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Biology-related Programs

Project Title Creating Mathematical/Computational Models of the Actions of Parasites and Fungi
Faculty Mentor David Gammack
Academic Department Mathematics
Contact Information

david.gammack@marymount.edu

Appropriate Majors/Programs Students from any major with a genuine interest in the projects are welcome. No previous knowledge of either project is required.  Multiple students working as a group would be ideal.
Position Availability Fall, spring, summer (ongoing)
Description

Project 1: Parasites infect their hosts and can alter the host’s behavior to create a more amenable environment for the parasite’s survival and reproduction. For instance, Toxoplasma gondii can infect warm-blooded animals, but only breed in cats. It then alters the behavior of non-cat hosts by diminishing their fear of felines, causing them to attack cats and thus transfer the infection to a new, environmentally favorable (for the parasite) host.  T. gondii has been shown to alter the behavior of humans. Research has shown that infected drivers have a six-times greater risk of traffic accidents. It has also been linked to schizophrenia.

Project 2: Cordyceps fungi infect ants, causing them to climb away from the colony to a large plant. The Cordyceps fungi fruiting body grows through the dead ant and then releases its spores.

Date Posted February 2012
 
Project Title Educational Modules in Biology, Environmental Science, Math, Computer Science and Information Technology
Faculty Mentor Barbara B. Kreutzer
Academic Department Biology and Physical Sciences
Contact Information barbara.kreutzer@marymount.edu
Appropriate Majors/Programs Biology and Physical Sciences, Education, Math, Information Technology, Nursing, and any majors in the Social Sciences and the Humanities who wish to integrate science topics with their disciplines.
Position Availability Fall, spring, summer (ongoing)
Description The project will develop engaging educational activities for preK through university-level students, in particular projects which integrate different disciplines.
Date Posted October 18, 2010
 

Project Title The Genetic and Molecular Basis of Mycorrhizae Development
Faculty Mentor Barbara B. Kreutzer
Academic Department Biology and Physical Sciences
Contact Information barbara.kreutzer@marymount.edu
Appropriate Majors/Programs Biology and Physical Sciences
Position Availability Fall, spring, summer (ongoing)
Description Study is examining cell signaling in an ubiquitous symbiotic association between plant roots and fungi.
Date Posted October 18, 2010
 

Project Title Rain Garden Assessment and Evaluation
Faculty Mentor Barbara B. Kreutzer
Academic Department Biology and Physical Sciences
Contact Information barbara.kreutzer@marymount.edu
Appropriate Majors/Programs Biology and Physical Sciences, Mathematics, Information Technology, anyone interested in environmental issues
Position Availability Fall, spring, summer (ongoing)
Description Rain gardens are landscaped areas which clean up polluted run-off water by natural processes. This study will evaluate several sites for rain garden installation and measure the effectiveness of local rain gardens for clean up of hydrocarbon and bacterial contamination. Opportunities exist for computer modeling of seasonal variations in rain gardens.
Date Posted October 14, 2010