Student Research Opportunities

Conduct meaningful research your first year.

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Why Choose
Cedar Crest?
  • Personalized attention
  • Average class size <20
  • Women's leadership opportunities
  • Flexibility to add dual major, minor

Professional Involvement

Faculty members in the biological sciences department at Cedar Crest College are recognized leaders in their fields, and it shows in their professional involvement. The following relationships provide role modeling for students as well as great networking and research opportunities:

John Cigliano, associate professor of biological sciences, is serving his second term on the board of directors of the Marine Section of the Society for Conservation Biology, an international organization. He also maintains an active research program on marine conservation ecology studying the queen conch in the Sapodilla Cayes Marine Reserve (SCMR) in southern Belize and in other areas of the Caribbean, in which many students have participated.

John Cigliano in Belize
Professor John Cigliano with a queen conch in Belize[photo by Kenzie Brickhart]

Richard Kliman, professor of biological sciences, is currently serving as program director in the Evolutionary Genetics cluster of the Division of Environmental Biology at the National Science Foundation (NSF), is also conducting research with Cedar Crest students through an $800,000 National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant. They are studying genetic recombination and molecular evolution in fruit flies with collaborators at Duke University.

Amy Faivre, associate professor of biological sciences, maintains an active research program studying the reproductive biology of federally endangered plant species in central Florida and collaborating with scientists at Archbold Biological Station in Lake Placid, Fla. She also regularly conducts research with students, including projects studying pollination biology and invasive plant species’ patterns of invasion at Wildlands Conservancy in nearby Emmaus, Pa., and researching patterns of bird feeding in exposed and wooded habitats on the Cedar Crest campus, which is a nationally registered arboretum.

Amy Reese, associate professor in the department of biological sciences, is a member of the American Society of Microbiology and the Microbiology Educators Network and maintains an active research laboratory in the areas of microbiology and medical mycology. As the campus Health Professions Advisor, she is a member of the National Association for Advisors for the Health Professions and advises the campus chapter of the national Health Occupations of Students of America group. She is an ad hoc reviewer for a number of microbiology journals and textbooks. She is particularly interested in making microbiology accessible to the general public and has taught a number of sessions for the Institute for Learning in Retirement.

Dr. Karnas with a studentK. Joy Karnas, associate professor in the department of biological sciences, is serving a second term on the Board of the Pennsylvania Academy of Sciences as the recording secretary and is the 2011-2012 chair of the Time and Place Planning Committee, arranging the Academy's annual meeting on the Cedar Crest College campus. She also maintains an active student research program that explores changes in gene expression in organisms in response to environmental stresses and RNA stability in forensic samples. Her interest in science education motivates her to run professional development workshops for local school teachers that emphasize the use of scientific inquiry pedagogies and/or molecular technology in the classroom.

Audrey Ettinger, associate professor of biological sciences and director of the neuroscience program, is currently serving as vice president of the Lehigh Valley Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience. This local chapter was chosen from over 100 groups nationwide as "Chapter of the Year" in 2011 for its active programs in research and outreach. She is on the editorial board of the Association for Biology Laboratory Education (ABLE), an international society of college-level biology educators. She works with the DaVinci Center for Science and Technology to lead education programs for K-8 teachers; this ongoing state-sponsored project has been recognized nationally for its successes in improving science education in inner-city Allentown. She maintains an active research program using cichlid fish to study several areas of neuroscience.

Brian Misanko, professor in the department of biological sciences, is the program director for the Nuclear Medicine Technology major and certificate. He is part of the Allied Health Professional Staff of Lehigh Valley Health Network in the Department of Radiology-Diagnostic Medical Imaging in the Division of Diagnostic Radiology within the section of Nuclear Medicine.

In addition, Cedar Crest College and the biological sciences faculty work with the School for Field Studies (SFS) to provide myriad field research opportunities for students.