Schedule

Subscribe to RSS Feed

2019
Wednesday, April 17th
11:00 AM

A Comparative Study of Phonological Processes Between Canadian-French-Speaking and American-English-Speaking Children with Speech Sound Disorders

Margot Diffendaffer, The University Of Montana
Carley Stone, The University Of Montana

UC South Ballroom

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Children with speech sound disorders (SSD) produce incorrect speech sounds in observable patterns known as phonological processes. Previous research by MacLeod and Glaspey (2018) showed that children’s phonological processes differed based on the child’s native language. In their research, MacLeod and Glaspey compared the phonological process inventories of French- and English-speaking children.They found that English-speaking children produce a significantly larger inventory of phonological processes than French-speaking children. The purpose of the current study is to find more specific developmental data for both of the languages by comparing the frequency of phonological processes produced by French-speaking children with speech sound disorders and English-speaking children with speech sound disorders.

The methods for this study included a cross sectional design of French and English-speaking children aged three to six years old. Speech samples were collected from all children using a list of single-word productions during a picture-naming task. Samples were analyzed by tallying the frequency of all phonological processes produced.Comparing the frequency of phonological processes between the two languages provides insight into the phonological similarities of French and English-speaking children with speech sound disorders.

The significance of this study, is that these data can be used by speech-language pathologists to create more accurate, as well as more individualized, assessment and treatment plans for children with speech sound disorders. This data could also reveal universal trends in all language learners and go beyond monolingual children to have implications with bilingual children as well. As the number of bilingual children increase in the United States, it will become increasingly important for speech-language pathologists to understand the phonological processes of languages other than English. Ultimately, additional data on speech sound disorders in multiple languages will improve assessment and treatment for children of all linguistic backgrounds.

Acquisition of Differential Object Marking in Argentine Spanish

Laura Cornelisse, University of Montana, Missoula
Pablo E. Requena, University of Montana, Missoula

UC South Ballroom

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Acquisition of Differential Object Marking in Argentine Spanish

Humanities, Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures

Variation is ubiquitous to language. For example, Spanish marks animate and specific direct objects (DO) with “a” (as in: Vi a un niño ‘I saw a boy’ vs. Vi un carro ‘I saw a car’), a phenomenon known as Differential Object Marking (DOM). DOM has been shown to be probabilistically constrained by a number of linguistic factors the speech of Spanish-speaking adults. The only study on first language acquisition of DOM to date, however, has concentrated only on contexts considered categorical (i.e., using “a” where it is ‘required’ and zero marking where DOM is ‘prohibited’) and its results are commonly used to suggest very early and errorless acquisition of DOM, albeit in categorical contexts. This study investigates how monolingual Spanish-speaking children arrive at adult-like use of DOM including –and specifically- in contexts where it is probabilistically conditioned. All utterances containing transitive verbs were manually extracted from the Remedi longitudinal corpus of a monolingual Argentine child, available in the online Child Language Data Exchange System database. The corpus contains 14 transcripts of naturalistic conversation between a child aged 1;10-2;11 and her father. Data were further coded for a number of predictor variables known to impact DOM use (such as presence of clitic doubling, DO animacy, DO definiteness, DO specificity). Preliminary analyses revealed that DOM use by both the child and caregiver does not follow categorical rules, revealing a number of datapoints not considered in past research. Analysis of all tokens produced by the child indicates that children may not be as adult-like in DOM use at age two as suggested in the previous literature, but that they are acquiring DOM in a piecemeal fashion.

Altering Cough Reflex Sensitivity with Aerosolized Capsaicin Paired with Behavioral Cough Therapy

Claire Malany, University of Montana, Missoula
Sarah Campbell, University of Montana, Missoula

UC South Ballroom

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

The feasibility of treating patients with cough hypersensitivity with a progressive desensitization model was suggested to be effective through our preliminary study conducted last year. We exposed five heathy participants to progressive doses of aerosolized capsaicin, a known cough stimulant, while implementing cough suppression strategies. All five participants achieved a reduction in cough sensitivity following treatment. We will now use the same research model with patients with chronic refractory cough (CRC). The study will commence in three phrases. The baseline phase will consist of the following measures: (1) cough sensitivity testing using increasing concentrations of pharmaceutical-grade aerosolized capsaicin, delivered via a Koko digidoser with nebulizer. We will determine the capsaicin concentration that causes two coughs (C2) and five coughs (C5); (2) cough-related quality of life with the Leicester Cough Questionnaire (LCQ); and (3) 24-hour cough frequency measured with surface electromyography of the abdominal muscles. Participants will then be randomly assigned to treatment or placebo group. The Treatment phase will consist of 5-6 treatment sessions, during which participants will be exposed to increasing concentrations of aerosolized capsaicin (treatment) or aerosolized saline (placebo). Participants will implement behavioral cough therapy techniques after each exposure. In the post-treatment phase, the same outcomes measured used in the baseline phase will be measured at one and three-weeks post-treatment. We hypothesize, participants in the treatment group will have higher C2 and C5 scores (i.e., less cough sensitivity), and higher LCQ scores, following treatment.

