Tulane Undergraduate Research Journal 2015-07-08T15:08:52+00:00 Andrew Squitiro Open Journal Systems <p>The <strong><em>Tulane Undergraduate Research Journal</em></strong> is an annual peer-reviewed research journal publishing articles from multiple academic fields. Our goal is to unite the best undergraduate research from undergraduates across the globe and represent all academic fields producing a spectrum of high-quality and diverse work.</p> <p>We are accepting new submissions for spring 2021 publication. Submit today! Deadline is March 19, 2021. We will notify you of our decision within 4-6 weeks.</p> Journal Staff 2015-02-25T15:24:51+00:00 Gary Talarchek Journal Staff Information 2015-02-25T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) Letter from the Editor 2015-02-25T15:24:51+00:00 Gary Talarchek Letter from Editor-in-Chief, Gary Talarchek. 2015-02-25T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) About the Authors 2015-02-25T15:24:51+00:00 Gary Talarchek Brief bio statements and photos of the authors published. 2015-02-25T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) Journalism as Artistic Expression: The Critical Response to Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood 2015-02-25T15:24:51+00:00 Sophia Kane Leonard <p>This review examines and synthesizes the critical discourse surrounding Truman Capote’s “nonfiction novel” <em>In Cold Blood </em>to demonstrate the ways various scholars have historically received and positioned the text within the field, as well as the ways that the novel shapes an understanding of truth in relation to art in contemporary American society. Specifically, this paper identifies primary literary elements of the text, including narrative structure, panopticism, and detailed imagery, that <em>In Cold Blood </em>critics identify as deliberate strategies Capote employs to craft a meaningful, evocative novel that forever changed American journalism and reportage. This literature review demonstrates that with traditional novelistic techniques at his side, Capote created an authentic representation of a murder and its repercussions that ultimately probed the complexity of American society in the 1960s.</p><p> </p> 2015-02-25T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) Anxiety Behavior Induced in Mice by Acute Stress 2015-04-28T11:58:59+00:00 Jonathan Solomonow <p>The amygdala is known to be part of a limbic circuit critical for the integration of cognitive function, emotion, and memory. The basolateral nucleus of the amygdala (BLA) is implicated in fear memory formation and acts as an overall fear and anxiety response center in the brain. Stress activates the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) neuroendocrine axis, ultimately causing the release of glucocorticoids from the cortex of the adrenal glands. Previous studies showed that a 30-minute restraint stress causes a glucocorticoid-induced suppression of inhibitory synaptic inputs to BLA neurons in rats, which should lead to an increase in BLA neuron excitability and result in an anxiety-like behavior. Here, we conducted behavioral experiments in mice to test for anxiety-like behavior induced by an acute stress using the elevated plus maze, open field test, and light-dark box test. We found that mice display more anxiogenic behavior following acute restraint stress.</p> 2015-04-28T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) Floral character evolution in response to an aquatic environment in Podostemaceae: A phylogenetic approach 2015-05-04T16:10:16+00:00 Rachel Herschlag <p>Habitat transition is a common driving force for change in morphological characters. One of the most dramatic habitat transitions is that between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, which has occurred numerous times in both directions throughout the evolutionary history of flowering plants. Podostemaceae, more commonly known as the riverweeds, evolved from terrestrial to freshwater ecosystems and subsequently experienced an overall reduction in number of floral characters. Taking a phylogenetic approach, this study served as a preliminary investigation into evolutionary trends of four floral characters: 1) stamen number, 2) tepal number, 3) stigma number and 4) locule number. Mapped on a phylogeny based upon Maximum Likelihood, all four characters show overall reduction but characters became reduced at different rates. Stamen and tepal numbers showed a rapid initial decrease followed by a gradual increase, stigma number showed a rapid initial decrease then stabilization, and locule number showed a gradual persistent decrease. The difference in trends among the four floral characters is likely due to differences in habitat, but further research is needed.</p><p> </p> 2015-05-04T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) The influence of environmental heterogeneity on winter ranging in the red-backed fairy-wren, Malurus melanocephalus. 2015-05-04T16:15:25+00:00 Erik Nelson Kortadler Iverson <p>The decline in food and cover that accompanies the tropical dry season can cause animals to shift and expand their home ranges. However, range expansion is problematic for territorial species. In birds, this can be overcome via seasonal fission-fusion, a pattern in which birds combine individual breeding season territories in the nonbreeding season and travel as a flock over their combined range. Such behavior is present in a variety of birds and may have environmental, trophic and social causes. Here we investigate a potential environmental cause in one such bird, the red-backed fairy-wren (RBFW) <em>Malurus melanocephalus</em>. We used spatial analysis of home ranges, movement logs, and fire history to see whether access to unburned habitat was associated with seasonal fission-fusion. RBFWs showed a strong preference for unburned habitat. However, two other predictions-- that there would be a positive relationship between home range size and sociality and that flock size would be larger in unburned areas--were not supported. Our results suggest that fusion into large flocks did not occur at our site or had not begun in earnest at this point in the dry season. Fusion probably takes off in the late dry season and could potentially be driven by access to unburned habitat. This is suggested by RBFW's preference for unburned habitat, though other environmental and trophic factors are likely to drive group fusion as well.</p> 2015-05-04T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) The Construction of Reality and the De-Construction of Barriers to Action in Belo Monte: An Announcement of War 2015-07-08T15:08:52+00:00 Meredith Cherney <div class="WordSection1"><p>This work examines the formation of discourse in the eco-documentary (eco-doc) <em>Belo Monte: An Announcement of War</em> released in 2012 by Brazilian filmmaker and activist André D’Elia. In order to combat the Belo Monte dam in the Amazon, Brazil’s premiere flagship program for national development, D’Elia turns to film to spread the cause globally to gain international support. This work uses D’Elia’s film to explore modern Amazonian discourse and activism. D’Elia strategically frames the film’s images and narratives to forge a discourse that inspires international action against Belo Monte. The introduction provides an overview of Belo Monte’s history and <em>Belo Monte: An Announcement of War</em> as well as discusses the multiple contestations of the dam’s discourse to highlight the tensions arising from modernization and preservation. The next section explores the benefits of film, especially the modern eco-doc, as a medium to effect change. In addition, it examines how the framing of images and narratives is manipulated by D’Elia to generate a discourse that attracts multiple peoples, activists, and other interest groups. Continuously keeping in mind D’Elia’s position as an activist filmmaker, I seek to analysis how the discourse he forges through cinematic representation of Belo Monte encourages global viewers to take action.</p></div> 2015-06-29T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c)