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DeSales Hosts Annual Pennsylvania Academy of Science Meeting for First Time

by Paige Hawk Apr 11, 2022

Hundreds of people flocked to DeSales University for the 97th annual meeting of the Pennsylvania Academy of Science. It was the first time in the University’s history that it hosted the event.

“The annual meeting is a place where Pennsylvanian scientists can congregate and exchange research information and their findings,” said Lara Goudsouzian, Ph.D., associate professor. “It gives students the inspiration to pursue their career and provides opportunities for guidance and advice.”

Thomas Brown ’22, a biology major, was one of nine students to present at the meeting. Gathered over four semesters, Brown’s research compared the microbiome of soil near Bethlehem Steel’s blast furnace to the microbiome of soil near the Lehigh River. 

“I have always been a naturally inquisitive person and science’s ability to provide me with answers as to how the world around me works drew me in from a young age,” said Brown. “Science is a collaborative effort and hearing other scientists’ input on my research is what events like [the annual PAS meeting] are all about.” 

Like Brown, Isabella Joyce ’24 valued the unique opportunity to engage with the scientific community. A biology major following the pre-med track, Joyce’s research concentrated on studying a network of retinal determining genes in an eyeless arachnid.

“The best part of participating in the event was the interactions I had with professionals in different fields of science. It was interesting to hear their reactions to my findings along with their suggestions for further research.”

 Isabella Joyce ’24

The weekend kicked off with a welcome reception which included remarks from local Congresswoman Susan Wild; Father James Greenfield, OSFS ’84, president of DeSales; and Matthew Wallace, Ph.D., president of PAS.