Joe and Linda Chlapaty Summer Research Program

The Chlapaty Fellowship Program is a competitive program designed to aid in the preparation of talented undergraduate students for graduate or professional school study. Fellows’ projects are to be completed during the summer following the students’ sophomore or junior years. Awardees commit to 40 hours each week for 10 weeks to the Fellowship. Each Chlapaty Fellow will receive a stipend of $4,500, and an additional $500 for supplies or travel costs associated with their scholarship project.

More information about the Fellowship Program can be found by clicking here.


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An Analysis of the Thermophilic Mechanism of Potato Tyrosinase.
An Analysis of the Thermophilic Mechanism of Potato Tyrosinase.
Citation: Englert, Melissa A., Goff, Mitchell, Mondragon, Maria F., Olson, Chelsea, Olson, Kayla, & Sinton, Mark. "An Analysis of the Thermophilic Mechanism of Potato Tyrosinase." Poster presentation for the Chlapaty Research Fellowship Program, University of Dubuque, 2012.
An Analysis of the Thermophilic Mechanism of Potato Tyrosinase.
An Analysis of the Thermophilic Mechanism of Potato Tyrosinase.
Englert, M., Goff, Mitchell, Mondragon, M., Olson, Chelsea, Olson, Kayla, & Sinton M. “An Analysis of the Thermophilic Mechanism of Potato Tyrosinase.” Poster presentation at the Midwestern Association of Chemistry Teachers at Liberal Arts Colleges (MACTLAC) 61st Annual Meeting, Westminster College, Fulton, MO, Oct. 4-5, 2013.
An Analysis of the Thermostable Properties of Potato Tyrosinase.
An Analysis of the Thermostable Properties of Potato Tyrosinase.
Englert, Melissa, & Sinton M. “An Analysis of the Thermostable Properties of Potato Tyrosinase.” Poster presentation at the Midwestern Association of Chemistry Teachers at Liberal Arts Colleges (MACTLAC) 61st Annual Meeting, Westminster College, Fulton, MO, Oct. 4-5, 2013.
Assessing the Genetic Diversity of Rediscovered Aegla of Paraguay using RAPD analysis.
Assessing the Genetic Diversity of Rediscovered Aegla of Paraguay using RAPD analysis.
Citation: Kieffer, Lea.M., Satterlee, S.Andrew, Mudalige-Jayawickrama, Rasika G., & Zuercher, Gerald L. “Assessing the Genetic Diversity of Rediscovered Aegla Crabs of Paraguay Using RAPD Analysis.” Poster presentation for the Chlapaty Research Fellowship Program, University of Dubuque, 2012.
Assessment of a Southern Flying Squirrel (Glaucomys volans) Population in the Upper Mississippi River Watershed.
Assessment of a Southern Flying Squirrel (Glaucomys volans) Population in the Upper Mississippi River Watershed.
Cruise, Chelsie E., Elizabeth G. Bainbridge, Kyle Redmond, Megan Johnson and Gerald L. Zuercher. "Assessment of a Southern Flying Squirrel (Glaucomys volans) Population in the Upper Mississippi River Watershed." Chlapaty Research Fellowship, 2012. Abstract:Southern flying squirrels, Glaucomys volans, are a “species of concern” in Iowa. Within Iowa, they are considered “uncommon” with an “unknown” population trend. This assessment appears driven by a lack of information for the species. While their reported distribution in Iowa includes all but the extreme northwest corner, there are relatively few records of the species for the state. Beginning in early June 2012, we surveyed southern flying squirrels along four transects within Mines of Spain Recreation Area (MoSRA), a state park located in Dubuque County, Iowa. These transects also were sampled in 2011. We used Ugglan multi-capture live-traps, baited with peanut butter mixed with raisins, which were placed on trees approximately 5-meters above ground level. Traps were checked each morning, for five consecutive days, every other week. To date, 18 flying squirrels have been captured and marked with PIT (Passive Integrated Transponder) tags. Capture rates for 2012 were lower than for 2011. Also, patterns of capture success differed between years; the highest capture success for 2012 comes from the transect with the lowest capture success in 2011. We will summarize our capture data for 2012 and compare to previous years.
Bat Surveys in Eastern Iowa: Simultaneous Stability and Change.
Bat Surveys in Eastern Iowa: Simultaneous Stability and Change.
