College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Undergraduate Research

Interested in Undergraduate Research?

Seitz Award for Study & Research Abroad for NATURAL SCIENCE students!
The Seitz Award is designed to financially assist Natural Science students who desire to study science and conduct research abroad, outside the normal academic classroom setting. For more information see the application instructions. Deadline is February 15th.img

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Take advantage of your Butler opportunities! Faculty members in Biological Sciences welcome students into their laboratories. Check out our Faculty page and click on "View Profile" to view a professor's area of expertise. Visit and talk with them as early in your career as possible. Although most undergraduate research is done in the junior and senior years, some students begin as early as the freshman year.

Students may earn credit (or, occasionally, money) by working one on one with faculty during the academic year. Research is also an important part of the Honors Program. Students interested in an intensive research experience are encouraged to apply for the Butler Summer Institute. More information about undergraduate research programs at Butler can be found at the Butler Institute for Research and Scholarship Students website.

Every April, students present their results at the Butler Undergraduate Research Conference, which draws participants from more than forty midwestern colleges and universities. Students may also apply for funds to travel to other regional or national meetings, via the Holcomb Undergraduate Grants program.

Students may also want to apply for Biology Internships which are available throughout Indianapolis, the state of Indiana, and surrounding states. Click on the link above or contact the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at (317)940-9224.

Ten Reasons to do Undergraduate Research

Students in Lab

  1. It's fascinating! (At least we think so.)
  2. Looks great on graduate and professional school applications.
  3. Do you really want graduate school? Helps you find out....
  4. Valuable experience!
  5. Required for the Honors Program.
  6. Gives you a better feel for "real science" than classroom labs.
  7. Resumé builder.
  8. Fun!
  9. Butler Summer Institute participants get summer housing and stipend.
  10. Show off your results at the Undergraduate Research Conference.

Examples of Undergraduate Research

Stephen Anderson, "The effects of cadmium on cyclopropane and cyclopropene fatty acids in Malva alcea." (Mentor: Kathy Schmid)

Justin Parker, "Cytoskeletal proteins in the ciliate Stentor coeruleus." (Mentor: Michael Maloney)

Hayley Withers and Erica Conn, "The spatial distribution of fox squirrel ( Sciurus niger) leaf nests in urban woodlots." (Mentor: Carmen Salsbury)

Rhiannon Amodeo, "A study of the function of fox squirrel ( Sciurus niger) bark calls." (Mentor: Carmen Salsbury)

Jennifer Cockrill, "Fox squirrel recognition of conspecific and heterospecific vocalization calls." (Mentor: Carmen Salsbury)

Rachel Steury and Shinisha Grayson, "Chemosensory behavior in salamanders." (Mentor: Steve Perrill)

Carrie Van Tassel, "Predator recognition by salamanders through chemosensory information." (Mentor: Steve Perrill)

Matt Riley, "Extensive tandem repeats of the salivary androgen-binding protein (ABP) genes in the house mouse." (Mentor: Bob Karn)

Elesha Snow, (freshman - project to be determined) (Mentor: Bob Karn)

Tara McColgin, "The Distribution of Bacillusspp bacteria about campus." (Mentor: James Shellhaas)

Seth Parrish, "Trauma Induced Proteolysis and Activation of the Calcium Activated Neutral Protease System (CANP)." (Mentor: James Shellhaas)

Jess Stephens, Sean Sterrett, and Chris Conner, "Spatial ecology and habitat use of the common snapping turtles ( Chelydra serpentina) in an urban landscape." (Mentor: Travis Ryan)

Jess Stephens, Sean Sterrett, Chris Conner, and Brooke Douthitt, "Between year comparisons of habitat use for two species of aquatic turtles ( Graptemys  geographic and Trachemys  scripta) in an urban landscape." (Mentor: Travis Ryan)

Catherine Scott, "Sublethal effects of pesticide exposure on larval Rana sphenocephala: feeding behavior." (Mentor: Travis Ryan)

Kevin Brichler, "Characterization of the development of Bryophyllum pinnatum  leaves. Butler Summer Institute, Summer 2005. (Mentor: Phil Villani)

Lindsay Zimmerman, "Characterization of idioblasts in leaves of Bryophyllum pinnatum." Fall 2004. (Mentor: Phil Villani)

Ryan Fischer, "Regeneration of plantlets from leaf explants in Bryophyllum pinnatum." Fall 2004. (Mentor: Phil Villani)

Amanda Stolle, "Characterization of changes in photosynthetic pigment levels in a Orlmutant of Garden Pea. Spring 2004. (Mentor: Phil Villani)