UF Undergraduate Research Database

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Projects Available

Agricultural - Investigation of Feedback Irrigation Control
Principal Investigator: Michael D. Dukes

With all water use categories increasing in Florida each year, efficient use of water resources will be essential to sustaining the current agriculture, industry, and quality of life. Florida is the largest agricultural water user in the humid region and has the second largest withdrawal of groundwater for public supply in the U.S. Although irrigation is practiced widely in Florida, there are recent advances in computer technology and water delivery systems that can make irrigation systems more efficient.

Requirements: Willingness to learn research techniques. Some travel from Gainesville will be necessary.

Time Commitment:

Independent Study: Available
Work Study: Available
Salary: Not Available
Volunteer: Available
Agricultural - Mechanisms of Acupuncture Analgesia
Principal Investigator: Roland Staud

Acupuncture (AP) has been found to be effective for the treatment of postoperative and chemotherapy-induced nausea/vomiting as well as post-operative dental pain. Several recent randomized, controlled trials have provided strong evidence for beneficial AP effects on chronic low back pain and knee pain from osteoarthritis. For many other chronic pain conditions, including headaches, neck pain, and fibromyalgia pain, the evidence supporting AP’s efficacy is less convincing. Furthermore, AP seems to be ineffective in treating addiction, insomnia, obesity, asthma, or stroke deficits. AP’s effects on experimental pain appear to be mediated by analgesic brain mechanisms through the release of neurohumoral factors, some of which can be inhibited by the opioid antagonist naloxone. In contrast to placebo analgesia, AP related pain relief takes considerable time to develop and to resolve. Thus, some of the long-term effects of AP analgesia cannot be explained by placebo mechanisms. Furthermore, repetitive use of AP analgesia can result in tolerance as well as cross-tolerance with morphine. It appears that some forms of AP are more effective for providing analgesia than others. Particularly, electro-AP seems best to activate powerful opioid and non-opioid analgesic mechanisms.

Requirements: Most importantly, interest in human pain research. Biology background, familiarity with computers, and lab experience are helpful but not necessary.

Time Commitment: 2 x 3 hours per week, minimum

Independent Study: Available
Work Study: Available
Salary: Not Available
Volunteer: Available
Agricultural - Insects as a model system for Diabetes and Obesity
Principal Investigator: Daniel A. Hahn

Our lab uses insects as models for basic physiological processes in human diseases. One current project explores how flies regulate blood sugar and fat loads in response to seasonal cycles. Flies enter a hibernation-like state during the winter; and like hibernating grizzly bears, over wintering flies accumulate greater fat stores than summer flies. We are studying the roles of two important endocrine signaling pathways in this process, insulin (yes, flies have an insulin signaling system!) and the glucagon-like adipokinetic hormone in this process.

Requirements: Student must be willing to work hard and learn new things. No experience necessary, but prior coursework in biology and chemistry a plus.

Time Commitment:

Independent Study: Available
Work Study: Available
Salary: Available
Volunteer: Available
Agricultural - Patterning a vertebrate embryo
Principal Investigator: Brian D Harfe

How an individual cell decides what type of cell it will become has been a fundamental problem in biology for decades. The improper specification of just a single cell can have catastrophic consequences for the developing embryo. In my laboratory we investigate the molecular pathways responsible for pattering the developing embryo using the mouse and chick model systems. Projects in the lab include:

1. Elucidate how digits form in the developing limb using both the mouse and chick model systems. Each digit is composed of a unique amount of bone and cartilage depending on its location within the hand-plate. The molecular factors involved in establishing the invariant digit pattern are not well understood.
2. Identifying the molecular pathways required for forming the intervertebral disks. An unfortunate consequence of aging is the eventual failure of tissues and organs, which leads to pain, loss of mobility and eventually to death. A tissue that commonly deteriorates in older vertebrates is the intervertebral disks (located between the vertebrae). Age-related changes in the intervertebral disks are thought to cause most cases of back pain. Presently there is no cure for disk degeneration.
3. The role of microRNAs in development. MicroRNAs are processed by the enzyme Dicer into their mature form. These genes are part of a novel mechanism involved in regulating gene expression. Using a conditional allele of Dicer we have constructed, we removed Dicer from a large number of tissues during mouse development. In these animals, numerous defects were observed demonstrating the important role microRNAs play in vertebrate development.
4. Student initiated projects on ANY topic using the mouse or chick model systems are also encouraged.

The projects in the lab involve extensive work with mice in the new mouse facility (Genetics /Cancer Buildings) and common molecular biology techniques. Students who can commit to working in the lab for AT LEAST 12 hours a week for a year or longer are encouraged to apply. By working in my laboratory students will be well positioned for further research in the fields of developmental biology and genetics.

Requirements: Students should have completed basic biology classes. A working knowledge of molecular biology and genetics would be very useful. Students are expected to be in the lab AT LEAST 12 hours a week for an entire academic year. These projects involve the extensive use of mice including harvesting embryos from pregnant moms.