Analyzing the Impact of Protective Factors on the Resilience of Middle School Students

Ruth E. Minix, University of Montana, Missoula

UC South Ballroom

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

When discussing risk and protective factors affecting children, the topic of resilience is brought up extensively. One of the programs targeting various factors relating to resilience is the Kaleidoscope Connect Program. Among the seven factors targeted by Kaleidoscope Connect are protective factors, which relate to beliefs, values, and behaviors, such as empathy and self-regulation (identified as yellow phactors), number of supportive adults (identified as red phactors), as well as risk factors such as negative peers or a lack of supervision (identified as blue phactors). The goal of this research project is to assess the efficacy of the Kaleidoscope Connect program with middle school students. The data has been gathered from a longitudinal study conducted with students from Western Montana. I will use and analyze data from self-report rating scales, including the Resiliency Scales for Children and Adolescents (RSCA) and the Student Support Card. I will examine Student Support Card data (blue and yellow phactors) and compare their RSCA resilience scores with students who are low in yellow resilience “phactors” and high in blue risk “phactors.” In addition, I will also examine the number of supportive adults in their lives (red phactors) and compare this to their RSCA scores. I will utilize the data collected from students who have completed at least two full years in the program. Since the incidence of teen suicide in Montana is very high relative to the national incidence of suicide, it is pivotal to intervene with and support students as early as possible. Kaleidoscope Connect aims to help professionals in the school setting to provide students with key assets of resilience to effectively deal with crises when they occur.

Assessing the Predictive Validity of Actical® Accelerometers for Individuals with Impaired Gait

Selene Y. Tobin, University of Montana, Missoula

UC South Ballroom

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Accelerometers are movement devices that have been proven to be great tools to assess physical activity levels, determine intensity of activities, and measure energy expenditure in the majority of the population. However, these devices may not accurately assess energy expenditure in individuals with altered gait patterns. In order to better understand this discrepancy we are measuring energy costs of low to vigorous Physical Activity (PA) in individuals with altered gait while monitoring omni-directional ambulatory movement using a Actical® Accelerometer (Philips Respironics, Bend, OR) monitoring system to develop a generalizable, useful equation that can better predict energy expenditure. Participants will be assessed and categorized through the 10-meter Walk Test, Timed Up and Go Test, Four-stage Balance Test, 30 second Sit-to-Stand Test, and the Functional Gait Assessment. The participants actual energy expenditure will be measured with an Oxycon Mobile Metabolic System through the following tests; Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR), five minutes of self paced walking, five minutes of brisk-paced treadmill walking, and the Six-Minute-Walk Test. We will then look for correlations between the established categories of participants and their actual energy expenditure which will provide a more accurate equation for estimating energy expenditure with the Actical® Accelerometer. We will be combining this new data with data previously collected in Actical® Accelerometer validity research to have a larger data set to analyze. The intention of this study is to offer a more suitable adapted energy expenditure prediction equation, which will benefit those with physical disabilities in the assessment of physical function in the future.

Beetle Ballads

Ty R. Morgan, University of Montana, Missoula

UC South Ballroom

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Behavioral Impacts of the Gut Microbiome on Drosophila Melanogaster

Ashley M. Bielawski

UC South Ballroom

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Many recent studies suggest that changes in the gut microbiome might lead to long-term behavioral changes including increased aggression. The gut of an organism is home to a complex community of bacteria, fungi and viruses that collectively make up the gut microbiome. The prevailing hypothesis is that changes in the microbiome are communicated to the brain and subsequently impact behavior. Work in the Certel lab focuses on the role of octopamine in the model system Drosophila Melanogaster. Octopamine(OA) is a neurotransmitter and neuromodulator expressed in the nervous system of invertebrates. We recently determined that a separate subset of OA neurons also innervate the gut and the crop (a food storage sack similar to the stomach). We have started experiments to examine the brain gut octopamine circuitry and determine how the activity of this circuit is altered by the bacteria that compromise the insect microbiome. I will present results on aggression changes in germ-free and antibiotic-fed males.

Contact and Relationship to Attitudes Towards Populations with Disability in Doctor of Physical Therapy Students

Carly M. Knudson, University of Montana, Missoula

UC South Ballroom

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

The present study examined contact in relation to attitudes towards disabled populations over the duration of physical therapy school. A total of 55 participants included 27 first year (Y1), 14 second year (Y2) and 14 third year (Y3) Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) students that were largely female (80.0%), white (98.2%), and had a mean age of 26.1 (SD = 4.1) years. Two main instruments were utilized, the Contact with Disabled Persons Scale (CDP) and the Interaction with Disabled Persons Scale (IDP), to examine the relationship between reported contact and attitudes towards persons of disability in the three groups. It was hypothesized that there would be a positive correlation between the CDP and the IDP, and that amounts of contact and positive attitudes would increase in relation to year in the PT program. The first aspect of the hypothesis was demonstrated to be correct, as significant correlations between the CDP and IDP scores were present. Between groups differences in scores were determined for both the CDP and the IDP. Further analysis determined differences in contact levels between year three students and the other two years, yet reported attitudes only differed between first year and third year students. These results lead to question as to whether clinical contact is a determinant of attitudes, or whether interpersonal contact is more salient. Further exploration of the interactions between contact and attitudes towards persons with disability in clinical contexts is necessary, as well as continuous examinations and adaptations of physical therapy programs’ disability curricula.

Keywords: disability, attitudes, physical therapy, contact hypothesis, client-provider relationships

Controlling gene function with dual-coding exons: Exploring patterns of conservation and expression

Sarah Walling, University of Montana, Missoula

UC South Ballroom

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Genes are comprised of exons, which are encoded in groups of three called codons. Each codon corresponds to a particular amino acid, and the chain of amino acids makes a protein product. Genes can encode different protein products through a mechanism called alternative splicing, which typically uses different subsets of those exons. Alternative splicing impacts the proteins that are produced in different tissues or developmental timepoints; changes to an exon can cause errors in a subset of these proteins, which is the source of some genetic diseases and cancers. The research here investigates a relatively unrecognized form of alternative splicing in which a single exon encodes two alternative protein products. This happens when the exon boundary is shifted by one or two nucleotides, resulting in different codons. Previously thought to be a rare phenomenon in the human genome, recent work in our lab has found that ~13% of human genes show evidence of this dual-coding function. We investigated the conservation of the dual-coding nature of these exons, finding that they are highly conserved in mammals. This research seeks to further contextualize the alternative reading frame (ARF) variants of dual-coding exons by determining their tissue-specific expression level in RNA sequence data. Using a combination of preexisting tools and custom scripts we investigated the expression levels of the ARF variants in a dataset of RNA sequences sampled from 13 tissue types across 714 individuals, and found that both variants were present at high levels in various tissues. We further investigated the relative abundance of the variants. The identification of genes containing ARFs which occur more frequently in a particular tissue will allow for further analysis on the potential relationship between it and specific diseases.

