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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


The highly-social plateau pika (Lagomorpha: Ochotona curzoniae) excavates vast burrow complexes in alpine meadows on the Tibetan Plateau. Colonies of over 300 individuals/ha have been reported. As an ecosystem engineer, their burrowing may positively impact ecosystem health by increasing plant species diversity, enhancing soil mixing, and boosting water infiltration. However, pikas are commonly regarded as pests, and are heavily poisoned throughout their range. The underlying assumption of eradication programs is that eliminating pikas will improve rangeland quality and decrease soil erosion. This dissertation explores the link between plateau pikas and the alpine meadow ecosystem in Qinghai Province, PRC. This research …

Contributors
Hogan, Brigitte Wieshofer, Smith, Andrew T., Anderies, J. Marty, et al.
Created Date
2010

Phytoplankton comprise the base of the marine food web, and, along with heterotrophic protists, they are key players in the biological pump that transports carbon from the surface to the deep ocean. In the world's subtropical oligotrophic gyres, plankton communities exhibit strong seasonality. Winter storms vent deep water into the euphotic zone, triggering a surge in primary productivity in the form of a spring phytoplankton bloom. Although the hydrographic trends of this "boom and bust" cycle have been well studied for decades, community composition and its seasonal and annual variability remains an integral subject of research. It is hypothesized here …

Contributors
Hansen, Amy, Neuer, Susanne, Krajmalnik-Brown, Rosa, et al.
Created Date
2010

As an industrial society, humans have increasingly separated agricultural processes from natural ecosystems. Many areas of the Southwestern US, however, maintain traditional practices that link agricultural systems to the natural environment. One such practice, diverting river water into fields via earthen irrigation canals, allows ditch water to recharge groundwater and riparian vegetation to prosper along canal banks. As there is growing interest in managing landscapes for multiple ecosystem services, this study was undertaken to determine if irrigation canals function as an extension of the riparian corridor. I was specifically interested in determining if the processes within semi-arid streams that drive …

Contributors
Betsch, Jacqueline Michelle, Stromberg, Juliet C, Hall, Sharon J, et al.
Created Date
2010

Biology textbooks are everybody's business. In accepting the view that texts are created with specific social goals in mind, I examined 127 twentieth-century high school biology textbooks for representations of animal development. Paragraphs and visual representations were coded and placed in one of four scientific literacy categories: descriptive, investigative, nature of science, and human embryos, technology, and society (HETS). I then interpreted how embryos and fetuses have been socially constructed for students. I also examined the use of Haeckel's embryo drawings to support recapitulation and evolutionary theory. Textbooks revealed that publication of Haeckel's drawings was influenced by evolutionists and anti-evolutionists …

Contributors
Wellner, Karen Linette, Maienschein, Jane, Ellison, Karin D., et al.
Created Date
2010

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

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

The repression of reproductive competition and the enforcement of altruism are key components to the success of animal societies. Eusocial insects are defined by having a reproductive division of labor, in which reproduction is relegated to one or few individuals while the rest of the group members maintain the colony and help raise offspring. However, workers have retained the ability to reproduce in most insect societies. In the social Hymenoptera, due to haplodiploidy, workers can lay unfertilized male destined eggs without mating. Potential conflict between workers and queens can arise over male production, and policing behaviors performed by nestmate workers …

Contributors
Smith, Adrian Alan, Liebig, Juergen, Hoelldobler, Bert, et al.
Created Date
2011

There is increasing evidence that ovarian status influcences behavioral phenotype in workers of the honey bee Apis mellifera. Honey bee workers demonstrate a complex division of labor. Young workers perform in-hive tasks (e.g. brood care), while older bees perform outside tasks (e.g. foraging for food). This age correlated division of labor is known as temporal polyethism. Foragers demonstrate further division of labor with some bees biasing collection towards protein (pollen) and others towards carbohydrates (nectar). The Reproductive Ground-plan Hypothesis proposes that the ovary plays a regulatory role in foraging division of labor. European honey bee workers that have been selectively …

Contributors
Siegel, Adam Joshua, Page, Jr., Robert E, Hamilton, Andrew L, et al.
Created Date
2011

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

Non-native saltcedar (Tamarix spp.) has invaded many riparian communities and is the third most abundant tree in Southwestern riparian areas. I evaluated lizard populations and microhabitat selection during 2009 and 2010 along the Virgin River in Nevada and Arizona to determine the impact of saltcedar. Along the riparian corridor, I observed common side-blotched lizards (Uta stansburiana) within two vegetation types: monotypic non-native saltcedar stands or mixed stands of cottonwood (Populus fremontii), willow (Salix spp.), mesquite (Prosopis spp.) and saltcedar. I predicted that population parameters such as body condition, adult to hatchling ratio, abundance, and persistence would vary among vegetation types. …

Contributors
Nielsen, Danny Patrick, Bateman, Heather L., Miller, William H., et al.
Created Date
2011

The cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 performs oxygenic photosynthesis. Light energy conversion in photosynthesis takes place in photosystem I (PSI) and photosystem II (PSII) that contain chlorophyll, which absorbs light energy that is utilized as a driving force for photosynthesis. However, excess light energy may lead to formation of reactive oxygen species that cause damage to photosynthetic complexes, which subsequently need repair or replacement. To gain insight in the degradation/biogenesis dynamics of the photosystems, the lifetimes of photosynthetic proteins and chlorophyll were determined by a combined stable-isotope (15N) and mass spectrometry method. The lifetimes of PSII and PSI proteins ranged …

Contributors
Yao, Cheng I Daniel, Vermaas, Wim, Fromme, Petra, et al.
Created Date
2011