Time Commitment:

Independent Study: Available
Work Study: Available
Salary: Available
Volunteer: Available
Biological - Protein structure and function in complex systems
Principal Investigator: Joanna R. Long

Multiple projects examining protein structure and function in lipid membranes and extracellular matrices. Use of molecular biology or solid phase peptide synthesis for protein expression, biophysical characterization techniques, spectroscopy, computer modeling. Projects: 1) Ion channel function in heterogeneous membranes, 2) Mechanism of lung surfactant protein B, 3) Bone Sialoprotein and biomineralization, 4) Integrin association in membranes. Preference given to students in their second year at UF.

Requirements: Basic knowledge of biology, chemistry and molecular; undergraduate organic chemistry or microbiology lab preferred.

Time Commitment: 2 years; 6-16 hrs/week

Independent Study: Available
Work Study: Available
Salary: Available
Volunteer: Available
Biological - The nuclear envelope in heath and disease
Principal Investigator: Kyle J Roux

Our overall research focus is on the structure and function of the nuclear envelope. Recently, two important discoveries have enhanced interest in this field. The first was identification of multiple diseases associated with mutations in nuclear envelope constituents. The second was identification of two families of proteins that interact to form the LINC-complex.

We are one of several groups involved in the recent characterization of a structure that links the nucleoskeleton to the cytoskeleton, which we have termed the LINC-complex. This complex consists of interactions between inner nuclear membrane sun proteins and outer nuclear membrane nesprin proteins that translumenally connect these two membranes. However, it is the association of nesprins with cytoskeletal constituents and the interaction of sun proteins with A-type lamins and chromatin that has generated the most interest. This system appears to provide a direct two-way mechanical communication between the nuclear contents and the rest of the cell, and perturbation of this link may have deleterious effects on cellular physiology. We currently have multiple projects designed to reveal the function of novel nesprins as well as the role of the LINC-complex in cellular organization.

Mutations in LMNA, which encodes a type of nuclear intermediate filament called A-type lamins, are associated with multiple diseases. These diverse diseases include forms of lipodystrophy, muscular dystrophy, neuropathy and progeria. Thus far, the mechanism by which altered expression of A-type lamins leads to these variable phenotypes has yet to be established. We are investigating fundamental principles of lamin biology in an attempt to uncover the disease mechanisms relating to A-type lamins.

Requirements: Please provide current college transcripts. Background in molecular biology, microbiology or cell biology with laboratory experience preferred. Must be willing to work hard to generate meaningful data.

Time Commitment: >1 year, >10-15 hrs per week

Independent Study: Available
Work Study: Not Available
Salary: Not Available
Volunteer: Available
Biological - Human migrations out of Africa
Principal Investigator: Connie J Mulligan

We are analyzing molecular genetic variation in human populations located throughout the Horn of Africa and the Arabian peninsula to test hypotheses concerning migrations across the Red Sea and the evolution of language and food production methods. This region of the world is known to be important for the emergence of anatomically modern humans, but it is also important for more recent evolution. We are interested in determining the origin and directionality of migrations across the Red Sea and the evolution of the Afro-Asiatic language family. Mitochondrial, X and Y, and autosomal genes and variants are assayed in order to address these questions. Specific regions of interest include Ethiopia, Eritrea, Oman and Yemen. Additional countries will be included as the project develops.

Requirements: Strong commitment to and adequate time for a research experience (at least 2 semesters commitment is desirable). Some basic lab experience is required and knowledge of PCR and agarose gel electrophoresis is a plus.

Time Commitment: At least 3 credit hours per semester

Independent Study: Available
Work Study: Not Available
Salary: Not Available
Volunteer: Available
Biological - Daxx in mitosis/taxol treatment in breast cancer
Principal Investigator: Alexander M Ishov

Taxanes are powerful drugs for breast cancer treatment; however, a large number of patients are resistant to this therapy for unknown reasons. Therefore it will be essential to develop prognostic tools and predictive markers to differentiate the patient population for appropriate chemotherapy selection.
This proposal aims to evaluate protein Daxx as a predictive marker for taxane response and is based on our observation that sensitivity to paclitaxel treatment, in breast cancer cell lines and mouse cells, correlates with the level of Daxx. Taxanes are reversibly binding to microtubules, thus activating transient prometaphase arrest followed by mitotic catastrophe. Our central hypothesis is that Daxx deficiency can determine resistance to paclitaxel-induced mitotic catastrophe in breast cancer patients by reversibly blocking cells in prometaphase upon treatment. Specifically, we will examine the function of Daxx as a paclitaxel sensitivity factor that can be used as a predictive marker in selection of breast cancer patients to receive taxane therapy (Aim I) and dissect the mechanism of this sensitivity elucidating the role of Daxx in mitotic progression (Aim II).

Requirements: basic cell culture, biochemistry, molecular biology lab experience required

Time Commitment: at least 15 h/week

Independent Study: Available
Work Study: Available
Salary: Not Available
Volunteer: Available
Biological - Hypoxic regulation of progenitors for transplant
Principal Investigator: Heather H Ross

Utilization of in vitro hypoxic conditioning to facilitate the health and engraftment of neural stem/pronenitor cells in transplant model for spinal cord injury.

Requirements: In vitro cell culture, western blot, PCR, microscopy will be trained on site.

Time Commitment: 2-10 hours/week

Independent Study: Not Available
Work Study: Available
Salary: Not Available
Volunteer: Not Available
Biological - High Content Screen for Chlamydial Mutants
Principal Investigator: Scott S Grieshaber

This project entails random mutagenesis of the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis followed by high content screening for phenotypes of interest. The bacteria will be isolated and the genotype determined by tiled microarray or 2nd generation sequencing.

