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Research Projects

Projects for 2017 are posted below; new projects will continue to be posted through February. To learn more about the type of research conducted by undergraduates, view the 2016 Research Symposium Abstracts.

This is a list of research projects that may have opportunities for undergraduate students. Please note that it is not a complete list of every SURF project. Undergraduates will discover other projects when talking directly to Purdue faculty.

You can browse all the projects on the list, or view only projects in the following categories:

Life Science


The ecology of infectious disease in freshwater systems

Research categories:  Life Science
School/Dept.: Department of Biological Sciences
Professor: Catherine Searle
Preferred major(s): Biological sciences or similar field
Desired experience:   Basic laboratory techniques including pipetting, dilutions, and sterile technique are desired. A basic understanding of major ecological concepts is also desired (e.g., BIOL 28600).
Number of positions: 1

The Searle lab primarily studies the ecology of infectious disease in freshwater systems. We aim to understand how changes to natural communities (e.g., the loss or gain of species) impact disease risk in these systems. During the summer, we will be performing multiple studies including 1. experiments to understand the effects of eutrophication on the susceptibility of zooplankton to disease, 2. surveys and experiments to quantify the effects of invasive zooplankton on epidemics in native species, and 3. field surveys of amphibian disease. The student will work closely with the Searle lab’s technician and/or graduate students to develop their own project within one of these research themes. Exact projects will be determined based on the interests of the student.