(Posted April 17, 2006)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Heather Hassel, a senior at Juniata College from Glenolden, Pa. studying biology and anthropology, received an honorable mention for her research proposal to the National Science Foundation Research Fellowship program, a highly competitive process that includes proposals by both undergraduate and graduate students.

Hassel, the daughter of Brian and Gail Hassel, proposed a research project to study monogamy in siamangs, a primate related to gibbons. Siamangs, which are found in Sumatra and the Malay Penninsula, are considered lesser apes.

Hassel has been accepted as a graduate student in the biological anthropology program at Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, N.Y. During her career at Juniata, Hassel participated in a 2003 research project tracking the social structure of whitetail deer. She studied whether juvenile deer were traveling with their genetic mothers. She also participated in an ongoing research study examining population structures among copper rockfish along the Oregon coastline. Both research projects were supervised by Vince Buonaccorsi, assistant professor of biology.

She has presented her research at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research and at Evolution 2005, an annual meeting for evolutionary biologists held in Fairbanks, Alaska.

She also is vice president of Campus Scouts and serves as senator in the Juniata College Student Government. She also participates in the Lacrosse Club.

Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.