Grants fund Cal Lutheran student research: Brazilian monkeys, Santa Rosa Island bees are topics


California Lutheran University has awarded grants to 30 undergraduate students so they can spend the summer researching questions ranging from why Brazilian squirrel monkeys wash their hands and feet in their urine to whether the gut bacteria in green sweat bees on Santa Rosa Island differ from that in those living on the mainland. 

A faculty committee awarded more than $180,00 in fellowships funded by donors and the university for students to conduct research full time with guidance from faculty mentors.

Jacob Jasper of Reno and Stephanie Straw, a Thousand Oaks resident who has worked as a veterinary technician with domestic and exotic animals, are observing the tiny Saimiri collinsi species of squirrel monkey in the Amazon rainforest of Brazil with faculty member Anita Stone, who has been studying the primates since 2000. Jasper is trying to discern the reason for the urine-washing behavior and Straw is studying why babies get away with behaving aggressively toward adult males.

Asia J. Moore, a Ventura resident who interned with a marine lab in high school, is collecting native island bees and examining their gut bacteria, which may reflect bee health and be used to determine the stages of restoration on the Channel Islands.

To predict climate change effects, Samantha Bever of Frazier Park is studying how temperature increases impact the amount of algae that anemones expel.

Spencer Lee Gottmer of Somis and Anthony Enzo Seddio of Valencia are analyzing the movements of people who have had total hip replacement surgery. Gottmer is studying differences between men and women and Seddio is comparing patients who experienced two different surgical approaches.

Computer science major Cole Elpel of Redwood City is trying to create an app that identifies fake news by comparing multiple online news sources.

Amanda Souza of Moorpark is researching whether people perceive a broadcast news reporter is biased based on vocal characteristics such as pitch, inflection and volume.

The other student researchers are Anthony Joseph Albert of Oyster Bay; Jennifer Anderson, Emily Armbruster, Nicholas Bui and Lorena Patricia Rosales of Simi Valley; Alanna Bauman of Kapaa, Hawaii; Jeffrey Burr of Glendale; David Andrew Crago of Livermore; Kacey Egusa of Auburn; Grant Escandon of Newbury Park; Ryan Fisher of Ridgecrest; Kevin Hwa Lee of Los Angeles; Kailey Renee Jordan of Cypress; Damian Mirizzi of Carlsbad; Johanna Paine of Santa Rosa; William Parquette of Yucca Valley; Alexia Rojas of Belmont; Kirby Sigler of Granada Hills; Gabriella Therese Steffon of Encino; Brian Song of Stevenson Ranch; Xin Tang of Macon, Georgia; and Alanna Walsh of Oklahoma City.

Asia J. Moore


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William Hicks

Would it surprise you if the benefactor of these kind of Grants come from you, if you’re a Taxpayer?

William Hicks

SO; money well spent on monkey piss and Sweat Bee guts. I can’t wait to hear what their findings are.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the answer on the monkeys is that they piss on their hands and feet because they can.