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Caleb Thompson Places First in the Georgia Academy of Science’s Biology Section 

YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. — Young Harris College is pleased to announce that student Caleb Thompson recently placed first in the Biology Section of the Georgia Academy of Science for his research on terrestrial isopods. Caleb Thompson and Dr. Kevin Geyer, Assistant Professor of Biology, have published their findings in the Georgia Journal of Science. 

A senior Biology major, Caleb has dedicated the last several semesters to researching the largely understudied terrestrial isopods of North America. Some of these land-dwelling crustaceans are native to the areas surrounding Young Harris College, which has given Caleb the perfect opportunity to study them in the field. He has employed a very hands-on approach between the Predatory Beetle Laboratory and the forest adjacent to the Brasstown Wilderness. 

Caleb’s identification of terrestrial isopods in Appalachia will provide the scientific community with insight regarding their distribution based on disturbance, as well as details on Ligidium elrodii morphology. Much of his work is experimental and goes beyond established scholarship. “I stumbled upon isopods early in college,” said Caleb. “Now, I’m doing exploratory research to flesh out the unknowns.” 

Young Harris College’s Biology Department has been integral to Caleb’s research, from insight on invertebrate research and methodology to slide mounting and building a network of professionals in the field. Caleb encourages students to forge strong relationships with faculty, who are passionate about facilitating student research. “Caleb is a born scientist,” said Dr. Linda Jones, Dean of the Division of Mathematics, Science & Technology. “He is very curious about the natural world and has an eye for detail.  He also has the perseverance to see a project through.”

“Working with Caleb is no work at all,” said Dr. Geyer. “He brings so much enthusiasm and eagerness to learn with him that it’s contagious! I’m so proud to have been a part of his work and see him grow over the past four years.”

Outside of his first-place presentation in the Biology Section of the Georgia Academy of Science, Caleb has presented multiple related projects at Undergraduate Research Day. He plans to discuss two additional projects at this year’s 11th Annual Undergraduate Research Day. His senior capstone also constitutes robust research on terrestrial isopods. 

Caleb is the President of the Upsilon Delta Sigma fraternity, an Alpha Iota Gent, and has been a leader in the Student Government Association all four years of his undergraduate career. Caleb is also an active participant in YHC’s Fly Fishing Club and SIGHT, the on-campus inquiry group. He plans to continue his studies at the graduate level, expanding his current base of knowledge and data. One of Caleb’s goals for the future is to create an identification guide for terrestrial isopods and develop a positive feedback loop for the public to appreciate nature. 

About Young Harris College

Young Harris College is a private baccalaureate and master’s degree-granting institution located in the beautiful mountains of North Georgia. Founded in 1886 and historically affiliated with The United Methodist Church, Young Harris College educates, inspires and empowers students through an education that purposefully integrates the liberal arts and professional studies. The College has four academic divisions: Fine Arts; Humanities; Mathematics, Science and Technology; and Professional Studies. More than 1,400 students are enrolled in its residential and Early College programs. The College is an active member of the NCAA Division II and remains a fierce competitor in the prestigious Peach Belt Conference. For more information, visit