Research in Biology

Student Research

Biology Research

Students have the opportunity to conduct research during both the academic year and the summer for Biology credit. Faculty members mentor students in finding paid summer research experiences at Juniata and other institutions.

The Department hosts a LinkedIn page posting research and job opportunities in Biology. The listing is not exhaustive, but it is a good start.  

Recent Research Examples 

  • Jeffrey Brabec: "A Very Unnatural Selection: The Dangerous Path of Gene Editing." 
  • Truc Ly: "Functional Capability and Structure of Microbial Communities Associated with Middle Branch Passive AMD Remediation System."
  • Danielle Murphy: "The Role of Sphingolipids in Known Pathways of Lifespan Regulation."
  • Hoi Tong Wong: "Using Bacterial Transcriptomics to Investigate Targets of Host-Bacterial Interactions in C. elegans." 
  • Lauren Lock: "Effects of Fungal Treatment on the Microbial Community Structure of Roots and Soil Associated with Allelopathic Tree of Heaven."

Recent Student Summer Research Experiences

Kathryn Brown at Univ. of Iowa Keiko Sing at Univ. of CA, SF
Clay Cooper at Penn State Hershey Nathan Smith at MIT
Ashley Greenwalt at Univ. of MD Steven Strutt at Penn State
Alyssa Grube at Univ. of NC Aaron Womer at Juniata College
Jessica Scales at Juniata College Samantha Buckley at Univ. of MD
Nathan Wilson at Juniata College Clarissa Diniz at Univ. of PA
Ryan Trexler at Juniata College Alex Sickler at Juniata College
Alexander Weimer at Juniata College Nicole Marks at Juniata College
Gabrielle Cannon at Juniata College Jacob Oster at Juniata College
Mitch Dunklebarger at Juniata College Elliot Perow US Fish and Wildlife/Juniata College

"Studying biology has given me the opportunity to preform research, collaborate with other scientists, and present at national conferences. The biology department has not only prepared me for professional school, but has also allowed me to understand how science can impact the world around us."

Jessica Scales '15 

  • Many of our students participate at the National Council for Undergraduate Research (NCUR).
  • Independent guided research opportunities with Juniata faculty and other faculty members at leading research universities around the country are available to all students.
  • Student stipends for research students are provided on a competitive basis from several college endowments and through research grants awarded to individual faculty members.
  • Research opportunities are tailored specifically for undergraduate participation. Student research opportunities exist during the academic year through the Biology Research course (BI 489).
  • Students often have the opportunity to participate in summer research internships with Juniata alumni.

Faculty Research Initiatives and Projects

Dr. Kathryn Jewett, Drosophila melanogaster (fruit flies) as a model of glucocerebrosidase deficiency, a risk factor for Parkinson's Disease. Jewett Lab video

Dr. Douglas Glazier, Ecology of freshwater springs, including effects of temperature and fish predation on the physiology, behavior, and life histories of amphipod and isopod crustaceans. Theory of biological scaling (how various traits and processes vary with body size in organisms). The ecological consequences of colonizing land by aquatic ancestors, as revealed by comparative studies of aquatic, semi-terrestrial, and terrestrial amphipods and isopods in various regions of the world.

Dr. John Matter, Life-history and demography of squamate reptiles (lizards and snakes); reproductive biology and effects of pesticides on reproductive development in vertebrates.

Dr. Vince Buonaccorsi, Population genomics of aquatic and terrestial animals.  Speciation, hybridization, and molecular species identification.  Buonaccorsi Lab web site

Dr. Norris Muth, Forestry in urban and natural areas, impacts of nutrient exchanges across habitat boundaries, invasive plants, invasive forest pests and pathogens, citizen science programs for managing urban forests and early detection and rapid response to invasive species. Muth Lab web site.

Dr. Chris Grant, Mercury (Hg) bioaccumulation in Salvelinus fontinalis (brook trout) and Hg cycling in aquatic ecosystems. Genetically divergent lineages of Pennsylvania fishes: the Juniata Redbelly Dace. Grant Lab web site.

Dr. Jill Keeney, Yeast as a model system for the study of DNA mobility (retrotransposition). GEnes of unknown function in yeast.

Keeney lab web site

Dr. Gina Lamendella, Molecular Microbial Ecology. WrightLabs website & CSI-Dx website.