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 a 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. Judy Cebra-Thomas
    Developmental biology. Developmental basis for evolutionary change.
  • 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. Director of the Applied Conservation Lab.
  • 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. Brent Horton
    Vertebrate ecological physiology and behavioral ecology
  • Dr. John Hoover
    Design-based stereology in neuroscience.
  • Dr. Maja Klosinska
    Epigenetics, plant genetics & plant development
  • Dr. Heather Lehman
    Molecular mechanisms causing cancerous esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) cells to invade and spread to adjacent organs.
  • Dr. Joel Piperberg
    Effects of cholesterol and ethanol on the stability of the red blood cell membrane.
  • Dr. Laura Ramos-Sepulveda
    Applied, Molecular, and Environmental Microbiology Research. 
  • Dr. Eric Ryndock
    Current Lab projects: 1) Designing a new detection assay for Powassan virus. 2) Comparison of genetic control between human papillomavirus types.
  • Dr. Christopher Stieha
    Plant Ecology, Plant-Herbivore Interactions, Agro-ecology, Quantitative Ecology, Statistics
  • Dr. Jonathan Stoltzfus
    Molecular mechanisms regulating development of human parasitic nematodes. Analysis of gene expression using bioinformatics. 
  • Dr. Ryan Wagner
    Time lapse photography of plant tropisms.
  • Dr. John Wallace
    Assessing the prevalence of PCB's in wetland habitats. Microbiome changes through avian development from egg-fledging. Microbial community shifts among avian gastrointestinal regions during decomposition. Assessment of microplastics in stormwater and historically in macroinvertebrates as a function of land-use. Microbial biofilm community succession in estuarine habitats. 
  • Dr. Laura Weise Cross
    Investigating mechanisms of hypoxia-induced structural remodeling of the pulmonary vessel wall, which is characterized by excessive PASMC proliferation and migration using interdisciplinary approaches at the intersection of cell and molecular biology, genetics, genomics, and organ-system physiology.