Dead Deer Do Tell Tales: Use of GPS Data to Infer Cause of Mortality in Mule Deer

Kylie Brunette

UC South Ballroom

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Declining mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) populations across much of western North America in the past 25 years have inspired many studies examining population dynamics and possible causes of this decline. Here I analyze data retrieved from GPS collars on does of the Piceance basin mule deer herd in northwestern Colorado to test if GPS collar point distributions can be used to infer specific causes of mortality. I hypothesize that spatial movements of a carcass post-mortality differ between different mortality causes. I predict that coyote-caused mortalities will show significantly more movement post-mortem than mountain lion or malnutrition-caused mortalities. I predict that mountain lion and malnutrition-caused mortalities will not differ much from each other due to a lack of movement post-mortem in both cases. To test this, I will analyze GPS data in ArcMap to calculate average distance moved over time pre- and post-mortem, as well as average area moved pre- and post-mortem. I will randomly select one-half of the known mortality dataset to develop a model for determining cause of mortality based on spatial array of points and total distance moved. I will also include habitat type, slope, and timing of mortality as additional covariates in the model. I will then use the other half of the mortality dataset to validate the model. If my hypothesis is correct, studies using GPS collars may be able to more accurately determine cause of death based on the GPS data collected. If, on the other hand, GPS data alone cannot differentiate between mortality causes, then this means any study desiring accurate data on cause of death needs to prioritize reaching mortalities as soon as possible.

Does Major Predict MCAT Success?

Megan M. Branson, University of Montana, Missoula

UC South Ballroom

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

One of the first questions prospective students ask the premedical sciences department is what major they should choose. Medical schools have no preference for major but students want to prepare as best they can for the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) because it is one of the most important aspects of their application. Using data on MCAT scores and majors from the previous 6 years, I examined the possibility of correlation between major and MCAT score. The MCAT is broken into 4 parts: Biological and Biochemical Foundations, Physical and Chemical Foundations, Comprehensive Analysis and Reasoning Skills and Psychological, Social and Behavioral Foundations of Biology. Each section test contributes to a comprehensive exam that every student who finished a premedical track in their undergrad should have ample knowledge to perform well on. Comparing the different majors at each section test allows us to analyze the best possible recommendation to the overarching question of what major is the best for preparing students for medical school. This allows the entire university to give the best possible recommendation and increases the robust knowledge of our pre-medicine advisors.

Effect of PAG1 on Src-Family Kinase Trafficking in Neuroblastoma Exosomes

Makenzie E. Mayfield, University of Montana, Missoula

UC South Ballroom

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

SRC-family kinases (SFKs) are important in regulating cell-fate in neuroblastoma cells. PAG1, binds SFKs and helps regulate their activity by directing their movement within the cell. To better understand the role of PAG1, we created a line of mutant SH-SY5Y cells, called PAG1TM- cells, which express a truncated PAG1 protein, lacking a transmembrane domain. These cells still express high levels of mutant, cytosolic PAG1. We have found that PAG1TM- cells express a hyper-cancerous phenotype, including increased proliferation, and display higher global levels of active phosphorylated SFKs (pSFKs). The activity of pSFKs in PAG1TM- is still unknown. Protease protection experiments suggest that PAG1TM- cells may accumulate more pSFKs in multivesicular bodies (MVBs), however fractionation experiments have indicated that pSFKs primarily localize to early endosome and cytosol fractions. Once in MVBs, proteins may be recycled back to the plasma membrane or targeted to lysosomes for degradation. Alternatively, MVB cargo may be incorporated into exosomes and released by fusion of MVBs with the plasma membrane. SH-SY5Y cells, have been shown to release exosomes containing SFKs, including FYN and LYN. To determine if PAG1 is important for trafficking of SFKs into exosomes, I isolated exosomes from both wild-type (WT) and PAG1TM- SH-SY5Y cells and probed digested exosomes for SFKs. I found both LYN and pSFKs were greatly reduced in exosomes from PAG1TM- cells.

Effect of Perception Biases on Associated Value of Stimuli

Jordan Broussard, University of Montana

UC South Ballroom

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Negative and positive stimuli appear to have their own unique effects on mood, behavior, and even underlying perceptions. Previous experiments have shown that people have the tendency to focus more on negative stimuli than positive; this phenomenon is often explained through a lens of evolutionary psychology, as it appears that it was once more necessary for survival to focus on negative characteristics of the environment. This is referred to as the “negativity effect”. The present study examined this bias, as well as the level of truth that people associate with positive or negative stimuli. In this experiment, 43 University of Montana students were split into groups and given either a “positive” or “negative” news article to read. After they finished, they were asked to write a short paragraph summarizing the article in order to ensure that they understood it. Lastly, they were presented with two scenarios consisting of professors providing either “negative” or “positive” feedback to their students, and were asked to choose which option they believed to be the most truthful. It was predicted that, since people appear to hold a “negativity bias”, a greater percentage of the participants primed with the “negative” news story (versus those exposed to the “positive” news story) would choose the “negative” feedback as being more truthful. Truth is an important characteristic to examine because what people believe to be “true” can significantly impact the type of information they focus on, as well as their behavior and way of thinking. Unfortunately, the data did not reveal results significant enough to support the hypothesis, but there did appear to be an interesting trend. Very few from the negative condition chose the negative option, while almost a third of those in the positive condition chose the negative option. This could be due to an overestimation of their performance by those in the negative condition, or perhaps due to an underestimation of their work by those in the positive condition after comparing themselves to the kind volunteers depicted in the positive news article.

