Cameron University faculty member Brandon McDonald has been awarded a research grant by the Oklahoma Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (OK EPSCoR) which will fund his ongoing research on the kangaroo rat. OK EPSCoR was established by the National Science Foundation in 1985 to strengthen Oklahoma’s exploration and growth in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The grant includes a generous stipend for a student to work as an undergraduate research assistant.
McDonald’s research project is titled “The UV vision system of the Kangaroo Rat (Dipodomys ordii): Potential Model Indicator of Climatological Variation.” This research goal is to determine whether changes in climate conditions affect the molecular structure of kangaroo rat eyes and how potential changes affect their use of UV light visually.
“This grant will allow me and a student researcher to travel throughout parts of the United States collecting kangaroo rats from western populations as an extension to our current research where we are examining UV-vision in the species,” McDonald says. “The research will last for eight weeks and will include both field work in the western U.S. and lab work here at Cameron. This is a rare opportunity for an undergraduate to experience both field biology and lab biology within such a short timeframe. It’s going to be a fun and beneficial experience.”
McDonald is collaborating with Dr. William Caire, Professor of Biology and Director, Selman Living Lab, at the University of Central Oklahoma.
After completing his Bachelor of Science degree at Cameron in 2004, McDonald earned a Master of Science in biology from Midwestern State University in 2007. He joined the Cameron faculty in in 2008 and has been conducting research on kangaroo rats since 2009.
April 7, 2014