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Sarah Minter

Title: Associate Professor of Biology
Subject Area: Organismal Biology, Scientific Documentation

Office Location: Massie Hall 427
Phone: (740) 351-3336
Email: sminter@shawnee.edu

Education

University of Kentucky

  • PhD in Entomology, 2011
    Dissertation: Tritrophic effects of milkweed species on natural enemies of Aphis nerii

Shawnee State University

  • BS in Biology, 2007 – cum laude
  • BS in Natural Sciences with a Chemistry Concentration, 2007 – cum laude
  • BFA in Studio Arts Drawing, 2018 – summa cum laude
  • Minor in Photography, 2018

About

Dr. Sarah Ivers is an associate professor of biology in the Department of Natural Sciences at Shawnee State University. Her areas of expertise include insect-plant relationships, biodiversity, human impacts on organisms and systems and scientific documentation. She leads two field courses (nationally and internationally) and incorporates authentic experiential learning opportunities into upper-level courses. Her current research focuses involve ecological profiling and mammalian diversity assessments in Shawnee State Forest and Hanging Rock Preserve, cranial morphometrics of museum specimens, mammalian mortality associated with container debris, and spider assemblages in abandoned urban systems. Additionally, she prepares scientific illustrations for conferences and other commissions.

field mouse

Dr. Ivers routinely takes courses in a variety of subjects to extend her knowledge base and skills. Outside of the classroom, she enjoys reading, science fiction, writing, and preparing traditional and digital two-dimensional artworks and insect sculptures. When not indoors, Dr. Ivers spends time traveling, hiking, doing landscape and wildlife photography, collecting insects, and spending time with two gorgeous Irish Setters.

Link to Professional Portfolio: www.sarahivers.com

Primary Course Offerings

  • BIOL 1151 – General Biology I
  • BIOL 1152 – General Biology 2
  • BIOL 3100 – Field Studies in Biology, Costa Rica
  • BIOL 3100 – Field Studies in Biology, Coastal Ecology
  • BIOL 3351 – Spider Biology
  • BIOL 3850 – Ecology
  • BIOL 3852 – Marine Biology
  • BIOL 4355 – Animal Behavior
  • BIOL 4370 – Mammalogy
  • NTSC 2900 – Scientific Documentation and Communication

Special Course Offerings

BIOL 3999 – Special Topics: Sixth Extinction (Fall 2020)
Description: An introduction to the Holocene Extinction. Course will discuss underlying mechanisms, outcomes within specific lineages – focusing on case studies, and the current and future state of global biodiversity.

BIOL 3999 – Special Topics: Voucher Specimen Preparation (Fall 2020)
Description: An introduction to documenting biodiversity and natural history through specimen collection, voucher preparation, and digital data archiving across a variety of taxonomic groups.

Field Experiences

Costa Rica (3 credit hours)
This immersive field experience takes place at the Caño Palma Biological Field Station within the Barra Del Colorado Wildlife Refuge (Limón Province) of Costa Rica. Students taking this course spend a semester learning about Tican culture and preparing to participate in long-term scientific studies occurring at the field station. Once preparations are completed, students fly to San Jose and stay the night in Alajuela before traveling through Cloud Forest to the station by vehicle and canal boat the following morning. While on base, students are surrounded by native fauna and flora – including three species of monkeys, reptiles and amphibians, numerous bird species, and hundreds of invertebrates. Students work alongside researchers to conduct marine turtle ovipositional surveys and nesting morning patrols. Depending on specific interests, students may also participate in monitoring programs focused on resident and migrant forest birds, climate, shorebirds, tent making bats, plant phenology, neotropical river otters, caimans, large mammals, and great green macaws. The base also houses the only snake ecology and PIT tagging program in the country.

Image of water and mammal for illustration of Costa Rica field experience

Coastal Ecology (1 credit hour)
Students taking this field course complete terrestrial and marine laboratory investigations while being stationed at the Port St. Joe Buffer Preserve System in the upper panhandle of Florida. The field experience, which lasts nine days, begins with a trip to the Georgia Aquarium to see whale sharks, beluga whales, and numerous other marine inhabitants. Once at the field station, students work collectively to prepare an ecological profile of a small island, map the distribution of sea urchins within a sea grass bed, investigate erosional processes and mollusk diversity, analyze sand composition, conduct water chemistry tests, and travel to Wakulla Springs State Park to observe manatees. Past trips have also involved dolphin sightings and sea turtle crawls. Students interesting in this course should take BIOL 3852 Marine Biology to be eligible to enroll.

