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Pictured L to R: Petrina McKenzie-Reynolds, Dr. Gulnihal Ozbay, Dr. Karuna Chintapenta. Not pictured: Tajjay Gordon.
In this photo: Pictured L to R: Petrina McKenzie-Reynolds, Dr. Gulnihal Ozbay, Dr. Karuna Chintapenta. Not pictured: Tajjay Gordon.
Agriculture and Related Sciences

DSU students earn honors for agriculture research

Friday, August 4, 2017

Two DSU students earned honors during the Association of 1890 Research Directors’ 18th Biennial Research Symposium, held April 1-4, 2017, in Atlanta, GA. Tajjay Gordon, undergraduate biology major, and Petrina McKenzie-Reynolds, M.S. candidate (natural resources), received awards for their research presentations during the conference. Both students are mentored by Professor Gulni Ozbay in the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Gordon earned second place for her poster in the “Renewable Energy, Natural Resources and Environment, Undergraduate Competitive Poster Presentation”. Her project was titled, Removal of Cadmium from Mars Soils Using Bacteria Isolation from Blackbird Creek. As an intern of the Center for Integrated Biological and Environmental Research (CIBER), Gordon conducted her research in Dr. Ozbay’s lab; it was funded by NSF-EPSCoR.

Gordon commends both Dr. Ozbay and Dr. Karuna Chintapenta, post-doctorate associate, for their assistance and support, and thanks CIBER and Molecular Genetics & Epigenomics lab personnel.

Petrina-McKenzie’s project, Isolation and Identification of Lead and Cadmium Tolerant Bacteria from Blackbird Creek Marsh in Townsend Delaware earned her third place in the “Plant Health and Productions, Graduate Competitive Oral Presentation” category. She previously won third place for her oral presentation during the 74th Annual Professional Agricultural Workers Conference (PAWC), held at Tuskegee University in December 2016. Her work is supported by both NSF-EPSCoR and USDA Evans Allen funding agencies.

Beyond thanking Dr. Ozbay and Dr. Karuna Chintapenta, post-doctorate associate, Petrina-McKenzie’s gratitude extends to, “My mother who is my biggest advocate and strength, my siblings who are my number one cheerleaders, and my friends who continue to hold the flag of motivation.”