Establishing groundwater Nitrate/Nitrite levels In Hamilton, Montana & local area, March 2019

Qwinn T. Lulis, Bitterroot College

UC South Ballroom

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Estimating Recruitment in Elk Using an Occupancy Framework

Mateen Hessami

UC South Ballroom

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Juvenile recruitment is a key parameter in understanding ungulate population dynamics. Traditional methods in herd composition surveys can be precluded by cost, safety, and feasibility. The use of remote cameras is at the forefront of conservation biology and is a cutting-edge tool of modern wildlife sampling techniques. While the prevalence of remote cameras in ungulate studies has increased, few studies use cameras to estimate vital rates, such as recruitment or survival. We demonstrated the power of remote cameras in estimating calf:cow ratios and calf survival using the Rayle-Nichols occupancy model. Data collected from cameras on unmarked individuals can be used to estimate detection probability, occupancy, and abundance. We compared camera-based estimates to extensive long-term monitoring records where traditional means of herd composition data collection have been conducted (e.g., radio-telemetry). We illustrated this approach in a partially migratory elk population at the Ya Ha Tinda (YHT), Alberta, Canada. We deployed cameras across the YHT (n=44), which is a working horse ranch and important elk winter range. We created an occupancy model for female and young-of-year elk, estimating abundance of respective age classes. We estimated calf survival by comparing the abundance estimates of calves between primary sampling periods and determined the effect of abiotic, biotic and anthropogenic covariates on detection probability and occupancy. We then compared the estimates of calf survival and herd composition to those of traditional field estimates collected in the same time period. Our results demonstrated the utility of using remote cameras to derive important parameters for understanding ungulate population dynamics.

Exploring Evidence-Based Practice in Curriculum-Based Language Interventions​

Sully R. Magee, The University Of Montana
Caitlin Gillespie, The University Of Montana
Lindsey Lannes, The University Of Montana

UC South Ballroom

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Title: Exploring Evidence-Based Practice in Curriculum-Based Language Interventions

Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) provide intervention services to 30% of individuals with language and literacy deficits in the school setting (Hoffman, Ireland, Hall-Mills, & Flynn, 2013). According to the evidence-based practice (EBP) triad, school-based SLPs use clinical expertise, client/patient/caregiver perspectives, and external scientific evidence to achieve successful treatment outcomes (“Evidence-Based Practice”, n.d.). Curriculum-based language interventions (CBLIs) make use of the student’s curriculum to provide context for language and literacy interventions. However, not many school-based SLPs use CBLIs due to several barriers (e.g., lack of availability to EBP, few trainings on implementation). The purpose of this survey is to explore Montana (MT) school-based SLPs’ knowledge of EBP, their use of EBP when designing CBLIs, and identify barriers to implementing CBLIs. A Qualtrics survey consisting of 43 questions was shared with MT school-based SLPs and SLPAs via email and Facebook shared posts; 68 responses were gathered over the course of three weeks. Preliminary results indicate between 32-58% of respondents identified are knowledgeable about the areas of EBP. Thirty-nine percent of MT school-based SLPs use EBP when implementing CBLIs. Furthermore, most SLPs stated that the greatest barrier to implementing CBLIs was lack of time to research EBPs. Additional analyses are forthcoming and will be shared. Providing CBLIs is paramount as a means of assuring academic readiness and academic success for individuals with language and literacy deficits.

Finding Evidence for Competition in Moose, Deer, and Cougar Using Space to Event Model

Sierra McMurry, The University Of Montana

UC South Ballroom

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Predator prey interactions are essential relationships to understand in order to best manage communities for natural and healthy population abundances. I will be studying predator prey relationships between moose, deer, and cougars in North East Washington using camera trap data. To study predator prey dynamics within communities requires significant radio collar data and aerial surveillance. These methods can be expensive, time inefficient, and tend to be more difficult for illusive species. A new method for determining density estimates for predator and prey species called the Space to Event model (Moeller et al 2018) could eliminate the need for aerial surveys and collar data on ungulate and predator populations.

I am using this novel method to quantify the density of moose, deer, and cougars in that study area to determine whether there is evidence for indirect or apparent competition between these species. The model uses time-lapse imagery and a calculated area of the camera viewshed to determine the population densities from the space to first detection. Once I have calculated the densities for these species, I will use a linear regression to compare the densities and determine whether there is evidence for competition. We would see evidence for interference competition between the ungulate species if there was a negative correlation between their densities with no correlation to cougar density. We would see evidence for apparent competition between all three species if the prey species densities were again inversely correlated but the cougar density would be positively correlated to a single high prey density. The significance of this data can help us understand complex predator prey dynamics happening within communities and how to manage them to maximize natural population abundance and growth. Additionally, there is significance in using new models to aid in studying these species and their relationships more effectively and efficiently.

