In the College of Arts and Sciences, research takes many forms, whether it’s published in a book, acted out on stage, shared in a community forum, or announced in a peer-reviewed article. Our faculty drives the high-impact research and creative activity that’s earned the UO membership in the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU). In their roles as both inspired teachers and dedicated researchers, our world-class faculty members are committed to leading discovery, expanding students’ intellectual horizons, and producing diverse thought and knowledge that makes the world a better place. 


Research from A to Zebrafish

The tropical zebrafish are model organisms for research because they’re similar to humans, sharing the same internal organs and may of the same genes. University of Oregon biologist George Streisinger pioneered the studying of zebrafish in the ’60s, and today scientists use zebrafish to study everything from diabetes to Parkinson’s disease.

Leaders in Ongoing Research

Brad Wilkins
Brad Wilkins
Human Physiology

Working with some of the world’s top marathon runners sparked a burning question for Brad Wilkins, assistant professor of human physiology. A former high school pole vaulter himself, Wilkins has combined his passion for sports and his fascination with science into a unique career exploring the limits of human capability. After earning his PhD from the University of Oregon in 2003, Wilkins went on to work in the Nike+ Sport Research Laboratory, where he and his team attempted to help elite runners break the 2-hour marathon barrier.

The goal of Wilkins’ lab is to help people become measurably faster and stronger, to go farther and to jump higher. It is also my goal to train and develop curious and creative scientific thinkers who are pursuing these questions out in the world.

Read Brad's Story

professor Ben Saunders browsing comic books in a store
Ben Saunders
Comic and Cartoon Studies

Ben Saunders founded the world’s first undergraduate minor in comic studies at the UO in 2012. The minor explores historical, international and critical perspectives on comics and cartoon studies. Saunders also has served as curator for multiple museum exhibitions of comic book art. His most recent exhibition was “Marvel Universe of Super Heroes,” shown across the U.S. and Canada in 2019. He's currently series editor and author of the scholarly introductions to the Marvel Comics - Penguin Classics collaboration. 

“Comics are one of the most effective forms of communication ever devised,” said Saunders, “the question isn’t ‘why should we be studying comics?’ but ‘why haven’t we been studying comics for much longer?’” Saunders has created a space for UO faculty and students to explore one of the most popular and relevant art forms of all time — and invented his dream job in the process.

Read Ben's Story

Exceptional Sponsored Research

Tenure-related faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences actively engage in research and scholarship and are leaders in their fields. Across the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Natural Sciences, the research activity—and reputation—of the CAS faculty are the basis of the UO’s status as a Carnegie Research I institution and a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU). 

Each year, we handpick research projects from across our three divisions to be featured in story form. Explore our latest research highlights, and browse the full list of sponsored research for the year. 

Explore Sponsored Research

The faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences includes: 

members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
members of the National Academy of Sciences
members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences



Instructional and research faculty members
departments and programs
dollars in sponsored research

Help ensure that teaching, research, advising, mentoring, and support services are robust and fully available to every student.

Affiliated Research Centers, Institutes, and Special Facilities

Many of our faculty collaborate across disciplines in the two dozen research institutes and centers affiliated with the College of Arts and Sciences. Within our network of centers, institutes, and research facilities, faculty, students, and supporting staff expand the boundaries of inquiry and develop innovative solutions to global challenges.

Explore Centers, Institutes, and Facilities

Hear From Faculty Experts Across CAS


Head shot of Mark Carey

Mark Carey, Department of History
Climate Change, Natural Disasters, Glaciers, Environmental History, Water Management


Head shot of Amanda Cook

Amanda Cook, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Organic Chemistry, Materials Science, Surface Chemistry


Head shot of Chris Doe

Chris Doe, Department of Biology, Institute of Neuroscience
Cell and Developmental Biology, Molecular Biology, Genetics, Neuroscience, Behavior


Head shot of Ruth Ellingsen

Ruth Ellingsen, Department of Psychology
Mindfulness, Trauma, Anxiety, Depression, PTSD, Mental Illness, Psychotherapy, Psychological Assessment, Autism Spectrum Disorder


Head shot of Tara Fickle

Tara Fickle, Department of English
Asian American Literature, History, and Culture, Chinese Americans, US-China Cultural/Social Relations, Race and Identity Politics, Comics, Gaming, Digital Humanities/Electronic Literature


Research Opportunities

Grow pod harvest with faculty and students
Undergraduate Research

It’s not just for PhDs—in CAS, we believe that research is something students can actively connect with during their first years of college. In recent years, CAS undergrads have won prestigious research awards including Udall Scholarships, Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships, and the Fulbright. Whenever you’re ready for the experience, opportunities for undergraduate participation in research projects abound.

Explore Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Students working at archaeology field school
Graduate Research

Approximately 16% of CAS graduate students are supported through research assistantships (a further 82% are employed in teaching or administrative positions). Of course, research activity in the form of personal scholarship is integral to all our master’s and doctoral programs.

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