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2014 Summer Research Experiences (SRE) at NIMBioS for Undergraduates and Teachers

SRE photo.
SRE 2014 participants.

Eighteen undergraduates and two high school teachers participated in the 2014 Summer Research Experience (SRE) at NIMBioS, June 9-August 1. During the eight-week program, participants lived on campus at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and worked in teams with NIMBioS postdocs and UT faculty to conduct research at the interface of mathematics and biology. The award included a stipend, housing and some funding to support travel. SRE image.

The Projects

Playlist of SRE2014 Final Group Presentations

Descriptive Flyer

SRE Mentors

SRE Participants
Click on the names below for comments from some of the 2014 REU participants.

W. Handagama photo.

Winode Handagama
Hometown: Knoxville
School: Maryville College
Major/Degree and Year: Biochemistry Major, mathematics minor; Rising senior
Fields of Study: Biochemistry and Mathematics
SRE Mentors: Vitaly Ganusov and Shigetoshi Eda
SRE Research Project: Mathematical modeling of granuloma formation in Johne's Disease

F. Hong photo.

Fangyuan Hong
Hometown: Ningbo, China
School: Mount Holyoke College
Major/Degree and Year: Mathematics and Environmental Studies, Class of 2016
Fields of Study: Mathematical modeling in ecology; biological statistics; environmental citizen science
SRE Mentors: Dr. Julia Earl, Dr. Sean Hoben
SRE Research Project: Living on the edge: How location affects genetics and individual fitness

T. James photo.

Tashika James
Hometown: Kingston, Jamaica
School: LeMoyne Owen College
Major/Degree and Year:  LeMoyne Owen College, B.S, 2016
Fields of Study: Biology
SRE Mentors: Dr. Suzanne Lenhart, Dr.Cristina Lanzas, Dr. Shi Chen
SRE Research Project: Modeling transmission and control of bovine respiratory disease

R. McDowell photo.

Rebecca McDowell
Hometown: Knoxville, TN
School: Teacher at West High School
Major/Degrees and Year: King College 2010 (Bachelors), King College 2012 (Master); BS in Mathematics, BA in Bible/Religion, Master of Science Education 
SRE Mentors:  Dr. Xioapeng Zhao, Dr. Heather Finotti
SRE Research Project: Statistical techniques for predicting cardiac rhythm disorder

K. Moran photo.

Kelly Moran
Hometown: Wasilla, AK
School: Clemson University
Major/Degree and Year: B.S. Mathematics (Biology Concentration), Music Minor, 2015
Fields of Study: Mathematics and Psychology
SRE Mentors: Dr. Jeff Larsen and Dr. Charles Collins
SRE Research Project: A dynamic systems approach to tracking facial expressions

B. Whyte photo.

Brian Whyte
Hometown: Webster, NY
School: SUNY Plattsburgh
Major/Degree and Year: Ecology, Senior
Fields of Study: Ecology and Evolution
SRE Mentors: Dr. Matt Zeffermen, Dr. Keenan Mack
SRE Research Project: Prospects for the continued global Argentine ant supercolony

Evaluation Report

Blogging from the 2014 program:

SRE Team Publishes in Frontiers in Microbiology
Summer research students present their findings
Summer research STEM symposium largest ever
SRE undergrads in media spotlight
Congratulations to SRE 2014 undergrads and teachers
Fireflies, modeling, programming & more: NIMBioS SRE is underway!

SRE in the News:

Students from across the country study Argentine ants in Knoxville. Knoxville News Sentinel
Students selected for summer research experience at national institute. Tennessee Today
NIMBioS students study aggressive ants at UT.
Study looks into different facial expressions.

Related Links

Main SRE page

For further information about the program, please contact:
     Greg Wiggins, Education and Outreach Coordinator, NIMBioS (Email: or
     Dr. Suzanne Lenhart, Associate Director for Education and Outreach, NIMBioS (Email:

1122 Volunteer Blvd., Suite 106
University of Tennessee
Knoxville, TN 37996-3410
PH: (865) 974-9334
FAX: (865) 974-9461
Contact NIMBioS

From 2008 until early 2021, NIMBioS was supported by the National Science Foundation through NSF Award #DBI-1300426, with additional support from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
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