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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


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

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

Access to testing for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), as well as other care services related to HIV/AIDS, have greatly improved in Tanzania over the last decade. Despite the country’s efforts to increase the number of individuals who get tested for HIV annually, it is estimated that only 52.2-70.0% of people living with HIV (PLWH) knew their HIV positive status at the end of 2017. In addition, research in Tanzania has shown that HIV-related stigma and discrimination are widespread and contribute to low uptake of HIV testing and non-adherence to antiretroviral treatment (ART). In order to achieve the goals set …

Contributors
Allen, Megan, Jacobs, Bertram, Neuberg, Steven, et al.
Created Date
2019

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

Antibodies are naturally occurring proteins that protect a host during infection through direct neutralization and/or recruitment of the innate immune system. Unfortunately, in some infections, antibodies present unique hurdles that must be overcome for a safer and more efficacious antibody-based therapeutic (e.g., antibody dependent viral enhancement (ADE) and inflammatory pathology). This dissertation describes the utilization of plant expression systems to produce N-glycan specific antibody-based therapeutics for Dengue Virus (DENV) and Chikungunya Virus (CHIKV). The Fc region of an antibody interacts with Fcγ Receptors (FcγRs) on immune cells and components of the innate immune system. Each class of immune cells has …

Contributors
Hurtado, Jonathan, Chen, Qiang, Arntzen, Charles, et al.
Created Date
2019

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 study was to analyze the extent of bacterial transport in a two-dimensional tank under saturated conditions. The experiments were done in a 2-D tank packed with 3,700 in3 of fine grained, homogenous, chemically inert sand under saturated conditions. The tank used for transport was decontaminated by backwashing with 0.6% chlorine solution with subsequent backwashing with chlorine-neutral water (tap water and Na2S2O3) thus ensuring no residual chlorine in the tank. The transport of bacteria was measured using samples collected from ports at vertical distances of 5, 15 and 25 inches (12.7, 38.1 and 63.5 cm) from the surface of the …

Contributors
Mondal, Indrayudh, Abbaszadegan, Morteza, Dahlen, Paul, et al.
Created Date
2019

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

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

There is a growing consensus that photodegradation accelerates litter decomposition in drylands, but the mechanisms are not well understood. In a previous field study examining how exposure to solar radiation affects decomposition of 12 leaf litter types over 34 months in the Sonoran Desert, litter exposed to UV/blue wavebands of solar radiation decayed faster. The concentration of water-soluble compounds was higher in decayed litter than in new (recently senesced) litter, and higher in decayed litter exposed to solar radiation than other decayed litter. Microbial respiration of litter incubated in high relative humidity for 1 day was greater in decayed litter …

Contributors
Bliss, Michael Scott, Day, Thomas A., Garcia-Pichel, Ferran, et al.
Created Date
2019

Immunotherapy has been revitalized with the advent of immune checkpoint blockade treatments, and neo-antigens are the targets of immune system in cancer patients who respond to the treatments. The cancer vaccine field is focused on using neo-antigens from unique point mutations of genomic sequence in the cancer patient for making personalized cancer vaccines. However, we choose a different path to find frameshift neo-antigens at the mRNA level and develop broadly effective cancer vaccines based on frameshift antigens. In this dissertation, I have summarized and characterized all the potential frameshift antigens from microsatellite regions in human, dog and mouse. A list …

Contributors
Zhang, Jian, Johnston, Stephen Albert, Chang, Yung, et al.
Created Date
2018

Guided by Tinto’s Theory of College Student Departure, I conducted a set of five studies to identify factors that influence students’ social integration in college science active learning classes. These studies were conducted in large-enrollment college science courses and some were specifically conducted in undergraduate active learning biology courses. Using qualitative and quantitative methodologies, I identified how students’ identities, such as their gender and LGBTQIA identity, and students’ perceptions of their own intelligence influence their experience in active learning science classes and consequently their social integration in college. I also determined factors of active learning classrooms and instructor behaviors that …

Contributors
Cooper, Katelyn, Brownell, Sara E, Stout, Valerie, et al.
Created Date
2018

Aboveground net primary production (ANPP) and belowground net primary production (BNPP) may not be influenced equally by the same factors in arid grasslands. Precipitation is known to affect ANPP and BNPP, while soil fauna such as nematodes affect the BNPP through herbivory and predation. This study on black grama grass (Bouteloua eriopoda) in the Chihuahuan Desert investigates the effects of precipitation and nematode presence or absence on net primary production (NPP) as well as the partitioning between the aboveground and belowground components, in this case, the fraction of total net primary production occurring belowground (fBNPP). I used a factorial experiment …

