Research and Internships

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and Project Limulus
Supervised Research and Internships in Biology
The faculty of the Biology Department at Sacred Heart University encourages undergraduate students majoring in biology to consider taking courses in supervised research and/or internship. The aims of the courses are to provide experience in both conducting research in the biological sciences (supervised research) and in current practices in work-related settings (internship).

Supervised Research (BI 390)
The majority of biology faculty members are actively engaged in research and committed to providing our majors with opportunities to join them in the research process. Students may take supervised research for 2 – 3 academic credits.

‌‎Why Do Research?
  • You may discover information about the natural world that no one has previously known.
  • You will gain hands-on experience in laboratory or field techniques, including identifying a research question, designing experiments, data collection and interpretation, and communication of the conclusions to other scientists and the public.
  • Undergraduate research experience will complement your coursework, and deepen your knowledge in a specific area of biology.
  • You will be prepared to make an informed decision about whether to pursue future graduate study and a potential career involving academic research.

What Research Opportunities Exist?
The Biology Department currently offers six topics for students interested in pursuing undergraduate research at Sacred Heart University:

  • Cell and Molecular Biology (faculty mentor, S. Deschenes, K. Bartholomew, N. Roy)
  • Ecology (faculty advisor, J. Mattei)
  • Genetics (faculty advisor, S. Deschenes and K. Bartholomew)
  • Animal Behavior/Natural History (faculty advisor, J. Mattei)
  • Neurobiology (faculty advisor, M. Jareb)
  • Microbiology/Mycology (faculty advisor, K. Bartholomew)

Biology majors interested in conducting supervised research should contact one of the faculty members mentioned above to discuss research options.

Recent examples of research conducted by SHU biology majors:

  • Chris Potanas (faculty advisor, J. Veilleux): Assessing the summer distribution and abundance of bats in Connecticut Community Veterinary Clinic
  • Jenny Ingarra (faculty advisor, J. Veilleux): Winter activity patterns of bats at Roxbury Mine
  • Daniel Drew (faculty advisor, J. Mattei): Population Ecology of the Long Island Sound Horseshoe Crab (Limulus polyphemus)
  • Annette Czernik (faculty advisor, J. Mattei): Trawling for Information: Is the Biodiversity of Long Island Sound Increasing?
  • Jennifer Pascoa (faculty advisor, S. Brightman):  Study of the potential regulatory function of a stress-induced gene.
  • Chris Vachon (faculty advisor, S. Brightman:  Investigation of the effects of high altitude on human physiological cognitive and psychological function.   

Biology Abstracts from College of Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Research and Poster Sessions:

Internship (BI 360)
Many biology majors do not wish to pursue a career in academic research, but rather plan to enter a more traditional career in private industry (e.g. biotechnology laboratories) or public service (e.g. Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection). Students may complete an internship in biology for 3 – 6 academic credits.

Why Do An Internship in Biology?
Most potential employers prefer to hire individuals that have job-related experience. The goal of the department's internship program is to provide students with an opportunity to gather experience in a real world setting. Students are encouraged to seek an internship which would provide work experience that most closely matches their future goals for employment. During the internship experience, students work closely with a supervisor at the internship, as well as a faculty advisor in the department. Specific learning objectives are agreed to prior to the initiation of the internship, and students meet on a regular basis with a faculty member to discuss their progress. Following the internship experience, students will be a better judge of whether such a position is (or is not) a good career choice.

What Internship Opportunities Exist?
SHU biology majors have secured internships with many companies and organizations, including:

Although faculty advisors are able to suggest specific internship opportunities, students are encouraged to seek internship possibilities that best fit their personal goals.