Wetherell, Jessica, Melendez, Josue W., & Zuercher, Gerald L. “Bat Surveys in Eastern Iowa: Simultaneous Stability and Change.” Poster presentation for the Chlapaty Research Fellowship Program, University of Dubuque, 2013. Abstract: North American bats (Chiroptera, Vespertilionidae) are often underrepresented in conservation and management plans due to inadequate current information. The recent spread of white-nose syndrome (WNS) has raised concerns for bats throughout the eastern and mid-western United States. WNS was first detected in Iowa during the winter of 2011-2012. There are nine species of bats recorded for Iowa. This includes Myotis lucifugus (little brown bat) which has been severely impacted by WNS at some locations, the Federally Endangered Myotis sodalis (Indiana bat), Nycticeius humeralis (evening bat) which is “Threatened” within Iowa, and Myotis septentrionalis (northern myotis) which is a “Species of Special Concern” within Iowa. We sampled bat communities at Mines of Spain Recreational Area, a state park along the Mississippi River, between June and August 2013. This location also was sampled during the same time period of 2012. Mist nets were set up before sunset and left in place until one hour after the last bat was captured. Overall, eight of nine potential Iowa bat species were captured with little brown bats being the most common species during both sampling efforts. During the 2012 survey, a single Nycticeius humeralis was detected in Mines of Spain. During the 2013 survey, a suspected Myotis sodalis was captured. Perimyotis subflavus (tricolored bat) was not captured during 2012 but was captured during 2013. While little brown bats were the most common species during both surveys, other changes in community composition were documented including an increase in bat species diversity between 2012 and 2013 despite a decrease in captured individuals. Bats are important components of local biodiversity; we suggest continuing bat surveys in eastern Iowa.
Functional Characterization of Orchid TCP Genes Using JAW Mutants of Arabidopsis.
Functional Characterization of Orchid TCP Genes Using JAW Mutants of Arabidopsis.
Citation: Smith, Lauren T., Kress, Tiffanee, & Mudalige-Jayawickrama, Rasika G. “Functional Characterization of Orchid TCP Genes Using JAW Mutants of Arabidopsis.” Poster presentation for the Chlapaty Research Fellowship Program, University of Dubuque, 2013.
Gender Differences in Home-Ranges for Southern Flying Squirrels (Glaucomys volans) in Eastern Iowa.
Gender Differences in Home-Ranges for Southern Flying Squirrels (Glaucomys volans) in Eastern Iowa.
Bainbridge, E.G., Cruise, C.E., Kieffer, L.M., Matthews, A.J., Koch, David E., & Zuercher, G.L. “Gender Differences in Home-Ranges for Southern Flying Squirrels (Glaucomys volans) in Eastern Iowa.” Poster presentation for the Chlapaty Research Fellowship, 2012. Abstract: In Iowa, southern flying squirrels (Glaucomys volans) are considered a “Species of Special Concern”. This stems mainly from a lack of information about the ecology of southern flying squirrels within the state. Students at the University of Dubuque have been studying this species at Mines of Spain Recreation Area (MoSRA) in eastern Iowa for several years. Beginning in August, 2011 flying squirrels have been fitted with telemetry transmitters in an effort to better understand their spatial needs and movement patterns within the park. Transmitters were affixed to ten flying squirrels which were captured from different parts of the park. The goals were to: 1) determine their locations on a regular basis (usually nightly); 2) calculate home ranges and average daily movement distances; 3) compare between individuals to evaluate whether spatial needs are consistent throughout the park; and 4) determine whether or not females occupy different spatial ranges from male squirrels. While a few flying squirrels have yielded only a few locations, most flying squirrels were routinely located for several weeks each. It appears that the spatial needs of both male and female squirrels changes through time. These data hopefully will yield a better understanding of flying squirrel ecology.
Habitat Variation Impacts Small Mammal Distribution in Eastern Iowa.
Habitat Variation Impacts Small Mammal Distribution in Eastern Iowa.
