Biology

Senior Theses

All seniors at Reed College must complete a year-long thesis project as a part of their final academic year. For Biology students, the senior thesis offers an opportunity to fully engage a research question with the assistance of a faculty advisor. The diversity of topics and questions pursued by Biology seniors spans the breadth of the biological sciences. All students must identify a focused problem within their area of interest and then design experiments, collect and analyze data, and provide both a written document and oral defense of the finished thesis.

The range of research topics engaged in by Biology seniors can be seen below in the list of thesis titles from our most recent group of seniors. Thesis titles are listed in alphabetical order by the senior's last name. The abstract for a thesis can be viewed by clicking on the Abstract link (if provided). The faculty member advising each student is listed with the abstract, and includes a link to his/her home page.

Thesis Research Support

The Biology Department has available a number of sources of financial support for thesis research. While modest projects are sometimes supported from regular Department funds, many of our Seniors find support for their expenses from research grants to their faculty thesis advisor or from institutional grants from foundations like HHMI and the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation. Research funds from institutional grants are awarded on a competitive basis to seniors who prepare a written proposal in support of their request. These foundation grants have provided critical support, allowing Reed seniors to develop research projects that are more ambitious and sophisticated than might otherwise be possible. In addition to developing critical research skills, the seniors learn the important process of supporting their research through the development of written research proposals. Senior theses listed below (or on the links above for earlier years) that were supported by such grants are designated with a label in blue.

You may be wondering just how many Biology and BMB majors we graduate each year. We wondered that as well, so in 1996 we began weighing the graduating class to determine the official "biomass" of the Department's seniors. We can now quantitatively answer the question of how many seniors we graduate, with our answer given in units of metric tons. You can see the results at the BIOMASS homepage.

2013 Senior Thesis Titles

(CLASS OF 2013: If your thesis abstract is not currently included on this page and you would like it to be, please follow this link.)

  • Transposons in Transition: Rethinking Models of Mobile Genetics by Michael Fu'ad Badr

  • The Role of GABAA in the Synchronization of the Xenopus Laevis Vocal Central Pattern Generator by Amber Mia Bang - (This study was funded in part by a grant from the Reed College Biology Undergraduate Research Program)

  • The Effect of Mutation Salt Tolerance in Daphnia pulex by Rhea Chawla - (This study was funded in part by a grant from the Reed College Biology Undergraduate Research Program)

  • PinX1 inhibition of telomerase and PCR by Alec Friedrich Condon - (This study was funded in part by a grant from the Reed College Biology Undergraduate Research Program)

  • Salmon Increase in the Reed Canyon: A Multi-Year Study of Conservation and Restoration by Jack McTavish Craig - Abstract

  • Alignment Algorithms in Theory and Practice: Applications in Cichlid Fish by Emily Marie Crotteau

  • Enzymatic Antioxidant Response of Three Differently Acclimated Lichens to Dessication and Rehydration by Kaslin Portlock Daniels - (This study was funded in part by a grant from the Reed College Biology Undergraduate Research Program)

  • Transcriptional Regulation of the Antioxidant Gene NQO1 by Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators by Madeline Rose Dansky - (This study was funded in part by a grant from the Reed College Biology Undergraduate Research Program)

  • A Performance of a Lifetime: Thermal and Morphological Effects on C-Start and Sprint Performance of Bombina orientalis Predator Avoidance Response by William Kenneth Dibb

  • Social regulation of Adult Neurogenesis in Astatotilapia burtoni by Katrina Joelle Gertz

  • Acute Effects of Estrogen on Cyclin T1 Recruitment to the Fos Gene During Transcriptional Activation by Zina Penelope Jenny

  • Mitochondrial Calcium Regulation in Drosophila melanogaster: A Genetic Screen for Modifiers of the GMR/GAL4 Driven dMICU Knockdown Eye Phenotype by Sarah Charlotte Johnson

  • DR3 Receptor Exclusivity: An Examination of the Expression of the DR3 receptor in Lymphocyte-Rich Tissues and Lymphoma Cell Lines by Ross William Killion

  • An examination of anthocyanin gene copy number in two northwest Delphinium species by Brendan Francis Kohrn

