The Department of Biological Sciences provides opportunities for graduate studies leading to the Master of Science degree in Biology that may include a concentration in Applied Ecology. Under the general program, thesis and non-thesis programs are available. The Applied Ecology concentration requires a thesis. A planned program of study, based on individual needs is selected by each student in consultation with the student’s graduate committee. Students engaged in thesis work may conduct research in such areas as aquatic biology, animal behavior and ecology, plant systematics and ecology, wildlife and conservation biology, physiological and molecular ecology, cellular and molecular biology, and microbiology.

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Theses/Dissertations from 2017

Use of Song Types by Male Carolina Chickadees (Poecile carolinensis), Laura H. Jessup

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Habitat use by wintering passerines in fire-managed forests along the U.S. Gulf Coast, Justin Michael Michaud

Development Of Novel Breast Cancer Chemotherapeutics Directed Towards The Attenuation Of Metastatic And Chemo-Resistant Breast Cancer, Joseph Daniel Rollins

Theses/Dissertations from 2016

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Movement Patterns of the Kentucky Arrow Darter (Etheosotma spilotum), Frecklebelly Darter (Percina stictogaster), and Southern Redbelly Dace (Chrosomus erythrogaster) in Elisha Creek and Gilbert's Big Creek, Red Bird River, Kentucky., Colin Arnold

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Characteristics, contexts, and possible functions of the vocalizations of Blue Jays, Dustin Eric Brewer

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Wetland Condition Matters: Amphibian Richness and Abundance Change Across Wetland Condition Gradient, Kari Dupler

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Efficiency of the TargeTron Gene Knockout System as a Transformative Protocol for the Mutagenesis of Listeria monocytogenes, Hilaree Noele Frazier

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Assessing the effects of prescribed fire on foraging bats at Mammoth Cave National Park after the arrival of White-nose Syndrome, Rachael Elizabeth Griffitts

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Anthropogenic Influence on Blackfin Sucker (Thoburnia atripinnis) Distribution, in the Upper Barren River System, Kentucky and Tennessee, Christa Rose Hurak

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Molecular Basis of Sex Differences in Cardiac Hypertrophy and Heart Failure, Maya James

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Amphibian Community Composition And Disease Susceptibility In Ridge-Top Wetlands Of The Daniel Boone National Forest, Audrey Lauren McTaggart

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Factors influencing pre-fledging mass recession of nestling Tree Swallows, Katrina DeAnn Reeda Moeller

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Biotic Assessment Of Two Central Kentucky Streams: Examining The Effects Of Wastewater Treatment And Anthropogenic Disturbance, Daniel John Ratterman

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Enzyme Analysis of Oxidatively Modified Proteins Post-TBI, Brittany Rice

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A Vegetation-Based Index of Biotic Integrity for Wetlands of Kentucky, Noelle Newman Smith

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American Kestrels (Falco sparverius) may use tail-pumping to maintain balance, Joshua Suich

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Recruitment of monocytes to the pre-ovulatory ovary, Alex Paige Whitaker

Theses/Dissertations from 2015

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Distribution, Movement, and Ecology of Etheostoma spilotum (Gilbert), the Kentucky Arrow Darter, in Gilberts Big Creek and Elisha Creek, Red Bird River Basin, Clay and Leslie Counties, Kentucky, Jonathan Bradley Baxter

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Examining the Impacts of Valley Fills in Stream Ecosystems on Amphibian and Aquatic Insect Communities in Southeastern Kentucky, John Clayton Bourne

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The Vascular Flora of Boyle County, KY, Heidi M. Braunreiter

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Fate Of Captive-Reared Bobwhite Quail Released In Central Kentucky, Adam Carter

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Vocal responses of Blue Jays (Cyanocitta cristata) to raptors that differ in predatory threat, Julie Dahl

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A Comparison of Management Strategies for the Federally Endangered Running Buffalo Clover (Trifolium stoloniferum) on the Blue Grass Army Depot, KY, Alexi David Dart-Padover

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Offspring retrieval behaviors after brood loss in the convict cichlid, Heather Witherspoon Govert

