Historical Perspectives of Urban Environmental Education

The goal of this project is to archive and interpret historical records concerning the formation and evolution of an urban environmental education program in Springfield, MA, specifically the Environmental Center for Our Schools, or ECOS. UMass Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) holds 50 years of ECOS documents, including information about its beginnings under Title III through the Office for Civil Rights. Research assistants will process this collection and have the opportunity to develop and pursue independent research questions involving these documents.

Assistant in Biological Chemistry Laboratory

WORK STUDY ONLY. We are seeking a student with a Work Study Award to work as a technician in our lab. This person will clean, autoclave and sterilize glassware and waste, pour gels for electrophoresis, prepare plates and liquid for bacterial culture and generally assist around the laboratory. The pay rate is $9-10/hour depending on experience. PLEASE ONLY APPLY IF YOU HAVE A WORK STUDY AWARD. This is an excellent inroads to laboratory work. We will train the selected student, but experience with any of these techniques is a plus.

Alzheimer's Disease Mouse Study

We are looking for an undergraduate student with experience working in an animal colony with mice to help us breed and treat mice with compounds made in our lab as part of an Alzheimer's Disease study. Students MUST have prior experience working with mice and be independent and internally motivated. Students lacking prior experience with animal husbandry in rodents should NOT apply. Please apply by directly emailing hardy@chem.umass.edu.

Using Microbes for Paper Pulping

Paper pulping uses hazardous chemicals to remove lignin from the hemicellulose and cellulose components of wood. This contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and water pollution. A more sustainable and greener process is known as biopulping, which uses microbes and their enzymes to break down lignin. The DeAngelis lab in particular focuses on anaerobic bacteria as a promising source of enzymes.

Isotope Probing for Active Soil Microbes

Metabolically active soil microorganisms may cause an increase in respiration in response to climate change. At the Harvard Forest, three long-term soil warming plots were established nearly 25 years ago to determine how forest ecosystems are effected by warming. Researchers are using various approaches to determine which organisms are actively contributing to respiration in the soil. My dissertation research addresses the question of which soil organisms are metabolically active using an isotopic labeling approach.

Testosterone synthesis induced by auditory stimuli in the zebra finch brain

I’m really interested in studying how hormones rapidly fluctuate in the brain to acutely regulate behaviors. In the Healey lab, we analyze how steroids influence vocal learning in a rapid and dynamic way. To study this question, we use a songbird species, zebra finches, and focus on an auditory region of the forebrain, the caudomedial nidopallium (NCM). Previous data have shown that hearing songs induced an increase of estradiol (E2) in this region in both males and females.

Pathogens, parasites, and predators of an invasive insect

The winter moth (Operophtera brumata), an invasive insect accidentally introduced to eastern Massachusetts from Europe, has been causing widespread damage to deciduous trees and crops. I am looking for a motivated student interested in ecology, evolution, pathology, or entomology to work with me, a Ph.D. candidate in Organismal and Evolutionary Biology, on various aspects of winter moth population ecology. Projects include microscopy of diseased samples, molecular work evaluating the parasites affecting winter moth, processing field samples, and more!

The genetics of alkaloid production in tomatoes

A for-credit position is available at Caicedo Lab, Biology Department.

Traits such as bitterness are linked to alkaloids in tomatoes. Through their anti-herbivory properties, some alkaloids are thought to increase resistance in tomatoes against pests. However, little is known about the genetic basis of alkaloid production in tomatoes. Thus, this project aims at finding the genetic basis of alkaloid production and changes in alkaloid content during domestication.

Data Management & Analysis, Interpreting the Data You've Worked So Hard For

Suburban development changes habitat structure, influences resource availability, and affects wildlife behavior. As food availability in a habitat changes, animals must make foraging decisions to optimize the use of their time and energy while still avoiding predator detection. I am seeking volunteer undergraduate research assistants for Fall 2016 to assist me with my PhD research on food availability in suburban forest habitats and its effect on the behaviors of Wood Thrushes and Gray Catbirds rearing chicks.


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