ARC Mentors Your potential summer research labs

The ARC Program features a myriad of different labs to suit different interests and areas of study. Both professors and students work together in these labs to perform hands-on research, detailed analysis and reporting, and present their findings together. See something that piques your interest? Make sure to click on the professor - and their department - to learn more about them and their research!

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Find Your Passion - Find Your Mentor

 Nadia Ayoub (Biology):  

The Ayoub lab is broadly interested in how molecular evolution generates phenotypic diversity with a current focus on (1) comparing spider silk glue proteins among species that make different types of webs in highly variable environments; and (2) developing a molecular model of bizarre spider circadian rhythms.  

 Sarah Blythe (Biology & Neuroscience): 

 The Blythe lab studies the effects of obesity and diet on cognition and reproduction.  This summer the lab will be evaluating the differential effects of body weight vs. diet composition on reproductive hormone signaling in female rats.   

 Paul Cabe (Biology): 

We will be working on a collaborative project with researchers at several other institutions to study geographic patterns of genetic variation in a poorly-studied crayfish species of the mid-Atlantic states.  The overall study includes both basic taxonomic questions as well as a conservation/management angle, because this species may be threatened in some states due to limited distribution.  The work will involve basic DNA techniques such as PCR and DNA sequencing; students will also get to participate in field work.     

 Carrie Finch-Smith & Wayne Dymaceck (Mathematics): 

Number theory - only need knowledge of arithmetic and curiosity  

 Bill Hamilton (Biology & Environmental Science): 

Hamilton lab will be conducting a combination of field based and greenhouse experiments to determine the effects of bison grazing in Yellowstone National Park grassland productivity.  

 David Harbor (Geology and Environmental Studies): 

The Experimental Plucking lab studies the erosion of bedrock blocks under powerful river flow using plaster bedrock in a laboratory flume instrumented with pressure sensors, dye injection ports and video cameras. We also seek data from an instrumented rock placed in a nearby river.

 Margaret Anne Hinkle (Geology):

Identifying the impacts of pH buffers and liner rock on manganese bioremediation by fungi.

 Helen I'Anson (Biology & Neuroscience): 

This lab explores the role of snacking in development of childhood obesity.  

 Dan Johnson (Psychology & Neuroscience):

My research program will address two major questions this summer.  1) Can focusing people's attention on idea diversity enhance creativity, 2) Can engaging in metacognition during the idea generation or selection process enhance creativity?  We will assess creativity in a paradigm invented in our lab that capitalizes on algorithmically derived creativity scores.  Subjects take a word generation task and type 2 creative words in responses to a given target word (e.g., ship).  We then use mathematical modeling techniques and a large text corpus (e.g., all of Wikipedia) to see how creative their word combination is.   

 Fred LaRiviere (Chemistry and Biochemistry): 

The LaRiviere Lab studies quality control mechanisms that degrade defective ribosomes in eukaryotes.   

 David Marsh (Biology and Environmental Studies): 

We are studying the factors that determine the rarity and commonness of salamanders in the Blue Ridge mountains.  Our work combines observational research, ecological experiments, and population genetic approaches.  

  Jeff Rahl (Geology):

Using radiogemetric ages in sediments to trace the evolution of continental-scale river systems.

 Sara Sprenkle (Computer Science): 

Web application testing and development  

 Natalia Toporikova (Biology & Neuroscience): 

This summer my lab will be conducting, research on effect of diet on female reproductive system. We will be using brains and ovaries of rats who consumed diet high in fat and sugar. Our goal is to determine how diet changes sensitivity of these tissues to reproductive hormones. In parallel with tissue processing, we will be also using computer software to simulate hormonal interaction in a computer code.