Show Us Your Research!

Each semester, CST students participate in research opportunities. Take a look at where you will find some of our current CST students!

Claire Neal, Environmental Science

This summer I have been working with Dr.Spigler and doctorate student JJ Smith to study wildflower ecology, with a focus on how the presence of invasive flowers affect pollinator behavior. Do invasive wildflowers attract pollinators to the area or do they distract pollinators from native plants? To find out, we have been conducting pollinator observations on plots of varying density of spotted knapweed, an invasive flower. We hope this research can be helpful in determining the impact of attractive invasive flowers on native pollination. I have also assisted grad students with collecting flower nectar and catching butterflies for their projects.

Shreya Shah, Biochemistry

I am doing research on drug and nucleic acid delivery systems as well as nanotechonology with Dr. Marc Ilies in the Temple Pharmacy School. In the earlier part of my summer, I read up a little on nanotechnology and its uses. I had to shortlist many different reliable methods that could be used to synthesize gold nanopoarticles of a constant size. The goal is to synthesize gold nanoparticles of a variety of different sizes (focusing on the very small nanoclusters consisting of only a few atoms) and successfully ligate them with many different ligands like lipoic acid. The engineering of these particles could help provide patients suffering from autoimmune conditions or cancer with alternative treatments that are safer and more reliable with less side effects.

Christopher Kobol, Environmental Science

This summer I've been working with Dr. Toran as part of the Undergraduate Research Program (URP) to explore the potential of drone-mounted thermal infrared cameras when examining the heat signatures of surface water. With an aerial point of view, we are able to spot anomalies and examine patterns that we would not otherwise see from the ground. I am also working with a graduate student in Dr. Toran's lab to see if we can use drones to map overland flow using ice water as a tracer.


Joshua Schaaf, Biochemistry

This summer I have been working with Dr. Balciunas's lab by helping to create zebrafish lines whose genes are edited using Crispr/Cas9 and repair oligonucleotides. These genes can then be mutated in adult zebrafish to observe phenotypes during zebrafish heart regeneration that would not be possible to see due to some genes being embryonic lethal. I enjoy my lab members, and I love working with them!


Andrew Posmontier, Mathematics/Computer Science

This summer I'm working in Dr. Ji's lab in the Computer Science department on applications of a new generation of tiny, inexpensive "millimeter wave" radar modules for sensing things on the scale of the human body. I am collaborating with a PhD student and another undergraduate doing an REU to explore classification of these radar signals with machine learning ranging from simple and fast statistical regression to more complicated techniques like convolutional neural networks. We're hoping this will be useful for applications like improving speech recognition, detecting falls in a healthcare environment, or identifying people and their activity based on gait and limb movements. Most of my work is programming the processing side of the equation, but I also get to test subjects and record some data for our machine learning training!

Hannah Assour, Biology with Teaching

I am doing an NSF-REU in Northeastern Iceland with the Ives lab from University of Wisconsin-Madison. I am studying the ecology of Lake Myvatn as part of their LTREB (Long Term Research in Environmental Biology). I am studying population dynamics and community ecology, and I am having an amazing experience. Thank you and CST for providing me the resources to get to this position!


Brooke Quinn, Biology

I'm working at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City through a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded project. Using the museum collections, I am studying bats and their different ecomorphs (i.e. groupings) based off of feeding strategy. I'm using machine learning tools to predict foraging strategy based off of morphological traits of the bats like wingspan, ear length, foot size, etc.. 



Abbey Liu, Data Science

For the last month, I have been studying traffic sensor data on various highways with Dr. Vucetic. Machine Learning algorithms are applied to predict future traffic patterns. It is exciting to see how research can mitigate real life problems.


Do you have a research experience you'd like to share? 

Please email a photo of yourself at your research site along with a small blurb about your experience to Rose McGinnis at