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Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Below is a list of open undergraduate research opportunities. Please be aware that these are not the only available positions for undergraduates to get involved in research at Ohio State. Typically, students seek their position out by following the "3 Steps to Getting Involved." The Office of Undergraduate Research & Creative Inquiry is here to help students through this process; please visit our office during walk-in hours, Monday-Friday from 10:00am-4:00pm to get started!

Clinical Neuroscience Laboratory​

Contact Person: Stephanie Fountain-Zaragoza (

Applications are being sought for a part-time (20 hour/week) research assistant position starting August 22nd, 2017 or sooner in the Clinical Neuroscience Laboratory of Dr. Ruchika Prakash at the Ohio State University. The laboratory is currently conducting several randomized controlled trials, designed to look at the effects of lifestyle interventions, such as mindfulness training and exercise, in improving cognitive and emotional control in older adults and in individuals with multiple sclerosis. The applicant will work primarily on a neuroimaging study investigating attentional control in older adults. This position is designed for individuals who are interested in building their research experience and learning about the field of health neuroscience. Responsibilities will include facilitating recruitment efforts between the laboratory and community partners. Given that the applicant will be updating and maintaining the laboratory website and social media accounts, some programming experience is desired. The applicant will also have the opportunity for involvement in collecting and managing participant data.
If you are interested in being considered for the position, please apply by submitting a current CV, a brief statement of interest, and names of three references to
If you have questions about the position or the lab, please contact Stephanie Fountain-Zaragoza at

Mapping Discrimination: Digitizing the Negro Motorist Green Books       

Contact person: Dr. Trevon Logan (

Position/Research Description: A successful candidate will be joining an international research team of economists studying the dynamics of discrimination in public accommodations in the pre-Civil Rights era. We are looking for a dedicated and meticulous research assistant to undertake geocoding and GIS analysis for our project. Prior to the Green Books, African American motorists had to rely on word-of-mouth and family networks to plan their trips across the United States. During the Jim Crow era finding overnight accommodations, purchasing gasoline, and having a meal on the road posed major challenges for African American motorists, particularly in the American South. The Green Books provided a listing of establishments across the U.S. that would serve African American customers. The overall aim of this project is to digitize the Green Book directories and combine them with geographic information to create a measure of "access to services" in different towns/counties that allows for comparison across time and space of the discrimination facing African Americans. The central task of this position will be geocoding of the address information that has already been collected from the Green Books directories. The goal is to create spatial measures of distances between and densities of establishments that served African Americans across the United States. This may involve working with multiple shapefiles (for example, highway networks). This work will be combined with that found in other sources, such as the U.S. Census, to gain a better understanding of the economic and historical forces behind the decision of an establishment to serve African Americans or discriminate against them.

Skills Needed: Experience using ArcGIS or QGIS; specifically geocoding published location data, calculating distances and density measures, merging data across shapefiles, and creating maps, knowledge of  U.S. historical census map files is an asset

Compensation: Salary/Stipend/Work-Study

Time Commitment: 10-20 hours per week starting autumn or spring 2017. Approx. 9 months

Minimum GPA & Major Requirements: 2.75 – Economics, History, Geography, Statistics (2nd – 4th year students)

To Apply: Please send a resume to to be considered for the position.

Mapping Discrimination: Digitizing the Negro Motorist Green Books        

Contact Person: Dr. Trevon Logan (

Position/Research Description: A successful candidate will be joining an international research team of economists studying the dynamics of discrimination in public accommodations in the pre-Civil Rights era. We are looking for a dedicated and meticulous research assistant to undertake the digitization of U.S. Census of Business records. Our main object of study is the Green Books. During the Jim Crow era finding overnight accommodations, purchasing gasoline, and having a meal on the road posed major challenges for African American motorists, particularly in the American South. The Green Books provided a listing of establishments across the U.S. that would serve African American customers. The aim of this project is to combine information from the Green Book directories and the U.S. Census of Business to create a measure of "access to services" in different towns/counties that allows for comparison across time and space of the discrimination facing African Americans. The central task of this position will be the careful digitization of establishment counts by county using published versions of the U.S. Census of Business. The goal is to create a database that has the listing of establishments, by type (eating places, accommodations, service stations) for all counties in the United States.  Later this information will be combined with Green Books location information to gain a better understanding of the economic and historical forces behind the decision of an establishment to serve African Americans or discriminate against them.

