The Morris Biology program is committed to providing undergraduate research opportunities to all students. There is an emphasis on independent research projects in our laboratory courses, a required extensive junior year primary-literature review, and a 45-minute senior research seminar.
Expanding knowledge through collaborative extra curricular research with faculty is at the heart of the University of Minnesota, Morris biology experience. More than 50 percent of biology majors conduct substantial, paid undergraduate research projects, mentored by Morris biology faculty or through the National Science Foundation’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) and other off-campus summer programs.
Three exciting programs fund many of the student and faculty collaborations mentioned below:
The Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) is a University wide program which provides academically talented students the opportunity to earn up to $1,400 assisting faculty with scholarly and creative projects.
This program is unique to the Morris campus, providing paid research partnerships to academically talented, qualified third-year students. The standard stipend is $2,000.
The Multi-Ethnic Mentorship Program (MMP) affords students of color the opportunity to receive a $2,000 stipend for working with faculty or staff on year-long projects.
In addition, faculty pursue research funding from University sources and prestigious granting agencies like the National Science Foundation, and use part of that money to hire students to assist with their investigations.
Recent Publications by Morris Students and Faculty
After a student and faculty collaborator have completed a collaborative research project, it is customary to present the findings. This involves a challenging process known as peer review. A report will be sent to experts in the field who will determine if the work is strong enough to publish. If it is, the researchers will one day find an article on their work published in a prestigious scientific journal. Recent examples:
- Wyckoff, P. H. and R. Bowers, In review. Response of the prairie/forest border to climate change: impacts of increasing drought may be mitigated by increasing CO2. Submitted to the J. of Ecol January (2009).
- Gooch, V.D.; Arun Mehra, Larrondo, A.L., Fox, J., Touroutoutoudis, M., Loros, J. and Dunlap, J. (2008).Fully codon-optimized N. crassa luciferase uncovers novel temperature characteristics of the clock Eukaryotic Cell 7:28-37;
- Bombyk, R.A.M., Bykowski, A.L., Draper, C.E., Savelkoul, E.J., Sullivan, L.R. and Wyckoff, T.J.O. (2008). Comparison of types and antimicrobial susceptibility of Staphylococcus from conventional and organic dairies in west-central Minnesota, USA. J Appl Microbiol. 104(6), 1726-31.
- Wyckoff, P. H., R. Jansen and R. Patten. (2005). The European buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica) invasion in west central Minnesota. In: Proceedings: Symposium on the Biology, Ecology and Management of Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata) and European Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica). USDA Forest Service Pub. FHTET-2005-09: 49-52.
- Gooch, V.D.; Freeman, L., and Lakin-Thomas,P.L (2004). Time Lapse Analysis of the Circadian Rhythms of Conidiaton and Growth Rate in Neurospora . Journal of Biological Rhythms 19(6): 493-503.
Recent Faculty/Student Conference Presentations
Another hallmark of the Morris campus is its commitment to funding student travel to national research conferences. Two funds for such purposes have been established in recent years, and almost all students who apply for travel support receive it. The following list gives you feel for some of the places Morris faculty- student research has been presented in recent years. In many cases, Morris students were the lead presenter!
- Anderson, T.M., Rynerson, M.L., and Windschitl, A.P. Comparison of Overwintering Macroinvertebrate Communities in a Prairie Pothole Lake in West Central Minnesota. Annual Meeting of the North American Benthological Society; Grand Rapids, MI, 2009.
- Skala, J.R., Vang, K., Nygaard, L.A. and Wyckoff, T.J.O. Examination of Phenotypic and Genotypic Pirlimycin Resistance in Staphylococcus from Milk Samples from Conventional and Organic Dairies in West-central Minnesota. American Society for Microbiology 109th General Meeting; Philadelphia, PA, 2009.
- Anderson, T.M., Windschitl, A.P., and Rynerson, M.L. Life Under the Ice: Assessing Winter Macroinvertebrate Communities in Prairie Pothole Lakes in West Central Minnesota. Annual Meeting of the North American Benthological Society; Salt Lake City, UT, 2008.
