Undergraduate Research

The Department of Entomology's faculty provide various research opportuites for undergraduate students with an Entomology major/minor as well as students from other departments.

Luke holding a bee smoker

Luke Hearon

Major: Entomology

Research Advisor: Reed Johnson

Future Plans:  Masters Degree in Entomology


  • Establishing a correlation between soybean presence and soybean foraging by honey bees
  • Examined pollen content of honey samples to determine the primary contributing nectar sources
  • Calculated the total area and proximity of soybean around each sampled hive
  • Established a correlation between soybean presence and soybean foraging by honey bees
  • Presented at the CFAES Undergraduate Research Forum

Favorite Entomology Course:

  • ENTOMOLOGY 2220 – Beekeeping (Dr. Reed Johnson)
Rachel leaning against a cinder block wall

Rachel McLaughlin

Major: Entomology, Honors

Research Advisors: Drs. Mary Gardiner and Frances Sivakoff

Future Plans:  PhD program at Penn State studying black cherry pollinators


Effects of cadmium contamination in soil on pollination services and pollinator behavior

  • Grew sunflowers in different concentrations of Cd-contaminated soil
  • Used video recorder to document the visiting pollinators
  • Counted and weighed all developed seeds to quantify pollination services
  • Presented at Denman Research Forum, Ohio Academy of Science Meeting, and  Entomological Society of America North Central Branch Meeting

Awards & Honors:

  • 2nd Place: 2018 Entomological Society of America North Central Branch Meeting, B.S. Student Ten-Minute Paper Competition
  • 3rd Place: 2018 CFAES Undergraduate Research Forum
  • Will C. Hauk Endowment Research Grant

Additional Highlights:

  • Participated in education abroad programs to Nicaragua and England
Emily in a hat and bee suit

Emily Walker

Major: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at The College of Wooster

Research Advisor:  Reed Johnson

Future Plans:  PhD in Biochemistry


Effects of pesticide combinations on honey bee mortality

  • Sprayed honey bees with different combinations of pesticides and assessedmortality after 72 hours
  • Determined if pesticide combinations were significantly toxic at field applicationrates
  • Future work with this project: Characterize the synergistic toxicity in honey bees
  • Presented at the Ohio Valley Regional Chapter of the Society of Environmental  Toxicology and Chemistry 2018 Annual Meeting

Awards & Honors:

  • Freshman Chemistry Achievement Award sponsored by CRC Press LLC
  • Theron L. Peterson and Dorothy R. Peterson Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement
  • Whitmore-Williams Science Scholarship