Of his four years at UP, senior biology major Tim Luethke’s favorite experience was doing undergraduate research with crabs in what is known on campus as The Crab Lab. The Crab Lab, which was built by a team of students in summer 2011, has offered biology students like Tim an opportunity to get hands-on experience during their undergraduate years.
“Having the opportunity to do undergraduate research in behavioral biology was probably the most beneficial academic aspect of my time at UP,” Tim said.
His Founders Day presentation will focus on the research he did in The Crab Lab, which looked at how limb loss affects the dorsoventral righting reflex (the ability to flip over) in purple shore crabs. Tim tested crabs’ ability to turn over while missing certain assortments of limbs.
Tim said his professors, especially Dr. Tara Maginnis, helped him achieve his goals at UP.
“Dr. Maginnis offered a truly remarkable experience,” Tim said. “The Crab Lab was not a canned experience with research. I had free reign with my research, but she was there to guide me.”
Tim’s plan after graduating this May is to work with the national parks for a year. After that, he plans to go to grad school and study either entomology (which was his favorite class at UP), botany, or ecology. When he finishes grad school, Tim hopes to return to the national parks to be an ecologist.