The Senior Research Project

Recent Senior Research Projects

Aquatic and Marine

  • Distribution comparison of southern rays and bluntnose rays in Pinellas County, Florida
  • There are two sides to every jetty: a comparison of benthic, fouling organisms on the north and south side of the North Ponce Inlet Jetty
  • Is there a correlation between sediment content and fish diversity in Florida springs?
  • Effects of discharge and water quality on Volusia Blue Spring fish assemblage structure
  • Respiration patterns of juvenile Pterygoplichthys disjunctivus vs. dissolved oxygen content
  • Historical trend analysis of fish diversity within Volusia Blue Spring from 2001-2019
  • Clumped distributions of the invasive gastropods, Melanoides tuberculata (red-rimmed melania) and Pomacea maculata (island apple snail), in Volusia Blue Spring
  • Prevalence of invasive exotic fish in Florida’s Volusia Blue Spring
  • Comparing changes in the fecal density of armored catfish (Pterygoplichthys disjunctivus) in Volusia Blue Spring over 10 years.


  • Aggregation behavior of Sistrurus miliarius barbouri in response to olfactory cues
  • Prey behavior in the relationship between Ribbon Snakes (Thamnophis sauritus) and the Southern Leopard Frog (Lithobates sphenocephalus)
  • Assessment of macroinvertebrate richness and abundance between spikerush (Elocharus palustrus), cattail (Typha sp.), and cordgrass (Spartina sp.) at Lake Woodruff NWR
  • Prairie and Meadow Voles (Microtus ochrogaster and Microtus pennsylvanicus) as new emerging reservoirs for Lyme Disease (Borrelia bugdorferi) in a northern Illinois prairie ecosystem
  • The effect of the presence of predatory assassin bugs (Zelus longipes) on the foraging behavior of various species of bees (Anthophila) at various densities of Spanish needles (Bidens alba)
  • The effects of aggregation in neonatal pygmy rattlesnakes (Sistrurus miliarius) on evaporative water loss
  • The effect of season on mobbing responses by passerine birds in upland Florida habitats
  • Leaf decomposition rates in an intact sandhill and a restoration sandhill and the effects of decomposers on plant growth
  • A comparison of fruit and seed production in Chamaecrista fasciculata between a semi-natural conservation area and a small urban restoration
  • Supernormal alarm call stimuli elicit a greater mobbing response in passerine birds

General Biology

  • Effects of temperature and pregnancy on ventilation rates in Pygmy Rattlesnakes (Sistrurus miliarius)
  • Analyzing cryptobiosis in tardigrades: Hypsibius dujardini and Dactylbiotus disbar
  • Effects of amoxicillin levels on the embryonic development of Ambystoma mexicanum
  • Examining the effect of sexual selection on avian mobbing behavior in northeast Ohio
  • The venom of Liodytes alleni and Liodytes rigida has no effect on the crayfish heart rate
  • Can discoid roaches serve as intermediate hosts for the invasive pentastome Raillietiella orientalis
  • Prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi in Central Florida Rodents
  • Comparing mobbing behaviors of passerines in response to diurnal and nocturnal predators
  • Effects of photoperiod on egg laying in Vanessa cardui
  • The impact of repeated notes in alarm calls on mobbing responses in birds
  • Development and health impacts of an invasive pentastome parasite, Raillietiella orientalis, on brown anoles
  • The defensive response of pygmy rattlesnakes to coral snake and black racer models

Molecular and Cellular Biology

  • Induced apoptosis of Jurkat Leukemia cells by Alpinia zerumbet seed extract
  • Ilex vomitoria extract induces proliferation in fibroblast cells
  • Evaluation of Species-specific Genes ospA, p66 and flaB to Detect Borrelia burgdorferi in Bird Blood Through PCR
  • Old yaupon holly (Ilex vomitoria) extract increases cell viability in human lung fibroblasts
  • The anti-cancer effects of Alpinia zerumbet seed covering extract on Jurkat Leukemia cells
  • Effect of in vivo deactivation of the Optix gene on wing pigmentation in painted lady butterflies, Vanessa cardui
  • Effect of dosage and time exposure of Ilex vomitoria extracts on apoptosis and necrosis incidence in Jurkat Leukemia cells
  • Deactivation of the optix gene by the CRISPR/Cas-9 system in Junonia coenia butterflies
  • The effects of CRISPR-cas9 mediated gene knockout of WntA gene in Vanessa cardui wing patterns and pigmentation
  • Determining the presence of the Ala457Pro single nucleotide polymorphism in siblings presenting with orthostatic intolerance


  • Pre-exposure to sweet taste does not alter behavioral responses to intra-oral infusion to sucrose in rats
  • Full-thickness macular hole formation after repair of rhegmatogenous and tractional retinal detachments
  • Effects of caffeine on behavioral and neural responses to sucrose
  • The effects of sodium deprivation on the activation of neurons in the gustatory cortex of rats
  • The relationship between quinine, Fos-IR amongst rNST subdivisions, and aversive behavior in rats
  • Fexofenadine HCl increases neuropeptide-Y activity but not appetite or weight gain in Wistar rats
  • Capsaicin mixed with NaCl does not increase the ingestive taste reactivity responses or amount of activated neurons in the nucleus of the solitary tract (NST) in rats
  • Taste reactivity and neural responses in the amygdala in rats to 1.0 M NaCl do not change
  • Distribution of Fos-labeled neurons present in the nucleus of the solitary tract and taste reactivity behaviors in sodium deprived Wistar rats