Student Honors Research: 2005 - 2009

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.

Class of 2009

Andicoechea, Jonathan.  Generalization, specialization, and pollinator-mediated selection:  A case study involving the hummingbird Eulampis jugularis and its food plant Heliconia caribaea  (Advisor:  Prof. Temeles).

Barbieri, John S.  The search for ubiquitinated RegA:  a biochemical investigation into whether the cAMP phosphodiesterase RegA is ubiquitinated by FbxA in Dictyostelium discoideum  (Advisor:  Prof. Ratner). 

Berman, Daniel G.  Regionalization of neutralizing anti-SEB antibody binding sites  (Advisor:  Prof. Goldsby).

Byanova, Katerina L.  Pollinator-mediated selection in a specialist plant:  female purple-throated carib, Eulampis jugularis, and Heliconia bihai  (Advisor:  Prof. Temeles).

Chung, Erin.  The instability of coexistence between closely-related pathogen species and resistance patterns in a complex multiple-pathogen single-host system  (Advisor:  Prof. Hood).  

Cutler, Samuel R.  Visualization of mutant APH-1 protein in early C. Elegans embryos  (Advisor:  Prof. Goutte).

Damashek, Julian  Uncovering a tale of worldwide plant dispersal:  evolutionary relationships of Chinese Lycium (Solanaceae)  Levin/(Advisor:  Profs. Levin and Miller).

Darling, Alanna R.  Songbirds in winter:  the adjustment of antipredator behavior according to predator size  (Advisor:  Prof. Temeles).

Dhond, Mukta.  Confirmation of a bottleneck at the S-RNase locus in old world Lycium (Solanaceae)  (Advisor:  Prof. Miller).

Ferraiolo, Natalie K.  Investigation of synergies between neutralizing antibodies and pharmacological agents for the inhibition of T-cell responses to toxic shock syndrome toxin-1  (Advisor:  Prof. Goldsby).

Helman, Daniel J.  cDNA library complementation of Dictyostelium discoideum temperature sensitive mutations tsgA and tsgK  (Advisor:  Prof. Ratner).

Holsey, Michael D.  Age-dependent changes in ryanodine receptor modulation and the effects of calcium dyshomeostasis in the brain  (Advisor:  Prof. S. George).

Kelly, Cecilia R.
  Site-directed mutagenesis of Dnf2p, a P4-type ATPase in Saccharomyces cerevisiae  (Advisor:  Prof. Williamson).

Kostyun, Jamie L.  Allelic diversity and segregation at the S-RNase locus in wild tomato, Solanum peruvianum (Solanaceae)  (Advisor:  Prof. Miller).

Stephanie Z. Li.  Hybridization and its genomic consequences on the fungal pathogen Microbotryum violaceum  (Advisor:  Prof. Hood).

Marks, Sarah-Margaret.  Inactivation of nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) in C. Elegans can suppress start codon mutations  (Advisor:  Prof. Goutte).

Morrison, Erin S.  The influence of early maternal effects and rearing conditions on innate immunity in nestling tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor)  (Advisor:  Prof. Clotfelter).

Myers, Darienne R.  Fluorescence analyses of DG17 and cousin, two RING finger proteins of Dictyostelium discoideum  (Advisor:  Prof. Ratner).

Peterson, Daniel A.  The adaptive role of hybridization in the evolution of the anther-smut fungus Microbotryum violaceum  (Advisor:  Prof. Hood).

Prevatt, Edward G.  Characterizing the familial intrahepatic cholestasis causing mutations in the trans-membrane region of ATP8B1  (Advisor:  Prof. Williamson).

Rifkin, Joanna L.  Evidence for ecological causation of sexual dimorphism in the hermit hummingbirds (Phaethornithinae)  (Advisors:  Profs. Temeles and Miller).

Stevenson, Louise M.  The effect of phytoestrogens on sex steroid levels, gamete quality, and fertilization success in Betta splendens  (Advisor:  Prof. Clotfelter).

Vincent, Benjamin J.  Quantification of membrane vesicle binding in a sea urchin cell-free system  (Advisor:  Prof. Poccia).

Xie, Chen.  Characterization of affinity and neutralization efficiency in a collection of monoclonal α-SEB antibodies  (Advisor:  Prof. Goldsby).

Class of 2008

Anderson, Jared S.  cDNA library complementation of temperature sensitive growth mutants of Dictyostelium discoideum (Advisor:  Prof. Ratner).

Barmettler, Sara.  Phylogeography of Lycium californicum (Solanaceae) in the southwestern United States and Mexico (Advisor:  Prof. Miller).

Feng, Steven L. (Neuro). Isolation and visualization of post-golgi secretory vesicles in Saccharomyces Cerevisiae (Advisor:  Prof. Williamson).

Fong, Burr B.  Membrane dynamics involved in the formation of the male pronuclear envelope in the sea urchin, Lytechinus pictus (Advisor:  Prof. Poccia).

Gibson, Amanda K.   Escaping pathogens: the contribution of host ecology to disease resistance (Advisor:  Prof. Hood).

