The Department of Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Science and the Department of Biological and Allied Health Sciences along with the Department of Mathematics, Computer Science and Physics presented a Research Forum on March 1, 2017 to inform students about research possibilities on campus. Not only did the professors speak about their research but two Honor Students: Alexandra Mueller and Marisa Grisaffi presented as well. As per Dr. Olechnowski, “Alexandra started her research in the Fall 2015 semester. She will be examining how different songbird species respond and habituate to an innocuous environmental stimulus (prowler owl statues) over time, and how feeding patterns across different species of birds change as they recognize the stimulus as non-threatening. Data will be related to the theory of optimal foraging. She will also then attempt to infer differential learning patterns across these species and relate these results to the potential overall cognitive ability of these various birds. Her final results will be presented at the 2017 William Paterson Undergraduate Research Symposium.
Marisa Grisaffi started her research in the Fall 2015 semester. Marisa will use local and regional zoological parks and aquariums as research sites and employ behavioral methodologies similar to past students. Marisa will examine the differences in both individual behaviors and social behaviors of several captive penguin species. She is especially interested in correlating these behaviors with the various morphologies of the different penguin species and biogeographic distribution of these species in their natural habitats. This research considers the conservation, ecology, welfare and management of these birds in zoological parks. Marisa was a Novo Nordisk scholar in Summer 2016. Her final results will be presented at the 2017 William Paterson Undergraduate Research Symposium”.