December 2019

Welcome to our New Board members

KAS Welcomes Kate He and Jon Dixon to the board! Jon is our new Vice President and Kate is our new Biological Division Representative.

Read more about them and all our board members HERE

Message from the new KAS President

Frank Ettensohn

I appreciate very much the opportunity that you have given me to be President of the Kentucky Academy of Science for the upcoming 2020 year. I approach the upcoming year with enthusiasm, but also with some trepidation, as we move forward with the Academy into the new decade. If you saw or heard about the movie, “I Believe in Dinosaurs,” featuring one of our own members, which was screened at the last Annual Meeting in Berea, you are probably aware of America’s — and our own Commonwealth’s — problematic relationship with science. The end title of the movie indicates that 38% of all Americans believe in creationism, which should suggest to all of us in science that we need a stronger history lesson and that we need to communicate among ourselves and with the public about what we do and why we do it.
 Part of our job as scientists and as members of the Kentucky Academy of Science is to optimize our approach to problems with the understanding of science in Kentucky and develop a strong collective voice to speak out on the importance of science to each of us and to the future health and security of our planet. I am eager to do this with you and through the Academy, but more participation in Academy affairs and meetings is required from all of us.
One of those voices that we have is the Academy’s journal, but in recent years it has been largely “taken for granted.” The journal now has a new on-line venue that should make it easier for us all to share our research and other information of importance and to give Kentucky scientists an opportunity to be real brokers of information about Kentucky science. In addition to the “hard sciences,” I would like to let you know that our journal is also available for work in the social sciences and science education.
I think that you are all aware of the Academy’s Annual Meeting, which in November 2020, will be held at Eastern Kentucky University, and associated with the meeting, our sections will hold section meetings for the various scientific disciplines. We welcome more participation in these sections and in our Speaker’s Bureau. You are also always welcome to participate in Governing Board meetings, but one of the highlights for me is participating in the annual meeting of the Junior Academy of Science at Kentucky State University in April. We are always in need of members to help with the Junior Academy, and this is a real opportunity to help encourage and mentor our future scientists. Information about all of these activities can be found on the KAS website and in the newsletters. Once again, we need your participation in these and other KAS activities if we are to better serve science in Kentucky, and we eagerly welcome your ideas and comments, which can be addressed to me ( or our executive director (
Finally, we are asking each of you to be a more engaged KAS member, especially in your dealings with students and the public. We science people do well at explaining the technical aspects of our trade among ourselves at our various meetings. However, for those people outside our group, like students, civil servants, business and other stakeholders, politicians, and everyday people without a science background, we are not connecting on a level that they can understand. These people are looking for assurance, fairness, open-mindedness, quick and positive responses, and a foundation in the same basic values and beliefs that they hold. In other words, we need to use science to address those things that people really want to know. Hence, it is increasingly important that we communicate more with the public, and KAS can provide help in doing this. Personal interactions with the public, student mentoring, and sharing personal experiences, among others, are ways that we can interact more productively with the public. To that end, it is important for us to share with the public that interest, excitement and fascination that brought us into science. It was that interest and fascination — as well as a concern for its continued sustenance — that brought me into KAS. I would like to encourage each of you to convey that same excitement and concern to the public as a normal part of your professional and KAS responsibilities.
Best regards,
Frank R. Ettensohn
2020 KAS President

KAS Affiliate Institutions

KAS Enhanced Affiliates
Alice Lloyd College
Asbury University
Bellarmine University
Berea College
Brescia University
Campbellsville University
Centre College
Eastern Kentucky University
Georgetown College
Kentucky Community and Technical College System
Kentucky Science Center
Kentucky State University
Lindsey Wilson College
Midway University
Morehead State University
Murray State University
Northern Kentucky University
Spalding University
Thomas More University
Transylvania University
University of Kentucky
University of Louisville
University of Pikeville
Western Kentucky University

KAS Regular Affiliates
Lumins Associates
Kentucky Wesleyan College
Wood Hudson Cancer Research Laboratory

Upcoming Events

Winter Birds of Kentucky
Raven Run Nature Sanctuary
Southern Indiana Youth Science Summit
Ivy Tech, Sellersburg, IN
The Kentucky Science Center is looking for KAS members to volunteer for:
  • Presenters for 1-hour interactive lab sessions for HS audiences
  • Speed mentors - scientists of all disciplines & places in your career are welcome here- 1 hour commitment, no experience necessary
Email if you're interested

2019 KAS Annual Meeting

Thank you to everyone at Berea College for hosting KAS for our Annual Meeting! Berea welcomed us with warm hospitality and wowed us with the Margaret A Cargill Science Building.
This year KAS welcomed 650 scientists representing 40 different institutions and organizations. Of those, 311 students participated, and attendees presented 360 scientific posters and talks during the two-day meeting.

