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Indiana University Bloomington

Department of Biology

Undergraduate Studies

L490: Individual Study

  •  
    • Introductory experience to a research program. Students who wish to become acquainted with professional level research activities frequently develop an arrangement with a faculty member which permits the undergraduate student to participate in various aspects of a faculty member's research program.
    • Intensive inquiry into a field of study. Students desiring more knowledge about a subject area than is covered by formal lecture or laboratory courses may enroll in L490 for the purpose of expanding their knowledge about a discipline or specific topic.
    • Preparation for postgraduate study. Students planning to continue their education beyond the A.B./B.S. level often enroll in L490 to prepare themselves for the rigor and routine of laboratory/field/library research activities which occupy the professional scholar.
    • Fulfillment of Honors Degree requirements. (NOTE: L490 cannot fulfill the Intensive Writing Requirement. A student earning L490 credit in a SPEA lab, CANNOT convert that research to a Biology upper level lab or for the Biology Departmental Honors notation.) L490 research DOES NOT fulfill an upper level lab requirement for the biology degree UNLESS it is earned with the Honors notation.
    • Overall minimum GPA of 2.5.
    • Regular contact with either the faculty member, postdoc, or advanced graduate student in the advising faculty member's lab who can closely supervise work.
    • Involvement with directed reading or creative research. (Not with dishwashing or other menial tasks.)
    • At the end of each semester, the student is required to submit to the advising faculty member a written report of the work completed.
    • Nature of the project.
    • Number of L490 credit hours you will enroll in for the semester.
    • Mechanics for establishing a final letter grade for the course.

  • Purpose of L490   (top)

    The Independent Study (L490) course may serve any of a number of functions, including the following:

    Scope of L490 Programs   (top)

    L490 presents an opportunity for maximum flexibility in project selection. At one extreme, students might collaborate with a faculty member to perform a set of field observations or laboratory based experiments. At the other extreme, students may elect to carry out library research on a specific topic. The scope of an individual L490 program depends entirely on the agreement reached between the student and faculty advisor.

    It should be emphasized that a student who desires to enroll in L490 need not have a project idea in mind before approaching a prospective faculty advisor. Frequently, faculty have L490 project ideas which are a part of a major, on-going research program. In some cases, faculty will offer students a choice of potential L490 projects.

    L490 Guidelines   (top)

    To enroll in L490   (top)

    Talk with prospective faculty advisors and determine with whom you will do Individual Study. Prior to registration for the semester in which you will begin L490, make arrangements with the faculty member concerning the following:

    Pick up an L490 permission form from the Biology Advising Office, JH A115. Have the form completed by the faculty advisor and return it to the advising office in exchange for an on-line authorization. You must have an L490 section authorization in order to actually register for L490.

    Advantage of L490 Enrollment   (top)

    By enrolling in L490, students typically have a good opportunity to become acquainted with faculty on a one-to-one basis. Should an L490 student apply for admission to a graduate or professional school, the supervising faculty member will most likely be able to write a highly personal and effective letter of recommendation concerning the student's abilities.

    Relationship between L490 and the Honors Degree   (top)

    L490 is designed to provide students with experiences and knowledge which are not normally available through formal courses. The course might be taken only one semester, for a limited number of credit hours (e.g., one or two), in order to accomplish a specific goal. Alternatively, L490 might be considered an integral part of a student's curriculum and be taken each semester for two or three years in order to broaden the normal scope of an undergraduate degree in Biology. Students are permitted to count a total of 12 hours of L490 credits toward an undergraduate degree.

    An Honors program provides a more intense, comprehensive, and demanding experience than an L490 course alone normally provides. As a major part of the L490 course, a prospective honors student works on a goal-oriented research program for at least two semesters and a minimum of 6 credit hours total. Writing a research report based upon the results of field observations or laboratory research is the ultimate goal of the L490 efforts.

