Current Projects


Environmental Earth Science Undergraduate Research Projects
Dr. James A. Drew Hyatt
1) Constructing digital maps and representations of dinosaur trackways, Dinosaur State Park – Student:  Jacqueline Lorange
2) Ground Penetrating Radar surveys of exposed and buried dinosaur trackways, Dinosaur State Park – Student:  Brian Wicks
4) Scanning meltwater erosion forms – Student: Lindsey Belliveau

Dr. W. Dickson Cunningham
1) Geological characteristics of super-eruption deposits along the Yellowstone hot spot track, Brown’s Bench, southern Idaho – Student: Mackenzie Fannon
2) Lithological characteristics and kinematic history of a major ignimbrite sequence, Shoshone Hills, southern Idaho – Student: Anthony Sylvester
3) Rheomorphic folds in super-hot ignimbrites from the southern Snake River Plain, Idaho – Student: Daniel Grondin
4) Bedrock geology and tectonic history of Soapstone Mountain, Somers, CT – Student: Matthew Gonsalves
5) Pegmatite mining and mineralogy, Glastonbury, CT – Student: Catherine Carr

Dr. Peter A. Drzewiecki

1. Tectonic and Climatic Controls on the Evolution of an Upper Cretaceous Reef System, Pyrenees, Spain – Student: Laura Markley
2. Stratigraphic Architecture of a Lower Cretaceous Reef System, Iberian Range, Spain – Student: Jeffrey Olandt

3. Fault-controlled Erosion on the Slope of a mid-Cretaceous Reef System, Pyrenees, Spain – Student: Sean Kellarson

Dr. Stephen A. Nathan
1. Predicting the geothermal properties of glacial deposits in Connecticut – Student: Christopher (Cody) Lorentson
2. Using microfossils to determine shifts in late Miocene global climate – Student: Timothy Bugden

Dr. Bryan Oakley
1. Shoreline Change: Block Island, RI – Student: Michael Manzi
2. Bluff erosion vs. storms: Block Island, RI – Student: Samantha Boyle
3. Long-term and short-term shoreline change: Napatree Barrier – Student:  Josh Bartosiewicz
4. Benthic Geologic Habitat mapping, Branford, CT – student researcher to be decided – new funding, autumn, 2013

Dr. Catherine Carlson
1. Hydrology of Alex Caisse Park Spring, Willimantic, CT – Student: Kristin Shumbo

Dr. Meredith Metcalf
1) GIS investigations into spatial patterns of groundwater contamination – Student: David Carney


Eastern Chamber Singers
Dr. David Belles

A premiere vocal ensemble comprised of 20-25 auditioned singers from various departments throughout the University. Repertoire performed by Eastern Chamber Singers encompasses chamber music from more than four centuries. An annual Spring Tour is also part of the experience that serves to bring our music beyond the boundaries of the University, enrich the musical lives of audiences both near and far, and enhance the cultural experience for members of the ensemble while studying at Eastern. In addition to local appearances throughout Connecticut, including performing with Connecticut’s professional choir CONCORA, members of Eastern Chamber Singers have experienced recent tour destinations which include Montreal, Maryland, Washington, DC., North Carolina, and New York City’s Carnegie Hall!


Faculty members are conducting research and need students to assist them with their work. Being a research assistant is a great way to prepare for graduate school and employment after graduation. Students who are interested in working in one of the labs should click on the links below and contact the lab’s principal investigator(s) for more information.

Attraction and Romantic Relationships Lab
Dr. Madeleine Fugère

(webpage link coming soon)
In Spring 2014, Dr. Fugère and Shaleah Richards will be working on a content analysis of the Sex and the City television series, coding episodes for mention of sexual double standards as well as endorsement or non-endorsement of sexual double standards.

Current Number of Students: 2 in Fall 2013, at least 2 in Spring 2014 (Shaleah Richards in Spring 2014)
Current Projects:
1.   Sexual double standards in Sex and the City
This study will examine episodes of Sex and the City for mention of sexual double standards and whether they are endorsed or not endorsed.

