Nicholls grad students shine at science competition

THIBODAUX – Three graduate students from Nicholls State University took home top competition honors from the Louisiana Academy of Sciences annual meeting, conducted Saturday, Feb. 27, at Louisiana State University at Alexandria.

In all three divisions of the biological sciences category, Nicholls students from the marine and environmental biology program won first place at the graduate level. Winners include:

Sarah Shields

Presentation: “Use of Energy Cane in Louisiana for Energy Production”

Division: Botany, Environmental Science and Zoology

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Ramaraj Boopathy, distinguished service professor of biological sciences

Hometown: Thibodaux

Sam Wise

Presentation: “Sources of Anthropogenic Fecal Colliform Contamination in Bayou Lafourche, Louisiana”

Division: Molecular and Biomedical Biology and Microbiology

Faculty Advisors: Dr. Marilyn Kilgen, Alcee Fortier professor and distinguished service professor of biological sciences; Dr. Balaji Ramachandran, assistant professor of geomatics; and Angie Corbin, instructor of biological sciences

Hometown: Lena, La.                 

Tabitha Owen

Presentation: “Colonial Waterbird Reproductive Success on the Isles Dernieres”

Division: Agriculture, Forestry and Wildlife

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Aaron Pierce, assistant professor of biological sciences

Hometown: Greenville, S.C.

For additional information about the Louisiana Academy of Sciences, visit the organization’s Web site at

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