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

Division of labor, whereby different group members perform different functions, is a fundamental attribute of sociality. It appears across social systems, from simple cooperative groups to complex eusocial colonies. A core challenge in sociobiology is to explain how patterns of collective organization are generated. Theoretical models propose that division of labor self-organizes, or emerges, from interactions among group members and the environment; division of labor is also predicted to scale positively with group size. I empirically investigated the emergence and scaling of division of labor in evolutionarily incipient groups of sweat bees and in eusocial colonies of harvester ants. To …

Contributors
Holbrook, Carter Tate, Fewell, Jennifer H, Gadau, Jürgen, et al.
Created Date
2011

Infections caused by the Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) are very common worldwide, affecting up to 3% of the population. Chronic infection of HCV may develop into liver cirrhosis and liver cancer which is among the top five of the most common cancers. Therefore, vaccines against HCV are under intense study in order to prevent HCV from harming people's health. The envelope protein 2 (E2) of HCV is thought to be a promising vaccine candidate because it can directly bind to a human cell receptor and plays a role in viral entry. However, the E2 protein production in cells is inefficient …

Contributors
Hong, Fan, Mason, Hugh, Gaxiola, Roberto, et al.
Created Date
2011

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

This thesis explores concept of "global bioethics" in both its development as well as its current state in an effort to understand exactly where it fits into the larger field of bioethics. Further, the analysis poses specific questions regarding what it may contribute to this field and related fields, and the possibility and scope associated with the continued development of global bioethics as its own discipline. To achieve this, the piece addresses questions regarding current opinions on the subject, the authorities and their associated publications related to global bioethics, and what the aims of the subject should be given its …

Contributors
Ruffenach, Stephen Charles, Robert, Jason S, Maienschein, Jane, et al.
Created Date
2011

Though it is a widespread adaptation in humans and many other animals, parental care comes in a variety of forms and its subtle physiological costs, benefits, and tradeoffs related to offspring are often unknown. Thus, I studied the hydric, respiratory, thermal, and fitness dynamics of maternal egg-brooding behavior in Children's pythons (Antaresia childreni). I demonstrated that tight coiling detrimentally creates a hypoxic developmental environment that is alleviated by periodic postural adjustments. Alternatively, maternal postural adjustments detrimentally elevate rates of egg water loss relative to tight coiling. Despite ventilating postural adjustments, the developmental environment becomes increasingly hypoxic near the end of …

Contributors
Stahlschmidt, Zachary, Denardo, Dale F, Harrison, Jon, et al.
Created Date
2011

This thesis explores the independent effects of the manipulation of rocks into alignments, prehistoric farming, and season on soil properties in two areas with a history of prehistoric agriculture in central Arizona, Pueblo la Plata within the Agua Fria National Monument (AFNM), and an archaeological site north of the Phoenix basin along Cave Creek (CC). Soil properties, annual herbaceous biomass and the physical properties of alignments and surface soils were measured and compared across the landscape, specifically on: 1) agricultural rock alignments that were near the archaeological site 2) geologically formed rock alignments that were located 0.5-1 km away from …

Contributors
Trujillo, Jolene E., Hall, Sharon J, Collins, Scott L, et al.
Created Date
2011

This dissertation features a compilation of studies concerning the biophysics of multicellular systems. I explore eukaryotic systems across length scales of the cell cytoskeleton to macroscopic scales of tissues. I begin with a general overview of the natural phenomena of life and a philosophy of investigating developmental systems in biology. The topics covered throughout this dissertation require a background in eukaryotic cell physiology, viscoelasticity, and processes of embryonic tissue morphogenesis. Following a brief background on these topics, I present an overview of the Subcellular Element Model (ScEM). This is a modeling framework which allows one to compute the dynamics of …

Contributors
Sandersius, Sebastian Ambrose, Newman, Timothy J, Rez, Peter, et al.
Created Date
2011

Cognitive function is multidimensional and complex, and research indicates that it is impacted by age, lifetime experience, and ovarian hormone milieu. One particular domain of cognitive function that is susceptible to age-related decrements is spatial memory. Cognitive practice can affect spatial memory when aged in both males and females, and in females alone ovarian hormones have been found to alter spatial memory via modulating brain microstructure and function in many of the same brain areas affected by aging. The research in this dissertation has implications that promote an understanding of the effects of cognitive practice on aging memory, why males …

Contributors
Talboom, Joshua Siegfried, Bimonte-Nelson, Heather A, Conrad, Cheryl D, et al.
Created Date
2011

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

Rhodoferax antarcticus strain ANT.BR, a purple nonsulfur bacterium isolated from a microbial mat in Ross Island, Antarctica, is the first described anoxygenic phototrophic bacterium that is adapted to cold habitats and is the first beta-proteobacterium to undergo complete genome sequencing. R. antarcticus has unique absorption spectra and there are no obvious intracytoplasmic membranes in cells grown phototrophically, even under low light intensity. Analysis of the finished genome sequence reveals a single chromosome (3,809,266 bp) and a large plasmid (198,615 bp) that together harbor 4,262 putative genes. The genome contains two types of Rubiscos, Form IAq and Form II, which are …

Contributors
Zhao, Tingting, Touchman, Jeffrey, Rosenberg, Michael, et al.
Created Date
2011

African Swine Fever (ASF), endemic in many African countries, is now spreading to other continents. Though ASF is capable of incurring serious economic losses in affected countries, no vaccine exists to provide immunity to animals. Disease control relies largely on rapid diagnosis and the implementation of movement restrictions and strict eradication programs. Developing a scalable, accurate and low cost diagnostic for ASF will be of great help for the current situation. CIM's 10K random peptide microarray is a new high-throughput platform that allows systematic investigations of immune responses associated with disease and shows promise as a diagnostic tool. In this …

Contributors
Xiao, Liang, Sykes, Kathryn, Zhao, Zhan-Gong, et al.
Created Date
2011

