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Academics / Departments & Programs / Biology / Research

You will have many opportunities on campus to team up with professors on cutting-edge research projects.

Each year, the science summer research program supports dozens of students doing full-time research on topics that include the effects of pollution on Great Lakes waterbirds, characterizing the gut bacteria of cephalote ants, and how HIV remains as a latent reservoir in resting T helper cells in patients who have undergone antiretroviral therapy.

Biology professors receive extensive funding from sources such as the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service to support research. This allows them to involve students in these projects as paid assistants during the summer and throughout the year. Explore their projects and opportunities to get involved below.

Current and past research and scholarship

Biofilm Bacteria and Their Mechanisms to Evade Host Cell Defenses 2006–2010 Arlene Hoogewerf National institutes of Health grant and Calvin College Science Division
Conspecific Attraction: Are Birds Attracted to Their Own Species Songs? 2014–present The Andrew Family Foundation, Calvin University Science Division
Dimensions: Identifying how the Ecological and Evolutionary Interactions between Host and Symbiont shape Holobiont Biodiversity 2013–present John Wertz National Science Foundation
Effects of Climate Change on Flowering Period of Native Species at Flat Iron Lake Preserve 2007–present Dave Warners Rottman Student Research Fellowship
Effects of pollution on Great Lakes colonial water birds 2000–Present Keith Grasman US Fish and Wildlife Service, Jansma Fund, Star Talen Fellowship
Flat Iron Lake Summer Phenology 2011–2014 Randall Van Dragt Rottman Student Research Fellowship
Genomic and Niche Characterization of Bacteriophages in the Microbial Communities of the Aquatic Snails 2011–2014 Randall DeJong Rosema Fellowship, Jansma Family Research Fund, HHMI
Historical Field Botany: A 100-year retrospective assessment of Emma Cole’s Grand Rapids Flora (1901) 2014–2018 Garrett Crow
HIV as a Latent Reservoir in Resting T Helper Cells 2006–2011 Anding Shen Calvin College, Rozema, Star fellowships
HTMAD: Software Design for MALDI-TOF Mass Spectrometry-Based Microbial Community Analysis 2011–2013 Serita Nelesen HHMI
Investigating the Antimicrobial Effects of the Non-Toxic Microbiocide SafeWaterDrops 2011–2013 Arlene Hoogewerf SafeWaterDrops, LLC
Investigation of Symbiotic Bacteria and Bacteriophages in Termites 2007–present John Wertz Calvin College Science Division, Calvin Research Fellowships
Land Management of Calvin's Ecosystem Preserve 2010–present Randall Van Dragt Ecosystem Preserve, Cargill Environmental Science Grant
Leveraging Laboratory Activities to Achieve STEM Education Reforms 2010–2016 Herbert Fynewever National Science Foundation
Management of the Bear Creek Watershed 2012–present Randall Van Dragt Great Lakes Innovative Stewardship through Education Network
Phage Research Ongoing Randall DeJong
Potential for Woody Invasive Plants to Produce Biomass for Ethanol and Improve Soil Quality 2010 David Dornbos HHMI, Visser Fellowship
Potential Value of Autumn Olive as a Tool to Restore Degraded Soils 2011 David Dornbos HHMI
Productivity of Switchgrass and Corn Grown in Specific Environments 2012 David Dornbos Pierce Cedar Creek Institute
Propagating Native Plants for Conservation and Restoration 2005–present Dave Warners Cargill Foundation, Biology Department
Rare Disease Research & Support Feb 2017–present Rachael Baker
Relationship between Nitrogen Fixation Rate, Apparent Photosynthesis Rate... 2010 David Dornbos Pierce Cedar Creek
Restoration of Coastal Outwash Prairie on Whidbey Island, Washington 2011 Randall Van Dragt Cargill Environmental Science Grant
Restoration of Native Plants and Habitats in Urban Areas 2014-present Gail Heffner Calvin University Biology Department, Calvin University Science Division
Restoring a Degraded Stream: Reconciliation Ecology in the Plaster Creek Watershed 2009–present Gail Heffner Plaster Creek Watershed Restoration Project, MDEQ
Restoring Native Habitats in Urban Landscapes 2010–present Gail Heffner Jansma Family Research Fund and William and Celia Dornbush DeVries Family Fellowship
Specificity of Frankia Bacteria in Symbiosis with Native Speckled Alder and Non-Native Autumn Olive 2013 David Dornbos HHMI
The Effects of Sound on Songbird Behavior and Management 2013–to present HHMI, MDEQ Clean Water Act 319 Funding, Plaster Creek Watershed Restoration Project, Pierce Cedar Creek
The Roles of Endothelial Cells on HIV Infection 2011 - present Anding Shen NIH and the Star fellowship

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