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Geneseo Biology Student Research

Student Research at SUNY Geneseo

So, you want to do research in a Biology Professor's lab Summer or Fall 2021?

Be sure to check out our Faculty Lightning Talks from Friday, 5/7/2021

Complete a Google application for consideration by 11:59 p.m. on May 20, 2021.  If you are not matched for a research experience on this round of applications, please keep your eyes open for more opportunities to apply over the summer and near end of Fall semester! You can also reach out to professors directly regarding research opportunities.

* Please be aware that students who do research credit will earn BIOL 299 credit and will be graded on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory basis for the first semester (this S/U credit does NOT count toward the Biology major elective credits).  Students who complete BIOL 299 with an S grade are eligible to enroll in BIOL399, and those who complete BIOL 399 are eligible to enroll in BIOL 396.  Completion of BIOL 299, BIOL 399, and BIOL 396 in the same research lab will count towards one of the upper level lab requirements. 

Available Positions for Summer 2021 and Fall 2021: 

  • Professor Bosch invites students to work on studies of lake and marine photosynthetic bacteria (cyanobacteria). These positions are for Fall 2021 and will require in person participation; 1 credit BIOL 299.  The lake research project will engage students in a study of growth responses to temperature, light and allelopathic chemicals by cyanobacteria isolated from Conesus Lake; work on genomic identification to investigate the natural community diversity is also a possibility.  The marine science research will specifically target the identification of cyanobacteria that dominate the microbiome of sea star larvae from the Gulf Stream. This project will consist primarily of genomics work. Both projects have the potential to expand into spring and summer opportunities.  
  • Deep-Sea Research, Fall 2021, Online Asynchronous or In-Person Synchronous, 1 credit in BIOL 299.  The Gerringer Lab has two open research positions this fall to explore how fishes are adapted to the deep ocean. The student will join our lab group in analyzing adaptations in deep-sea species, working in person or remotely at the request of the student. The student will learn about deep-ocean ecosystems, adaptations to extreme environments, and research methods in deep-sea biology. Our projects this semester will focus on feeding and swimming in deep-sea fishes and age and growth in deep-water crustaceans and fishes. We have opportunities for individual or team projects. Please specify in your application if you prefer to work remotely, rather than in-person. For more on our lab and research, see: 
  • BIOL 299 credit in Genetics of Retinal Development and Regeneration, Summer 2021, and following semesters, In-person. The Bailey lab has multiple openings. Students will learn about genetic mutations and the genetic networks involved in tissue generation and regeneration. Students will practice molecular biology techniques, such as molecular cloning, in situ hybridization, immunoblotting and gene knock-down, necessary to test their hypotheses. Some recent work of current lab members can be seen at the GREAT day presentations. Lab members are required to help to care for the fish weekly.
  • BIOL 299 credit in Parasitology Research in Muench Lab for Fall 2021 and semesters following. In-person or remote. Multiple openings. Students will analyze 6 years of data from prevalence surveys of schistosomiasis in children in a a school in a marginalized community in Ghana in West Africa. In addition to information on two species of parasites present in the children, there are questionnaires on knowledge, attitudes and practices related to schistosomiasis. Students will practice graphing and statistical analysis. Students are required to work in teams.
  • Opportunity in Animal Husbandry Summer 2021 and following semesters. Volunteers are wanted immediately during the summer months to care for Dr. Bailey’s zebrafish and Dr. Reinhardt’s stalk-eyed fly colonies. Volunteers would be trained on the feeding and maintenance of the animals. Duties would require the volunteer to feed and clean the living areas once or twice daily (about 1 hour per feeding) a minimum of 3 days a week with opportunity up to 7 days a week. Weekends are an option.
  • Gregg Hartvigsen invites students to join the Biomathematics Innovation Group (BIG) to work on modeling species evolution within food webs, cooperation, or disease dynamics. See some recent results from a model investigating spread of SARS-CoV-2 through Geneseo's campus ( Should have experience with computer programming (e.g., R, C, or Python) or a strong desire to learn this skill.
  • BIOL 299 credit - Genomic conflicts in stalk-eyed flies.  Reinhardt lab group is seeking two students to join projects studying the co-evolution of sexual selection and selfish genetic elements in the stalk-eyed fly Teleopsis dalmanni.  Positions begin Fall 2021 and semesters following, with option to collaborate on a paid summer research proposal for motivated students.  One position is a computational modeling project which could be done remotely or in person.  The other position involves lab work collecting and analyzing high throughput sequencing data ("RNA-seq") to measure gene expression changes.  Check out recent work by students in the group here:
  • BIOL 299 credit in Spider Behavioral Ecology. The Apple Lab has 2 research positions (in person, likely as a team) for Fall 2021 and semesters following. These positions will involve behavioral experiments using the ant-mimicking spider Myrmarachne formicaria to understand the role of ant mimicry in interspecific interactions like avoiding predation. Another possibility is to explore intraspecific male-male or male-female interactions in these sexually dimorphic spiders. Students will explore literature to develop hypotheses, design trials for observing behavior, score behaviors in video replay, and visualize and analyze data with R. See examples of spider behavior here:,
  • Dr. Hannam invites applications for students interested in volunteer field research in Acoustic Ecology during Summer 2021. This position (1 or 2 available) would require part-time in-person work in and around Geneseo for all or part of the summer (time frames & hours negotiable). Summer students would be trained in field recording & data collection techniques, data management, and basic acoustic analysis with the possibility of collecting data for an individual research project that continues into the fall semester. In August Dr. Hannam anticipates opening ~2 research positions (Biol 299) to learn bioacoustic analysis and to participate in collecting data for one of the ongoing projects in the lab (remote participation possible). Please watch your @biomajors-l email in August for information about 2021-22 school-year opportunities. More information about the types of projects in the lab can be seen at: 
  • The Yang Lab welcomes applications for two new lab members for Fall 2021 BIOL 299 credit in community ecology or biology education research. COMMUNITY ECOLOGY: Our research group studies how networks of interactions between species are shaped by environmental factors such as habitat structure and disturbance, and community-wide patterns of traits such as the seasonal timing of flowering and fruit production. Our researchers design and conduct field experiments in the Roemer Arboretum and other locations near Geneseo, NY. Our researchers also analyze openly available data to study the interactions between species as well as apply various modeling approaches. BIOLOGY EDUCATION:  Our research group studies how pedagogical methods and curricular design influence undergraduate learning, perception of learning, and attitudes toward learning in biology courses. Our researchers become familiar with the discipline-based education research literature, design and implement assessments to evaluate student learning and attitudes, analyze data, and use the results to make recommendations for curricular design. To implement the research project, researchers may be integrated into the instructional team. 