Skills Needed: - Experience with Microsoft Excel (mandatory), experience with data entry and working  with large datasets (preferred)   

Compensation: Salary/Stipend/Work-Study

Time Commitment: 10-20 hours per week starting autumn 2017. Approx. 6 months

Minimum GPA & Major Requirements: 2.75 – Economics, History, Geography, Statistics (2nd – 4th year students)

To Apply: Please send a resume to to be considered for the position.

Breast Cancer Genomics

Contact Person: Daniel Stover (

Research Description: I am a breast cancer medical oncologist/physician-scientist. As a medical oncologist who treats patients with breast cancer and computational biologist who studies large datasets, my research focuses on leveraging 'big data' to advance the understanding and treatment of breast cancer. We study the DNA, RNA, and protein of breast cancer samples to understand why patients respond or fail to respond to standard or experimental treatments.

Position Description: Depending on level of experience and knowledge, interested students could work with existing datasets or newly generated data to link genomic features with patient characteristics and outcomes. Students who would be a good fit include those with some computational background (e.g. biomedical engineering, computer science, mathematics, biostatistics) who are interested to have a direct impact on patients. Students will need to be able to commit 4-8 hours/ week. This is an ongoing project, students will be working for voluntary experience but summer stipends available.

Skills Needed: Prior computational experience - such as R, Python, Unix – would be useful, however, prior experience with sequencing data is not necessary…just a desire to ask questions and dive into data!

Contact: Applicants should contact Daniel Stover via email –

Applicants should provide:

-Resume including major (or anticipated major)

-Computational background/experience

-One paragraph describing interest in our research

Feel free to check out our lab webpage at

Agent-Based Modeling

The Moritz Lab studies the dynamics of coupled human and natural systems using a combination of ethnographic research, comparative studies, spatial analyses, and agent-based modeling. We are engaged in a number of different research projects in which we use this integrated approach.


We are currently looking for an undergraduate research assistant to help with the development of an agent-based model to examine the dynamics of network structure and wealth distribution. We need someone who can work about 10 hours a week.


Training in and/or experience working with NetLogo is required. There is no need to apply if you are unable to code in NetLogo.


Interested student should send an email with a CV or resume detailing their NetLogo training and experience to Mark Moritz ( 

There are possibilities to combine the work with an independent research project. In the past, students in my lab have presented their research at the Denman Undergraduate Research Forum and their research has resulted in a co-authored publication in peer-reviewed journals (

CAREER: Analyzing the Emergence of a Complex Land Management System

Contact Person: Sean Downey (

Research Description: This interdisciplinary research project is trying to understand how the social organization of small Maya communities in Belize, Central America, may interact with the environmental dynamics of tropical ecosystems and increase the environmental carrying capacity local forests. This kind of environmental enhancement is often unplanned and unconscious and results from small-scale, low-level interactions which interact to have unexpected higher-level system properties. In this National Science Foundation-funded project we have been collecting high-resolution multi-spectral land-cover data with unmanned aerial vehicles (drones), as well as survey, worklog and social network data about community organization and agricultural activities in local forests. We are analyzing these datasets with a variety of techniques, including photogrammetry, computational statistics, and agent-based modeling.

Position Description: We are currently looking for a young scientist who is interested to work on this project. This position will initially involve organizing and analyzing spatial data and generate preliminary maps and analyses. A primary goal is to work on ‘stitching’ together thousands of multi-spectral photographs (taken using a drone in 2016 and 2017) using photogrammetry software. There is certainly the possibility of incorporating this work into a student-based project, a poster, or presentation.

Skills Needed: Prior experience or coursework in spatial data analysis and mapping is important. Experience in ArcGIS is important, and R would be a plus. Experience with Pix4d or Agisoft PhotoScan (photogrammetry software) would be ideal, but the software is straight-forward for the computationally proficient.

Additional Information: Research Assistant is expected to participate in the research 5-10 hours a week for 2-4 semesters. Students are able to start immediately.

Contact: Applicants should contact Sean Downey via email- and provide a resume which includes the student's major, one paragraph describing interest in the project and their computational/software background/experience

Video Game Research

Research Description: An undergraduate research position is available for a detail-oriented and responsible student to study the cognitive and behavioral effects of video games in a variety of contexts. RA's will work in Dr. Bushman's lab and have the opportunity to work in conjunction with one of the premier scholars in the field. In addition, RA's will work in the School of Communication's research laboratories and gain experience running participants, collecting data, and data coding.

