Student Experiences

Andrew Kirk: VCU Center for Environmental Studies
Dr. Daniel McGarvey
Lotic Ecosystem Ecology

UntitledWhat were the primary factors that influenced your decision to participate in Undergraduate Research?

I was introduced to the film Never Cry Wolf (1983) where a researcher, Farley Mowat, is dropped into the Canadian wilderness to monitor how wolves impact the elk in the area. Seeing this film planted the seed for me to return to college, switch my major to Biology, and find something I was passionate about. Pursuing ecology and animal organismal courses further increased my desire to jump into research. Read more about Andrew’s experience…

Joanna Kettlewell: VCU Center for the Study of Biological Complexity
Dr. Allison Johnson
Characterization of HIV-1 Integrase


Did you register for academic credit? Participate in a research program? Or Volunteer?

I began working over the summer as a paid student researcher.  To continue the project I had begun, I participated in the Undergraduate Research Opportunities program (UROP) which required writing a research proposal with my mentor.  Following this program, I registered for academic credit to pursue an Honors in Biology distinction which included laboratory credits and the requirement to write a senior thesis on my research. Read more about Joanna’s experience…..

Help us share other student experiences
If you are a biology major who has participated in research as an undergraduate and would like to share your experience, please e-mail

Everything you need to know about studying a BS in Biology at VCU

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