Student Research

As a UCA undergraduate student, Kyle Hurley studied sexual cannibalism in mantids (see video above).  Now as a graduate student at UCA (right photo), he studies geranium defenses against an important agricultural pest, a caterpillar called the soybean looper. Geraniums are hybrids that have incorporated the chemical and physical defenses of several species.  They are well-protected and yet the soybean loopers are still able to feed and develop.  For his thesis research, Kyle is studying how soybean loopers overcome geranium defenses under the direction of Dr. Dussourd (left photo).  After completing his M.S. degree, Kyle plans to pursue a PhD to further his understanding of plant-insect interactions.




The University of Central Arkansas Stream Team assesses the health of Stone Dam Creek that flows through campus and into Lake Conway. Students use standardized assessment methods provided by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, to quantify water chemistry, macroinvertebrate, and fish quality. The student volunteers identify the aquatic organisms and relate them to the overall water quality to develop an understanding of the effects of the city of Conway and the surrounding campus.

The data collected are used to inform the public and researchers of the current condition of the stream and to guide future research and restoration efforts to improve the water quality of the campus stream.  Volunteers are needed! Please contact Dr. Sally Entrekin ( or Jennifer Wagner ( to discuss upcoming events.