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Reproductive Biology of Syntopic Blackside Dace and Southern Redbelly Dace in Two Kentucky Streams, Brajaan Hayes

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Temporal Comparisons on the Genetic Variation of the Dusky Gopher Frog (Lithobates sevosus), Kristin Michelle Hinkson

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Effects of supplemental food on the behavior, aggression, and paternity status of male Indigo Buntings (Passerina cyanea), Bradley McLeod

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Vegetation-Based Metrics Of Biotic Integrity For Assessing The Ecological Condition Of Wetlands Of Kentucky, Tanner Matthew Morris

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The Status of the Genus Taxus In Kentucky, Robert Reed Pace

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Flight Vocalizations and Displays of Adult Chimney Swifts (Chaetura Pelagica): Description and Function, Louise Ann Peppe

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Validating A Kentucky Wetland Rapid Assessment Method For Forested Riverine Wetlands Using Vegetation, Bird Surveys, And Landscape Analysis, JohnRyan Andrew Polascik

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The effect of antibiotics on Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm production, Courtney Paige Turpin

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Effect of variation in nestling hunger levels on the begging behavior of nestlings and the provisioning behavior of adult American Kestrels, Katheryn Ann Watson

Theses/Dissertations from 2014

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Landsat Evaluation Of Trumpeter Swan Historical Nesting Sites In Yellowstone National Park, Laura Elizabeth Cockrell

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Vocal responses of adult Eastern Bluebirds (Sialia sialis) to potential nest predators and the behavioral responses of nestlings, Erin E. Grabarczyk

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Interactions between Eastern Newts and Wood Frogs in an anthropogenically altered wetland system in eastern Kentucky, Chelsea S. Kross

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Using GIS To Evaluate The Kentucky Wetland Rapid Assessment Method, Douglas Robert Mott

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The Vascular Flora of Garrard County, Kentucky, William Overbeck

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Benthic Macroinvertebrate Community Responses to a Headwater Valley Restoration at Slabcamp Creek, Rowan Co., Kentucky, Nicholas Primo Revetta

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Distributions, Assemblage Structure, and Habitat Associations of Fishes in Two Streams of the Red Bird River Watershed, Kentucky, Eric J. Smith

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Population genetics of wood frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus) in a forested ridge-top wetland ecosystem, Jennifer R. Strong

Theses/Dissertations from 2013

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Wintering white-throated sparrows (Zonotrichia albicollis): home ranges, aggression and corticosterone, Marissa Ann Buschow

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Validation Of Kentucky Wetlands Rapid Assessment Method (ky-Wram) Metrics Using Macroinvertebrate Communities Of Forested Depressional Wetlands, Britney Yvonne Garrison

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Effects Of Thermal Acclimation On The Critical Thermal Maxima Of The Tropical Cockroaches: Blaptica Dubia, Eublaberus Posticus And Blaberus Discoidalis (blaberidae), Lauren Michelle Goode

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Facultative adjustment of pre-fledging mass recession by nestling Chimney Swifts (Chaetura pelagica), Sagan Brianne Goodpaster

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Effects of Variation in Hunger Levels on Begging Behavior of Nestlings and the Provsioning Behavior of Male and Female Eastern Phoebes, Christopher Adam Heist

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Breeding Biology Of Chuck-Will's-Widows: Incubation, Brooding, And Provisioning Behavior And Characteristics Of Nest Sites, Ryan Sean O'Connor

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Assessment of motility and hemolytic activity in clinical isolates of Acinetobacter baumannii from University of Kentucky hospital, Lexington, KY, Amber R. Stanton

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Population Distribution and Abundance of the Blackfin Sucker (Thoburnia atripinnis) in the Upper Barren River System, Kentucky and Tennessee., Cory Daniel Stringfield

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Winter Behavior and Ecology of Eastern Bluebirds (Sialia sialis): Home Ranges, Habitat Use, and Effect of Weather on Foraging Behavior, Todd J. Weinkam

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Assessment of Antimicrobial Resistance in Pathogens Responsible for Causing Bovine Mastitis in Kentucky, Erica Denise West

