributors
Everett, Rebecca Anne, Kuang, Yang, Nagy, John, et al.
Created Date
2015

Corporations in biomedicine hold significant power and influence, in both political and personal spheres. The decisions these companies make about ethics are critically important, as they help determine what products are developed, how they are developed, how they are promoted, and potentially even how they are regulated. In the last fifteen years, for-profit private companies have been assembling bioethics committees to help resolve dilemmas that require informed deliberation about ethical, legal, scientific, and economic considerations. Private sector bioethics committees represent an important innovation in the governance of emerging technologies, with corporations taking a lead role in deciding what is ethically …

Contributors
Brian, Jennifer Elizabeth Dyck, Robert, Jason S, Maienschein, Jane, et al.
Created Date
2012

This work is an assemblage of three applied projects that address the institutional and spatial constraints to managing threatened and endangered (T & E) terrestrial species. The first project looks at the role of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in protecting wildlife and whether banning non–conservation activities on multi-use federal lands is socially optimal. A bioeconomic model is used to identify scenarios where ESA–imposed regulations emerge as optimal strategies and to facilitate discussion on feasible long–term strategies in light of the ongoing public land–use debate. Results suggest that banning harmful activities is a preferred strategy when valued species are in …

Contributors
Salau, Kehinde Rilwan, Janssen, Marco A, Fenichel, Eli P, et al.
Created Date
2013

Patients who attend genetic counseling appointments report high anxiety and varied satisfaction levels following their appointments. It has been suggested in previous literature that some of the increase in anxiety and reduction in satisfaction is caused by lack of prior information. Here, I investigated whether providing patients with a glossary of genetic terms prior to their counseling appointment improves patient satisfaction and reduces anxiety in an oncology genetic counseling appointment. I surveyed 96 patients attending their first genetic counseling appointment at Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center and analyzed 92 patients for which I had complete data. Patients were randomly selected …

Contributors
Peon, Lidia Maria, Wilson Sayres, Melissa A, Buetow, Kenneth H, et al.
Created Date
2018

There has been considerable advancement in the algae research field to move algae production for biofuels and bio-products forward to become commercially viable. However, there is one key element that humans cannot control, the natural externalities that impact production. An algae cultivation system is similar to agricultural crop farming practices. Algae are grown on an area of land for a certain time period with the aim of harvesting the biomass produced. One of the advantages of using algae biomass is that it can be used as a source of energy in the form of biofuels. Major advances in algae research …

Contributors
Puruhito, Emil, Sommerfeld, Milton, Gintz, Jerry, et al.
Created Date
2014

The Basilisk lizard is known for its agile locomotion capabilities on granular and aquatic media making it an impressive model organism for studying multi-terrain locomotion mechanics. The work presented here is aimed at understanding locomotion characteristics of Basilisk lizards through a systematic series of robotic and animal experiments. In this work, a Basilisk lizard inspired legged robot with bipedal and quadrupedal locomotion capabilities is presented. A series of robot experiments are conducted on dry and wet (saturated) granular media to determine the effects of gait parameters and substrate saturation, on robot velocity and energetics. Gait parameters studied here are stride …

Contributors
Jayanetti, Vidu, Marvi, Hamid, Emady, Heather, et al.
Created Date
2019

This study aims to unearth monological and monocultural discourses buried under the power of the dominant biomedical model governing the HIV/AIDS debate. The study responds to an apparent consensus, rooted in Western biomedicine and its "standardizations of knowledge," in the production of the current HIV/AIDS discourse, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. As a result, biomedicine has become the dominant actor (in) writing and rewriting discourse for the masses while marginalizing other forms of medical knowledge. Specifically, in its development, the Western biomedical model has arguably isolated the disease from its human host and the social experiences that facilitate the disease's transmission, …

Contributors
Abdalla, Mohamed Abdirazak, Jacobs, Bertram, Robert, Jason, et al.
Created Date
2014