    In contrast to regular L490 work, the Honors Degree L490 project must include either laboratory or field research. L490 projects can be based entirely on library research. However, the Honors Degree project must include laboratory or field research.

    In summary, although L490 is an integral part of an Honors program in Biology, the Honors Program encompasses more than the completion of two semesters of L490.

    Learn more about the Honors Degree »

    L490 and Honors Faculty Advisors   (top)

Mentors Contact Description
Thumbnail photo for Farrah Bashey-Visser Farrah Bashey-Visser
Assistant Scientist

Evolution, Ecology & Behavior
fbasheyv [at] indiana.edu
812-855-1962
Sycamore Hall 039
Evolutionary ecology of life-history and social strategies, evolution of virulence.
Thumbnail photo for Alan Bender Alan Bender
Associate Professor of Biology

adbender [at] indiana.edu
812-333-2851
MO 211
Assessment of student learning in the Biology Program.
Thumbnail photo for James Bever James Bever
Professor of Biology

Evolution, Ecology & Behavior
jbever [at] indiana.edu
812-855-0771/5-5969(lab)
JH 149D / JH 149 (lab)
Ecology and evolution of plants and fungi.
Thumbnail photo for José Bonner José Bonner
Emeritus Professor of Biology

bonner [at] indiana.edu
unlisted phone
Improving science literacy.
Thumbnail photo for Yves Brun Yves Brun
Clyde Culbertson Professor of Biology

Microbiology
ybrun [at] indiana.edu
812-855-8860/5-7239(lab)
JH 447G / JH 447F (lab)
Mechanism, regulation, and evolution of bacterial shape, differentiation, and biofilm formation.
Thumbnail photo for Brian Calvi Brian Calvi
Associate Professor of Biology

Genome, Cell & Developmental Biology
bcalvi [at] indiana.edu
812-855-5450
JH 361B
Cell cycle control of DNA replication and genome stability.
Thumbnail photo for Lingling Chen Lingling Chen
Adjunct: Associate Professor of Biochemistry

linchen [at] indiana.edu
812-855-0491
SI 400A / SI 415 (lab)
Biochemistry and structure of molecular chaperon GroEL/GroES in protein folding, cell-cell communication via quorum sensing in bacteria, transcriptional regulators of IclR family
Thumbnail photo for Peter Cherbas Peter Cherbas
Emeritus Professor of Biology

Genome, Cell & Developmental Biology
cherbas [at] indiana.edu
812-855-6273
JH A317
Drosophila development and genomics; Nuclear receptors.
Thumbnail photo for Keith Clay Keith Clay
Distinguished Professor of Biology

Evolution, Ecology & Behavior
clay [at] indiana.edu
812-855-8158/5-1674(lab)
JH 159B / JH 159 (lab)
Microbial interactions: ecology, symbiosis, disease.
Thumbnail photo for Christina Dann Christina Dann
Affiliate Asst. Scientist Biology, Asst. Scientist Chemistry Dept.

ctdann [at] indiana.edu
812-855-0821
Myers 216B
Genetic and cellular studies of mouse spermatogonial stem cells.
Thumbnail photo for Lynda Delph Lynda Delph
Professor of Biology

Evolution, Ecology & Behavior
ldelph [at] indiana.edu
812-855-1831/5-7597(lab)
JH 119B / JH 116/121 (lab)
Evolutionary genetics and ecology; plant reproductive biology.
Thumbnail photo for Greg Demas Greg Demas
Professor, Associate Chair for Research

Evolution, Ecology & Behavior
gdemas [at] indiana.edu
812-856-0158/5-6257(lab)
JH 265 / JH 267 (lab)
Behavioral endocrinology; neuroendocrine-immue interactions; aggression; biological rhythms; seasonality.
Thumbnail photo for Patricia Foster Patricia Foster
Professor of Biology

Microbiology
plfoster [at] indiana.edu
812-855-4084/5-4054(lab)
JH 447E / JH 447A(lab)
Mutagenesis, DNA repair, replication, and recombination.
Thumbnail photo for James Goodson James Goodson
Professor of Biology

