Research Corner


Undergraduate Research in Biology

We strongly encourage students to get involved in research during the summer, academic year, or both. For many students, research is one of the most intellectually rewarding experiences at Barnard. When unpaid research is conducted during the academic year, students can receive academic credit for working in a laboratory at Barnard or anywhere else in New York City. Research can be conducted during any (or all) semesters of the major, and during the summer. 

Learn more about opportunities and credit for undergraduate research by clicking the button below.

Research Corner

Research Spotlight: the Snow Lab

Today we sit down with Melissa Flores, Natalie Lovinger, and Nora McNamara-Bordewick, all Snow Lab alums, to discuss their publication from this past year and their experiences in the lab under the mentorship of Professor Jonathan Snow.

Research Corner

Faculty Spotlight: Professor Gabrielle Corradino

Today we sit down with Professor Gabrielle Corradino, Term Lecturer in the Biological Sciences. She joined the department this past academic year and has been teaching introductory biology and upper-level microbiology labs in addition to our non-majors' introductory lecture course.

Research Corner

Student Spotlight: Eliana Elikan

Today we sit down with Eliana Elikan, a junior Biology major and research assistant in the Snow Bee Lab. Under the mentorship of Professor Jon Snow, she has been focusing on a parasite infecting the bees called Nosema ceranae, which is believed to be acting in conjunction with several stressors to drive the decline in honey bee populations.

Research Corner

Staff Spotlight: Lina Ariyan

Today, we are sitting with Lina Ariyan (BC '22), a February Barnard graduate who joins the Miranda Lab for the spring semester alongside Nicole Rondeau (BC '18) under the mentorship of Professor JJ Miranda.

Research Corner

Professor Brian R. Morton Publishes Research on Plastid DNA Changes in Various Plants

On January 17, 2022, Brian R. Morton, professor of biological sciences, published new research in the Journal of Molecular Evolution, titled “Context-Dependent Substitution Dynamics in Plastid DNA Across a Wide Range of Taxonomic Groups.” In this paper, Professor Morton compares angiosperms, gymnosperms, ferns, liverworts, chlorophytes, stramenopiles, and rhodophytes to evaluate the influence of context on substitution bias at fourfold degenerate coding sites and in intergenic regions in plastid DNA.

Research Corner

Professor Brian R. Morton Publishes New Research on the Origin of Changes in Plants’ Chloroplast Genes

On December 21, 2021, Brian R. Morton, professor of biological sciences, published new research in the Journal of Molecular Evolution titled “Context-Dependent Mutation Dynamics, Not Selection, Explains the Codon Usage Bias of Most Angiosperm Chloroplast Genes.” This latest article on how natural selection influences the genes that control photosynthesis in flowering plants builds on his previous discovery that selective constraints have acted on the psbA gene, causing codon adaptation.

Research Corner

From Project Lab to Publication

After publishing Evidence from simulation studies for selective constraints on the codon usage of the Angiosperm psbA gene under the mentorship of Professor Brian Morton in the upper-level lab course, Project Lab, Theyjasvi Ashok, Nina Kalkus, and Joy Barrett sat down with us to discuss their work and what research at Barnard has been like for them.

Research Corner

Professor Jon Snow, Along With Four Barnard Affiliates, Publishes New Research on a Potential Therapeutic Strategy for Treating a Deadly Infection in Honey Bee Colonies

On October 29, 2021, Jonathan Snow, associate professor of biological sciences, published new research in Biomolecules, titled “Proteasome Inhibition Is an Effective Treatment Strategy for Microsporidia Infection in Honey Bees.” Alongside his co-authors, Emily M. Huntsman ‘22, Rachel M. Cho ‘22, Helen V. Kogan ‘19, Nora K. McNamara-Bordewick ‘20, and Robert J. Tomko Jr, a professor at Florida State University, Snow’s research explores the use of proteasome inhibitors as a potential therapeutic strategy for treating Nosema ceranae, a parasite that leads to honey bee mortality and colony collapse.

Research Corner

Professor Allison Lopatkin Publishes New Research on Infection Risks and Disease Burdens from Exposures in Wastewaters

On October 26, 2021, Allison Loptakin, assistant professor of biological sciences, published new research in Environmental Science & Technology, titled “Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment of Antimicrobial Resistant and Susceptible Staphylococcus aureus in Reclaimed Wastewaters.”

Research Corner

Professor Jonathan Snow and Three Barnard Affiliates Publish New Research on the Effects of an Antimalarial Drug in Honey Bees

On October 7, 2021, Jonathan Snow, associate professor of biological sciences, published new research in the international journal Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, along with biology department staff member Melissa Flores ’16, Nora K. McNamara-Bordewick ’20, and Natalie L. Lovinger ’22. The article, “Halofuginone triggers a transcriptional program centered on ribosome biogenesis and function in honey bees,” expands on earlier research that examined how the antimalarial drug Halofuginone may be used to treat Nosema ceranae, which is a known pathogen of honey bees.  Previous research has found that administering a dose of Halofuginone large enough to be effective against the pathogen is toxic to bees.

Research Corner

Summer Mini Grant Recipient Reflections

As the summer has wrapped up, our summer grant recipients reflect on their research experiences.

Research Corner

Professor Alison Pischedda Publishes New Research on How Sexual Experiences in Male Fruit Flies Affect Mating Choices

On November 10, 2021, Alison Pischedda, assistant professor of biological sciences, alongside Barnard graduates Chelsea S. Sinclair ’21 and Suriya F. Lisa ’19, published new research in Ecology and Evolution, titled “Does sexual experience affect the strength of male mate choice for high-quality females in Drosophila melanogaster?” Professor Pischedda and her co-authors evaluated whether the sexual experiences of male fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) influence their tendency to pursue larger, higher-fecundity females for mating.

