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

Azeria, E.T., Santala, K., McIntosh, A.C.S., Aubin, I. (2020). Plant traits as indicators of recovery of reclaimed wellsites in forested areas: slow but directional succession trajectory. Forest Ecology and Management, 468: 118180.

Mpumelelo, M., Berg, P. & Eikerling, M. (2018). Counter-ion flow through a deformable and charged nanochannel. Phys. Rev. E., 053101: 98.

Kim, M.-Y., Xu Y., & Goebel R. (2017). Applying a convolutional neural network to legal question answering. Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence, 10091: 282-294.

Qasem, M., Thulasiraman, P., & Thulasiram, R. K. (2017). Constrained ant brood clustering algorithm with adaptive radius: A case study on aspect-based sentiment analysis. Symposium Series on Computational Intelligence, 1-8.

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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

Berg, P. (2019). One-dimensional model for electro-kinetic transport in deformable nanochannels. Dead Sea Water Worksop 2019, Ein Gedi, Israel.

Kariuki, J., Schmidt, B., & King, D. (2019). Development and testing of low-cost electrodes and components for use in electroanalytical sensors, 102nd Canadian Chemistry Conference and Exhibition, Quebec City, QB.

Audet, D., Haave Audet E. (2018). A field test for interspecific comparisons of behavioral responses in novel environments. 48th North American Symposium on Bat Research, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico.

Hood, G.A. (2020). Plumbing for ecology: Can flow devices on beaver ponds reduce conflicts and costs? BeaverCon2020, Baltimore, Maryland.

Hvenegaard, G., Perkins, R., & Hoveland, S. (2018). Wildlife stewards for the future: Attracting and nurturing the next generation of bluebird trail keepers. Western Division Canadian Association of Geographers, Edmonton, AB.

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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 and presentations by and with undergraduate students

Hvenegaard, G.T. & Perkins, R. (2019). Motivations, commitment, and turnover of bluebird trail managers. Human Dimensions of Wildlife, 24(3): 250-266.

Keus, K., Grunwald, J., & Haave, N. (2019). A method to the midterms: The impact of a second midterm on students' learning outcomes. Bioscene: Journal of College Biology Teaching, 45(1).

Jobson, S. (2018). Leaf-nosed bat species richness (Chiroptera:Phyllostomidae) across habitat types in a neotropical wet forest of the Osa peninsula, Costa Rica. Metamorphosis.

Marsden, N., Olafson, C., & Rempel, B. P. (2016). Synthesis of gycosidase substrates containing self-immolative linkers. Festival of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities, Edmonton, AB.

Nakonechny, J.J., Hood, G.A, Hvenegaard, G.T., & McIntosh, A.C.S. (2019). Living in the country: The importance of wildlife habitat patches in mixed-use landscapes. Joint ACTWS/CSTWS19 Conference, Canmore, AB.

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Patents of invention

Bergens, S. H., Kalapugama, S., Nepal, P., & McGinitie, E. G. (2016). Catalyst systems for use in continuous flow reactors and methods of manufacture and use thereof. US2016175829.

Kulikovsky, A., & Berg, P. (2016). Method for the determination of overpotentials in fuel cells. EP3057168.

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