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 participants will receive a generous stipend, room and board at KBS, funding towards travel costs, and funding 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
If you have questions about the program or application process, please email KBSsummer@kbs.msu.edu.
Check back on December 15th for the Summer 2020 application!
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 17 – August 1, 2020 (students are expected to arrive on-site by 5 p.m. Sunday, May 17 and depart Saturday, August 1).
This is a full-time (40+hrs/week) research experience. Specific hours will be arranged with your research mentor.
Summer 2019 REU Awards:
- $6325 stipend + room & board at KBS (which includes Breakfast: M-F, Lunch: M-F, Dinner: M-Th, Brunch: Sat-Sun)
- Up to $550 to cover transportation to and from KBS (note MSU can only reimburse drivers up to $500 in mileage)
- Up to $250 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
Basso Lab – KBS & MSU Dept. of Earth and Environmental Sciences: Our approach is to integrate diverse disciplines such as Biophysics, Climatology, Hydrology, Genetics, Agronomy, and Soil Science to understand the overall agricultural systems and to improve decision-making across a broad spectrum of stakeholders, from the smallholder farmer in the developing world to the industrial producer and policy maker at all scales.
Conner 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.
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.
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.
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
Check back on December 15th for the Summer 2020 application!
What will you need?
- Ability to participate the entire 11-week program (May 17-Aug 1, 2020)
- A PDF of your current resume
- A PDF of your transcripts (unofficial is fine)
- Contact information for at least one (1) reference (we will contact references with a simple form 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., community colleges and small colleges without graduate programs), and US military veterans currently enrolled as undergraduates.
You must be a U.S. citizen, or permanent U.S. resident, currently enrolled with undergraduate status to participate in the NSF REU program.