Fire on the Mountain: Impacts of First-Year Burned Habitat on Wildlife Occupancy

Dakota Vaccaro, The University Of Montana

UC South Ballroom

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Wildfires occur on a worldwide scale in a range of different environments and with varying levels of severity. Currently, wildfires are occurring on a higher frequency than in the past partly due to climate change. Fire ecology studies provide valuable management information that can be used to inform decisions. However, very few of these studies have been conducted on the impacts fire has on wildlife the year following a burn. Wildlife play an important role in keeping ecosystems healthy and functioning, therefore it is important to understand how they will react with increasing fire prevalence. This study focuses on wildlife occupancy and vegetation growth in first year post burn and corresponding unburned areas in high mountain habitat, in order to determine if there is a significant difference between the study sites. Research collection occurred from May 15th to August 15th on areas burned by the Alice Creek fire (summer 2017) and unburned areas on an adjacent privately-owned ranch. In order to determine and compare wildlife occupancy in the two areas, wildlife cameras were placed throughout each study site. To determine vegetation cover and density, I used 20-meter vegetation transects. Along each transect I recorded information on vegetation species, density, height, cover and overlap. I am currently analyzing data by using the Program R package “Unmarked” to evaluate a set of competing models that reflect my hypotheses regarding variation in wildlife occupancy in burned and unburned areas. I will use Akaike’s Information Criterion corrected for small sample size (AICc) in Program R to select the model(s) that best explain observed variation in wildlife occupancy. Overall, this study will contribute important data to a relatively small pool of scientific knowledge regarding the near-term effects of fire on wildlife distribution in a high elevation pine forests.

Focused Ultrasonication-Assisted Preparation of Aqueous Nanodispersions for Selected Novel C-type Lectin Receptor Ligands

Alexander Riffey, University of Montana, Missoula
Walid Abdelwahab, University of Montana, Missoula
Cassandra Buhl, University of Montana, Missoula
Craig Johnson, University of Montana, Missoula
George Ettenger, University of Montana, Missoula
Kendal Ryter, University of Montana, Missoula
Jay Evans, University of Montana, Missoula
David Burkhart, University of Montana, Missoula

UC South Ballroom

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Purpose: Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), the causative pathogen of tuberculosis (TB), is a global pathogenic threat. In 2017, 10 million people were affected by TB infections, resulting in 1.6 million deaths worldwide. With about one-quarter of the global population infected with latent TB, tuberculosis remains one of the top ten causes of death worldwide according to a 2018 World Health Organization report. Despite the availability of a TB vaccine, new cases of multidrug-resistant TB arise yearly, threatening the efficacy of traditional treatments used to combat this disease. Recent evidence has suggested Th17 response may be protective, but no Th17 adjuvants are clinically approved. Adjuvants, substances which boost immune response to an antigen, are added to vaccines to enhance immune cross-protection, induce humoral or cell-mediated immunity, reduce reactogenicity and toxicity, reduce antigen dosing, and ameliorate side effects of vaccination for at-risk populations. Most approved vaccine adjuvants drive a Th2 or Th1 mediated immune response, which have not proven protective against Mtb. C-type lectin receptors (CLRs) show promise as targets able to drive a Th17-response upon stimulation. Agonists of this family include many glycolipids derived from trehalose 6,6’-dimycolate (TDM), the main immunostimulatory component of the Mtb cell wall. TDM is a potent Mincle agonist but remains too toxic. Therefore, we have been developing novel synthetic analogues of TDM with equivalent immunostimulatory activity but diminished toxicity and assessed their ability to modulate innate immunity in several innovative aqueous formulations.

Methods: A focused ultrasonication technique was utilized to prepare nanodispersions of the studied CLR ligands. These aqueous formulations were characterized via dynamic light scattering, transmission electron cryomicroscopy, and high-performance liquid chromatography before in vitro and in vivo testing.

Significance: In this study, immune responses were tested for an array of CLR-based adjuvant formulations to identify lead CLR adjuvant candidates for use in next-generation TB vaccines.

Identifying Ancient Conserved Non-Coding DNA Elements

Jeremiah Lee Gaiser, University of Montana, Missoula

UC South Ballroom

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

DNA is the genetic material at the root of all life, and serves as the 'instructions' for biomolecular mechanisms to shape the bodies and synthesize the chemicals that make up an organism. DNA mutations and the forces of natural selection drive the evolution that has resulted in the tremendous diversity of life on earth today. However, despite life's staggering diversity, there still exist many sequences of DNA that share remarkable similarity between organisms, even between species as different as humans and bacteria. This is called conservation. Most conserved DNA encodes genes that produce proteins or RNA that are crucial to the survival of an organism. Here, we seek to understand DNA that remains highly conserved, perhaps over hundreds of millions of years, yet does not encode genes at all. The conservation of such DNA indicates some role that, while vital to species survival, remains to be understood. We employed open source computational tools and developed custom genomics analysis software to investigate these highly conserved non-coding sequences of DNA. Regions of the human genome known to encode proteins and RNA were masked, and the remaining genome was aligned with that of fugu fish (a species with which homo sapiens shares a common ancestor that lived over 400 million years ago) in order to shared reveal noncoding sequences. The collected sequences were then cross-correlated with numerous databases detailing genomic features, with the aim of clustering conserved elements tied to similar features and inferring underlying function.

Ikuzo Nihongo: Learning Japanese Through Reading Manga (Japanese Comics)

Ryan R. Koski

UC South Ballroom

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

For my UMCUR project, I've made a How-to-Speak-Japanese comic book. I incorporate story elements into Japanese lessons to make learning Japanese more fun and less intimidating.

Investigating Ocean Tidal Models

Bodhi Landry-Stahl

UC South Ballroom

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Two factors govern Earth's elastic response to the periodic redistribution of ocean tides: the properties of the crust and upper mantle and the weight of the ocean water loading the surface. Using models for Earth structure and the ocean tides, it is possible to predict surface displacements caused by the tides. I hypothesize that the world's ocean-tide models agree well with one another in the open ocean but disagree at locations with complex coastlines and bathymetry. Tidal models for the open ocean generally have better empirical constraints from satellite altimetry compared to a coastal environment. To test my hypothesis, different ocean tidal models were compared to determine where in the world ocean-tide models differ the most. This was done to identify locations where Global Position System (GPS) observations might be used as an additional dataset to improve the tidal models. Utilizing comparisons between the predicted surface displacement and GPS measurements, it may be possible to put tighter constraints on the ocean-tide models. The tidal models provide estimates of the phase and amplitude of the ocean tide globally. Models with different resolutions have inherent discrepancies because lower resolution models do not have as many data points compared to higher resolution models to sample regions with changing coastlines and bathymetry. Before calculating differences between models I converted amplitude and phase into real and imaginary components and ‘rescaled’ the higher resolution model to match the scaling of the lower resolution model. After calculating the difference, I converted the real and imaginary differences back into amplitude and phase. I plotted the amplitude onto an interactive global map so I could zoom in on particular regions and visually determine where the models are the most discrepant. I found the models to be most discrepant in coastal regions.

