Undergraduate Honors Thesis Projects

Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Paper

Degree Name

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology-BS


Biology & Earth Science


Dr. Jennifer Bennett

First Committee Member

Dr. Jennifer Bennett

Second Committee Member

Dr. Brandon Sinn

Third Committee Member

Dr. Karen Steigman


Microorganisms, Microbiology, Bacteria, Pathogens, Antibiotics

Subject Categories

Bacteriology | Biology | Higher Education | Microbiology


Bacterial species that cause disease can usually be combatted with antibiotics; but as the years pass, more and more bacterial pathogens are becoming resistant to these treatments. In fact, the Center for Disease Control has identified eighteen classes of bacteria ranging from urgent to concerning threats due antibiotic resistance (2019), warning the advance of an antibiotic resistance crisis in which untreatable bacterial infections will become a leading cause of death (Bennadi, 2014). The Small World Initiative is a program created in 2012 at Yale University to address the antibiotic crisis through a crowdsourcing effort where undergraduate students are encouraged to sample their local environments for antibiotic producing organisms. This study, although it is not coordinated through the Small World Initiative, is inspired by that effort and its methodology. The local environment of Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio was sampled and a possible antibiotic producer was isolated. The bacterium of interest was characterized using microbiology techniques and identified using molecular genetics and bioinformatics approaches.

Available for download on Friday, May 20, 2022