The advent of advanced reproductive technologies has sparked a number of ethical concerns regarding the practices of reproductive tourism and commercial gestational surrogacy. In the past few decades, reproductive tourism has become a global industry in which individuals or couples travel, usually across borders, to gain access to reproductive services. This marketable field has expanded commercial gestational surrogacy--defined by a contractual relationship between an intending couple and gestational surrogate in which the surrogate has no genetic tie to fetus--to take on transnational complexities. India has experienced extreme growth due to a preferable combination of western educated doctors and extremely low …

Contributors
Moorthy, Anjali, Robert, Jason S, Hurlbut, Benjamin, et al.
Created Date
2011

Once considered an abundant species in the eastern United States, local populations of red-shouldered hawks, Buteo lineatus, have declined due to habitat destruction. This destruction has created suitable habitat for red-tailed hawks, Buteo jamaicensis, and therefore increased competition between these two raptor species. Since suitable habitat is the main limiting factor for raptors, a computer model was created to simulate the effect of habitat loss in central Maryland and the impact of increased competition between the more aggressive red-tailed hawk. These simulations showed urban growth contributed to over a 30% increase in red-tailed hawk habitat as red-shouldered hawk habitat decreased …

Contributors
Murillo, Crystal, Whysong, Gary, Alford, Eddie, et al.
Created Date
2011

Sensory gating is a process by which the nervous system preferentially admits stimuli that are important for the organism while filtering out those that may be meaningless. An optimal sensory gate cannot be static or inflexible, but rather plastic and informed by past experiences. Learning enables sensory gates to recognize stimuli that are emotionally salient and potentially predictive of positive or negative outcomes essential to survival. Olfaction is the only sensory modality in mammals where sensory inputs bypass conventional thalamic gating before entering higher emotional or cognitive brain regions. Thus, olfactory bulb circuits may have a heavier burden of sensory …

Contributors
Li, Monica Mo, Tyler, William J, Smith, Brian H, et al.
Created Date
2012

Drosophila melanogaster, as an important model organism, is used to explore the mechanism which governs cell differentiation and embryonic development. Understanding the mechanism will help to reveal the effects of genes on other species or even human beings. Currently, digital camera techniques make high quality Drosophila gene expression imaging possible. On the other hand, due to the advances in biology, gene expression images which can reveal spatiotemporal patterns are generated in a high-throughput pace. Thus, an automated and efficient system that can analyze gene expression will become a necessary tool for investigating the gene functions, interactions and developmental processes. One …

Contributors
Pan, Cheng, Ye, Jieping, Li, Baoxin, et al.
Created Date
2012

At the heart of every eusocial insect colony is a reproductive division of labor. This division can emerge through dominance interactions at the adult stage or through the production of distinct queen and worker castes at the larval stage. In both cases, this division depends on plasticity within an individual to develop reproductive characteristics or serve as a worker. In order to gain insight into the evolution of reproductive plasticity in the social insects, I investigated caste determination and dominance in the ant Harpegnathos saltator, a species that retains a number of ancestral characteristics. Treatment of worker larvae with a …

Contributors
Penick, Clint Andrew, Liebig, Jürgen, Brent, Colin, et al.
Created Date
2012

Biological diversity is threatened by increasing anthropogenic modification of natural environments and increasing demands on natural resources. Sonoran desert tortoises (Gopherus morafkai) currently have Candidate status under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) based on health and habitat threats. To ensure this animal persists in the midst of multiple threats requires an understanding of the life history and ecology of each population. I looked at one physiological and one behavioral aspect of a population of tortoises at the Sugarloaf Mountain (SL) study site in central Arizona, USA. I used 21 years of capture-recapture records to estimate growth parameters of the entire …

Contributors
Bridges, Andy, Bateman, Heather L, Miller, William, et al.
Created Date
2012

In somatic cells, the mitotic spindle apparatus is centrosomal and several isoforms of Protein Kinase C (PKC) have been associated with the mitotic spindle, but their role in stabilizing the mitotic spindle is unclear. Other protein kinases such as, Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3â (GSK3â) also have been shown to be associated with the mitotic spindle. In the study in chapter 2, we show the enrichment of active (phosphorylated) PKCæ at the centrosomal region of the spindle apparatus in metaphase stage of 3T3 cells. In order to understand whether the two kinases, PKC and GSK3â are associated with the mitotic spindle, …

Contributors
Chakravadhanula, Madhavi, Capco, David G., Chandler, Douglas, et al.
Created Date
2012

In social insect colonies, as with individual animals, the rates of biological processes scale with body size. The remarkable explanatory power of metabolic allometry in ecology and evolutionary biology derives from the great diversity of life exhibiting a nonlinear scaling pattern in which metabolic rates are not proportional to mass, but rather exhibit a hypometric relationship with body size. While one theory suggests that the supply of energy is a major physiological constraint, an alternative theory is that the demand for energy is regulated by behavior. The central hypothesis of this dissertation research is that increases in colony size reduce …

Contributors
Waters, James Stephen, Harrison, Jon F, Quinlan, Michael C., et al.
Created Date
2012

Social structure affects many aspects of ecology including mating systems, dispersal, and movements. The quality and pattern of associations among individuals can define social structure, thus detailed behavioral observations are vital to understanding species social structure and many other aspects of their ecology. In squamate reptiles (lizards and snakes), detailed observations of associations among individuals have been primarily limited to several lineages of lizards and have revealed a variety of social structures, including polygynous family group-living and monogamous pair-living. Here I describe the social structure of two communities within a population of Arizona black rattlesnakes (Crotalus cerberus) using association indices …

Contributors
Amarello, Melissa, Denardo, Dale F, Sullivan, Brian K, et al.
Created Date
2012

Salmonella enterica is a gastrointestinal (GI) pathogen that can cause systemic diseases. It invades the host through the GI tract and can induce powerful immune responses in addition to disease. Thus, it is considered as a promising candidate to use as oral live vaccine vectors. Scientists have been making great efforts to get a properly attenuated Salmonella vaccine strain for a long time, but could not achieve a balance between attenuation and immunogenicity. So the regulated delayed attenuation/lysis Salmonella vaccine vectors were proposed as a design to seek this balance. The research work is progressing steadily, but more improvements need …

