logo and main navigation container

LR to host 117th annual North Carolina Academy of Science meeting
LR to host 117th annual North Carolina Academy of Science meeting

Lenoir-Rhyne University is hosting the 117th meeting of the North Carolina Academy of Science on March 12-13.

The university was scheduled to host the conference last year, but it was postponed due to COVID-19. This year's conference is being held virtually.

"LR has been attending this conference for more than 40 years, but this is the first time we've hosted it," said associate biology professor Judy Moore, Ph.D., who is helping organize the event.

The event begins Friday evening at 6 p.m. with an opening address from Lenoir-Rhyne Provost Gary Johnson, Ph.D., and continues with quick, research presentations by undergraduate and graduate science students and faculty throughout the state, and it continues Saturday morning with as many as 50 biology honors students presenting on a variety of different topics. There are also workshops geared toward helping undergraduate students apply for graduate school and aiding faculty in introducing genomic data analysis processes into their classes.

David Hu, Ph.D., a biophysicist from Georgia Tech and best-selling author, is serving as the keynote speaker. Author of the book "How to Walk on Water and Climb Up Walls" Hu studies the physics of animal interactions with water. He is a recipient of numerous awards, including the National Science Foundation's CAREER Award for young scientists and is a two-time recipient of the Ig Nobel Prize in Physics. Hu's work has been featured in "The New York Times," "National Geographics," "Physics Today" and "Highlights for Children."

Registration for the event is $20 for faculty members and $5 for students.

Lenoir-Rhyne has seven members of its honors biology class this year, and they're prepared to present on the following topics:

  • Determining the role of programmed cell death in cotton fiber development
  • Comparing vining behaviors between native and invasive honeysuckles
  • California black worms as a model organism for studying cardiovascular effects of exposure the blood thinner Warfarin
  • Analysis of the distribution and diversity of tree-foraging Formicidae ant species on black walnut and red maple trees
  • Effects of acidification on the ability of zebrafish to avoid predation
  • Impact of acidification on the ability of sea urchins to detect and respond to light
  • Ruby-throated hummingbird feeding behaviors at sites of time-variant food availability
Several members of LR's honors biology class last year are also presenting at the conference after missing out on the opportunity last spring.