Position details: RA's will work part time for the duration of fall semester, with the option to extend into later semesters. RA's are expected to work between 5-10 hours a week, the majority of which will be in the laboratory or doing analyses of the data collected. RA's will need to be able to work independently, interact directly with participants, and must behave in a professional manner. The ideal applicant will have previous experience working with participants, entering data, and have taken a course in research methods or statistics, though none of these are required.

If applicable, RA's can apply to receive credit for the position. This is an unpaid position.

To apply: Interested student should email the following to

  • A statement of interest, approximately 1 page in length, which includes any previous research experience
  • A resume
  • An unofficial transcript
  • The number of hours per week you are able to work.

Division of Rheumatology and Immunology

Contact Person: Nicholas Young (

Description: We have active human subject and animal research projects associated with myositis, Sjögren’s syndrome, systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammation, cancer immunology, and exercise science.  Our collaborative work in this laboratory has shown a bench-to-bedside scope of research starting with basic scientific discovery, moving to animal models, performing preclinical validation, and advancing to human clinical trials.  To date, our research has translated into clinical trials for a patented anti-inflammatory drug (nanoemulsified curcumin) and a novel diagnostic imaging drug for rheumatoid arthritis (Lymphoseek) as well as pilot study to investigate the anti-inflammatory effects of moderate exercise in our lupus patients. In addition, we have a patent currently in the provisional submission/approval stage for a novel therapeutic agent/target in autoimmune disease. We would like to recruit interested, enthusiastic, and passionate undergraduate students to help us in our research endeavors.    

Translational Cancer Genomics, Computational Biology, Precision Cancer Medicine, Molecular Diagnostics for Oncology


Contact Person: Dr.

Project Titles and Areas:

1. Drug resistance to targeted therapies in cancer

2. Characterizing tumor heterogeneity and therapy resistance through research autopsy.

3. Discovery and characterization of novel oncogenic mutations using genomic sequencing

4. Characterization of the microbiome and its impact on cancer therapy (computer science students)

5. Discovery and development of methylation biomarkers for cancer therapy (computer science students)

Research Description: Our mission is to translate cancer genomics for patient care through clinical trials. We accomplish this through Teamwork and Training in the following areas: 1) development of analytical validated targeted DNAseq and RNAseq assays in a CLIA-certified Cancer Genomics Laboratory to enable molecular enrichment of patients to trials, 2) genomics-driven clinical trials, 3) rapid research autopsy to study tumor heterogeneity in patients, 4) omics strategies including whole exome, RNAseq, targeted capture, bisulfite sequencing, and protein arrays to a) study drug resistance, b) contribute to target discovery, and c) molecularly characterize exceptional responders.The Lab runs a CLIA-certified Cancer Genomics Laboratory that utilizes custom-targeted cancer gene sequencing to develop novel molecular diagnostics for patient care. The Lab runs a study "OSU-13053: Personalized Cancer Medicine Through High-Throughout Sequencing" (IRB-approved) that evaluates individual patients with advanced cancer considering clinical trials, and seeks to identify "driving" mutations that provide molecular eligibility for novel molecularly targeted therapies in development at Ohio State. The Lab also runs a Body Donation Study for Cancer Research. We are grateful to our patients for donating their bodies to the cause of cancer research. We will study their genomes to determine how certain cancer cells acquire resistance and use this knowledge to advance the discovery of new cancer drugs.

Potential Projects for Undergraduate Students:

1. Drug Resistance to Targeted Therapies in Cancer: This involves learning techniques including tissue culture, western blotting, and molecular biology. Preferably an undergraduate student majoring in a biology discipline.

2. Characterizing tumor heterogeneity and resistance through research autopsy. Patients participating in a new study will undergo rapid research autopsy so that our team of scientists can characterize how cancers becomes resistant to therapy.

3. Discovery and characterization of novel oncogenic mutations using genomic sequencing. Students with prior laboratory experience will learn and apply methods for DNA and RNA sequencing to detect novel oncogenic mutations including point mutations and gene fusions. Students will subsequently learn to functionally characterize these genomic alterations through in vitro assays.

4. Characterization of the microbiome and its impact on cancer therapy. We will characterize the diversity and abundance of specific microbial flora in patients with cancer and evaluate its relationship to cancer therapies in clinical trials. Project involves cell biology, genetics, computer science/programming.