Principle-based ethical frameworks, which commonly make use of codes of ethics, have come to be the popular approach in guiding ethical behavior within scientific research. In this thesis project, I investigate the benefits and shortcomings of this approach, ultimately to argue that codes of ethics are valuable as an exercise in developing a reconciled value profile for a given research community, and also function well as an internal and external proclamation of values and norms. However, this approach results in technical adherence, at best, and given the extent to which scientific research now irreversibly shapes our experience as human beings, …

Contributors
Craer, Jennifer Ryan, Ellison, Karin, Sarewitz, Daniel, et al.
Created Date
2017

The closer integration of the world economy has yielded many positive benefits including the worldwide diffusion of innovative technologies and efficiency gains following the widening of international markets. However, closer integration also has negative consequences. Specifically, I focus on the ecology and economics of the spread of species and pathogens. I approach the problem using theoretical and applied models in ecology and economics. First, I use a multi-species theoretical network model to evaluate the ability of dispersal to maintain system-level biodiversity and productivity. I then extend this analysis to consider the effects of dispersal in a coupled social-ecological system where …

Contributors
Shanafelt, David William, Perrings, Charles, Fenichel, Eli, et al.
Created Date
2016

This dissertation consists of three substantive chapters. The first substantive chapter investigates the premature harvesting problem in fisheries. Traditionally, yield-per-recruit analysis has been used to both assess and address the premature harvesting of fish stocks. However, the fact that fish size often affects the unit price suggests that this approach may be inadequate. In this chapter, I first synthesize the conventional yield-per-recruit analysis, and then extend this conventional approach by incorporating a size-price function for a revenue-per-recruit analysis. An optimal control approach is then used to derive a general bioeconomic solution for the optimal harvesting of a short-lived single cohort. …

Contributors
Huang, Biao, Abbott, Joshua K, Perrings, Charles, et al.
Created Date
2014

Anti-retroviral drugs and AIDS prevention programs have helped to decrease the rate of new HIV-1 infections in some communities, however, a prophylactic vaccine is still needed to control the epidemic world-wide. Despite over two decades of research, a vaccine against HIV-1 remains elusive, although recent clinical trials have shown promising results. Recent successes have focused on highly conserved, mucosally-targeted antigens within HIV-1 such as the membrane proximal external region (MPER) of the envelope protein, gp41. MPER has been shown to play critical roles in the viral mucosal transmission, though this peptide is not immunogenic on its own. Gag is a …

Contributors
Kessans, Sarah Adeline, Mor, Tsafrir S, Matoba, Nobuyuki, et al.
Created Date
2011

To address the need of scientists and engineers in the United States workforce and ensure that students in higher education become scientifically literate, research and policy has called for improvements in undergraduate education in the sciences. One particular pathway for improving undergraduate education in the science fields is to reform undergraduate teaching. Only a limited number of studies have explored the pedagogical content knowledge of postsecondary level teachers. This study was conducted to characterize the PCK of biology faculty and explore the factors influencing their PCK. Data included semi-structured interviews, classroom observations, documents, and instructional artifacts. A qualitative inquiry was …

Contributors
Hill, Kathleen M., Luft, Julie A., Baker, Dale, et al.
Created Date
2013

ABSTRACT The elephant tree, Bursera microphylla, is at the northern limit of its range in central Arizona. This species is sensitive to frost damage thus limiting its occurrence in more northern areas of the southwest. Marginal populations of B. microphylla are found in mountain ranges of Central Arizona and are known to occur in the rugged mountain range system of the South Mountain Municipal Park (SMMP). Little is known of the distribution of this species within the park and details relevant to the health of both individual plants and the population such as diameter and number of trunks, height, and …

Contributors
Cordova, Cesar, Steele, Kelly P., Tridane, Abdessaman, et al.
Created Date
2011

