Chapel Garden

Current and Past Undergraduate Researchers

The University of Scranton

My research program on migratory and breeding birds provides numerous opportunities for undergraduate research (scroll down to see examples of current and past projects). I have both field and laboratory projects available for students during fall, spring and summer semesters. If you are interested in birds, bird blood, external and internal bird parasites, identification and quantification of invertebrates (bird food!), migration or breeding biology, museum skin preparation or data entry, I encourage you to stop by for a chat.

2022

Matthew Simms, in progress. Undergraduate Honor’s Thesis. Weather effects on stopover ecology of landbird migrants within Lackawanna State Park. The University of Scranton.

Piermatteo, Julia L., Matsui, Kento., Hatch, Margret I. and Robert J. Smith. 2022. Effect of viburnum beetle invasion on feather growth in Gray Catbirds (Dumetella carolinensis). 22nd Annual Celebration of Student Scholars, The University of Scranton, April 27. Presentation by J. Piermatteo and K. Matsui, University of Scranton undergraduates.

Nebzydoski, Katie E., Royer, Anne, Hatch, Margret I. and Robert J. Smith. 2022. Parasite load in migrating Gray Catbirds (Dumetella carolinensis) with respect to age and weather. 22nd Annual Celebration of Student Scholars, The University of Scranton, April 27. Presentation by K. Nebzydoski, University of Scranton undergraduate.

Kowalewski, Maggie, Hatch, Margret I., and Robert J. Smith. 2022. Seasonal differences in leukocyte counts in Gray Catbirds (Dumetella carolinensis). 22nd Annual Celebration of Student Scholars, The University of Scranton, April 27. Presentation by M. Kowalewski, University of Scranton undergraduate.

York, Myah A., Hatch, Margret I., and Robert J. Smith. 2022. Relationship between immune state and body condition of fall migrant Gray Catbirds. 22nd Annual Celebration of Student Scholars, The University of Scranton, April 27. Presentation by M. York, University of Scranton undergraduate.

2021

Zachary Rieker, 2021. Undergraduate Honor’s Thesis. Anthropogenic noise and breeding birds within Lackawanna State Park. The University of Scranton.

Jessica Fanelli, 2021. Undergraduate Honor’s Thesis. A study of the impact of habitat on the composition of breeding bird communities in Lackawanna State Park during the summer of 2020. The University of Scranton.

2020

Katherine Peccerillo, 2020. Undergraduate Honor’s Thesis. An Examination of Haemosporidian Infection and Feather Coloration in Gray Catbirds (Dumetella carolinensis). The University of Scranton.

2019

Jonathan Nicklas, 2018. Undergraduate Honor’s Thesis. Examination of feather coloration by age and sex in Gray Catbirds (Dumetella carolinensis). The University of Scranton.

McManus, Catherine and Robert Smith. 2019. Exploring arthropod biomass and diversity in Northeastern Pennsylvania Invasive Dominated Habitats. The University of Scranton 19th Annual Celebration of Student Scholars, Scranton, PA. April. Presentation by C. McManus, University of Scranton undergraduate.

O’Dell, Michael, Smith, Robert and Margret Hatch. 2019. Hematological parameters and early arrival in Gray Catbirds (Dumetella carolinensis) using habitats in Northeastern Pennsylvania. The University of Scranton 19th Annual Celebration of Student Scholars, Scranton, PA. April. Presentation by M. O’Dell, University of Scranton undergraduate.

Feldman, Jared and Robert J. Smith. 2019. The influence of phenology and vegetation on invertebrate diversity during the spring in Northeastern Pennsylvania. The University of Scranton 19th Annual Celebration of Student Scholars, Scranton, PA. April. Presentation by J. Feldman, University of Scranton undergraduate.

Rhodes, Derek A., Smith, Robert J. and Michael A. Sulzinski. 2019. Optional germination conditions for Metasequoia glyptostroboides. The University of Scranton 19th Annual Celebration of Student Scholars, Scranton, PA. April. Presentation by D. Rhodes, University of Scranton undergraduate.

