Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University


Science Student Research

There are many opportunities for students in both undergraduate and graduate programs to be involved in unique research at TRU.

Take for example Natascha Hedrich who, as a 4th year physics student, worked at the Hadron Collider at CERN in Switzerland - an opportunity of a lifetime! If you’re a particle physicist, visiting the Large Hadron Collider is like playing for the Stanley Cup: only a select few get to go, and there are few experiences to match it. Natasha's journey started during her first years in Science at TRU. Learn more about Natascha's experience at "Curious to the Core".

TRU professors are committed to mentoring and assisting students meet their research goals. Graduates and undergraduates alike continue to present at conferences and publish papers in major academic journals and develop strategies and solutions that make a difference in the real world! The 9th Annual TRU Undergraduate Innovation and Research Conference took place on in March  2015. This annual conference was combined with the TRU Science Poster Day. The weekend event was a celebration and presentation of completed student research projects in which students compete for top marks and showcase their research to the campus and the external community.

Undergraduate student research

Students in the Faculty of Science at Thompson Rivers University have many opportunities to be involved in research very early on in their student life. Science students in their third and forth year are able to through research get hands on experience with some very complex instruments. As Dr. Lyn Baldwin in the Biological Sciences Department has been quoted "It's what we do best at TRU: mentor undergraduates in their research".

The following students are involved in active research in 2015:

Arnott Kidner, Mathematics & Statistics. Dominating Properties and Skewness in Hypercubes
Hypercubes can be seen as structures generated by 0-1 sequences, or a Cartesian product of cubes. In modern computing, hypercube plays an important role because any input of algorithm, as a 0-1 sequence, can be embedded into a hypercube. More recently, hypercube is used in designing the architectures of parallel computing. In this study, we focus on the several properties in hypercubes, such as dominating properties, induced path and skewness.
Supervisor: Dr. Roger Yu

Kile McKenna, Chemistry, summer 2015
The research project "Evaluation of the Sustainability of Undergraduate Chemistry Labs at TRU" was selected for funding under the innovative Student Sustainability Award program. Kile, as a fourth year undergraduate student is the principal investigator on the project.
Supervisor: Dr. Sharon Brewer. 

Doug Terpsma, Natural Resource Science
Examining the physical constraints to the growth and success of hybrid poplar plantations on semi-arid lands of the southern interior of British Columbia.
Supervisor: Dr. Tom Pyker

Cara Snell, Biology Honours
Cara is examining whether mountain chickadees alter their song to avoid aggression from dominant black-capped chickadees
Co-supervisors: Dr. Ken Otter, UNBC, and Dr. Matt Reudink

Jackson Kusack, Honours Biology
Jackson is working on understanding the evolution of moult strategies in migratory passerines and for his honours will be looking at movement patterns of house finches in relation to plumage colouration.
Supervisor: Dr. Matt Reudink

Katie Sparrow, Honours Biology
Katie is optimizing LC-MS for high-throughput carotenoid identification and quantification in Bullock’s Orioles and examining the role of moult location in carotenoid acquisition.
Co- supervisors; Dr. Kingsley Donkor(Chemistry TRU) and Dr. Matt Reudink

Erin Slade, Directed Studies Biology
Erin will be working with Adrienne Clay (BCWP) on burrowing owl behaviour and personality
Supervisor: Dr. Matt Reudink

Dana Eye, Directed Studies Biology
Dana worked on urbanization in chickadees and is currently working on a variety of research projects in the BEAC Lab.
Supervisor: Dr. Matt Reudink

Graduate student research

Mauricio Centeno, MSc Environmental Science
Computational study of the degradation and removal of methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) from aqueous solutions.
Supervisor: Dr. Nelaine Mora-Diez

Kile McKenna, MSc Environmental Science
Kile will be examining method development for analyzing carotenoid content in feathers and how feathers reflect their carotenoid content.
Co-supervisors: Dr. Kingsley Donkor and Dr. Matt Reudink

Kristen Marini, MSc Environmental Science
Kristen is continuing work in the lab after a directed studies and honours and is now switching gears from plumage evolution and is examining the effects of urbanization on mountain chickadees.
Co-supervisors: Dr. Ken Otter (UNBC) and Dr. Matt Reudink

Sarah McArthur, MSc Environmental Science
Sarah joined us from U. Victoria and is using RFID technology to examine parental care in mountain bluebirds and the determinants of nestling mortality using long-term datasets.
Supervisor: Dr. Matt Reudink

Jacob Bailey, MSc Enviroment Science
After working with me on both a directed studies and honours, Jacob is now tackling an M.Sc. with Ken Otter and I working on movement patterns of mountain chickadees using RFID-based bird feeders.
Supervisor: Dr. Matt Reudink

Erica Bonderud, MSc Environmental Science
Erica will be working on dominance and paternity in mountain chickadees.
Supervisor: Dr. Matt Reudink