Contributors
Wiedenfeld, Amy, Sala, Osvaldo, Gerber, Leah, et al.
Created Date
2018

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

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

The introduction of livestock to the vast majority of public lands may be used to simulate the conditions provided by herbivorous grazers in the past, however little data has been collected on the effects of livestock grazing in Sonoran desert habitats. Vegetative species that are characteristic of the Arizona Upland subdivision of the Sonoran desert did not evolve with extensive grazing by large ungulate populations, and therefore the response to livestock grazing is of particular interest. Four historic Parker 3-step clusters in south-central Arizona were sampled in three cohorts between 1953 and 2016 to interpret changes in rangeland health using …

Contributors
Dunn, Kellie Ann, Alford, Eddie, Cunningham, Stanley, et al.
Created Date
2018

Evolution is the foundation of biology, yet it remains controversial even among college biology students. Acceptance of evolution is important for students if we want them to incorporate evolution into their scientific thinking. However, students’ religious beliefs are a consistent barrier to their acceptance of evolution due to a perceived conflict between religion and evolution. Using pre-post instructional surveys of students in introductory college biology, Study 1 establishes instructional strategies that can be effective for reducing students' perceived conflict between religion and evolution. Through interviews and qualitative analyses, Study 2 documents how instructors teaching evolution at public universities may be …

Contributors
Barnes, Maryann, Brownell, Sara, Nesse, Randolph, et al.
Created Date
2018

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

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

The ability to tolerate bouts of oxygen deprivation varies tremendously across the animal kingdom. Adult humans from different regions show large variation in tolerance to hypoxia; additionally, it is widely known that neonatal mammals are much more tolerant to anoxia than their adult counterparts, including in humans. Drosophila melanogaster are very anoxia-tolerant relative to mammals, with adults able to survive 12 h of anoxia, and represent a well-suited model for studying anoxia tolerance. Drosophila live in rotting, fermenting media and a result are more likely to experience environmental hypoxia; therefore, they could be expected to be more tolerant of anoxia …

Contributors
Campbell, Jacob B, Harrison, Jon F, Gadau, Juergen, et al.
Created Date
2018

The most advanced social insects, the eusocial insects, form often large societies in which there is reproductive division of labor, queens and workers, have overlapping generations, and cooperative brood care where daughter workers remain in the nest with their queen mother and care for their siblings. The eusocial insects are composed of representative species of bees and wasps, and all species of ants and termites. Much is known about their organizational structure, but remains to be discovered. The success of social insects is dependent upon cooperative behavior and adaptive strategies shaped by natural selection that respond to internal or external …

Contributors
Rodriguez Messan, Marisabel, Kang, Yun, Castillo-Chavez, Carlos, et al.
Created Date
2018

Persistent cooperation between unrelated conspecifics rarely occurs in mature eusocial insect societies. In this dissertation, I present evidence of non-kin cooperation in the Nearctic honey ant Myrmecocystus mendax. Using microsatellite markers, I show that mature colonies in the Sierra Ancha Mountain of central Arizona contain multiple unrelated matrilines, an observation that is consistent with primary polygyny. In contrast, similar analyses suggest that colonies in the Chiricahua Mountains of southeastern Arizona are primarily monogynous. These interpretations are consistent with field and laboratory observations. Whereas cooperative colony founding was observed frequently among groups of Sierra Ancha foundresses, founding in the Chiricahua population …

Contributors
Eriksson, Ti, Gadau, Jürgen, Taylor, Jay, et al.
Created Date
2018

The origin of Life on Earth is the greatest unsolved mystery in the history of science. In spite of progress in almost every scientific endeavor, we still have no clear theory, model, or framework to understand the processes that led to the emergence of life on Earth. Understanding such a processes would provide key insights into astrobiology, planetary science, geochemistry, evolutionary biology, physics, and philosophy. To date, most research on the origin of life has focused on characterizing and synthesizing the molecular building blocks of living systems. This bottom-up approach assumes that living systems are characterized by their component parts, …

Contributors
Mathis, Nicholas, Walker, Sara I, Davies, Paul CW, et al.
Created Date
2018

Lignocellulosic biomass represents a renewable domestic feedstock that can support large-scale biochemical production processes for fuels and specialty chemicals. However, cost-effective conversion of lignocellulosic sugars into valuable chemicals by microorganisms still remains a challenge. Biomass recalcitrance to saccharification, microbial substrate utilization, bioproduct titer toxicity, and toxic chemicals associated with chemical pretreatments are at the center of the bottlenecks limiting further commercialization of lignocellulose conversion. Genetic and metabolic engineering has allowed researchers to manipulate microorganisms to overcome some of these challenges, but new innovative approaches are needed to make the process more commercially viable. Transport proteins represent an underexplored target in …

