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Research Opportunities

The ASU Biology Department offers research opportunities for students to enhance their educational experience. Undergraduate research is especially helpful for students planning to attend medical school.

Research Experience for Undergraduates (REUs)

Many colleges and universities offer this summer employment opportunity that allows students from across the nation to spend a portion of their summer at the campuses of sponsoring institutions. While there, they work with faculty on research projects. For a list of institutions that offer REUs, visit the National Science Foundation website and contact your advisor.

Student Research Courses (Biology 4191, 4291 and 4391)

The department offers several opportunities for undergraduate students to participate in research or independent study projects. These are usually most appropriate for junior- or senior-level students.

The most common way to start such a project is by contacting a faculty member to see whether he or she is able to supervise a research course. The Biology Department stresses data-driven, quantitative research. Almost all faculty will take on undergraduate research projects. Several students can enroll in the same research course and the format is flexible.

The courses may entail a specific research project or may be conducted as either an independent study project or a traditional course, but only on a topic that is not covered in the standard curriculum.

Students can receive three hours of credit a semester for a research course, and another research course may be taken for one more semester so that students accumulate a total of six credits from research courses.

Faculty Research Interests

Graduate students are encouraged to look at this list of graduate faculty to find a professor who has similar research interests.

Graduate Faculty
Graduate Faculty Member Primary Field(s) Specific Research Interests
Dr. Edson F. Abreu  Mammalogy

Phylogenetics, phenotypic variation and evolution, mammal taxonomy and systematics, diversification in the Neotropics

Dr. Loren K. Ammerman Molecular Systematics, Bat Biology

Molecular systematics, distributions, community structure, and ecology of bat species

Dr. Emerson Crabill Microbiology


Dr. Michael T. Dixon Herpetology  
Dr. Laurel E. Fohn Genetics, Physiology, Developmental Biology Genetic and hormonal changes in fish and fly models impacting reproductive and neurologic development and physiology
Dr. Connie Heimann Science Education Student behavior and group composition in educational settings
Dr. Greg Krukonis Virology  
Dr. Carlos Maya-Lastra Botany and Computational Biology Plant Phylogenomics, Complex of species, Morphometrics, Biological software development
Dr. Nicholas J. Negovetich Parasitology, Ecology  
Dr. Ben R. Skipper Ornithology, Behavioral Ecology Life histories of Neotropical migrants, song dialects, anti-predatory defenses
Dr. Ned E. Strenth Invertebrate Zoology Freshwater crustaceans and land snails of Texas and northern Mexico
Dr. Russell Wilke Science Education Post-secondary science education (active and inquiry learning), avian behavioral ecology