  • A Kinetic Mechanism of Splicing in the Proto-oncogene c-fos by Wren Elliot Nicholas Kominos-Marvell - (This study was funded in part by a grant from the Reed College Biology Undergraduate Research Program)

  • Characterizing the Transposable Element Content of the Manduca sexta Genome by Ashley Rose Kroll

  • In Vivo Interaction of the Xenopus laevis proteins xTRF1 and xPinX1 by Genevra Marie Kuziel - (This study was funded in part by a grant from the Reed College Biology Undergraduate Research Program)

  • Transcript Abundance Estimation of Cycad Root Tissue Using RNA-Seq by Benjamin Alexander Lerch - (This study was funded in part by a grant from the Reed College Biology Undergraduate Research Program)

  • Molecular phylogenetics of the Louisiade White-eye (Zosterops griseotinctus) by Ethan Bernard Linck - (This study was funded in part by a grant from the Reed College Biology Undergraduate Research Program)

  • Mind Control on the Fly: genetic expression in response to Sex Peptide receipt in female Drosophila melanogaster byLaura N.M. Lockshon - (This study was funded in part by a grant from the Reed College Biology Undergraduate Research Program)

  • An investigation of the role of ascorbate peroxidase in the cyanobacteria-cycad symbiosis by Daniel Benjamin Lybrand - (This study was funded in part by a grant from the Reed College Biology Undergraduate Research Program)

  • Metabolic Engineering of Enhanced Stress Tolerance in Poplar by Ian William McCahill - (This study was funded in part by a grant from the Reed College Biology Undergraduate Research Program)

  • Aggression, Behavioral Plasticity, and the Brain: Neural Expression Patterns of Nonapeptide Receptors and Social Environment in Julidochromis by Caitlin Hope Miller - (This study was funded in part by a grant from the Reed College Biology Undergraduate Research Program)

  • A Comparison of Resveratrol-Induced Apoptosis in Amphibian and Mammalian Cancer Cells: Expression of Fas, FasL, and p53 by Maria Pia Molina Sefchick - (This study was funded in part by a grant from the Reed College Biology Undergraduate Research Program)

  • It's Not Where You're From, It's Where Your Mom is From: An Investigation into the Effect of Maternal Care on Stress Response in Astatotilapia Burtoni by Amelia Ann Munson - (This study was funded in part by a grant from the Reed College Biology Undergraduate Research Program)

  • Effects of chronic melatonin treatment on cell proliferation and MAPK signaling in MCF-7 human breast cancer cells by Terersa Cybele Myers

  • Zinc as a Therapeutic Agent in Enteric Infecctions by Anand Panchal

  • Proliferation and Differentiation in the Developing Zebrafish egghead Mutant Retina by Mica Emmett Peacock - Abstract - (This study was funded in part by a grant from the Reed College Biology Undergraduate Research Program)

  • Mechanisms of Synchronization in the Vocal Central Pattern Generator of Xenopus laevis by Joseph Gabriel Perry - (This study was funded in part by a grant from the Reed College Biology Undergraduate Research Program)

  • Bromodomain Protein Brd4 is an Essential Cofactor in Rapid, Estrogen-Mediated Transcriptional Activation and TFF1 Pre-mRNA Splicing by Benjamin Robert Puliafito - (This study was funded in part by a grant from the Reed College Biology Undergraduate Research Program)

  • Importance of Ler Linker Region in Oligomerization and E. coli Pathogenesis by Shaurav Regmi

  • Connectivity metrics and the role of roadsides in conservation by Katharine Elizabeth Schimel

  • Metabolic niche: the yqeF gene of enteropathogenic Escherichia coli by Rachel Rose Strominger

  • FGF Signaling and Stem Cell Behavior in the Ciliary Marginal Zone of Danio rerio by Colin Charles Townes-Anderson - (This study was funded in part by a grant from the Reed College Biology Undergraduate Research Program)

  • Effects of the Retinoic Acid Pathway on the Behavior of Retinal Stem Cells in Zebrafish by Terra Stormi Vleeshouwer-Neumann - Abstract - (This study was funded in part by a grant from the Reed College Biology Undergraduate Research Program)

  • Neural Changes in the Androgen-Treated Female African Clawed Frog by Matthew N. Yee - (This study was funded in part by a grant from the Reed College Biology Undergraduate Research Program)