Recommended Research Program:
Sophomore or Junior Year
Academic Year or 9 week summer experience
Research in Biology
Senior Year - Spring Semester
Seminar in Biology
Undergraduate Research and Extramural Research Opportunities
Dear Undergraduate Students:
Participation in an undergraduate research project under the direction of the faculty
provides an opportunity for outstanding students to explore the possibility of a career
as a research scientist. While these research projects are usually conducted within
the Department's facilities, cooperative programs with other academic and industry
laboratories, and NSF funded Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) make it
possible for students to conduct research projects at extramural sites.
Students interested in undergraduate research in the Department of Biological Sciences
are required to take BIOL 2992 Research Orientation in the fall of their sophomore
or junior year. This course helps students match their interests with specific faculty
or a specific extramural research opportunity. The course also requires students to
do intensive bibliographic research in the preparation of their research prospectus,
i.e., a detailed description of their proposed research project.
Students generally complete their research during the next academic year or during
an intensive 9 week period in the summer. The culmination of the student's undergraduate
research experience, whether in the Department of Biological Sciences or at an extramural
site, will require the student to produce a senior thesis and may qualify to present
the results of their thesis as an oral presentation at the Boland Symposium or as
a poster at the annual Appalachian Student Research Forum held in March or the Beta
Beta Beta, Southeast Region, annual meeting in April. Academically outstanding students
may be eligible for out of state tuition waivers or fellowships based on the recommendation
of the faculty.
Departmental Funding Opportunities for Outstanding Undergraduate Research Students
For more information regarding general research opportunities contact any faculty member in the Department of Biological Sciences
University Funding Opportunities
Research can be considered any type of activity that adds knowledge through academic
study. Research activities can include traditional bench science, library-based studies,
survey-based work and creative or performance activities.
The Honors College provides support for undergraduate research abroad, you can find
more information concerning this funding opportunity at the Undergraduate Research & Creative Activities website.
Recent Publications with Undergraduates (in bold)
Azim S, McDowell D, Cartagena A, Rodriguez R, Laughlin TF, Ahmad Z; 2016. Venom peptides
cathelicidin and lycotoxin cause strong inhibition of Escherichia coli ATP synthase. International Journal of Biological Macromolecules. 87:246-251.
Moore D, Watts JC, Herrig A, Jones TC. Exceptionally short-period clock in Cyclosa turbinata: regulation of locomotor and web-building behavior in an orb-weaving spider. In
press: Journal of Arachnology.
Devaiah SK, Owens DK, Sibhatu MB, Sarker TR, Strong CL, Mallampalli VKPS, Asiago J, Cooke J, Kiser S, Lin Z, Wamucho A, Hayford D, Williams BE, Loftis P, Berhow M, Pike LM and McIntosh CA; 2016. Isolation, recombinant expression and
biochemical analysis of putative secondary product glucosyltransferases from Citrus paradisi. J. Agric. Food. Chem. 64:1957-1969 (doi 10.1021/acs.jafc.5b05430).
Shropshire JD, Moore D, Seier E, Joplin KH; 2015. Male aggression, limited female choice, and the
ontogeny of mating behaviour in the flesh fly, Sarcophaga crassipalpis. Physiological Entomology 40: 325-335. DOI: 10.1111/phen.12118.
Agrawal D, Karsai I; 2016. The mechanisms of water exchange: The regulatory roles of multiple
interactions in social wasps. PLoS ONE11(1):e0145560.doi:10.1371/journal. pone.0145560.
Quijano A, Joyner ML, Ross CR, Watts JC, Seier E, Jones TC. Spatio-temporal analysis of foraging behaviors of Anelosimus studiosus: utilizing mathematical modeling of multiple spider interaction on a cooperative web.
In press Journal of Theoretical Biology.
Karsai I, Montano E, and Schmickl T; 2016. Bottom-up ecology: an agent-based model on the interactions
between competition and predation, Letters in Biomathematics, 3:1, 161-180, DOI: 10.1080/23737867.2016.1217756.
Ratliff WS, Walker ES, and Levy F; 2015. Population demographics and disease assessments in
three Tennessee populations of Buckleya distichophylla (Nutt.) Torr. (Santalaceae). Castanea 80:243-252.
Past Publications with Undergraduates (in bold)
Moore D, Paquette C, Shropshire JD, Seier E, Joplin KH; 2014. Extensive reorganization of behavior accompanies ontogeny
of aggression in male flesh flies. PLoS ONE 9(4): E93196. DOI:10.1371/JOURNAL.PONE.0093196.
Dinkins ZC, Nandi A, Levy F, and Donaldson J; 2014. Surface soil properties of alder balds
(Alnus viridis ssp. crispa) with respect to grassy and woody vegetation on Roan Mountain, Tennessee.
Southeastern Naturalist 13:377-395.
Watts JC, Herrig A, Allen WD, Jones TC; 2014. Diel patterns of foraging aggression and antipredator
behaviour in the trashline orb-weaving spider, Cyclosa turbinata. Anim. Behav. 94, 79–86. (doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2014.05.020).
Ahmad Z, Okafor F, Azim S, Laughlin TF; 2013. ATP synthase: A molecular therapeutic drug target for antimicrobial
and antitumor peptides. Current Medicinal Chemistry. 20(15):1956-1973.
Wagner AE, Van Nest BN, Hobbs C, Moore D; 2013. Persistence, reticence, and the management of multiple time memories
by forager honey bees. Journal of Experimental Biology 216: 1131-1141.
Stinnett H, Stewart JR, Ecay TW, Pyles RA, Thompson MB, Herbert J; 2012. Placental development
and expression of calcium transporting proteins in the extraembryonic membranes of
a placentotrophic lizard. J. Morphology, 273:347-359.
Jones TC, Akoury TS, Hauser CK, Neblett II MF, Linville BJ, Edge AA and Weber NO; 2011. Octopamine and serotonin have opposite effects
on antipredator behavior in the orb-weaving spider, Larinioides cornutus. J. Comp Physiol. Ser. A, 197:819-829.
Karsai I, Runciman A; 2011. The "common stomach" as information source for the regulation of construction
behavior of the swarm. Mathematical and Computer Modelling of Dynamical Systems. 18:
13-24. iFirst, 1-12: DOI:10.1080/13873954.2011.601423.
Jones TC, Akoury TS, Hauser CK, Moore D; 2011. Evidence of circadian rhythm in antipredator behaviour in the orb-weaving
spider Larinioides cornutus. Anim Behav 82, 549–555. (doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2011.06.009).
Johnson JN, Hardgrave E, Gill C, and Moore D; 2010. Absence of consistent diel rhythmicity in mated honey bee queen
behavior. Journal of Insect Physiology 56 : 761-773.
Shams W, Walker ES, Levy F, Reynolds SA, Peterson SM, Sarubbi FA; 2010. Comparative activity of telavancin and other antimicrobial agents
against MRSA isolates collected from 1991 to 2006. Chemotherapy 56:411-416.
Lusk, L, Mutel M, Walker ES, Levy F; 2010. Forest change in high elevation forests of Mt.
Mitchell, North Carolina: Re-census and analysis of data collected over 40 years.
pp. 104-112 in, Proceedings of the Symposium on High Elevation Forests in the Central
and Southern Appalachians, Snowshoe, WV.
Levy F, Baker J, Chen K, Cooke G, Liu YS, Walker ES, McDowell T; 2008. Patterns of spread hemlock woolly adelgid in
Carolina hemlock populations. Proceedings of the 4th Symposium on Hemlock Wooly Adelgid
in the Eastern United States (Hartford, CT Feb. 12-14, 2008). USDA and Forest Service,