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Habitat Associations Of Stream-Dwelling Salamanders At Multiple Spatial Scales In Central Kentucky Headwaters., John Mark Yeiser

Theses/Dissertations from 2012

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A Dietary Study of big brown (Eptesicus fuscus) and northern bats (Myotis septentrionalis) in Western Kentucky, Sarah Elizabeth Asher

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Population Distribution and Demographics of Smallmouth Bass (Micropterus dolomieu) in Silver Creek, Madison County, Kentucky, Justin Daniel Basham

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The vascular flora of Breaks Interstate Park, Pike County, Kentucky, and Dickenson County, Virginia, Julie Bennett Clark

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Effect of predator type, season, brood size, and West Nile Virus infection on the nest defense behavior of male and female Eastern Bluebirds, Kayde Lynn Gilbert

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Four-Toed Salamander (hemidactylium Scutatum) Nest Site Characteristics In Natural And Constructed Wetlands In Eastern Kentucky, Susan Kay King

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The Influence of Tail Autotomy on Avoidance of Chemical Alarm Cues in Northern Zigzag Salamanders, Plethodon dorsalis, Ivan Thomas Moberly

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Nocturnal Habitat Selection During Spring Migration by American Woodcock (Scolopax minor) in Central Kentucky, Andrew K. Newman

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The Development Of Old-Growth Structural Characteristics In Second-Growth Forests Of The Cumberland Plateau, Kentucky, U.s.a., Robert James Scheff

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Space Use And Habitat Selection By Bobcats In Southeastern Kentucky, Andrea Joy Shipley

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Annual variation in timing, orientation and effects of weather on Jefferson salamander (Ambystoma jeffersonianum) and spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum) movements in central Kentucky, Christopher James St. Andre

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Forest Dynamics Of Two Multi-Aged Hemlock-Mixed Mesophytic Forests In The Northern Cumberland Plateau, Kentucky, Kacie Lee Tackett

Theses/Dissertations from 2011

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Bat Species Diversity in Old-Growth vs. Second Growth Forests in Lilley Cornett Woods, Letcher County, Kentucky, Lindsay R. Conley

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Age, forest structure, and disturbance history of five potential old-growth forests in eastern Kentucky's Cumberland Plateau, Adrienne Michelle Cooper

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Amphibian Community Similarity Between Natural Ponds And Constructed Ponds Of Multiple Types In Daniel Boone National Forest, Kentucky, Robert Daniel Denton

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Land snail species diversity and composition between different forest disturbance regimes in central and eastern Kentucky Forests, Daniel Douglas

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Efficacy Of Constructed Wetlands Of Various Depths For Natural Amphibian Community Conservation, Andrea Nicole Drayer

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Characterization Of Pregnancy Induced Cardiac Hypertrophy In Rats, Patricia Holden

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Effect of nestling sex ratio on the provisioning behavior of adult Eastern Bluebirds (Sialia sialis), Barbara Ellen Kieffer

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A Post-Restoration Assessment of the Fishes and Macroinvertebrates of Mill Branch, Knox County, Kentucky, with Emphasis on the Blackside Dace (Chrosomus cumberlandensis), Dwayne Kevin Merrill

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Population and Conservation Genetics of Crawfish Frogs, Lithobates areolatus, at their Northeastern Range Limits, Schyler O. Nunziata

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Nest-site selection by Sharp-shinned Hawks in Kentucky, Tyler Edmonson Rankin

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Characteristics Of Rest Sites Used By Raccoons (procyon Lotor) In Richmond, Kentucky, Jonathan Ridenour

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Ultraviolet reflectance of nestling plumage and the provisioning strategies of adult Eastern Phoebes (Sayornis phoebe), Alyssa Rae Underwood

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Edaphic, Microtopographic, and Light Characteristics Associated with the Endangered Running Buffalo Clover (Trifolium stoloniferm) at the Blue Grass Army Depot, Madison County, Kentucky, Lance Austin Watt

Theses/Dissertations from 2010

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Shorebird migration in western Kentucky: phenology, habitat use, and possible effects of prey availability, Nicole Ann Ranalli