Redmond, Kyle .D., Johnson, Megan M., Bainbridge, Elizabeth G.,Cruise, Chelsie E., O’Rourke, Jake M., Kieffer, Lea M., Marr, Shelby L., Zuercher, Gerald L., & Koch, David E. “The Impact of Habitat Variation on Small Mammal Distribution in Eastern Iowa.” Poster presentation for the Chlapaty Research Fellowship Program, University of Dubuque, 2012. Abstract: Historically, a diverse community of small mammals occurred within Iowa, most of which were associated with the abundant prairies. It is important to examine the impact of ever-decreasing native prairie in Iowa on small mammal communities. We examined the relationship between habitat and small mammal communities at Whitewater Canyon Wildlife Area (WCWA), a park at the border of Dubuque, Jackson, and Jones Counties in Iowa. The park totals 419 acres and consists of four different types habitat; native prairie, restored prairie, woodland, and cornfield. The park is surrounded on all sides by corn or soybean fields. Small mammals were trapped every other week on five transects using live-traps baited with peanut butter. Strategically placed pitfall traps supplemented the basic trapping protocol. A total of seven species were captured: white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus), western jumping mice (Zapus hudsonicus), meadow vole (Microtus pennsylvanicus), prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster), eastern chipmunks (Tamias striatus), eastern short-tailed shrew (Blarina brevicauda), and masked shrew (Sorex cinereus). Additionally, 13-lined ground squirrels (Spermophilus tridecimlineatus), though never captured in a trap, were regularly spotted on the property; their locations were noted. The presence of eastern moles (Scalopus aquaticus) also was noted wherever encountered. Species richness and species diversity were determined for each transect. Small mammal communities differed for all transects, likely reflecting different habitat preferences for each species. It appears that overall species diversity for the park is enhanced by the maintenance of multiple habitat types.
How the Zone of Transition in Dubuque Resembles the Social Disorganization of the City of Chicago.
How the Zone of Transition in Dubuque Resembles the Social Disorganization of the City of Chicago.
Kilsdonk, Joey W.C. & Koch, David E. "How the Zone of Transition in Dubuque Resembles the Social Disorganization of the City of Chicago." Poster presentation for the Chlapaty Research Fellowship Program, University of Dubuque, 2013.
Interspecies Variations in Growth Rate and Zebra Mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) Among Native Freshwater Mussels in Pool 12
Interspecies Variations in Growth Rate and Zebra Mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) Among Native Freshwater Mussels in Pool 12
Skopek, Jenna L., Hoffman, A.R., Marr, Shelby L., Call, D.J., & Malon, M.J. “Interspecies Variations in Growth Rate and Zebra Mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) Among Native Freshwater Mussels in Pool 12 of the Mississippi River.” Poster presentation at the Mississippi River Research Consortium Meeting, La Crosse, WI, April 23-25, 2014.
Interspecies Variations in Growth Rate and Zebra Mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) Among Native Freshwater Mussels in Pool 12
Interspecies Variations in Growth Rate and Zebra Mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) Among Native Freshwater Mussels in Pool 12
Skopek, Jenna L., Hoffman, Adam.R., Marr, Shelby L., Call, Daniel J., & Malon, Michael J. “Interspecies Variations in Growth Rate and Zebra Mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) Among Native Freshwater Mussels in Pool 12 of the Mississippi River.” Poster presentation for the Chlapaty Research Fellowship Program, University of Dubuque, 2014. Abstract: Mussels are extremely important biological indicators in freshwater systems. Freshwater mussel diversity can be adversely affected by anthropogenic impacts and invasive species. The influence of one invasive species, zebra mussels (Dreissenapolymorpha) have been implicated as a factor in the decline in diversity and abundance of freshwater mussel species. Mussel population distribution and D. polymorphacolonization at nine sites were studied in 2010 through 2014 field seasons near 9-Mile Island in Pool 12 of the Mississippi River. Mussels were collected by pollywoggingalong 25 meter transects of randomly selected quadrants and were examined for D. polymorpha. D. polymorphainfestation was measured on a scale of 0 to 4, depending on the amount of colonization on the freshwater mussel. Live mussels (2,628) and recaptured mussels (n = 297) were measured for shell length, width, and height, which were used to ages of the live mussels. Mussel densities were probed to determine if differences occurred due to an increased growth rates or longer lifespan. A total of 2,628 mussels, representing 21 species, were cataloged. The most prevalent mussel species were Threeridge(Amblemaplicata; n=1420), which had D. polymorphacolonization of 20.4%, Wabash Pigtoe(Fusconaiaflava; n=953), which had a D. polymorphacolonization of 8.2%, ThreehornWartyback(Obliquariareflexa; n=333), which had D. polymorphacolonization of 16.8%, and Plain Pocketbook (Lampsiliscardium; n=183), which had D. polymorphacolonization of 23.4%. Implications of D. polymorphacolonization and human impacts in pool 12 and other pools of the Mississippi River will be discussed.