Contributors
Kurgan, Gavin, Wang, Xuan, Nielsen, David, et al.
Created Date
2018

The properties of adjuvants to stimulate an immune response to treat cancer has sparked a major area of research in the field of immunotherapy. Given the presence of multiple RNA sensors in mammalian host cells for eliciting innate immunity, synthetic RNA nanostructures present a unique opportunity for adjuvant exploration. While RNA nanostructures are organic and biocompatible in nature than other adjuvants, they could be tailored to have desired structural stability and functional diversity for in vivo application. In this study, a rectangular RNA origami nanostructure was designed to contain double-stranded RNA motifs and possess high structural stability. Using in vitro …

Contributors
Rodriguez del Villar, Ryan Luis, Chang, Yung, Liu, Xiaowei, et al.
Created Date
2018

Understanding the diversity, evolutionary relationships, and geographic distribution of species is foundational knowledge in biology. However, this knowledge is lacking for many diverse lineages of the tree of life. This is the case for the desert stink beetles in the tribe Amphidorini LeConte, 1862 (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) – a lineage of arid-adapted flightless beetles found throughout western North America. Four interconnected studies that jointly increase our knowledge of this group are presented. First, the darkling beetle fauna of the Algodones sand dunes in southern California is examined as a case study to explore the scientific practice of checklist creation. An updated …

Contributors
Johnston, Murray Andrew, Franz, Nico M, Cartwright, Reed, et al.
Created Date
2018

Human-inhabited or -disturbed areas pose many unique challenges for wildlife, including increased human exposure, novel challenges, such as finding food or nesting sites in novel structures, anthropogenic noises, and novel predators. Animals inhabiting these environments must adapt to such changes by learning to exploit new resources and avoid danger. To my knowledge no study has comprehensively assessed behavioral reactions of urban and rural populations to numerous novel environmental stimuli. I tested behavioral responses of urban, suburban, and rural house finches (Haemorhous mexicanus) to novel stimuli (e.g. objects, noises, food), to presentation of a native predator model (Accipiter striatus) and a …

Contributors
Weaver, Melinda, McGraw, Kevin J, Rutowski, Ronald, et al.
Created Date
2018

Body size plays a pervasive role in determining physiological and behavioral performance across animals. It is generally thought that smaller animals are limited in performance measures compared to larger animals; yet, the vast majority of animals on earth are small and evolutionary trends like miniaturization occur in every animal clade. Therefore, there must be some evolutionary advantages to being small and/or compensatory mechanisms that allow small animals to compete with larger species. In this dissertation I specifically explore the scaling of flight performance (flight metabolic rate, wing beat frequency, load-carrying capacity) and learning behaviors (visual differentiation visual Y-maze learning) across …

Contributors
Duell, Meghan, Harrison, Jon F., Smith, Brian H., et al.
Created Date
2018

Salivary cortisol is the least invasive way in measuring hormonal response during exercise without interruption. In nationally ranked fencers (n=21), changes in cortisol were monitored by measurement of salivary cortisol sampled throughout different rounds of three North American Cup tournaments during the 2017-2018 United States fencing season. The changes were also compared when looking at if a bout ended in a victory or defeat; the difference in rank between opponents; and the difference in score at the end of the bout. Immediately before the tournament cortisol levels were sampled, changes were in comparison to the initial sample as well as …

Contributors
Vie, Jerica Nicole, Baluch, D. Page, Sterner, Beckett, et al.
Created Date
2018

Understanding changes and trends in biomedical knowledge is crucial for individuals, groups, and institutions as biomedicine improves people’s lives, supports national economies, and facilitates innovation. However, as knowledge changes what evidence illustrates knowledge changes? In the case of microbiome, a multi-dimensional concept from biomedicine, there are significant increases in publications, citations, funding, collaborations, and other explanatory variables or contextual factors. What is observed in the microbiome, or any historical evolution of a scientific field or scientific knowledge, is that these changes are related to changes in knowledge, but what is not understood is how to measure and track changes in …

Contributors
Aiello, Kenneth, Laubichler, Manfred D, Simeone, Michael, et al.
Created Date
2018