Contributors
Shao, Shihuan, Curtiss, Roy, Arizona State University
Created Date
2012

Here I present a phylogeographic study of at least six reproductively isolated lineages of harvester ants within the Pogonomyrmex barbatus and P. rugosus species group. The genetic and geographic relationships within this clade are complex: four of the identified lineages are divided into two pairs, and each pair has evolved under a mutualistic system that necessitates sympatry. These paired lineages are dependent upon one another because interlineage matings within each pair are the sole source of hybrid F1 workers; these workers build and sustain the colonies, facilitating the production of the reproductive caste, which results solely from intralineage fertilizations. This …

Contributors
Mott, Brendon Michael, Gadau, Juergen, Fewell, Jennifer, et al.
Created Date
2012

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

Though for most of the twentieth century, dogma held that the adult brain was post-mitotic, it is now known that adult neurogenesis is widespread among vertebrates, from fish, amphibians, reptiles and birds to mammals including humans. Seasonal changes in adult neurogenesis are well characterized in the song control system of song birds, and have been found in seasonally breeding mammals as well. In contrast to more derived vertebrates, such as mammals, where adult neurogenesis is restricted primarily to the olfactory bulb and the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus, neurogenesis is widespread along the ventricles of adult amphibians. I hypothesized that …

Contributors
Mumaw, Luke Thomas, Orchinik, Miles, Deviche, Pierre, et al.
Created Date
2012

The spread of invasive species may be greatly affected by human responses to prior species spread, but models and estimation methods seldom explicitly consider human responses. I investigate the effects of management responses on estimates of invasive species spread rates. To do this, I create an agent-based simulation model of an insect invasion across a county-level citrus landscape. My model provides an approximation of a complex spatial environment while allowing the "truth" to be known. The modeled environment consists of citrus orchards with insect pests dispersing among them. Insects move across the simulation environment infesting orchards, while orchard managers respond …

Contributors
Shanafelt, David, Fenichel, Eli P, Richards, Timothy, et al.
Created Date
2012

Many studies over the past two decades examined the link between climate patterns and discharge, but few have attempted to study the effects of the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) on localized and watershed specific processes such as nutrient loading in the Southwestern United States. The Multivariate ENSO Index (MEI) is used to describe the state of the ENSO, with positive (negative) values referring to an El Niño condition (La Niña condition). This study examined the connection between the MEI and precipitation, discharge, and total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorus (TP) concentrations in the Upper Salt River Watershed in Arizona. …

Contributors
Sversvold, Darren, Neuer, Susanne, Elser, James, et al.
Created Date
2012

Human recreation on rangelands may negatively impact wildlife populations. Among those activities, off-road vehicle (ORV) recreation carries the potential for broad ecological consequences. A study was undertaken to assess the impacts of ORV on rodents in Arizona Uplands Sonoran Desert. Between the months of February and September 2010, rodents were trapped at 6 ORV and 6 non-ORV sites in Tonto National Forest, AZ. I hypothesized that rodent abundance and species richness are negatively affected by ORV use. Rodent abundances were estimated using capture-mark-recapture methodology. Species richness was not correlated with ORV use. Although abundance of Peromyscus eremicus and Neotoma albigula …

Contributors
Reid, John Simon, Brady, Ward, Miller, William, et al.
Created Date
2012

Colorful ornaments in animals often serve as sexually selected signals of quality. While pigment-based colors are well-studied in these regards, structural colors that result from the interaction of light with photonic nanostructures are comparatively understudied in terms of their consequences in social contexts, their costs of production, and even the best way to measure them. Iridescent colors are some of the most brilliant and conspicuous colors in nature, and I studied the measurement, condition-dependence, and signaling role of iridescence in Anna's hummingbirds (Calypte anna). While most animal colors are easily quantified using well-established spectrophotometric techniques, the unique characteristics of iridescent …

Contributors
Meadows, Melissa Grace, Mcgraw, Kevin J, Rutowski, Ronald L, et al.
Created Date
2012

Within ethics, a number of scholars advocate an interdisciplinary approach of combining the two traditionally different professions of science and philosophy with the confidence that this collaboration will be a mutually beneficial experience. Current ethicist-scientist interactions include embedded-ethicists and research ethics consultation services. Both methods are employed with the hope that they will reduce social and ethical problems that could arise from scientific research, and enhance the reflective capacity of investigative teams. While much effort has been put forth in the endeavor of creating ethicist-scientist interactions, there remains opportunity to refine these new interaction models to make them more robust. …

Contributors
Min, Gyongeun Catherine, Ellison, Karin, Robert, Jason S, 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

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

The southwestern willow flycatcher (Empidonax traillii extimus) is listed as an endangered species throughout its range in the southwestern United States. Little is known about its sub-population spatial structure and how this impacts its population viability. In conjunction with being listed as endangered, a recovery plan was produced by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, with recovery units (sub-populations) roughly based on major river drainages. In the interest of examining this configuration of sub-populations and their impact on the measured population viability, I applied a multivariate auto-regressive state-space model to a spatially extensive time series of abundance data for the …

Contributors
Dockens, Patrick Edward, Sabo, John, Stromberg, Juliet, et al.
Created Date
2012

While exercising mammalian muscle increasingly relies on carbohydrates for fuel as aerobic exercise intensity rises above the moderate range, flying birds are extraordinary endurance athletes and fuel flight, a moderate-high intensity exercise, almost exclusively with lipid. In addition, Aves have long lifespans compared to weight-matched mammals. As skeletal muscle mitochondria account for the majority of oxygen consumption during aerobic exercise, the primary goal was to investigate differences in isolated muscle mitochondria between these species and to examine to what extent factors intrinsic to mitochondria may account for the behavior observed in the intact tissue and whole organism. First, maximal enzyme …