Investigating the role of inorganic phosphate in the survival of the bacteria that cause Lyme Disease

Bonnie Long

UC South Ballroom

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Lyme disease, a bacterial infection transmitted by ticks, affects approximately 300,000 individuals in the United States each year. Borrelia burgdorferi, the disease causing bacteria, survive by alternating between a tick vector and mammalian host. B. burgdorferi can detect changes in environmental conditions and subsequently regulate the expression of its genes in order to survive in these two different host environments. Research is being conducted to determine the mechanisms in which B. burgdorferi imports essential phosphate, as well as how changes in environmental phosphate levels affect gene expression. One of the genes involved in the uptake of phosphate is called pstB. The objective of this project is to investigate how different phosphate levels affect expression of the pstB gene and in turn, import of phosphate. The methodology for this project has involved genetically modifying genes and regulatory DNA sequences in E. coli, which will eventually be introduced into B. burgdorferi. Once the DNA has been successfully transformed into B. burgdorferi, the bacteria will be exposed to an environment with limited phosphate. Research into the molecular mechanisms that B. burgdorferi uses to survive in its different host environments, may ultimately provide additional understanding ofthe mechanism of transmission of Lyme disease.

Investigating the Underlying Mechanisms Responsible for the Effectiveness of Behavioral Cough Therapy

Sarah M. Popp

UC South Ballroom

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Chronic cough (CC), a cough that lasts more than eight weeks, is the number one complaint of adults seeking non-emergent medical care. An estimated 20% of patients with CC do not respond to medical treatment, and are said to have refractory chronic cough (RCC). Several studies provide evidence that RCC is caused by hypersensitivity of sensory protein receptors in the airway epithelium known to regulate cough. The primary sensory receptor is the transient receptor potential vanilloid (TRPV). These receptors can be found in the epithelial layer of the bronchus, larynx and nose. These receptors are very plastic; in other words they are easily influenced by endogenous and exogenous stimulants. Behavioral cough therapy (BCT), which is provided by speech-language pathologists, has been shown to result in reduced cough sensitivity. However, the underlying mechanism that results in reduced cough sensitivity is unknown. We hypothesize the change is due to down-modulation of TRPV receptors through a neuroplastic mechanism. To test this hypothesis, we will use Western Blot analysis and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) to estimate TRPV expression in biopsies of epithelial tissue obtained from the nose and larynx of patients pre and post-BCT. Examining the expression of TRPV before and after BCT will potentially explain the mechanism of the effect of BCT, which may increase its application in the clinic as well as open doors to other potential treatments for RCC.

Laboratory Characterization of Toxic Air Emission from Fire Retardant Used in Wildfires

Emi Okitsu, University of Montana, W.A. Franke College of Forestry and Conservation

UC South Ballroom

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Air pollutants from forest fires, including particulate matter and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), are harmful to humans and vegetation. Fire retardant mixtures are widely used to extinguish forest fires by aerial application, which may in turn affect the chemical component of fire smoke. Forest fire retardant includes a viscous solution of diammonium phosphate and color agents; once heated, it is expected to emit various toxic gases including ammonia and VOCs, precursors of particulate matter and ground-level ozone. This study examines the chemical components in toxic air emitted by fire retardant in controlled conditions to estimate their impact on air quality. I conducted laboratory experiments by burning three sets of materials: 1) the widely-used fire retardant only, 2) ponderosa pine needles only, and 3) fire retardant and pine needles combined. I examined the difference in the chemicals from the smoke of each burn, and I detected and analyzed VOCs and carbon dioxide (CO2) using a Proton Transfer Reaction – Mass Spectrometer and LI-COR CO2 analyzer. I calculated emission factors (g/kg) for each compound to estimate the mass of compound emitted per mass of dry fuel burned. I found most VOC compounds from burning both fire retardant and pine needles show an increase in the emission factor compared with burning pine needles alone. Significant amount of ammonia is also emitted when fire retardant is burned. Emission factors determined from the burn experiments are extrapolated to estimate the quantity of VOC and ammonia emissions from the Bitterroot-Lolo National Forest fire in 2016 to understand how fire retardant contributes to air pollution emissions.

Loneliness and the Aging Population

Nelson W. Weaver, University of Montana, Missoula

UC South Ballroom

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Previous research has shown social isolation and loneliness contribute to decreased quality of life, as well as compromised psychological and physical health among older adults. This represents a public health crisis in the context of a growing aging population anticipated to cost the United States over 126 billion dollars. The purpose of this research review is to build the case for conducting an effectiveness study aimed to reduce feelings of loneliness and social isolation in the aging population. To achieve this aim, I review the various characteristics of the aging population, the social and financial ramifications associated with social isolation and loneliness, and various risk factors associated with social isolation and loneliness in the aging population. Furthermore, I analyzed the effectiveness of existing preventative programs that focus on mitigating feelings of loneliness and social isolation amongst the aging community. Finally, this paper includes results and input from a community stakeholder group who provided contextual background for identifying effective referral and delivery strategies. In addition, this group helped shape the intervention content based on personal experiences working with the target group. Together, this literature review and community stakeholder meeting will be used to develop a grant proposal aimed at the development and testing of a community-based intervention to effectively manage and reduce feelings of loneliness among the aging population. This research is significant as it will allow for further insight into effective ways of managing loneliness and social isolation in order to mitigate distress among the aging population.

