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Josh Levano '17

Major/Minor: Biology and Management
Hometown: Whitehall
Project Advisor(s): Dr. Irish

''Extreme Kinesis: A Comparative Study of Prey Handling in Snakes''

Briefly describe your project. 

The snake’s skull is kinetic, and we wanted to see if there is extreme kinesis involved in snake’s snout twisting or is it just seen in certain species, such as the Boa constrictor. Therefore, we gathered data on different species and compared them to the Boa constrictor.

Why did you decide to turn your idea into a SOAR project

Dr. Irish was continuing her research and decided to help out. I thought it would be a great opportunity to learn more about research.

How did your faculty advisor guide you through your research?

The best part is that she helped me facilitate new ideas and we developed a great relationship. She is the sweetest and friendliest person I know. She showed me that I should not be afraid to ask questions about the research.

What has been your biggest obstacle so far? 

The biggest obstacle had to be collecting data. It was hard to compile accurate data.

What has been your biggest takeaway from this experience?

Since this was a hands-on project, this opportunity enabled me to experience what it is was like to do research outside of school.

What was the result of your project? 

Overall, I learned so many new elements of research. This project also expanded our knowledge of snout twisting data from different species.

Will you expand on your research after this summer is over? If so, where would you like to see it go?

I plan to do an honors project related to our research.

In your own words, how do you feel about being awarded this opportunity?

I am very grateful that I was given this opportunity. Students should take advantage of the SOAR program because it gives students an idea of how research is like in the real world and it shows that you are academically committed towards your interest and major.