Undergraduate Research

Thanks for Joining us for Lab Crawl 2023!

Lab Crawl 2023 was on Friday, October 27th from 12:00-1:30pm

The Oberlin College Lab Crawl is an annual open house that provides a fun and informal interaction with different research labs around campus. The information below was shared in preparation for Lab Crawl 2023. Stay tuned for updates next Fall for Lab Crawl 2024!

Lab Crawl 2023

The format of the Lab Crawl is simple: students pick up a list of all participating labs and a passport from a table in the Science Center, King Building, Peters, Severance, Ward/Venturi, Carnegie or CELA. They take the passports to various labs and stations around the Science Center and King, as well as stations in Carnegie, Ward Building, Venturi Art Building, Allen Memorial Art Museum, Peters, Severance, Apollo Movie Theater, and Mudd Center, and CELA. Students get one sticker from every station they visit. If you visit any of the art buildings, Apollo, Peters or Carnegie - each sticker counts as two stations. The prizes are listed below:

  • 5 stickers/stations from 2 buildings = up to 3 slices of Pizza
  • 6 stickers/stations from 3 buildings = up to 3 custom OUR Stickers
  • 7 stickers/stations from 4 buildings = a free Lab Crawl / OUR T-Shirt
  • Each additional building after 4 = an entry into a raffle for one of many prizes

Keep an eye out at each station to see what labs may be offering research opportunities for Winter Term, Summer 2024 or future semesters!

  1. Pick up a passport! You'll find them in the the Science Center Atrium, King Building, Carnegie Geology Lounge, CELA, Severance Hall, Peters Hall and the Ward/Venturi Art Buildings. Lab Crawl volunteers will help you get started!

  2. Visit stations! There are lab and research stations in the Science Center & Wright, Carnegie, King, Art Buildings, Allen Memorial Art Museum, Apollo Theater, Severance Hall, Peters and CELA.

  3. Get stickers! You will get one circle sticker from every station you visit, with the exception of the Art Museum, Art Buildings, Apollo Theater and Peters, where you will earn double stickers.

  4. Get free pizza! Trade in your passport with at least five stickers from two buildings to earn pizza! Located in King, the Science Center, and CELA.

  5. Earn OUR/Research Stickers! Trade in your passport with at least six stickers from three buildings to earn stickers! Located in King, the Science Center, and CELA.

  6. Win a T-shirt! Trade in your passport with at least seven stickers from four buildings to earn a t-shirt! Located in King, the Science Center, and CELA.

  7. Enter for a grand prize! Visit five or more Lab Crawl buildings and enter a raffle for one of multiple grand prizes! Enter at King, the Science Center, and CELA.

Check out the labs participating in Lab Crawl!

Art History Research: Allen Memorial Art Museum

At the museum we will have four mini-stations, each with one art history student discussing an exhibition or object they have worked on. Visitors will learn about these pieces and may view works around the museum available for research. 

Studio Art Media Lab: Venturi 062

The Media Lab is a research resource available to all students registered in Studio Art classes. The mixed-media space includes computers with Adobe suite and other audio/visual software, large format roll printers, 3D Printers, vinyl cutter, Wacom tablets, virtual reality hardware, and other analog audio/video devices.

Studio Art Reproducible Media Print Lab: Ward 017

The Reproducible Media Print Lab and student print collective YEO PRESS invite the Oberlin community to visit our lab to learn more about printmaking processes, make some prints, and enjoy some free take-away collaborative artworks.

TIMARA: Science Center A154/A155

Technology in Music and Related Arts (TIMARA) is hosting two stations. The first station features the robotic musical instruments of Associate Professor of Computer Music and Digital Arts Steven Kemper. Steven Kemper is a music technologist, composer, and instrument designer. As a composer, Steven creates music for acoustic instruments, instruments and computers, musical robots, dance and video. He is a co-founder of Expressive Machines Musical Instruments (EMMI), a collective dedicated to designing, building, and composing original music for robotic instruments. He has received awards from the Ammerman Center for Arts and Technology, Meet the Composer, the Danish Arts Council, and the International Computer Music Association. Technology in Music and Related Arts (TIMARA) is hosting two stations. The second station will feature interactive maker projects courtesy of TIMARA's Craft Lab on Wheels, a project of the Crafting Sound Lab, an undergraduate research lab led by TIMARA Technical Director and Lecturer Abby Aresty. The Crafting Sound Lab is a research lab that blends contemporary technologies and traditional crafts to create new instruments and to support creative outreach and storytelling initiatives in the local community.

Archaeology Lab: King 322

Past, present, and future meet in the Archaeology Lab. Explore where we care for and learn from cultural heritage from Native America and beyond. View archaeological teaching collections, ethnographic items, and materials for DIY stone tools.

