A low student-faculty ratio and ample funding for undergraduate research

Thanks to our low student-faculty ratio and ample funding for undergraduate research, nearly any student who wants to do research with a botany faculty member can. In recent years students have worked with faculty on projects in many parts of New England and the continental U.S., as well as Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Venezuela, and Peru, in addition to laboratories in New London Hall.

Faculty-student collaborations often lead to presentations a conferences and co-authorship of papers in top science journals. Connecticut College botany majors have presented their work and won awards at the Northeast Algal Symposium, the New England Estuarine Research Society, the International Diatom Symposium, the Botanical Society of America, and the American Society of Plant Biologists.

One botany student was the first author of a book on Connecticut lakes before he graduated. Two others recently presented their research on tidal marsh ecology at regional and international scientific meetings. Many students have worked with Professor Siver to create and maintain an interactive, searchable database on lakes and ponds (the Silica Secchi Disk).

If you are interested in pursuing research with a faculty members, just ask!

Examples of Student-Faculty Projects

  • Professor Spicer's Woody Plant Biology laboratory, Auxin transport in Populus, with Dan Evanich '15, Dylan Steiner '16, Emily Boyce, Hilary Noble '16 and Khushbu Pandya '16
  • Activation of signaling pathways during xylogenesis in cultured plant stem cells of Zinnia elegans. Jessica Sadick '11 (Honors Thesis), Jeff Sumner '12 (Independent Study), Aaron Feldman '13 (Independent Study), Pam Lovejoy '13, Evan Studwell '13, Lucy Gotta '09 with Professor Owen
  • Ultrastructural changes in the digestive glands of Nepenthes alata during protein absorption. Sarah Beaudoin '09 (Honors Thesis) with Professor Owen
  • Comparison of nectary and digestive gland morphology from six species of Nepenthes. Lesley Sutherland '09 (Honors Thesis), Melissa Dusch (The Hotchkiss School, Conn.) with Professor Owen

Funded Research Opportunities

There are several opportunities for summer research experiences that provide a stipend for your work:

  • The Keck Undergraduate Science Program engages students and faculty in botany, biology, behavioral neuroscience, chemistry, environmental studies, mathematics and physics. Students spend 8-10 weeks on campus working closely with a faculty member, then continue the research for two semesters through Honors or Independent Study courses. 
  • The American Society of Plant Biologists has the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program for funded research. See the SURF Website for more information.

Botany and biology faculty also advise students on projects in the biological sciences and environmental studies.