Requirements: Biology, Microbiology, Chemistry major

Time Commitment: 15-20 hours/week

Independent Study: Available
Work Study: Not Available
Salary: Not Available
Volunteer: Available
Biological - Body size in hibernation and reproductive behavior
Principal Investigator: Daniel A. Hahn

How important is size? Our lab combines techniques from a number of fields including ecology, evolutionary biology, physiology and biochemistry to determine how traits such as body size and nutritional status affect survival and reproduction in insects. Training could include a number of techniques including behavior, field collections, artificial selection, respirometry, molecular genetics/proteomics and analytical biochemistry.

Requirements: Student must be willing to work hard and learn new things. No experience necessary, but prior coursework in biology and chemistry a plus.

Time Commitment:

Independent Study: Available
Work Study: Available
Salary: Available
Volunteer: Available
Biological - Genetics of biofilms and stress tolerance
Principal Investigator: Robert A Burne

Molecular genetic aspects of microbial biofilm formation. Biofilms are adherent populations of microbes imbedded in a polymeric matrix and adhering to a surface. Biofilm diseases are highly prevalent in humans and eradication of biofilms is a major challenge. We are using a Functional Genomics approach to identify genes that are essential for the formation of pathogenic biofilms by bacteria. Using genome sequence information and DNA microarrays, we have identified a variety of genes of as-yet-unknown function that are essential for maturation of biofilms and tolerance of environmental stress. This project involves a combination of recombinant DNA methodology, biochemistry, physiology and microbiology to understand how bacteria form structurally complex biofilms and to identify new targets for combating infectious agents.

Requirements: Courses in microbiology and molecular genetics are desirable.

Time Commitment: 15-20h/week

Independent Study: Available
Work Study: Not Available
Salary: Not Available
Volunteer: Available
Biological - Bivalve Ecology and Physiology
Principal Investigator: Shirley M Baker

The selected student will assist with various aspects of laboratory research related to bivalve physiology. Projects this year include 1)Completing physiological tolerance experiments in the lab, and 2) Measuring energy budgets of clams. We will provide the student with a variety of laboratory research experiences.

Requirements: Location: NW Gainesville, Millhopper Road (transportation required)

Time Commitment:

Independent Study: Available
Work Study: Available
Salary: Available
Volunteer: Available
Biological - Parvovirus-brain-thyroid interactions
Principal Investigator: Jacqueline A. Hobbs

My laboratory is interested in the basic biology of parvovirus-brain-thyroid interactions. Parvoviruses are small DNA-containing viruses. We study two parvoviruses of human concern: 1) adeno-associated virus (AAV) which is not known to cause human disease, and 2) parvovirus B19 (B19) which causes multiple human disorders from benign to life-threatening conditions. There is some clinical evidence that B19 can infect the brain and thyroid and cause disease, but very little is known about this area. We are asking the questions of whether or not these viruses infect the brain and thyroid and at what point in development is the infection most likely to occur. We are also determining what factors enhance the ability of these viruses to infect brain and thyroid cells. Another area of interest in the lab is potential viral etiologies of mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and autism. We have a large number of post-mortem human brain tissues for studies. Our studies utilize the following techniques: cell culture, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), RT-PCR, nested PCR, flow cytometry, and RNA/DNA analysis by agarose gel electrophoresis. There are a variety of projects that could be undertaken by undergraduate students.

Requirements: This position requires that the applicant pay attention to small details, be very organized and neat.

Time Commitment: 20 hours per week

Independent Study: Available
Work Study: Available
Salary: Not Available
Volunteer: Available
Biological - Comparative Studies of the Florida Manatee
Principal Investigator: Don A Samuelson

We are examining the histology of the Florida manatee for development of an internet atlas. In addition to performing microanatomical analysis of different organ systems, various histochemical and immunohistochemical procedures will be used to establish functional-structural correlates. The collected information will be placed on a website.

Requirements: Interests in veterinary medicine, medicine, marine biology, and/or zoology with appropriate foundation courses for pre-vet, pre-med, or zoology programs.

Time Commitment:

Independent Study: Not Available
Work Study: Not Available
Salary: Not Available
Volunteer: Available
Biological - Ongoing Research in Nutrition and Immunity
Principal Investigator: Susan S. Percival

Assistance is needed to help recruit subjects, enroll subjects in the studies, obtain and analyze data, input data into spreadsheets, & laboratory maintenance. Students showing interest and aptitude can develop their own research project within the larger project. See more information on my home page.

Requirements: B or better in Organic Chemistry 2, knowledge of Excel, Word and PowerPoint.

Time Commitment:

Independent Study: Available
Work Study: Available
Salary: Not Available
Volunteer: Available
Biological - Cell biology of marine organisms
Principal Investigator: David Julian

We are currently investigating the cellular and molecular adaptations of marine and aquatic invertebrates to hypoxia, environmental toxins and other physiological stresses. The objectives of our research are to understand cellular and molecular mechanisms by which some marine invertebrates can tolerate, and even thrive, in extreme and seemingly toxic conditions. Students may learn a variety of techniques, including cell culture, microscopy, enzyme biochemistry and high-throughput screening.

