Student Research Opportunities

MSU Moorhead offers many opportunities for undergraduate students to participate in research and creative endeavors. Working with faculty mentors, you can engage in active learning in the laboratory, library, studio and field. Through these experiences, you will share in the excitement of discovery, develop important skills and explore career choices. You will get to know faculty members and connect with a disciplinary community. Many students publish, perform, exhibit or present their work, sharing it with audiences beyond MSUM who are transforming the world.

Research Labs

Lab Location Description
Oceanarium LH 005 The Oceanarium is a center for discovering marine biology for research, teaching and outreach. It houses stingrays, a tide pool, reef tank, and soon, jellyfish, seahorses and an eel display.
Fish Research LH 007 The Fish Research Lab studies the behavioral ecology of antipredator competence. More than 60 undergraduates are co-authors on peer-reviewed publications from data collected in LH 007.
Chastain Lab LH 208 The Chastain Lab has two ongoing research projects related to interest in C4 photosynthesis. One of the projects is concerned with understanding the molecular and biochemical regulation of the C4 photosynthetic pathway enzyme pyruvate phosphate dikinase, or PPDK for short. This project is funded by a $149,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. A second project is part of a large prairie restoration project MSUM has underway at the MSUM Science Center. The project is investigating how grasses that use C4 photosynthesis may more effectively re-colonize the landscape compared to grass species that lack C4 photosynthesis.
Neurobiology Lab LH 222 The Neurobiology Lab studies genes that underlie the development of functional areas in the mammalian brain.
Solid State NMR lab HA 109 The Solid State NMR Lab studies the motion of atoms in new materials and determines useful characteristics of these materials.
Fish Biopotential Lab HA 310 The Fish Biopotential Lab is developing methods for studying fish behavior using voltages created from the muscular contractions of muscles. In particular, we are focusing on obtaining electrocardiograms of freely-swimming zebrafish.
Prairie Ecology Research HA 402 Most of the Prairie Ecology Research work is field-based in the summer. We are involved in an international plant ecology research effort organized by the University of Minnesota called the Nutrient Network. We have two "NutNet" sites at the Regional Science Center, and will operate them for a minimum of 10 years. We use the lab for processing plant biomass samples, and weighing fertilizer.
Microbial Pathogenesis HA 408 In our lifetime, our lungs get exposed to myriad of inhaled substances. However, the effects of repeated inhalation of these substances remain largely unknown. The Microbial Pathogenesis Lab utilizes mice and cell culture models to study histopathological, immunological, and epigenetic and gene expression changes to environmental inhalational exposures. The environmental exposures of particular interest include fungi (Aspergillus fumigatus), fungal toxins and immunomodulatory drugs.
Planetarium BR 167 The sky is the limit in the Planetarium! Potential research areas include science education, visual and multimedia arts, electronics, astrophysics, GIS, literary arts, sound design, etc.
Child Development Lab BR 358 The Child Development Lab research focus is on perceptual and cognitive development from birth through preschool age. An NIH grant supports an ongoing project that uses infra red eye tracking to learn about certain vision dysfunctions.
Stewart’s Early Learning Lab BR 359F Stewart's Early Learning Lab does early intervention research with Preschool or K-1 children to understand and improve the development of early literacy and language skills and early math skills.
Memory Lab BR 365 Research in the Memory Lab investigates the automatic perceptual and memory processes taking place when processing a new stimulus (spoken word, written word, or even a face). What relationships between the new and existing word lead to false memories? What variables influence automatic judgments about a face?
Edwards Lab BR 366 Edwards Lab, broadly speaking, researches interpersonal violence and trauma. Currently, there are two main lines of research going on. One team focuses on sexual aggression, relationships, and sexuality, and another team focuses on decision making during labor and delivery, trauma and post-partum depression, and the relationship of childhood abuse and negative mental health outcomes for moms after labor and delivery.
Experimental Petrology KH 116B-C The Experimental Petrology Lab studies how the composition of silicate melt influences the chemical behavior of Nickel, Cobalt and other elements in the melt. Our results are important in understanding natural processes on the Earth and Moon and are important contributions to glass and ceramic industries.
GIS lab KH 103 The Center for Geospatial Studies seeks to advance the Red River Valley and the lives of its citizens by educating people to think spatially, training them to perform technically using geospatial technologies, and customizing and serving data and conducting spatial analyses to inform regional decision-making.
Regional Science Center Off campus The Regional Science Center's 400 acre prairie/woodland landscape provides research opportunities in: PK-12 science education, PK-12 teacher education, astronomy, biology, anthropology, geology, GIS and natural history.