The NSF funded KBS REU Site “Ecological & Evolutionary Dynamics in a Changing World” gives students an opportunity to conduct full-time research in collaboration with our outstanding faculty, postdocs and graduate students.
All REU positions offer a generous stipend, FREE room and board at KBS, up to $500 towards travel costs, and up to $300 for research supplies.
What are the benefits of an REU at KBS?
- Join a dynamic group of students and faculty for an authentic field research experience
- Learn the process of research: reading the literature, formulating questions and hypotheses, designing a study, collecting and analyzing data, and presenting your results as a research poster
- Explore if a career in research is a good choice for you
- Build references for your application to graduate school or other professional programs
- You participate in professional development seminars that will prepare you to be successful and think broadly about STEM career options
Please check back on December 15th for the Summer 2018 application!
If you have questions about the program or application process, please email KBSsummer@kbs.msu.edu.
Thinking about applying to the program? Check out these student blog posts!
Summer REU Info & Forms
The KBS REU program is 11 weeks long and will run from May 20 – August 4, 2018 (students are expected to arrive on-site by 5 p.m. Sunday, May 20 and depart Saturday, August 4).
This is a full-time (40+hrs/week) research position. Specific hours will be arranged with your research mentor.
Summer 2018 Compensation:
- $5775 stipend + FREE shared housing + FREE meals (Breakfast: M-F, Lunch: M-F, Dinner: M-Th, Brunch: Sat-Sun)
- Up to $500 to cover transportation to and from KBS
- Up to $300 for research expenses
Learning Plan and Professional Development:
REUs will work with their mentor to create a custom learning plan and work to develop an independent research project, collaborate to write a research proposal, attend weekly professional development seminars, develop an “elevator speech” about your research, write a research abstract and present a professional research poster at the KBS Summer Undergraduate Symposium, plus write a professional blog post about your research experience. ***Attendance of Professional Development seminars is required as part of the REU Program.
Participating Faculty Labs
Connor Lab – KBS & MSU Dept. of Plant Biology: We study the mechanisms by which natural selection on weeds and native plants produces (sometimes very rapid) adaptation to a variable environment, as well as possible constraints on this adaptation. Our approach is to combine laboratory, greenhouse, and field studies integrating evolution, genetics, genomics, and ecology to attack problems at the interface of these areas in novel ways. Current work focuses on floral adaptations to pollinators, floral trait loss after the evolution of selfing, and rapid adaptation of weeds to agricultural environments.
Evans Lab – KBS & MSU Dept. of Integrative Biology: The Evans Lab studies how microscopic organisms – bacteria, fungi, and archaea – function and respond to their environment. We are interested in how microbes respond to disturbances and stress, and what factors alter the diversity of microbial communities, as well as the ecosystem functions that microbes carry out, like cycling nutrients and facilitating plant growth.
Fitzpatrick Lab – KBS & MSU Dept. of Integrative Biology: We are interested in fundamental and applied questions in evolution, ecology, and conservation biology. A primary focus of our research is on understanding how evolutionary and ecological processes lead to patterns of adaptation, fitness, and ultimately persistence in small populations. We work on organisms (mostly fish, but also amphibians, reptiles, and birds) in the wild and in the lab using field, experimental, and molecular approaches.
Haddad Lab – KBS & MSU Dept. of Integrative Biology: We study the effects of habitat loss and fragmentation on populations, communities, and ecosystems; Conservation and recovery of endangered butterflies; Spatial ecology; Application of ecological theory to conservation and management.
Hamilton Lab – KBS & MSU Dept. of Integrative Biology: We are an ecosystem ecology and biogeochemistry lab that focuses on aquatic environments and the movement of water through landscapes, and we also study agricultural ecosystems. We spend a lot of time in streams, wetlands and floodplains.
Klausmeier & Litchman Lab – KBS & MSU Depts. of Plant Biology & Integrative Biology: We study microbial, freshwater and marine phytoplankton ecology, using a combination of theoretical and empirical approaches such as analytical and simulation modeling, laboratory experiments, field sampling, and long-term and large-scale data analysis to answer fundamental questions about what determines community composition and species diversity and how ecological communities would re-organize under anthropogenic global change
Lau Lab – KBS & MSU Dept. of Plant Biology: Research in the Lau lab focuses on community ecology and evolutionary ecology. We study how plant populations respond to human-cased environmental change, the ecology and evolution of species interactions, and natural selection in the wild.
Lowry Lab – MSU Dept. of Plant Biology: The research of the Lowry lab is centered on identifying the genetic and genomic mechanisms of ecological adaptations and how those adaptations contribute to the formation of new species.
Robertson Lab – KBS & MSU Dept. of Plant Soil & Microbial Science: Research in my lab broadly addresses issues of agricultural sustainability. We study the biogeochemistry and productivity of field crop ecosystems and landscapes. We focus on the plant, soil, and microbial interactions that affect the delivery of important ecosystem services such as climate stability, water quality, and yield.
Utsumi Lab – KBS & MSU Dept. of Animal Science: Research in the Utsumi Lab falls under the umbrella of grazing ecology, with a particular emphasis on plant-herbivore interactions in livestock production systems. We are especially interested in the understanding of biotic and abiotic interactions in grasslands and how these interactions simultaneously regulate large herbivore responses and impacts at various spatial scales.
Wetzel Lab – MSU Dept. of Entomology: The Wetzel Lab studies the ecological interactions among plants, insect herbivores, and predators. We focus on how biological diversity and environmental variability influence the dynamics of insect herbivore populations and their interactions with plants and predators.
Zarnetske Lab – MSU Dept. of Forestry: The Zarnetske Spatial and Community Ecology Lab aims to understand and predict how ecological communities respond to change in space and time. We investigate how the composition and geographic distribution of ecological communities are affected by biotic interactions, species invasions, biophysical feedbacks, geodiversity, and climate change.
***KBS is excited to partner with the Ecological Society of America (ESA) SEEDS program to offer one (1) of our KBS REU positions through the ESA SEEDS SPUR Fellowship Program. The position must be applied for directly through the ESA SEEDS SPUR Fellowship Program.
How to Apply
Please check back December 15th for the Summer 2018 application!
What will you need?
- Ability to participate the entire 11-week program (May 20-Aug 4, 2018)
- A PDF of your current resume
- A PDF of your transcripts (unofficial is fine)
- Contact information for at least one (1) reference (we contact references once an application has made it past tier 1 application review)
- A well-written statement of interest that highlights how this experience will enhance your learning and career goals
We strongly encourage applications from underrepresented groups in the sciences, first-generation college students, students that attend colleges with limited research opportunities (e.g., small liberal arts and community colleges), and US military veterans currently enrolled as undergraduates in STEM majors.
You must be a U.S. citizen, or permanent U.S. resident, currently enrolled with undergraduate status to participate in the NSF REU program.