Student Research

Working in close collaboration with faculty, biology students conduct original, relevant research worthy of publication in peer-reviewed journals and presentation at academic conferences.  As a result, Susquehanna biology majors are especially well prepared for graduate programs and careers.  Here is just a brief sampling of recent projects presented at a meeting of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Sciences. 

Which was here last, the predator or the prospective mate?:  Discerning the temporal sequence of chemical cue deposition in the wolf spider Pardosa milvina and its predator Hogna helluo.  Megan Buck*, Matthew Persons, and Caitlin Ferry.
Examined adaptive anti-predator responses when Pardosa milvina wolf spiders encountered silk from their larger predators, Hogna helluo, determining that smaller males reduced courtship and fighting when the predation risk is high.

Investigating the interaction of beta-8 integrin with guanine dissociation inhibitor protein in Schwann cells.  Glenn Halke*, Alexander James*, and Thomas Peeler. 
Seeks to increase understanding of the molecular mechanism for myelination and Schwann cell interaction with the extracellular matrix by examining the role of beta-8 integrin in Schwann cell growth and development.

The co-localization and quantification of the insulin receptor substrate protein CHICO and dynamin during receptor mediated endocytosis of yolk proteins in Drosophila melanogaster.  Leslie Irwin* and David S. Richard. An NIH-supported project that studies fruit flies to yield insight into the control of vitellogenesis – the production and update of yolk proteins – by developing egg cells. 

Comparative diet of long-eared owls in Central Pennsylvania:  A temporal approach.  Erica Kidd* and Carlos A. Iudica.  Examined the eating habits of a population of owls over three time periods to investigate possible seasonal changes in prey selectivity or fluctuations in prey populations.

The effects of distance from damaged plants on the induced defense responses of hydrogen cyanide production and extrafloral nectaries in undamaged neighboring plants.  Christal Verley.
Builds upon prior research that shows that the release of volatile organic compounds by damaged plants induces defense mechanisms in undamaged neighbors, exploring the role that distance between plants plays in triggering defensive responses. 

A three-year study of Lower Penn’s Creek using habitat assessment, benthic macroinvertebrate and periphyton assemblages.  Daniel Scwarz*, Michael Bilger*, and Jack Holt.
Long-term examination of a creek habitat to establish a baseline for analysis of the impact of agriculture, development and urban discharges on the waterway. 

* Denotes student name.

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