Evolution, Ecology & Behavior
jlgoodso [at] indiana.edu
812-856-2391
JH A006 / JH A007 (lab)
Neural/neuroendocrine mechanisms of social behavior; comparative neuroanatomy; evolution of avian sociality.
Thumbnail photo for Spencer Hall Spencer Hall
Associate Professor of Biology

Evolution, Ecology & Behavior
sprhall [at] indiana.edu
812-855-6009/5-6013(lab)
JH 239B/239(Lab)
Ecology of infectious disease and food web interactions in freshwater environments.
Thumbnail photo for Roger Hangarter Roger Hangarter
Class of 1968 Chancellor's Professor

Genome, Cell & Developmental Biology
rhangart [at] indiana.edu
812-855-5456/5-2179(lab)
MY 352 / MY 330 (lab)
Plant physiology: environmental sensory-response systems and plant development.
Thumbnail photo for Heather Hundley Heather Hundley
Adjunct: Assistant Professor, Medical Sciences

hahundle [at] indiana.edu
812-855-0675
JH 213
Post-transcriptional mechanisms of regulating gene expression.
Thumbnail photo for Laura Hurley Laura Hurley
Associate Professor of Biology, Director CISAB-REU

Evolution, Ecology & Behavior
lhurley [at] indiana.edu
812-856-1991
JH 243
Serotonin as a social neuromodulator of auditory processing
Thumbnail photo for Roger Innes Roger Innes
Professor of Biology

Genome, Cell & Developmental Biology
rinnes [at] indiana.edu
812-855-2219/5-2852(lab)
MY 316B / MY 302 (lab)
Molecular genetics of plant/pathogen interactions.
Thumbnail photo for Daniel Kearns Daniel Kearns
Associate Professor of Biology

Microbiology
dbkearns [at] indiana.edu
812-856-2523/6-2559(lab)
JH 469/JH 432 (lab)
Bacterial motility and multicellular behavior.
Thumbnail photo for David Kehoe David Kehoe
Professor of Biology

Microbiology
dkehoe [at] indiana.edu
812-856-4715
JH A413A
Environmental regulation of gene expression in bacteria.
Thumbnail photo for Ellen Ketterson Ellen Ketterson
Distinguished Professor of Biology and Gender Studies

Evolution, Ecology & Behavior
ketterso [at] indiana.edu
812-855-6837/5-1096(lab)
JH 033
Behavioral, physiological, and evolutionary ecology; hormones and behavior; avian biology, mating systems and parental care; physiological basis of trade-offs in life histories; adaptation and constraint; avian migration.
Thumbnail photo for Eric Knox Eric Knox
Director, IU Herbarium

Evolution, Ecology & Behavior
eknox [at] indiana.edu
812-855-9601
JH A313
Plant evolution, speciation, phylogenetic systematics, chloroplast genome evolution; horizontal gene transfer; flora of Indiana.
Thumbnail photo for Jay T. Lennon Jay T. Lennon
Associate Professor

Evolution, Ecology & Behavior
lennonj [at] indiana.edu
812-856-0962
JH 261B / JH 261 (lab)
Microbial Ecology and Evolution
Thumbnail photo for Curt Lively Curt Lively
Distinguished Professor of Biology

Evolution, Ecology & Behavior
clively [at] indiana.edu
812-855-1842/5-3282(lab)
JH 117B / JH 116/117 (lab)
Evolution and coevolution; sex, virulence and genetic diversity in host-parasite interactions.
Thumbnail photo for Michael Lynch Michael Lynch
Distinguished Professor of Biology, Class of 1954 Professor

Genome, Cell & Developmental Biology
milynch [at] indiana.edu
812-855-7384/6-0115(lab)
JH 324C / JH 327 (lab)
Evolution; population genetics and genomics; cell biology.
Thumbnail photo for Melanie Marketon Melanie Marketon
Assistant Professor of Biology

