LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology has been awarded funding for a Research Experiences for Undergraduates summer program through the National Science Foundation. The program, titled “Models in Evolution, Ecology and Systematics,” will bring undergraduate students to KU’s campus for 10 weeks to provide professional training and hands-on experiences as undergraduate researchers.
The first group of students will arrive in Lawrence in May. Primarily biology and mathematics majors, these students will participate in independent biology research under the supervision of a KU faculty member in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Areas or research include the evolution of development, speciation, global climate change, plant physiological ecology, population dynamics, ecological genetics, animal behavior, population genetics, quantitative trait evolution, phylogenetics and systematics. Student participants will gain experience in reading and discussing the scientific literature, formulating and testing hypotheses, and data analysis. At the conclusion of the program, participants describe their research in an oral presentation and a poster presentation.
“We are very excited about the breadth of diversity among students that have applied to the program,” said REU program director Jennifer Gleason. “These students are going to have a unique opportunity to both test and build models within their field of studies. All of the mentors and their labs are going to have an exciting summer working with them.”
The EEB REU program joins four others at KU funded by the National Science Foundation: Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, Chemistry, the Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CRESIS) and Molecular Biosciences. REU programs at KU primarily accept students from other universities; KU undergraduate students can view a list of REU opportunities on the NSF’s website.