Faculty Research Assistance Program (FRAP) Directory

The FRAP Directory allows students to identify UCSB faculty who are looking for undergraduate students to participate in their research projects or creative activities. Please use the links below to find opportunities by discipline. Students, if your desired discipline is not listed, please contact the Undergraduate Research Initiatives office at 805-893-3090 or urca@ltsc.ucsb.edu for assistance. Faculty, if you would like to post your research or creative activity opportunity, please complete the online submission form.

Ecology Evolution and Marine Biology

Scott Hodges

Location:
4105 LSB
893-7813

Research Project

This project will determine the effect of specific amino acid changes in a key enzyme (DFR) in the biosynthetic pathway for the production of anthocyanins, a floral pigment. Previous studies have implicated 2 amino acid positions as affecting the substrate specificity of DFR. If true, this specificity would affect whether the enzyme is capable of producing blue or red anthocyanins. Using phylogenetic techniques we will predict the ancestral amino acid sequence of DFR for North American Aquilegia species and then test the enzymatic capacity of enzymes with this sequence and compare that with enzymes with derived sequences.

Undergraduate Contribution

The undergraduate for this project will work closely with a graduate student. The undergraduate will analyze DNA sequences of the DFR gene and reconstruct the ancestral amino acid sequence. They will also work to transform E. coli with constructs to express different DFR genes, learn to isolate these proteins, and test their enzymatic capabilities with different substrates.

Requirements

  • Introductory Biology
  • Other laboratory courses which utilize molecular biology or microbiological techniques are useful organizational skills
Location:
4105 LSB
893-7813

Research Project

The goal of this project is to determine the genetic basis of adaptation to serpentine soil by Aquilegia eximia. Serpentine soils are one of the most extreme natural habitat that plants can be subjected to. The soils have very low nutrients, high amounts of toxic heavy metals, very low levels of Ca and high levels of Mg. Most plants die when forced to grow on serpentine soil yet some species, like A. eximia, have become specialized to only live there. This project will examine whether there is differential expression of genes in roots and shoots of A. eximia and its progenitor species A. formosa when growing on serpentine and non-serpentine soils. The project will also examine differentiation across the entire genome between the two species.

Undergraduate Contribution

The undergraduate for this project will work closely with Professor Hodges. The undergraduate will conduct experiments of germinating and growing seedlings on serpentine and non-serpentine soils, collection of roots and shoots, perform RNA isolations, and learn to construct DNA/cDNA libraries for next-generation sequencing. The undergraduate will also learn how to perform bioinformatic analysis of the resulting DNA sequences.

Requirements

  • Introductory Biology
  • Other laboratory courses which utilize molecular biology or microbiological techniques are useful organizational skills
Location:
4105 LSB
893-7813

Research Project

The goal of this project is to test the function of genes predicted to affect flower color in columbines, the genus Aquilegia. Previous experiments have implicated a number of genes, including specific transcription factors, that control the production of floral pigments (anthocyanins and carotenoids). To test these predictions we will utilize viral induced gene silencing (VIGS) that allows us to specifically knockdown the amount of mRNA for any specific gene and thus reduce the amount of protein for which it codes. We then see if the knockdown of a gene has the predicted effect, i.e., that the floral pigment is no longer produced.

Undergraduate Contribution

The undergraduate for this project will work closely with a postdoctoral associate in our laboratory. The undergraduate will assist all aspects of the VIGS experiment including the molecular biology of producing constructs to specifically target a gene, production of the bacterial vector delivery system, inoculation of plants, growing and scoring the plants for changes in phenotype, collecting and testing tissue for successful inoculation and testing affected tissue for the predicted change in mRNA amount and exploring the potential effects on the expression of other genes.

Requirements

  • Introductory Biology
  • Other laboratory courses which utilize molecular biology or microbiological techniques are useful organizational skills

Anthropology

Jeffrey Hoelle

Location:
HSSB 2073
893-4244

Research Project

The objective of this project is to increase understanding of the cultural practices and beliefs of UCSB students and residents of Isla Vista. Student research projects from previous classes and other sources will be compiled and organized into a profile of IV culture, including topics such as ritual, gender, diet, conflict, subgroups, leisure, and language. All information will be posted into an online database that will serve as a learning tool for anthropology students and a source of information for the general public and prospective students. Advanced students and those with Portuguese language skills may assist with ongoing research projects focusing on human-environment interactions, locally and in the Brazilian Amazon.

Undergraduate Contribution

•Assist with the creation of online database on local culture (editing, organizing, posting to site, interpretation of results) •Data entry and basic analysis •Local data collection, compilation of bibliographic resources, scanning, copying, taking photographs, basic content analysis, and retrieval of resources. •Students with Portuguese language skills may assist with review of Brazilian sources and coordinate with Brazilian partners and research subjects.

Requirements

Open to students from all majors, as long as they have taken ANTH 2. Applicants should have basic office skills (MS word, excel) and an interest in developing methodological skills, conducting fieldwork and data analysis. Those with advanced statistical training and Portuguese language are encouraged to apply. If interested, please contact hoelle@anth.ucsb.edu. In your message, please include the following: year, major, anthro classes taken, relevant experience, and why you want to participate in the project. Approved students will receive an add code for 1 unit of credit of ANTH 199 (each unit= 3 hrs./ week x 10 weeks in qtr= 30 hrs. total).

