Research and Internships

 >>Watch Video: Professor Jennifer Mattei
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 eleven topics for students interested in pursuing undergraduate research at Sacred Heart University:
Research and Internships‌‌

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:

  • N. Barney and J. Eazor (faculty advisor, Thomas Terleph): Coordination of song duets by the lar gibbon (Hylobates lar). 
  • D. Beier and S. Balestrieri (faculty advisor, Geffrey Stopper): Transcriptions of digit loss in salamander development and evolution.
  • J. Bettke (faculty advisor, Kirk Bartholomew): Genomic analysis and Replacement of the Aβ Mating Type Loci in the Split-Gill Fungus.
  • K. Bohannon (faculty advisors, Mark Beekey and John Rapaglia): Seasonal Water Quality Analysis for the Improvement of the Dingle Oceanworld Aquarium Seawater Flow-Through System.
  • J. Brideau, K. Hess and J. Lynch (faculty advisor, Suanne Deschênes): Determination of Telomere Sequence in Atlantic Horeshoe Crabs, Limulus polyphemus.
  • B. Carneiro and J. Ochs (faculty advisor, Nicole M. Roy): Development Toxicity of Glyphosate, the Main Ingredient in Round-up® Herbicides.
  • A. Cruz and E. DiPietro (faculty advisors, Jennifer Mattei and Mark Beekey): the Secret Life of Limulus polyphemus in Long Island Sound.
  • L. Harrison and A. Leo (faculty advisors, Kirk Bartholomew and Geffrey Stopper): Isolation and characterization of “Wild” microbes for craft beer production: the community approach.
  • D. Mack (faculty advisor, LaTina Steele): Role of Phenolic Compounds in Eurasian Watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum) Invasion. 

SHU Summer Research Experiences

  • Project Limulus research program funded by Disney Conservation Fund, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, CT Sea Grant, SHU-URI
  • Summer Undergraduate research (SHU-URI funded): Lab studies on the ultrasonic vocalizations of prairie voles
  • National Science Foundation (NSF), migratory bird physiology
  • NSF, Germany and Canada, migratory bird physio-ecology
  • Nacey Maggioncalda Foundation Study of Gibbon Behavior in Thailand
  • Investigating Toxicological effects of glyphosate, the main ingredient in the herbicide Round-Up®, on Zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryonic brain development
  • Living Shoreline research, National Fish & Wildlife Foundation

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.