Research Opportunities for Undergraduates
Looking for Summer Research Opportunities? Check out the Summer Opportunities page.
Interested in undergraduate research at OKCU? Several opportunities exist with our fine Biology faculty (below), as well as literally hundreds of opportunities for summer research at locations across the globe. Check this site in late fall/early spring for more summer opportunities.
Dr. Tony Stancampiano, Ph.D. His research focuses on the ecology of homeothermic vertebrates; more specifically, how do these animals perceive their environment at the local and landscape scale. Under-graduate researchers are currently investigating the habitat affinities of small mammals and preferred landscape features of secondary cavity nesting birds, while others are assessing nest composition and surveying opportunistic nest inhabitants and also establishing molecular markers for two sympatric species of mice in an effort to determine if hybridization occurs and to develop more accurate field identification.
Dr. Laurie Kauffman, Ph.D. is interested in animal behavior. Her current research focuses on behavior of captive animals in different contexts. Recent research projects include orangutan activity budget and social behavior at the Oklahoma City Zoo, river otter space usage at the Oklahoma City Zoo, and enclosure usage in long-tailed macaque monkeys at Oklahoma Primate Sanctuary. The uniting thread of Dr. Kauffman’s research is to investigate how species behave in captivity as compared to the wild, and to understand adjustments that can be made for better care of animals in zoo and sanctuary settings.
Dr. Greg Mullen, Ph.D. Nerves communicate through specialized structures called synapses. This cell-to-cell communication is central to many biological processes, including muscle contraction, memory and learning. He uses the nematode C. elegans to identify and study proteins that are involved in synaptic function. And because synaptic proteins are well conserved, C. elegans studies have contributed greatly to the understanding of how synapses are generated, function, and regulated in human beings.
Dr. Adam Ryburn, Ph.D. A plant systematist by training, the focus of his research is the classification and identification of native plants of Oklahoma. He works with other state botanists on the Flora of Oklahoma Project, constructing the keys and descriptions of the vascular flora of the state.