Published on November 20, 2012  

Samford University’s Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences will host Dr. Janek von Byern of Vienna, Austria’s Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Experimental and Clinical Traumatology Nov. 24-29. 

Samford Biology professor Kristin Bakkegard said von Byern is coming to Birmingham to collect secretions from two locally common salamanders--the marbled salamander and the slimy salamander—because salamanders use sticky skin secretions to protect themselves against predators. Von Byern is a leading expert in such bio-adhesives, which may have medical or industrial applications. Bakkegard will locate and capture the salamanders, help collect the secretions and provide expertise on the natural history of the creatures.

Von Byern will present a free public lecture on the structure, biochemistry and adhesive properties of the adhesive system of Plethodon shermani (Amphibia, Plethodontidae) Nov. 27 at 4 p.m. in Samford’s Christenberry Planetarium.
Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.