Undergraduate Summer Research 2024

Check out the research our Biology Undergrads are conducting!

Here are some of our fantastic undergraduate students and what they have been doing during the summer of 2024. These students are recipients of SURA, NSERC or Biology Research Awards.

Biology Summer Research Awards 2024

Trisha-mae Capistrano

 I am an undergraduate student completing a Bachelor of Social Work with a Minor in Science for Arts, with a focus on neurobiology and psychology classes. Given my background working with vulnerable populations, I grew fascinated by how socio-environmental factors impact the brain at a cellular and molecular level and consequently affect behaviour. This summer, I will get my first opportunity to do hands-on neurobiology lab work in Dr. Sarah Woolley's lab, where I will look at the neural responses of songbirds to different songs to study how the brain processes and perceives social signals. I am thrilled to gain new wet lab skills as I learn histological methods, behaviour analysis, and computational methods, and am hoping to integrate my new knowledge with my social work background. I am so grateful to the Department of Biology for this award which provided me with this unique opportunity.

Maho Horikawa

As a U1 Biology student, I am overjoyed at the opportunity to immerse myself in the vibrant world of biodiversity. The synergy between large-scale ecology and conservation has sparked my curiosity and commitment to research, especially in the face of climate change and its imposing challenges. For these reasons, I am eagerly joining the Quantitative Biodiversity Lab, led by Dr. Laura Pollock, alongside her exceptional team of graduate and undergraduate students. My upcoming project will focus on exploring plant-vertebrate associations in Canada, while conducting comparative statistical models with other regions worldwide. I am beyond appreciative of the Biology Research Award, coordinated by the Department of Biology EDI Committee. Beyond the lab, I look forward to playing lots of beach volleyball and exploring Montréal with friends

Rebekah Chen

I am currently a U2 Quantitative Biology student with a strong interest in statistical ecology. My focus lies in using statistical models to investigate and predict wildlife space use, predator-prey dynamics, and fitness in response to environmental change. This summer, I will join Dr. Virginie’s lab to assist with their project at the Gault Nature Reserve. We will be focusing on Lyme disease transmission and its relation to white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). My goal is to investigate the impact of increasing tick abundance on white-tailed deer herbivory and the influence of hiker activity on deer space-use patterns. I am excited to gain some fieldwork experience in sampling design and data collection, and further develop my statistical analysis skills to unravel ecological dynamics. I am grateful for the opportunity that the Biology Research Award provides, allowing me to apply the theoretical knowledge that I gained in the classroom to real-life ecological issues.

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