Research Opportunities for Graduate and Undergraduate Students


My lab's research program has a number of opportunities for graduate and undergraduate research in the general area of ion and water transport and osmoregulation in fish.


Current research projects include the role of aquaporin water channel proteins in eel intestine which is funded by a National Science Foundation grant and has 2 graduate student positions associated with it.


I have also in recent years had projects looking at the role of role of aquaporin water channel proteins particularly in sharks (dogfish) but also in killifish and hagfish.


Most of my animal research is carried out at the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory ( in Maine during the summer months of June and July. I am a life member of that laboratory and have rented lab space there to carry out research each summer since 2004. Graduate, undergraduate and high school students have all been involved in that work. Here are some photos of Maine/MDIBL























































Graduate research


While I am always looking for graduate students I currently have one funded position ($9000+ per annum with most but not all tuition paid for) associated with my NSF grant. This would consequently be to work on the role of aquaporins water channel proteins in eel intestine. Most graduate assistants would also be expected to hold a teaching assistantship (TA) for a couple of semesters. This gains valuable teaching experience and allows students to extend their studies (in a paid position) for more than the minimum 2 years, if necessary.



Grad student using a Laser-Scanning Confocal Microscope


Additionally I am also willing to take on students to work on shark aquaporin projects but in that case students would either have to be funded by holding a teaching assistantship (TA) from the biology department or would need to be self funded.



Grad student using an ultracentrifuge



Grad student cutting immunohistochemistry tissue sections


Minorities are particularly encouraged to apply for these positions.


Contact me by e-mail for more information (


Undergraduate research


I am always looking for undergraduates to perform research in my laboratory. I try to have 2 carrying out research at any one time. The project areas that they could be involved with are listed above, but I generally put students to work on whatever experiments happen to prevailing in the lab at the time. I work with students in the lab which means we get more done and experiments generally tend to work, but as students also learn from making mistakes there is a downside to this as well. I have 2 main criteria for selecting students to work in the lab, 1) their apparent interest/motivation level for carrying out research with me. 2) their gpa. Better students have a better chance of benefiting from this experience, so I am generally looking for people with a gpa above 3, but recently most of my students have had gpa's over 3.5.



Undergrads take time off to visit Mount Cadillac


Minorities are particularly encouraged to apply to do research and I have had several minority students who have been very successful. One such student received 3 offers from medical schools and is now studying at Morehouse Medical School.



Undergrad in the lab homogenizing tissue samples



Undergrad examining immunohistochemistry slides on a fluorescent microscope


There are currently various ways in which students can take part in research as listed below.


Spring and Fall Semesters


1) Completely voluntary: I will take students on on this basis if they just want research experience


2) BIOL4890/4895H/Capstone projects: this is a for course credit option. Students can do 2-3 credit hours per semester for a total of 5 over 2 semesters.


3) Department of Biology Chandler scholarships: these are applied for during Fall semester and are paid (up to 10 hours per week), as well as potentially for BIOL4890/4895 credit hours. I encourage students to apply for these as its good for my and their resumes.


Summer research at MDIBL in Maine


1) National Science Foundation (NSF) ASPIRES scholarships: these are for freshmen or sophomores, and pay $2000 towards costs of research (i.e. student stipend). MDIBL may also help out with costs itself but that is not guaranteed.


2) National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) scholarships: MDIBL has a rolling program of REU scholarships ( These pay $4000 stipend plus all costs. These are highly competitive as students also apply from Harvard and Yale Universities.


3) COUR research grants: The GSU College Office for Undergraduate Research (COUR) currently gives out grants each year up to $2500 to do research which can be used for working in the summer at MDIBL in Maine. Deadline this year is 1st March 2010.


4) National Science Foundation (NSF) grant supplements: I am able to apply for up to $6000 per year for an REU supplement for my grant that can fund 2 undergraduates. I would normally use this to pay students to help them defray the costs of going to MDIBL in Maine, but these can be used at any time.


I also take on students from other institutions (other than GSU) when working at MDIBL in Maine, these are usually channeled to me by MDIBL but students are welcome to ask to work with me as a mentor in particular (I am listed on their web site). If students have some source of funding that is particularly welcome.


Again Minority students are particularly invited to apply for the above opportunities.


Past/present students


Graduate students


Ms Debra Murray (06-08).


Mr Chris Katsekis (09-10).


Undergraduate students


Kapinova (2004) MDIBL and College of the Atlantic, Maine.


Foster (2005) MDIBL (and GSU)


Van Dellen (2005) BIOL4890


Jordan (2005) BIOL4890


Henriksen (2005) BIOL4890/Capstone Project


Fischer (2006) BIOL4890


Ruolo (2006) ) BIOL4890


Samford (2008) (MDIBL post-baccalaureate).


Burch (2008) BIOL4890 Chandler Research Scholarship recipient. National Science Foundation (NSF) REU Scholarship recipient (from GSU's program). GSU COUR travel grant awardee.


Harmon (2008) BIOL4895H/Capstone Chandler Research Scholarship recipient. National Science Foundation (NSF) REU Scholarship recipient (from MDIBL's program). GSU COUR travel grant awardee.


Walsh (2009-10) BIOL4890 National Science Foundation (NSF) ASPIRES summer research grant recipient. Chandler Research Scholarship recipient. National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) supplement grant award recipient.


Crabb (2010) Voluntary.


Kuijpers (2010) BIOL4895H Chandler Research Scholarship recipient.


Day (2011) BIOL4890


Smith (2011-) BIOL4890 Chandler Research Scholarship recipient. National Science Foundation (NSF) REU Scholarship recipient (from MDIBL's program).


Fullerton (2011-12) BIOL4895H


High School students


Luchini (2005) MDIBL and Ellsworth high school, Maine


Greenberg (2006) MDIBL and HSMSE at the city college, New York