Radioactive cesium (137Cs), released from nuclear power plants and nuclear accidental releases, is a problem due to difficulties regarding its removal. Efforts have been focused on removing cesium and the remediation of the contaminated environment. Traditional treatment techniques include Prussian blue and nano zero-valent ion (nZVI) and nano-Fe/Cu particles to remove Cs from water; however, they are not efficient at removing Cs when present at low concentrations of about 10 parts-per-billion (ppb), typical of concentrations found in the radioactive contaminated sites. The objective of this study was to develop an innovative and simple method to remove Cs+ present at low …

Contributors
Hakim Elahi, Sepideh, Conroy-Ben, Otakuye, Abbaszadegan, Morteza, et al.
Created Date
2018

Single-cell proteomics and transcriptomics analysis are crucial to gain insights of healthy physiology and disease pathogenesis. The comprehensive profiling of biomolecules in individual cells of a heterogeneous system can provide deep insights into many important biological questions, such as the distinct cellular compositions or regulation of inter- and intracellular signaling pathways of healthy and diseased tissues. With multidimensional molecular imaging of many different biomarkers in patient biopsies, diseases can be accurately diagnosed to guide the selection of the ideal treatment. As an urgent need to advance single-cell analysis, imaging-based technologies have been developed to detect and quantify multiple DNA, RNA …

Contributors
Mondal, Manas, Guo, Jia, Gould, Ian, et al.
Created Date
2018

Riparian systems in the arid southwest are heavily altered and, based on relative land-area, provision a disproportionately high number of native wildlife. Amphibians and reptiles are collectively the most threatened vertebrate taxa and, in the Sonoran Desert, are often reliant on riparian habitat. The link between amphibians and environmental water characteristics, as well as the association between lizards and habitat structure, make herpetofauna good organisms for which to examine the effects of environmental change. My objective was to relate capture rates of a fossorial anuran and lizard abundance to aspects of native, invaded, and shrub-encroached riparian habitats in order to …

Contributors
Riddle, Sidney Bishop, Bateman, Heather L., Albuquerque, Fabio, et al.
Created Date
2018

According to the World Health Organization, cancer is one of the leading causes of death around the world. Although early diagnostics using biomarkers and improved treatments with targeted therapy have reduced the rate of cancer related mortalities, there remain many unknowns regarding the contributions of the tumor microenvironment to cancer progression and therapeutic resistance. The tumor microenvironment plays a significant role by manipulating the progression of cancer cells through biochemical and biophysical signals from the surrounding stromal cells along with the extracellular matrix. As such, there is a critical need to understand how the tumor microenvironment influences the molecular mechanisms …

Contributors
Truong, Danh, Nikkhah, Mehdi, LaBaer, Joshua, et al.
Created Date
2018

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

Desert environments provide considerable challenges to organisms because of high temperatures and limited food and water resources. Accordingly, desert species have behavioral and physiological traits that enable them to cope with these constraints. However, continuing human activity as well as anticipated further changes to the climate and the vegetative community pose a great challenge to such balance between an organism and its environment. This is especially true in the Arabian Desert, where climate conditions are extreme and environmental disturbances substantial. This study combined laboratory and field components to enhance our understanding of dhub (Uromastyx aegyptius) ecophysiology and determine whether habitat …

Contributors
Al-Sayegh, Mohammed Taher, DeNardo, Dale, Angilletta, Michael, et al.
Created Date
2017

In recent years, the use of biologically based (neurological, neuropsychological, genetic) evidence in criminal trials as support for claims of mental impairments among offenders has increased in popularity. However, research on how exposure to those arguments affects jury decision-making remains unclear. Specifically, arguments rooted in biology sometimes mitigate and sometimes aggravate judgments of criminal responsibility for mentally ill offenders, and this discrepancy seems to stem from the specific conditions by which that disorder was acquired. The following study’s aim was to uncover the precise mechanism(s) behind this elusive effect. Utilizing a 2x2 between subjects experimental design, participants were presented with …

Contributors
Hunter, Shelby, Schweitzer, Nick, Neal, Tess, et al.
Created Date
2017

In the past decades, single-cell metabolic analysis has been playing a key role in understanding cellular heterogeneity, disease initiation, progression, and drug resistance. Therefore, it is critical to develop technologies for individual cellular metabolic analysis using various configurations of microfluidic devices. Compared to bulk-cell analysis which is widely used by reporting an averaged measurement, single-cell analysis is able to present the individual cellular responses to the external stimuli. Particularly, oxygen consumption rate (OCR) and extracellular acidification rate (ECAR) are two key parameters to monitor heterogeneous metabolic profiles of cancer cells. To achieve multi-parameter metabolic measurements on single cells, several technical …

Contributors
Song, Ganquan, Meldrum, Deirdre R., Goryll, Michael, et al.
Created Date
2017