Hamblin, Lawrence P.  Identification and sequence analysis of P4ATPases and CDC50-like subunits in fungi  (Advisor:  Prof. Williamson).

Kwan, Alan C.  Treatment for staphylococcal enterotoxin B-induced T-cell proliferation:  Lovastatin, Anti-SEB antibody, and rapamycin combination therapy (Advisor:  Prof. Goldsby).

Lin, Susan M.  Carotenoid-induced tradeoff between pigmentation and immunity in polymorphic New World cichlids, Amphilophus citrinellum (Advisor:  Prof. Clotfelter).

Lipton, Anne K.  Developing a new methodology for identifying cancer stem cell markers  (Advisor:  Prof. Goldsby).

Menezes, Alicia R.  The effects of hybridization on genetic and reproductive mechanisms: A case study of Microbotryum silenes-inflatae (Advisor:  Prof. Hood).

Moravec, Katie L.  (Interdisciplinary) A biochemical investigation of the ubiquitination of RegA, a response-regulator cAMP phosphodiesterase (Advisor:  Prof. Ratner).

Murphy, Peter W.  Quantification of membrane vesicle dynamics during male pronuclear envelope assembly in Lytechinus pictus using a cell-free system (Advisor:  Prof. Poccia).

Porter, Aidan W.  ik6, a suppressor of aph-1, is a smg-1 mutation (Advisor:  Prof. Goutte).

Quinn, Megan E.  Rapamycin: a novel inhibitor of staphylococcal enterotoxin B-induced T cell proliferation  (Advisor:  Prof. Goldsby).

Shields, Ryan Y. The C. elegans sao-1(ik1) mutation: Characterization of temperature sensitive embryonic lethality (Advisor:  Prof. Goutte).

Whelan, Andrew P.  The utility of nuclear conserved orthologous set II (COSII) markers for species-level phylogenetic resolution in Lycium (Solanaceae) (Advisor:  Prof. Miller).

Zaveri, Karina (Neuro)  The neuroendocrine and behavioral effects of exposure to the phytoestrogen genistein in male fighting fish (Betta splendens) (Advisor:  Prof. Clotfelter).

Class of 2007

Bian, Yao. Quantifying immunoglobulin for analysis of synergistic interactions and the creation of human-mouse chimeric antibodies against toxic shock syndrome toxin-1 (Advisor: Prof. Goldsby).

Chad, Elise K. '07E. Examining the reproductive costs incurred by female Tree Swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) within a single breeding bout (Advisor: Prof. Clotfelter).

Chang, Sunny. The development of rapid assay systems for the identification of neutralizing antibodies against Staphylococcal Enterotoxin B (Advisor: Prof. Goldsby).

Dowicki, Michael W. The formation of the male pronuclear envelope in Strongylocentrotus purpuratus and Lytechinus pictus: A study of the endoplasmic reticulum, lipophilic structures and membrane vesicles (Advisor: Prof. Poccia).

Eastman, Jacqueline J. Localization of PLCγ labeled vesicles from fertilization through the first cell cycle (Advisor: Prof. Poccia).

Fogler, Callie S. Investigating the potential role of sel-10, a member of the E3 ubiquitin ligase complex, in the regulation of aph-1 (Advisor: Prof. Goutte).

Godwin, Colin D. Anti-SEB antibody and gamma-secretase inhibitors: A potential combination treatment for staphylococcal enterotoxin B-induced T-cell proliferation, polarization and cytokine production (Advisor: Prof. Goldsby).

Gold, Daniel Alexander. The ecology of sympatric pathogen species: Competition and hybridization. (Advisor: Prof. Hood).

Jin, Sarah H. Exploring the function of DG17 and its “Cousin” gene in Dictyostelium discoideum: Creation of GFP fusion constructs for complementation and protein localization analyses (Advisor: Prof. Ratner).

Kuperberg, Elizabeth S. Does hypoxia make the heart grow fonder? The role of signaling honesty in female choice (Advisor: Prof. Clotfelter).

Manzano, Josette F. Genetic suppression of notch signaling in Caenorhabditis elegans (Advisor: Prof. Goutte).

Perez, Jonathan H. Cross-fostering reveals the direct and indirect effects of developmental temperature on nestling growth in tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) (Advisor: Prof. Clotfelter).

Viswanathan, Nitya K. Effect of aph-1 (zu147) and its genetic modifiers on APH-1 and APH-2 localization in the early C. elegans embryo.  Interdisciplinary.  (Advisor: Prof. Goutte).

Weiskopf, Kipp A. Overexpression suppressors of a Dictyostelium discoideum mutant lacking fbxA, a component of an E3 ubiquitin ligase (Advisor: Prof. Ratner).

Class of 2006

Blanton, Jessica M. '06E. Species-level phylogenetics for an American clade of Lycium (Solanaceae): exploring the utility of the genetic marker nitrate reductase (Advisor: Prof. Miller).

