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PhD and undergraduate students conducting tests with professor at Walden Pond

Opportunities for Research

Our doctoral students conduct research culminating in a dissertation. Throughout their tenure, they attend both on- and off- campus presentations.

Our students have presented at national and international conferences sponsored by the Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology, the Animal Behavior Society, and the Society for Mathematical Biology, and have won prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships.

They’re backed by faculty experts whose research has been funded by the John Templeton Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and National Science Foundation, to name a few, and their expertise has both local and global reach.

Applicants to our program are encouraged to directly contact the faculty member whose research interests appeal to them.

Faculty Research       Contact Our Faculty

Funding for Research

The department provides funding for graduate students to attend conferences at which they present their research. Students are encouraged to seek additional support for fieldwork, research and travel expenses as well. Graduate students have received funding from the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program, among other organizations.


Our graduate students’ research provides insights into a variety of areas, from the evolution and development of stickleback fish to the behavior of proteins in microscopic organisms.

  • Jamie Fitgerald: Morphology and vertical habitat stratification in two tree hole mosquito species. (Todd Livdahl)
  • Chitra Naidu: Identifying small molecule inhibitors and functional analysis of Drosophila LKCγ. (Justin Thackeray)
  • Minoli Perera: Post-transcriptional regulation and coordination of key nitrogen assimilating enzymes in the marine diatom Thalassiosira pseudonana. (Deb Robertson)
  • Richard King. Threespine Stickleback Adaptive Radiation: The Importance of Ancestry. (Susan Foster)
  • Mitchell Nuhn. Molecular Ecology of Boletinellus merulioides and Systematics of the Boletineae. (David Hibbett)
  • Xiang Ren. Targeting Mechanisms of Nuclear Proteins in Dictyostelium discoideum. (Denis Larochelle)
  • Miguel Reyes. Consequences of Diet Deprivation across the Lifespan of a Short-Lived Fish: Energy Allocation Tradeoffs within the Stickleback Adaptive Radiation. (Susan Foster)
  • John Soghigian. Aedes Mosquitoes and Ascogregarina Parasites as Models in Disease Ecology. (Todd Livdahl)
  • Jaya Seelan Sathiya Seelan: Systematic Study of Lentinoid and Pleurotoid mushrooms (Basidiomycota) of South East Asia. (David Hibbett)
  • Songnian Liu: Three Mechanisms of Bacterial Resistance to Mercury (Heather Wiatrowski)
  • Yingjiao Wang: The Impact of Mercury on Antioxidant Defenses in Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 and Characterization of Chromosomal mer operons in Xanthobacter autotrophicus Py2. (Heather Wiatrowski)
  • Dimitrios Floudas: Evolution of wood decay mechanisms in Agaricomycotina based on comparative genomic analyses and contribution to the taxonomy of the white-rot genus Phanerochaete based on molecular and morphological data. (David Hibbett)