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.

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.

Bird TV? Behavioral Analysis of Nesting Songbirds from NestCam Footage

Research in the Warren lab focuses on the impacts of urbanization on wildlife. 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.

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.

Avian Bioacoustics - Urban noise and bird song.

Noise affects how birds communicate. Conservation biologists have become interested in how anthropogenic noise may impact behavior and physiology, which in turn may impact population dynamics, evolution of behavior, and community structure. This project is investigating how nightingales and other species of European birds respond to anthropogenic noise. The investigation focuses on how noise might change the acoustic characteristics of songs.

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