Student Honors Research: 2010 - 2014
Amherst's Biology Department has a long tradition of active research by its faculty and participation of senior majors and other students in this research. Biology majors who enter the Honors Program devote about half of their academic effort during the senior year to research, and the resulting thesis is often the basis of their first scientific publication.
Bae, Haneui. The role of Rab3-GEF in the organization of the synapse and the localization of Rab3 at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction. Neuroscience. Advisor: Ethan Graf
Biche, William. Site-directed mutagenesis in Dnf-1 and Dnf-2: determining the mechanism of a phospholipid transporting P4 ATPase. BCBP. Advisor: Patrick Williamson
Browning-Kamins, Jenna. Controlling Zebrafish lateral-line hair cells with light. Neuroscience. Advisor: Josef Trapani
Cahn, Matthew. Structural and pigmentary trade-offs in the carotenoid signal of convict cichlids (Amatitlania nigrofasciata). Advisor: Ethan Clotfelter
Choi, Sara. Trade-offs in carotenoid-based signals: investigating the effects of pathogens and parasites on carotenoid-based coloration of convict cichlids (Amatitlania nigrofasciata). Advisor: Ethan Clotfelter
Daigle, Heather. An exploration of protein-protein interaction sites: an investigation into potential residues of interaction between P4ATPases and essential Cdc50 family subunits in S. Cerevisiae. Advisor: Patrick Williamson
Farnow, Cassandra. Comparing HOP-1 and SEL-12 gamma secretase activation of constitutive notch receptors in C. elegans. Advisor: Caroline Goutte
Gendelman, Hannah. A structure-function analysis of Rab3 and its involvement in neuromuscular junction protein localization. Advisor: Ethan Graf
Ha, Nguyen. Dendra2 dissociation assay: testing dissociation between P4-ATPases and Cdc50-family subunit during reaction cycle. Neuroscience. Advisor: Patrick Williamson
Haswell, Josh. The maintenance of self-incompatibility in the polyploidy Lycium californicum. Advisor: Jill Miller
Jackson, Emily. Characterization of notch signaling in C. elegans embryos with and without SAO-1 using notch reporter transgenes. Advisor: Caroline Goutte
Kahan, Mark. Analysis of pollinator preferences of Eulampis jugularis and floral divergence in red and yellow morphs of Heliconia caribaea. Advisor: Ethan Temeles
Kahng, Peter. Investigating the role of diacylglycerol in cortical granule–plasma membrane fusion in sea urchin oocytes. Advisor: Dominic Poccia.
Kundu, Aupola. Lipids with negative spontaneous curvature contribute to endoplasmic reticulum morphology. Neuroscience. Advisor: Dominic Poccia.
Murithi, James. Assaying for cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase (RegA) Activity in Dictyostelium discoideum strains. Advisor: David Ratner
Newman, Julia. Resource competition as a mechanism of floral trait divergence in two color morphs of Heliconia caribaea. Advisor: Ethan Temeles
Ota, Mizuho. Investigating the role of histidine kinases in the regulation of multicellular development in D. discoideum: phenotypic analysis of dhkA- and dhkC- in an fbxA- background. Advisor: David Ratner
Rasmussen, Anna. Investigating the role of a two-component pathway in two non-toxigenic strains of Vibrio cholerae using Drosophila melanogaster as a model host. Advisor: Alexandra Purdy
Scott, Elizabeth (Molly). Evidence for the novel divergence of a tetrapolar breeding system in the fungal genus Microbotryum. Advisor: Michael Hood.
West, Zachary. Investigating C. elegans presenilins in reconstituted gamma secretase in yeast. Advisor: Caroline Goutte
White, Antoineen. Biogeography and allelic diversity at S-RNase mating system gene in Lycium carolinianum. Advisor: Jill Miller
Yee, Sarah. The consequences of hybridization and competition of pathogen interactions. Advisor: Michael Hood.
