Aerial view of campus with Williamsport, the Susquehanna River and Bald Eagle Mountain as a backdrop

Biology News


Lycoming’s hellbender research advances Senate bill for first ever Pennsylvania state amphibian

The eastern hellbender is one step closer to becoming Pennsylvania’s first ever official state amphibian with the passing of Senate Bill 658, a collaborated effort of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Pennsylvania Student Leadership Council and Lycoming College’s Clean Water Institute (CWI). The bill advocates for the hellbender to be appointed the state amphibian due to its natural ability to indicate water quality — a characteristic that they believe would make the hellbender a mascot for clean water and an ideal representation of the state. Though many Pennsylvania natives might be learning about the animal for the first time as a result of the bill, members of the Lycoming College community are no strangers to the hellbender, since the College’s biology department and CWI have been studying the creature for years.

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The Wall Street Journal weighed in Lycoming’s campaign to make the Eastern Hellbender the Pennsylvania State Amphibian. The story featured a photo of Research Associate Peter Petokas and students. Read about it here: https://www.wsj.com/articles/students-asked-lawmakers-to-honor-a-salamander-then-things-got-weird-1512148133

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Lycoming College considers effects of Marcellus Shale development on local forests

Lillie Langlois, Ph.D., visited the Lycoming College campus on Oct. 12 to present her work, “Effects of Marcellus shale gas development on habitat fragmentation of Pennsylvania forests,” which examined the rapid expansion of shale gas development within the northern Appalachians. The College’s close proximity to the region in question was of particular interest to many Lycoming students who can see the effects firsthand.

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Lycoming College professor delivers presentation on fossil discovered in Lycoming County

Lycoming College’s David Broussard, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology, this summer presented research at the annual meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, on a 365 million-year-old leg bone that he and his students discovered in Lycoming County. The fossil is that of a femur that once belonged to a species of early tetrapod — a four-limbed animal — and dates back to the Late Devonian Period, when vertebrates made the transition from fish-like to more land-living types of animals.

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Dr. Schwartz to give final presentation for Lycoming Lyme Symposium

Dr. Brian Schwartz, M.D., M.S., will provide the fourth and final presentation of Lycoming College’s Lyme Symposium. Schwartz’s speech, “Lyme Disease: Epidemiologic & Clinical Overview; and Our Research,” will take place on Monday, Nov. 6 at 5:30 p.m. in Heim, Room G-11, on the Lycoming College Campus. The event is free and open to the public.

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Drs. Smith and Powers to discuss integrative medical treatment for Lyme disease as part of Lyme symposium

Drs. Harold Smith, M.D., and Francis Powers, M.D., will visit the Lycoming College Campus to discuss integrative medical treatment for Lyme disease. This discussion, part of Lycoming College’s Lyme Symposium, will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 11 at 7 p.m. in Heim, Room G-11. The event is free and open to the public.

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Lycoming College to host talk on Lyme disease in pets as part of Lyme Symposium

Dr. Steven Winton, VMD, will address the Lycoming College and Williamsport communities on how to keep pets safe from Lyme disease during his talk, “Lyme Disease in Pets.” The presentation, part of Lycoming College’s Lyme Symposium, will be held on Thursday, Sept. 28 at 7 p.m. in Heim, Room G-11, on the Lycoming College campus. The event is free and open to the public.

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Lycoming College Lyme Symposium helps Williamsport community stay safe as area experiences increase in ticks

As Lycoming College launches this fall’s Lyme Symposium to help residents stay healthy while the area continues to see a rise in the local tick population, it announces a talk by “The TickGuy,” Thomas Mather, Ph.D., who will present “Ten things everyone needs to know about ticks these days,” and “Five TickSmartTM actions.” The presentation, scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 21 at 7 p.m. in Heim G-11 on the Lycoming College campus, is free and open to the public.

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Lycoming College professor receives Fulbright grant to teach DNA analysis in South Africa

Jeff Newman, Ph.D., professor of biology at Lycoming College, has been selected for a Fulbright Grant to help increase the use of cutting-edge technology for DNA analysis in South Africa and to further the use of the technology in the field of bacterial classification.

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Scientist from Pennsylvania State University addresses link between energy use and climate change

The average American eats about 2,000 calories per day, creating the equivalent of about 100 watts of energy. Each American uses more than 10,000 watts of energy in heating, cooling, lighting, and other beneficial energy use. Currently, 83 percent of that energy usage is created by fossil fuels.

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Climate change expert to provide balanced view of research during presentation at Lycoming College

Richard Alley, Ph.D., will provide a balanced view of current research on climate change during a presentation at 7 p.m. on March 22 in the Keiper Recreation Center. The event is free and open to the public.

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