College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Biology : Independent Study

Study What You Love
Independent study projects in biology provide an opportunity for students to pose original questions of interest to them and formulate responses which may be research based, literature based, or the result of a creative endeavor. Students are encouraged to have fun with their projects and enjoy the opportunity for in-depth study in an area of their choosing.

Students develop and carry out their ideas with the advice and guidance of a faculty member and the final project is presented to the Division of Biology in the form of a thesis, poster, oral presentation, or other acceptable format.

Course Credit
The independent study is taken as either BIO 450 (Independent Study) or BIO 485 (Internship in Biology), depending on the degree of independent work.

Students may apply for an Alfred Research Grant for Undergraduate Students (ARGUS) to help fund their projects. Faculty may have other sources of funding to support student work as well. Learn more about ARGUS.

Selected Biology Student Independent and ARGUS Research Projects
• An investigation of prion protein interactions and other causal factors in the development and onset of Alzheimer’s Disease
• The effect of enrichment methods on cribbing in Equus caballus
• The influence of equine conformation on performance
• How to address Toxocara in humans and companion animals as a public health issue
• Assessment of intra- and inter- species interactions and use of space between captive common squirrel monkey, black capped squirrel monkey, howler monkey, and capuchin monkeys
• GMO’s effect on health and the environment
• Investigating the relationship between hair dye and hair tensile strength
• Gender markers in Nepenthes
• Molecular genetics of autofluroescence in Avena sativa
• Color vision in California sea lions (Zalophus californianus)
• Indications of Exhibit Quality based on Captive Felid Behaviors
• Territorial behavior and dominance hierarchies between three species of African cichlids
• Chemotaxis responses to pheromones in cockroaches
• Attempts to establish a cricket colony and future chemotactic studies
• Integrated human health: A review of the integration of complementary and alternative medicine with conventional healthcare
• Behavioral responses to novel objects in North American river otters (Lonta canadensis)
• Learning, imitation, and time-expenditure frequencies in Lontra canadensis
• Manufacturing cockroach pheromones and testing their effectiveness
• The effect of latitude on reproductive behavior and timing in the North American river otter (Lontra canadensis)
• Differences in seasonal reproduction patterns between tropical and temperate squirrel monkey (Saimiri sciureus) populations
• Research in equine nutrition: diet changes in PSSM horse
• Human impacts on extinction and threat of extinction of island avifauna
• Investigation of the presence of the phorid fly Apocephalis borealis and other causes of CCD in honeybee hives of Alfred NY
• Engineering Chimeras to Monitor Multiplex Interactions
• Genetics of Zebrafish
• Zinc finger nucleases: The past and present of in vivo genome editing
• The effects of cigarette smoke on plants
• Integrated human health: a review of the integration of complementary and alternative medicine with conventional medicine
• Microbial community analysis of a human versus a canine oral cavity
• Spore formation by the gram negative bacteria Chitinophaga pinensis
• Antimicrobial activity of silver containing cements
• The synthesis of small molecules to inhibit FabI in the fatty acid synthesis pathway of apicoplast parasites
• Interaction analysis of a putative MafA-like protein and a hypothetical protein with AniA, an anerobically induced outer membrane protein of Neisseria gonorrhoeae
• Identification of nematode species found in the oat rhizosphere
• Identification of bacteria found in the rhizosphere of oats (Avena sativa)
• Phylogenetic analysis of microorganisms living in streams impacted by acid mine drainage
• Evaluation of microbial community structures and coliform persistence in the Alfred Wastewater Treatment Facility reed bed sludge treatment system
• Microbial community analysis of fungi in oat rhizosphere
• Nematode maintenance and culture
• Novel apparatus for growing and examining plant-microbe rhizosphere relationships
• Microbial degradation of petroleum hydrocarbons within various soil textures
• Biofilm Formation of Neisseria gonorrhoeae: A Sea of Unexplored Possibility
• The effects of minimal fluoride exposure on the uptake of nutrients in agricultural and horticultural plants
• Genetic diversity of American beech and Canadian hemlock in Allegany County
• The Therapeutic potential of Viral-Vector Based, Antigen Specific, Vaccines for Oral Cancer
• Tissue culture and cytogenetics of Amazon water lilies
• Steady State Nitric Oxide Levels in Neisseria gonorrhoeae
• Physiological analysis of Growth Patterns in Two Mutant Strains of Neisseria gonorrhoeae
• Tissue culture of insectivorous plants
• Anaerobic Liquid Culture of Neisseria gonorrhoeae
• An Investigation into the Sources of Fecal Coliforms in the Canacadea Creek
• The chemical basis of autofluorescence of oat hulls
• Analysis of the Role of the Highly Conserved Region in Bacterial Quinoprotein Dehydrogenase Based on Relative Kinetic Studies of Site-Directed Mutation in Escherichia coli
• Oil-degrading Microbes at AU
• Effect of Cranberry Extracts on Helicobacter pylori
• Statistical analysis of body piercings in AU students
• An Investigation of Extremophiles in Extraterrestrial Environments
• Sensitivity of Neisseria gonorrhoeae to Human Serum