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UNF Limnology Students perform field work at Lake Oneida.
Salt marsh
Oyster beds
Students and professor working with a Benthic tray
gator hatchling
entire class crossing florida creek
Two Herons

Student Research

There are numerous opportunities in the UNF Biology Department for students to be directly involved in a research program. Most research is conducted for credit as BSC 4905 - Directed Independent Study. This course can be taken for from 1-4 credits per semester, for up to 4 credits towards the Biology Major, and is graded as PASS/FAIL. Some faculty have more specific criteria (for example, many faculty limit research credit to two credit hours per semester).


The only formal prerequisite is permission of the individual research instructor, however many faculty have more stringent prerequisites. It is essential that interested students contact faculty research mentors early, as space and resources usually limit the number of students that can participate in any one project.


Some examples of previous student research at UNF include:

  • Physiology of Aging - understanding the effects of diet and reproduction on aging,
  • Gopher Tortoise growth rates and gopher tortoise conservation, managing gopher tortoise habitats,
  • Herbivory and salt marsh plants to increase understanding of food web ecology,
  • Mosquito borne viruses, understanding the mechanisms of emerging and re-emerging diseases
  • Studying membrane proteins to increase our knowledge about the brain,
  • Molecular techniques to identify new species of cyanobacteria,
  • Genetic analysis of green mussel populations,
  • Carnivorous plants and organisms associated with these communities,
  • Endocrine studies involving sharks, studies on the effects of pollutants on sharks,
  • Stress responses of corals and seagrasses.

Additional off campus opportunities are also available for students. The Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville offers a variety of internship opportunities for students through CRISP (Clinical Research Internship Study Program). Outside of Jacksonville there are a multitude of summer fellowship opportunities with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF) and other agencies and companies. Search online for summer opportunities that may be available at other institutions. Register with Career Services at UNF to stay informed about opportunities as they become available.