UCA biologists engage in a wide range of research activities, from studies related to cancer treatment to studies of ecological relationships in Arkansas streams. Research projects engage students in a wide variety of activities. Faculty supervise student research projects and much of the equipment and instrumentation obtained through faculty projects is also available to students. Faculty members in the Department of Biology are active in securing grant and contract funds to support their research activities, as well as to enhance the department’s teaching capabilities. Current or recent grants have been obtained from the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. National Park Service, and the American Heart Association, as well as from various state and local organizations.Review the Guidelines for Students/Faculty Submitting Undergraduate Research Proposals and complete the Undergraduate Research Form and submit to Dr. Don Shepard,, to have credit count as upper division Biology elective.

Other Biology Research Information: Proposal Guidelines and Evaluation Criteria

NOTE: Based on our new guidelines, the  fall  deadline  is  9/15,  spring  deadline  is   2/15,  and  for  summer  proposals,  the  deadline  is  Study  Day  of  the  prior  spring  semester.

Ginny Adams- Assistant Professor Ph.D., Southern Illinois University, 2005. Conservation Biology, Evolutionary Ecology Research Specialty: Fish Ecology, Streams, Caves. Advising Specialty: Environmental Science Program Coordinator

Reid Adams- Assistant Professor Ph.D., Southern Illinois University, 2004. Freshwater Ecology Research Specialty: River Ecology/Fish Biology

Mark Bland- Assistant Professor Ph.D., University of Northern Colorado, 2004. Science Education Research Specialty: Evolution Education

Ben Cash -Professor Ph.D. Iniversity of Mississppi, Zoology, Physiolgical and Behavioral Ecology; Amphibions and Reptiles; Wetland Ecology.

John S. Choinski, Jr-Professor Ph.D., Arizona State University, 1978. Botany Research Specialty: Plant Ecophysiology/Photosynthesis and Leaf Development

Barbara Clancy- Associate Professor Ph.,D., University of Texas at Dallas, 1996. Neuroscience Research Specialty: Neural Systems and Development, Neuroinformatics

David Dussourd- Professor Ph.D., Cornell University, 1986. Animal Behavior/Entomology Research Specialty: Insect-plant interactions Advising Specialty: Graduate Coordinator

Sally Entrekin- Assistant Professor Ph.D., University of Notre Dame, 2008. Restoration Ecology and Invertebrate Zoology Research Specialty: Stream Restoration/Aquatic Ecology

Zaida Gomez-Kramer- Lecturer II D.A., Catholic University of America, 1990. General and Medical Microbiology, Human Anatomy and Physiology, General Biology Advising Specialty: Pre-Medical (Pre-Professional) and General Biology

Kristine Hicks- Visiting Assistant Professor Ph.D., University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, 1992. Pharmacology and Toxicology

Brent Hill- Assistant Professor Ph.D., University of Missouri, Columbia, 2000. Vertebrate Physiology Research Specialty: Cardiovascular physiology/pharmacology/sex hormones Advising Specialty: Pre-Veterinary

Leah Horton – Lecturer I M.S., Emory University, 1999. Biochemistry, Cell and Developmental Biology Advising Specialty: Undergraduate Coordinator

Katherine Larson- Associate Professor Ph.D., Northern Arizona University, 1989. Ecology Research Specialty: Invasive species and restoration Advising Specialty: Environmental Science

Michael Martin – Lecturer II M.D., Louisiana State University School of Medicine, 1993. Anatomy, Physiology, Pharmacology, and Pathology Advising Specialty: Pre-Medical

M. Victoria McDonald- Associate Professor Ph.D., University of Florida, 1986. Behavioral and evolutionary ecology of birds and mammals; Vertebrate Zoology

Jerry Mimms – Lecturer II. M.S.E., University of Central Arkansas, 1977. Science Education

Mike Moran- Associate Professor Ph.D., University of Maryland, 1982. Animal Physiology Research Specialty: Epithelial Nutrient Transport

Arijit Mukherjee – Assistant Professor Ph.D., Clemson University, 2007. Plant Genetics and Molecular Biology

Kari Naylor- Assistant Professor Ph.D., University of California, Davis, 2004. Microbiology/Cell Biology Research Specialty: Mitochondrial dynamics Advising Specialty: Pre-Optometry

Richard Noyes- Assistant Professor Ph.D., Indiana University, 1999. Evolutionary Biology/Genetics Research Specialty: Plant genetics and evolution

Jeffrey Padberg- Assistant Professor Ph.D., Tulane University, 2002. Neuroscience Research Specialty: Comparative Neurobiology.  Advising Specialty: Pre-Dental

Krista Peppers- Lecturer I Ph.D., University of Arkansas, 2004. Conservation Biology

Ben Rowley- Assistant Professor Ph.D., Temple University, 2004. Immunology /Microbiology Research Specialty: Heavy metal-induced immune system alterations.

Benjamin Waggoner- Assistant Professor Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley, 1997. Invertebrate Paleontology and Macroevolution

Roger Wainwright – Lecturer I M.H.S.A., University of Arkansas at Little Rock, 1988. Human Biology and Microbiology

Laurie Warren- Lecturer I Ph.D., Clemson University, 1996. Environmental Toxicology Research Specialty: Aquatic Toxicology, invertebrates Advising Specialty: Environmental Science

David Zehr- Associate Professor Ph.D., University of South Carolina, 1976. Histology and Anatomy Advising Specialty: Pre-Medical

Faculty Expectations for New Student Researchers listed below are the minimum requirements for each faculty mentor. However, there may be more requirements for any particular research assignment. You should talk to the faculty mentor with whom you are interested in conducting research for more information on any additional requirements


Name Minimum class requirement Majoring in subject Completed course requirement Other requirements Minimum working hours per week
Adams, G Sophomore No BIOL 1441 None 3
Adams, R Sophomore No BIOL 1441 None 3
Choinski Sophomore No BIOL 1441 None 3
Cash Freshman No BIOL 1440 Summer Availability a plus… 5
Clancy Freshman No BIOL  1440 Probationary period followed by 2 semester commitment and neuro class 6
Dussourd Sophomore No BIOL 1441 or CHEM 1451 None -
Hill Sophomore No BIOL 1440 and CHEM 1450 None 3
Larson Sophomore No BIOL 1441 None 3
McDonald Sohphomore No- BIOL 1441; prefer also Ecology or Vert Zoo- Probationary period (volunteer for a semester)- -
Moran Junior No BIOL 4460 Teacher Recommendation 5
Padburg Freshman No BIOL 1440 or BIOL 3370 Probationary period followed by 2 semester commitment 3
 Mukherjee Sophomore No BIOL 2490 Probationary period, followed by 2 semester commitment 3