BioHonors program offers unique opportunities for students

BioHonors program offers unique opportunities for students

Biology Honors students at UMass Dartmouth are being exposed to unique learning and research experiences as part of their training in science. A dynamic program, now in its third year since it opened in 2009, is preparing students to become qualified and competitive graduates who pursue careers in biology, broadly defined, and in research fields or applied biomedical and technical professions.

The students receive strong foundations in general and cell biology, population biology, ecology, behavior and evolution by specialized scholars, including Dr. Guillermo Paz-y-Mino-C, an evolutionary biologist and animal behaviorist, Dr. Whitney Hable, a molecular cell and developmental biologist, and Dr. Tara Rajaniemi, specialist in plant ecology and bio statistics. Their courses and laboratories introduce students to molecular techniques ideal for future jobs in industry, as well as field-work skills useful in wildlife management and conservation.

As part of the academic training, and during the freshman year, the students conduct observational research projects at the UMass Dartmouth main campus, the Buttonwood Park Zoo, the New Bedford Whaling Museum, and visit the Ocean Explorium. In their sophomore and junior years, the BioHonors students participate in research opportunities with the faculty in the Biology Department, including in assistanships or internships in microbiology, animal behavior, immunology, marine biology, developmental biology, oceanography and evolution.

The senior year is dedicated to a BioHonors thesis under the supervision of a Principal Investigator at his/her laboratory. The students participate in poster presentations, scientific publications in peer-review journals and in oral competitions at Biology New England South, BioNES, and other regional scientific meetings for undergraduates.

The BioHonors program at UMass Dartmouth aims at attracting strong high school graduates from New England and improving enrollment by offering high quality college education. For information contact Dr. Nancy O'Connor, Chairperson in the Biology Department or Dr. Guillermo Paz-y-Mino-C, Coordinator BioHonors Program

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