Contributors
Kuzmiak, Sarah, Willis, Wayne T, Mandarino, Lawrence, et al.
Created Date
2012

Land management practices such as domestic animal grazing can alter plant communities via changes in soil structure and chemistry, species composition, and plant nutrient content. These changes can affect the abundance and quality of plants consumed by insect herbivores with consequent changes in population dynamics. These population changes can translate to massive crop damage and pest control costs. My dissertation focused on Oedaleus asiaticus, a dominant Asian locust, and had three main objectives. First, I identified morphological, physiological, and behavioral characteristics of the migratory ("brown") and non-migratory ("green") phenotypes. I found that brown morphs had longer wings, larger thoraxes and …

Contributors
Cease, Arianne, Harrison, Jon, Elser, James, et al.
Created Date
2012

Over the past decade, several high-value proteins have been produced using plant-based transient expression systems. However, these studies exposed some limitations that must be overcome to allow plant expression systems to reach their full potential. These limitations are the low level of recombinant protein accumulation achieved in some cases, and lack of efficient co-expression vectors for the production of multi-protein complexes. This study report that tobacco Extensin (Ext) gene 3' untranslated region (UTR) can be broadly used to enhance recombinant protein expression in plants. Extensin is the hydroxyproline-rich glycoprotein that constitutes the major protein component of cell walls. Using transient …

Contributors
Rosenthal, Sun Hee, Mason, Hugh, Mor, Tsafrir, et al.
Created Date
2012

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

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

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

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

A notable feature of advanced eusocial insect groups is a division of labor within the sterile worker caste. However, the physiological aspects underlying the differentiation of behavioral phenotypes are poorly understood in one of the most successful social taxa, the ants. By starting to understand the foundations on which social behaviors are built, it also becomes possible to better evaluate hypothetical explanations regarding the mechanisms behind the evolution of insect eusociality, such as the argument that the reproductive regulatory infrastructure of solitary ancestors was co-opted and modified to produce distinct castes. This dissertation provides new information regarding the internal factors …

Contributors
Dolezal, Adam G, Amdam, Gro V, Brent, Colin S., et al.
Created Date
2012

Infectious diseases have emerged as a significant threat to wildlife. Environmental change is often implicated as an underlying factor driving this emergence. With this recent rise in disease emergence and the acceleration of environmental change, it is important to identify the environmental factors that alter host-pathogen dynamics and their underlying mechanisms. The emerging pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is a clear example of the negative effects infectious diseases can have on wildlife. Bd is linked to global declines in amphibian diversity and abundance. However, there is considerable variation in population-level responses to Bd, with some hosts experiencing marked declines while others …

Contributors
Hyman, Oliver, Collins, James P, Davidson, Elizabeth W., et al.
Created Date
2012

Conditions during development can shape the expression of traits at adulthood, a phenomenon called developmental plasticity. In this context, factors such as nutrition or health state during development can affect current and subsequent physiology, body size, brain structure, ornamentation, and behavior. However, many of the links between developmental and adult phenotype are poorly understood. I performed a series of experiments using a common molecular currency - carotenoid pigments - to track somatic and reproductive investments through development and into adulthood. Carotenoids are red, orange, or yellow pigments that: (a) animals must acquire from their diets, (b) can be physiologically beneficial, …

Contributors
Butler, Michael William, Mcgraw, Kevin J, Chang, Yung, et al.
Created Date
2012

Studies have demonstrated that anthocyanins can function as antioxidants, reduce inflammation, and improve dyslipidemia. Tart cherries are anthocyanin-rich, making them particularly attractive as a functional food to improve cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. There have been few published studies to date examining the impact of tart cherries on biomarkers of dyslipidemia and inflammation, particularly in overweight and obese individuals at high risk for these conditions. This study evaluated the effect of consuming 100% tart cherry juice daily on blood lipids including total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), calculated very low density lipoprotein cholesterol (VLDL-C), triglycerides (TG), high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), …

Contributors
Coles, Katie Marie, Martin, Keith R., Traustadottir, Tinna, et al.
Created Date
2012

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 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

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

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

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

Pathogenic Gram-negative bacteria employ a variety of molecular mechanisms to combat host defenses. Two-component regulatory systems (TCR systems) are the most ubiquitous signal transduction systems which regulate many genes required for virulence and survival of bacteria. In this study, I analyzed different TCR systems in two clinically-relevant Gram-negative bacteria, i.e., oral pathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis and enterobacterial Escherichia coli. P. gingivalis is a major causative agent of periodontal disease as well as systemic illnesses, like cardiovascular disease. A microarray study found that the putative PorY-PorX TCR system controls the secretion and maturation of virulence factors, as well as loci involved in …

Contributors
Leonetti, Cori, Shi, Yixin, Stout, Valerie, et al.
Created Date
2013

As an evolutionary force, hybridization outcomes include introgression, admixture, speciation, and reproductive isolation. While hybridization has been studied in several primates, the marmoset genus Callithrix is an important, but little studied example of Neotropical hybridization. Varying degrees of reproductive isolation exist between Callithrix species, and hybridization occurs at species borders or regions containing introduced and native species. Interbreeding between Callithrix species carries important implications for biodiversity and genetic integrity within the genus. However, species origins and levels of genetic admixture in marmoset hybrid zones are generally unknown, and few population genetic studies of individual Callithrix species exist. Using the mitochondrial …

Contributors
Malukiewicz, Joanna, Stone, Anne C., Nash, Leanne, et al.
Created Date
2013