5. Discovery and development of methylation biomarkers for cancer therapy. We will identify and validate novel methylation biomarkers that can predict response to specific therapies for cancer. Project involves using existing databases, biostatistics, computer science/programming, and cell biology.

GPA/Major Requirements: Minimum GPA 3.4 in Biology, Biochemistry, Molecular Genetics, Computer Science, and other Biology-disciplines

Required Skills: First and Second year students. No research experience necessary.

Time Commitment: 10-20 hours per week. Students are expected to commit to long-term research training and project through graduation. This includes up to 3 years of research during undergraduate years and each summer dedicated for 10-12 weeks each summer (funded) doing research/training.

Compensation: Academic credit/Volunteer

How to Apply: Contact Dr. Rolling admission.

Information to Provide: Please provide a resume and short cover letter answering the following questions: 1) Introduce yourself, 2) Why you want to do research, 3) what traits set you apart from others (strengths)

Molecular biology of native bees and pollen

Contact Person: Katie Todd, Department of Entomology,

Position description: Seeking independently motivated student interested in conducting pollinator research with a special emphasis on molecular techniques. Projects include diet analysis of bee larvae and species identification of bees using molecular techniques. Students will be allowed to work for academic credit or hourly pay. Expected workload will be 10 to 15 hours per week during the academic year with opportunities for more hours during the summer to either collect bee larvae in Cleveland, OH or analyze bee diets and reproduction. This opportunity does have the potential to lead to presentations at an undergraduate research forums (such as the OSU Denman Undergraduate Research Forum).

Time Commitment: 12 hrs/ week for Autumn, Spring, and Summer Semesters.  Minimum of 9 month commitment.

Minimum GPA & Major: CFAES or Science majors preferred.

Year/ Skill Requirements: Second or Third year students. Experience in molecular biology is preferred. Basic molecular biology experience with DNA extraction, PCR and gel electrophoresis will be heavily favored.

Compensation: Academic credit/ salary, stipend

To apply: If interested, candidates should email Katie Todd (, with an attached CV/resume, any relevant experiences or coursework and a brief description (1 paragraph) of why you are interested in the job by November 30th, 2017.

Government Financial Health over Time

Contact Person: Rachel Dwyer, Sociology,

Project description: Which counties and municipalities across the country contain many households that have experienced a sudden, large decline in income? Are these counties and municipalities the same as those that have experienced government fiscal stress? Answering these two questions is the first step to understanding how resident and government finances are related, as well as the causes and consequences of place-specific economic insecurity. This quantitative project will answer the second question by identifying which county governments have experienced a significant decline in financial resources between 2003 and 2014.

Student Participation: RAs (Research Assistants) will download and save financial reports from government web sites and enter specific data from those reports into a spreadsheet for later analysis. At a minimum, RAs will gain quantitative research skills and a deeper understanding of government financial reporting. RAs will attend an initial training session held in the Sociology Research Lab. Beyond that training session, the research experience will be tailored to the wants and needs of each RA. Work can be completed in the Sociology Research Lab, elsewhere on campus, or in any off-campus location with an internet connection. Further, RAs who desire close mentoring can meet regularly with the lead researcher.

Time Commitment:  5-10 hrs/week starting Spring 2018 or Summer 2018. One term of commitment, however RAs who begin during the spring semester are welcome to continue their work during the summer if they wish to do so.

Minimum GPA & Major: Sociology, geography, political science, economics, or accounting majors are encouraged to apply, though students in any field of study are welcome to apply too.

Year/ Skill Requirements: Applicants should be responsible, detail-oriented, and organized. Preference will be given to applicants who have prior experience gathering and entering data, who have completed a research methods or statistics course, or who have prior knowledge of government accounting, though none of these are required.

Compensation: Voluntary experience/ academic credit

To apply: Interested students should apply by e-mailing their application to Lora Phillips at Interested students should submit applications by the first day of the semester that they desire to work. While not preferred, late applications will be considered.

