Describe your undergraduate research or creative project:
Essential oils are frequently used as natural repellents and pesticides against common snails that are considered to be pests or invasive species. These compounds have shown promising uses in both commercial and residential settings as an alternative to the more toxic chemicals currently in use. Our research examines the effects of one of these repellents, rosemary oil, on chemoreception and locomotive behaviors in the common garden snail, Cornu aspersum. Snail behaviors were observed in plastic boxes that included varying concentrations of rosemary oil (none, low and high; 9 or 10 replicates each), with emphasis on the overall distance traveled and ability to find food. Results showed the presence of rosemary oil decreased the movement of the snails in comparison to the control treatment (no rosemary oil), with no difference between the rosemary concentrations. Although few snails reached the food, those reaching the food were all in the no-rosemary treatment.
Awards and/or presentations:
Breedlove, Gates. "Rosemary Oil Makes Snails Sluggish." Curiosity to Creativity Spring Symposium, 25 April 2018, Oklahoma Memorial Union, Norman, OK.