Requirements: One year each of biology and chemistry with an A grade in all lectures and labs. Lower division status preferred. Students from minority groups that are under-represented in the sciences are especially encouraged to apply.

Time Commitment: 12 hours per week minimum

Independent Study: Available
Work Study: Available
Salary: Available
Volunteer: Available
Biological - Genetic diversity of microsporidia in fire ants
Principal Investigator: David D Shoemaker

This project will involve using molecular genetic tools to characterize patterns of genetic diversity of microsporidia pathogens infecting fire ants.

Requirements: undergraduate major in biological sciences; preference will be given to students that have completed a course in either evolution or genetics

Time Commitment: full-time for 10 weeks; 10+hrs during academic yr

Independent Study: Not Available
Work Study: Not Available
Salary: Available
Volunteer: Not Available
Biological - Marine Biology Assistant
Principal Investigator: Andrew B Barbour

Looking for an interested and motivated individual to assist with field work in Charlotte Harbor, Fl, on a project in conjunction with Mote Marine Lab. Work would be for 2 weeks in each of October and November, as well as the first week of December. Work involves pulling seine nets in 3 tidally flushed mangrove creeks to capture and subsequently PIT tag juvenile common snook (Centropmous undecimalis). Work may continue in the spring.

Requirements: This work is very time consuming and the study area is 4 hours outside of Gainesville. Housing will be provided, but volunteer will need to be able to spend considerable time away from gainesville

Time Commitment:

Independent Study: Not Available
Work Study: Not Available
Salary: Not Available
Volunteer: Available
Biological - Brain mechanisms underlying high blood pressure
Principal Investigator: Linda F Hayward

evaluating brain mechanisms underlying exaggerated response to stress in an animal model of hypertension. Data analysis, histology, molecular biology, immunohistochemistry

Requirements: undergraduate biology/psychology major with interest in life science/medical translational science. Previous lab work a plus.

Time Commitment: 10-16 hrs per week

Independent Study: Available
Work Study: Not Available
Salary: Not Available
Volunteer: Available
Biological - Non-target effects of biological control agents
Principal Investigator: Gallice R Geoffrey

Giant silk moths (Lepidoptera: Saturniidae) are among the largest, most charismatic, and well known of the North American Lepidoptera. Some populations are currently in decline, with a number of causes under debate. One recent explanation that is gaining support is the non-target effects of non-native species introduced for biological control. We will conduct field experiments to: 1) document the occurrence and extent of parasitism and mortality due to introduced biological control agents on native silk moth species, and 2) investigate differences in parasitism and mortality rates between urban, agricultural, and natural environments.

Requirements: No experience necessary, but knowledge of insect rearing and identification a plus.

Time Commitment: 10-20hrs/wk

Independent Study: Available
Work Study: Not Available
Salary: Not Available
Volunteer: Available
Biological - Effects of fire-history on amphibian populations
Principal Investigator: James D Austin

Small, isolated wetlands are important habitat for several species of amphibians living in fire adapted habitats. The longleaf pine-wiregrass ecosystem has been historically one of the most threatened ecosystems due to development and fire suppression. We are sampling amphibian communities at ephemeral ponds in Ocala National Forest. We combining traditional wildlife techniques with modern molecular techniques to determine how fire frequency affects the genetic variation in populations of amphibian species over space and time. Students will participate in both field and lab-based components of the project, and will be encouraged to develop their own research utilizing the existing study design and data.

Requirements: Student should have an interest in conducting fieldwork and molecular lab work, and a background in Biology, Forest Resources and Conservation, or Wildlife Ecology and Conservation. Field and/or lab experience is beneficial, but not a prerequisite to applying. Willingness to work in hot humid environments, handle wildlife and be a good team player is required.

Time Commitment: Full-time Summer A, flexible thereafter

Independent Study: Not Available
Work Study: Not Available
Salary: Not Available
Volunteer: Not Available
Biological - Effects of fire-history on amphibian populations
Principal Investigator: James D Austin

Small, isolated wetlands are important habitat for several species of amphibians living in fire adapted habitats. The longleaf pine-wiregrass ecosystem has been historically one of the most threatened ecosystems due to development and fire suppression. We are sampling amphibian communities at ephemeral ponds in Ocala National Forest. We combining traditional wildlife techniques with modern molecular techniques to determine how fire frequency affects the genetic variation in populations of amphibian species over space and time. Students will participate in both field and lab-based components of the project, and will be encouraged to develop their own research utilizing the existing study design and data.

Requirements: Student should have an interest in conducting fieldwork and molecular lab work, and a background in Biology, Forest Resources and Conservation, or Wildlife Ecology and Conservation. Field and/or lab experience is beneficial, but not a prerequisite to applying. Willingness to work in hot humid environments, handle wildlife and be a good team player is required.

Time Commitment: Full-time Summer A, flexible thereafter

Independent Study: Not Available
Work Study: Not Available
Salary: Not Available
Volunteer: Not Available
Biological - Long-term Florida mouse demographic study
Principal Investigator: James D Austin

The objective of this project to examine the relationship between gopher tortoise densities and fire-history regimes on the demographics and population genetics of Florida mice. During May, Florida mice are trapped at three grid located at the Ordway Swisher Biological Station. Mice are live trapped, ear tagged, measured and released to estimate abundance. Tortoise densities are inferred from line transect counts of active burrows. Lab work will involve genotyping Florida mice using a large panel of microsatellites to estimate inter-relatedness and spatial genetic structure.