Infertility has become an increasing problem in developed countries and in many cases can be attributed to compromised sperm quality. Assessment of male fertility typically utilizes semen analysis which mainly examines sperm morphology, however many males whose sperm appear normal are sub- or infertile, suggesting that sperm from these males may be deficient in a protein or suite of proteins. To date, very little is known about the composition of sperm or the complex maturation process that confers motility and fertilization competency to sperm. Chapter 1 discusses the use of whole cell mass spectrometry to identify 1247 proteins comprising the …

Contributors
Skerget, Sheri Jo, Karr, Timothy L, Lake, Douglas, et al.
Created Date
2013

Random peptide microarrays are a powerful tool for both the treatment and diagnostics of infectious diseases. On the treatment side, selected random peptides on the microarray have either binding or lytic potency against certain pathogens cells, thus they can be synthesized into new antimicrobial agents, denoted as synbodies (synthetic antibodies). On the diagnostic side, serum containing specific infection-related antibodies create unique and distinct "pathogen-immunosignatures" on the random peptide microarray distinct from the healthy control serum, and this different mode of binding can be used as a more precise measurement than traditional ELISA tests. My thesis project is separated into these …

Contributors
Wang, Xiao, Johnston, Stephen Albert, Blattman, Joseph, et al.
Created Date
2013

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

Speciation is the fundamental process that has generated the vast diversity of life on earth. The hallmark of speciation is the evolution of barriers to gene flow. These barriers may reduce gene flow either by keeping incipient species from hybridizing at all (pre-zygotic), or by reducing the fitness of hybrids (post-zygotic). To understand the genetic architecture of these barriers and how they evolve, I studied a genus of wasps that exhibits barriers to gene flow that act both pre- and post-zygotically. Nasonia is a genus of four species of parasitoid wasps that can be hybridized in the laboratory. When two …

Contributors
Gibson, Joshua D, Gadau, Jürgen, Harrison, Jon, et al.
Created Date
2013

Modified and artificial water sources can be used as a management tool for game and non-game wildlife species. State, federal, and private agencies allocate significant resources to install and maintain artificial water sources (AWS) annually. Capture mark recapture methods were used to sample small mammal communities in the vicinity of five AWS and five paired control sites (treatments) in the surrounding Sonoran desert from October 2011 to May 2012. I measured plant species richness, density, and percent cover in the spring of 2012. A Multi-response Permutation Procedure was used to identify differences in small mammal community abundance, biomass, and species …

Contributors
Switalski, Aaron, Bateman, Heather L, Miller, William, et al.
Created Date
2013

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

A dental exam in twenty-first century America generally includes the taking of radiographs, which are x-ray images of the mouth. These images allow dentists to see structures below the gum line and within the teeth. Having a patient's radiographs on file has become a dental standard of care in many states, but x-rays were only discovered a little over 100 years ago. This research analyzes how and why the x-ray image has become a ubiquitous tool in the dental field. Primary literature written by dentists and scientists of the time shows that the x-ray was established in dentistry by the …

Contributors
Martinez, Britta Marina, Ellison, Karin, Maienschein, Jane, et al.
Created Date
2013

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

For animals that experience annual cycles of gonad development, the seasonal timing (phenology) of gonad growth is a major adaptation to local environmental conditions. To optimally time seasonal gonad growth, animals use environmental cues that forecast future conditions. The availability of food is one such environmental cue. Although the importance of food availability has been appreciated for decades, the physiological mechanisms underlying the modulation of seasonal gonad growth by this environmental factor remain poorly understood. Urbanization is characterized by profound environmental changes, and urban animals must adjust to an environment vastly different from that of their non-urban conspecifics. Evidence suggests …

Contributors
Davies, Scott, Deviche, Pierre, Sweazea, Karen, et al.
Created Date
2014

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

Teaching evolution has been shown to be a challenge for faculty, in both K-12 and postsecondary education. Many of these challenges stem from perceived conflicts not only between religion and evolution, but also faculty beliefs about religion, it's compatibility with evolutionary theory, and it's proper role in classroom curriculum. Studies suggest that if educators engage with students' religious beliefs and identity, this may help students have positive attitudes towards evolution. The aim of this study was to reveal attitudes and beliefs professors have about addressing religion and providing religious scientist role models to students when teaching evolution. 15 semi-structured interviews …

Contributors
Barnes, Maryann Elizabeth, Brownell, Sara E, Brem, Sarah K, et al.
Created Date
2014

Proper cell growth and differentiation requires the integration of multiple signaling pathways that are maintained by various post-translational modifications. Many proteins in signal transduction pathways are conserved between humans and model organisms. My dissertation characterizes four previously unknown manners of regulation in the Drosophila Decapentaplegic (Dpp) pathway, a pathway within TGF-beta family. First, I present data that the Dpp signal transducer, Mothers Against Dpp (Mad), is phosphorylated by Zeste-white 3 (Zw3), a kinase involved in the Wingless pathway. This phosphorylation event occurs independently of canonical phosphorylation of Mad by the Dpp receptor. Using ectopic expression of different alleles of Mad, …

Contributors
Quijano, Janine Clare, Newfeld, Stuart J, Goldstein, Elliott, et al.
Created Date
2014

There has been important progress in understanding ecological dynamics through the development of the theory of ecological stoichiometry. This fast growing theory provides new constraints and mechanisms that can be formulated into mathematical models. Stoichiometric models incorporate the effects of both food quantity and food quality into a single framework that produce rich dynamics. While the effects of nutrient deficiency on consumer growth are well understood, recent discoveries in ecological stoichiometry suggest that consumer dynamics are not only affected by insufficient food nutrient content (low phosphorus (P): carbon (C) ratio) but also by excess food nutrient content (high P:C). This …

Contributors
Peace, Angela Lynn, Kuang, Yang, Elser, James J, et al.
Created Date
2014