2019 Annual meeting Photos
2019 Online Annual Meeting Program

Some highlights included:
  • Teacher workshops and a Geology field trip
  • Screening of the new documentary We Believe in Dinosaurs, featuring KAS member Dan Phelps
  • President’s Reception at Boone Tavern
  • Friday Night of Science with slideshow karaoke
  • Hiking at the Pinnacles
Next year we're organizing a joint meeting with the Kentucky Science Teachers Association at EKU, November 5-7, 2020. Mark your calendars now and join us!

Student Competition winners

Melony Stambaugh

Congratulations to our student competition winners:
Find winners online along with some photos
Place Section Category First Last  
1st  Agricultural Sciences Poster  Sarah Whitaker Berea
2nd  Agricultural Sciences Poster  Chi Jing Leow Asbury 
3rd  Agricultural Sciences Poster  Kevin Smeeks KSU
1st  Agricultural Sciences Oral  Spencer Langford WKU
2nd  Agricultural Sciences Oral  Ian Storrs and Sara Barrens WKU
3rd  Agricultural Sciences Oral  Chinmay Avinash Western Hills HS
1st  Cellular and Molecular Bio Poster  Marranne Conge Berea
2nd  Cellular and Molecular Bio Poster  Kiahra Burns KBRIN
3rd  Cellular and Molecular Bio Poster  Haley Todd Bellarmine
1st  Cellular and Molecular Bio Oral  Clara Reasoner Berea
2nd  Cellular and Molecular Bio Oral  LilyAnne Grieve Murray
3rd  Cellular and Molecular Bio Oral  Muhammud Khadaroo and and Ronald Burns NKU 
1st  Chemistry: Analytical / Physical Poster  Zackary Boothe Berea
2nd  Chemistry: Analytical / Physical Poster  Catherine O'Rourke Murray
3rd  Chemistry: Analytical / Physical Poster  Natalie Adriano NKU
1st  Chemistry: Analytical / Physical Oral  Madisyn Hayes NKU 
1st  Chemistry: Organic / Inorganic Poster  Fox Bratcher WKU
2nd  Chemistry: Organic / Inorganic Poster  Pedro Herrera-Castro Berea
3rd  Chemistry: Organic / Inorganic Poster  Krupa Hegde NKU
1st  Chemistry: Organic / Inorganic Oral  Ayanav Roy NKU
2nd  Chemistry: Organic / Inorganic Oral  Zachary Callihan EKU
3rd  Chemistry: Organic / Inorganic Oral  Anna Vernier NKU
1st  Computer & Info Sciences Poster  Tam Nguyen, Anthony Tamasi  and Chad Nelson UK
2nd  Computer & Info Sciences Poster  Raiffa Syamil UK
3rd  Computer & Info Sciences Poster  Coilin Bradley UK
1st  Computer & Info Sciences Oral  Katelyn Richard EKU
2nd  Computer & Info Sciences Oral  Alexander Stewart UK
3rd  Computer & Info Sciences Oral  Robert Harper UK
1st  Ecology  Poster  Jonathan Frommeyer Thomas More
2nd  Ecology  Poster  Andrew Seiler Thomas More
3rd  Ecology  Poster  Evan Moser EKU
1st  Ecology  Oral  Gage Barnes Murray 
2nd  Ecology  Oral  Joseph Mecham Berea
3rd  Ecology  Oral  Sarah Bell WKU
1st  Environmental Science Poster  Kathleen Condon Murray
2nd  Environmental Science Poster  Raquel Dominguez WKU
1st  Geography Oral  Dallas McKinney WKU
1st  Geology Poster  Austin Weber Berea
2nd  Geology Poster  Darrell Ray and Justin Brown WKU
3rd  Geology Poster  Cameron Peterson NKU
1st  Geology Oral  Selsey Stribling EKU
2nd  Geology Oral  Andrew Hensley EKU
1st  Health Sciences Poster  Aloyce Riziki Berea
2nd  Health Sciences Poster  Hannah Leibman WKU
3rd  Health Sciences Poster  Nicholas Brock EKU 
1st  Health Sciences Oral  Stefany Reyes Berea
2nd  Health Sciences Oral  Samuel Adams NKU
3rd  Health Sciences Oral  Tavin Marshall KSU
1st  Mathematics Poster  Patrick O'Doherty NKU
2nd  Mathematics Poster  Jacob Adkins NKU
3rd  Mathematics Poster  Christopher Leadford Morehead
1st  Mathematics Oral  William Boultinghouse KWC
2nd  Mathematics Oral  Megan Pauley Morehead
3rd  Mathematics Oral  Will Pitts Morehead
1st  Microbiology Poster  Elizabeth Morgan WKU
2nd  Microbiology Poster  Isabel Mendez KWC 
3rd  Microbiology Poster  Austin Applegate Berea
1st  Microbiology Oral  Michael Vacik KWC
1st  Physics & Astronomy Poster  Alex Henson WKU
2nd  Physics & Astronomy Poster  Taylor Robinson WKU
3rd  Physics & Astronomy Poster  Lars Hebenstiel Gatton 
1st  Physics & Astronomy Oral  Valeria Rosa Rocha Berea
2nd  Physics & Astronomy Oral  Jessy Anderson Morehead
3rd  Physics & Astronomy Oral  Eli Prater Berea
1st  Physiology and Biochemistry Poster  Louis Fritz Wood Hudson 
2nd  Physiology and Biochemistry Poster  Kenneth Schlabach WKU
1st  Physiology and Biochemistry Oral  Collin Wells Centre
2nd  Physiology and Biochemistry Oral  Amber Earlywine Berea
3rd  Physiology and Biochemistry Oral  Michael Parritt Wood Hudson
1st  Science Education Poster  Stasio Gibbons Bellarmine 
2nd  Science Education Poster  Emma DeBurger NKU
1st  Science Education Oral  Kathryn Gallenstein Morehead
2nd  Science Education Oral  Austin Trammell KWC 
3rd  Science Education Oral  Hannah Brewer Morehead
1st  Social Sciences Poster  Jayasree Mullaguru NKU
2nd  Social Sciences Poster  Haley Hill EKU 
3rd  Social Sciences Poster  Andrea Anderson WKU
1st  Social Sciences Oral  Jenifer Fidelia Berea
1st  Zoology Poster  Kaylee Simmons NKU
2nd  Zoology Poster  Austin Spradlin Morehead
3rd  Zoology Poster  Darby Tassell WKU
1st  Zoology Oral  Melanie Andrews Berea
2nd  Zoology Oral  Nicole Marguerite UK
3rd  Zoology Oral  Hannah  Jackson Berea

