Undergraduate Research

Undergraduate research

Welcome to our undergraduate research page in the department of natural sciences. The purpose of this page is two-fold. We want to introduce students to the wonderful research experience spread across our world class faculty and to also present students with individual undergraduate research opportunities with faculty who are prepared to work with them. 

**Available faculty members willing to consider an undergraduate research opportunity are marked with an asterisk**

James Adams

  • Area of study: Lepidoptera
  • Research: Faunal surveys of the Lepidopteras of Georgia.
  • Email: jadams@daltonstate.edu

Ali Akdeniz

John Asplund

  • Area of study: discrete mathematics
  • Research: cycle and path decomposition of complete multigraphs, cycle decompositions with no subsystems, inverse domination, edge coloring of multigraphs, constructing mutually orthogonal equitable Latin rectangles, and entanglement-assisted quantum error correcting codes.
  • Email: jasplund@daltonstate.edu

**Susan Burran

  • Area of study: microbiology
  • Research: Interested in starting research with students.
  • Email: sburran@daltonstate.edu

**Matt Chenoweth

  • Areas of study: bacterial pathogenesis, genetics, metabolism, and biochemistry
  • Research: With students – microbial genetics and molecular biology.
  • Email: mchenoweth@daltonstate.edu

**David DesRochers

  • Areas of study: avian ecology, conservation, wildlife ecology, climate change biology, and avian stress physiology
  • Research: With students – studying seasonal bird use of a degraded urban wetland, impact of anthropogenic noise on songbird communication, and influence of habitat fragmentation on songbird feather phenology; interested in research with students in many other areas.
  • Email: ddesrochers@daltonstate.edu

Kerry Dunbar

  • Areas of study:
  • Research: Collecting plant and fungal samples to be placed in the herbarium.
  • Email: kdunbar@daltonstate.edu

**Chuck Fink

  • Area of study: cellular and molecular neuroscience, focus on how it relates to learning and memory
  • Research: Interested in research with students on mammalian cell culture, microscopy, and fluorescence.
  • Email: cfink@daltonstate.edu

**Kim Hays

  • Areas of study: Wildlife toxicology, mammalogy, Natural History Collection management
  • Research: With students – population demography of small mammals in disturbance and distribution habitats, use of dermestid beetles in Natural History Collection; interested in other areas of student research.
  • Email: khays@daltonstate.edu

**Celeste Humphrey

**April Kay

  • Area of study: microbiology
  • Research: With students – probiotics and various properties of plant abstract antimicrobials.
  • Email: akay@daltonstate.edu

**Gina Kertalis-Tartar

  • Areas of study: Plant and soil science
  • Research: With students – efficacy of kudzu for phytoremediation and phosphate assessment of Lakeshore Park wetland.
  • Email: gkertulistartar@daltonstate.edu

**Elizabeth Lucht

  • Area of study: genetics
  • Research: With students – aging of the human populations at Dalton State and surrounding areas; using yeast to look at telomeres length.
  • Email: elucht@daltonstate.edu

**John Lugthart

  • Area of study: entomology
  • Research: With students – turtle population study at Lakeshore Park, fish and invertebrate study at Lakeshore, amphibian study at Lakeshore, Turtle Assurance Colony with DSC Research Associate Chris Manis: Interested in beginning research on designing an outdoor classroom at Lakeshore, as well as designing educational signs for the park, and working with the Nature Conservancy in Murray County monitoring threatened species of fish, plant surveys, and water quality measurements.
  • Email: jlugthart@daltonstate.edu

**Chris Manis

  • Areas of study: herpetology, community ecology, and conservation biology
  • Research: With students – turtle population study at Lakeshore Park, Turtle Assurance Colony with Dr. John Lugthart.
  • Email: cmanis2@daltonstate.edu

**Annabelle McKie-Voerste

  • Areas of study: evolutionary biology, avian biology, animal behavior, and marine biology
  • Research: Finishing doctoral work on the evolution of egg color; interested in research with students on feather and egg colors.
  • Email: amckie@daltonstate.edu

Gene Mesco

  • Area of study: psychophysiology (political physiology)
  • Research: Using standardized image database for psychological profiles.
  • Email: gmesco@daltonstate.edu

**Hussein Mohamed

  • Area of study: botany with a focus on ecology of plants in extreme environments
  • Research: With students – using phytoremediation to remove contaminants from the soil.
  • Email: hmohamed@daltonstate.edu

**Marina Smitherman

  • Area of study: public health and clinical medicine
  • Research: With students – aging and telomere shortening, childhood obesity, snake venom as an antimicrobial, and health impact of pollutants; Interested in helping students with research of their choice.
  • Email: msmitherman@daltonstate.edu