The Senior Program

At the core of the Senior Program in biology is the senior project, an intensive two-semester field or laboratory research project carried out in association with a faculty member. The project concludes with a written project and an oral presentation given in the second semester of the senior year. The senior project is an opportunity to synthesize and focus previous coursework. It culminates in an original work of scholarship that provides an in-depth examination of a particular empirical or theoretical issue.

The scope and variety of undergraduate research is indicated by the following examples of student projects in biology:

  • The missing link(s) of the keyhole limpet: phylogeny and biogeography of genus Diodora
  • Sickness behaviors and cognition: how disease affects food motivation and activity levels in American crows
  • Vitamin C and its effects on growth and development of Manduca sexta
  • The effect of disease on spatial learning in American crows
  • Fluctuating selection on sexually selected traits in a wild population
  • Fertilization mode shapes within species variance in sperm morphology
  • Investigating kinetochore proteins CENP-H and CENP-W in Zea mays using immunofluorescence
  • The effect of disease on associative learning in American crows
  • Population genetics of the amphipods Crangonyx pseudogracilis and Gammarus duebeni in freshwater turlough habitats in Ireland
  • Barcoding the coral reef cryptobiome
  • Developing a Tetrahymena thermophile model of autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease
  • Effects of PFAS on corticosterone levels in freshwater turtles
  • Determining the regulation of Otd: a critical gene in Drosophila embryogenesis and retinal development
  • The effects of lead toxicity on circadian rhythms and gut microbiota
  • Observing the effects of lead toxicity on visual development in Drosophila melanogaster
  • Assessing the role of functional traits in seed predation with native and artificial seeds
  • Impacts of freeze-thaw cycles in the germination and growth rates of native and non-native tree species
  • Species interactions limit successful growth in Hamilton College reforestation projects
  • Deer exclosures increase small mammal foraging behavior, do not affect abundance or diversity
  • Neurodegenerative effects due to Mirol knockout
  • The effects of acute and chronic stress on disease in American crows
  • Assessing the role of seasonality in small mammal seed predation
  • The effects of lead (Pb) on oogenesis and reproduction


Department Name

Biology Department

Contact Name

Mike McCormick, Acting Chair

Office Location
198 College Hill Road
Clinton, NY 13323

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