 2017

Kishan Patel, 2017. Undergraduate Honor’s Thesis. An Examination of Sex-Differences in Spring Arrival Timing & Parasite Prevalence Among Birds at a Northeastern Pennsylvania Stop-Over Site. The University of Scranton.

Niedermeyer, G., Patel, K., Dodgson, M., Lasek-Nesselquist and R. Smith. 2017. An Examination of sex-differences in spring arrival timing and a genetic analysis of parasitic infection among avian species in Northeastern Pennsylvania. The University of Scranton 17th Annual Celebration of Student Scholars, Scranton, PA. May. Presentation by G. Niedermeyer, K. Patel and M. Dodgson, University of Scranton undergraduates.

2016

Ryan Brown, 2016. Undergraduate Honor’s Thesis. Evaluating the effects of time since capture on plasma triglyceride levels in Gray Catbirds (Dumetella carolinensis). The University of Scranton.

Brown, R. and R. Smith. 2016. Determining the Effect of Time Since Capture, Time Since Extraction, Time of Day, and Date on the Plasma Triglyceride Concentrations in Gray Catbirds (Dumetella carolinensis) at a Northeastern Pennsylvania Stopover Site. The University of Scranton 16th Annual Celebration of Student Scholars, Scranton, PA. May. Presentation by R. Brown, University of Scranton undergraduate.

Graham, J. and R. Smith. 2016. The effects of en route temperature on Gray Catbird arrival timing in Northeastern Pennsylvania. The University of Scranton 16th Annual Celebration of Student Scholars, Scranton, PA. May. Presentation by J. Graham, University of Scranton undergraduate.

LaCroce, A., Smith, R.J. and M.I. Hatch. 2016. Correlates of immune function of Gray Catbirds during spring migration. The University of Scranton 16th Annual Celebration of Student Scholars, Scranton, PA. May. Presentation by A. LaCroce, University of Scranton undergraduate.

 McAleer, J., Metgud, A., Hammel, G., Smith, R. and J. Voltzow. 2016. The influence of age and sex on Haemoproteus parasites in Gray Catbirds. The University of Scranton 16th Annual Celebration of Student Scholars, Scranton, PA. May. Presentation by J. McAleer, University of Scranton undergraduate.

Perello, J. and R. Smith. 2016. An examination of feather coloration of Common Yellowthroats in Northeastern Pennsylvania. The University of Scranton 16th Annual Celebration of Student Scholars, Scranton, PA. May. Presentation by J. Perello, University of Scranton undergraduate.

2015

Brandon Somwaru, 2015. Undergraduate Honor’s Thesis. Factors Influencing Measures of Immune Function in the Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis) During Spring and Fall Migration. The University of Scranton.

Ceresnak, N. and R. Smith. 2015. The influence of climate on spring migration timing for landbirds using habitats in Northeastern Pennsylvania. The University of Scranton 15th Annual Celebration of Student Scholars, Scranton, PA. May. Presentation by N. Ceresnak, University of Scranton.

Ryan, J. J. and R.J Smith. 2015. An evaluation of factors affecting invertebrate biomass in Lackawanna State Park. The University of Scranton 15th Annual Celebration of Student Scholars, Scranton, PA. May 2015. Presentation by J. Ryan, University of Scranton undergraduate.

2014

Capooci, M. and R. Smith. 2014. The effects of short-term climate on the hue, brightness, and saturation of Gray Catbird crism and rectrix feathers. The University of Scranton 14th Annual Celebration of Student Scholars, Scranton, PA. May 2014. Presentation by M. Capooci, University of Scranton undergraduate.

Maas, N., M.I. Hatch and R. Smith. 2014. Assessing variability in feather coloration by gender and indices of immune function in Common Yellowthroats captured in northeastern Pennsylvania.  The University of Scranton 14th Annual Celebration of Student Scholars, Scranton, PA. May 2014. Presentation by N. Maas, University of Scranton undergraduate.

