Opportunities for Research by Undergraduate Students

Your education at Fort Hays State University can involve more than learning in a classroom. Research experience in the Department of Biological Sciences is available for undergraduate students, including students enrolled in the Kansas Academy of Math and Science (KAMS). Undergraduate students at all levels are encouraged to talk to their advisor or instructors regarding biology research opportunities.

Undergrad Field Research Keri and Sana

Undergraduate students participating in conservation research in the Red Hills of south-central Kansas
and conducting physiology research in the lab at the Department of Biological Sciences.

Many undergraduate students conduct research in biology at FHSU, even during their first year. Moreover, many of our students present their research results at meetings of scientific societies in Kansas and elsewhere, and they publish their work in scientific journals. Research experience is extremely valuable. Students often remark that research experience can transcend experiences in the classroom by giving them a better understanding of the process of science. This process begins with asking relevant questions and forming hypotheses to be tested through experiments, during which students gather and analyze data. The results of this work are disseminated to others, typically through poster or oral presentations and published manuscripts. All of these steps are helpful for students, whether their goals are to pursue research, teaching, administration, or professional school. Skills learned during biology research are universally valuable across a wide range of disciplines, so even students who ultimately do not pursue a degree in biology participate in our research activities. While not a requirement in our degree program, there are opportunities to earn elective hours for research projects. Financial support for the research and travel to professional meetings is usually available. If you are interested, contact your advisor or instructor today to learn about research opportunities in the FHSU Department of Biological Sciences.

Summary of Undergraduate Research Activities: 2013–2014

Undergraduate Students Conducting Research: 13

Presentations by Students at Professional Meetings

American Grasslands: 2
Botanical Society of America: 4
Kansas Academy of Science: 9
Kansas IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (K-INBRE): 3
Switchgrass II: 2

Nicole Martin KAS 2014Students KAS 2012

Undergraduate students presenting their research results
at the Kansas Academy of Science annual meeting.

Recent Undergraduate Student Research Achievements

Peer-reviewed Publications with an Undergraduate Student as First Author

  • Keri L. Caudle and B.R. Maricle. 2014. Physiological relationship between oil tolerance and flooding tolerance in marsh plants. Environmental and Experimental Botany (in press).
  • Keri L. Caudle, L.C. Johnson, S.G. Baer, and B.R. Maricle. 2014. A comparison of seasonal foliar chlorophyll change among ecotypes and cultivars of Andropogon gerardii (Poaceae) by using non-destructive and destructive methods. Photosynthetica (in press).

Undergraduate Oral Presentation Awards

Keri Caudle, 1st Place, Kansas Academy of Science, 2014
Keri Caudle, 3rd Place, Kansas Academy of Science, 2013

Undergraduate Poster Presentation Awards

Amber Honig, 1st Place, Kansas Academy of Science, 2014
Keri Caudle, 3rd Place, Kansas Academy of Science, 2014
Bliss Betzen and Cera M. Smart, 3rd Place, Kansas Academy of Science, 2013
Keri Caudle, 2nd Place, Kansas Academy of Science, 2013

Research Qualifying for Scientific Competitions

Hayley Disney & Quentin Aker, International Science & Engineering Fair, Phoenix, Arizona, 2013

Grants Awarded to Students

Nicole Martin, $1,000 Kansas Academy of Science Undergraduate Research Grant, 2014
Keri Caudle, $36,796 US EPA Research Fellowship, 2013

Undergraduate Students and Recent Graduates Moving on to Post-graduate Studies

Justin Kerby (FHSU 2011). Admitted to University of Kansas Medical School in 2014.
Brad Leupold (KAMS 2014). Admitted to BS-MD program at University of Missouri, KC in 2014.
Whitney Taylor (FHSU 2013). Admitted to University of Kansas Medical School in 2014.
Abigail Pflughoeft (FHSU 2013). Admitted to University of Kansas Medical School in 2013.

Keri in OregonChristina at Microscope

Undergraduate student conducting summer research on the Oregon Coast
and using digital imaging research microscope.

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