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KBS Biofuel Research Fellowships 2013 PDF Print E-mail

Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services from Bioenergy Cropping SystemsGLBRC logo

Kellogg Biological Station, in partnership with the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC) is offering 3 Department of Energy Research Experiences for Undergraduates (DOE-REU) in Summer 2013.

Students will will be in residence at the field station and will work with a mentor on an individual research project, and participate in regular discussions with researchers focusing on the environmental, ecological, and economic implications of alternative biofuel practices.

In addition, students will participate in a Research Methods in Ecology seminar where they will develop skills necessary to conduct independent research.  Students will present their research finding in a community-wide poster session at the end of the program.

2013 GLBRC REU projects will focus on the following research topics:


  • $4,500 stipend plus free room and board
  • Up to $400 to cover transportation to and from KBS
  • Up to $500 for research expenses

Qualifications: Sophomore, Junior, or Senior standing in a biological, environmental, or agricultural science.  You must be a U.S. citizen with undergraduate status to participate in these programs.

Info and Application forms:


We invite applications from highly motivated individuals, and encourage applications from underrepresented groups in the sciences.

The funding agency (DOE) requires that we give preference to students from minority-serving institutions, small colleges, and universities that provide limited research experiences for students.  Students enrolled at research-intensive institutions can be considered for these positions, but should provide an explanation why the KBS REU program specifically meets their interests.

Questions about the GLBRC program should be sent to the program coordinator, KBSsummer@kbs.msu.edu.

Don't forget to check out our other KBS internships and REUs!

Three GLBRC REU projects are available in 2013.  Please note the specific requirements for each.

Title: Plant Eco-physiology
Mentors: Dr. G.P. Robertson and Dr. Ilya Gelfand.

As part of our effort to understand ecological implications of soil trace gas emissions we are are testing the interaction between soil NOx emissions and plant functioning. The hypothesis underlying the research is that soil NOx emissions have direct effects on stomatal conductance (i.e. gases exchange by plants). NO is one of the key regulators of stomatal closure. Emitted NOx can potentially serve as a signal for stomatal closure. This can initiate “drought” like response by plants, especially in soils subject to frequent droughts. Additionally, NOx may play significant role as an N source for plants. Within this framework, the REU student will develop an independent project to examine the role of NOx on plant productivity

Requirements: Willingness to perform field work, and be familiar with N cycle and basic plant physiology. However, if needed additional training will be provided.

Title: Invasive species ecology
Mentors: Dr. Jen Lau and Liz Schultheis

Biological invasions are a major sustainability concern, and negatively impact communities and ecosystems they invade. Invasive species outcompete desirable native species, disrupt ecosystem services, and change ecosystem processes like soil nutrient cycling and microbial activity. For this reason, it is important to understand how the relationships between the invader and native community influence the invasion process. This research addresses how release from natural enemies (such as herbivores and disease) may be a major determinant of invasive ability. The REU student will develop an independent project in association with either a long-term enemy removal experiment to determine the importance of natural enemies for species co-existence, or a common garden heating ring experiment exploring the effects of climate change on the relationship between invasive and native plant and their natural enemies.

Requirements: The student should have completed/be in enrolled in courses in biology, ecology, and/or evolution and have a strong interest in pursuing independent research in ecology and evolution.

Title: Restoration ecology
Mentors: Dr. Jen Lau and Tyler Basset

Biodiversity has been shown to be important in ensuring that ecosystems sustainably provide services that humans depend on. This relationship has been explored in both natural and experimental systems, and has promising applications such as the sustainable production of biofuels. Restoration of native grasslands may provide opportunities to manipulate the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning and the services that functioning provides. Furthermore, restorations are natural experiments, providing opportunities to understand the mechanism by which different levels of diversity (genetic, species, functional) influence ecosystem functioning. The REU student will develop a project to explore this relationship in grasslands, providing insights to guide the restoration of grasslands while also testing ecological theory.

Requirements: The student should have completed/be in enrolled in courses in biology, ecology, and/or evolution and have a strong interest in pursuing independent research in ecology.


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Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 January 2013 15:59