Application should include:

  • A statement of interest, no more than 1 page in length, which includes: why you are interested in this project, what qualities/experiences will make you a good RA, and any previous research experience and relevant coursework
  • A brief statement (approximately 1 paragraph) describing what you hope to gain from this research experience
  • An unofficial transcript
  • The number of hours per week you are able to work and whether or not you would like to sign up for credit hours

Experimental study of spin and magnetic properties of emergent two-dimensional materials

Contact Person: Roland Kawakami, Physics,

Position description: Our lab is looking for several motivated undergraduate students that is interested in material science research, with a focus on electrical, magnetic and opto-spintronic properties of two-dimensional materials and their hybrid structure. The position will entail supervision from Dr. Kawakami and senior graduate students, working in both Kawakami labs and the NanoSystems Laboratory in the Physics department. A list of projects includes:

  1. Thin film growth and structural characterization of 2D materials: The project will entail synthesizing van der Waals materials with the goal being to develop new materials for physics/materials research. The student will also be involved with structural characterization of films grown using x-ray diffraction and atomic force microscopy techniques. Contact: Kelly Luo,
  2. Atomic scale imaging of magnetic materials and 2D materials using scanning tunneling microscopy: The project will focus on studying the atomic structure and properties of magnetic materials and 2D materials using a state-of-the-art scanning tunneling microscope, with the goal of correlating the magnetic properties with the material structure down to atomic scale. The student will gain hands-on experience with ultra-high vacuum (UHV) systems, cryogenic liquid handling (down to 4.2 K), materials characterization, scanning probe microscopy (SPM), data analysis, as well as getting involved in cutting edge research in physics and material science. Contact : Tiancong Zhu,
  3. Electrical and optical investigation on spin properties of emergent 2D material heterostructures: The project studies the emergent functionalities of 2D materials and their hybrid structures, with the goal of developing next generation magnetic memories devices, photonic components that are integrated at nanoscale for multi-functional operations. The undergraduate research assistant will work on many aspects of the project, including but not limited to nanoscale sample fabrication, laser technique, optical microscopy and electrical measurements at low temperature (4 K), high vacuum environment. Contact: Dante O'Hara,

The qualified undergraduate students will be involved in one of the above projects, based on the research interest of both the undergraduate students and the senior graduate student mentors.

Student Participation: The student will be working closely together with the senior graduate students. The student will be tasked with learning the essential lab skills for the assigned project, and assisting their graduate student mentor with daily research activities. In parallel, side projects, such as simple circuit designing, equipment building, data analysis can be assigned to the students. The student can be considered as a listed author in a journal publication, depending on his/her contribution. Once fully trained, individual studies with supervision can be assigned to the student with outstanding performance. This can lead to a project for undergraduate thesis.

Time Commitment: 10-20 hrs/week starting Fall 2017 or Spring 2018; 2-4 semesters (including summer) commitment.

Minimum GPA & Major: A minimum of 3.0 overall GPA. Majors in Physics, Material Science and Engineering, Electrical Engineering Physics preferred.

Year/ Skill Requirements: Sophomore or Junior undergraduate students. Good communication skills are required. Teamwork experience is preferred.

Compensation: Voluntary experience/ work-study experience/academic credit

To apply: If interested, candidates should specify which project they are interested in and apply at the following link by November 30, 2017:

The farmer's minefield: Assessing the ecological and economic capacity of post-conflict agricultural systems in Cambodia

Contact Person: Erin Lin, Assistant Professor-Political Science,

Project description: In the developing world, a resilient and productive agricultural system has the potential to support economic development and social stability by providing food security to nearby populations, by contributing to a household's regular income, and by fostering community cooperation.  These features of a healthy agroecosystem are likely to be especially important in post-conflict situations when the state faces shocks that challenge state capacity, such as loss of public infrastructure, depleted manpower, and lack of legitimacy, and survivors are left to rebuild their own local economies.  However, many farmers face a high-risk equilibrium where the weapons left behind from war – e.g., landmines, cluster munitions, and other unexploded ordnance (UXO) – hinder their ability to safely derive any livelihood from the land.  On a daily basis, these farmers end up risking their lives by working on highly explosive land in order to produce enough rice to feed their families.  For this project, we examine why such high-risk equilibria sometimes yield little economic reward due to UXO chemicals leaching into the soil.  Building on recent studies highlighting negative effects of UXO on soil health, we propose an environmental impact study that collects soil samples from bombed and mined villages in Cambodia and identifies their main chemical contaminants at the Ohio State soil laboratory.  Understanding how these explosive remnants of war can reduce land fertility by leeching chemical toxins into the soil is critical for building resilient agroecosystems.  