We Believe in Dinosaurs available for rent or purchase

The documentary We Believe in Dinosaurs is now available to download for rent or purchase at the websites linked to at the bottom of the film’s website:

KAS Meeting Evaluations

Amanda Fuller

Thank you to those who filled out our Annual meeting evaluations.  You offered us some very helpful feedback and suggestions which we will try to incorporate into next year's meeting at EKU.
Congratulations to Austin Applegate at Berea College who was randomly chosen among respondents to win $25!

Winning Annual meeting photo

Congratulations to Thomas More University @TMUBIO for the winning photo in our social media photo contest!

Remembering Joe Winstead

Dr. Joe Winstead died November 20, 2019. Dr. Winstead was president of KAS from 1984-1985 and remained interested and involved right to the end of his life. KAS is greatly indebted to him for helping us work with the Athey family to set up the Athey endowment that supports KAS research grants.  Dr. Winstead was a faculty member at WKU and retired in Arkansas. Read his entertaining obituary here.

Thank you to our Annual Meeting Sponsors

Thank you to our Platinum Sponsors

Thank you to our Business Meeting Luncheon Sponsor

Thank you to our Afternoon Break Sponsor

Thank you to our Gold Level Sponsor

Thank you to our In-Kind partners


KAS Carbon Offsets for Annual Meeting

Amanda Fuller

Thanks for carpooling!
Based on what you told us, we tallied 2.72 occupants per car on average traveling to the Annual Meeting. We're calculating our carbon footprint and  shopping for a Carbon offset and we appreciate your help to keep it small!

KAS Student leadership opportunities

Become a Student Ambassador!

KAS Student Ambassadors can organize events on their campuses, get involved in science policy, outreach, or mentorship, and much more! Tell us what you're interested in!

Fill out our Student Ambassador Interest Form here.

Help us manage our Instagram account!

If you're interested in helping us promote KAS on Instagram, let us know.

Highlights from the Journal of the Kentucky Academy of Science

Check out our latest digital edition:

A Benchtop Approach To Measuring S-AdenosylMethionine Metabolite Levels Using HILIC UPLC-MS

Stuart Oehrle, Kathryn SP Higginbotham, Erin D. Strome
80(1), 1-5, (10 September 2019)

Do Conservation Practices Bring Quick Changes to Key Soil Properties for Resource-Limited Farmers?
Sait Sarr, Maheteme Gebremedhin, Mark Coyne, Avinash Topè, Karamat Sistani, Shawn Lucas
80(1), 6-16, (17 October 2019)

Exploring the Potential Impact of Louisville's Urban Heat Island on the Structure and Intensity of an Organized Convective Systems
L. J. Twohey, J. Naylor
80(1), 17-26, (8 November 2019)

The Urban Heat Island at a Regional University in Kentucky, USA
Donald M. Yow, Matthew Ruggless
80(1), 27-37, (21 November 2019)

KAS Archive Update - Can you help us locate missing journals?

