Student Research

Student Research

In the Biology Department, we especially enjoy working on research projects with students and we currently have 48 student-faculty research investigations in progress. Many students conduct these projects as part of university or departmental honors, some enroll for independent study credits and others participate in research simply for the experience. These investigations are funded by a variety of intramural and extramural grants and in a typical academic year, our department procures about $250,000 - $500,000 to support research. The following is an overview of these faculty sponsored investigations.

  • Dr. Julie Ambler
    Tunicate population studies in Virginia costal waters.
  • Dr. Jean Boal
    Conditional discrimination learning in cephalopods. Chemical communication and chemical sensation in mollusks.
  • Dr. Judy Cebra-Thomas
    Developmental biology. Developmental basis for evolutionary change.
  • Dr. James Cosentino
    Hormone receptor histochemistry. Development of nanoscale biosensors.
  • Dr. Susan DiBartolomeis
    Chlorella virus studies.
  • Dr. Dominique Didier
    Ichthyology, phylogenetic systematics, and taxonomy.
  • Dr. Shawn Gallagher (Dr. Gallager is a neurobiologist in the Psychology Department and often works with biology majors.)
    Clinical eye research. Mydriatics and tear formation.
  • Dr. Aaron Haines
    Conservation and wildlife biology.
  • Dr. Christopher Hardy
    Ecology, biogeography and antimicrobial properties of Commelina.
    Illustrated guide to invasive species of 'the Bush'. Botanical illustration.
  • Dr. Carol Hepfer
    Genetics and genetic recombination studies with yeast. Mechanism of sex determination in octopuses.
  • Dr. John Hoover
    Design-based stereology in neuroscience.
  • Dr. Timothy Ladd
    Bacterial biofilm investigations.
  • Dr. Jay Moné
    Chlorella virus neutralization bioassays. Bovine leukemia virus studies.
  • Dr. Joel Piperberg
    Effects of cholesterol and ethanol on the stability of the red blood cell membrane.
  • Dr. Larry Reinking
    Inner ear development in zebrafish. Calcium channels and behavior in Paramecium. Response of Daphnia to hypoxic conditions.
  • Dr. Ryan Wagner
    Time lapse photography of plant tropisms.
  • Dr. John Wallace
    Queen snake as a biological control for invasive crayfish. Algal growth as a measure of postmortem submersion interval. Forensic entomology investigations. Impact of clandestine reptile shows on herpetofauna
    Populations. Mosquito population dynamics in southern Alabama.
  • Dr. LaVern Whisenton-Davidson
    Insect Biochemistry, Endocrinology and Neuroendocrinology.
  • Dr. Daniel Yocom
    Streamside forest restoration studies. Studies in arthropod diversity.
  • Dr. Yuan Zhong
    Plant comparative genomics. Regulation of leaf and flower senescence / PCD. Regulation of trichome differentiation.