Research Corner

Professor Jonathan Snow, Alongside Several Barnard Affiliates, Publishes New Research on Biomarkers of Stress in Honey Bees

On November 11, 2021, Jonathan Snow, associate professor of biological sciences, alongside Prof. Allison Lopatkin, Samantha R. Shih ’20, Dunay M. Bach ’20, Nicole C. Rondeau ’18, Jessica Sam ’14, and Natalie L. Lovinger ’22, published new research in Nature - Scientific Reports, titled “Honey bee sHSP are responsive to diverse proteostatic stresses and potentially promising biomarkers of honey bee stress.” The research, led by Professor Snow, evaluated specific common cellular processes and stress responses impacted by multiple key stressors in an attempt to understand the increased rate of die-off among honey bee colonies in the United States.

Research Corner

Professors Jonathan Snow, JJ Miranda, Allison Lopatkin, and Jennifer Mansfield Publish New Research on How Thermal Stress Affects Honey Bee Digestion

On September 3, 2021, Jonathan Snow, JJ Miranda, Allison Lopatkin, and Jennifer Mansfield, all biological science professors at Barnard College, published new research in The Journal of Experimental Biology, titled “Thermal stress induces tissue damage and a broad shift in regenerative signaling pathways in the honey bee digestive tract.” With their co-authors, Dunay Bach, Miriam Holzman, and Fatoumata Wague, the researchers, led by Professor Snow, evaluated thermal stress in honey bees, focusing on the recent die-off event of these insects in the United States, and their high capacity to endure thermal stress.

Research Corner

Summer Mini Grant Recipient Updates

Our summer grant recipients—Hannah Prensky, Tamima Sultana, Isabella Villa Real Seabra, and Vivian Zhao—update us on how their summer research projects are going.

Professor Hilary Callahan Publishes New Research on Green Roof Ecosystems in New York City

On August 2, 2021, Hilary Callahan, professor of biological sciences, published new research in the journal Urban Ecosystems, titled “Seasonal patterns of native plant cover and leaf trait variation on New York City green roofs.”

Research Corner

Meet the New Faces on the 10th Floor!

Today, we sat down to chat with the two new faces on the 10th floor of Altschul: Mehrose Ahmad (BC '21) and Corey Marshalleck. As lab technicians for Professors Allison Lopatkin and Jon Snow respectively, Mehrose and Corey discuss research, mentorship, and life outside of Altschul.

Staff Spotlight: Abigail Gutierrez (BC '20)

Today we sit down with Laboratory Specialist and Class of 2020 alum, Abigail Gutierrez, to discuss her work in the lab of Professor Alison Pischedda.

Student Spotlight: Tiffany Vo

Today we sat down with Summer Research Institute (SRI) participant and research assistant, Tiffany Vo, to talk about research and why representation in STEM is so important.

Research Corner

A Summer of Research: Meet Our Summer 2021 Grant Recipients

Each year, our department funds innovative summer research projects thanks to the Donald and Nancy Ritchie, Edna Henry Bennett, Maura Shannon Barrett, and Herbert Maule Richards grants. Here, we introduce this year's recipients of these grants and their summer projects: Hannah Prensky, Tamima Sultana, Isabella Villa Real Seabra, and Vivian Zhao.

Faculty News

Professor JJ Miranda Publishes New Research on Repurposing Nitroxoline as a Possible Treatment for Tumor Growth

In this article, Professor Miranda, Rondeau ’18, and Ibáñez de Garayo ’20 — who contributed significantly as part of her senior thesis research — investigate “rational repurposing,” which is the repurposing of currently used drugs for new treatments after uncovering new molecular activities within them.

Alums in the Spotlight: Sophia Liu and Alice Sardarian

Biology alums Sophia Liu and Alice Sardarian sit down with us to discuss their summer 2020 publication and how research at Barnard prepared them for life beyond the 117th street gates.

Faculty News

Professor JJ Miranda Publishes New Research on Kaposi Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus

This research investigates the genetic makeup of Kaposi Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus (KSHV), a form of the herpes virus which is usually latent, meaning it lies dormant in the body until encountering circumstances that allow it to be expressed.

Research Corner

Staff Spotlight: Dr. Louise Urien

A postdoctoral fellow in the Bauer Lab, Dr. Louise Urien joins us today to discuss her work and what it's like to be a part of the Bauer lab.

Student Spotlight: Meet Hannah Prensky (BC '22)

Today, Hannah Prensky (BC '22) joins us to discuss her contributions to research on the importance of conjugation dynamics as well as what it's like to work as a research assistant under the guidance of Professor Allison Lopatkin.

Faculty News

Professor John Glendinning Publishes New Research on the Taste System

On March 30, biological sciences professor John Glendinning published new research in the Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology.


Testing the Waters

A year after COVID-19 became a national emergency, a campus-run project to monitor coronavirus in wastewater is part of a multi-pronged effort to keep the community safe during the pandemic.


Professor Allison Lopatkin Publishes a Paper on Gene Mutations

The paper builds on the research Lopatkin conducts in her lab, which aims to understand how microbial populations develop resistance and how to combat those mutations.

Meet the Lab Techs in Altschul!

Today, Olivia Anastasio, Lena Kogan (BC '19), Abby Ryckman (BC '18), and Nicole Rondeau (BC '18) join us to discuss what drives them as scientists and who they are outside of Altschul.


Keeping Bee-sy

In celebration of National Honey Bee Day (August 15), Professor Jonathan Snow chats with two mentees about the art of Barnard beekeeping, their buzziest facts, and more.


For the Love of Research

Three Beckman Scholars share their passion for STEM, Barnard mentors, and whether the pandemic has shifted their research focus.