Student Participation: This summer 2018, Professor Lin needs the assistant of one RA, who is fluent in Khmer (Cambodian).  The RA will accompany Professor Lin to Cambodia for approximately a 6-8 week-long trip.  The RA will shadow Professor Lin, as she travels to villages with demining teams, collecting soil samples and conducting interviews.  The RA will be responsible for translating interviews.  We will be working in collaboration with the World Bank, Cambodian Mine Action Authority, HALO Trust, Mine Action Group, and Norwegian People's Aid.    The student will begin work for Professor Lin during Spring 2018.  The RA will translate Cambodian village names into English, using a set of historical maps. 

Time Commitment: During Spring 2018, about 5 hours/week.  During Summer 2018, full time in Cambodia.

Year/ Skill Requirements: Fluency or advanced Cambodian language skills. Native speaker of Khmer (advanced Khmer language skills).


Academic Credit (Spring 2018). During the summer, Dr. Lin will cover the RA's travel expenses while in Cambodia (internal travel, room and board). The RA is expected to apply for summer travel grants (for instance, through the Mershon Center) that will cover cost of international travel.

To apply: Interested candidates should email Professor Lin directly ( In addition, students should include an explanation of their background in Khmer language. Deadline:  December 1st, 2017.

Impact of music activities on sensory and cognitive processing in the brain

 Position description: The SLAM (Speech, Language, and Music) laboratory ( is looking for motivated undergraduate research assistants to join our lab (from Fall 2017). We study the neural and behavioral connection between speech, language, and music in the context of communication disorders (e.g., dyslexia, hearing loss) and brain injury/degeneration (e.g., aphasia, Parkinson's, Traumatic Brain Injury). We use various methods/approaches such as functional neuroimaging (fMRI), functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), and behavioral experiments.

Student Participation: Students will have the opportunity to recruit participants, assist in data analysis, prepare study materials, and manage database. Advanced undergraduates may conduct independent research projects. Ideal for undergraduates who are interested in going to a Ph.D. program in clinical psychology, decision neuroscience, cognitive neuroscience, or related fields. Opportunities to present research at the Denman Undergraduate Research Forum and other poster presentations are possible for qualified and devoted students.

Time Commitment: 10 hrs/week (3 credits). Minimum of 2 terms of commitment.

Minimum GPA & Major: A minimum of 3.6 overall GPA (please feel free to apply with a lower GPA if [1] your GPA substantially improved over time, [2] you can explain why yours doesn't meet this cutoff, or [3] you have desired skills described below).  Neuroscience, Psychology, Speech & Hearing, Music, Linguistics, CSE.

Year/ Skill Requirements: Second or Third year students. Excellent attention to details, strong motivation, strong organizational and interpersonal skills. Experience with MS Office. Coursework in psychology, cognitive neuroscience, or related fields.  Experience with computer programming (e.g. R, Matlab, Python) is a plus, but not essential. Knowledge in basic statistics is highly desirable. If undergraduates are committed to learn computer programming or statistics, we will teach them.

Compensation: Voluntary experience/ work-study experience/academic credit

To apply: If interested, candidates should email SLAM lab ( with "SLAM Lab research assistant" in the subject and attach a CV (with a list of relevant courses that you have taken and your GPA). Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

Behavioral Medicine Research

The Ohio State University Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research is looking for a part-time laboratory assistant to participate in wet-lab procedures such as separating PBMC from human blood, setting up stimulation assays, and maintaining laboratory records.  Required hours include 3:30 – 7:00 pm two to three days a week, Monday – Friday. If interested, please fill out an online application at: by clicking on the “Job Opportunities” link at the top of the page or send an email to

Finding the genetic basis of use traits and climate adaptations in chile peppers (Capsicum spp.) of southern Mexico

Research Description: In the Mercer Laboratory, we work on understanding how plants are adapted to their environment.  To do so, we look at traditional varieties of crops, saved by generations of farmers in the areas where they were domesticated.  Recent work has focused on maize and chile pepper from southern Mexico.  Using controlled and field experiments, we try to understand the differences between collections from different environments.  We ask, how does their physiology differ?  How does their physiology respond to different environments?  In so doing, we can better understand how adaptations to environment have helped shape diversity in these crops.  We can also ask, how will they respond to climate change?  We are looking for two students to get involved in our lab and be part of experiments understanding these interesting processes.

GPA/Major Requirements: Students in CFAES. Interest in applied plant science preferred.

Required Skills: None

Time Commitment: 5-15 hours per week for 4 months

Compensation: Academic credit/Volunteer/Work-Study

Potential for Presentation: Yes

How to Apply: Interested students should contact Vivian Bernau by email ( and include a brief statement of interest and an updated resume/CV.