Requirements: Willingness to conduct field work for 2-3 weeks in hot humid conditions. An interest in learning genetic techniques is a must. We seek independent and hard working students!

Time Commitment: Flexible, half days for 2 weeks minimum in May.

Independent Study: Available
Work Study: Not Available
Salary: Not Available
Volunteer: Available
Biological - Long-term Florida mouse demographic study
Principal Investigator: James D Austin

The objective of this project to examine the relationship between gopher tortoise densities and fire-history regimes on the demographics and population genetics of Florida mice. During May, Florida mice are trapped at three grid located at the Ordway Swisher Biological Station. Mice are live trapped, ear tagged, measured and released to estimate abundance. Tortoise densities are inferred from line transect counts of active burrows. Lab work will involve genotyping Florida mice using a large panel of microsatellites to estimate inter-relatedness and spatial genetic structure.

Requirements: Willingness to conduct field work for 2-3 weeks in hot humid conditions. An interest in learning genetic techniques is a must. We seek independent and hard working students!

Time Commitment: Flexible, half days for 2 weeks minimum in May.

Independent Study: Available
Work Study: Not Available
Salary: Not Available
Volunteer: Available
Biological - Social learning in cactus bugs
Principal Investigator: Christine W Miller

Positions are open for Summer 2012, please apply.

Animals live in an uncertain world. To reduce uncertainty and to make good decisions, animals commonly look to, and learn from, the decisions of their neighbors. We are discovering that even non-social insects are able to learn from each other, both members of the same species, and of other species. Joining this project would involve working closely with a dynamic team of students and advanced researchers both in the laboratory and in natural areas.

Requirements: We have fun while we are working hard. Commitment and self-motivation are a must. We work as a team, so the successful applicant will be excited, helpful, and innovative. No specific coursework is needed. This position is intended for students wishing to experience the complete scientific process, from design, to analyses and presentation. Visit www.millerlab.net for more information. To apply, send Dr. Christine W. Miller, cwmiller@ufl.edu, a formal email with your resume, cover letter, and an unofficial transcript.

Time Commitment: 10 hrs/week fall&spring. Up to 30 hrs/wk summer.

Independent Study: Available
Work Study: Available
Salary: Not Available
Volunteer: Available
Biological - Environmental affects on sexual selection
Principal Investigator: Christine W Miller


Our laboratory investigates the influence of natural environmental variation and genetics on the processes of sexual selection. We are discovering that both attractiveness and mate preferences can be very context-specific. We study these broad issues using the leaf-footed bugs, excellent species for both field and laboratory study.

Requirements: Students must be hard working, dedicated, self-motivated, and ready for a challenge. In exchange, students in the lab experience the research process from design all the way through to analysis and presentation. We have fun while we work hard. No specific courses are required. Visit www.millerlab.net To apply, email Dr. Christine W. Miller a resume, cover letter, and unofficial transcript.

Time Commitment: 10 hrs/week fall&spring. Up to 30 hrs/week summer

Independent Study: Available
Work Study: Available
Salary: Not Available
Volunteer: Available
Biological - Insect community genetics
Principal Investigator: Christine W Miller


We are starting a project on community genetics to examine whether plant genetics can predict the arthropod communities associated with the plants. The successful applicant will help on a variety of projects in the lab, but will eventually focus primarily on insect identification and field collections.

Requirements: The successful applicant will need to plan to take Principles of Entomology (in-class lecture course) and Insect Classification before Summer 2012. Enthusiasm and hard work are required. Students should be excited to join a dynamic team of researchers and learn the scientific process from design through to analysis and presentation.

Time Commitment: 10 hrs/week Fall and Spring, 30 hrs/week Summer

Independent Study: Available
Work Study: Available
Salary: Not Available
Volunteer: Available
Biological - Aging, energy homeostasis and autophagy
Principal Investigator: Stephanie Wohlgemuth

We are currently investigating in mammalian cells, specifically in muscle cells, cellular and subcellular mechanisms in response to aging, environmental toxins and other physiological stresses. A variety of mechanisms can be impacted and/or respond to stress, including cellular energy homeostasis and the cells’ housekeeping processes. The objectives of our research are to understand how cellular mechanisms involved in energy production and housekeeping are affected by aging and to investigate interventions by which cellular function can be preserved. Study objects include cells in culture as well as livestock animals. Students may learn a variety of techniques, including mitochondrial respirometry, cell culture, and protein biochemistry.

Requirements: One year each of biology and chemistry with an A grade in all lectures and labs. Lower division status preferred. Students from minority groups that are under-represented in the sciences are especially encouraged to apply.

Time Commitment: 12 hours per week minimum

Independent Study: Available
Work Study: Not Available
Salary: Not Available
Volunteer: Not Available
Communications - Media and Political Processes
Principal Investigator: Lynda L Kaid

The project involves the study of the role of communication, particularly mass media, in the political process. The research involves analyzing political television commercials,television and print news, and Internet from political campaigns. The project also conducts experiments on the effectiveness of political television ads and exposure to television and Internet news. Some aspects of the project deal with women candidates. Another aspect of the project involves the comparison of new technologies, such as the internet, with traditional media, such as television. Projects also involve similar research in international contexts, including Europe, Asia, and Latin America.