Marilyn Akins

KAS Archive Update: 

All the archive materials from EKU have been moved to UK. Although not all of the material has been indexed yet, the Journals have been completed. However, even after combining the collections from both universities, we are missing some issues. If you can help us complete this collection, that would be wonderful.
Do  you have copies of these journal issues? We are missing:
Complete Volumes:
4, 6, 20 – 26, 28 -31, 51, 74 – 75, and 77
Vol. 27 issue 3-4, Vol. 57 issue 1, Vol. 62 issue 2 and Vol. 72 issue 1.
If you have or know someone who has any of these, and you are willing to donate them to the KAS Archives, just let me know.
Thanks in advance for any help you can give us to complete the collection in the Archives so that everyone can have access to them.

Contact information: 

Dr. Marilyn Akins
Science Education Center
Phone: (859) 246-6242


KAS members! Volunteer as a judge at a nearby Science Fair

Louisville Regional Science Fair is Saturday March 7, 2020 at the University of Louisville
Volunteer as a judge.

Science & Engineering Fair of Northern Kentucky Feb 28, 2020  at NKU
Registration for Judges will be open in in January. Undergraduate student scientists are welcome as judges for elementary & middle school categories.

The Kentucky American Water - Fayette County Public Schools District Science Fair is on February 1, 2020, at Frederick Douglass High School. The deadline to register as a judge is December 20th. Volunteer as a judge

Become a member of the Kentucky Society of Natural History

Stephen Richter

Dear Fellow Biologists and Natural History Enthusiasts,
As the newly elected president of the Kentucky Society of Natural History, I’m writing to encourage you to become a member.
Why join?
Our dues support student research grants in Kentucky
Student members or students of members qualify to apply for research grants
e-Newsletters and announcement of events, grants, and other opportunities
annual meeting and group hikes and other outings membership is only $15 for individuals, $7.50 for students, $25 for families. You can join via paper form or the web. The KSNH includes all of the field sciences of natural history— geography, geology, biology, environmental chemistry, and others, so please pass this on to your colleagues!

Annual Conference
On February 28–29, KSNH will meet jointly with the Kentucky Organization of Field Stations at Raven Run Nature Sanctuary, Lexington KY. Registration information will be sent out to KSNH members in December, so join soon so you don’t miss out!
Student Research Grants
We are pleased to announce funding to support undergraduate and graduate student research that expands natural history knowledge in Kentucky. We encourage research in both the field and laboratory, with information disseminated through presentations, journals, monographs, books, and other literature. The KSNH includes all of the field sciences of natural history— geography, geology, biology, environmental chemistry, and others, so please pass this on to your colleagues. Grant applications for up to $1000 for graduate students and $500 for undergraduate students are due on is 1 February 2020. For more information, contact Stephen Richter (, President, Kentucky Society of Natural History.
More background: The Society recently went through a transition period and reconstituted our Board of Directors. I would like to welcome and thank our other new officers for being willing to serve and to rejuvenate our society: Billy Bennett (Vice-President), Emily Sedgwick (Secretary), Mary Alice Bidwell (acting Treasurer), Luke Dodd (webmaster), and Berl Meyer (e-newsletter Editor). I would also like to offer a special thank you to Berl for his persistence in preserving this very important society that has been around for over 75 years!
Our primary mission is to promote natural history by encouraging scientific inquiry, supporting the next generation of naturalists and scientists, disseminating research within scientific and public venues, and promoting conservation and preservation of nature by offering public lectures, hikes, and other opportunities to interact with our living and non-living environment. As impacts by humans to our natural landscapes continue to grow, so does the importance of all aspects of our mission.
Over the next months, we plan to send out a survey to learn about what you would like from the society, along with opportunities for you to get involved if you so choose. We then plan to modify programs, meetings, and other offerings to better meet the needs of our members. In the past, full member meetings and nature hikes were offered fairly regularly, and we plan to continue having these. Another major focus of the society has been the support of natural history research through student research grants, which enhance our understanding of Kentucky natural history while training and recruiting students. These are made possible through membership dues and donations, so please continue to maintain your membership and consider donating to the cause.
Stay active and do you part to promote natural history! I encourage all of you to join and to recruit others to our society so that our impact will grow. Please know that while you are doing your part, no matter how small you think it is, others are doing theirs. Together we can accomplish much!
Very respectfully,
Stephen Richter
President, Kentucky Society of Natural History
Director, Division of Natural Areas
Professor of Biology
Eastern Kentucky University
KAS Newsletter - December 2019