What are Undergraduate Highlights?
The undergraduate program in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology is a thriving, inspiring hub housing passionate students who are engaged in many different applications and projects relating to their areas of curiosity and expertise. We want to highlight these innovative and developing projects and people coming out of our program, in order to support and encourage more direct engagement with the world through the lens of ecology and biology. Explore recent projects below, and help to share and support work you care about!


Coohill pilots a drone over a snowy field.

Flying a Drone to Study Prairie Dogs - Diana Coohill

April 6, 2017

I am interested in the study of social structures of wild animal populations with my advisor Dr. Andrew Martin. A social rodent, the black-tailed prairie dog, provides the perfect system for me to study social structures in the wild. Black-tailed prairie dogs live in dense colonies, are easy to observe...

Casto waters plants in a greenhouse.

Spring break research sparked passion for future project - GraceAnne Casto

April 6, 2017

When I was a sophomore at CU I started working in the Suding Plant Ecology Lab, where I assisted with germination experiments in the greenhouse with seedlings from Carrizo Plain National Monument, in California. During spring break, I received funding to travel to Carrizo to assist the field research team...

Beaury poses with a pineapple.

High Elevation Plants - Eve Beaury

April 6, 2017

My passion for plant ecology began in high school when I took a botany course that opened my eyes to the complex and fascinating biology revolving around vegetation. I have carried this interest throughout my time at CU, which led me to pursue an honors thesis studying plant ecology in...

Alix in the lab using a microscope to study bacteria

The Ground Up - Alix Knight

March 24, 2016

Like many others in the School of Arts and Sciences here at the University of Colorado, I have struggled to find my passion. My first year at CU, I had no idea what I truly wanted to do upon graduation. My advisor encouraged me to explore the classes that CU...

Camille sorting and examining beetles on a research table

Disco beetles and biodiversity - Camille Zwaan

March 24, 2016

Looking at the world from a holistic perspective and seeing the interconnectedness of everything is a crucial key to solving problems. This is one reason the field of ecology appeals to me. Combining my love travelling and the outdoors, I was fortunate to be a research assistant for the Georg-August...

Kate scuba diving

Large Carnivores and Land Conversion - Kate Woolley

March 24, 2016

Choosing to write an honors thesis was easily one of the most important decisions and largest undertakings during my career here at CU. I have always been interested in biology and long ago decided that this was the field that I would like to pursue a career in. Although it...

Cerrise displays a collection of J. liv sample bacteria

J. love - Cerrise Weiblen

March 24, 2016

Janthinobacterium lividum , affectionately referred to as J. liv, is a violet-pigmented bacterium with a tough disposition. It thrives in a wide range of environmental conditions, and it exhibits antibiosis; inhibiting or destroying a wide variety of microbial life-forms, including other bacteria, microscopic fungi, and protozoans. J. liv is one...

John holding a caught fish

Task Switching Behavior in Honeybees - John Ternest

March 24, 2016

I’m currently working in Dr. Michael Breed’s lab, my research is focused on task switching behavior in honeybees. This is incredibly important due to the significance that honeybees have as pollinators, and the sharp decline that is being seen in their populations. Eusocial species like honeybees require an extreme level...

Meg at UROP location with two horses

For the Birds? - Meg Summerside

March 24, 2016

Engaging in your field and writing an honors thesis will undoubtedly be the most difficult academic pursuit of your undergraduate career, and dually the most rewarding. Beyond studying in depth the subject of my thesis, I have gained insight into how the scientific community functions, how to improve my writing...

Stefanie sampling soil up on Niwot Ridge against a backdrop of spring wildflowers and mountain views

Effects of Anthropogenic Nitrogen Deposition on Alpine Microbial Soil Ecology - Stefanie Sternagel

March 24, 2016

I am currently working on an honors thesis looking at the effects of anthropogenic nitrogen deposition on alpine microbial soil ecology under the outstanding mentorship of Dr. William Bowman. All of my soil samples come from Dr. Bowman’s nitrogen addition manipulation up on Niwot Ridge at the Mountain Research Station,...