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Undergraduate Research

Take advantage of your Butler opportunities. Faculty members in Biological Sciences welcome students into their laboratories. Check out our Faculty page and click on a name 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

  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

Gabrielle Vinyard, “Investigation of the anthropogenic effects on tree squirrel (Sciurus niger) distribution and abundance in urban residential areas.” Spring 2015 to Spring 2017. (Mentor: Carmen Salsbury)

Jacob Reeves, “Indy Wildlife Watch: A large-scale investigation of urban wildlife.”  Spring 2017. (Mentors: Julia Angstman, Travis Ryan and Carmen Salsbury)

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)

Erin Wojan, “Multiple cues influence multiple traits in the phenotypically plastic melanization of the cabbage white butterfly.” Summer 2013. (Mentor: Andrew Stoehr)

Erin Wojan, “Assessing the role of wingspots in intra-specific communication in the Cabbage White Butterfly.” Summer 2013. (Mentor: Andrew Stoehr)

Isabella Lambert, “Geographical and Temporal Variation in Wing Patterns in the Cabbage White Butterfly.” Honors Thesis 2015. (Mentor: Andrew Stoehr)

Devin VanWanzeele, “Effects of temperature, photoperiod and nutrients on wing patterns in the cabbage white butterfly.” Honors Thesis 2015. (Mentor: Andrew Stoehr)

Billy Weldon, "The Role of Light in Mnium cuspidatum Hypersensitive Response Defense Mechanisms to Pythium irregulare Pathogen Infection." Honors thesis Spring 2015. (Mentor: Phil Villani)

Morgan Blake, "The Role of Calcium in Pathogen Defense Responses in the Moss Mnium cuspidatum." Butler Summer Institute Summer 2015. (Mentor: Phil Villani)

Tyler Schenck, "Determination of Hydrogen Peroxide Production during Hypersensitive Responseof Physcomitrella patens." Butler Summer Institute Summer 2015. (Mentor: Phil Villani)

Dakota Speck, "The ontogenetic effects on the shell strength of turtles." May 2015. (Mentor: Shelley Etnier)

Brad Weinstein, "Muscle mass, wing morphology, and related flight mechanics in passeriforme birds." May 2015. (Mentor: Shelley Etnier)

Kayla Nienhaus, “Seasonal variation in wing patterns of the cabbage white butterfly.”  Fall 2016. (Mentor: Andrew Stoehr)

Shelby Miller, “The Developmental Mechanisms of Phenotypic Plasticity in Butterfly Wing Patterns.” BSI/Honors  Thesis 2016. (Mentor: Andrew Stoehr)

Ashley Kline,“Characterizing a Role for the Misshapen Kinase in the Growth of the Germline Ring Canals in the Developing Egg Chamber.”  Fall 2016. (Mentor:  Lindsay Lewellyn)

Olivia Crowe, “Determination of the role of Dreadlocks (Dock) in the growth of the germline ring canals in the developing Drosophila melanogaster egg chamber."  Fall 2016. (Mentor:  Lindsay Lewellyn)

Lauryn Campagnoli, “Investigation of SYD-2 as a potential substrate of the Anaphase Promoting Complex in promoting GABA release at the C. elegans neuromuscular junction.”  Fall 2016. (Mentor:  Jennifer Kowalski)

Victoria Kreyden, “Investigation of the neuronal functions of the SUMO conjugating enzyme UBC-9 at the C. elegans neuromuscular junction."  Fall 2016. (Mentor:  Jennifer Kowalski) **2016 ASCB Undergraduate Poster Competition Winner**