Student Research Projects in Biological Science

Undergraduate research opportunities in biology are available with our faculty members. Students regularly travel to and present their research findings at regional, national and even international meetings. In the 2014/2015 academic year biology students made 26 presentations at a variety of meetings in the U.S. Projects range in areas of interest from ecology to cell and molecular biology. Students who engage in undergraduate research gain valuable skills in experimental design, laboratory protocols, and field studies. Such experience is highly advantageous to students applying to graduate school or entering into the job market.

Mr. Feysel Shifa won first prize for his research poster at the Society for College Science Teachers National Student Poster Competition, Chicago, Illinois, March 2015

The Department of Biological Sciences also offers a unique 12-credit course BIO490 Investigative Biology Research Experience that is of great value to students planning on attending graduate school and/or seriously considering a career in research.

Selected Recent Examples of Student Research Projects in Biological Science

2015

Physiological Significance of PGR5 Cyclic Electron Transport in Chlamydomonas

  • Student researchers: Sophia You, Pema L. Andrugsurba, Hayley Dewey-Hagborg.
  • Faculty research mentors: Dr. Peter Conrad and Ms. Janice Marchut-Conrad.
  • Northeast Region American Society of Plant Biologists (NEASPB) Conference, Northeastern University, Boston, MA, April 2015.

Chlamydomonas IAA response: Nitrate Reductase and Nitric Oxide Requirement

  • Student researchers: Solomon C. Amadiume, Kalewold H. Kalewold, Feysel M. Shifa.
  • Faculty research mentors: Dr. Peter Conrad and Ms. Janice Marchut-Conrad.
  • Northeast Region American Society of Plant Biologists (NEASPB) Conference, Northeastern University, Boston, MA, April 2015.

Chlamydomonas Light Mediated Osmosis Requires Recovery Volume Decrease

  • Student researchers: Frederick M. Kaestel, Brittany Garrett, Rachel L. Senecal.
  • Faculty research mentors: Dr. Peter Conrad and Ms. Janice Marchut-Conrad.
  • Northeast Region American Society of Plant Biologists (NEASPB) Conference, Northeastern University, Boston, MA, April 2015.

Chlamydomonas Shows Rhythmic Cell Expansion Response to IAA: Expansion is Auxin Specific and Occurs in Minutes

  • Student researchers: Rebecca LaPier, Emily Morrison.
  • Faculty research mentors: Dr. Peter Conrad and Ms. Janice Marchut-Conrad.
  • Northeast Region American Society of Plant Biologists (NEASPB) Conference, Northeastern University, Boston, MA, April 2015.

Functional Analysis of β-hemoglobin Gene in Paramecium tetraurelia

  • Student researcher: Feysel Shifa.
  • Faculty research mentor: Dr. Nancy Elwess.
  • Society for College Science Teachers National Student Poster Competition, Chicago, IL March 2015.

Investigation of Genetic Markers and the Increased Risk for Concussions

  • Student researcher: Matthew Rusek.
  • Faculty research mentor: Dr. Nancy Elwess.
  • Society for College Science Teachers National Student Poster Competition, Chicago, IL March 2015.

Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase gene C677T polymorphisms

  • Student researcher: Daniel Salatto.
  • Faculty research mentor: Dr. Nancy Elwess.
  • Northeastern Sigma Xi Poster Competition, Western Connecticut University, April 2015.

Effects of global system for mobile communication radiation on Paramecia tetraurelia

  • Student researchers: Mostafa Elbery and Samuele Weekes.
  • Faculty research mentor: Dr. Nancy Elwess.
  • Northeastern Sigma Xi Poster Competition, Western Connecticut University, April 2015.

Inventory of small and large mammal diversity in a fragmented landscape: a baseline for investigating ecological impacts of human disturbance

  • Student researcher: Joseph Wantuch.
  • Faculty research mentors: Dr. Michael Burgess.
  • Sigma Xi Undergraduate Research Symposium, SUNY Plattsburgh, May 2015.

