Student Research in Biology at Loras College

Many students who major in Biology at Loras do their own research project. What is research? What are the benefits of doing your own research project in Biology at Loras? What does a researcher actually do?

Definition: Research is being curious. It is asking questions about all aspects of the natural world. It is learning new information that has not been known before. It is creating new knowledge and adding to current knowledge. Many unanswered biological questions remain. You can answer some of these. You can do this.

Benefits: You become an expert on your research topic. You get hands-on training in equipment use, animal care, microscope function, problem solving, and technical writing. All these skills enhance your classroom learning and help you appreciate where and how our current theories and textbook information came from.

Examples of student research topics:

Kate Ehlbeck - Investigating the effect of calcium supplementation on chicks in shell-less egg culture (yes, without shells!); trying to get turtle embryos to grow in shell-less culture.

Surya Pandey - Influence of female size and symmetry in male mate choice in fruit flies.

Meg Elsen - Effects of garlic mustard allelopathic chemicals on morel mushroom growth and reproduction.

Other research opportunities available:
Influence of temperature and soil water content on turtle embryo development;
Effect of invasive plant species like garlic mustard on native plants in the Dubuque area;
Identifcation of various proteins and their function in developing zebrafish embryos;
Fruit fly reproductive behavior and genetics;
Reproductive biology of black terns and other colonial nesting birds;
We have a DNA lab that students can use including important molecular biology techniques like DNA fingerprinting and protein-antibody biochemistry.
Please inquire about the research in our department.

To learn biology well, hands-on, personal involvement in biology will help you attain your goals at Loras.

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