Undergraduate Research & Internship Opportunities
Get Involved in Research That Matters
Working on a faculty-initiated research project gives you the opportunity work closely with a mentor–a faculty member or other experienced researcher. With a self-initiated research project, you leave UNO with a product that represents the distillation of your interests and studies, and possibly, a real contribution to knowledge.
Below is a list of professors with a brief description of their research and the necessary skills/requirements to begin research in their laboratory. If you are interested in doing research with one of the following professors, please talk with them about your interest and the possible research projects available to you.
|Plant Systematics and Biodiversity|
|Preferred Experience||Biology II (BIOL 1750)|
Research in the Kellar Lab focuses on discovering genetic and morphological variation in disparate groups of flowering plants. Incorporating both classical and state-of-the-art techniques, my lab addresses questions in plant systematics, species identification, and biodiversity investigations. We are interested in revealing how evolutionary history has led to the diverse range of biodiversity in ecosystems across the planet and in applying phylogeny to taxonomic classifications, ecological studies, and conservation planning.
Students will meet with Dr. Kellar to discuss research interests, read scientific literature to become familiar with the topic, develop an experiment, and write a FUSE grant proposal (with guidance from Dr. Kellar). Projects may include field work outdoors, lab work, computational analyses, and/or work with collections in the herbarium.
|Contact||Dr. Roxi Kellar|
|SciEd & Bioinformatics - Mining for Improved B-Cell Lymphoma Diagnostics|
|Preferred Experience||Quantitative Research Methods, Qualitative Research Methods, Molecular Biology and/or Immunology. Preferred, but not required.|
|Research Description||Students can participate in a variety of projects from inception through presentation and publication. Students are involved in every aspect of research in our group and get the chance to work with researchers around the world on learning analytics, science education and pedagogical improvements, to mining miRNA profiles for B-cell lymphoma diagnostics.|
|Contact||Dr. Christine Cutucache|
|Preferred Experience||No experience necessary|
|Research Description||Our laboratory performs translational research to help move promising anti-infective agents (vaccine and drug candidates) from the benchtop to the bedside. We use cutting-edge approaches and tools to help guide our development, and many students receive experiences that propel them to exceptional future career and academic opportunities. We review applicants at the beginning of each semester, often accepting 1-2 students at each review. A resume is required, but no research experience is needed. Most students in the lab are interested in competitive medical or research careers.|
|Contact||Dr. Paul Davis|
|Animal Behavior, Animal Cognition, Behavioral Ecology, Neurobiology, Molecular Genetics|
|Preferred Experience||No prior experience necessary, but expected to dedicate 8-10 hours/week on average for lab activities.|
The Wong lab is broadly interested in studying the proximate mechanisms underlying variation in animal behaviors. Currently our efforts are spent investigating the interactions between stress, personality type, and cognition. We are trying to understand the roles the brain, genetics, and hormones play in different stress coping styles/personality types and their impacts on learning/memory. We study these topics using zebrafish. Undergraduates in the lab can help out with ongoing research projects or develop their own independent project (FUSE project). See Wong lab website for more details.
|Preferred Experience||No experience necessary, but plant identification skills are a plus.|
|Research Description||We primarily focus on methods to restore plant biodiversity in prairies and savannas and the consequences of restoration on biomass production, pollination, carbon sequestration, and other ecosystem services. We are looking for students to help with multiple research projects and also to help with land management at Turkey Creek Preserve, immediately north of Omaha.|
|Contact||Dr. Tim Dickson|
|Preferred Experience||No experience necessary.|
|Research Description||Students can get involved in research examining neuropeptide signaling on brain function and behavior using techniques in behavioral pharmacology, endocrinology, and neuroimaging in a primate model.|
|Contact||Dr. Aaryn Mustoe|
|Preferred Experience||Biology I (BIOL 1450)|
|Research Description||Our lab has a particular emphasis an targeting blood cancers, as well as other diseased cells, with improved immunotherapy approaches. We often use tissue culture assays as well as flow cytometry and multiplex analyses as we strive to improve immunotherapy interventions.|
|Contact||Dr. Paul Denton|
|Preferred Experience||Biology Major, Biology II (BIOL 1750)|
Our lab investigates the chemical properties of estrogen metabolites and how these metabolites can initiate cancer.
Genetics (BIOL 2140)
Our lab studies the genetics of pathogenesis and antifungal drug sensitivity in the human pathogenic fungus Candida albicans. C. albicans is a normal component of the human microbiome in most individuals, but can cause disease ranging from superficial infections to lethal systemic infections in their human host. C. albicans causes approximately 23,000 systemic infections in the US per year and mortality due to these infections ranges from 25-40% despite aggressive antifungal therapy. The ability of the fungus to cause systemic disease is tightly linked to its ability to change its morphology, and this is where our focus has centered in recent years. Students can be involved in all aspects of the research, from experimental design, running experiments, data analysis, and all the way to helping write our papers for publication in scientific journals. Our projects involve mutating the organism to study gene function, microscopy, gene expression analysis, phenotypic analysis, and bioinformatics and we are introducing an animal model of infection to our work, the nematode worm C. elegans, which will allow us to move from in vitro observations to in vivo impacts.
In addition to faculty research projects in the Biology department, there are many opportunities in Omaha and surrounding areas that can be an important part of building your connections and experiences. Below are several established programs and internships available in the local Omaha area.
National opportunities also greatly expand your knowledge and provide further exploration and engagement with those from across the United States and beyond. Below are several established National Programs for internships and research with a variety of locations to choose from.