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

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

Functional traits research has improved our understanding of how plants respond to their environments, identifying key trade-offs among traits. These studies primarily rely on correlative methods to infer trade-offs and often overlook traits that are difficult to measure (e.g., root traits, tissue senescence rates), limiting their predictive ability under novel conditions. I aimed to address these limitations and develop a better understanding of the trait space occupied by trees by integrating data and process models, spanning leaves to whole-trees, via modern statistical and computational methods. My first research chapter (Chapter 2) simultaneously fits a photosynthesis model to measurements of fluorescence …

Contributors
Fell, Michael, Ogle, Kiona, Barber, Jarrett, et al.
Created Date
2017

Pregnancy and childbirth are both natural occurring events, but still little is known about the signaling mechanisms that induce contractions. Throughout the world, premature labor occurs in 12% of all pregnancies with 36% of infant deaths resulting from preterm related causes. Even though the cause of preterm labor can vary, understanding alternative signaling pathways, which affect muscle contraction, could provide additional treatment options in stopping premature labor. The uterus is composed of smooth muscle, which is innervated, with a plexus of nerves that cover the muscle fibers. Smooth muscle can be stimulated or modulated by many sources such as neurotransmitters …

Contributors
Obayomi, SM Bukola, Baluch, Debra P, Deviche, Pierre, et al.
Created Date
2017

Obesity and its underlying insulin resistance are caused by environmental and genetic factors. DNA methylation provides a mechanism by which environmental factors can regulate transcriptional activity. The overall goal of the work herein was to (1) identify alterations in DNA methylation in human skeletal muscle with obesity and its underlying insulin resistance, (2) to determine if these changes in methylation can be altered through weight-loss induced by bariatric surgery, and (3) to identify DNA methylation biomarkers in whole blood that can be used as a surrogate for skeletal muscle. Assessment of DNA methylation was performed on human skeletal muscle and …

Contributors
Day, Samantha Elaine, Coletta, Dawn K., Katsanos, Christos, et al.
Created Date
2017

Birds have shown promise as models of diabetes due to health and longevity despite naturally high plasma glucose concentrations, a condition which in diabetic humans leads to protein glycation and various complications. Research into mechanisms that protect birds from high plasma glucose have shown that some species of birds have naturally low levels of protein glycation. Some hypothesize a diet rich in carotenoids and other antioxidants protects birds from protein glycation and oxidative damage. There is little research, however, into the amount of protein glycation in birds of prey, which consume a high protein, high fat diet. No studies have …

Contributors
Ingram, Tana Dawn, Sweazea, Karen, Johnston, Carol, et al.
Created Date
2017

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

Leprosy and tuberculosis are age-old diseases that have tormented mankind and left behind a legacy of fear, mutilation, and social stigmatization. Today, leprosy is considered a Neglected Tropical Disease due to its high prevalence in developing countries, while tuberculosis is highly endemic in developing countries and rapidly re-emerging in several developed countries. In order to eradicate these diseases effectively, it is necessary to understand how they first originated in humans and whether they are prevalent in nonhuman hosts which can serve as a source of zoonotic transmission. This dissertation uses a phylogenomics approach to elucidate the evolutionary histories of the …

Contributors
Honap, Tanvi Prasad, Stone, Anne C, Rosenberg, Michael S, et al.
Created Date
2017

Obesity impairs skeletal muscle maintenance and regeneration, a condition that can progressively lead to muscle loss, but the mechanisms behind it are unknown. Muscle is primarily composed of multinucleated cells called myotubes which are derived by the fusion of mononucleated myocytes. A key mediator in this process is the cellular fusion protein syncytin-1. This led to the hypothesis that syncytin-1 could be decreased in the muscle of obese/insulin resistant individuals. In contrast, it was found that obese/insulin resistant subjects had higher syncytin-1 expression in the muscle compared to that of the lean subjects. Across the subjects, syncytin-1 correlated significantly with …

Contributors
Ravichandran, Jayachandran, Katsanos, Christos, Coletta, Dawn, et al.
Created Date
2017

The portability of genetic tools from one organism to another is a cornerstone of synthetic biology. The shared biological language of DNA-to-RNA-to-protein allows for expression of polypeptide chains in phylogenetically distant organisms with little modification. The tools and contexts are diverse, ranging from catalytic RNAs in cell-free systems to bacterial proteins expressed in human cell lines, yet they exhibit an organizing principle: that genes and proteins may be treated as modular units that can be moved from their native organism to a novel one. However, protein behavior is always unpredictable; drop-in functionality is not guaranteed. My work characterizes how two …

