Skip to main content

News and Media

Open Main MenuClose Main Menu
Clarissa Gottfried (left) and Mason Miller presented their research on Exploring the Winner-Loser Effect on Emotion in Crickets at Oklahoma Research Day.

OSU students showcase work at Oklahoma Research Day

Friday, March 10, 2023

Media Contact: Harrison Hill | Senior Research Communications Specialist | 405-744-5827 |

Among undergraduate researchers from universities across the state, several Oklahoma State University students presented during the annual Oklahoma Research Day, hosted at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond earlier this week. 

“The event is a great opportunity for OSU students to present their research at a multidisciplinary statewide event, alongside other undergraduate and graduate students from across the state,” said Latasha Tasci, program manager in the Officer of Scholar Development and Undergraduate Research. “It brings attention to OSU’s research efforts, but also provides students the chance to engage with other students and professors from around Oklahoma.”

Events like these build many soft and hard skills for the students and provide opportunities to highlight the type of high-quality research being done at OSU, she said.

Mason Miller, a junior zoology pre-veterinary sciences major was one of the OSU students who presented.

“Oklahoma Research Day was a great opportunity to present the current findings of our project in a low-stress environment,” she said. “We received a lot of constructive feedback that is going to help us improve our project as we continue running trials and gathering data.”

Miller and her research peers also spent time networking at the event.

“We got to meet students from other Oklahoma universities, which was really cool because we got to talk about our common research interests and learn about others’ projects,” she said.

Miller presented with her co-author, Clarissa Gottfried, also a junior zoology pre-veterinary sciences major. Their research was titled “Exploring the Winner-Loser Effect on Emotion in Crickets.” 

“The winner-loser effect is well studied in crickets and states that if a cricket engages in an aggressive contest with another cricket and wins, then they are more likely to keep winning in subsequent contests (and if they lose, they’ll continue losing),” Miller said. “Our project looks at if the winner-loser effect could be explained by internal states, or emotions.”

Miller and Gottfried measured this by examining each cricket’s exploratory behavior before and after an aggressive contest. More exploration indicates a positive/optimistic internal state, while less exploration indicates a negative/pessimistic internal state. So far, they have found that winners are more explorative, and losers are less explorative, she said.

“As a freshman, I knew I wanted to get involved in research at OSU,” Miller said. "I’ve always been very interested in animal behavior, and I knew that there may not be many opportunities to learn about that field of study in my typical coursework. I have also always wanted to pursue a career as a veterinarian, but since there are so many options within veterinary medicine, I was curious if working in research would be something I would enjoy. So, I wanted to gain experience in research as an undergrad.”

Undergraduate research experiences like Miller’s are a staple at OSU, though.

“As a land-grant institution, research has always been important at OSU, but it seems more faculty have been embracing the fact that bringing students into the research realm as early as their first year gives them more time to build their skills and contribute to the wider world of research,” Tasci said. 

As OSU’s undergraduate research has grown, the impact can be seen in students.

“Students at OSU can start gaining research experience from the moment they step foot on campus, and the projects our undergraduates are taking on have real world impact,” said Dr. Kenneth Sewell, OSU vice president for research. “Our land-grant mission calls us to address society’s most pressing challenges; student researchers help us accomplish that, while preparing them to be the research leaders of tomorrow.”

This early introduction leads to more students pursuing research as a career, Tasci said. And the more research experience someone has, the more competitive they are for graduate programs, internships and the job market, she added.

“Research experiences also provide important opportunities for faculty and graduate students to mentor undergraduates, which can be instrumental in their future,” Tasci said. “The opportunity to be part of something that makes a difference in the world is inspiring.”

Back To Top
SVG directory not found.