Department of Biology

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Monitoring Invasive Species in Minnesota

Research Opportunities

Research in the Department of Biology encompasses a breadth of different specialties and fields. Interested undergraduate and prospective graduate students should contact faculty members whose areas of research expertise interests them. Many faculty are often looking for eager and dedicated undergraduate and graduate students to join their labs.

Research opportunities provide unique hands-on-training experiences for students that foster and develop skills for a variety of careers and those seeking continued education (e.g., medical school, graduate school).

Highlighted below are some examples of current and ongoing research projects in the Department of Biology.

Aquatic Toxicology

Minnow

Contact faculty regarding opportunities for undergraduate or graduate research:

Dr. Heiko Schoenfuss (hschoenfuss@stcloudstate.edu): The Aquatic Toxicology Laboratory investigates the effects contaminants have on aquatic life from the molecular level via organismal effects to consequences at the trophic level. Work in the lab is focused on studying the dramatic ecological effects estrogen in rivers and lakes can have on populations of freshwater fishes.


Applied Science and Biotechnology

Algae Bioreactor

Contact faculty regarding opportunities for undergraduate or graduate research:

Dr. Matthew Julius (mljulius@stcloudstate.edu): Research investigates the potential applications algae may have on various industries, including alternative energy sources and dietary supplements. 


Biodiversity, Evolution, and Systematics

Contact faculty regarding opportunities for undergraduate or graduate research:

Dr. Jorge Arriagada (jearriagada@stcloudstate.edu): Research investigates the taxonomy and systematics of plants. 

Dr. Matthew Davis (mpdavis@stcloudstate.edu): Research investigates the evolution and tree of life of fishes with an emphasis on fishes that live in deep-sea habitats and their associated adaptations (e.g., bioluminescence, fangs).

Dr. Matthew Julius (mljulius@stcloudstate.edu): Research investigates the evolution, ecology, and systematics of algae.

Dr. Jennifer Lamb (jylamb@stcloudstate.edu): Research investigates the taxonomy and population genetics of salamanders.

Dr. Melanie Melendrez-Vallard (mcmelendrezvallard@stcloudstate.edu): Research investigates microbial and viral evolution and systematics. 


Conservation and Management

Contact faculty regarding opportunities for undergraduate or graduate research:

Dr. Jennifer Lamb (jylamb@stcloudstate.edu): Research investigates the population genetics and conservation status of salamanders throughout North America. 


Developmental Biology

Contact faculty regarding opportunities for undergraduate or graduate research:

Dr. Timothy Schuh (tjschuh@stcloudstate.edu): Research investigates the early development of Xenopus laevis. 


Ecology: Terrestrial and Aquatic

Contact faculty regarding opportunities for undergraduate or graduate research:

Dr. Jorge Arriagada (jearriagada@stcloudstate.edu): Research investigates wetland plant communities.

Dr. William Cook (wmcook@stcloudstate.edu): Research investigates aspects of prairie ecology including habitat fragmentation and community ecology.

Dr. Matthew Julius (mljulius@stcloudstate.edu): Research investigates the ecology of algae and large lake limnology and paleolimnology.

Dr. Neal Voelz (njvoelz@stcloudstate.edu): Research investigates aquatic ecology with an emphasis on streams and freshwater aquatic invertebrates.


Genomics and Molecular Biology

Contact faculty regarding opportunities for undergraduate or graduate research:

Dr. Christopher Kvaal (cakvaal@stcloudstate.edu): Research integrates bioinformatics, molecular biology, and genetics to study a variety of systems including causes of Toxoplasmosis.

Dr. Brian Olson (blolson@stcloudstate.edu): Research investigates the molecular biology of human diseases including the use of cell culture and biochemistry to study human proteins involved in human diseases.


Immunology

Contact faculty regarding opportunities for undergraduate or graduate research:

Dr. Marina Cetkovic-Cvrlje (mcetkoviccvrlje@stcloudstate.edu): Research investigates factors associated with autoimmunity in experimental type 1 diabetes.


Invasive Species Monitoring and Management

Camp Ripley

Contact faculty regarding opportunities for undergraduate or graduate research:

Dr. Jorge Arriagada (jearriagada@stcloudstate.edu): Maintains a longterm management plan for invasive species of plants at Camp Ripley and Arden Hills. Learn more about the invasive plants project here.


Microbiology

Contact faculty regarding opportunities for undergraduate or graduate research:

Dr. Ryan Fink (rcfink@stcloudstate.edu): Research investigates food microbiology, host-microbe interactions, and Salmonella-microbiome interactions.

Dr. Kristin Gulrud (kpgulrud@stcloudstate.edu): Research investigates medical microbiology, bacterial toxins, and mechanisms of bacterial pathogenesis.

Dr. Louise Millis (lmillis@stcloudstate.edu): Research investigates host-microbe interactions and vectors of viruses.


Physiology

Contact faculty regarding opportunities for undergraduate or graduate research:

Dr. Oladele Gazal (osgazal@stcloudstate.edu): Research investigates mammalian physiology and endocrinology.

Dr. Satomi Kohno (skohno@stcloudstate.edu): Research investigates comparative endocrinology, endocrine disrupters, and sex determination in alligators.