Contributors
Daer, Rene, Haynes, Karmella, Brafman, David, et al.
Created Date
2017

What makes living systems different than non-living ones? Unfortunately this question is impossible to answer, at least currently. Instead, we must face computationally tangible questions based on our current understanding of physics, computation, information, and biology. Yet we have few insights into how living systems might quantifiably differ from their non-living counterparts, as in a mathematical foundation to explain away our observations of biological evolution, emergence, innovation, and organization. The development of a theory of living systems, if at all possible, demands a mathematical understanding of how data generated by complex biological systems changes over time. In addition, this theory …

Contributors
Adams, Alyssa Michelle, Walker, Sara I, Davies, Paul CW, et al.
Created Date
2017

Predicting resistant prostate cancer is critical for lowering medical costs and improving the quality of life of advanced prostate cancer patients. I formulate, compare, and analyze two mathematical models that aim to forecast future levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA). I accomplish these tasks by employing clinical data of locally advanced prostate cancer patients undergoing androgen deprivation therapy (ADT). I demonstrate that the inverse problem of parameter estimation might be too complicated and simply relying on data fitting can give incorrect conclusions, since there is a large error in parameter values estimated and parameters might be unidentifiable. I provide confidence intervals …

Contributors
Baez, Javier, Kuang, Yang, Kostelich, Eric, et al.
Created Date
2017

An important component of insect social structure is the number of queens that cohabitate in a colony. Queen number is highly variable between and within species. It can begin at colony initiation when often unrelated queens form cooperative social groups, a strategy known as primary polygyny. The non-kin cooperative groups formed by primary polygyny have profound effects on the social dynamics and inclusive fitness benefits within a colony. Despite this, the evolution of non-kin queen cooperation has been relatively overlooked in considerations of the evolution of cooperative sociality. To date, studies examining the costs and benefits of primary polygyny have …

Contributors
Haney, Brian Russell, Fewell, Jennifer H, Cole, Blaine J, et al.
Created Date
2017

This thesis examines the use of the moisture swing resin materials employed at the Center for Negative Carbon Emissions (CNCE) in order to provide carbon dioxide from ambient air to photobioreactors containing extremophile cyanobacteria cultured at the Arizona Center for Algae Technology and Innovation (AzCATI). For this purpose, a carbon dioxide feeding device was designed, built, and tested. The results indicate how much resin should be used with a given volume of algae medium: approximately 500 grams of resin can feed 1% CO2 at about three liters per minute to a ten liter medium of the Galdieria sulphuraria 5587.1 strain …

Contributors
Beaubien, Courtney, Lackner, Klaus, Lammers, Peter, et al.
Created Date
2016

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 ability of microalgae to be mass cultivated and harvested for production of pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, and biofuels has made microalgae a focal point of scientific investigation. However, negative impacts on production are essentially inevitable due to the open design of many microalgae mass culture systems. This challenge generates a need for the consistent monitoring of microalgae cultures for health and the presence of contaminants, predators, and competitors. The techniques for monitoring microalgae cultures are generally time-intensive, labor-intensive, and expensive. The scope of this work was to evaluate the use of Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) as a …

Contributors
Barbano, Duane, Sandrin, Todd, Webber, Andrew, et al.
Created Date
2016

The emergence of invasive non-Typhoidal Salmonella (iNTS) infections belonging to sequence type (ST) 313 are associated with severe bacteremia and high mortality in sub-Saharan Africa. Distinct features of ST313 strains include resistance to multiple antibiotics, extensive genomic degradation, and atypical clinical diagnosis including bloodstream infections, respiratory symptoms, and fever. Herein, I report the use of dynamic bioreactor technology to profile the impact of physiological fluid shear levels on the pathogenesis-related responses of ST313 pathovar, 5579. I show that culture of 5579 under these conditions induces profoundly different pathogenesis-related phenotypes than those normally observed when cultures are grown conventionally. Surprisingly, in …

Contributors
Castro, Christian, Nickerson, Cheryl A., Ott, C. Mark, et al.
Created Date
2016

Biomass synthesis is a competing factor in biological systems geared towards generation of commodity and specialty chemicals, ultimately limiting maximum titer and yield; in this thesis, a widely generalizable, modular approach focused on decoupling biomass synthesis from the production of the phenylalanine in a genetically modified strain of E. coli BW25113 was explored with the use of synthetic trans-encoded small RNA (sRNA) to achieve greater efficiency. The naturally occurring sRNA MicC was used as a scaffold, and combined on a plasmid with a promoter for anhydrous tetracycline (aTc) and a T1/TE terminator. The coding sequence corresponding to the target binding …