Microbiology
mmarketo [at] indiana.edu
812-856-3198/5-6055(lab)
JH 469A/455 (lab)
Molecular mechanisms of pathogenic microbe-host interactions.
Thumbnail photo for Emília Martins Emília Martins
Professor of Biology

Evolution, Ecology & Behavior
emartins [at] indiana.edu
812-856-5840/5-5652(lab)
JH 133B / JH 133 (lab)
Behavioral evolution, phylogenetics and informatics.
Thumbnail photo for Jake McKinlay Jake McKinlay
Assistant Professor of Biology

Microbiology
jmckinla [at] indiana.edu
812-855-0359/5-9332(lab)
JH A309 / A308 (lab)
Microbial metabolism and its role in cell physiology, the environment, and biotechnology.
Thumbnail photo for Scott Michaels Scott Michaels
Professor and Director Center for Genomics & Bioinformatics

Genome, Cell & Developmental Biology
michaels [at] indiana.edu
812-856-0302/6-0355(lab)
MY 316C / MY 359
Regulation of chromatin structure and gene expression by epigenetic modifications.
Thumbnail photo for Armin Moczek Armin Moczek
Professor of Biology

Evolution, Ecology & Behavior
armin [at] indiana.edu
812-856-1468/6-1783(lab)
MY 102D / MY 102 (lab)
Evolution and Development; Insect Genomics; Developmental Plasticity; Behavioral Ecology and Sexual Selection; Insect Endocrinology; Invasive Species and post-invasion Evolution; Natural History of Onthophagus beetles.
Thumbnail photo for Kristi Montooth Kristi Montooth
Affiliate Associate Professor of Biology

montooth [at] indiana.edu
402-472-2720
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Evolutionary physiological genetics, population genetics, biochemical adaptation.
Thumbnail photo for Leonie Moyle Leonie Moyle
Associate Professor of Biology

Evolution, Ecology & Behavior
lmoyle [at] indiana.edu
812-856-7027/6-7051(lab)
JH 325C / JH 325 (lab)
Genetics of speciation and adaptation, Comparative genomics, Evolutionary ecology, Plant reproduction.
Thumbnail photo for David Nelson David Nelson
Adjunct: Associate Professor of Microbiology & Immunology

nelsonde [at] indiana.edu
812-856-2813/5-3145(lab)
MS 420
Chlamydial Biology, Microbial Pathogenesis and Pathogen Discovery.
Thumbnail photo for Irene Garcia Newton Irene Garcia Newton
Assistant Professor of Biology

Microbiology
irnewton [at] indiana.edu
812-855-3883
JH 221C
Functional genomics of environmental microbes and symbiosis.
Thumbnail photo for Richard Phillips Richard Phillips
Associate Professor of Biology

Evolution, Ecology & Behavior
rpp6 [at] indiana.edu
812-856-0593/6-1563(lab)
JH 247A/JH 245
Ecosystem ecology and biogeochemistry: Consequences of human-accelerated environmental change on plant-soil-microbial Interactions.
Thumbnail photo for Flynn Picardal Flynn Picardal
Adjunct: Associate Professor, SPEA

picardal [at] indiana.edu
812-855-0733
MSBII 418
Bioremediation, environmental microbiology, and biogeochemistry with a focus on the microbial reduction of iron oxides and nitrate, microbial iron oxidation, biotransformation of metals and chlorinated hydrocarbons, and combined microbial:geochemical interactions.
Thumbnail photo for P. David Polly P. David Polly
Adjunct: Professor of Geological Sciences

pdpolly [at] indiana.edu
812-855-7994
Geology Building, 513
Vertebrate paleontology, comparative morphological variation at the level of the metapopulation, and the effects of Quaternary climate change on vertebrate faunas.
Thumbnail photo for Rudolf Raff Rudolf Raff
Distinguished Professor and James H. Rudy Professor of Biology

