RU biology students receive research awards

Each year, the RU Biology Department selects students to receive several research awards.

One outstanding undergraduate student for the Ruth Bricker Painter Award, a $3,000 competitive award to fund a student-designed research project. The name of the winning student is added to a plaque in the Biology Department. 

Emily Guise is the 2015 recipient of the Biology Ruth Bricker Painter Award. Her research will investigate the effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals (environmental pollutants) that interfere with an organism’s natural endocrine system function. Emily’s proposed project is entitled, “Ecologically relevant multi‐generational effects of trenbolone on behavior, physical appearances, and foraging efforts of Gambusia holbrooki (eastern mosquitofish)”. Faculty mentor: Dr. Sara O’Brien.



Additional students are selected each year for Biology Student Research Awards, $1,000 awards to support independent student research. Recipients of the 2015 Student Research Awards are:


Cassie Bonavita “Examination of intestinal bacteria in mosquitoes of the Amazon rain forest in relation to Dengue virus infection”. Faculty mentor: Dr. Justin Anderson

Shane Brandes “Parental response of eastern bluebirds in the presence of a bird of prey” Faculty mentor: Dr. Judy Guinan

Jesse Daniels – “Threat analysis of invasive plant species at Selu Conservancy”. Faculty mentor: Dr. Christine Small

Matti Hamed “Assessment of population demographics and examination of migratory habits of Ambystoma jeffersonianum (Jefferson salamander) at Selu Conservancy”.
Faculty mentor: Dr. Matt Close

Chelsea Rasnic – “The effects of Vespa Amino Acid Mixture (VAAM) on the male aggression and mating behaviors in Drosophila melanogaster (fruit fly)”.
Faculty mentor: Dr. Jason Davis







These awards recognize outstanding biology majors and provide opportunities for students to design and conduct original research and achieve advanced levels of scientific scholarship. Faculty mentors work closely with student researchers to provide guidance as the students design and conduct their independent research projects. Award recipients are selected for the strength of their proposed research, faculty recommendation letters, GPA and academic / research experience, and benefits for long-term academic or career goals.


Congratulations to this year’s Biology research award recipients!


Mar 30, 2015