Contributors
Herschel, Daniel Jordan, Nielsen, David R, Torres, Cesar I, et al.
Created Date
2016

The spread of dengue worldwide currently places half of the world’s population at risk. In the absence of a dengue vaccine, control of the disease requires control of the mosquito species that transmit the virus. The most important of these is. Advances in research detailing the responsiveness of Aedes aegypti to small changes in climate enable the production of more sophisticated remote sensing and surveillance techniques for monitoring these populations. Close monitoring of global dengue activity and outbreaks likewise enables a greater specificity when determining to which human populations the virus is most likely to spread. There have been no …

Contributors
Hughes, Tyler C., Perrings, Charles, Kinzig, Ann, et al.
Created Date
2016

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

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

Cell adhesion is an important aspect of many biological processes. The atomic force microscope (AFM) has made it possible to quantify the forces involved in cellular adhesion using a technique called single cell force spectroscopy (SCFS). AFM based SCFS offers versatile control over experimental conditions for probing directly the interaction between specific cell types and specific proteins, surfaces, or other cells. Transmembrane integrins are the primary proteins involved in cellular adhesion to the extra cellular matix (ECM). One of the chief integrins involved in the adhesion of leukocyte cells is αMβ2 (Mac-1). The experiments in this dissertation quantify the adhesion …

Contributors
Christenson, Wayne B, Ros, Robert, Beckstein, Oliver, et al.
Created Date
2016

The immune system plays a dual role during neoplastic progression. It can suppress tumor growth by eliminating cancer cells, and also promote neoplastic expansion by either selecting for tumor cells that are fitter to survive in an immunocompetent host or by establishing the right conditions within the tumor microenvironment. First, I present a model to study the dynamics of subclonal evolution of cancer. I model selection through time as an epistatic process. That is, the fitness change in a given cell is not simply additive, but depends on previous mutations. Simulation studies indicate that tumors are composed of myriads of …

Contributors
Chowell, Diego, Castillo-Chavez, Carlos, Anderson, Karen S, et al.
Created Date
2016

Intervertebral Disc Degeneration (IVDD) is a complex phenomenon characterizing the desiccation and structural compromise of the primary joint in the human spine. The intervertebral disc (IVD) serves to connect vertebral bodies, cushion shock, and allow for flexion and extension of the vertebral column. Often presenting in the 4th or 5th decades of life as low back pain, this disease was originally believed to be the result of natural “wear and tear” coupled with repetitive mechanical insult, and as such most studies focus on patients between 40 and 50 years of age. Research over the past two decades, however, has demonstrated …

Contributors
Fulton, Travis, Liebig, Juergen, Neisewander, Janet, et al.
Created Date
2016

Why do many animals possess multiple classes of photoreceptors that vary in the wavelengths of light to which they are sensitive? Multiple spectral photoreceptor classes are a requirement for true color vision. However, animals may have unconventional vision, in which multiple spectral channels broaden the range of wavelengths that can be detected, or in which they use only a subset of receptors for specific behaviors. Branchiopod crustaceans are of interest for the study of unconventional color vision because they express multiple visual pigments in their compound eyes, have a simple repertoire of visually guided behavior, inhabit unique and highly variable …

Contributors
Lessios, Nicolas, Rutowski, Ronald L, Cohen, Jonathan H, et al.
Created Date
2016

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

Measles is a contagious, vaccine-preventable disease that continues to be the leading cause of death in children younger than the age of 5 years. While the introduction of the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella vaccine (MMR) has significantly decreased morbidity and mortality rates worldwide, vaccine coverage is highly variable across global regions. Current diagnostic methods rely on enzyme immunoassays (EIA) to detect IgM or IgG Abs in serum. Commercially available Diamedix Immunosimplicity® Measles IgG test kit has been shown to have 91.1% sensitivity and 93.8% specificity, with a positive predictive value of 88.7% and a negative predictive value of 90.9% on …

Contributors
Mushtaq, Zuena, Anderson, Karen, Blattman, Joseph, et al.
Created Date
2016

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

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

Systems biology studies complex biological systems. It is an interdisciplinary field, with biologists working with non-biologists such as computer scientists, engineers, chemists, and mathematicians to address research problems applying systems’ perspectives. How these different researchers and their disciplines differently contributed to the advancement of this field over time is a question worth examining. Did systems biology become a systems-oriented science or a biology-oriented science from 1992 to 2013? This project utilized computational tools to analyze large data sets and interpreted the results from historical and philosophical perspectives. Tools deployed were derived from scientometrics, corpus linguistics, text-based analysis, network analysis, and …

