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New Paltz chemistry
students win first place in scientific research poster competition
Posted on SUNY New Paltz website
May 10, 2011 by Staff Writer
First Place Winners: Marnell Miles ’11 (Chemistry) and Yan Li ’12 (Chemistry) Credit: Reena DePaolo
Organic Chemistry: Marnell Miles ’11 (Chemistry) and
Yan Li ’12 (Chemistry) Credit: Reena DePaoloMiles
Marnell (Chemistry, ’11) and Yan Li (Chemistry, ’11),
secured first place in the research poster competition (natural
sciences section) at the 19th Annual Collegiate Science and
Technology Entry Program Student Conference held in Bolton
Landing on April 2.
Their poster’s title was “The Insecticidal Properties
of Terminalia arjuna against Drosophila melanogaster”
(Miles Marnell, Yan Li, Preeti Dhar (Chemistry), Aaron Haselton
(Biology)). A few weeks earlier, March 27, Marnell was one
of six undergraduate students nationwide to be awarded a $1,000
travel grant to present the research findings of his work
and poster at the 241st American Chemical Society’s
National Meeting in Anaheim, Calif.
This event showcases the research talents of undergraduate
students and provides a professional forum for presenting
their research, as well as promoting their continuance of
education in the areas of food and agricultural chemistry.
After Marnell and Li delivered their presentation, Marnell
was approached by several people including a senior executive
of a New Jersey fertilizer company.
work developed from his senior research project and was prompted
by both his fascination with natural product chemistry and
his longtime interest in organic gardening. Under the guidance
of New Paltz’s Professor Pretti Dhar, (Chemistry) he
investigated the natural antibiotic properties of Terminalia
arjuna, a tree known to be beneficial to humans and used extensively
in Ayurveda, an ancient Indian medical system.
His research proved that the natural extracts from the Terminalia
arjuna tree have significant insecticidal effects. In addition
to the practical application of this research, it provides
a scientific explanation for the long-standing benefits ascribed
to this tree in ancient medical observations.
His project was a cross-disciplinary investigation with input
from the insect expert Assistant Professor Aaron Haselton
(Biology). Such cross-fertilization between chemistry and
biology are ongoing and benefit both disciplines and their
Marnell’s supervisor, Professor Preeti Dhar recognizes
Marnell’s enthusiasm and research panache “Miles
was a joy to work with. He needed very little instruction
and had a big role to play in the completion of this project.
We hit some major road blocks but were able to overcome them
and continue with the project.”
Source: SUNY New Paltz: Click
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