DWU professors present at South Dakota Academy of Science annual meeting; named to positions in academy

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Two Dakota Wesleyan professors presented at the annual South Dakota Academy of Science meeting in March and three were elected to positions within the academy.

Dr. Tim Mullican, professor of biology, and Dr. Brian Patrick, assistant professor of biology, each presented during the meeting, which took place March 28-29 at the South Dakota School of Mines, Rapid City.

Mullican presented a paper on population estimates from a capture/recapture study of the Bear Lodge meadow jumping mouse in the Black Hills.

“In 2005, the Bear Lodge meadow jumping mouse was listed as a ‘species of greatest conservation need’ in South Dakota as a result of its limited geographical range and threats to its habitat from grazing, logging, and development,” Mullican said. “As a result of my study conducted between 2010 and 2013, the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department delisted this species from its Wildlife Action Plan, as it was relatively common on my study areas, comprising an average of 23 percent of the small mammal fauna in riparian areas throughout the northern and central Black Hills.”

Patrick’s presentation, “South Dakota Spider Survey: Undated Findings and Summary,” provided an update on the status of the South Dakota Spider Survey (SDSS), which to date, has identified more than 300 species from the state. The project has also expanded to include efforts to image, database and DNA-barcode all species found within the state.

“A reasonable estimate for the number of species expected in the state is about 1,000 species, so there are a lot more species left to find,” Patrick said. “The SDSS has already documented one species new to science – Theridion pierre, published in the November issue of the Journal of Arachnology – and many records that have expanded the known ranges of several species.”

Patrick was also re-elected a member-at-large to the executive committee of the academy, joined by Dr. Paula Mazzer, assistant professor of biochemistry at DWU, elected to the same position for the first time. Mullican was elected as the webmaster for the academy.

Categories: News
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