Research is an important aspect of undergraduate science education at Augustana. All faculty members in the Science department provide opportunities for undergraduate research as an integral part of their own research activities. Field, laboratory and inter-disciplinary research experiences are available to students throughout the academic year and during the summer.

A photo of a student holding a gerbil
A photo of two students writing field notes in Costa Rica
A photo of a student doing lab work in Costa Rica


A photo of a student working in a chemistry labResearch projects available to undergraduate students span all disciplines offered in our department, including the following areas:

  • Analytical chemistry
  • Animal behaviour
  • Biochemistry and organic chemistry
  • Evolutionary developmental biology
  • History of science
  • Immunology
  • Mathematics and computational sciences
  • Physics
  • Plant and restoration ecology
  • Science education
  • Wildlife ecology and conservation

Undergraduate research outcomes

In addition to participating in a variety of undergraduate academic conferences, students also present their research at provincial, national and international meetings, and publish with their faculty mentors in scientific and professional journals. The following list includes some examples of presentations and publications co-authored by students (their names appear in bold print). More information on faculty research projects and publications is available on faculty members' web pages.


Selected publications in scientific and professional journals

Ervin E., C. Olafson and J. Kariuki. 2015. Demonstrating the minimal impact of cultivation conditions on antioxidants in fruits and vegetables by differential pulse voltammetry. International Journal of Food Properties, DOI: 10.1080/10942912.2015.1048354 Published online July 2015.

Kariuki, J., E. Ervin and C. Olafson. 2015. Development of a Novel, Low-Cost, Disposable Wooden Pencil Graphite Electrode for Use in the Determination of Antioxidants and Other Biological Compounds, Sensors, 15:18887-18900.

Ervin, E. and J. Kariuki. 2014. Effect of Extraction Method on Antioxidant Determination in Produce by Differential Pulse Voltammetry. International Journal of Electrochemical Science, 9(11), 6235-6245.

Hvenegaard, G. and L. Fraser. 2014. Motivations and benefits for citizen scientists engaged in Purple Martin migration research. Human Dimensions of Wildlife 19: 561-563.

Bromley C. K. and G. A. Hood. 2013. Beavers (Castor canadensis) facilitate early access by Canada geese (Branta canadensis) to nesting habitat and open water in Canada’s boreal wetlands. Mammalian Biology 78:73-77.

Olson, K. and G. Hvenegaard. 2013. Comparing South African and Canadian practices for managing large herbivores in fenced protected areas. Blue Jay 71(2): 81-93.

Tiitmamer Kur, N. and G. Hvenegaard. 2012. Promotion of ecotourism principles by whale watching companies’ marketing efforts. Tourism in Marine Environments 8(3): 145-151.

Nelner, T. B. and G. A. Hood. 2011. Effects of agriculture and beaver on winter biodiversity of mammals. Wildlife Biology, 17:326-336.

King D.,  J. Friend, and J. Kariuki. 2010. Measuring vitamin C content of commercial orange juice using a pencil lead electrode. Journal of Chemical Education, 87(5):507-509.

Macklin, E. K., G. Hvenegaard, and P.E. Johnson. 2010. Improvisational theater games for children in park interpretation. Journal of Interpretation Research 15(1): 7-13.

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A photo of 2 students standing in front of their presentation poster
A photo of a student standing beside a white screen with his presentation projected on it


Selected presentations at scientific and professional meetings

Specht, E. T. and G. A. Hood. 2015. Beavers as a watershed management tool: articulating Alberta’s regulatory context. The Wildlife Society Annual Conference, Winnipeg, MA, October 2015.

Olafson C.,  E. Ervin and J. Kariuki. 2015. Analyzing Antioxidant Content in Coffee and Tea Using Square-Wave Voltammetry and Pencil Graphite Electrodes. 98th Canadian Chemistry Conference and Exhibition, Ottawa, Canada, June 2015. (Honourable mention Analytical Undergraduate Poster)

Yarmey, N. and G. A. Hood. 2014. Perceptions of human-wildlife conflict among residents living near beaver habitat. Solving wicked problems – Using human dimensions to inform natural resources management. Columbia Mountains Institute of Applied Ecology, Kimberley, BC, Sept.  2014.

