SSU biology major presents at Ohio Natural History Conference

Staff report

PORTSMOUTH — In her last semester of her undergraduate education, Katelyn Parsley (Hometown: Lucasville, Ohio) recently presented research she completed within her coursework at Shawnee State University at the Ohio Natural History Conference. A senior pursuing a bachelor’s in Biology, Parsley will be graduating from SSU this April.

Parsley’s presentation was based on a litter study that examined the causal factors of small mammalian mortality within contained litters. To prepare for the presentation, she spent a year conducting research.

“I collected field data weekly for an entire year, and have been working to analyze and draw correlations between the conditions of the study containers and possible causes of mortality,” said Parsley.

After her professor Dr. Sarah Ivers, Associate Professor of Natural Sciences, noticed her interests in the field, the opportunity to become a part of this research project was available.

“I am a biology major with a minor in environmental life science, so this research project dealt directly with those subjects,” she said. “Dr. Ivers was aware of my interests and allowed me to get involved in a project that suited those interests.”

Parsley’s favorite part about the conference was getting to learn about other students’ projects.

“I enjoyed getting to watch other students’ presentations and learn about what types of projects were going on among the different departments at SSU,” she said.

Parsley’s research was funded by the Ohio Biological Society, something she was grateful to have provided support for her to have this opportunity.

“I would like to thank Dr. Ivers for introducing me to field research and allowing me to work on something that fueled my interests and aligned with my values as an environmental enthusiast,” said Parsley.

The Ohio Biological Survey is an inter-institutional consortium of colleges, universities, museums, agencies, metro parks, arboreta, zoos, other organizations, and individuals in Ohio and the surrounding region. It is currently celebrating its 110th anniversary. The Ohio Natural History Conference was a special event that honored Herpetological History and Conservation.

SSU offers three degrees in Biology – BS Biology (Biomedical Sciences), BS Biology (General), and BS Natural Sciences with a concentration in biology – that prepare its graduates for careers in science as well as provides a strong preparation for students interested in graduate or professional schools.

To learn more about the Biology programs at Shawnee State University, visit

Staff report