Undergraduate Students

I am always happy to hear from undergraduates interested in joining the lab. I am able to advise those interested in both field-intensive or laboratory-based experiences, as my research program includes both approaches.

For undergraduates interested in fieldwork (a.k.a. getting wet and muddy), time commitment flexibility is a must due to the unpredictable nature of the amphibian field season. Independent study credit (BIO 497, 498 or 499) is a possibility, but it is difficult or impossible to design and conduct a field project in only one semester. For this reason I encourage undergraduates interested in this option to consider longer-term involvement. Several competitive funding opportunities are available for spring/summer semesters to support undergraduate research, e.g. the Undergraduate Research Stimulus Program, the Honors Undergraduate Fellowship, the Meta Hellwig Undergraduate Research Fellowship, and the McNair Scholars Program. Undergraduates conducting independent projects in my lab will be expected to present their results at the EMU Undergraduate Symposium and to co-author manuscripts prepared for publication.

If you are interested in joining the lab please contact me, including a brief description of your research interests and experience. I would be happy to meet with you to discuss current opportunities in the lab.

Here are some projects that undergraduates have conducted in my lab over the years:

Carlos Mellado Fritz (current student)
Changes in unisexual salamander population composition in Indiana and Michigan

Carrie Kosiba (current student)
Bioacoustic analysis of leopard frogs in urban and rural environments (Honors Thesis)

Andy Pampreen (B.S. Dec 2021)
Environmental assessment of painted turtle habitat in a dam impoundment

Bria Spalding (B.S. April 2020)
Painted turtle (Chrysemys picta) home range and habitat use in a dam impoundment (Honors Thesis)

Kyle Williams (B.S. December 2018)
Assessing ploidy reduction in unisexual salamander egg masses

Alyssa Swinehart (B.S. April 2018)
Population genetics of mudpuppy salamanders in Minnesota rivers and lakes
Parentage analysis of captive McCord’s box turtles (Cuora mccordi)

Zachary Kellogg (B.S. April 2017)
Population Genetics of Mudpuppy Salamanders in Lakes and Rivers

Marisa Hildebrandt (B.S. April 2016)
Role of Local Adaptation in the Unique Reproductive Mode of Unisexual Ambystoma Salamanders

Cristina Bugescu (B.S. April 2016)
Analysis of Mudpuppy (Necturus maculosus) Population Trends Over the Last 50 Years

Natalie Colletti (B.S. April, 2014)
Environmental DNA Analysis to Accurately Determine the Presence of Ambystoma laterale (Honors Thesis)

Danielle Hulvey (B.S. April, 2014)
Genetic Markers for the Identification of Unisexual Ambystoma Salamanders

Jay Krystyniak (B.S. April, 2012)
Amphibian Diversity and Phenolic Concentration Across a Canopy Cover Gradient

Kaitlyn Shott (B.S. April, 2012)
Reduction of Amphibian Species Richness in the Presence of Non-Native Plants (Honors Thesis)


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