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Undergraduate Research

Undergraduate research opportunities in biology are available with our faculty members. Students regularly travel to and present their research findings at regional, national and even international meetings.

Projects range in areas of interest from ecology to cell and molecular biology. Students who engage in undergraduate research gain valuable skills in experimental design, laboratory protocols and field studies. Such experience is highly advantageous to students applying to graduate school or entering into the job market.

Recent Student Research

Kerri Corcoran

Kerri discusses her poster with a judge at the competition
Kerri explains her work to one of the judges at UMBC
Kerri and her mother
Kerri and her mom at UMBC
  • Daphnia Glyphosate Proteomic Investigation
  • Mentor: Megan Valentine

Kerri is investigating the effects of the weed-killer RoundUp on the fresh-water microcrustacean Daphnia pulex. RoundUp, a popular domestic and commercial gardening product, contains the herbicide glyphosate. Not easily broken down, glyphosate may be entering our waterways and affecting the organisms that reside there.

To better understand these effects, Daphnia were exposed to two different concentrations of RoundUp and compared to Daphnia that were not exposed. The proteins were collected and identified using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. The proteins in the Daphnia exposed to RoundUp are then compared to the proteins from the unexposed Daphnia to look for differences in the amount of proteins being expressed and for differences in the types of proteins being expressed.

“Undergraduate research with the Biology Department of SUNY Plattsburgh is a one of a kind experience and one of the highlights of my undergraduate experience. Not only did I gain a passionate, engaging mentor that has challenged me and guided my development as a scientist, but I had the opportunity to take ownership of an independent research project and explore my interests in the field of science. Overall, this experience has been extremely enriching and valuable as it has set me up for success in my future scientific endeavors.”



Abrianna Mihalkovic

Abrianna explains a poster to visitor

  • Psychology major and neurobiology minor (Graduated 2019)
  • Graduate student in the Behavioral Neuropharmacology and Neuroimaging Laboratory at the Clinical Research Institute on Addictions, University at Buffalo
  • Mentor: Amy Ryan

“Through my participation in research in the biology department at SUNY Plattsburgh, I gained invaluable experience in how to take care of a project from beginning to end. It felt great to be so actively engaged in a project that was hands-on and allowed me to grow as a student every step of the way. I learned how to take responsibility for the success of a project and how to accomplish the necessary legwork that results in a project you can be proud of. Going into a graduate research program, I felt confident in my ability to succeed based on the time I spent in the biology department and the mentorship I received while doing research there.”

Hebron Abraham

Hebron poses with her poster

  • Biomedical science major; anticipated graduation in Spring 2020
  • Mentor: Amy Ryan

“Through research, we can delve into the untapped areas of subject we want to better educate ourselves on. I believe doing research will foster more interest in the area of your study and helps get a more hand on experience. While doing research you apply your knowledge in the real world, which helps get a better understanding of the subject matter. It also provides answers for existing questions within the field. It creates a means in which we can test ourselves to challenge our normal views, try different things and think outside of the box in general.”

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