Image of Florida coastline

Research

Dr. Sarah Ivers’ research and scholarly efforts focus on the following:

  • Ecological profiling of regional preserve and wilderness areas
  • Tritrophic cascades in insect-plant systems
  • Insect and arthropod community assemblages specific to native plants
  • Ecological profiling of regional preserve and wilderness areas
  • Vertebrate roadway mortality among variable speed limitations
  • Causal factors underlying mammalian mortality in discarded containers
  • Spider community assemblages in urban sites experiencing succession 
  • Cranial morphometric analysis of museum specimens for investigating metapopulation parameters
  • Connecting lay populations to the biological sciences through fine arts

Research is conducted in the field and in the laboratory, depending on the specific objectives of individual projects. Data collected from research is shared with agencies aiming to advance environmental stewardship and conservation, including the Canadian Organization for Tropical Education and Rainforest Conversation, Ohio Fish and Wildlife, and Arc of Appalachia. All of Dr. Ivers’ involves undergraduate students, who play a significant role in the experimental design, implementation, and presentation of findings at regional and national conferences. Students interested in the above focuses should contact Dr. Ivers.

spider

Peer Reviewed and Extension Publications

  1. Minter, S. 2018. Japanese Rose of Sharon Moth Found Just North of Kentucky Border. Kentucky Pest News. https://kentuckypestnews.wordpress.com/2018/10/09/japanese-rose-of-sharon-moth-found-just-north-of-kentucky-border/
  2. Durno, D. 2015. Interview of S. Minter published in Raphia, Journal for Canadian Organization for Tropical Education and Rainforest Conservation.
  3. S. M. Colvin and K. V. Yeargan. 2014. Predators associated with oleander aphids: an investigation of predator fauna and the effect of A. nerii host plants on the development and fecundity of Harmonia axyridis and Cycloneda munda. Environ. Entomol. 87: 280-298.
  4. S. M. Colvin and K.V. Yeargan. 2013. The influence of host plant species on the frequency of defensive behaviors exhibited by the Oleander aphid, Aphis nerii, in response to the parasitoid, Lysiphlebus testaceipes. Ohio J. Science. 112:2-5.
  5. S. M. Colvin and K.V. Yeargan. 2013. Effects of milkweed host species on interactions between Aphis nerii (Hemiptera: Aphididae) and its parasitoids. J. Kansas Entomol. Soc. 86:193-205.
  6. S. M. Colvin, J. C. Snyder, R. Thacker, and K. V. Yeargan. 2012. Thinking outside the Asclepias box: oleander aphids and honevyine milkweed. Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 106: 214-221.
  7. Yeargan, K. V. and S. M. Colvin. 2009. Butterfly feeding preferences for four zinnia cultivars. J. Env. Hort. 27: 37-41.

Selected Presentations 

*indicates undergraduate student. For a full list of presentations, please contact Dr. Ivers.