Requirements: Knowledge of American political system helpful for U.S. projects; good organizational skills and computer skills also helpful.

Time Commitment: variable

Independent Study: Available
Work Study: Available
Salary: Not Available
Volunteer: Available
Communications - Race, Gender, Class and Media in Latin America
Principal Investigator: Michael Leslie

Discourse, Content and Framing Analysis of Latin America Media

Requirements: Fluent Spanish or Portuguese

Time Commitment:

Independent Study: Available
Work Study: Not Available
Salary: Not Available
Volunteer: Not Available
Communications - The Federal Crackdown on Adult Content
Principal Investigator: Clay Calvert

This project involves conducting research for a forthcoming interview with a former US Attorney name Mary Beth Buchanan who prosecuted two high-profile obscenity cases. The interview will be the centerpiece of a law journal article.

Requirements: Using LexisNexis Academic database to gather newspaper and magazine articles about Buchanan and the two cases at issue; Proofing and editing drafts of the law journal article; Drafting questions for the interview with Buchanan; Suggesting interesting topics to address with her during the interview. Email: ccalvert@jou.ufl.edu

Time Commitment: Three to Five Hours a week/Flexible

Independent Study: Not Available
Work Study: Not Available
Salary: Not Available
Volunteer: Available
Engineering - Haptic Illustration of Surgical Procedures
Principal Investigator: Jorg Peters

Modeling and animation of 3-dimensional objects; use of force-feedback mechanisms

Requirements: solid understanding of linear algebra and calculus; willingness to learn graphics tools; ability to program (in C or C++ or Matlab)

Time Commitment: High Initial Learning Curve; a good investment

Independent Study: Available
Work Study: Not Available
Salary: Not Available
Volunteer: Available
Engineering - Windstorm Damages
Principal Investigator: Nawari O Nawari

The research focuses on understanding of the damage mechanisms due to a variety of natural hazards such as wind, storm surges, and tsunamis windstorm hazard to determining the best design and construction practice. Students will be involved in developing information systems and data mining models to investigate the anatomy of windstorm damages.

Requirements: Information systems, Computer science and Engineering, Architecture, and Construction major; GPA >= 3.5 in major. Junior or Senior preferred.

Time Commitment:

Independent Study: Available
Work Study: Not Available
Salary: Not Available
Volunteer: Available
Engineering - Building Information Modeling in AEC Education
Principal Investigator: Nawari O Nawari

Integrating BIM (Building Information Modeling) in AEC Education: This research project focuses on the role of the BIM technologies to advance students’ understanding of building structures and successful integration of the building design, the complex relationships between its components, and the construction processes. Students will learn the software and start develop real structural models to investigated practical approaches to integrating BIM in AEC education.

Requirements: Architecture, Engineering, or construction major; GPA >= 3.5 in major. Junior or Senior preferred

Time Commitment:

Independent Study: Available
Work Study: Not Available
Salary: Not Available
Volunteer: Available
Engineering - Neuroprosthetics Research
Principal Investigator: Justin C Sanchez

The goal of the NRG is to develop state-of-the-art novel medical treatments by operating at the interface between basic neural engineering research and clinical care. This direction of research is motivated by the potential of direct neural interfaces for delivering therapy and restoring functionality to disabled individuals using engineering principles. The mechanism by which we can achieve these outcomes is through the sampling of large ensembles of cells from the cortex and deep brain structures, from which we have a window of opportunity to study the functional relationships of neural systems (motor system, limbic system). Experimental paradigms involving microelectrode array recordings in behaving animals and humans will be developed in conjunction with signal processing techniques for studying the unknown aspects of neural coding and functional neurophysiology. These signal processing techniques will then be implemented in portable, low-power, wireless hardware (electrodes, DSPs) that is feasible for a clinical implementation of a BMI. Ultimately, it will take the culmination of new functional neurophysiologic knowledge, clinical interaction, signal processing, and low-power, portable electronics to demonstrate the clinical utility for human subjects.

Requirements: Strong motivation to grow and develop independent research skills.

Time Commitment:

Independent Study: Available
Work Study: Available
Salary: Not Available
Volunteer: Available
Engineering - Research Projects in Reconfigurable Computing
Principal Investigator: Alan D. George

Undergraduate research in one of the projects of CHREC, the new NSF Center for High-Performance Reconfigurable Computing (CHREC) at the University of Florida. CHREC is the only national research center currently in existence that is sanctioned by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and led by the University of Florida. More information on mission, projects, university sites, industry and government partners, facilities, etc. can be found at http://www.chrec.org.

Requirements: Strong skills in software and/or hardware design. ECE or CISE students preferred (other areas may be considered). Overall GPA above 3.0 (above 3.5 is preferred).