Currently in the US, many patients with cancer do not benefit from the population-based screening, due to challenges associated with the existing cancer screening scheme. Blood-based diagnostic assays have the potential to detect diseases in a non-invasive way. Proteins released from small early tumors may only be present intermittently and get diluted to tiny concentrations in the blood, making them difficult to use as biomarkers. However, they can induce autoantibody (AAb) responses, which can amplify the signal and persist in the blood even if the antigen is gone. Circulating autoantibodies is a promising class of molecules that have potential to …

Contributors
Wang, Jie, LaBaer, Joshua, Anderson, Karen S, et al.
Created Date
2015

Social insect colonies exhibit striking diversity in social organization. Included in this overwhelming variation in structure are differences in colony queen number. The number of queens per colony varies both intra- and interspecifically and has major impacts on the social dynamics of a colony and the fitness of its members. To understand the evolutionary transition from single to multi-queen colonies, I examined a species which exhibits variation both in mode of colony founding and in the queen number of mature colonies. The California harvester ant Pogonomyrmex californicus exhibits both variation in the number of queens that begin a colony (metrosis) …

Contributors
Overson, Rick, Gadau, Jürgen, Fewell, Jennifer H, et al.
Created Date
2011

In 1968, phycologist M.R. Droop published his famous discovery on the functional relationship between growth rate and internal nutrient status of algae in chemostat culture. The simple notion that growth is directly dependent on intracellular nutrient concentration is useful for understanding the dynamics in many ecological systems. The cell quota in particular lends itself to ecological stoichiometry, which is a powerful framework for mathematical ecology. Three models are developed based on the cell quota principal in order to demonstrate its applications beyond chemostat culture. First, a data-driven model is derived for neutral lipid synthesis in green microalgae with respect to …

Contributors
Packer, Aaron, Kuang, Yang, Nagy, John, et al.
Created Date
2014

Sexual and social signals have long been thought to play an important role in speciation and diversity; hence, investigations of intraspecific communication may lead to important insights regarding key processes of evolution. Though we have learned much about the control, function, and evolution of animal communication by studying several very common signal types, investigating rare classes of signals may provide new information about how and why animals communicate. My dissertation research focused on rapid physiological color change, a rare signal-type used by relatively few taxa. To answer longstanding questions about this rare class of signals, I employed novel methods to …

Contributors
Ligon, Russell Andrew, McGraw, Kevin J, McGraw, Kevin J, et al.
Created Date
2015

Emergence of multidrug resistant (MDR) bacteria is a major concern to global health. One of the major MDR mechanisms bacteria employ is efflux pumps for the expulsion of drugs from the cell. In Escherichia coli, AcrAB-TolC proteins constitute the major chromosomally-encoded drug efflux system. AcrB, a trimeric membrane protein is well-known for its substrate promiscuity. It has the ability to efflux a broad spectrum of substrates alongside compounds such as dyes, detergent, bile salts and metabolites. Newly identified AcrB residues were shown to be functionally relevant in the drug binding and translocation pathway using a positive genetic selection strategy. These …

Contributors
Blake, Mellecha Rose, Misra, Rajeev, Stout, Valerie, et al.
Created Date
2016

Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has been widely used to measure the retinotopic organization of early visual cortex in the human brain. Previous studies have identified multiple visual field maps (VFMs) based on statistical analysis of fMRI signals, but the resulting geometry has not been fully characterized with mathematical models. This thesis explores using concepts from computational conformal geometry to create a custom software framework for examining and generating quantitative mathematical models for characterizing the geometry of early visual areas in the human brain. The software framework includes a graphical user interface built on top of a selected core conformal …

Contributors
Ta, Duyan Nguyen, Wang, Yalin, Maciejewski, Ross, et al.
Created Date
2013

There is considerable recent interest in the dynamic nature of immune function in the context of an animal’s internal and external environment. An important focus within this field of ecoimmunology is on how availability of resources such as energy can alter immune function. Water is an additional resource that drives animal development, physiology, and behavior, yet the influence hydration has on immunity has received limited attention. In particular, hydration state may have the greatest potential to drive fluctuations in immunity and other physiological functions in species that live in water-limited environments where they may experience periods of dehydration. To shed …