Alvarado, Jorge. CMF41 Localization and Calcium Binding in Trypanosoma brucei. Neuroscience. Advisor: Amy Springer
Belkin, Nathan. TMEM16F: Determining the Role of TMEM16F in Ca2+ Activated Scrambling Activity. Advisor: Patrick Williamson. Winner of the Oscar E. Schotte Scholarship Prize.
Cameron, Kimona. Nests as Potential Indicators of Male Quality in the Fighting Fish Betta splendens. Advisor: Ethan Clotfelter
Chen, Shirui. Structure-Function Analysis of Rab3’s Effect on Bruchpilot Localization and Rab3 Localization. Neuroscience. Advisor: Ethan Graf
Eppler-Epstein, Rebecca. Investigating RNF-5, ERAD and UPR as Possible Modulators of y-secretase Activity in C. elegans. Advisor: Caroline Goutte
Fan, Yunxi (Emily). The Role of Rab3 in Maintaining Active Zone Protein Composition at Adult Drosophila Neuromuscular Junctions. Neuroscience. Advisor: Ethan Graf
Gnirke, Marlis. Establishment of a FLAG-tagged Ubiquitin Detection System in Dictyostelium discoidium: The Search for Ubiquitinated RegA Continues. Advisor: David Ratner
Hwang, Songmin (Mindy). Suppressed Recombination and Accumulation of Transposable Elements in the Sex Chromosomes of the Anther-Smut Fungus Microbotryum violaceum. Advisor: Michael Hood
Jung, Roy. Genetic Screen for Interactions with the Rab3 Phenotype in D. melanogaster. Neuroscience. Advisor: Ethan Graf
Keyes, Edmund (TJ). Lycium minimum (Solanaceae): Evolutionary History of a (Possibly) Morphologically Dimorphic Galapagos Endemic. Advisor: Jill Miller
Kreines, Fabiana. Shedding Light on Adaptation: Using Channelrhodopsin to Study Adaptation in Hair Cells of the Zebrafish Lateral Line. Neuroscience. Advisor: Josef Trapani
Larios, Rose. The Role of Resource Competition Between Sexes of Purple-Throated Caribs in Divergence of Heliconia Caribaea. Advisor: Ethan Temeles
LaRose, Meredith. The Selective Foraging Behavior of Eulampis Jugularis at Heliconia caribaea and Heliconia bihai. Advisor: Ethan Temeles
Li, Grace. Tracing the Afferent Projections of the Posterial Lateral Line in Zebrafish. Neuroscience. Advisor: Josef Trapani
Lim, Sooyoung. Creating dhkC-/fbxA– Double Knockout Mutants to Analyze Interactions within Dictyostelium discoideum’s Histidine Kinase and Ubiquitination Pathways. Advisor: David Ratner
Mavodza, Constancia. Comparison of Early Versus Late Eggs from Various Maternal Genotypes in C. elegans Hermaphrodites. Neuroscience. Advisor: Caroline Goutte
McCormick, Awah-Lem Atanga. Historical Biogeography, Taxonomic Classification, and Mating Systems of Lycium carolinianum. Advisor: Jill Miller
O’Keeffe, Kayleigh. Allelic Diversity at the S-RNase Mating System Gene of Lycium carolinianum. Advisor: Jill Miller
Parsons, Matthew. Study of IC138, a Putative Inner Arm Dynein Protein in Trypanosoma brucei and Casein Kinase, a Putative Modulator of IC138. Advisor: Amy Springer
Rizzo, Livia. Investigating the Role of Melanin in the Immune System Response to Infection. Advisor: Ethan Clotfelter
Roh, Junyeop (Daniel). An Investigation into the Role of the Subunit in Determining Flippase Transport Specificity. Neuroscience. Advisor: Patrick Williamson
Silver, Casey. Hybridization and its Genomic Consequences in Natural Populations of Microbotryum Fungal Pathogens on Dianthus Host Plants. Advisor: Michael Hood. Winner of the Oscar E. Schotte Award and William C. Young Prize.