Mapping Fluvial Geomorphic Change: The Clark Fork River at the Former Milltown Dam Site

Matt Blassic

UC South Ballroom

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Remote sensing offers important tools which can be utilized to study fluvial geomorphic change among other applications. In this study, the goal was to map changes in the main and secondary channels of the Clark Fork River at the former Milltown Dam. Due to decades of human modification, large amounts of sediment are being transported, eroded, and deposited in this “restored” reach of the Clark Fork. Using Landsat imagery available in the USGS Earth Explorer archive, the research goal was to analyze changes between when the dam was first removed (2011) and present (2017). Imagery were from the same time of year and approximately the same rate of flow. ArcGIS and TerrSet software were utilized to prepare and analyze the images. Vegetation indices were used to identify the channel changes and predict where new channels may develop. This research successfully mapped change within this study are and could be utilized in other watersheds.

Measurement of epigenetic alterations from patient’s tissues in myoma, adenomyoma and endometriosis

Min sun Koo
Elizabeth Cole
Caroline Maughan
Yoon hee Cho, University of Montana, Missoula
Young Ah Kim

UC South Ballroom

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Background: Myoma, adenomyoma, and endometriosis are estrogen-dependent gynecologic diseases and result in reproductive dysfunction and pelvic pain in women. However, these gynecologic diseases have a complex and poorly understood etiology, involving both genetic and environmental factors. Epigenetic alterations, heritable changes that can modify gene expression without affecting genetic sequence, are associated with the development and progression of numerous pathological states and diseases. Therefore, there is great potential for the use of epigenetics as biomarkers to better understand the early-stage biological responses and molecular mechanisms of gynecologic diesases. We aimed to examine levels of global DNA and gene-specific methylation, which are epigenetic alterations that could be associated with development of gynecologic diseases, including myoma, adenomyoma, and endometriosis.

Methods: We measured global DNA methylation (LINE-1) as well as disease relevant gene-specific methylation (i.e. ER, PR, and aromatase) using pyrosequencing assay. For this measurement, gene-specific primers for the selected genes were designed using the Pyro-Mark assay design software. Genomic DNAs from each tissue were extracted, and underwent bisulfite modification to convert unmethylated cytosine residues to uracil. A Pyromark Q96 MD was used for all subsequent pyrosequencing. Samples were processed in duplicates on plates with water controls. Percent methylation of a sample was calculated by averaging all of the interrogated CpG sites.

Results: Different methylation levels of selected genes were measured from myoma, adenomyoma, and endometriosis tissues. Our obtained results suggest that epigenetic changes are involved in development of different types of gynecologic diseases.

Physician Suicide: Healers Unable to Heal Themselves

Paighton H. Noel, University of Montana, Missoula

UC South Ballroom

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Physicians die by suicide at over two times the rate of the general population. With national physician shortages and rates of suicide both on the rise within the United States, it is imperative to understand this tragic phenomenon and the multifaceted causes contributing to widespread physician depression and overall lack of well-being resulting in deaths of physicians meant to heal others. A comprehensive understanding of this complex problem is essential and the primary step that must be taken in order to initiate evidence-based prevention strategies. Utilizing governmental reports, case studies, and various peer-reviewed studies and articles, this review focuses on the complex social, systematic, and biological factors that are contributing to the troubling rates of physician burnout, depression, and suicide with an emphasis on future directions for detection, treatment, and prevention at various stages throughout the medical training process.

Rates of Water Loss and Absorption in Stick Insect Eggs

Garret K. Jolma, University of Montana, Missoula

UC South Ballroom

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

The thorny devil stick insect (Eurycantha calcarata) of New Guinea has eggs that take four months or more to develop—incredibly long for an insect. Long development times can be a challenge for eggs because of their finite resources, including nutrients, energy to support development, and water. I investigated the physiological mechanisms underlying long development times in stick insect eggs.

The first experiment examined rates of water loss and survival of eggs held in different experimental humidities (0, 75, or 100% RH). Eggs dried quickly in the 0% humidity “dry” container; and more slowly in the 75% humidity “intermediate” container. The eggs did not dry out in the 100% “saturated” container and maintained their original mass throughout the experiment. While none of the dry treatment eggs hatched, one of the intermediate treatment eggs did, and nearly all of the saturated eggs hatched. To see if the eggs could reabsorb water, they were dried until they reached 90% of their original mass. Then they were transferred into a 100% humidity or wet cotton treatment. In both cases, the eggs gained some mass, but never returned to their original mass. These experiments show that the eggs require a high humidity to survive, and that they cannot absorb water from their environment. For these eggs, water is a finite resource.

Finally, using flow-through respirometry, I measured metabolic rates of eggs during four months of development. Eggs were held in high humidity (100% RH) and their metabolic rates measured every 3 – 4 weeks. Metabolic rates were extraordinarily low early in development but increased near hatching. These data suggest that eggs delay much of their metabolism until late in development. I speculate that this delay in development is a way to keep the eggshell’s conductance to gases low, allowing the eggs to better conserve water.

Size and Shape of Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubules Influences Exposure-Induced Airway Inflammation and Tissue Fibrosis in a Mouse Model

Shannon Lee Bolten, University of Montana, Missoula

UC South Ballroom

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Purpose: Multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) are nano-scale fibrous particles that are increasing in use for a variety of common consumer products. These materials have unique properties that offer major technological benefits, but can also pose an immense public health risk; especially in occupational settings. As new materials, the toxicological impacts of MWCNTs are still widely unknown, however, the nature of these materials has been identified as similar to asbestos in terms of respiratory harm potential. After particle-induced lung injury, a series of pro-inflammatory and fibrotic events occur in an attempt to heal damaged tissue, however, this exposure can lead to unrestrained fibrosis and development of lung disease. Excessive collagen accumulation around airways and interstitial tissue can be quantified to better understand these disease processes.

