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Novel, bioinsectidal ways to control adult house flies

Insects are developing resistance to most pesticides and many of the new ones, such as the neonicotinoids, are banned because of their negative effect on pollinators. A new strategy that is being developed uses natural products or biopesticides that occur in nature and should have little or no effect on non-target organisms or the environment. These products probably have antimicrobial effects on the insect’s natural microbiome and may destroy these microbes. Maintaining a nearly constant microbiome for any organism is essential for that organism to survive.

Evaluating the Effect of Interplanting Oyster Mushrooms with Vegetables

Looking for a motivated independent study student interested in interspecies interactions between saprophytic fungi and vegetable crops (Pleurotus spp. (Oyster mushrooms) and Brassica spp.). Oyster mushroom mycelium release enzymes and acids that help break down organic matter in the soil and release potentially useful compounds for crop production. When interplanted with brassica plants some species have increased the yield of these crops by over 20%, while some have negative effects on plant yield.

Molecular genetic mechanisms of host-microbe mutualism

The Wang Lab, located in the Life Science Laboratories, is interested in the mechanisms of beneficial host-microbe interactions. Our experimental system is the symbiosis between legumes and nitrogen-fixing rhizobia, with important economic and environmental relevance, as well as similarities to pathogenic interactions. The BURA student will be engaged in dissecting the genetic basis of the nitrogen-fixing symbiosis, in particular characterizing the defects in host mutants unable to sustain a successful symbiotic relationship.

Global Patterns of Urban Biodiversity and Socioeconomic Inequality

In some cities, plant and animal diversity is closely tied to the wealth of city residents (more money means more diverse ferns and flowers, for example). But this is not the case in every city. Evan Kuras (graduate student) seeks an undergraduate research assistant to aid in a analysis of biodiversity and socioeconomic that will help us better understand these patterns at a global scale. The student will help compile, manage, and analyze city-level information related to such patterns.

Data Management Lab Technician - House Wren Project

I’m Aaron Grade, a PhD student in Dr. Paige Warren’s lab. We are an urban ecology lab based in the Department of Environmental Conservation. I am seeking laboratory technicians in Fall 2017 for an avian urban ecology study. There is the potential to continue working for the project into the Spring semester as well. My study is focused on the effects of perceived predation risk on House Wren nesting biology on an urban-to-rural gradient. During our summer field seasons, we monitor House Wren nests in nest boxes on private homeowner lands.

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 on a project 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 as nestlings during the summer of 2016 from local field sites, and were raised in captivity on campus under controlled conditions.

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