Bio soph to showcase research on Capitol Hill


While only a sophomore in the Department of Biological Sciences, Nicole Biddinger has already had years of research experience.

Nicole Biddinger
Nicole Biddinger

Her work has won honors in national competitions and summers have been spent in labs studying the effects of climate change on the genetic evolution of Daphnia pulex, aquatic invertebrates commonly known as the water flea. Using resurrection ecology, she worked with sediment cores from a natural glacier lake containing dormant egg banks from as far back as the 1500s. 

As of this semester, Biddinger is putting finishing touches on her part of the water flea work – but not before one more national research event.

Biddinger is the lone College of Science student and one of three Purdue students attending the annual Posters on the Hill conference, April 22 and 23 in Washington, D.C. The event is organized by the Council on Undergraduate Research and the American Chemical Society. One hundred undergraduates from almost every state in the nation will be on-hand discussing their work with their state’s politicians, renowned scientists and with each other. They will attend meetings and panel discussions. The experience should inspire young researchers like Biddinger to continue to make fascinating discoveries in their fields.

Representing both Indiana and her home state of Oklahoma, Biddinger’s research was judged by a panel of scientists and educators. It was originated in Oklahoma State University labs while she was in high school, but Biddinger continued the work at Purdue. She is also working on calcium regulation of phospholipase C enzymes in Purdue Chemistry Prof. Angeline Lyon’s lab space in Brown Laboratory.

“This research is something I’ve been so passionate about,” Biddinger said. “I’m really excited to share that with representatives. … Undergraduate research is so important. I want to stress that to them and show them what can come from participating in undergraduate researcher –- all the benefits of undergraduates actually doing the research in the lab and applying what we’re learning into our future careers.”

Biological Sciences senior Katie Reinhart attended the 2014 Posters on the Hill event. She was one of two Purdue students attending that year.

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