Student Research in Biology & Earth Science

Biology & Earth Science students can participate in undergraduate research with faculty as part of our Honors, Distinction, or Departmental Research programs, and there are multiple opportunities for research funding at Otterbein.  These undergraduate research projects are showcased during our departmental Senior Research Symposium, and we recognize excellent work with department achievement awards.  In addition, students often present their research at regional or national meetings where they sometimes win national awards.  Ultimately, we hope to see faculty and student research culminating in a published, peer-reviewed, journal article.  Below are a few examples of undergraduate projects that were published.

Peer-reviewed Publications (with Undergrad Student Author Names*)

Bennett, J.A., G.V. Kandell*, S.G. Kirk* and J.R. McCormick.  Visual and Microscopic Characterization of Streptomyces Developmental Mutants.  Invited Video Article Accepted to Journal of Visualized Experiments.

Hull, T.D.*, Min-Hyung Ryu, M. J. Sullivan*, N.T. Klena*, R.C. Johnson*, R.M. Geiger*, M. Gomelsky and J.A.   Bennett.  2012.  C-di-GMP Phosphodiesterases RmdA and RmdB are Involved in Regulating Colony Morphology and Development in Streptomyces coelicolor.  Journal of Bacteriology.  194:4642-51.

Bouchard, S.S., O’Leary, C.J.*, Wargelin, L.J.*, Charbonnier, J.F., and K. Warkentin. 2016. Post-metamorphic carry-over effects of larval digestive plasticity. Functional Ecology. 30(3):379-388  DOI: 10.1111/1365-2435.12501

Bouchard, S.S., O’Leary, C.J.*, Wargelin, L.J.*, Rodriguez, W.B.*, Jennings, K.X.*, Warkentin K.M. 2015. Alternative competition-induced digestive strategies yield equal growth, but constrain compensatory growth in red-eyed treefrog larvae. Journal of Experimental Zoology Part A Ecological Genetics and Physiology.  323(10):778-788 DOI: 10.1002/jez.1991

Bouchard, S.S., Murphy, A.K.*, and Berry, J.A.* 2010. Non-additive dietary effects and ontogenetic diet shifts in slider turtles, Trachemys scriptaComparative Biochemistry and Physiology A-Molecular and Integrative Physiology Part A.  155:264-270.

Lehman, J. S., Hanson, K. A*., and Shaner, G. 2005. Relationship among genes conferring partial resistance to leaf rust (Puccinia triticina) in wheat lines CI 13227 and L-574-1. Phytopathology 95:198-205.

Lehman, J. S., Igarashi, S.*, and Oudemans, P. V. 2007. Host resistance to Monilinia vaccinii-corymbosi in flowers and fruits of highbush blueberry.  Plant Disease 91:852-856.

O’Callaghan, D. K.*, Schall, S.A.*, Birmingham, S.S.W. and Lehman, J.S.  2015. Protective effects of ascorbic acid and α-Tocopherol on the in vitro oxidation of equine erythrocytes caused by extracts of wilted red maple leaves.  Journal of Equine Veterinary Science: 940 – 946.

Testa, A., Schilb, M.*, Lehman, J.S., Bonello, P. and Cristinzio, G.  2005.  First report of Phytophthora insolita and P. inflata on rhododendron in Ohio.  Plant Disease 89 (10): 1128-1128.

Whitehill, J. A. G.*, Lehman, J. S., and Bonello, P. 2007.  Ips pini (Curculionidae: Scolytinae) is a vector of the fungal pathogen, Sphaeropsis sapinea (Coelomycetes), to Austrian pines, Pinus nigra (Pinaceae).  Environmental Entomology 36:114-120.

    Funding Resources Available

    • Student Research Fund Research Award
    • Student Research Fund Presentation Award
    • University Research and Creative Works Summer Stipend (contact the Director of Undergraduate Research and Creative Work)
    • Five Cardinal Experiences Funding
    • The Bert and Jane Horn Endowed Student Research Fund in the Sciences (See Department of Biology & Earth Science for details. Applications due spring semester)
    • Melinda S. Phinney Fund for Pre-Medical Experiences (contact Dr. Lisa Marr for details)
    • The Department of Biology and Earth Science Student Travel Endowed Fund (See Department of Biology & Earth Science for details. Applications due spring semester)
    • The Department of Biology and Earth Science Summer Stipends (See Department of Biology & Earth Science for details. Applications due spring semester)

    National Awards

    • American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Undergraduate Research Fellowship; Summer stipend and Travel Award (Morgan Stark 2015-16)
    • American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) Undergraduate Research Award (Bridget Bickers 2014, Morgan Stark 2015)
    • ASBMB Best Thematic Poster Award (Bridget Bickers 2015)
    • ASM Student and Post-doctoral Travel Award (Morgan Stark 2016)
    • Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) Travel Grant (Will King 2016)

    List of Available Student Departmental Achievement Awards

    The Bert and Jane Horn Endowed Student Research Fund in the Sciences 
    Provides discretionary resources in support of student research projects for undergraduate junior or senior students enrolled in major within the Department of Biology and Earth Science and the Chemistry Department.

    Grace Rohrer Rymer and Richard Rymer Scholarship
    Environmental Science students intending to participate in an Internship or SYE related to Environmental Science. Preference given to residents of Ohio.

    Melinda S. Phinney Fund for Pre-Medical Experiences  
    To fund one to four Junior or Senior Pre-Med students with a GPA of at least 3.3 for travel for clinical premedical experiences.

    Zoo Internship Awards ($1000-$1500)
    Money to assist Zoo Science and other students in summer internships at select zoos away from campus.

    The Life Science Departmental Endowed Award
    An outstanding full-time student who has completed a research project in the field of Botany or Microbiology (of environmental impact). Research project and preparation to have at least 5 terms of duration and may include taking courses at a field station or working for a government agency. (Awarded following senior presentations).

    The Priest-Miller Endowed Award
    One full-time student who demonstrates outstanding achievement in either Life (Biology) Science or Chemistry (awarded in conjunction with Chemistry).

    Dr. George Phinney Endowed Award (Awarded following senior presentations)
    Part-time or full-time students(s) who have exhibited outstanding academic performance and research in the area of environmental studies/science.

    Jeanne Willis Life Science Endowed Award
    Sophomore or junior, who will be returning to Otterbein the following year, who contributed significantly to the Department, ex. lab assistant, departmental tutor or departmental representative (by faculty consensus).

    Marion F. Dick ’43 Memorial Award
    Junior or Senior student(s) for outstanding achievement in pre-professional health studies.

    Charles W. Botts ’34 Memorial (Awarded following senior presentations)
    Awarded to top senior research project(s) in the department.

    The Department of Biology and Earth Science Student Travel Endowed Fund
    The income from this Endowment shall be used to provide an annual travel stipend to students from the Department of Biology and Earth Sciences who have the opportunity to travel abroad and are pursuing research or scholarship opportunities as part of or on behalf of the Department of Biology and Earth Science. A recipient may not be awarded funding for more than two (2) consecutive years.

    The Kyle Miller Memorial Fund
    Scholarship for one or two Junior or Senior student(s) with leadership and passion for wildlife and conservation that exemplifies Kyle Miller’s spirit.

    The Dr. Charles R. McFarland Endowed Scholarship in Science
    Scholarship for a full-time incoming freshman or transfer student pursuing a Bachelor’s degree with a preference for studies in Biology and Earth Science who demonstrates financial need and strong academic potential. Determined by Financial Aid.