West Liberty University is now the workplace of both the president and editor of the West Virginia Academy of Science. Dr. Zachary Loughman was selected president and Dr. Joseph Horzempa is the new editor of the Proceedings of the West Virginia Academy of Sciences, the organization’s journal. Both are professors of biology in the College of Sciences.
“I am proud to serve the state of West Virginia in this manner and lead the premier organization for science in the Mountain State. Since 1924, the Academy has existed to share the wonderful science research performed in our colleges and universities,” said Loughman, who joined WLU in 2007.
Selected as West Virginia’s 2014 Professor of the Year by the Faculty Merit Foundation, Loughman is well known for his crayfish research. Loughman’s laboratory is one of the few in the country that focused solely on astacology, the academic study of crayfishes (crayfish biology).
To date, Loughman and his students have sampled crayfish in 13 states, and over 3,000 streams across the eastern and central United States. A WLU alumnus, Loughman earned his undergraduate degree at WLU, his master’s at Marshall University and his doctoral degree in biology at Indiana State University. He also is the program coordinator for the new Zoo Science major.
Horzempa was selected as one of five finalists for the 2016 West Virginia Professor of the Year by the Faculty Merit Foundation of West Virginia. He joined the faculty in 2011 and the student body named him WLU’s professor of the year last spring.
He maintains a working lab that offers students challenging research experiences. Since 2011, he has received over $1.7 million in grants to support the activities of his lab, and he and his students are currently developing new antibiotics, vaccines and researching the biology of Francisella tularensis.
Horzempa has been researching this bacterium since he was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine from 2006 – 2011. He earned both a bachelor and Master of Science degree from California University of Pennsylvania and received his doctoral degree from Duquesne University in 2006.
Horzempa completed his postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in 2011.
The journal for the Academy is issued twice a year and publishes original peer-reviewed research, reviews, and meeting abstracts in the fields of biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering, geology, mathematics, mining, physics, psychology, science education, history of science, philosophy of science, social science, health science and environmental science.
A corporation chartered by the authority of the West Virginia legislature for the advancement of scientific knowledge and the promotion of scientific work in West Virginia, the Academy holds an annual meeting and proceedings are available online (pwvas.org/index.php/pwvas). WLU last hosted the meeting of the Academy in April 2015.