Published on March 6, 2019 by Sean Flynt  
AAS 2019
Student researchers included Johnny Herbert, Merrilea Duke, Erin Prester and Karen M. Inouye

Students and faculty of Samford University's Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences earned top honors at the 96th annual meeting of the Alabama Academy of Science at Tuskegee University Feb. 20-22.

Students Merrilea Duke, Johnny Herbert and Erin Prester, and professor Malia Fincher earned the event’s poster award for their research on the natural defensive compounds produced by oak acorns to defend themselves against weevils and other attackers that consume a large portion of the acorn crop each year.

Student Karen M. Inouye, department chair Anthony S. Overton and Alabama A&M University professor Douglas A.Smith earned the oral presentation award for their documentation of the first evidence of natural reproduction of striped bass in the Tennessee River. That work is particularly significant because the research discovered that Wheeler Reservoir is supporting a breeding population of striped bass, and this is one of only three lakes in the country where these fish have been shown to be spawning.

Samford’s Howard College of Arts and Sciences (HCAS) emphasizes undergraduate research and collaboration with expert faculty as a key experience of preparation for careers. Projects from each of the 14 HCAS departments will be featured at the college’s annual research fair in April.

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. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 37th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 97th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,758 students from 48 states and 22 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 3rd nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.