Amanda Schmidt Lab: Carnegie 416

In the Dirt Lab we study how human activity affects erosion. We do this using a variety of geochemical techniques that let us trace sediment movement and determine ages of sediment.

Zeb Page Lab: Carnegie 206

This lab uses the high-pressure metamorphic rock eclogite as a probe to reconstruct the pressure, temperature, time, and fluid histories of subduction zones by studying the composition, oxygen isotope ratios, and uranium and lead isotopes of garnet, zircon, and other minerals. They also utilize a Scanning Electron Microscope and X-ray Spectrometer.


Aaron Goldman Lab: Science Center A133

We are a computational lab studying very early evolutionary history from the perspective of protein families and cellular systems. Most of our research focuses on evolution at or before the time of the last universal common ancestor at the root of the tree of life (≥3.5 billion years ago).

Gaybe Moore Lab: Science Center A129

Our lab cultivates G. mellonella as an animal model for understanding the mechanisms of virulence by opportunistic pathogens derived from the environment. There will be Demonstrations of infection in the in vivo model Galleria mellonella.

Taylor Allen Lab: Science Center K214

Today’s Station focuses on how a molecular motor works: genetic and physiological studies of the myosin motor of muscle.Taylor Allen also researches illustrative medical humanities, to examine ways people have coped and found well-being in dire circumstances with lenses of physiology and psychology.

Mike Moore Lab: Science Center K112

The Moore Lab studies the evolution of island plants using genomic tools--including plants that grow on real islands (Hawaii) and those that grow on "islands" composed of unusual soils in the desert Southwest.


Bonner Center: CELA

We support students, faculty, and staff to partner with organizations, both local and global, on projects of mutual interest that serve the public good. Our partners include non-profit, public sector, and non-governmental organizations in a range of fields, from the arts and public humanities to food and nutrition security, education, environmental sustainability, global health, and more.

Entrepreneurship: CELA

At Oberlin, we define entrepreneurial thinking as the creativity to see potential and create visionary change. Stop by the Entrepreneurship Office to learn about a research fellowship with the City of Oberlin.

Fellowships and Awards: CELA

At Oberlin, our fellowships office works directly with students and alumni in support of applications to a broad range of nationally competitive programs, from astrophysics to music performance. We have a long history of successfully placing Obies in the finest, most prestigious fellowships and partner with other offices, including Career, Exploration, and Development, to help our graduates launch into meaningful, successful careers. Ask about research fellowships and Summer REUs!

Career Exploration and Development: CELA

CED representatives help as students apply to summer research opportunities and Winter Term research experiences. They also speak with students about career competencies in research and how this can shape their time at Oberlin and career as a whole.

Oral History Research: King Building Foyer

Are you interested in oral history research? Explore the  possibilities of oral research in and around Oberlin, OH. Learn how future oral history research will contribute to public humanities knowledge, personal experience, and potentially the Public Humanities Integrated Concentration. 

Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF): King Building Foyer

The Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF) is a research fellowship designed to address, over time, the problem of underrepresentation in the academy at the level of college and university faculties. This goal can be achieved both by increasing the number of students from underrepresented minority groups (URM) who pursue PhDs and by supporting the pursuit of PhDs by students who may not come from groups underrepresented in higher education, but who otherwise demonstrated a commitment to the goals of MMUF.

Our program is designed to support selected students in conducting undergraduate research, entering PhD programs in the humanities and humanistic social sciences, and preparing for academic careers.

Office of Undergraduate Research (Research Ambassadors): CELA

Research Ambassadors (RAs) are student employees of Oberlin Undergraduate Research (OUR). These students, spanning the disciplines, assist OUR in making research opportunities accessible to all Oberlin students. Each RA holds an office hour each week where they offer assistance to students, including helping identify research opportunities, reading applications, and discussing their own research. The RAs also assist the OUR Program Coordinators in increasing visibility on Oberlin’s campus.

Letterpress Studios: Mudd 212

The Letterpress Studio extends Special Collections to include opportunities to learn to compose text by hand using cold type, and to operate both cylinder and iron platen presses. Students can create their own original work while consciously making decisions about paper, impressions, layout, typography, color, illustrations and ornaments, format, and special effects

Special Collections / Archives: King Building Foyer

Special Collections/Archives at Oberlin include rare books and manuscripts, photos, slides, scores, recorded sound, and artifacts which do not circulate. This research space introduces students to exciting and undiscovered materials in Oberlin’s collections. If you have a general area of the humanities that you're interested in researching, Special Collections/Archives can help find something to relate to that interest, especially with a broad topic. Students interested in Honors or other in-depth projects should consider making use of the collections!

