Koch works alongside Ken Renner, Ph.D., professor in the department of biology, using mantis shrimp to study the neurochemical basis of aggressive behavior. The results of his work will add to literature on the topic, and it could potentially lead to future drug developments. This project is also the topic of his honors thesis.

Alongside his current research, Koch also serves as USD AWOL's (Alternative Week of Off-Campus Learning) vice president. He has gone on several trips to South Dakota American Indian reservations. His role in AWOL has sparked an interest in another study that focuses on adolescent stress in relation to environmental factors. After volunteering in communities with limited access to mental health services, he intends to continue to work to provide resources for people living in similar areas.

Balancing work, the honors program and traveling across South Dakota, Koch still has time to maintain good grades and build connections with faculty members. He plans to pursue master’s and doctorate degrees.

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