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Undergraduate Research

The O'Connell Lab hosts undergraduate summer internships through the Department of Biology and through the Bio-X interdisciplinary program. These programs give Stanford undergraduates the opportunity to intern in the O'Connell lab for 10 weeks working on an independent project. These programs also offers multiple social and educational opportunities. Applications to this program are due in January (Biology) or December (Bio-X).

Stanford students interested in pursuing research projects throughout the academic year should contact Professor O'Connell. We do not offer unpaid internships, as this promotes socioeconomic divides in science. Students are either paid for their work in the laboratory or receive class credit.

We are particularly interested in working with undergraduate students from underrepresented groups in STEM fields, first generation college students, and students from local community colleges.

Past Interns & Projects


Aditya Iyer (Indian Institute of Science, Khorana Scholarship) - Tadpole diet and toxicity

Harmony Alvarez (Stanford University) - Dopamine and tadpole aggression

Travis Ramirez (Stanford University) - Spatial memory in Dendrobates tinctorius


Siyuan (Lily) Cheng (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) - Plasticity in poison frog paternal care

Javon Mullings (Wheaton College) - Sex determination in poison frogs


Stephanie Caty (Harvard University) - Toxicity in Oophaga sylvatica

Jason Millington (University of Nottingham) - Role of neuropeptides in poison frog paternal care


Mia Bertalan (Harvard University) - Characterization of the skin microbiome on Oophaga sylvatica

Sitara Chapman (Wellesley College) - Divergence of early cell division programs in poison frog embryos