Evolution, Ecology & Behavior
raffr [at] indiana.edu
812-855-2791
MY 102A
Evolutionary developmental biology; Evolution of early development; Larval origins; How embryos fossilize.
Thumbnail photo for Heather Reynolds Heather Reynolds
Associate Professor of Biology

Evolution, Ecology & Behavior
hlreynol [at] indiana.edu
812-855-0792/5-0841(lab)
JH 155A
Plant community ecology; plant-soil-microbial interactions.
Thumbnail photo for  Kimberly Rosvall Kimberly Rosvall
Assistant Professor in Biology

Evolution, Ecology & Behavior
krosvall [at] indiana.edu
856-2375
JH A305A
Evolution of behavior; neuroendocrine mechanisms of behavior; physiological mechanisms of phenotypic plasticity and adaptation; sexual selection; behavioral genomics; behavioral ecology
Thumbnail photo for Whitney Schlegel Whitney Schlegel
Associate Professor of Biology Part Time and Founding Director Human Biology

wreilly [at] indiana.edu
812-855-7116
MO 117C
Integrative Biology and Human Physiology
Thumbnail photo for G. Troy Smith G. Troy Smith
Associate Professor of Biology, Director CISAB

Evolution, Ecology & Behavior
getsmith [at] indiana.edu
812-856-0109/6-0116(lab)
JH 270E / JH 270 (lab)
Neural and hormonal control of sexually dimorphic behavior.
Thumbnail photo for Nicholas Sokol Nicholas Sokol
Assistant Professor of Biology

Genome, Cell & Developmental Biology
nsokol [at] indiana.edu
812-856-6812/6-4914(lab)
JH A504/JH A502A(lab)
MicroRNA Function in Drosophila.
Thumbnail photo for Roderick Suthers [missing] Roderick Suthers
Adjunct: Professor, Medical Sciences

suthers [at] indiana.edu
812-855-8353/ 5-8709 (lab
JH 308 / JH 31/315 (lab)
Neuroethology of acoustic communication.
Thumbnail photo for Jason Tennessen Jason Tennessen
Assistant Professor

Genome, Cell & Developmental Biology
jtenness [at] indiana.edu
855-9803 / 856-3616 (lab)
JH 343B / JH 341 (lab)
Studies of cancer metabolism using Drosophila as a model system
Thumbnail photo for Michael Wade Michael Wade
Distinguished Professor of Biology

Evolution, Ecology & Behavior
mjwade [at] indiana.edu
812-856-4680/6-4996(lab)
JH 131C / JH 131/145 (lab)
Evolution in Metapopulations; Genetic basis of speciation in Tribolium; Epistasis; Evolutionary genetics of maternal effects; Sexual selection and alternative male mating strategies; Coevolution of arthropod hosts and Wolbachia endosymbionts.
Thumbnail photo for Claire Walczak Claire Walczak
Adjunct: Professor, Medical Sciences

cwalczak [at] indiana.edu
812-855-5919/5-6785(lab)
MY 262 / MY 260 (lab)
Mechanisms of chromosome segregation and aneuploidy; identification of new targets for therapeutic development.
Thumbnail photo for Maxine Watson Maxine Watson
Emeritus Professor of Biology

Evolution, Ecology & Behavior
watsonm [at] indiana.edu
855-5591 / 855-7804 (lab)
JH A303 / JHA302C (lab)
Plant developmental ecology.
Thumbnail photo for Malcolm Winkler Malcolm Winkler
Professor of Biology; Microbiology Section Associate Chair

Microbiology
mwinkler [at] bio.indiana.edu
856-1318/6-1184/6-1781
JH A414 / JH A410 (lab)
Physiology, molecular genetics, and pathogenesis of the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus).
Thumbnail photo for Miriam Zolan Miriam Zolan
Professor of Biology

Genome, Cell & Developmental Biology
mzolan [at] indiana.edu
812-855-6694/5-3692(lab)
JH 217 / 219/221 (lab)
Meiosis and DNA Repair
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