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White Ibis Birds And Bilingual Development: FAU Research Students Showcase Their Projects

When it comes to changing the way cancer drug therapies work or studying language skills development, or even how bird populations migrate around the Everglades for more food, Florida Atlantic University research students are looking for solutions. 

Tasso Cocoves is in his second year of getting a master's degree in environmental science at FAU. At a research symposium on FAU’s Davie campus Friday, he presented to a panel of judges. His project tracks white ibis prey in the Southern Everglades.

“Specifically, I’m studying white ibis prey composition,” Cocoves said. “I’m quantifying what ibis are feeding their nestlings in these coastal colonies.”

He suspects ibis diets are shifting because of climate change. 


From the FAU Department of Psychology, doctoral candidate David Giguere is looking at something completely different: experimental developmental language psychology.

“There’s a lot of evidence that kids who grow up hearing two languages, they tend to have lower levels of skill in each language,” Giguere said. “So I wanted to see, well, what happens in adulthood. Do they eventually catch up?”

All of the students presenting their projects at the symposium had the chance to win a small stipend for their research. Here’s a list of the winners:

Doctoral level:

Saheed Oluwasina Oseni won for his project: "Role of Pathogen-Induced Inflammation On Prostate Cancer Stemness and Recurrence: A Bioinformatics Approach" (He is a three-time winner, with wins in 2017 and 2016.)

Graduate level:

Tasso Cocoves won for his project, which is titled: "Nesting White Ibis Prey Composition of Coastal Colonies in Everglades National Park."

Undergraduate level:

Tolbey Bain won for her project: "Targeting the Crosswalk Between Diabetes and Prostate Cancer with Metformin and Genistein Isoflavone Combination Regime."

Caitie Muñoz, formerly Switalski, leads the WLRN Newsroom as Director of Daily News & Original Live Programming. Previously she reported on news and stories concerning quality of life in Broward County and its municipalities for WLRN News.
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