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  • Organization
    Penn State Behrend

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  • Biography

    I received my Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Mount Union College in 2001 and my doctoral degree from the Microbiology and Virology Program at the University of Pittsburgh in 2006. Shortly after defending my dissertation, I accepted a teaching position at Penn State Behrend in Erie and I am currently an Associate Professor of Microbiology. I teach Introductory Microbiology lecture and lab courses for majors and upper-level classes in Immunology and Medical microbiology. I am also the Undergraduate coordinator for our biology department and spend a lot of time advising freshman students and preparing seniors for graduation. In regards to undergraduate research, my lab has begun examining and characterizing the microbial populations found in different environments. One specific environment has been the surface of avian eggs. The microflora of avian eggshells is proposed to play an integral role in the protection of the egg/embryo from infection by pathogenic microorganisms and alteration of the egg microstructure aiding in embryonic development. To date, the bacterial microflora found on the eggshells of House Wrens, American Kestrels, and most recently Purple Martins have been profiled using culture-dependent techniques. Another main research focus within her lab is to determine the effectiveness of Agion silver zeolite technology on bacterial populations on door handles across our campus.

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