David Wise

    Email Address: dhwise@uic.edu
    College: Liberal Arts and Sciences Department: Biological Sciences
    Title: Professor
    Office: 3354 SES Phone: 413-9191
    Webpage: http://sites.google.com/site/wiselabuic/
    Participating in the Chancellor’s Undergraduate Research Awards program: Yes

    Research Interest:
    Currently we have three broad research projects that can involve undergraduate researchers:

    (1) Relationship between changes in the microbial resource base (bacteria and fungi) associated with different types of trees, and the structure of the belowground (leaf litter and underlying soil layers) arthropod community (mites, springtails and pseudoscorpions).

    (2) Impact of human-generated noise in the environment ("anthrophonies") on the calling behaviors of several species of frogs in natural habitats across the Chicago region.

    (3) Developing and testing mathematical models of the dynamics of the belowground food web.

    If you are interested in one or more of these projects, please send an email to the primary researcher on each project: (1) Amanda Henderson, ahende20@uic.edu (doctoral student; (2) Nolan Bielinski, nbiel2@uic.edu (doctoral student); (3) Prof. David Wise, dhwise@uic.edu.

    Explain in detail why you find the project fascinating. Please attach an unofficial transcript and a CV that includes relevant research or work experience.

    Minimum time commitment in hours per week: 15

    Qualifications of a Student:
    Qualifications depend upon the research project -- students from all disciplines, colleges and year in school are encouraged to apply to work on one of the projects. We will train you on specifics (i.e. how to identify critters, how to interpret sound recordings, etc.) but some projects require specific skills in order to start -- particularly Project 3.

    Project (1) involves spending time at the microscope identifying, sorting and counting micro-arthropods. The soil/leaf litter food web is one of the most species-diverse systems on Earth, and the range of life styles found there is fascinating. Project also involves assaying bacterial and fungal DNA from soil samples. Also, there is the opportunity to learn and apply multivariate statistical techniques.

    Project (2) involves lots of field work during the breeding seasons of several frog species, and analysis of sound recordings during the rest of the year. Students with backgrounds in computer programming, the physics of sound, and working with music recordings would find the data analyses rewarding and challenging. There also are opportunities for someone primarily interested in field work.

    Project (3) requires a strong background in mathematics, familiarity with R, and knowledge of C++. The project will provide an opportunity to delve deeply into food web theory, and to relate empirical pattern from nature and mesocosm experiments to patterns generated by mathematical models.

    Brief Summary of what is expected from the student:
    Initiative, independent work and a carefully written report, the nature of which will depend upon the type of project.

    Contact researcher via URE Email Webform

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