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April 7, 2011

ULM Toxicology graduate students and faculty member featured in major scientific journals

A research article, co-authored by Dr. Kevin Baer, department head of toxicology at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, and one of his former students, has been accepted for publication in Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety.

The work by Baer and ULM alum Rebekah Gibble, is a "Highlighted Article," chosen for its outstanding scientific quality and relevance.

The article, "Effects of atrazine, agricultural runoff, and selected effluents on antimicrobial activity of skin peptides in Xenopus laevis," provides an additional tool for determining the impact of pollutants on amphibian resistance to pathogens.

Pollution-induced inhibition of this defense mechanism may have significant consequences on population survival.

Gibble graduated ULM in December 2006 with a Ph.D. in Pharmacy, specializing in Toxicology.

She is stationed at the ARM Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge as part of the Everglades Program Team. She leads the Ecological Effects Research component of the Refuge's Enhanced Water Quality Monitoring Program.

Gibble is investigating the ecological effects of mineral enrichment in an oligotrophic wetland located in the remaining Everglades.

Baer has also co-authored "Histaminergic signaling in the central nervous system of Daphnia and a role it in the control of phototactic behavior," which will be published in the Journal of Experimental Biology.

The article will be featured in the "Inside JEB" column, a section that highlights interesting papers from each issue of the journal.

"While the main articles in the Journal are aimed at international scientists working in the field of experimental biology, the articles in the column are aimed at non-specialist readers such as undergraduate scientists and specialists in other fields," said Baer.

"The intent is to expand the visibility of relevant articles to the general scientific community."

Co-authors are Matthew D. McCoole, current Ph.D. graduate student of Pharmacy specializing in Toxicology, in collaboration with Andrew E. Christie of the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory, Salisbury Cove, Maine.

"Both journals are international in scope and reflect relevant, high-quality research from our graduate students," said Baer.

"This is a tremendous accomplishment for these young researchers and it is exciting to see their professional growth as scientists".

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