Research

AMPHIBIAN ECOLOGY

Kristen Cecala studies the patterns and processes contributing to changing amphibian distributions in the face of landscape changes including land-use and climate change. 

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BEHAVIORAL ECOLOGY

Katie McGhee studies how environmental stressors, such as predator encounters, shape an individual’s behavior. For example, how does the stress that parents experience during their lives affect the behavior of their offspring in the future? How does encountering predators early in an individual’s life affect their behavior later on? To explore these questions, she uses a variety of freshwater fish species - they are easy to manipulate and observe in the lab, and super fun to watch!

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CAVE BIOLOGY

Kirk Zigler studies the evolution and development of invertebrate animals, and is particularly interested in cave biodiversity. Contact him for more information about research opportunities in these fields.

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EVOLUTION BIOLOGY

Matt Schrader studies the evolution and ecology of parental care.  He is especially interested in how conflict and cooperation among family members impact evolutionary processes.  His current research focuses on experimental populations of the burying beetle, Nicrophorus vespilloides.

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NEUROBIOLOGY

Chris Shelley studies the neurobiology of sea urchins, from whole animal behavioral pharmacology, down to the electrical signaling in sensory cells and the activation of single ion channels.

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PLANT ECOLOGY / CONSERVATION BIOLOGY

Jon Evans studies the dynamics of plant populations and the processes that determine the composition and structure of plant communities over time and across landscapes.   He is specifically interested in the role of clonal growth as a mechanism for population persistence in plant communities.  As a conservation biologist, he studies the consequences of land-use history, global climate change, and exotic species introductions on long-term change in ecological communities.  He is an advocate for the use of science to better inform management and public policy decision-making so as to sustain biodiversity across the globe.

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PROTEIN FOLDING

Elise Kikis studies the aberrant proteins that underlie neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntington’s Disease. Huntington’s Disease is one of several autosomal dominant disorders in which a polyglutamine (polyQ) expansion leads to “toxic gain of function” caused by the adoption of a misfolded or aggregated state associated with proteotoxicity. Contact her for more information about research opportunities in her laboratory.

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VIROLOGY

Clint Smith is a virologist who studies coronaviruses, a group of medically and agriculturally important pathogens. The long-term goal of his undergraduate-driven research program is to understand how coronaviruses replicate and evolve. 

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