- Fox, J, Larrondo, L., Gooch, V.D., Dunlap, J., and Loros, J. Circadian Rhythm Promoters for an Optimized Bioluminescent Gene in Neurospora crassa. Neurospora Fungal Genetic Conference at Asilomar, California March 27-30, 2008
- Gooch, V.D, Bourne, B., Fox, J, Dunlap, J., and Loros, J. Effects of Light on the Circadian Rhythms of Neurospora crassa. Neurospora Fungal Genetic Conference at Asilomar, California March 27-30, 2008
- Gooch, V.D., Fox, J, Larrondo, L., Dunlap, J., and Loros, J. Neurospora Lights Up! (invited speaker). Neurospora Fungal Genetic Conference at Asilomar, California March 27-30, 2008.
- Rynerson, M.L., Windschitl, A.P., and Winikoff, S.G. Comparing the Macroinvertebrate Communities of Two Prairie Potholes with Varying Water Quality During the Winter Season. Annual Meeting of the Minnesota Academy of Sciences; Bethel University, St. Paul, MN, 2008.
- Skala, J.R., Vang, K. and Wyckoff, T.J.O. Distribution of lincosamide inactivation gene lnu(A) in Staphylococcus strains phenotypically sensitive to the lincosamide pirlimycin. North Central Branch of the American Society for Microbiology 68th Annual Meeting, St. Cloud, MN, 2008.
- Bombyk, R.A.M., Helland, T.J. and Wyckoff, T.J.O. Characterization of tetracycline resistance determinants in Staphylococcus from conventional and organic dairy cows in west-central Minnesota. American Society for Microbiology 107th AnnualGeneral Meeting; Toronto, ON, CANADA, 2007.
- Gooch, V.D, Fox, J., Touroutoutoudis, M “Light and temperature phase response curves in Neurospora using bioluminescence. 72nd Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories Symposium: Clocks & Rhythms, Cold Spring Harbor, New York, May 30 - June 4, 2007
- Meyer, G and P. Wyckoff. Impact of deer on tree recruitment at three sites in west-central Minnesota. Wildlife Management and Research in a Changing Environment Conference (The Wildlife Society), Alexandria, MN, 2007.
- Wyckoff, P., A. Shaffer and R. Bombyk. Extent and impact of exotic earthworm invasion in west central Minnesota. Ecological Society of America (ESA) annual meetings, San Jose, CA., 2007.
- Bombyk, R.A.M. and Wyckoff, T.J.O. Comparison of prevalence and antibiotic resistance of Staphylococcus in milk samples from conventional and organic dairies in west-central Minneosota. American Society for Microbiology 106th Annual General Meeting, Orlando, FL., 2006.
- Fox, J. and Gooch, V.D.; A novel bioluminescent method of measuring circadian rhythms in the fungus Neurospora crassa: a first analysis; National Conference on Undergraduate Research, Ashville, N.C., April 6, 2006.
- Helland, T.J. and Wyckoff, T.J.O. Tetracycline resistance determinants in Staphylococcus isolated from milk samples from conventional and organic dairies in west-central Minnesota. North Central Branch of the American Society for Microbiology 66th Annual Meeting, Brookings, SD. (received first place in undergraduate poster competition), 2006.
- Shaffer, A. and P. H. Wyckoff. Exotic earthworm abundance in west-central Minnesota. Minnesota Natural Resources Conference (Society of American Foresters and Society for Conservation Biology), Brainerd, MN, 2006.
- Draper, C.E. and Wyckoff, T.J.O. Frequency and antibiotic resistance of Staphylococcus in milk samples from conventional and organic dairies in west central Minnesota. North Central Branch of the American Society for Microbiology 65th Annual Meeting, Ames, IA., 2005.
- Patten, R. and P. H. Wyckoff. European buckthorn (Rhamus cathartica) growth as a function of light availability and soil moisture. Ecological Society of America (ESA), Montreal, Canada, 2005.
- Jansen, R. and P. H. Wyckoff. The effects of buckthorn on the forest understory. National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), Indianapolis, IN, 2004.
- Wyckoff, P. H., R. Jansen and K. Juhlin. Extent and impacts of the Rhamus cathartica (European buckthorn) invasion in west central Minnesota. Ecological Society of America (ESA), Portland, OR., 2004.
- Bowers, R. and P. H. Wyckoff. Climate sensitivity of Quercus macrocarpa along the prairie-forest border in west-central Minnesota. Ecological Society of America (ESA), Savannah, GA., 2003.