Time Commitment: 10-15 hours/week

Independent Study: Available
Work Study: Available
Salary: Available
Volunteer: Available
Engineering - Radiographic measurement of skeletal motion
Principal Investigator: Scott A Banks

Participate in the development of an open-source software platform for measuring skeletal motion from x-ray images. The software utilizes computer graphics techniques to measure the pose of 3D objects from one or more 2D X-ray images. Computer graphics, imaging processing, and numerical optimization are main parts of the project.

Requirements: Experience with C++, OpenGL, Python and/or other programming languages. Preferred knowledges/interests: computer graphics (OpenGL, etc), software framework/structure design, biomechanics.

Time Commitment: Depends upon specific project

Independent Study: Available
Work Study: Not Available
Salary: Not Available
Volunteer: Available
Engineering - Morphing aircraft
Principal Investigator: Rick Lind

The student will adopt biologically-inspired concepts for flight control. Specifically, research will consider morphing, or shape changing, to alter flight dynamics. Projects can consider identification of flight shapes, implementation of mechanisms to mimic those shapes, and computational modeling of the resulting flight dynamics. Research can consider birds, insects, bats, and dinosaur flights as pertaining to micro air vehicles.

Requirements: Student should have a good knowledge of at least one of the following : biology of skeletal and muscular systems, mechanical engineering of design and fabrication of servo mechanisms, or aerospace engineering of flight mechanics. The actual requirements will vary with the type of project to be studied.

Time Commitment: varies

Independent Study: Available
Work Study: Not Available
Salary: Not Available
Volunteer: Available
Engineering - Vision-Based Control of Autonomous Robotics
Principal Investigator: Rick Lind

This project will investigate techniques to utilize synthetic vision for control of autonomous robotics. Various approaches, such as optic flow and structure from motion, will be used to learn information about the position and attitude of the vehicle along with distance to objects. Commands can then be generated to maneuver the vehicle and plan a path around obstacles. The tools can be applied to aircraft and spacecraft along with automobiles and underwater vehicles.

Requirements: basic math and dynamics

Time Commitment:

Independent Study: Available
Work Study: Not Available
Salary: Not Available
Volunteer: Available
Engineering - Greener Surfactant & Particle Technologies
Principal Investigator: Brij M. Moudgil

Undergraduate research in one of the projects of the Center for Particulate and Surfactant Systems (CPaSS), an NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC) at the University of Florida. The Center's mission is to advance, develop and promote greener surfactant & particle technologies, where 'greener' is defined as including or resulting in less hazardous reagents, energy/water/materials savings and more value added with little to no compromise in performance. Additional information on the Center's research program, projects, university sites, industry partners, facilities, etc., can be found at http://iucrc.perc.ufl.edu/.

Requirements: Strong skills in general chemistry and must be able to identify common laboratory apparatus and equipment. Students will assist Center researchers in setting up, conducting experiments, and analyzing results. Must also be familiar with general safety guidelines. Should be familiar with MS Office and related software (Word, Powerpoint, Excel, Outlook, etc.). Must be able to communicate efficiently, prepare reports, and give oral presentations. Overall GPA above 3.25 (above 3.75 is preferred).

Time Commitment: 12-20 hours/week

Independent Study: Available
Work Study: Available
Salary: Available
Volunteer: Available
Engineering - Fabrication and Testing of Lab-on-a-chip Devices
Principal Investigator: Z. Hugh Fan

The student will be taught to fabricate lab-on-a-chip devices that consist of hairthin microfeatures. The fabrication process involves molding, milling, and lamination. After training, the student will be responsible for producing devices that are primarily used for chemical and biological applications. Some degrees of research will be performed depending on the student's interest.

Requirements: A student in engineering major is preferred, though other majors will be considered. A commitment of 8-10 hours/week and two-semester-commitment is required. The summer semester may have 30-40 hours/week. Sophomores and juniors are preferred, though seniors will be considered. The position is ideal for those students who are interested in graduate studies in the future (not necessary at UF), with a desire to have a scientific publication. The student should be dependable, hard-working, and willing to learn. Check the web for more info: www.mae.ufl.edu/~hfan

Time Commitment: 8-10 hours/week

Independent Study: Available
Work Study: Not Available
Salary: Available
Volunteer: Not Available
Engineering - Biodegradation of carbon-based nanomaterial throug
Principal Investigator: Ben Koopman

It is foreseen that fullerene (C60) and derivatized fullerenes induce a variety of biological effects, and are suspected to be released to the environment through industrial and municipal waste streams. During investigation of toxicological effects of fullerene (C60), discovery was made indicating certain fungal species, which serve as the universal recyclers, displayed the ability to mineralize polyhydroxylated fullerene derivatives. Through controlled research experimentation, we seek to quantify the ability of select fungal species to degrade fullerene and its water-soluble derivative, fullerenol. Experimentation work will include spectrophotometric determination of gaseous CO2 and aqueous fullerenol concentrations as well as biomass production. Additional investigation will include microscopic analysis of fungal cells.

