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BIO490 Investigative Biology Experience

“BIO490 was a genius idea” — Tobiloba Oni, BIO490-2011, SUNY Plattsburgh alum (2011); Stony Brook University Graduate Program in Cell and Molecular Biology/Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories.

BIO490 offers a semester-long intensive (12-credit) research experience in cellular biochemistry that is unique in the SUNY System. Students spend the semester working in small groups on a project of their own design and at the end of the semester present their work at a regional plant biology meeting. Limited as it is to a maximum of 12 students, BIO490 is a highly unusual course offering for undergraduate students because it offers an in-depth immersive research experience that students do not typically receive before attending graduate school.

The emphasis throughout the semester is on the students developing their analytical thinking skills and their ability to work collaboratively in research teams, skills that are highly valued by employers and graduate schools.

BIO490 is designed to make students familiar with primary literature, experimental design, the analysis of research data and to learn how to professionally present their work at scientific meetings.

Spring 2015 BIO490 students presented their work at the 79th Annual Meeting of the Northeastern Section of the American Society of Plant Biologists (NEASPB) held at Northeastern University, Boston MA, 11–12 April 2015. At the meeting the students had the opportunity to meet and interact with scientists from research universities as well as graduate students and other undergraduates.

Titles of student posters presented at the NEASPB meeting

Chlamydomonas Shows Rhythmic Cell Expansion Response to IAA: Expansion is Auxin Specific and Occurs in Minutes  Rebecca LaPier, Emily Morrison,  Peter L. Conrad and Janice Marchut Conrad

Chlamydomonas Light Mediated Osmosis Requires Recovery Volume Decrease.  Frederick M. Kaestel, Brittany Garrett, Rachel L. Senecal, Peter L. Conrad and Janice Marchut Conrad

Chlamydomonas IAA response: Nitrate Reductase and Nitric Oxide Requirement. Solomon C. Amadiume, Kalewold H. Kalewold, Feysel M. Shifa, Peter L. Conrad and  Janice Marchut Conrad

Physiological Significance of PGR5 Cyclic Electron Transport in Chlamydomonas Sophia You, Pema L. Andrugsurba, Hayley Dewey-HagborgPeter L. Conradand Janice Marchut Conrad

BIO490 offers excellent preparation for careers beyond SUNY Plattsburgh. Because there is a strong emphasis throughout the course on students presenting and defending their work, they become both better thinkers and more effective communicators in both written and oral formats. BIO490 is highly regarded by professional and graduate programs and by academic and industrial laboratories hiring at the entry level.

BIO490 credits may be used to satisfy BIO380 Communicating Biology; BIO401 Cell Biology and upper level elective credits.

Questions, Comments, Suggestions?

If you would like more information about biological sciences at SUNY Plattsburgh, please contact:

Dr. Neil Buckley, Chair
Office: Hudson Hall 337
Phone: (518) 564-3155
Email: neil.buckley@plattsburgh.edu