Contributors
Zou, Yawen, Laubichler, Manfred, Maienschein, Jane, et al.
Created Date
2016

The complex life cycle and widespread range of infection of Plasmodium parasites, the causal agent of malaria in humans, makes them the perfect organism for the study of various evolutionary mechanisms. In particular, multigene families are considered one of the main sources for genome adaptability and innovation. Within Plasmodium, numerous species- and clade-specific multigene families have major functions in the development and maintenance of infection. Nonetheless, while the evolutionary mechanisms predominant on many species- and clade-specific multigene families have been previously studied, there are far less studies dedicated to analyzing genus common multigene families (GCMFs). I studied the patterns of …

Contributors
Castillo Siri, Andreina Inez, Rosenberg, Michael, Escalante, Ananias, et al.
Created Date
2016

Although mimetic animal coloration has been studied since Darwin's time, many questions on the efficacy, evolution, and function of mimicry remain unanswered. Müller (1879) hypothesized that unpalatable individuals converge on the same conspicuous coloration to reduce predation. However, there are many cases where closely related, unpalatable species have diverged from a shared conspicuous pattern. What selection pressures have led to divergence in warning colors? Environmental factors such as ambient light have been hypothesized to affect signal transmission and efficacy in animals. Using two mimetic pairs of Heliconius butterflies, Postman and Blue-white, I tested the hypothesis that animals with divergent mimetic …

Contributors
Seymoure, Brett Michael, Rutowski, Ronald L, McGraw, Kevin J, et al.
Created Date
2016

The most abundantly studied societies, with the exception of humans, are those of the eusocial insects, which include all ants. Eusocial insect societies are typically composed of many dozens to millions of individuals, referred to as nestmates, which require some form of communication to maintain colony cohesion and coordinate the activities within them. Nestmate recognition is the process of distinguishing between nestmates and non-nestmates, and embodies the first line of defense for social insect colonies. In ants, nestmate recognition is widely thought to occur through olfactory cues found on the exterior surfaces of individuals. These cues, called cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs), …

Contributors
Cash, Elizabeth Irene, Gadau, Jürgen, Liebig, Jürgen, et al.
Created Date
2016

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

The majority of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients (70%) are diagnosed with adenocarcinoma versus other histological subtypes. These patients often present with advanced, metastatic disease and frequently relapse after treatment. The tumor suppressor, Liver Kinase B1, is frequently inactivated in adenocarcinomas and loss of function is associated with a highly aggressive, metastatic tumor (1). Identification of the mechanisms deregulated with LKB1 inactivation could yield targeted therapeutic options for adenocarcinoma patients. Re-purposing the immune system to support tumor growth and aid in metastasis has been shown to be a feature in cancer progression (2). Tumor associated macrophages (TAMs) differentiate from …

Contributors
Friel, Jacqueline Marie, Inge, Landon, Lake, Douglas, et al.
Created Date
2015

Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is a chronic autoimmune disease characterized by progressive autoimmune destruction of insulin-producing pancreatic β-cells. Genetic, immunological and environmental factors contribute to T1D development. The focus of this dissertation is to track the humoral immune response in T1D by profiling autoantibodies (AAbs) and anti-viral antibodies using an innovative protein array platform called Nucleic Acid Programmable Protein Array (NAPPA). AAbs provide value in identifying individuals at risk, stratifying patients with different clinical courses, improving our understanding of autoimmune destructions, identifying antigens for cellular immune response and providing candidates for prevention trials in T1D. A two-stage serological AAb screening …

Contributors
Bian, Xiaofang, LaBaer, Joshua, Mandarino, Lawrence, et al.
Created Date
2015

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

The NLR family, pyrin domain-containing 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome is essential for the innate immune response to danger signals. Importantly, the NLRP3 inflammasome responds to structurally and functionally dissimilar stimuli. It is currently unknown how the NLRP3 inflammasome responds to such diverse triggers. This dissertation investigates the role of ion flux in regulating the NLRP3 inflammasome. Project 1 explores the relationship between potassium efflux and Syk tyrosine kinase. The results reveal that Syk activity is upstream of mitochondrial oxidative signaling and is crucial for inflammasome assembly, pro-inflammatory cytokine processing, and caspase-1-dependent pyroptotic cell death. Dynamic potassium imaging and molecular analysis revealed …

Contributors
Yaron, Jordan Robin, Meldrum, Deirdre R, Blattman, Joseph N, et al.
Created Date
2015

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