Prof. Young Choi’s Restoration Project Has Improved Habitats for Plants and Wildlife at Wolf Lake Shoreline


In partnership with AWLI and the City of Hammond, Prof. Young Choi and his research team, Eric Bird, Jazmin Garcia, Samantha Kinsman, Rachel Shmagranoff, Emily Smith and Rebecca Tiemens, at Purdue University Calumet, recently completed a two year $6.9 million restoration of the Wolf Lake shoreline. Before the restoration, the land was dominated by exotic plants such as purple loosestrife, Kentucky bluegrass, white sweet clover and phragmites (European reed). Native species now dominate the land and shoreline, with little bluestem grass and three-square bulrush being the most numerous. Great bulrush and pond lily are also common. The number of birds spotted nearly doubled after the shoreline restoration. Among the most numerous birds identified in both the new and old studies were the red-winged blackbird, mallard duck, Canada goose, mute swan and ring-billed gull. The restored islands and shorelines attracted the spotted sandpiper and it became the 8th most numerous bird in the recent study. “In addition,” Choi said, “Wolf Lake appeared to be a stop-over habitat for migratory birds, as at lease 34 species were spotted only during the migration seasons.”

Prof. Curtis Creighton Receives Research Grant

Prof. Creighton recently received $25,000 award from Keystone McAlester Conservation Area and American Buring Beetle Bank LLC for a research project “ Evaluation of the prey base and feeding relationships of the American burying beetle (Nicrophorus americanus) using stable isotope analysis. The American burying beetle is a federally listed endangered species. Like all burying beetles, the American burying beetle uses small vertebrate carcasses as a food resource for their offspring. Beyond the fact that the beetle requires larger carcasses than other burying beetle species, very little is known about what vertebrates species are important for the beetle’s success and recovery. One way to determine this is to compare the ratio of carbon and nitrogen isotopes in an organism’s body. This ratio is predictive of what type of food was consumed during growth and development of the animal. Prof. Creighton and his students are using this technique to investigate what small vertebrates American burying beetles use as food sources for their young. This will give use valuable information on what habitats are important for the recovery of the species.


Fall 2014 LIFE SCIENCES SEMINAR All seminars will be Tuesdays at 4:00-5:00 pm in Gyte 108 Aug 26    No Seminar (Biology Graduate Seminar and Capstone students meet) Sept 2  Vladimir Riazanski, Ph.D, Department of Neurobiology, Pharmacology & Physiology, University of Chicago Title:Bacterial killing by alveolar macrophages Sept 9   No Seminar (Biology Graduate Seminar and Capstone students meet)…
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Biology Department Welcomes New Genetics Professor, Nicole Evans


The Dept. Biological Sciences welcomed Prof. Nicole Evans to the faculty as a visiting professor in August 2013. Prof. Evans received her B.S. in Biology at Grand Valley State University in Allendale Michigan and her Ph.D in Cell and Developmental Biology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. During the Fall 2013 semester…
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