BLEAP: Behavioral Laboratory of Emotion and Psychophysiology

Dr. James Diller & Dr. Kristalyn Salters-Pedneault

The Behavioral Laboratory of Emotion and Psychophysiology (BLEAP) is an interdisciplinary psychology research lab co-directed by Dr. Kristi Salters-Pedneault and Dr. James Diller. The lab aims to explore the interaction of behavior and psychophysiology. Dr. Salters-Pedneault’s research focuses on the role of emotion and learning in the development, maintenance, and treatment of anxiety. Dr. Diller’s research focuses on the environmental and physiological conditions under which maladaptive choices are made.

Current Number of Students: 3
Brett Gelino (Dr. Diller) 
Rachael Dyer (Dr. Diller) 
Alana Gallagher (Dr. Salters-Pedneault)
Current Projects:
1.    Examining mood variation during fear extinction training in chronic PTSD 
This experimental study explores whether variations in mood over the course of fear extinction training will enhance the speed and strength of fear extinction.
2.    Examining the Effect of Genetic Feedback on Behavior and Psychophysiology 
This study explores how genetic feedback relates to behavioral and psychophysiological outcomes.
3.    Enhancing BATTLEMIND: Preventing PTSD by Coping with Intrusive Thoughts
Dr. Salters-Pedneault is a co-Investigator on this large-scale study of a brief secondary prevention workshop for returning combat veterans who are at risk of developing posttraumatic stress disorder.

The Evolutionary Psychology Lab

Dr. Alita Cousins

This lab explores how evolution has shaped our minds and behavior. Most of this lab’s research centers around conflict in romantic relationships.

Current Number of Students: 3 (Vikki Klimas, Stephanie Maclaren, Alexa Palasky)

Current Projects:
1.    Stimulus Detection in College Students, Breastfeeding Mothers and Formula Feeding Mothers (collaboration with LoCAS)
This experimental study examines the ability to new mothers to identify stimuli in rapidly-presented pictures.
2.    Mate Retention Tactics
This study examines the tactics used by romantic partners across the menstrual cycle.

LoCAS: The Laboratory of Cognition, Attention, and Search
Dr. Lyndsey Lanagan-Leitzel

This lab primarily investigates visual search and surveillance among lifeguards. Other projects examine the role of attention and cognition in everyday life.

Current Number of Students: 3
 research assistants (Eric Cerino, Melissa Graffam)
1 independent study student (Samantha Leen)

Current Projects:
1.    Improving Lifeguard Effectiveness
This experimental study seeks to identify the events that lifeguards think are important to monitor.
2.    Stimulus Detection in College Students, Breastfeeding Mothers and Formula Feeding Mothers (collaboration with the Evolutionary Psychology Lab)
This experimental study examines the ability to new mothers to identify stimuli in rapidly-presented pictures.
3.    To Reply All or Not to Reply All: An Exploratory Study of the “Reply All” Feature in the Design of Email Interfaces (collaboration with Sukeshini Grandhi, Business Administration department)
This study will begin with a survey of “Reply All” usage and will continue with an experiment to test different email interface designs to minimize erroneous Reply All use.
4.    The Effect of Impulsivity on Change Detection (independent study)
This study will investigate how one’s ability to detect changes in stimuli is dependent on personality factors such as impulsivity.

Life-span Developmental Psychology Lab
Dr. Jennifer Pickard Leszczynski

This lab focuses on how self-perceptions and stereotypes about others’ gender and age change in different situations and across the lifespan. Our research also examines how gender and age affect our perceptions about love and romance.

Current Number of Students: 1 (Eric Cerino)

Current Projects:
1.   Ideas about Gender, Love, and Romance Across the Life-Span
This study examines how conceptualizations about love differ throughout the life-span.
2.    Intergenerational Community Engagement:  Creating Connections between College Students and Older Adults
This collaboration with colleagues from Central Connecticut State University and Lasell College evaluates how community engagement projects can be used in Aging courses.
3.    Compound Stereotypes: Age, Gender & Race
This collaboration with colleagues from Central Connecticut State University examines the combination of age, gender, and racial stereotypes held by college students.