The goal of this project was to identify how a single respiratory exposure to MWCNT of different sizes and shapes can affect the progression of lung disease (fibrosis) over time, at two different post-exposure intervals.

Methods: Adult C57BL/6 mice in even sex ratio were exposed with oropharyngeal instillation to one dose (50 micrograms) of MWCNT of different lengths and diameter (“Wide Short”, WS, “Narrow Short”, NS, and “Narrow Long”, NL) suspended in dispersion media. Control mice were exposed only to dispersion media (DM). Lung tissue was collected from two different post- exposures: 7 days and 56 days. Laser scanning cytometry (iCys) was used to image Trichrome stained lung tissue and quantify airway thickness and interstitial collagen accumulation.

Results: Distinct differences in airway thickness and interstitial collagen accumulation were observed at both 7 and 56 day post-exposure intervals among MWCNT exposed groups and control.

Conclusion: The differences in collagen burden at both post-exposure intervals suggests that MWCNT size and shape influence progression of airway and interstitial collagen accumulation that could lead to development of MWCNT-induced lung disease.



The smell of attraction; cuticular hydrocarbon (CHC) profiles in a horned beetle

Chelsey Caldwell

UC South Ballroom

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

The Asian Rhino beetle, Trypoxylus dichotomus, is characterized by its large "pitchfork" horns on the heads of males. They use these horns to battle each other for access to limited females and are thought to only engage in male competition. However, recent field studies suggest that females may be choosy, selecting male mates based on traits other than the horns. In many insects, cuticular hydrocarbons are used by females to choose attractive, high quality males as mates. In particular, nutrition and stress are known to affect the blends of hydrocarbons found on the surface of the exoskeleton, and as a result females can use hydrocarbon profiles to pick good conditioned males. In order to test whether cuticular hydrocarbons might be functioning this way in Rhino beetles, I am conducting the first ever quantification of CHC profiles in this species. During Summer 2018, I collected CHC samples from 40 male beetles spanning a range of body sizes and conditions during their lives. Using the UM chemistry department facilities, I am testing for correlations between CHC profiles, static condition (body size), and dynamic condition (body weight) of male T. dichotomus. My results will help reveal a surprising aspect of the sexual behavior and mating system of this charismatic and widespread beetle.

"They Love God Even Though They Deny Him": Dorothy Day's Latin American Consciousness, 1927-1980

Tess Gallagher Clancy, University of Montana, Missoula

UC South Ballroom

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Tracking Forest Fire Impacts on Stream Temperatures & Ensuing Shifts in the Salmonid Community

Christopher Rotar

UC South Ballroom

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Understanding how salmonids respond to habitat changes associated with wildfire is necessary to predict the impacts of future increases in wildfire frequencies and severities on salmonid populations. This is important in headwater streams which serve as cold water refuge for the threatened bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) during the summer months. Canopy cover losses after wildfire events can result in increased stream temperatures, leading to displacement of coldwater fishes. In the summer of 2018 we evaluated habitat changes one year after the 2017 Meyers Fire of the BeaverheadDeerlodge National Forest. We performed habitat surveys and installed temperature loggers at 28 study sites throughout Montana's upper Rock Creek and Flint Creek drainages, including 20 sites across 7 wildfire-affected streams and 8 sites across 2 control streams. We found decreased canopy cover at sites with higher burn severities. Across all sites 2018 mean August stream temperatures were higher on average than the baseline predicted stream temperatures (Norwest modeled August averages) and there was an increasing trend of higher differences between observed and predicted temperatures at sites with higher burn severity. We also assessed current native and non-native salmonid distributions by sampling the fish communities at 24 of these 28 sites throughout the study basin. Nonnative brown trout (Salmo trutta) were found at novel upstream locations relative to previous sampling events in both burned and unburned (control) watersheds. In 2018, bull trout and brown trout distributions were found to be overlapping in all locations where brown trout were observed. Nearly all sites with mean August stream temperatures above 10°C showed declines in the relative proportions of bull trout present. The relative proportions of community composition of native salmonids were found to have decreased and relative proportions of nonnative salmonids were found to have increased since the previous sampling events, likely irrespective of fire.

Using Emotional Framing to Manipulate Anchoring Effect: How Affect Influences Judgment and Perception

Elizabeth M. Waterman

UC South Ballroom

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

The anchoring effect is a well-established phenomenon in psychology. It is a cognitive bias that causes an individual to rely too heavily on one piece of information, the anchor, when making decisions and forming judgments. Regardless of how arbitrary that piece of information is, an individual forms a bias that effects all following related information. The current study will investigate whether the anchoring effect can be reduced or even eliminated by using a novel manipulation, such as a frame of emotion. Participants will be recruited through Psychology subject pool. They will be asked to answer a series of simple math questions, followed by the framing questionnaire. The framing involves choices with negative or positive influences to statements probing individual’s characteristics and also what others perceive of those characteristics. The anchoring effect will then be assessed by asking a question with either a low or high anchor (for example, 17 and 63, for the correct answer of 40) to see whether the participant’s perception of their experience of the simple math questions is affected by the exposure to an emotional frame. Although it has not been determined through prior experiments exactly in what manner the framing will affect judgment, results reflect no influence on the perception of the situation, due to either negative or positive framing. However, the judgment of the person’s perception of the situation was consistent (and consistently high) throughout all conditions, regardless of how well their perception of the situation actually was. This will help further determine how emotion interacts with judgment and perception, while considering both the substance of the information and the emotional state of the individual engaging in memory formation.