Contributors
Moeller, Karla, DeNardo, Dale, Angilletta, Michael, et al.
Created Date
2016

For interspecific mutualisms, the behavior of one partner can influence the fitness of the other, especially in the case of symbiotic mutualisms where partners live in close physical association for much of their lives. Behavioral effects on fitness may be particularly important if either species in these long-term relationships displays personality. Animal personality is defined as repeatable individual differences in behavior, and how correlations among these consistent traits are structured is termed behavioral syndromes. Animal personality has been broadly documented across the animal kingdom but is poorly understood in the context of mutualisms. My dissertation focuses on the structure, causes, …

Contributors
Marting, Peter Reilly, Pratt, Stephen C, Wcislo, William T, et al.
Created Date
2018

Differences between males and females can evolve through a variety of mechanisms, including sexual and ecological selection. Because coloration is evolutionarily labile, sexually dichromatic species are good models for understanding the evolution of sex differences. While many jumping spiders exhibit diverse and brilliant coloration, they have been notably absent from such studies. In the genus Habronattus, females are drab and cryptic while males are brilliantly colored, displaying some of these colors to females during elaborate courtship dances. Here I test multiple hypotheses for the control and function of male color. In the field, I found that Habronattus males indiscriminately court …

Contributors
Taylor, Lisa A., Mcgraw, Kevin J, Clark, David L, et al.
Created Date
2012

Coal bed natural gas (CBNG) production has become a significant contribution to the nation's energy supply. Large volumes of water are generated as a byproduct of CBNG extraction, of which this "product water" is relatively high in sodium. High sodicity reduces water quality and limits environmentally compliant disposal options for producers. Crop irrigation with CBNG product water complies with state and federal laws and is a disposal method that also provides a beneficial use to private landowners. However, this disposal method typically requires gypsum and sulfur soil amendments due to the high levels of sodium in the water, which can …

Contributors
Adams, Shelly, Hall, Sharon, Chew, Matt, et al.
Created Date
2011

Fusion proteins that specifically interact with biochemical marks on chromosomes represent a new class of synthetic transcriptional regulators that decode cell state information rather than deoxyribose nucleic acid (DNA) sequences. In multicellular organisms, information relevant to cell state, tissue identity, and oncogenesis is often encoded as biochemical modifications of histones, which are bound to DNA in eukaryotic nuclei and regulate gene expression states. In 2011, Haynes et al. showed that a synthetic regulator called the Polycomb chromatin Transcription Factor (PcTF), a fusion protein that binds methylated histones, reactivated an artificially-silenced luciferase reporter gene. These synthetic transcription activators are derived from …

Contributors
Vargas, Daniel A., Haynes, Karmella, Wang, Xiao, et al.
Created Date
2019

The academic literature on science communication widely acknowledges a problem: science communication between experts and lay audiences is important, but it is not done well. General audience popular science books, however, carry a reputation for clear science communication and are understudied in the academic literature. For this doctoral dissertation, I utilize Sam Harris's The Moral Landscape, a general audience science book on the particularly thorny topic of neuroscientific approaches to morality, as a case-study to explore the possibility of using general audience science books as models for science communication more broadly. I conduct a literary analysis of the text that …

Contributors
Johnson, Nathan, Robert, Jason S, Creath, Richard, et al.
Created Date
2013

Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium) is a Gram-negative enteric pathogen that causes self-limiting gastroenteritis in healthy individuals and can cause systemic infections in those who are immunocompromised. During its natural lifecycle, S. Typhimurium encounters a wide variety of stresses it must sense and respond to in a dynamic and coordinated fashion to induce resistance and ensure survival. Salmonella is subjected to a series of stresses that include temperature shifts, pH variability, detergent-like bile salts, oxidative environments and changes in fluid shear levels. Previously, our lab showed that cultures of S. Typhimurium grown under physiological low fluid shear (LFS) conditions …

Contributors
Crenshaw, Keith Allen, Nickerson, Cheryl A, Barrila, Jennifer, et al.
Created Date
2016