Here are the steps we generally recommend you take:

  1. It's best to begin investigating research opportunities during your sophomore year and begin the research during your junior year.  You, of course, can begin earlier or later!
  2. Decide whether you really want to commit to doing research.  Research is generally rewarding and challenging.  Taking BIOL 281 available only in the Fall semester may help you in your decision as to whether to do research.  This course is required if you plan to "graduate with Biology honors" by completing the honors program and honors thesis.
  3. Determine which professor appears to be the best qualified person to supervise you and your research.  Start with the information provided by faculty members.  Talk to them in person or begin your search by browsing faculty websites.  Talking to students in these labs also is really helpful.
  4. Determine whether there is room for you in the faculty member's lab.  It's possible there is no room.  If you are hardworking and have demonstrated the ability to work independently, you may have better luck.  Note that some professors have ongoing projects with which students are involved, while other professors support students doing fully independent projects.  Sometimes there are both going on at the same time.
  5. Arrange a time to meet with the professor to discuss research opportunities.  Offer to provide an informal research plan or proposal.  A research plan (no more than one page) will help convince the professor you are serious about research (it'll likely be modified later).  This might be best based on what other students have done in that professor's lab.  Check the professor's website to refine your ideas.
  6. Plan to complete your research project by presenting the work on G.R.E.A.T Day or at a professional conference and/or publish your science in a scientific journal.