B.R.A.N.C.H.E.S.: Science Center Atrium

BRANCHES stands for B ridging R esources and A ccess to N urture C ommunity through H olistic E ngagement in S TEM. This new name was created to better reflect the work and goals of the student led group formerly known as the SLC. The BRANCHES Team will continue to create meaningful efforts toward building and sustaining an inclusive community that supports historically marginalized students in STEM at Oberlin.

C.L.E.A.R. Center: Science Center K100

The Center for learning, equity, access, and resources (CLEAR) in STEM is a proud part of the network of programming available to support student success through academic support and community building. Drop by to learn about the available extra support for science and math classes and how to become a CLEAR mentor!

Safety in the Sciences: Science Center Atrium

Safety is important for science labs and classrooms. Stop by to learn about PPE, fire extinguishers, first aid kits, gloves, goggles, and more!

Language Lab: Cooper International Learning Center (Peters 324)

The Cooper International Learning Center (CILC) has a number of online and onsite tools to help you in your study and mastery of world languages. Our videos and how-to guides provide the hands-on assistance you may need to use the iMac computer workstations,  WordPress and other platforms, iMovie, Audacity, and other resources.

Digital Portfolio Office: CELA

At Oberlin, students use digital portfolios to integrate their learning inside and outside the classroom, plan for the future, and present their signature accomplishments to audiences within and beyond campus. Check out some of our students’ eye-catching portfolios!

Writing and Communication: Science Center Atrium

The Writing and Speaking Centers provide peer to peer support in writing and speaking in all disciplines at any stage of the writing process. We are open every day except for Saturdays, and students are welcome to bring in any writing or public speaking they need to do for research. We also support writing personal statements for research fellowships and other opportunities.

Anthony Allen Lab: Science Center N395

Come desiring to learn about the wonders of organic chemistry! You will learn a lot of practical hands-on experimental techniques, along with a lot of theoretical physical organic chemistry and organic chemistry mechanism/synthesis topics.This lab focuses on application of visible light photochemistry to synthetic methodologies for complex molecule synthesis.

Lisa Ryno Lab: Science Center N282

The Ryno lab utilizes techniques in molecular biology, microbiology, and biochemistry and focuses on exploring new methods to mitigate antibiotic resistance and detect low concentrations of antibiotics. We investigate specific pathways in E. coli bacteria that are involved in stress-responsive signaling and sugar metabolism and study their impact on the formation of biofilm and tolerance to antibiotics. We also investigate these same stress-responsive signaling pathways for their utility as sensors for very low concentrations of antibiotics.

Kevin Skinner Lab: Science Center N385

This lab focuses on the simulation of active site models from enzymes. Our research can be done remotely from any location. All that is needed is a device with internet, ideally a computer.

Rachel Saylor Lab: Science Center N373

This lab focuses on developing and employing analytical techniques to solve neurobiological problems. They do a lot of fun analytical chemistry! Students attending the Saylor Lab station will get to talk to current research students about ongoing projects and techniques employed in the lab.

Cinema Studies: Apollo Theater Main Studio

Learn about Cinema Studies research and productions! Visitors will create lighting environments in our lab and see results in real time.

Physics Machine Shop: Wright Basement W004

Come and visit the machine shop! See demonstrations of advanced equipment and completed projects that have been made for research needs across campus.

Jason Stalnaker Lab: Wright 104

The Stalnaker Lab uses atomic and laser physics techniques to perform tests of fundamental physics. We are currently conducting experiments to search for a direct detection of dark matter.; The Stalnaker Lab uses atomic physics techniques to study fundamental physics questions. Our research is currently focused on searching for dark matter using a network of detectors.

Molly Feldman Lab: Rice 016

Swing by our Rice basement collaborative space to chat with humans and their role in large scale computing systems. Students from the Computation for Humans lab will be present to share a bit about their ongoing research projects and inter-disciplinary work.

Leslie Kwakye Lab: Science Center A257

Leslie Kwakye's lab investigates how the brain combines information from the different senses and how cognitive factors such as attention modulate this multisensory integration. We are also interested in how multisensory integration differs across various factors such as musical experience and neurodivergence. We use psychophysics, statistical modeling, electroencephalography, and eye-tracking to answer our research questions.

Gunnar Kwakye Lab: Science Center A245

The G. Kwakye lab uses mammalian cell cultures, cellular, molecular, analytical, and biochemical techniques to investigate the therapeutic effects of novel small molecules in cancer and neurodegeneration. Additionally, we are examining the basis of neurotoxicity and selective loss of cells in neurodegenerative diseases, including Huntington, Parkinson, and Multiple System Atrophy.