The molt from pupae to adult stage, called eclosion, occurs at specific times of the day in many holometabolous insects. These events are not well studied within Lepidopteran species. It was hypothesized that the eclosion timing in a species may be shaped by strong selective pressures, such as sexual selection in the context of male-male competition. The daily timing of eclosion was measured for six species of nymphalid butterflies. This was done by rearing individuals to pupation, placing the pupa in a greenhouse, and video recording eclosion to obtain the time of day at which it occurred. Four species exhibited …

Contributors
Sencio, Kaylon, Rutowski, Ron, McGraw, Kevin, et al.
Created Date
2017

Once perceived as an unimportant occurrence in living organisms, cell degeneration was reconfigured as an important biological phenomenon in development, aging, health, and diseases in the twentieth century. This dissertation tells a twentieth-century history of scientific investigations on cell degeneration, including cell death and aging. By describing four central developments in cell degeneration research with the four major chapters, I trace the emergence of the degenerating cell as a scientific object, describe the generations of a variety of concepts, interpretations and usages associated with cell death and aging, and analyze the transforming influences of the rising cell degeneration research. Particularly, …

Contributors
Jiang, Lijing, Maienschein, Jane, Laubichler, Manfred, et al.
Created Date
2013

The healthcare system in this country is currently unacceptable. New technologies may contribute to reducing cost and improving outcomes. Early diagnosis and treatment represents the least risky option for addressing this issue. Such a technology needs to be inexpensive, highly sensitive, highly specific, and amenable to adoption in a clinic. This thesis explores an immunodiagnostic technology based on highly scalable, non-natural sequence peptide microarrays designed to profile the humoral immune response and address the healthcare problem. The primary aim of this thesis is to explore the ability of these arrays to map continuous (linear) epitopes. I discovered that using a …

Contributors
Richer, Joshua A., Johnston, Stephen A, Woodbury, Neal, et al.
Created Date
2014

Synthetic gene networks have evolved from simple proof-of-concept circuits to complex therapy-oriented networks over the past fifteen years. This advancement has greatly facilitated expansion of the emerging field of synthetic biology. Multistability is a mechanism that cells use to achieve a discrete number of mutually exclusive states in response to environmental inputs. However, complex contextual connections of gene regulatory networks in natural settings often impede the experimental establishment of the function and dynamics of each specific gene network. In this work, diverse synthetic gene networks are rationally designed and constructed using well-characterized biological components to approach the cell fate determination …

Contributors
Wu, Fuqing, Wang, Xiao, Haynes, Karmella, et al.
Created Date
2017

Coccidioidomycosis, also known as Valley Fever, is a disease caused by the dimorphic soil-dwelling fungus, Coccidioides sp. Coccidioidomycosis is difficult to diagnose because symptoms are similar to community-acquired pneumonia. Current diagnostic tests rely on antibody responses, but immune responses can be delayed and aberrant, resulting in false negative diagnoses. Unlike serology, detection of coccidioidal proteins or other fungal components in blood could distinguish valley fever from other pulmonary infections and provide a definitive diagnosis. Using mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) we examined the plasma peptidome from patients with serologically confirmed coccidioidomycosis. Mass spectra were searched using the protein database from the Coccidioides …

Contributors
Duffy, Stacy Leigh, Lake, Douglas, Magee, Dewey Mitch, et al.
Created Date
2013

Fundamental hypotheses about the life history, complex cognition and social dynamics of humans are rooted in feeding ecology - particularly in the experiences of young animals as they grow. However, the few existing primate developmental data are limited to only a handful of species of monkeys and apes. Without comparative data from more basal primates, such as lemurs, we are limited in the scope of our understanding of how feeding has shaped the evolution of these extraordinary aspects of primate biology. I present a developmental view of feeding ecology in the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) using a mixed longitudinal sample …

Contributors
O'Mara, Michael Teague, Nash, Leanne T, Reed, Kaye E, et al.
Created Date
2012