Stone, Alex. Phenotypic Characterizations of Site Directed Mutants of Dnf-2: Locating a Phospholipid Binding Site Involved in the P4 ATPase Pumping Cycle. Neuroscience. Advisor: Patrick Williamson
Sullivan, Melissa. Carotenoid Trade-offs?: The Effects of Dietary Carotenoids on Gonadosomatic Indices, Gonadal Antioxidant Capacity and Sperm Performance in the Male Convict Cichlid (Amatitlania nigrofasciata). Advisor: Ethan Clotfelter
Wang, Alan. A Role for Diacylglycerol in Endoplasmic Reticulum Morphology and Nuclear Envelope Assembly. Advisor: Dominic Poccia. Winner of the Oscar E. Schotte Award.
Yoo, Nina. Reconstitution of C. elegans SEL-12 based and HOP-1 based Gamma Secretase Complexes in Yeast. Advisor: Caroline Goutte
Zambetti, Luke. Detailed Characterization of IC138 RNAi Knockdown in Trypanosoma brucei. Advisor: Amy Springer
Class of 2011
Ayaz, Muddasir. Inhibiting nuclear envelope formation in fertilized Lytechinus pictus sea urchin eggs through application of the PLC inhibitor U-73122. Neuroscience. Advisor: Professor Dominic L. Poccia
Chang, Alex. Study of IC138, the tagged putative inner arm dynein of Trypanosoma brucei . Advisor: Professor Amy L. Springer.
Chatzidimitriadou, Zinovia. Relationship of the endoplasmic reticulum and MV1 vesicles during nuclear envelope formation in the sea urchin Lytechinus pictus. Advisor: Professor Dominic L. Poccia
Cohoon, Travis. Development of a cDNA complementation screen for Bacillus subtilis-sensitve mutants of Dictyostelium discoideum. Advisor: Professor David I. Ratner
Fang, Victoria. Mapping ik-4, a suppressor of aph-1 (zu147) embryonic lethality and identifying Its corresponding gene in C. elegans. Advisor: Professor Caroline E. Goutte
Fink, Emma. Reconstituting C. elegans gamma secretase in yeast. Advisor: Professor Caroline E. Goutte
Garmezy, Benjamin. Creation of an rdeA knockout vector to investigate the intersection of signaling pathways in Dictyostelium discoideum. Advisor: Professor David I. Ratner
Gold, Benjamin. The effect of Rab3-GEF and Rab3-GAP on the distribution of Bruchpilot at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction. Neuroscience. Advisor: Professor Ethan R. Graf
Greskovich, Caitlin. Comparison of sel-12 and hop-1 presenilin function in germline development of C. elegans. Advisor: Professor Caroline E. Goutte
Horns, Richard. The genome in conflict: coevolution of transposable elements and the repeat-induced point mutation genome defense. Advisor: Professor Michael E. Hood
Jensen, Andrea. Functional characterization and expression of CMF63, a putative calcium binding protein in Trypanosoma brucei. Advisor: Professor Amy L. Springer
Kamath, Ambika. The evolution of floral morphology accompanying the transition from cosexuality to gender dimorphism in Lycium californicum. Advisor: Professor Jill S. Miller
Kim, Jennifer. Effects of 17α-ethinyl estradiol on neurotransmitter activity, male-male aggression, and spawning success in the fighting fish, Betta splendens. Advisor: Professor Ethan D. Clotfelter
Lapidus, Sarah. The effect of temperature and hypoxia stress on antioxidant defenses and oxidative damage in the fathead minnow Pimephales promelas . Advisor: Professor Ethan D. Clotfelter
Leyman, Sarah. Investigating carotenoid trade-offs: coloration versus immunity and antioxidant capacity in convict cichlids (amatitlania nigrofasciata) Advisor: Professor Ethan D. Clotfelter
Mehta, Swapnil. An investigation into P4-ATPase phylogeny and the putative binding sites underlying Dnf1 interaction with Lem3. Neuroscience. Advisor: Professor Patrick L. Williamson
