Matt DeRuyter Biography



Matt De Ruyter is an undergraduate senior studying Biology and Spanish at the University of Oklahoma. He is from Prairie Village, Kansas, where he has lived for ten years. Prior to Kansas, Matt lived in Rochester, Minnesota, and Jacksonville, Florida. He is a National Merit Scholar, which is what drew him down to OU. For as long as he can remember, Matt has wanted to be a doctor. He hopes to go to medical school next year.

Starting in the summer of 2014, Matt began working in the lab as a part of his Honors Research project in order to graduate with honors. He chose this lab to work in because of his interest in evolution and biodiversity. He began by completing several reading assignments regarding biodiversity in the Philippines, and is now helping with a project describing faunal diversity among amphibians and reptiles surveyed in the eastern Philippines. After this, Matt hopes to contribute by assisting with other papers and leading small side projects on his own.

Although Matt hasn’t worked in this particular field of research before, he does have prior experience working in research labs. In 2012, he spent the summer working at the University of Kansas Alzheimer’s Research Center, contributing to a study researching the effects of exercise on cognitive ability. The next summer, he spent time working at the University of Kansas Cardiology Research Center. There he studied whether sections of cardiac tissue become thicker after heart attacks. Matt hopes to use this previous lab experience in the Siler lab.