Chen, Albert H. Elucidating the lingering enigma of heavy chain locus exclusion in bovine B-lymphocytes (Advisor Prof. Goldsby).

Cho, Aeri. In vivo study of nuclear envelope formation in the male pronucleus of the sea urchin egg: Microinjection and confocal imaging (Advisor: Prof. Poccia).

Conell-Price, Jessamyn Sarah. Begging behavior of tree swallow broods at two stages of nestling development (Advisor: Prof. Clotfelter).

Dwyer, Daniel F. Synergistic interactions of immunoglobulin in the neutralization of Toxic Shock Syndrome toxin-1 (Advisor: Prof. Goldsby).

Farley, Matthew Watt. A study of the cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterases and their interactions in Dictyostelium discoideum (Advisor: Prof. Ratner).

Guiney, Evan Lloyd. Investigating protein/protein interactions for SAO-1, a novel component of the Notch signaling pathway in C. elegans (Advisor: Prof. Goutte).

Han, Kevin D. Vesicular co-localization of phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C -γ and phosphoinositol phosphate kinase I in early sea urchin embryos: A confocal study (Advisor: Prof. Poccia).

Kim, Miranda B. Physical mapping of ik6, a new suppressor of Notch signaling component APH-1 (Advisor: Prof. Goutte).

Koulouris, Carolyn R. Feeding efficiencies and preferences of the Purple-Throated Caribbean hummingbird, Eulampis jugularis, at Heliconia bihai and H. caribaea (Advisor: Prof. Temeles).

Leffler, Ellen M. Ploidy level and self-incompatibility in five Lycium species (Solanaceae): Evidence from the S-RNase locus (Advisor: Prof. Miller).

Lian, John. An approach to understanding the role of ATP-binding cassette 7 (ABCA7) protein in the translocation of membrane phospholipids during apoptosis (Advisor: Prof. Williamson).

Liang, Candy. Finding the multicopy suppressors of the fbxA mutant in Dictyostelium discoideum (Advisor: Prof. Ratner.)

McNitt, Meredith Marie,.Phytoestrogens mediate aggression via the serotonergic system (Advisor: Prof. Clotfelter).

Sander, Sarah E. If the bill fits: The effects of flower length and curvature on the feeding behavior of the Purple-Throated Carib hummingbird, Eulampis jugularis (Advisor: Prof. Temeles).

Schroder, Allison Rebecca. An investigation into the role of phosphatidylinositols in cortical granule membrane fusion (Advisor: Prof. Poccia).

Shak, Joshua Ray,.Phylogenetic relationships of Old World Lycium (Solanaceae): Reticulate evolution in the African taxa (Advisor: Prof. Miller).

Vanneman, Matthew W. Developing chimeric mouse-human antibodies to neutralize streptococcal pyrogenic exotoxin A (SPEA) (Advisor: Prof. Goldsby).

Wang, Min. Architectural effects and sexual dimorphism in Sagittaria latifolia and S. lancifolia (Alismataceae) (Advisor: Prof. Miller).

Williams, Tishan L. Exploring a role for gamma-secretase components in vulval neurons of C. elegans (Advisor: Prof . Goutte).

Class of 2005

Campbell, Allison M. "The creation and characterization of a monoclonal antibody against streptococcal pyrogenic exotoxin A" (Advisor: Prof. Goldsby).

Curren, Leslie J. "Intersexual selection in Betta splendens : The importance of aggression, body size, and honest signaling" (Advisor: Prof. Clotfelter) (Interdisciplinary).

Dibelius, Gregory S. "Elucidating the role of DG17 in the development of Dictyostelium discoideum : Creating a GFP fusion construct for the assessment of intracellular localization" (Advisor: Prof. Ratner).

Gladek, Eva M. "A genetic dissection of a signal transduction pathway: Finding overexpression suppressors of the fbxA mutant in Dictyostelium discoideum" (Advisor: Prof. Ratner).

Hedrick, Tristan P. "Do uncorrelated inputs cause neural plasticity: A test using the optokinetic nystagmus reflex in Rana pipiens" (Advisor: Prof. George).

Lee, Elinor "The effect of genetic suppressors of aph-1 on notch receptor mutations in Caenorhabditis elegans" (Advisor: Prof. Goutte).

Rodriguez, Alison C. "Using behavior to assess phytoestrogens as endocrine disruptors" (Advisor: Prof. Clotfelter).

Saran, Indrani "Assaying RegA activity in Dictyostelium discoideum : Determining its phosphodiesterase activity in the context of regulation by ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis and two-component phosphorelay" (Advisor: Prof. Ratner) (Interdisciplinary).

Shaw, Kathryn C. "Trapline-foraging in Purple-throated Caribs ( Eulampis jugularis ): Behavioral responses to competition and nectar availability" (Advisor: Prof. Temeles).

Visaya, Jiovani M. "A flow cytometric assay for plasma membrane microdomains: Investigating the fate of lipid rafts in apoptotic cells" (Advisor: Prof. Williamson) (Interdisciplinary).

Last Updated:
1 May 2014 TLR