Iowa State undergraduates showcase their research at annual Capitol event March 28

AMES, Iowa — When Iowa legislators meet Iowa State University undergraduate researchers Tuesday, the discussion could be about a new algae-based wastewater treatment technology for rural Iowa, a test to evaluate concrete permeability and durability, biocompatible polymer microfibers to repair the central nervous system, or consumer input applied to the development of solar-powered bookbags.

Students and lawmakers will have the opportunity to chat about dozens of student research projects during the annual "Research in the Capitol." The event will be from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. March 28, in the Rotunda of the State Capitol building in Des Moines. It highlights the importance of research to the undergraduate learning experience, as well as the depth and variety of research being done.

More than 60 undergraduate students from Iowa's three Regent universities (Iowa State, the University of Iowa, and the University of Northern Iowa) will display their research posters and describe their work.

A total of 25 Iowa State students will present 20 projects. Svitlana Zbarska, ISU's Undergraduate Research Program coordinator, leads the student group and is involved in organization of the event, which is open to the public.


The Iowa State students who will present their work at the capitol, their hometowns, majors and research titles are:

Andrea Colton, Indianola, biology: "Patterns of Woody Encroachment Establishment in Restored Prairies"

Logan Crees, Hinton, environmental science: "Moth Diversity of the Grand River Grasslands of South Central Iowa"

Carter Francis, Prior Lake, Minnesota, materials engineering: "Using Glass Structure to Build Better Batteries"

Max Gangestad, Clarion, agricultural engineering: "New Algae Treatment Technology Addresses Stricter Wastewater Regulations for Rural Iowa"

Josiah Green, Litchfield, Minnesota, industrial engineering: "Simulation Modeling of Human Behavior in Production Systems and Team Dynamics"

Kaylee Hahn, Ames, nutritional science; Caitlyn Coonts dietetics, Eldridge; and Carter Reed, West Burlington, kinesiology and health: "Whole Egg Consumption Attenuates Weight Gain in Obese Type 2 Diabetic Rats"

Jacob Hill, Newton, environmental science and biology: "Nitrogen Composition of Cup Plant Changes with Growth Stage and Differs from Neighboring Species in Response to Varying Plant Community Diversity"

Rebecca Johnson, Earlham, agronomy and horticulture: "Improving Soil Conservation and Crop Performance through Reduced Tillage and Cover-Crop-Based Rotations in Organic Squash Production"

Jordan Kersey, Des Moines, environmental science and biology: "Crop Rotation Diversity to Improve Water Quality and Increase Soil Health"

Sarah Kurtz, Waverly, biology and horticulture: "Hydroponic Testing of Iron Deficiency Chlorosis in Soybeans"

Josie Laska, Cedar Rapids, elementary education: "Engaging Pre-Service Teachers in Community-based Research Projects"

Erica Mack, Milan, Illinois, civil engineering: "Assessment of Simple Test to Evaluate Concrete Permeability"

Kaitlyn Murphy, Carson, biology; and Jessica Meseck, Charter Oak, biology: "Trophozoite Killing Assays for Tritrichomonas foetus Parasites"

Elizabeth Petran, Eagan, Minnesota, kinesiology and health; and Emma VanSickle, Bettendorf, kinesiology and health: "Sensorimotor Brain Activity during Repetitive Finger Tapping in Young Adults with Developmental Dyslexia"

Jennifer Poncelet, Spirit Lake, kinesiology and health: "Integrating Physical Activity with Academics: Evaluation of the Efficacy of the Move for Thought Pre-K/K Curriculum"

Emily Southard, Des Moines, agriculture and society and global resource systems: "Midwestern Soybean Farmer’s Perceptions and Management of Glyphosate Resistant Weeds"

Dan Stroud, Urbandale, genetics: "Biocompatible Polymer Microfibers Promote Adult Neural Stem Cell Proliferation and Differentiation"

Emily Tinguely, Fort Madison, nutritional science: "Visual Estimation of Dietary Intake during School Lunch for Iowan Students"

Sam Vande Loo, Stewartville, Minnesota, mechanical engineering; and Courtney Beringer, Dubuque, mechanical engineering: "Exploring Wearable Technology: Solar Powered Bookbags"

Kellie Walters, Mt. Vernon, industrial design: "Changing the Perceptions of Making: Adjusting the Mechanics of Ideation for Multidisciplinary Success"