Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Eemai Holt

Under the supervision of Klara Scharnagl, we will be using confocal microscope imaging to closely observe the symbiotic relationships between fungi and algal cells using various lichen samples. The microscope will help us visualize how fungal projections physically interact with algal cells and how this interaction affects both systems. 

Xavier Yin

Generative adversarial networks (GANs) have been applied to many speech generation tasks. This project trains GAN model on Mandarin Chinese syllables and determines whether the model can represent each of the four tonal contours in Mandarin are represented in its latent space.

Isha Mahajan

Leaves adapt to environmental conditions such as temperature, precipitation, CO2 levels, and light. They vary in size, venation, margin shape, and other characteristics to maximize energy conservation. Therefore, fossil records of leaves can be used to infer past environmental conditions. This project focuses on studying plant communities, specifically their diversities, and compositions, in the early Paleogene of the Gulf Coastal Plain using fossil leaves from Tennessee and Kentucky. The goal is to visit these clay pits ourselves, retrieve and explore fossils, and understand which communities thrive in specific environmental conditions […]

Tanmayi Patharkar

The analysis of specific physiognomic traits in fossilized leaves has displayed consistent results and can be reliably used to reconstruct paleoclimate and paleoecology. This summer, I will be doing fieldwork to collect well-preserved fossilized floras from the Claiborne group in Tennessee and Kentucky. These samples can be used to estimate mean annual temperature and mean annual precipitation for my specific periods of interest. Past rapid global warming events have been shown to have a distinct impact on plant communities and evaluating their response to such events could hold insight for […]

Karoline Almeida

As part of our upcoming project, we will undertake the task of searching for and collecting transcripts from municipalities in São Paulo, Brazil. Through thoughtful analysis and the application of various frameworks, we will seek to gain a deeper understanding of the content and context of these transcripts. Additionally, we plan to examine the evolving political climates of these municipalities over time, with the aim of uncovering valuable insights and trends. By undertaking these tasks, we hope to contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of the region and its unique […]

Austin Zhu

Flexible work, including gig work and jobs including highly variable times and locations, has become much more prevalent recently which motivates the study of the changes that this work creates in worker behavior. Over the past semester, I’ve studied this phenomena through shoe store retail data to draw connections between diversification of work locations and impacts of working with colleagues to the individuals’ and store performance. This summer, we will expand and hopefully generalize the conclusions of this analysis to more datasets and also formulate a model for worker learning […]

Annika Pohlo

Intensifying environmental conditions, such as droughts and rising temperatures, increase the strain ectotherms face to maintain appropriate body temperatures and regulate hydration levels via osmoregulation. Effects of climate change are already becoming more pronounced in the Mediterranean; projections estimate the region will warm 20% faster than global rates, and the summers are expected to warm at a pace 40% greater than the global mean (Lionello & Scarascia, 2018). My project aims to understand how five co-occurring Greek island lizard species vary in osmoregulation through evaporative cooling. We hope to understand […]

Deborah Shin

The Archive of Urban Futures is a project in collaboration with Moms 4 Housing, an activated group situated in Oakland. The Archive utilizes the oral history of the Moms in order to focus on the erasure of the Oakland Black population. By recording the history, observations, and passions of residents within the community, the Archive will become a living database accessible to all. The recorded oral histories illustrate the future envisioned by the current and past citizens of Oakland who continually fight for the right to place. This Archive confronts […]

Alejandra Gonzalez

Focusing on the Argentinian provinces of Buenos Aires and Salta, we will study the credit claiming of politicians and the variation in policy priorities and service delivery in cities of different sizes. In addition, we will compile and analyze online council meeting recordings that exhibit the differences in relationships between voters and elected officials across cities in urban and rural cities. Furthermore, we will also examine the different ways that local elected officials credit state and national legislators for projects delivered to their cities. 

Mari Torii-Karch

Fungal-bacterial interactions are abundant and come in many forms, from endosymbiotic to pathogenic. Surprisingly, these interactions at a molecular level, specifically receptor/signaling mechanisms, aren’t deeply studied. This summer, I will be using genetic editing tools and cell death assays to analyze many different genetic knockout strains of the model fungus Neurospora crassa in the hopes to identify the genetic underpinnings of fungal response to bacterial colonization.