Baylor Scientists Honored for Research Presentation

June 9, 2011

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An international association of scientists, educators and students has honored a Baylor University biology graduate student with a top achievement award.

The Southwestern Association of Naturalists has awarded the 2011 Clark Hubbs Student Poster Award to Jason Taylor, a Baylor doctoral student in Baylor's department of biology. Taylor received the award for his poster presentation, "Influence of Grazing Fish-Mediated Nutrient Recycling on Downstream Ecosystem Function." The Hubbs Award is presented to the student or students displaying the best poster at the annual meeting of the Southwestern Association of Naturalists. Co-authors on the winning poster are Dr. Ryan King, associate professor of biology at Baylor, and J. A. Back, a doctoral candidate in biology at Baylor.

The Baylor researchers' poster focused on the results of a study into connections between components of an aquatic ecosystem. The results showed that low-level phosphorus and nitrogen pollution from pastures and discharges from wastewater treatment plants is strongly associated with declines of a few key fish species. The Baylor researchers also found that certain species that are known to be invasive proliferate with increasing amounts of nutrient pollution.

"Jason's field experiments have identified critical levels of nutrients that need to be considered in the development of scientifically defensible water quality management criteria for Texas streams, which, to date, are not protected from the levels of pollution that cause impairment in these streams," said King, who oversees Taylor's research work. "His work will have significant implications."

The Southwestern Association of Naturalists is an international association of scientists, educators and students, founded in 1953 to promote the field study of plants and animals (living and fossil) in the southwestern United States, Mexico and Central America.

About Baylor University

Baylor University is a private Christian university and a nationally ranked research institution, classified as such with "high research activity" by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The university provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 15,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest, continually operating university in Texas. Located in Waco, Texas, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 11 nationally recognized academic divisions.

Media contact: Frank Raczkiewicz, Assistant Vice President of Media Communications, 254-710-1964.

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