Every Alleghenian completes a Senior Project in his/her major field—a significant piece of original work, designed by the student under the guidance of a faculty advisor, that demonstrates to employers and graduate schools the ability to complete a major assignment, to work independently, to analyze and synthesize information, and to write and speak persuasively.
Many biology majors carry out independent research or collaborative research with faculty in addition to the Senior Project.
Each year, seniors present the results of their projects at the department’s annual Senior Project Symposium. In addition, the results of student research projects are regularly presented at professional conferences and published in academic journals.
Some examples of projects and the outcomes:
- “The role of experience in chemosensory recognition of predators by tadpoles of the American toad, Bufo americanus,” Senior Project, presented at the Animal Behavior Society
- “The Effect of Carbamate, Larvin, on the Survival and Growth of the Xanthid Mud Crab,” data gathered during off-campus study at Duke University’s Marine Laboratory
- “Stable replication of HPV-18 and HPV-1a vectors for use in gene therapy,” internship in the Department of Medical Genetics and Biochemistry, University of Pittsburgh Medical School
- Two students represented the Northeast Chapter of Beta Beta Beta at the national meeting and won the national award.
- “Age-related changes in the ventilatory response to inspired CO2 in neonatal rats: A possible role for nasal CO2 in SIDS,” joint faculty-student presentation at Society of Neuroscience meeting
- “Beaver pond wetlands in western Pennsylvania: an experimental analysis of aerial colonization and desiccation resistance after drought,” chapter in Invertebrates in Freshwater Wetlands of North America: Ecology and Management
- “Aposematic coloration enhances chemosensory recognition of noxious prey in the garter snake,” published in Animal Behavior
- “Juvenile hormone in earwigs,” published in Physiological Entomology
- “The significance of extracellular production and winter photosynthesis to estimates of periphyton production in a woodland stream community,” published in Hydrobiologia
- “The effect of real and simulated herbivory on the interplant communication of an inducible defense mechanism in Nicotiana sylvestris,” presented at Plant Signaling Conference