Abstract Detail

The Science of Meaningful Undergraduate Research Experiences

Cantley, Jason [1].

A model for successful undergraduate research experiences at a large Primarily Undergraduate Institution: notes and tips from a junior PI beginning research on plant evolutionary adaptations of a young Hawaiian adaptive radiation.

This talk explores my experiences with undergraduate research scientists from my first three years as a tenure-track professor at San Francisco State University. SF State is a large Primarily Undergraduate Institution of ~30k students with only a limited number of master's students and zero Ph.D. students. These constraints, coupled with departmental criteria for my advancement to tenure play heavily into how I have structured my lab, and how successfully (or not) I have been able to provide meaningful research experiences for undergraduates. The Cantley Lab (Plant Systematics & Evolution) has recently combined forces in both space and research with the Simonin Lab (Plant Physiology). Together, we support undergrad and master's level students across several projects. The largest, and arguably the most successful, undergraduate research experiences have recently developed recently around research of the young adaptive radiation of Hawaiian Chenopodium (Amaranthaceae). This halophytic and xeric-adapted lineage is remarkably variable in morphology, physiology, and habitat across the archipelago. The combined Cantley-Simonin Lab is using this lineage as an umbrella framework from which several undergraduate projects and master's theses are working under. The umbrella lineage framework and combined lab structure was purposefully chosen to generate a cohort-like feeling of botany minded students at SF State. Tangible results and accomplishments from these projects include undergraduates as authors on a manuscript, posters, oral presentations, and applications to graduate school. We are all excited to share our physiological and evolutionary research of Hawaiian Chenopodium and to share information on how you can shape your lab to incorporate undergraduate research experiences.

1 - San Francisco State University, Biology, 1600 Holloway Ave, SF State University Biology Department, Hensill Ha, San Francisco, CA, 94132, United States

Undergraduate research
adaptive radiation

Presentation Type: Colloquium Presentations
Session: COL10, The Science of Meaningful Undergraduate Research Experiences
Location: Virtual/Virtual
Date: Friday, July 31st, 2020
Time: 1:45 PM
Number: COL10006
Abstract ID:113
Candidate for Awards:None

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