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

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

Grassland habitat restoration activities are occurring within the semi-arid grasslands of the Agua Fria National Monument located 65 km north of Phoenix, AZ. The goal of these restoration activities is to reduce woody species encroachment, remove lignified plant materials and recycle nutrients within the ecosystem thus improving range conditions for both wildlife species and livestock. Broadcast burning, juniper thinning and slash pile burns are the principle tools used to accomplish resource objectives. Line cover, belt transect, densities, heights and biomass of vegetation data were collected to determine the response of the vegetative community to habitat restoration activities. Principal Component Analysis …

Contributors
Sitzmann, Paul Roman, Miller, William, Alford, Eddie, et al.
Created Date
2014

Past research suggested that lutein (L) and zeaxanthin (Z) play a role in many aspects of cognitive functions including motor speed, working memory, executive function, psychomotor speed and verbal fluency among elderly people. Moreover, L and Z are the only carotenoids found in the eye, and they are correlated with improved contrast sensitivity, improved temporal vision, reduced glare disability, and reduced risk of age related-macular degeneration (AMD). Animal and postmortem research suggests that MPOD may be a biomarker for predicting cognitive decline with age. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the potential relationship between MPOD and cognition in …

Contributors
Zimmerman, Daniel Richard, Nanez, Jose E, Shipstead, Zachary, et al.
Created Date
2014

The coordination of group behavior in the social insects is representative of a broader phenomenon in nature, emergent biological complexity. In such systems, it is believed that large-scale patterns result from the interaction of relatively simple subunits. This dissertation involved the study of one such system: the social foraging of the ant Temnothorax rugatulus. Physically tiny with small population sizes, these cavity-dwelling ants provide a good model system to explore the mechanisms and ultimate origins of collective behavior in insect societies. My studies showed that colonies robustly exploit sugar water. Given a choice between feeders unequal in quality, colonies allocate …

Contributors
Shaffer, Zachary Joseph, Pratt, Stephen C, Hölldobler, Bert, et al.
Created Date
2014

The advent of new high throughput technology allows for increasingly detailed characterization of the immune system in healthy, disease, and age states. The immune system is composed of two main branches: the innate and adaptive immune system, though the border between these two states is appearing less distinct. The adaptive immune system is further split into two main categories: humoral and cellular immunity. The humoral immune response produces antibodies against specific targets, and these antibodies can be used to learn about disease and normal states. In this document, I use antibodies to characterize the immune system in two ways: 1. …

Contributors
Whittemore, Kurt, Sykes, Kathryn, Johnston, Stephen A, et al.
Created Date
2014

Urbanization provides an excellent opportunity to examine the effects of human-induced rapid environmental change (HIREC) on natural ecosystems. Certain species can dominate in urban habitats at the expense of biodiversity. Phenotypic plasticity may be the mechanism by which these 'urban exploiters' flourish in urban areas. Color displays and condition-dependent phenotypes are known to be highly plastic. However, conspicuous color displays are perplexing in that they can be costly to produce and may increase detection by enemies. The Western black widow spider () is a superabundant pest species that forms dense aggregations throughout metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona, USA. Adult female display a …

Contributors
Gburek, Theresa Marie, Johnson, James C, Mcgraw, Kevin J, et al.
Created Date
2014

The explicit role of soil organisms in shaping soil health, rates of pedogenesis, and resistance to erosion has only just recently begun to be explored in the last century. However, much of the research regarding soil biota and soil processes is centered on maintaining soil fertility (e.g., plant nutrient availability) and soil structure in mesic- and agro- ecosystems. Despite the empirical and theoretical strides made in soil ecology over the last few decades, questions regarding ecosystem function and soil processes remain, especially for arid areas. Arid areas have unique ecosystem biogeochemistry, decomposition processes, and soil microbial responses to moisture inputs …

Contributors
Wyant, Karl Arthur, Sabo, John L, Elser, James J, et al.
Created Date
2014

Foraging has complex effects on whole-organism homeostasis, and there is considerable evidence that foraging behavior is influenced by both environmental factors (e.g., food availability, predation risk) and the physiological condition of an organism. The optimization of foraging behavior to balance costs and benefits is termed state-dependent foraging (SDF) while behavior that seeks to protect assets of fitness is termed the asset protection principle (APP). A majority of studies examining SDF have focused on the role that energy balance has on the foraging of organisms with high metabolism and high energy demands ("high-energy systems" such as endotherms). In contrast, limited work …

Contributors
Wright, Christian D., Denardo, Dale F., Harrison, Jon, et al.
Created Date
2014

Consideration of both biological and human-use dynamics in coupled social-ecological systems is essential for the success of interventions such as marine reserves. As purely human institutions, marine reserves have no direct effects on ecological systems. Consequently, the success of a marine reserve depends on managers` ability to alter human behavior in the direction and magnitude that supports reserve objectives. Further, a marine reserve is just one component in a larger coupled social-ecological system. The social, economic, political, and biological landscape all determine the social acceptability of a reserve, conflicts that arise, how the reserve interacts with existing fisheries management, accuracy …

Contributors
Fujitani, Marie, Abbott, Joshua, Fenichel, Eli, et al.
Created Date
2014

Mathematical modeling of infectious diseases can help public health officials to make decisions related to the mitigation of epidemic outbreaks. However, over or under estimations of the morbidity of any infectious disease can be problematic. Therefore, public health officials can always make use of better models to study the potential implication of their decisions and strategies prior to their implementation. Previous work focuses on the mechanisms underlying the different epidemic waves observed in Mexico during the novel swine origin influenza H1N1 pandemic of 2009 and showed extensions of classical models in epidemiology by adding temporal variations in different parameters that …

Contributors
Cruz-Aponte, Maytee, Wirkus, Stephen A., Castillo-Chavez, Carlos, et al.
Created Date
2014