Statistics and Applied Probability

Tomoyuki Ichiba

Location:
South Hall 5508

Research Project

Conduct research in mathematical models of complex financial systems such as equity, derivative and interbank lending markets. Learn stochastic dynamics and probabilistic aspects in financial systems and related large scale networks. The project incorporates Probability and Statistics with numerical simulations by Python, Matlab, C++ and R. 

Undergraduate Contribution

Undergraduate students can contribute by assisting the development of modeling financial systems. Students will learn existing models, implement and develop models in theory and also in numerical simulations.

Requirements

Upper division Probability and Statistics courses

Speech and Hearing Sciences

Roger Ingham

Location:
1051 Harder South

Research Project

This project involves evaluating the efficacy of a program designed to train clinicians to accurately measure stuttered speech in adults and adolescents who have a chronic stuttering problem

Undergraduate Contribution

This project will require 2 undergraduates to recruit about 15 student judges and (after training) manage the running of the tasks that constitute the experiment.

Requirements

This project is ideal for students who have an interest becoming a speech-language pathologist.

Psychological and Brain Sciences

Emily Jacobs

Location:
3818 Psychology East

Research Project

Our lab investigates the role of hormones in learning and memory. We use a combination of behavioral measures, neuroimaging, neuroendocrine and genetic assessments. Current projects include understanding how reproductive aging (i.e. menopause) shapes brain function in midlife women, and the impact of oral contraceptives on brain structure/function.

Undergraduate Contribution

Research assistants will be involved in preparing study materials, running participants, and assisting with data analysis.

Requirements

Undergraduates with a strong background in cognitive psychology, biological psychiatry, neuroscience, and/or programming (particularly Matlab) are encouraged to apply. The lab seeks students who are passionate about neuroscience and want to gain hands-on research experience. Familiarity with computer programming is preferred, but not required.

Major: Coursework in the sciences

GPA: 3.0 or higher

Students are asked to commit 8-10 hours/week to research activities

Physics

Andrew Jayich

Website:
Location:
Broida 4123
(805) 893-5456

Research Project

We are setting up a strontium ion trap to study ultracold chemistry and to perform readout and control of molecular ions.

Undergraduate Contribution

There are many ways to contribute, here is a list of some of the major contribution activities: building up lab infrastructure, building laser systems, fiber coupling light, theoretical analysis and simulation of atoms in ion traps, various electronics projects, taking and analyzing data, setting up computer control systems, writing code to control equipment.

Requirements

It is highly encouraged that applicants are physics majors with the intent of applying to physics graduate programs.

Counseling Clinical and School Psychology

Shane Jimerson

Location:
Education 2119

Research Project

The Power of Play project focuses on the utility of specific playground strategies targeted to facilitate pro-social play activities and the development of conflict resolution and problem solving skills among elementary-aged children. Dr. Jimerson is looking for Research Assistants who can optimally commit for the Fall, Winter, and Spring (or those beginning mid year who may continue the remainder of the current year and the following year). Research Assistants enroll in CNCSP 199RA or the CNCSP 197 seminar to obtain course credit for their participation each quarter (depending upon your availability between 1-4 credits, 3hrs per credit). Responsibilities include; A) participating in weekly team meetings, B) playing with children (grades 1-3) during recess, C) reviewing relevant literature.

Undergraduate Contribution

Responsibilities include; A) participating in weekly team meetings, B) playing with children (grades k-6) during recess, C) reviewing relevant literature.

Requirements

If you are interested in contributing to Dr. Jimerson’s research team, please e-mail responses to the questions below to Cecile Binmoeller (cbinmoeller@education.ucsb.edu) and cc: Dr. Jimerson (Jimerson@education.ucsb.edu).

  • NAME:
  • E-mail Address:
  • 1) Expected date of graduation?
  • 2) Major and Overall UC GPA?
  • 3) Future plans: Graduate school or otherwise?
  • 4) Future plans: Career?
  • 5) Of all the volunteers, why are you an optimal candidate

Geography

Charles Jones

Location:
Ellison Hall 6810
(805) 893-5824

Research Project

Two research projects are available for undergraduate students.

1) Climate change in South America The monsoon in South America is the main climatic feature in the continent with significant influence in the distribution of precipitation and temperature. This project use a regional climate model to understand how warming in the continent has affected the variability of the monsoon in South America. The low-level jet on the eastern slopes of the Andes plays a crucial role in transporting moisture and generating storms and precipitation. The regional model is being used to understand how climate change is affecting the dynamics of the low-level jet

2) Regional model simulations in southern California A regional model is being used to simulate several types of weather phenomena in the Santa Barbara such as the marine layer, fog and Sundowner winds. Simulations with the regional model need to be validated against observations from meteorological stations and moored buoys in the Santa Barbara Channel.

Undergraduate Contribution

In both projects students will download data from the internet, perform quality control checks and format the data for comparison with model simulations. Student will additionally perform statistical analyses to quantify model errors.

Requirements

Motivation and desire to learn are the first requirements. Programming skills are needed. Computer and programming skills are needed. Computer experience is necessary especially with programming (e.g., fortran, matlab, python or IDL).

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