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Source: Samantha Wisely, 785-532-0978, wisely@k-state.edu
Note to editor: Kale Lothamer is a graduate of Olathe South High School.
News release prepared by: Tyler Sharp, 785-532-2535, media@k-state.edu

Monday, May 9, 2011

HEADING TO THE LAB: SIX STUDENTS SELECTED FOR UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH PROGRAM IN ECOLOGICAL GENOMICS

MANHATTAN -- The first class of undergraduate scholars at Kansas State University's Ecological Genomics Institute will start their yearlong research in June.

The students each receive a $15,000 stipend. Scholars were selected based on their research experience, academics and how ecological genomics might influence their future. Each scholar participating in the program will be paired with a faculty member from the K-State Ecological Genomics Institute. The students will be able to develop supplemental research projects that tie in with their mentor's research goals.

Samantha Wisely and Ari Jumpponen, both K-State associate professors of biology, have been awarded nearly $750,000 for the next five years from the National Science Foundation to administer the undergraduate research and mentoring in ecological genomics program.

Anita Cortez, administrative director of the Developing Scholars Program, was integral in securing the grant according to Wisely.

"This grant would have never happened without her," Wisely said. "She was absolutely instrumental."

Ecological genomics is an integrative field of study that seeks to understand the genetic mechanisms underlying adaptive responses of organisms to their environment. The mission of the Ecological Genomics Institute is to advance the discipline of ecological genomics and to make the institute the center for ecological genomics locally, nationally and internationally.

The 2011-2012 student researchers are:

Logan Blunk, junior in life sciences, Caldwell; Abraham Denner, sophomore in biology, Hiawatha; Lindsey Worcester, senior in biology, Hill City; Joshua Ames, freshman in biology, Lenexa; Kendra Schuler, junior in biology, Manhattan; and Kale Lothamer, sophomore in animal sciences and industry, Olathe.