Skip to Navigation | Skip to Content

About Us: Our Students

Biology students at Calvin

Read about biology students and alumni involved in research in these stories from Calvin News and Stories.

Senior biology major, Thuy-Nhi Nguyen is doing research with Darren Proppe looking at bird communication and behavior at Au Sable Institute this summer.

Solving the jigsaw puzzle

Down in the basement of the science building, biology and biochemistry major Jodie DeVries works with physics professor Loren Haarsma on research focused on the impact of ultraviolet exposure on epithelial cells in the eye. They hope to figure out why electrical currents in the eye are more active after exposure to ultraviolet light using electrophysiology.

For Devries, the project is a unique opportunity. She gets to learn research methods that most people don’t encounter before graduate school. She’s especially enjoyed learning patch clamping, a technique used to study single or multiple ion channels in cells.

“Patch clamping is definitely more of an art form than a science,” Devries laughs. It’s not very precise, but it’s a good skill to have.”

Haarsma is hopeful that the project will help solve a little piece of the puzzle surrounding cells and ultraviolet light.

“Lots of people are already doing research on [UV light and cells]. It’s a 70,000-piece jigsaw puzzle. We hope we can put together a few pieces. Our piece this summer has to do with how ultraviolet light damages the eyes,” Haarsma explained.

Ecosystem Preserve Summer Steward, Annika Scheeres, is responsible for documenting animal activity in the preserve and preserving its beauty! All of her monitoring and management activities are conducted to maintain and encourage the preserve’s biodiversity.

Biology student earns top research awardAbigail Streelman
Biology junior, Abigail Streelman is one of three Calvin students who have been honored as Goldwater Scholars this year.

Senior pre-med student doing HIV research
Summer science research has done more than it’s fair share of work for senior pre-med student Yelena Boykov. Not only did it give her a well-paying summer job on Calvin’s campus, it also means a co-publication credit in a scientific journal, preparation for medical school and most of all, the opportunity to help find a solution to a problem she cares deeply about: HIV.

Biology majors receive prestigious research awards
Anna Plantinga and Ryan Martinie are Goldwater Scholars for 2012.

Learning about local food
Professor David Koetje's interim class learns about eating healthier, more sustainably and more homemade.

Researching the mighty phage
Two summer research projects pair two students with two professors in the study of bacteriophages.

Mapping Calvin's trees
Last fall nearly 20 Calvin biology students went sleuthing on  campus, meter sticks, notebooks and GPS devices in hand. The goal? To document every tree of at least five inches in diameter on the west side of campus—all 3,516 of them.

Biology major awarded major EPA research fellowship
June 3, 2011

Calvin biology major Tyler Bleeker was awarded a Greater Research Opportunities Fellowship by the Environmental Protection Agency. The total amount of the award is $48,900.

Going wild: mitigation transforms campus
December 12, 2008

Two senior biology students spent this past summer on a mitigation project involving native plant restoration and re-creation of forest habitat in various locations on campus.

Where farm meets forest
November 7, 2008

Biology alumna Tara De Vries Cahill travels to remote villages in Guatemala to help communities develop sustainable agriculture techniques.

A summer in the woods
August 28, 2008

Senior Rachel Hesselink learns about the invasive species autumn olive at Pierce Cedar Creek.

Luncheon celebrates student research
August 1, 2008

Senior Eunji Kim spends her summer studying termite guts with Professor John Wertz.

Where the wild things are at Calvin
June 20, 2008

Biology alumna Jeanneatte Henderson returns to her alma mater to be the director of Calvin's 90-acre Ecosystem Preserve.

Senior Researches Kidney Cancer at Van Andel Institute
April 14, 2008

Bill Wondergem pairs up with distinguished kidney cancer researcher Bin Teh at the Van Andel Institute in Grand Rapids for his internship.

Prof, Students Research Great Lakes Birds
August 22 , 2007

Three biology students join Professor Keith Grasman as he studies the effect of pollution on Great Lakes colonial water birds.

Researching the Autumn Olive
May 24, 2007

A biology and Spanish major works with Professor David Dornbos to study autumn olive at Pierce Cedar Creek.

Calvin Senior Accepted into Prestigious Van Andel Institute Program
May 2, 2007

A Calvin biology graduate is among the few students accepted in the new PhD program at the Van Andel Institute in downtown Grand Rapids.