Spring research opportunities at Oglethorpe – Call for applications

Oglethorpe’s Division of National Sciences has announced new research opportunities available to undergraduates.

These research opportunities include authentic faculty-mentored research providing students the opportunity to work side-by-side with a faculty member on a research project. In addition to a highly impactful experience, research positions may be awarded with course credit, authorship on papers, attendance at scientific meetings, competition for grants and awards, and letters of recommendation, contingent upon satisfactory performance.

Descriptions of open research opportunities in biology, chemistry, and physics are given below. Interested students should contact the relevant faculty member with any questions. Academic credit may be awarded for all research opportunities listed.

Application guidelines

Applicants should have Sophomore- or Junior-level standing.
Applicants should submit the following materials:

1. One page letter of interest explaining the applicant’s level of experience working in a laboratory setting, relevant course work, and specific interest in engaging in research. The letter should clearly state which research group the applicant is applying to.
2. Current resume or CV
3. Names and email addresses of two Oglethorpe faculty members who can be contacted as references.

Applications must be submitted from an email address. Please include “SRRC Application” in the email subject line.

All materials should be submitted to the Oglethorpe Science Research Review Committee at [email protected] by 5pm, Friday, February 12th, 2021.

Opportunities in Biology

Alford Group: The long-term goal of the Alford Lab is to determine the mechanisms underlying ciliary assembly. Cilia are evolutionarily conserved organelles found on nearly all differentiated cells in the body, but we are just beginning to understand how the cilium is assembled. Using the model system Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and biochemical, genetic, and microscopy techniques, research projects in the lab focus on the role of two distinct proteins, ARMC2 and FAP93, which are required for proper ciliary motility and function. Understanding basic, fundamental mechanisms of how cilia assemble and function will advance our understanding of human health and eukaryotic biology.

Opportunities in Chemistry

Walden Group: Research in the Walden Group explores the intersection of electrochemistry, synthesis, and catalysis. Students will be involved in projects studying electrochemical reductive cross-coupling. In addition to inorganic synthesis students will employ mechanistic studies using electrochemical methods with the aim of developing improved carbon-carbon bond forming systems. Students will need to be able to come do campus at least 3 times a week to perform laboratory research.

Roessler Group: Dr. Roessler is seeking a motivated student to work on a computational materials chemistry project. Due to the computational nature of this work, the research will be conducted remotely. This project will span multiple semesters and student applicants are asked to commit to at least two semesters working on the project. Applicants are expected to have completed both semesters of organic chemistry and have an interest in a career in research.

Opportunities in Physics & Engineering

Rulison Group: The Rulison Research Group has three separate research strands with the potential for student involvement. Please indicate which project you are interested in when completing your letter of interest.

Many systems are driven, even in the absence of an external influence, to a critical state about which the system then fluctuates. Applications exist in nearly all fields:
Meteorological (rainfall events, lightning discharges, etc.)
Geophysical & Planetary Science (river/stream branching, slumping of crater walls, etc.)
Animal Behavior (flocking behavior, etc.)
Astrophysical (galaxy clustering/filaments & walls, etc.)

The reflective properties of the Earth’s atmosphere are strongly affected by the incidence of solar radiation. Detection of VLF radio waves from various globally distributed source stations can therefore yield information about the timing and location of these solar induced atmospheric disturbances.

At any given moment, the Earth’s atmosphere is showered with high-energy cosmic rays that have been blasted from supernovae and other astrophysical phenomena far beyond the Solar System. When cosmic rays collide with the Earth’s atmosphere, they decay into muons — charged particles that are slightly heavier than an electron. Muons last only fractions of a second, and during their fleeting lifespan they can be found through every layer of the Earth’s atmosphere, circulating in the air around us, and raining onto the surface.

Meier Group: Dr. Meier is seeking two students to work on designing and building low-cost diode lasers to be integrated into a proposed atom cooling and trapping experiment. The successful applicant is a sophomore or junior level student with experience in laboratory work and electronics. This project will span multiple semesters, and student applicants are asked to commit to at least two semesters working on the project. The project will begin with a literature review and design phase, followed by fabrication and testing.

Howard Group: Student(s) will work with online databases of electroencephalograms (EEGs) and/or live captures of their own EEGs using the Open Brain Computer Interface (Open BCI) hardware to explore advanced signal processing techniques, develop and debug psychological/behavioral testing procedures using EEGs, and perform other electrophysiological, experimental physics and engineering related research activities. It is recommended that students have taken the PHY 290 Brainwave Physics course recently taught.

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