Biology Research

Research is an essential part of the Biology program at Harvey Mudd. Every student completes a year-long investigative senior project — either a senior research thesis or a sponsored team design project in one of the Clinic programs.  While most Biology, Mathematical Biology, and Joint Chemistry/Biology majors choose to do a thesis, students in all of these majors have the option of being on a Clinic team instead. In addition to the senior project, many students do biology research during the summer. Finally, many students start working in research labs prior to their senior year.

HHMI Summer Research Program

We currently support several dozen research students each summer, funded mainly by the Biology Department’s grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Other funding sources can include the Merck/AAAS Undergraduate Science Research Program, HMC’s Center for Environmental Studies, individual faculty research grants and three endowed departmental funds—the Emily H. Mudd, Munzer and William K. Purves summer research fellowships. Students sometimes continue their summer projects for their senior research.

Summer 2014 research opportunities are now available!


Faculty Research Interests

All biology faculty maintain active research programs in diverse areas of biology.  Here is a brief list of faculty research interests; for more information see individual faculty web pages.

  • Prof. Steve Adolph: Physiological & evolutionary ecology; mathematical biology
  • Prof. Anna Ahn: Neural control and mechanics of locomotion
  • Prof. Eliot Bush: Molecular evolution and computational biology (on sabbatical leave 2013-2014)
  • Prof. Rob Drewell: Gene regulation during development (on leave 2013-2014)
  • Prof. Elizabeth Glater: Neuroscience and behavioral genetics
  • Prof. Karl Haushalter: Chromatin structure and function
  • Prof. Cathy McFadden: Marine population biology and molecular systematics
  • Prof. Dan Stoebel: Function and evolution of bacterial regulatory networks

Biology Senior Research