3D house project

The Irschick lab at UMASS Amherst is looking for a committed undergraduate to work on 3D houses with a team of other faculty. The student will work with pre-existing photos to use photogrammetry to create 3D houses, and will also likely use new photo gear to take new photos of various endangered houses in MA. Please send a CV, a 200-word statement on why you want to join lab, and contact info for a reference to Duncan Irschick at

3D sea turtle digital project

The Digital Life project (see is seeking a committed undergraduate who will work 6-8 hours/week creating 3D sea turtles through the process of photogrammetry. The student will work with prior photos to create 3D models, as well as work with the team to develop new 3D models. Student must be willing to do hours of photo organizing work and to learn new photo software. Students should send a CV, a 200 word statement on why they want to join the lab, and contact info on a reference.

Sex determination through programmed cell death in corn flowers

Male corn flowers undergo programmed cell death to selectively delete female sex organs. Although this process is critical to development and, in turn, to crop production, little is known about the genes controlling corn sex determination. Our lab has identified corn mutants that do not undergo programmed cell death in flowers. We are working towards understanding which genes have been disrupted in these mutants, and how they function in normal flower development. We are seeking a motivated undergraduate to assist with a project studying these genes.

The evolution of gene regulation in plants

Protein coding gene sequences differ very little between closely related species. Despite nearly identical proteins, the spatio-temporal use of protein-encoding genes, also called gene expression, is much more divergent, and likely explains differences between different species. We are seeking a motivated undergraduate to assist with a project studying gene expression in plants, and how evolution can conserve or innovate on expression patterns to explain the diversity we see in the plant kingdom.

Using CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing to study the genetics of plant development

Grasses are one of nature’s most successful experiments, the family displays a stunning amount of diversity. We have identified a previously uncharacterized family of plant genes that has undergone an extensive expansion during the evolution of grasses, and are likely contributing to grass development and physiology. We are looking for a motivated undergraduate to assist with a project studying these genes. To do this, we are using a CRISPR/Cas9 targeted knockout strategy in maize and Brachypodium distachyon.

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.

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.


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