University of Central Florida Undergraduate Research Journal - Volume 11, Issue 2
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Volume 11, Issue 2

Studying the Effects of Predatory Presence and Enrichment on Cryptoprocta ferox Behavior

By: Julie Sharpe | Mentor: Frank Logiudice

The Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens houses two fossa (Cryptoprocta ferox), a male and a female. C. ferox is an endangered species of Malagasy mongoose from the island of Madagascar. In October of 2018, an amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis) was moved across from the male and female C. ferox. This study was used to identify if the presence of P. p. orientalis would affect the stereotypic pacing behavior of the female C. ferox. Read more

Oyster Reef Restoration: Impacts on Infaunal Communities in a Shallow Water Estuary

By: Katherine Harris | Mentor: Dr. Linda Walters

Oyster reefs are important estuarine ecosystems that provide habitats to many species, including threatened and endangered wading birds and commercially important fishes and crabs. Infaunal organisms (i.e. aquatic, sediment-dwelling organisms) are also supported by oyster reef habitats. We hypothesized it would be possible to document the transition from a dead oyster reef to a fully-functioning restored oyster reef by examining changes in infaunal communities before restoration and over time following restoration. Read more

Anatomy and Function of Autonomic Innervation of the Liver

By: Kennan Negrete | Mentor: Dr. Zixi Cheng

The liver is one of the most important regulatory organs, and its extensive influence upon homeostatic balance is well-documented. However, the role of autonomic innervation in the control and regulation of hepatic function is poorly understood relative to the other organs of the digestive system. The purpose of this review is to compile the breadth of knowledge regarding hepatic autonomic innervation, to discuss the limitations of previous research, and to suggest future directions for a field that shows great potential for continued advancement. Read more

Creating a Multi-Berry Shrub via Cross Grafting

By: Alexa Laurent | Mentor: Dr. Rani Vajravelu

Grafting is a process used to physically combine two different plants together. This process allows for a scion, the branch of one plant, to be added to the rootstock, the base of another plant. Currently, research shows that grafting is possible when two plants of the same family are used. Using blackberry and raspberry plants, this study tests if the structural integrity of the rootstock can successfully support a scion from a plant of a heavier or lighter weight. Read more

The Politicization of Crime and Its Implications

By: Komysha Hassan | Mentor: Dr. Jonathan Knuckey

The relationship between law enforcement and the public has recently come under scrutiny after a number of high-profile deaths of African-Americans at the hands of police officers. The ensuing public outcry has given way to a wide-ranging debate about the origins of such tension and why it has continued to manifest with such vigor despite apparent progress. This research attempts to uncover the underpinnings of this tension through a historical review of the development of the law enforcement institution and the narrative of crime in society. Read more

Cross-Modal Distraction on Simultaneous Translation: Language Interference in Spanish-English Bilinguals

By: Violet Young | Mentor: Dr. Doan Modianos

Bilingualism has been studied extensively in multiple disciplines, yet we are still unsure how exactly bilinguals think. Though the existence of a bilingual advantage is debated, this effect has been shown in tasks using selective attention. This study examines language interference in Spanish-English bilinguals using an auditory-visual simultaneous translation experimental setup.Read more