Peterson, K. and G. A. Hood. 2014. Post-release survival of bitumen-contaminated North American beaver (Castor canadensis). Alberta Chapter of the Wildlife Society Conference, Jasper AB, March 2014.

Kotlarz T. and G. A. Hood. 2013. Mesocarnivore activity comparisons in mixed landscapes in the Cooking Lake Moraine. Canadian Section and Alberta Chapter of the Wildlife Society Joint Conference, Canmore AB, March 2013.

Fraser, L. E. and G. A. Hood. 2012. Population dynamics of great-blue herons (Ardea herodias) in the Cooking Lake-Blackfoot Provincial Recreation Area in east-central Alberta. Alberta Chapter of the Wildlife Society Conference, Camrose AB, March 2012.

Audet, D., J. Rintoul, and N. Vestby. 2011. Gerbil time management - does temperature matter? Joint meeting of the International Ethological Conference and the Animal Behavior Society, Bloomington , IN, July 2011.

Olson, S. R. and G. A. Hood. 2011. A comparison of the seasonal diet of coyotes in Miquelon Lake Provincial Park and agricultural lands.  Alberta Chapter of the Wildlife Society Conference, Camrose, AB, March 2011.

Rintoul, J., K. Kotchea, and D. Audet. 2010. Riparian trees big and small: Day roost selection by Noctilio in a Costa Rican dry forest mosaic.  North American Symposium on Bat Research, Denver, CO, October 2010.

Forsström, S., J. Jefferys, M. Scott, and C. Tremblay. 2010. Inter-specific differences in habitat selection and human tolerance of iguanids in a dry forest mosaic. 24th International Congress for Conservation Biology, Edmonton AB, July 2010.

Hvenegaard, G., S. Banack, and C. Tremblay. 2010. Motivations and barriers for individuals promoting biodiversity in urban and rural areas of east-central Alberta. 24th International Congress for Conservation Biology, Edmonton, AB, July 2010.

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A screenshot of the gerbil camera
A photo of two students at night working with equipment in Costa Rica
A photo of 2 students taking field notes in Costa Rica


Selected publications in undergraduate journals

Cornelis, A. (Mentor: S. L. Gares). 2013. Retinoic acid decreases but does not eliminate murine macrophage phagocytic activity and iNOS expression. COPLAC Metamorphosis. Spring 2013.

Rintoul, J. (Mentor: D. Audet). 2013. Who turned down the heat? Activity patterns of Mongolian gerbils (Meriones unguiculatus) under a cue-conflict temperature pattern. COPLAC Metamorphosis. Fall 2013.

Breitkreutz D. and L. Olson (Mentor: I. Blokland). 2011. Just Missing Fermat. COPLAC Metamorphosis, Fall 2011.

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Selected student presentations at undergraduate conferences

Ervin E. and J. Kariuki. 2014. Eating "Write": The Use of Pencil Electrodes in Antioxidant Measurement in Fruits and Vegetables. 28th Western Canadian Undergraduate Chemistry Conference, Victoria, BC, May 2014. (1st prize winner in poster presentation)

Narumiya, H.E., G. Hvenegaard, and V. Manaloor. 2013. Brazilian ecotourism: growth and conservation potential. UARE Seminar, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, August 2013.

Brager, K. and S. L. Gares. 2013. Now I’ve spleen everything! A study of the effects of a vitamin A-deficient diet on the production of T cell cytokines in mouse spleens. National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) Annual Meeting, La Crosse, WI, April 2013.

Switzer, C., S G Gad and S. L. Gares. 2011. Developing methods to investigate the effect of vitamin A on innate immune cells. First Annual Student’s Union Undergraduate Research Symposium, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB.

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