Olsakowski, M., J. Voltzow and R. Smith. 2014. The influence of Haemoproteus parasites on migratory phenology in Gray Catbirds. The University of Scranton 14th Annual Celebration of Student Scholars, Scranton, PA. May 2014. Presentation by M. Olsakowski, University of Scranton undergraduate.

2013

Ganssle, H. and R.J. Smith. 2013. An assessment of crissum feather coloration by gender and age in Gray Catbirds (Dumetella carolinensis) breeding in Northeastern Pennsylvania.  The University of Scranton 13th Annual Celebration of Student Scholars, Scranton, PA.  May 2013.  Presentation by H. Ganssle, University of Scranton undergraduate

2012

Hofler, M, and R.J. Smith.  2012.  The influence of plant species and changing plant phenology on arthropod biodiversity.  The University of Scranton 12th Annual Celebration of Student Scholars, Scranton, PA.  May 2012.  Presentation by M. Hofler, University of Scranton undergraduate.

Bohenek, J., Druther, K. and R.J. Smith. 2012. The Effects of Invasive Shrubs in Early-successional Habitats on Avian Communities. The University of Scranton 12th Annual Celebration of Student Scholars, Scranton, PA.  May 2012.  Presentation by J. Bohenek, University of Scranton undergraduate.

2011

Wynne, A. and R. Smith. 2011.  Spectral plumage reflectance of breeding Common Yellowthroats in Northeastern Pennsylvania.  The University of Scranton 11th Annual Celebration of Student Scholars, Scranton, PA.  April 2011.  Presentation by A. Wynne, University of Scranton undergraduate.

2010

Carr, N., Zenzal, T.J. and R.J. Smith.  2010.  Spectral plumage characteristics of breeding Gray Catbirds (Dumetella carolinensis) in northeastern Pennsylvania, a followup.  The University of Scranton 10th Annual Celebration of Student Scholars, Scranton, PA.  April 2010.  Presentation by N Carr, University of Scranton undergraduate.

Brague, J., Smith, R.J. and M. Squire.  2010.  Assessment of skeletal morphology in Passerine landbirds. The University of Scranton 10th Annual Celebration of Student Scholars, Scranton, PA.  April 2010.  Presentation by J. Brague., University of Scranton undergraduate. 

2009

Denise Hardisky, 2009.  Undergraduate Honor’s Thesis.  An Investigation of the Use and Fitness Consequences of Using Shrub-land Habitats by Gray Catbirds Migrating through Northeastern Pennsylvania.  The University of Scranton.

Zenzal, T. and R. Smith.  2008.  Spectral plumage reflectance of breeding Gray Catbirds in Northeastern Pennsylvania.  126th Stated Meeting of the American Ornithologists’ Union, Portland, Oregon, August 2008.  Presentation by T. Zenzal, University of Scranton undergraduate.

2008

Faris, M. and R. Smith.  2008.  Spectral reflectance of carotenoid-based plumage patches and individual fitness in Northern Michigan American Redstarts (Setophaga ruticilla).  Lehigh Valley Ecology and Evolution Symposium, Lafayette College, Easton, PA.  Presentation by M. Faris, University of Scranton undergraduate.

2007

Foster, D.T., Smith, R.J. and M. Carey.  2007.  The effects of secondary succession on bird population and community composition in an old field in Northeastern Pennsylvania.  Lehigh Valley Ecology and Evolution Symposium.  DeSales University, Center Valley, PA.  Presentation by D. Foster, University of Scranton undergraduate student.

2006

Jessica Phillippy, 2006.  Undergraduate Honor’s Thesis.  An Examination of Immune Function in Gray Catbirds Relative to Time of Arrival and Condition Upon Arrival at Breeding Grounds in Northeastern Pennsylvania.  The University of Scranton.