Tracie Paine Lab: Science Center A241

Our research uses a combination of behavioral and molecular biological techniques to investigate the neurobiology of cognitive functions such as attention and impulse control. Attention and impulse control are dysregulated in a number of psychiatric conditions including schizophrenia, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and substance abuse. Thus, understanding the neurobiology of these cognitive functions will ultimately lead to the development of novel, more effective treatment strategies for these conditions.We use pharmacological approaches to understand the neurobiology of cognitive functions in rodents.

Mathematics Department: King Building Foyer

This research station presents the possibilities available within Mathematics research. There will be three research students with different research experiences, including honors work and external conference presentations, and two faculty members ready to answer your mathematical questions and share with you all the different ways to start research in the department, including this upcoming Winter Term.

Robert Bosch Lab: King Building 203

This research opportunity focuses on using optimization to create pictures, portraits, and other works of art. It intersects between Mathematics and Visual Arts.

Sociology Department: King Building 303

As one of the oldest disciplines at Oberlin, sociology has retained its focus on the systematic study of social phenomena, from civil unrest to the dynamics of families, institutions, and subcultures. Sociologists ask questions about inequality along axes of race, class, gender and other markers of identity, the relationship between institutions and collective behavior, and the conditions that give rise to social upheaval and change. Come learn about research opportunities in Sociology!

Phoenix Crane Research: Severance Lobby

Our research focuses on stigma management and identity with respect to sexual and gender minority populations. Our goal is to work closely with marginalized SGM populations and conduct research that promotes inclusivity and acceptance.

Danielle Godon-Decoteau Research: Severance Lobby

This research explores racism, culture, and Asian American mental health. How do Asian Americans perceive and make sense of racism? How does internalized racism relate to Asian American mental health? Both quantitative and qualitative methodologies are used in this research lab. This research aims to understand diverse populations in their sociocultural, historical, and political contexts and produce scholarship that promotes social justice.

Nancy Darling Research: Severance Lobby

Come learn from the Research Assistants and Dr. Nancy Darling about their current research on adolescents' and parents' beliefs about parents' and doctors' right to govern their health behavior.  They are looking at beliefs as predictors of lying to parents and doctors about non-adherence. The lab has just completed an experiment where we are trying to increase adherence to lifestyle changes by changing the way that doctors' explain the reasons for the change.

Christine Wu Research: Severance Lobby

This research station showcases previous and current research projects in Psychology (including independent student work). Research assistants will be on hand to answer questions from visitors about what it is like to conduct research with Dr. Christine Wu. She will also be present to answer questions about her Winter Term group project, which is research-based.

Rebecca Totton Research: Severance 107

This research opportunity examines stereotypes and prejudice, specifically toward LGBTQ+ communities and intersectionality marginalized communities. Dr. Rebecca Totton also researches the physical and psychological health consequences of experiencing prejudice based on marginalized identities, factors that impact anti-transgender attitudes, and the effects of anti-transgender legislation on transgender youth. 

Ledina Imami Research: Severance 108

This research opportunity studies how experiences of social disadvantage influence motivation, well-being, and physical health. To test their hypotheses, they use archival data, design and run experiments, and sometimes include physiological methods. This is a new lab and will start their work in Spring 2024.

Cindy Frantz Research: Severance Lobby

Learn about student/faculty research on climate change communication and promoting systems thinking! Past research in collaboration with Steve Mayer suggests that both individuals and the environment benefit when people feel connected to the natural world. With Professors John Petersen, Rumi Shammin, and Deborah Roose, this research opportunity studies the potential for feedback technology to encourage conservation behavior, connect humans back to the natural world, and promote systems thinking.

Psychology Honor’s Research: Severance Lobby

This lab station will focus on how to conduct a psychology Honors project. Current Psychology Honors students will share about the process of conducting an Honors project.

These stations are for students to meet student representatives from various majors and get answers to “Why get involved in research?" and "How to get involved in research?” Stop by to meet students in the major, discuss coursework, and learn about opportunities! 

Biology Major’s Committee: Science Center Atrium

Bio(Chemistry) Major’s Committee: Science Center Atrium

Environmental Studies Major’s Committee: Science Center Atrium

Neuroscience Major’s Committee: Science Center Atrium

Religion Major’s Committee: King Building Foyer

Computer Science Major’s Committee: King Building Foyer

Psychology Major’s Committee: Severance Lobby

GeoCouncil (Geoscience Major’s Committee): Carnegie Building 4th Floor

Oberlin Linguistics Society: King Building Foyer

Politics Major's Committee: King Building Foyer

Women and Nonbinary in Economics Committee: King Building Foyer

Students in the Women and Nonbinary Finance and Economics club recently started meeting. The club provides opportunities for women and nonbinary students interested in careers in finance and economics to develop their skills and knowledge.