Student Research Opportunities

Our Philosophy

Independent research by students is one of the key features of the educational philosophy of the Biology department.  By learning how to ask and answer questions, design and perform experiments, and to analyze data and draw appropriate conclusions, students learn not only factual information but develop the reasoning skills needed to actually “do” science. The Biology faculty is committed to providing opportunities to engage in research to all interested students.  The benefits to the student, both in terms of logical skills and the development of a deeper understanding of scientific principles in general, make research an excellent experience for all students, even those not contemplating a career involving research.

Students can participate in research in three ways: for academic course credit, for pay (during the summer), or as volunteers.  Regardless of how a student participates, the process of identifying a faculty mentor is the same.  First, students should look at the research descriptions of the various Biology faculty who take undergraduate students into their labs.  Students should then make an appointment to speak with the faculty members they would like to work with to find out what projects are currently going on in their labs and if space is available.  It is also useful to talk to some of the students currently doing research projects in the different labs to get their perspectives. Once a faculty member has agreed to take a student on, the student then needs to make the necessary arrangements (ie, registering for research as a course.)

Research Brochure

Interested students should take a look at our research brochure for more information about faculty research areas and ongoing projects. Many faculty members also welcome SJU students in their labs, particularly during the summer months.  Interested individuals should contact the individual faculty members directly.

Student Research

In the last five years, student research has been published in:

Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Journal of Bacteriology
Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education
Journal of Neuroscience
Journal of Parasitology
Journal of Zoology
Paleontologicheskiy Zhurnal
The Physics Teacher
Visual Neuroscience
PLoS One
Behavioural Processes
Entomological News
CBE Life Science Education
Freshwater Science
Integrative Zoolog

In the last five years, student research has been presented at:

American Society for Cell Biology
American Society for Microbiology
American Physiological Society
Annual Drosophila Research Conference
Ecological Society of America
Freshwater Biology
North American Black Fly Association
North Eastern Microbiologists: Physiology, Ecology, and Taxonomy
Obruchev Symposium
Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology
Society of Nematology