Mellis, Ian. Phylogenetic analysis of the RNAseIII-related genes drnA and drnB of Dictyostelium discoideum and first steps toward creation of a drnB null strain. Interdisciplinary. Advisor: Professor David I. Ratner
Rah, Yoon. Mechanisms of selection in sympatric species of H. caribaea and H. bihai . Advisor: Professor Ethan J. Temeles
Thakur, Saumitra. Exploring a potential role for DAG generation in cortical granule – plasma membrane fusion in sea urchin oocytes. Neuroscience. Advisor: Professor Dominic L. Poccia
Toy, Morgan. Investigation of phenotypic variance and patterns of mitochondrial inheritance among hybrids of Microbotryum violaceum. Advisor: Professor Michael E. Hood
Vega, Kevin. Factors influencing variation in disease prevalence within the genus silene. Advisor: Professor Michael E. Hood
Wright, Christina. Rim regulates calcium channel localization at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction. Neuroscience. Advisor: Professor Ethan R. Graf
Zukas, Randi. Structural analysis of the DNAH10 knockdown in Trypanosoma brucei. Advisor: Professor Amy L. Springer
Class of 2010
Allen, Victoria Wing. Temperature-Sensitive Mutants of Dictyostelium discoideum: Trouble-Shooting for a cDNA Suppressor Screen (Advisor: Prof. Ratner).
Arbogast, Phoebe Mark. Start Codon Mutations in C. elegans Can be Supressed by Inactivation of Nonsense-Mediated mRNA Decay (Advisor: Prof. Goutte). Winner of the Oscar E. Schotte Award.
Barmettler, Gabi. Nestling Tree Swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) as Bioindicators of Mercury Deposition in the Pioneer Valley Massachusetts (Advisor: Prof. Clotfelter).
Beck, Thomas Ray. Phylogeography of Lycium californicum: Intraspecific Variation in Sexual System and Ploidy Level (Advisor: Prof. Miller).
Farkas, Cameron Elizabeth. Intrinsic and Extrinsic Barriers to Emergent Hybrid Pathogens (Advisor: Prof. Hood).
Guha, Pallabi. Exploring the Functionality of the EF-Hand Motif of Protein CMF 63 in Flagellar Motility in Trypanosoma brucei (Neuroscience, Advisor: Prof. Springer).
Giller, Geoffrey Seth Jarret. The Female Purple-Throated Carib (Eulampis jugularis) and Pollinator-Mediated Selection in a Highly-Specialized Tropical Plant, Heliconia bibai (Advisor: Prof. Temeles).
Howard, Clare Elisabeth. Characterization of a sao-1 Deletion Allele in C. elegans: New Clues About its Developmental Function (Neuroscience, Advisor: Prof. Goutte).
Machado, Sulynn. Functional Characterization of a Putative Inner Arm Dynein Protein in Trypanosoma brucei (Advisor: Prof. Springer).
Montgomery, Tracy Michelle. The Effect of 17α-Ethinyl Estradiol on Reproductive Endpoints in Betta splendens (Advisor: Prof. Clotfelter).
Parker, Esteban Leiva. Interactions Between P4-Type Transporters and Subunits in Ashbya gossypii (Advisor: Prof. Williamson).
Resnick, Rebecca May. Analysis of a Functional Difference Between the C. elegans Presenilin Proteins HOP-1 and SEL012 (Advisor: Prof. Goutte).
Rivera, Ashley Marie. Flow Cytometric Analysis of Nuclear Envelope Precursor Vesicles (Neuroscience, Advisor: Prof. Poccia).
Stolk, Shaylon Blair. Specialization in Action: Pollinator-Mediated Selection on Heliconia Caribaea by the Hummingbird Eulampis jugularis (Advisor: Prof. Temeles).
Thein, Thuzar. Investigation of RegA as a Ubiquinated Target of FbxA During Dictyostelium discoideum Development (Neuroscience, Advisor: Prof. Ratner).
Tsareva, Alina. Interactions Between Lem3p Mutants and P4-Type ATPases of S. cerevisiae (Neuroscience, Advisor: Prof. Williamson).
Last Updated: May 7, 2013 TLR