Tamatha Barbeau, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Biology

Coordinator: Pre-Veterinary Program
Coordinator: Program for Undergraduate Research (PURE)


PURE Research

FMU Biology Faculty Research Projects:

Dr. Tamatha Barbeau
The focus of my research is reproductive anatomy and physiology. Currently I am studying the reproductive anatomy of an elusive aquatic salamander, the Two-Toed Salamander (Amphiuma means) in South Carolina. Very little is known about this species because it spends most of its time at the bottom of ponds, lakes, slow-moving streams and rivers, and even deep drainage ditches. Research involves both a field and laboratory component. The field work involves capturing amphiumas, and the laboratory work involves preparing tissue samples for microscopic analysis using histological techniques. Contact: Office MSB 301i, E-mail

Dr. Jennifer Lyles
I have two major research interests - one in Cell & Molecular Biology and one in Microbiology. Within Cell & Molecular Biology, I am interested in adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors used for gene therapy and the interactions between the vector components and host cell machinery. Currently, I am analyzing the transduction efficiency of several serotypes of AAV in various mammalian cell lines. Techniques include cell culture, fluorescence microscopy, DNA extraction, qPCR, and more. Within Microbiology, I am interested in characterizing the microbial profile of commercial probiotics, such as kefir, and understanding the relationship between the human microbiome and overall health. Techniques include culturing microbes on agar plates, streaking for isolation, microbial enumeration, Gram staining, DNA extraction, PCR, Sanger sequencing, and more. Office: MSB301A, E-mail

Dr. Shayna Wrighten
The major focus of my research is to better understand empathy. I use a rat model to study empathy-like behavior, and the factors that affect empathy. A behavioral task is used to test empathy in pairs of rats. Then, the rats are manipulated in order to observe if different factors affect empathy. Some of the factors that are studied are gestational stress, maternal care, and familiarity with one another. Following behavioral studies, brain analysis is performed in order to assess neuronal activation patterns. Contact information: Office: Office: MSB 201E, E-mail

Lynches River County Park / Environmental Discovery Center Internship
See the Biology Department Chair for information on how to sign up for a Biology 498 Internship with Lynches River County Park: LSF 204c for research credit. To get 2 hours of credit in Biology 498, a student is required to perform approximately 90 hours of service (45 for 1 hour credit) in an environment where they are applying (or observing such application of) biological principles in the workplace. The student intern will be required to keep a journal to document daily activities and complete a final report describing the benefits of the work experience and the skills acquired. A statement from the supervisor of the workplace is also required to verify satisfactory completion of the internship.

Internship options include, but are not limited to:

- Bluebird Box Data Collection (February-September): Checking 19 bluebird boxes to observe and record data for types and frequency of nests; egg laying; hatchling; fledgling rates; determining overall success rate for the season and submitting data to national database.
- Animal Husbandry (year-round): Caring for and helping to maintain EDC animal collection: diet preparations, feeding, cleaning, handling, record-keeping, and public presentations (etc.).
- Species Surveys - amphibian, reptile, bird, etc. within Lynches River County Park.
- Trail Guide Development - identifying species, historical/cultural significance, and creating maps (etc.)
- Tree/Plant Species of the Park" book " Garden/Trail maintenance - general maintenance of pollinator garden, rain garden and Carolina Fence garden, as well as trail system.

Contact: (843) 389-0550, www.lynchesriverpark.com

This page is being updated each semester, so check back or contact PURE Coordinator.

Written by Tamatha Barbeau, 2013. This web site is for educational purposes; if you have comments, corrections, or suggestions, please contact me

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Written by Tamatha Barbeau, 2004. This web site is for educational purposes; if you own an image on this site and would like it removed or used with permission, or if you have comments, corrections, or suggestions, please contact me.