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The content below is information specific to this academic department's fields of interest.

Department of Biology Faculty Research Interests

Brian P. Bergstrom - I study neurochemical changes in synaptic function of dopamine neurons in response to neurodegenerative disease (Parkinson's Disease), drugs of abuse, and pharmacological regulation. Link to Bergstrom Student Research.

James L Dooley, Jr. - I am broadly interested in the effects of habitat alteration on the biodiversity, demography and persistence of animal and plant populations. In that vein, many of my students have done surveys of plants and animals (particularly butterflies, amphibians, mammals and reptiles) across a variety of habitats at the Wilds as well as at other “reference” locations. In addition to basic surveys, I am also interested in more in-depth assessments of population demography, habitat association, community ecology and autecology (particularly in the context of relationships of organisms with the physical environment). Please check out the following link in order to see titles from student research projects I have worked with over the last few years: Link to Recent Student Research Projects.

Danny J. Ingold - My research interests focus on the ecology and natural history of grassland birds, as well as cavity-nesting birds. On a broader scale, I am willing to supervise students interested in natural history, oriented studies on vertebrates as well as invertebrates. Link to Ingold Research Projects.

Oluwatoyin Osunsanya - My research interests are in the area of applied microbiology. My focus has been on the identification of culturable soil bacteria from a reclaimed surfaced mined site. I am also interested in characterizing the effects of the major antibacterial components of essential oils on the food pathogen, Bacillus cereus.

Amy Santas - My research focuses on the events that occur in response to a cut or a wound. Current projects involve a group of proteins (DgC) that disappear after a wound occurs. Projects include identifying the molecular components of this groups of proteins, developing new tools (antibodies) to use to study these proteins, and studying wounding in a controlled environment of tissue culture (cells grown in plastic dishes).

Jamie Rafter - My research interests focus on predator-prey interactions, specifically the predatory behavior and physicological responses of Chinese mantids handling toxic and non-toxic lepidopteran prey.  In addition, I plan to begin to document the diversity of some of the major insect orders/families on a reclaimed surface mine (the Wilds).