  1. *Reader, B., *Vaughn, D. and Minter, S. 2020. Ongoing Ecological Profiling of Mammalian Diversity at Hanging Rock Preserve. Ohio Natural History Conference. Poster Presentation. Toledo, Ohio.
  2. *Corvus, S. and Minter, S. 2019. Distribution and Behaviors of Coragyps atratus in Southern Ohio. Ohio Natural History Conference. Poster Presentation. Columbus, Ohio.
  3. *Fletcher, J. and Minter, S. 2019. Comparison of Vertebrate Roadway Mortality with Speed Limitations. Ohio Natural History Conference. Poster Presentation. Columbus, Ohio.
  4. *Callaway, S.,*Henke, A. and Minter, S. 2017. To Take the Bait or Not: Investigation Feeding Preferences in Peromyscus Mice. Trustee’s Competition Talk, Awarded $1,000 Trustee’s Award.
  5. *Dunigan, B., and Minter, S. 2017. Using Morphometric Analysis to investigate Metapopulation Parameters. Poster Presentation. Celebration of Scholarship, Portsmouth, Ohio. Competition Poster, $100 Award. Also presented at Ohio Natural History Conference. Poster Presentation. Columbus, Ohio.
  6. *Callaway, S. and Minter, S. 2017. Comparison of Resident and Non-Resident Peromyscus spp. using Radio Telemetry. Ohio Natural History Conference. Poster Presentation. Columbus, Ohio.
  7. *Polsley, L. 2016. Mammal Research on a Shoestring Budget: A Comparison of Four Trapping Methods. Annual Tri- Beta Conference, Athens, Ohio. Poster.
  8. *Martin, L. and *Polsley, L. 2016. Ecological Profiling of Mammalian Diversity for the Ohio Hanging Rock Preserve. Trustee’s Competition Talk. Talk also presented at annual Tri-Beta conference, 2016 as Poster.
  9. *Porter, A., *Blankenship, T., and Minter, S. 2015. A Comparison of Small Mammal Diversity among Microhabitats in Shawnee State Forest and an Investigation of Trap Efficacy for Small Mammal Capture. Ecological Society of America annual meeting. Poster Presentation. Baltimore, Maryland.
  10. *Dargavell, M. and Minter, S. 2015. A comparison of spider diversity among abandoned, managed, and naturally succeeded urban lots in Portsmouth, Ohio. Ohio Natural History Conference. Poster Presentation. Columbus, Ohio.
  11. *Porter, A. and Minter, S. 2015. A Comparison of Small Mammal Diversity among Microhabitats in Shawnee State Forest and an Investigation of Trap Efficacy for Small Mammal Capture. Ohio Natural History Conference. Poster Presentation. Columbus, Ohio.
  12. *Dargavell, M. and Minter, S. 2015. Spider Diversity in Downtown Portsmouth, Ohio. Trustee’s Competition Talk, Awarded $1,000 Trustee’s Award.
  13. *Fair, J. 2015. Baseline Natural History of Lepidoptera -Plant Interactions and Diversity in the Barra Del Colorado Wildlife Refuge, Tortuguero, Costa Rica. Celebration of Scholarship, Portsmouth, Ohio. Oral Presentation.
  14. *Martin, J. L. 2015. Non-Invasive Documentation of Large Mammal Activity. Celebration of Scholarship, Portsmouth, Ohio. Oral Presentation.
  15. Minter, S. 2014. The Creating, Implementation, and Value of Experiential Learning Opportunities in Undergraduate Classrooms (expanded presentation). Ecological Society of America annual meeting. Poster Presentation. Baltimore, Maryland.
  16. *Blankenship, T., *Porter, A., and Minter, S. 2014. Small Mammal Diversity in Shawnee State Forest. Celebration of Scholarship, Portsmouth, Ohio. Trustee’s Competition Talk, Awarded $1,000 Trustee’s Award.
  17. Minter, S. 2013. Scientific Illustration, Its History, Importance and Future. Shawnee Nature Club. Invited Speaker. Portsmouth, Ohio.
  18. *Greene, R. and Minter, S. 2013. A Comparison of Aphis glycines performance on a field and edamame soybean. Ohio Valley Entomological Association, Indianapolis, Indiana. Student Competition Talk.
  19. *Hefner, M. and Minter, S. 2013. Assessing Biodiversity in Challenging Environments. Ohio Valley Entomological Association, Indianapolis, Indiana. Student Competition Talk.
  20. Colvin, S. and Yeargan, K.V. 2011. Exploring the milkweed jungle: associated fauna of the oleander aphid. Ohio Biological Survey Natural History Conference, Columbus, OH.
  21. Colvin, S.  and Yeargan, K.V. 2010. A milkweed mystery: an aphid and its natural enemies (competition poster). National Meeting of the Entomological Society of America, San Deigo, CA.
  22. Colvin, S. and Yeargan, K.V. 2009. The oleander aphid sandwich: tritrophic interactions in milkweed systems (competition poster). National Meeting of the Entomological Society of America, Indianapolis, IN. Awarded President’s Prize Runner Up, P-IE Section Biocontrol.
  23. Colvin, S. 2009. And then there was one: the final Yearganite (invited symposium talk). National Meeting of the Entomological Society of America, Indianapolis, IN.
  24. Colvin, S. and Yeargan, K.V. 2009. Thinking outside of the Asclepias box: Oleander aphids and honeyvine milkweed (competition talk). North Central Branch Meeting of the Entomological Society of America, St. Louis, MO. Awarded 2nd Place, M.S. Session.
  25. Colvin, S. and Deal, B. 2008. Survey of overwintering insects in pitch pine (competition poster). Biennial National Tri-Beta Convention. Northern Kentucky University, Highland Heights, KY. Awarded 2nd Place, B.S. Poster Session.
  26. Colvin, S. and Deal, B. 2007. Analysis of overwintering insects occurring in pitch pine in Shawnee State Forest (competition poster). Midwest Regional Tri-Beta Conference, University of Dayton, OH. Awarded John. C. Johnson Award, B.S. Poster Session.

Additional Information

Awards

  • 2018: Outstanding Achievement in Studio Arts –Shawnee State University Department of Fine Arts
  • 2009: Outstanding Natural Science Graduate –Shawnee State University, Natural Sciences Department  

Affiliations

  • Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society – Xi Upsilon Chapter, Alumni Member
  • Canadian Organization for Tropical Education and Rainforest Conservation
  • Ohio Biological Survey, Institutional Representative
  • Ohio Academy of Sciences, Reviewer
  • Ohio Valley Entomological Association