Effect of pigmentation on antibiotic sensitivity in Serratia marcescens

  • Student researcher: Matthew Kaleta.
  • Faculty research mentors: Dr. José de Ondarza.
  • Sigma Xi Undergraduate Research Symposium, SUNY Plattsburgh, May 2015.

Effects of global system for mobile communication radiation on Paramecia tetraurelia

  • Student researchers: Mostafa Elbery and Samuele Weekes.
  • Faculty research mento: Dr. Nancy Elwess.
  • Northeastern Sigma Xi Poster Competition, Western Connecticut University, April 2015.

Entrance Biomonitoring of Cave Crickets, Hadenoecus subterraneus, at the Violet City Entrance in Mammoth Cave National Park from 2003 and 2006-2014.

  • Student researcher: Tania Ruhumbika.
  • Faculty research mentors: Dr. Kathleen Lavoie.
  • Sigma Xi Undergraduate Research Symposium, SUNY Plattsburgh, May 2015.]

2014

Establishing a DNA Database for the Genus Rana in the New York Lake Champlain Basin

  • Student researcher: Justin Andrews.
  • Faculty research mentor: Dr. Nancy Elwess.
  • Society for College Science Teachers National Undergraduate Poster Competition. Boston, MA, April 2014.

The Communication of Heat Stress in Aphaenogaster rudis Colonies. Brian Whyte, Joel Parker, Andrew Nguyen and Sara Cahan-Helms

  • Student researcher: Brian Whyte.
  • Faculty research mentor: Dr. Joel Parker.
  • American Chemical Society/Sigma Xi Research Symposium, SUNY Plattsburgh, April 2014

Functional Analysis of β-hemoglobin Gene in Paramecium tetraurelia

  • Student researcher: Feysel Shifa.
  • Faculty research mentor: Dr. Nancy Elwess.
  • Society for College Science Teachers National Undergraduate Poster Competition. Boston, MA, April 2014 First Place

Haplogroup Determination of Ancient Maya DNA

  • Student researcher: Michael Haynes.
  • Faculty research mentor: Dr. Nancy Elwess.
  • International Sigma Xi On-line Student Poster Competition. March, 2014 Second Place.

Investigation of Alu insertion polymorphism of human genetic diversity

  • Student researcher: Matthew Rusek.
  • Faculty research mentor: Dr. Nancy Elwess.
  • Innovative Exploration Forum: Undergraduate Research in New York State’s Public Higher Education System, Albany, NY April 2014.

Water quality in top-loading water coolers

  • Student researcher: Danielle Attanasio.
  • Faculty research mentor: Dr. Jose de Ondarza.
  • American Chemical Society/Sigma Xi Research Symposium, SUNY Plattsburgh, April 2014. 1st place poster.

2013

Effects of desiccation and starvation on thermal tolerance in the forest ant Aphaenogaster picea. Resendez, S., K.P. Pinder, A. Nguyen, J. Parker, and S. Cahan

  • Student researcher: Skyler Resendez.
  • Faculty research mentor: Dr. Joel Parker.
  • Entomological Society of America Annual meeting, Austin, TX. November, 2013.

Association of the 5-HTTLPR Polymorphism and Depressive Symptoms in College Students

  • Student researcher: Casey Mohrien.
  • Faculty research mentor: Dr. Nancy Elwess.
  • National Association of Biology Teachers National Undergraduate Poster Competition. Atlanta, GA. November, 2013.

COMT gene ratios and GPA correlation

  • Student researcher: Alexander Bender.
  • Faculty research mentor: Dr. Nancy Elwess.
  • National Association of Biology Teachers National Undergraduate Poster Competition. Atlanta, GA. November, 2013.

Do genes affect altruism and stress reactivity: an exploration of the OXTR gene

  • Student researcher: Gregg LaFleur.
  • Faculty research mentor: Dr. Nancy Elwess.
  • National Association of Biology Teachers National Undergraduate Poster Competition. Atlanta, GA. November, 2013.

Questions, Comments, Suggestions?

If you would like more information about biological sciences at SUNY Plattsburgh, please contact:

Dr. Neil Buckley, Chair
Office: Beaumont Hall 444
Phone: (518) 564-3155
Email: neil.buckley@plattsburgh.edu