Requirements: Training with FTIR and UV/Vis spectrophotometric and microscopic equipment will be provided; weekly laboratory and analytical sessions; summary report writing

Time Commitment: Flexible

Independent Study: Available
Work Study: Not Available
Salary: Not Available
Volunteer: Available
Humanities - Technologies of Identity and their Implications
Principal Investigator: Bonnie Effros

As director of the Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere, I have organized a speaker series in spring semester 2010 entitled "Tracking Citizens and Subjects: Evolving Technologies of Identity" at the University of Florida. This will be a set of interdisciplinary events, intended to start conversation about how identity tracking affects public policy. I am in search of a research assistant who will help facilitate the visits of four internationally known speakers to campus who will each discuss various facets of identity-tracking technologies. The subjects that will be addressed include the history of fingerprint analysis and its problems, the future of biometric technologies, national security and privacy issues of tracking techniques, and the CSI effect on jury trials in the United States.

Requirements: In addition to asking the student read works on the relevant topics of each talk, I will need the student be present at each of the talks and help facilitate the visits of the scholars as they come to campus. If the student would like to receive academic credit for participating in this project, I will ask that s/he complete a research essay on this topic.

Time Commitment: 1/13; 2/3; 3/3; 4/7 are the dates of Weds.lectures

Independent Study: Available
Work Study: Not Available
Salary: Not Available
Volunteer: Available
Humanities - Multilingual Policies in Europe
Principal Investigator: Ester J de Jong

This work is part of a larger project looking at how european countries deal with linguistic and cultural diversity, with a focus on immigrant students. The Honor's project would be a country case study of one country within the European Union.

Requirements: independent worker, good writing skill, interest in international perspectives

Time Commitment:

Independent Study: Available
Work Study: Not Available
Salary: Not Available
Volunteer: Available
Mathematical - Causal inference in observational studies
Principal Investigator: Walter L Leite

Causal inference with observational data is difficult because participants of a treatment or program are not randomly selected to participate. Therefore, participants in the treated and control groups may have different outcomes because of covariates that are related to both the outcome and treatment assignment. This problem is known as selection bias. In this study, we attempt to ameliorate this problem by using propensity score weighting methods combined with structural equation models to estimate treatment effects and interactions.

Requirements: Major or minor in statistics Ability to perform data manipulation and analysis with R software

Time Commitment: 5 hours per week

Independent Study: Available
Work Study: Not Available
Salary: Not Available
Volunteer: Available
Mathematical - Causal inference in observational studies
Principal Investigator: Walter L Leite

Causal inference with observational data is difficult because participants of a treatment or program are not randomly selected to participate. Therefore, participants in the treated and control groups may have different outcomes because of covariates that are related to both the outcome and treatment assignment. This problem is known as selection bias. In this study, we attempt to ameliorate this problem by using propensity score weighting methods combined with structural equation models to estimate treatment effects and interactions.

Requirements: Major or minor in statistics Ability to perform data manipulation and analysis with R software

Time Commitment: 5 hours per week

Independent Study: Available
Work Study: Not Available
Salary: Not Available
Volunteer: Available
Medical - Methylation signatures in pLN in nPOD donors
Principal Investigator: Howard R Seay

DNA methylation signatures in Pancreatic-draining lymph nodes in nPOD donors can signify whether genes are turned on or off in a cell, and early evidence shows that cytotoxic T-lymphocytes in T1D patients are different at the epigenetic level when compared to healthy controls. The next step is determining why those differences happen and how those differences make the cells function in a unique way to aid in diabetes pathogenesis.

Requirements: Must be on-call 24/7 for when nPOD samples arrive.

Time Commitment: 10-15 hours per week

Independent Study: Not Available
Work Study: Not Available
Salary: Not Available
Volunteer: Available
Medical - Phase III Trials in Clinical Research
Principal Investigator: Kimberly Case

Clinical Research with the Institute on Aging. Phase III clinical trials investigating the impact of exercise and/or drug therapies on disability prevention in the elderly. Students may chose among three large projects currently being conducted. Additional opportunities in smaller, early-phase clinical studies.

Requirements: Junior or Senior undergraduate students considering graduate or medical school. Must be willing to volunteer for at least 1 year.

Time Commitment: At least 1 year

Independent Study: Available
Work Study: Available
Salary: Not Available
Volunteer: Available
Medical - Autoantibodies in systemic rheumatic diseases
Principal Investigator: Minoru Satoh

Production of autoantibodies (antibodies against self proteins, nucleic acids, and others) is a hallmark of systemic autoimmune rheumatic diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), scleroderma (systemic sclerosis, SSc), polymyositis/dermatomyositis (PM/DM). Many of the specific autoantibodies are associated with a particular diagnosis or certain features and are clinically useful biomarkers. We have been working on immunological and clinical significance of autoantibodies and identifying and characterizing new autoantibodies and autoantigens in systemic rheumatic diseases. The work will be mainly testing autoantibodies in human sera from patients with rheumatic diseases, viral infection, and others, using techniques such as immunofluorescence, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), western blot, and immunoprecipitation. Organizing and analyzing data using Microsoft Excel and other computer programs also will be involved. In addition to testing for known autoantibodies, establishing a new assay, identification and characterization of new autoantibodies and autoantigens, cell culture and other basic experiments may also be performed. Other projects are studies on autoimmunity in mice and salmon. Thus, sera from farmed salmon and mice may also be tested as well.

Requirements: Students who are interested in biomedical research and work seriously. Courses in immunology, cell biology, biochemistry, etc and previous lab experience will be helpful but not necessary.

Time Commitment: 10-20h/week

Independent Study: Available
Work Study: Not Available
Salary: Available
Volunteer: Available