Undergraduate research showcased

April 14, 2017
Research in the Rotunda

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. – University of Wisconsin-Platteville students, along with their professors, helped fill the Wisconsin State Capitol rotunda in Madison, Wisconsin on April 12. The students, along with others throughout the UW System, showcased their undergraduate research projects during the 14th annual Research in the Rotunda event.

“It’s a high-impact practice,” said UW-Platteville Chancellor Dennis J. Shields. “As students look to go on to graduate school and elsewhere, having actual research experience that’s fairly sophisticated is a big plus on their CVs.”

The event drew the attention of state legislators, alumni, members of the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents, community members and others.

“I think it’s really important that we as legislators and policymakers who are making some of these decisions when it comes to our state budget, for example, get an opportunity to see firsthand some of the great work that’s being done at our colleges and universities throughout the state of Wisconsin and in particularly at UW-Platteville,” said State Rep. Travis Tranel (R-Cuba City).

UW-Platteville was represented with 18 students, covering six projects, just a sample of the hundreds of ongoing research projects on campus.

“It’s always neat to see the students so excited and enthused about their projects and having them explain what it meant,” said State Sen. Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green). “A couple of the projects I saw related to agriculture, use of chemicals and fertilizer. It was neat to see that.”

One of the UW-Platteville projects that was showcased was “Investigating the Role of Volatile Organic Compounds in Plant Symbiotic and Defense Signaling.” Undergraduate researchers Arlyn Ackerman, a soil and crop science major from Prophetstown, Illinois; Nathaniel Brimeyer, a history major from Dubuque, Iowa; Michael Ely, a soil and crop science major from Dixon, Illinois, and Sara Rubeck, a chemistry major from Rockford, Illinois, worked as a team on this project.

This is Ely’s first year on the project. He plans to continue the research throughout his UW-Platteville career. “I like the broader applications of it, how it can apply to the big demand for decreased phosphorus in water bodies, so more efficient uptake by the plant leading to less applications by the farmers and less leeching into water bodies, which has become a big problem in society today,” he said.

The importance of undergraduate research, and more specifically, the uniqueness of this opportunity at UW-Platteville was not lost on Ackerman, who plans to attend graduate school and earn his Ph.D. at Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina following commencement next month. “All this research gave me the background to build my résumé and CV and apply for graduate schools and have experience that I needed to move on that a lot of undergraduates don’t have because I’ve been doing this research for two years,” he said. “I’ve had the chance to mentor people and teach them as well as had plenty of my own research and it has benefitted me greatly.”

Ackerman is serving as the research specialist in the Plant Bio Technology Lab on campus.

“I’m highly impressed with the students of UW-Platteville and it’s very apparent to me how invested they are in their projects, their school and their future,” said State Rep. Todd Novak (R-Dodgeville).

Additional research projects:


Written by: Dan Wackershauser, Communications Specialist, Communications, 608-342-1194, wackersd@uwplatt.edu

Research In the Rotunda 2017


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