Investigating Household Discard Behavior Changes from Landfilling to Recycling/Composting.
Investigating Household Discard Behavior Changes from Landfilling to Recycling/Composting.
Abstract::This research project entails working with a joint partnership between the City of Dubuque and IBM Research on the Smarter Discards Pilot Study. The purpose of this research has many concepts, but my main focus areas were with diversion strategies from the landfill. It was also to improve Dubuque residents’ awareness of the importance and opportunities for more effective discard management practices. There is an online portal that will allow residents to view and analyze their “behavior” with discarding materials. By increasing public awareness and further opportunities for residents to participate in curbside collection of recyclables, food scraps, yard scraps, and trash, we are trying to provide further opportunities for Dubuque to become a more sustainable and prosperous city. There will be RFID tags installed onto recycling and trash bins to collect and transmit data pertaining to physical amounts that are set out for curbside collection each week. This allowed us to analyze weekly performance for household’s trash to recyclables ratio, landfill diversion, and cost savings. Along with data collection on trash and recycling bins, we also created a Smarter Discards survey asking residents in this program seven recycling questions, seven behavior questions, and open ended questions for participants to leave any comments or suggestions they chose. Shown in these graphs are responses from these participants about the Smarter Discards Pilot Study.
Investigating the Common Yellow-Toothed Cavy (Galea musteloides) in the Central Paraguayan Chaco.
Investigating the Common Yellow-Toothed Cavy (Galea musteloides) in the Central Paraguayan Chaco.
Monfross, Austin, Cleary, Ryan, Cruise, C., Ellison, N., Jenkins, Tyler, McLaughlin, Kayla, Schrobilgen, Travis, Skopek, J., Campos Krauer, J.M., Benitez, I., Robles, V., Zuercher, G.L., & Koch, D.E. “Investigating the Common Yellow-Toothed Cavy (Galea musteloides) in the Central Paraguayan Chaco.” Poster presentation at the Annual Meeting of the Central Plains Society of Mammalogists, Warrensburg, MO, Oct. 11-12, 2013.
Painted Turtle Movement Patterns in a Mississippi River Island Backwater.
Painted Turtle Movement Patterns in a Mississippi River Island Backwater.
Ellison, Nate M. Koch, David E., & Zuercher, Gerald L. "Painted Turtle Movement Patterns in a Mississippi River Island Backwater." Poster presentation for the Chlapaty Research Fellowship Program, University of Dubuque, 2013. Abstract: In our turtle sampling at Nine-mile Island in Pool 12 in the Upper Mississippi River, painted turtles are the dominant species by number. While many captured turtles are recaptures, many of them are also caught only once, which suggests differing movement patterns. In an effort to better understand the type of habitat use and movement patterns of these turtles we used radio-telemetry to track three (3) turtles over a period of two months. Hoop nets were used to capture these turtles in a backwater portion of Nine-mile Island, then radio transmitters were attached to their carapace, and the turtles were released into the backwater they were captured in. All three turtles showed similar movement patterns in that each of them would stay in one small region for several days then moved to another nearby area. Total distance moved by the turtles in the tracking period was variable.
Population Characteristics for Southern Flying Squirrels (Glaucomys volans) in Eastern Iowa.
Population Characteristics for Southern Flying Squirrels (Glaucomys volans) in Eastern Iowa.
Cruise, Chelsie E., Miller, Stephany, Mondragon, Maria, & Zuercher, G.L. “Population Characteristics for Southern Flying Squirrels (Glaucomys volans) in Eastern Iowa.” Poster presentation at the Annual Meeting of the Central Plains Society of Mammalogists, Warrensburg, MO, Oct. 11-12, 2013.
Post Graduate Work: Elizabeth G. Bainbridge
Post Graduate Work: Elizabeth G. Bainbridge
Graduate Work at Fort Hays State University (Kansas)
Post Graduate Work: Melissa A. Englert
Post Graduate Work: Melissa A. Englert
Graduate Work at Southern Illinois University
Predominance of Purple Color in Dendrobium is due to Enzyme Competition between DFR AND F3′H.
Predominance of Purple Color in Dendrobium is due to Enzyme Competition between DFR AND F3′H.
Heather Barkhurst, Amore, Teresita D., Mudalige-Jayawickrama, Rasika G., Predominance of Purple Color in Dendrobium is due to Enzyme Competition between DFR AND F3′H. 2013

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