Video/Photo/Social media Undergraduate

Interested in video, photography & social media?

Join the Digital Life team as a video/social media and photography undergraduate this fall (Fall 2018)

The Digital Life team (digitallife3d.org) is searching for an undergraduate who is interested in working 6-9 hours a week on video, photography, social media, and VR/AR.

Credit for independent study is available.

Paid position: Video analysis of human and animal 3D movements

In relation to the Armstrong grant awarded to D. Irschick, B. Umberger and I. Grosse, we are searching for an undergraduate to do paid work ($15/hour) for 6-8 hours a week in the Irschick lab during the Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 spring semesters. The undergraduate will analyze video work from human and shark research using gopro cameras. Skills learned will include kinematic and 3D methods, and methods of using video to reconstruct movements.

To apply, please email the below to Duncan Irschick at irschick@bio.umass.edu

Taming emerging wine grape varieties: juice quality

Facing unpredictable climate changes, maintaining a sustainable agriculture depends on the availability of genetically diverse cultivars. The traditional European grapes (e.g. Pinot Noir) are cultivars of a single species. In contrast, emerging grape cultivars (European-American hybrids) take advantage of the tremendous genetic diversity of the native American grape species (about 30 species). In the traditional European grape varieties, shoot and fruit thinning is known to influence fruit juice quality (ripening time, sugar, acidity) and help reduce pesticide usage.

The native grape microbiome

The cold climate wine industry has recently boomed in the Northeastern America after the successful breeding of cold-tolerant grape varieties. Vineyards harbor a wide variety of microorganisms that play a pivotal role in grape quality and will contribute significantly to the final aromatic properties of wine. If essential beneficial microorganisms have been identified in traditional wine cultivars, in contrast little is known about cold-climate cultivars.

Adopt a microbe! The microbiology of climate change

Climate change is the most pressing issue of people today, and while humans play an outsized role in the accelerated self-reinforcing feedbacks to climate, microbes can be a major source or sink for carbon. How microbes respond to climate change remains poorly defined, and this project is part of a larger endeavor to better link molecular data like genomics and metagenomic to climate and ecosystem data to better understand the role of microbes in ecosystem processes.

Spider perception

Our lab is engaged in several projects on spider perception. Students will be assigned to particular projects based on their skills and interests. At the start of the semester, we will spend a lot of time in the field collecting spiders for use in projects later in the semester. Projects include: (1) How spiders explore visual stimuli with their principal eyes. The principal eyes of jumping spiders are moveable, and we can track their movements with a specialized eyetracker. We are testing several species and their responses to various stimuli, including videos of courting male spiders.

Global Invaders

Invasive species reduce biodiversity and are considered a major threat to ecosystems worldwide. Despite general knowledge of their widespread impacts, we still lack a consistent list of which species are invasive, where they have been studied, and what sorts of specific impacts have been identified. This information is critical for understanding the conditions that lead to invasion and informing effective monitoring and management.

Looking for RAs for a psychology lab

This is a project looking at decision making in adolescents and adults. We will use Electroencephalography (EEG) which is a kind of neuroscience approach to record people's brain activity while they are doing a computer task. As a RA, you will be trained as experimenter and to be able to maintain and use the EEG system in our lab for data collection. You will be also involved in our weekly lab meeting and join the discussion related with this project as well as other projects in the lab.

Developing a Model System for Studying the Plant Microbiome

Model organisms and model systems are a cornerstone of biological sciences, enabling researchers to control all factors but one for a mechanistic understanding of complex biological systems. There is not currently a model system for the plant-soil ecosystem, since soil is a complex natural system not easily replicated. In this project, a student will work primarily with Dr. DeAngelis (Microbiology) as well as with advice form Dr. Hazen (Biology) and Dr. Ma (BMB) to grow the model plant Brachypodium distachyon in an artificial soil matrix developed in the DeAngelis lab.


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