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) most frequently occurs in pediatric patients and remains a leading cause of childhood death and disability. Mild TBI (mTBI) accounts for 70-90% of all TBI cases, yet its neuropathophysiology is still poorly understood. While a single mTBI injury can lead to persistent deficits, repeat injuries increase the severity and duration of both acute symptoms and long term deficits. In this study, to model pediatric repetitive mTBI (rmTBI) we subjected unrestrained juvenile animals (post-natal day 20) to repeat weight drop impact. Animals were anesthetized and subjected to sham or rmTBI once per day for 5 days. At …

Contributors
Goddeyne, Corey Charles, Anderson, Trent, Smith, Brian, et al.
Created Date
2014

Microalgae represent a potential sustainable alternative for the enhancement and protection of agricultural crops. The dry biomass and cellular extracts of Scenedesmus dimorphus were applied as a biofertilizer, a foliar spray, and a seed primer to evaluate seed germination, plant growth, and crop yield of Roma tomato plants. The dry biomass was applied as a biofertilizer at 50 g and 100 g per plant, to evaluate its effects on plant development and crop yield. Biofertilizer treatments enhanced plant growth and led to greater crop (fruit) production. Timing of biofertilizer application proved to be of importance - earlier 50 g biofertilizer …

Contributors
Garcia-Gonzalez, Jesus, Sommerfeld, Milton, Steele, Kelly, et al.
Created Date
2014

Over the past two decades there has been much discussion surrounding the potential of zoos as conservation institutions. Although zoos have clearly intensified their rhetorical and programmatic commitment to conservation (both ex situ and in situ), many critics remain skeptical of these efforts. This study was comprised of two parts: 1) an investigation of the general relationship between U.S. zoological institutions and the conservation agenda, and 2) a more specific single case study of conservation engagement and institutional identity at the Phoenix Zoo. Methods included extensive literature review, expert interviews with scholars and zoo professionals, site visits to the Phoenix …

Contributors
Love, Karen Elizabeth, Minteer, Ben, Kinzig, Ann, et al.
Created Date
2014

Engineered nanoparticles (NP; 10-9 m) have found use in a variety of consumer goods and medical devices because of the unique changes in material properties that occur when synthesized on the nanoscale. Although many definitions for nanoparticle exist, from the perspective of size, nanoparticle is defined as particles with diameters less than 100 nm in any external dimension. Examples of their use include titanium dioxide added as a pigment in products intended to be ingested by humans, silicon dioxide NPs are used in foods as an anticaking agent, and gold or iron oxide NPs can be used as vectors for …

Contributors
Faust, James Jude, Capco, David G., Ugarova, Tatiana, et al.
Created Date
2014

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

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

In desert riparian ecosystems, rivers provide free water but access to that water diminishes with distance producing a steep gradient in the relative importance of water for growth and reproduction of riparian animals and hence, their biodiversity. Previous work suggests that water limited riparian predators eat more prey to meet their water demand where free water is not available. Here I explore the effect of water limitation on prey selection and per capita interaction strengths between a predatory spider ( Hogna antelucana) and two prey species occupying different trophic levels using a controlled field experiment conducted in the riparian forest …

Contributors
Leinbach, Israel, Sabo, John, Harrison, Jon, et al.
Created Date
2015

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

Phosphorus (P), an essential nutrient for growth of all organisms, is often in limited biological supply for herbivore consumers compared to other elements, such as carbon (C). Ecological stoichiometry studies have assessed responses of filter-feeding zooplankton from the genus Daphnia to single and multi-species food resources that are P-limited, finding decreased growth as a result to changes in metabolic processes and feeding behavior. Conversely, recent laboratory studies have shown that P-rich algal food resources also result in decreased growth rates for Daphnia, though the possible mechanisms behind this maladaptive response is understudied. Moreover, no published study tests the existence of …

Contributors
Currier, Courtney McCann, Currier, James, Harrison, Jon, et al.
Created Date
2015

Photosynthesis converts sunlight to biomass at a global scale. Among the photosynthetic organisms, cyanobacteria provide an excellent model to study how photosynthesis can become a practical platform of large-scale biotechnology. One novel approach involves metabolically engineering the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 to excrete laurate, which is harvested directly. This work begins by defining a working window of light intensity (LI). Wild-type and laurate-excreting Synechocystis required an LI of at least 5 µE/m2-s to sustain themselves, but are photo-inhibited by LI of 346 to 598 µE/m2-s. Fixing electrons into valuable organic products, e.g., biomass and excreted laurate, is critical to …

Contributors
Nguyen, Binh T., Rittmann, Bruce E, Krajmalnik-Brown, Rosa, et al.
Created Date
2015

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

Isolation-by-distance is a specific type of spatial genetic structure that arises when parent-offspring dispersal is limited. Many natural populations exhibit localized dispersal, and as a result, individuals that are geographically near each other will tend to have greater genetic similarity than individuals that are further apart. It is important to identify isolation-by-distance because it can impact the statistical analysis of population samples and it can help us better understand evolutionary dynamics. For this dissertation I investigated several aspects of isolation-by-distance. First, I looked at how the shape of the dispersal distribution affects the observed pattern of isolation-by-distance. If, as theory …

Contributors
Furstenau, Tara Nicole, Cartwright, Reed A, Rosenberg, Michael S, et al.
Created Date
2015

The distinguishing feature of the filamentous fungi is the hyphae - tube-like microscopic cells that exhibit polarized growth via apical extension and allow the fungus to interact with its environment. Fungi elongate at the hyphal apex, through the localized construction of new plasma membrane and cell wall through the exocytosis of secretory vesicles. One population of these vesicles have been identified as chitosomes, containing chitin synthase isoenzymes, which are responsible for the polymerization of N-acetylglucosamine from UDP N-acetylglucosamine into chitin, the primary fibrillar component of the fungal cell wall. The chitosomes, in addition to other vesicles, can be observed aggregating …

Contributors
Fisher, Karen, Roberson, Robert W, Chandler, Douglas, et al.
Created Date
2015

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