Students in the Natural Science Division have the opportunity to work alongside professors in ongoing research projects on a wide variety of topics. Participating in a research project enables students to practically apply classroom concepts, develop their creativity and analytical thinking, gain hands-on experience with scientific equipment, and learn how to present research results to the scientific community. Research experience will help students gain entrance to professional programs and prepare students in their career of choice.

Current Research Projects

Dr. Tim Wakefield has conducted a variety of research projects during his career.  He began studying coral reef symbiotic systems.  And has also “dabbled” in Orca whale behavioral studies.  But for the past 10 years, he has been doing stream ecology research in NW Arkansas.  Dr. Wakefield and his team of undergraduate researchers, have been focused on Sager Creek, a small stream that flows through the city of Siloam Springs as well as the campus of John Brown University.

Dr. Jill Ellenbarger is involved in an ongoing research project to develop molecules that undergo a distinct color change to selectively identify the presence of several of the most prevalent, hazardous negatively-charged contaminants. Much like a single key is able to fit into a specific lock, we seek to develop urea-based compounds that are complementary to specific anions of interest. Research students are mentored by Dr. Ellenbarger as they tackle specific challenges with a variety of computational chemistry tools.

Dr. Susan Newton is involved in an ongoing renewable energy research project. The project has the potential to significantly reduce local, nationwide, and global resource use and engage the local community in development and maintenance of the project.

Dr. Angie Wang is interested in the neural circuitry of mood disorders such as depression and anxiety. The current project is to investigate the activities of a few different types of brain cells during animal depression-like behavior and how antidepressants influence those cells.