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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.

DNA Extraction, PCR and Sequence Alignment of a Gall Wasp

This project will be based in an invasive insect and biological control lab. The black oak gall wasp is a stem galling insect that causes extreme oak tree mortality on Cape Cod and Long Island. The student will assist a PhD student with DNA, PCR and sequence alignment of parasitoids of the black oak gall wasp. It is not expected that the student have experience with these methods prior to hire. If the student does have experience, that will just accelerate the process and increase their independence.

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.

Spiders, Worms, and Pillbugs – Oh My! Sorting Leaf Litter Invertebrates

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.

Bird TV? Behavioral Analysis of Nesting Songbirds from NestCam Footage

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.

Estrogen responsive cells in the zebra finch brain

We are interested in how hormones that are made in the brain impact neurons. In our lab we focus on the estrogen hormone known as estradiol, and determine how the synthesis of this chemical impacts audition in a small songbird known as the zebra finch. For this particular study, we are quantifying neurons that express a receptor for estradiol and asking whether these estrogen responsive cells belong to a specific subtype of neurons.

Ecology and Evolution of Primate Communities

Primates do not live by themselves in the forest. They interact with many other plants and animal species and these interactions can have important effects on primate behavior and ecology. Primate communities consist of all the primate species that interact with each other in a particular study site or area. Data are now available for several hundred primate communities from around the world. These data can be used to examine broad patterns of diversity and to test if these patterns are similar or different across continents.

Evolution of Primate Hair

Humans are unusual primates in many ways, including our hair morphology. Human body hair is very short and less dense than other primates. In addition, many human populations exhibit scalp hair that has very long growth cycles. Other primate species exhibit interesting variation in their hair characteristics, though the reason for this variation is poorly known. Our project will test several hypotheses to explain variation in hair length, width, and density across many primate species.

Numerosity Perception and Numerical Cognition

At the CoDeNeuro Lab, we are studying several aspects of numerosity perception and numerical cognition, ranging from basic perceptual abilities – like approximately estimate sets of items – to more complex mathematical skills, as well as the intertwining between perceptual and cognitive processes. Moreover, beside studies on adults, we are also performing experiments on young children, to study how the developing brain acquires numerical and mathematical skills.

Zebrafish Neural Stem Cells and Brain Growth

The Karlstrom Lab investigates the formation and growth of the forebrain and pituitary gland in the zebrafish. We are examining how cell-cell signaling controls stem cell proliferation to regulate tissue growth and cell renewal in larvae and adults. This position is for students ready to pursue a serious honors thesis project, including summer research. The student will begin by quantifying normal brain growth during larval development using a series of fluorescent transgenic zebrafish lines.

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