Freshman

Mitosis lab coordinator

My lab studies how cells divide. We use mammalian tissue culture cells for our work. Current projects investigate how the spindle elongates in anaphase to accomplish chromosome segregation, how the mitotic spindle forms during early mitosis, and how molecular motors are regulated.

Plant Responses to Abiotic Stresses

The projects conducted in our lab are focused on gaining a greater understanding of how plants acclimate and adapt to environmental stresses. Using perennial grasses as our experimental system, we specifically investigate physiological mechanisms that allow plants to survive under extreme conditions, including drought, freezing and heat stresses. This is a unique opportunity for students not only to gain insight into basic biological processes, but also to extend this information and apply research results to solve real-world problems in plant biology.

Climate Effects on the Culture and Ecology of Sugar Maple

Maple syrup is produced from the sap of sugar maple collected in the late winter and early spring, and tapping maple trees is a cultural touchstone for many in New England. The tapping season is dependent on weather conditions, and climate change may impact the sustainability of maple sugaring. Our research with ACERnet (Acer Climate and Socio-Ecological Research Network; blogs.umass.edu/acernet) is funded by the Northeast Climate Science Center (necsc.umass.edu) and addresses the impact of climate on the quality of maple sap used to make maple syrup.

Vocal communication & song learning in birds

In the Podos Lab, we study a variety of questions related to vocal communication and singing behavior in songbirds. Right now, we're working with swamp sparrows in the lab to explore the process of song learning in males (those who sing to attract mates) and song preference development in females (those who assess songs when choosing a mate). These birds were collected last summer from local field sites, and have been raised in captivity over the past months.

Genetic diversity in a parasitic plant

The parasitic plant, dodder (Cuscuta sp.), is a problematic agricultural weed in cranberries in eastern Massachusetts. Dodder does not photosynthesize and produces no leaves, but instead derives its nutrients from host plants. With researchers at the UMass Cranberry Station, we are interested in determining the population structure of dodder species that attack cranberries. The student involved with this project will establish growth protocols for dodder in the lab, and experiment with suitable methods to extract DNA of sufficient quality for next-generation sequencing methods.

Growth and development of plant roots

My laboratory is looking for an undergraduate research assistant. We study the mechanisms underlying plant growth, using roots as experimental material. We grow plants in the green house to collect seed, and we grow plants in the laboratory on agar medium in Petri dishes to characterize the roots. We are using a vareity of genetic and physiological approaches. The research assistant will help us on a basic level (making medium, harvesting seed) but also in a more specialized way, making various kinds of measurements on the roots through the microscope.

Undergraduate Biochemistry Researcher

Up to 2 undergraduate positions available. We will lose three invaluable seniors this year and looking to recruit up to two rising stars.

We are looking for self-driven students who have a strong interest in learning about Molecular Biology and Biochemistry techniques. No prior experience is needed, however, you should be willing to learn, bring a positive attitude and have a decent background in the Natural Sciences and in Mathematics.

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.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Freshman