Research in Biology

Course Dates

July 29 to August 12, 2024


Students enrolling in Research in Biology must either complete Investigative Marine Biology Laboratory (BIOSM 1500/MEFB 403) or another pre-approved, research-focused SML course in the same summer season.

student doing research in SML lab

Course Description

Research in Biology will enable students to explore topics of interest, prepare for future immersive research experiences, and develop a close academic and professional relationship with marine sciences. This course allows students with little to no previous research experience to work with a mentor to carry out their very own independent research project. Research proposals are developed during earlier classes at the lab, while field work, data analysis, interpretation, and final presentation are all conducted during the Research in Biology course. Students will receive daily lectures and guidance on the scientific research process. Students will participate in a public research symposium at the end of the course. 

Learning outcomes for Research in Biology include:

  • Design, propose and execute a robust research project;
  • Gain hands-on experience in troubleshooting and creative problem-solving throughout the research process;
  • Understand common statistical tests, when it is appropriate to apply certain tests, and how to interpret results of statistical tests;
  • Effective communication for scientific presentations to general, specialized, and specific audiences through both oral and visual presentations.

Read the Course Blog!



Course Numbers

Cornell: BIOSM 4990 (3 Credits)
UNH: MEFB 751 (4 Credits)

Sample Syllabus

Tuition & Fees

Financial Support



Dr. Carolyn Keogh

Dr. Carolyn Keogh

Dr. Carolyn (Carrie) Keogh is a parasite ecologist interested in parasite distributions and the relationships between host-parasite co-evolution. As a member of the faculty in the Department of Environmental Sciences at Emory University, she teaches courses on a wide range of topics from general ecology and marine ecology as well as a course on invasive species biology. Dr. Keogh brings extensive field experience to her teaching at SML that includes study areas in the intertidal zone across the Mid Atlantic and Gulf of Maine as well as northwestern Pacific Ocean. She first came to Appledore Island as an undergraduate researcher examining host-parasite interactions between Littorina snails and trematode parasites. Most recently, Dr. Keogh was on island in 2019 as one of the lab's Scientists in Residence.


Dr. Rebecca Atkins

photo of Rebecca Adkins outdoors, smiling

Dr. Rebecca Atkins recently completed her Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship working with NOAA's Senior Advisor for Coastal Inundation and Resilience. She obtained her PhD at the University of Georgia's Odum School of Ecology, advised by Dr. Craig Osenberg, and graduated from the University of Florida in 2014 with a BSc in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation and a minor in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. 

Over the past 12 years, Dr. Atkins has conducted research along the Atlantic coast, particularly focusing on salt marshes, rocky shores, and bay estuaries. While building her research program, she has also worked to promote public awareness of the coastal environment and to cultivate an inclusive scientific community. 

As an early career professional, Dr. Atkins hopes to continue developing a suite of skills that will allow her to approach increasingly complex and interrelated questions using a range of analytical and interdisciplinary techniques. The experiences and the skills gained throughout her scientific career have culminated in her desire to better understand the ways in which scientific research can guide policy decisions made at local, state, and federal levels, particularly with regard to coastal resilience.