Highlighted Project Opportunities


    PI: Becky Bixby

1. New species descriptions of Rio Grande or Costa Rican diatoms; involves population analysis and morphological analysis using light and scanning electron microscopy, mostly lab work


Nathan Lopez-Brody


2. Abiotic effects on algal communities in the Rio Grande; some field work, some lab and microscope work depending on the structure of the project


    PI: Sara Brant

1. Collect snails in NM to search for blood flukes (avian schistosomes), the cause of swimmer's itch. Samples will be examined morphologically and using DNA for both the parasite and the snail.



2.  Process samples from field collections from other states or countries of both adults worms from birds and larvae from snails. This involves mounting specimens for morphological examination as well as processing them for genetic characterization.



3. Data entry and museum curation of samples; specific project to be developed.


    PI: Diana Northup

1.  Assessment of microbial diversity of lava tubes in Lava Beds National Monument to assess the impact of human visitation and the potential for novel biodiversity. Field work over semester break this year combined with lab work to extract DNA to submit for sequencing, followed by computer analyses of community differences will be the techniques used to investigate these understudied communities.



2.  Investigation of the microbial contribution to the formation of carbonate cave pool formations.  This project is currently concentrating on lab work to assess the microbial composition of pool waters in caves, including community analyses based on genetic sequences and some sequencing.  Future work will include fieldwork and culturing of microorganisms that can precipitate calcium carbonate.



3. Are the walls and rocks alive?  An investigation of the ferromanganese deposits that line the walls of caves in Carlsbad Caverns National Park and coat rocks in the desert as rock varnish.  Involves lab work to extract and sequence DNA from these deposits, plus scanning electron microscopy of deposits.


    PI: Chris Witt

1.   How fast do hummingbirds accelerate? How does the size of the flight muscles and wings affect the rate of acceleration? Catch wild birds and film them with high-speed video to find out.



2.  How does high-altitude affect the avian heart? You can find out by sectioning, staining, and measuring hearts that have been collected from birds in the high Andes.



3. How do avian malaria parasites change along an elevational gradient in the tropical Andes? Screen avian blood samples for parasites to help answer this question.


Highlighted Project Opportunities Change regularly, so keep checking back!
    Interested?? Click here to Apply.