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W.K. Kellogg Biological Station, Michigan State University


Title: REU Ecological and Evolutionary Dynamics in a Changing World


Description: The Kellogg Biological Station (KBS) provides outstanding opportunities for students interested in ecology, evolutionary biology, agricultural ecology and animal science. KBS faculty, post-docs, and graduate students are passionate about involving undergraduates in their research and KBS provides access to excellent research facilities, field sites, and an environment conducive to research. KBS REU positions give undergraduate students the opportunity to conduct full-time research under the guidance of an experienced mentor.

REUs will work with their mentor to create and maintain a fully annotated dataset, collaborate to write a research proposal, present a professional research poster at the KBS Summer Undergraduate Symposium, and write a blog post about their research experience.

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 the results as a professional research poster
  • Explore if a career in research is a good choice for you
  • Build references for your application to graduate school or other programs
  • Participate in professional development seminars tailored to help undergraduate students be successful in STEM disciplines

Research Focus: This research opportunity focuses on understanding the role of soil microbial ecology in ecosystem restoration. The SEEDS SPUR Fellow will assist with an ongoing research project that examines whether plant seed mix and restoration size influence soil microbial community composition, greenhouse gas emissions and carbon storage in tallgrass prairies. Sites were planted in 2014, as part of the ongoing Conservation Lands Experiment at KBS. After reading literature and learning more about the project, the Fellow will work with faculty and graduate students at Western Michigan University (WMU) and KBS to develop a focused summer research project. Dr. Kathryn Docherty at WMU will be the primary mentor for the Fellow. It is expected that the Fellow will present the results of their work at the end of the summer along with other REU students at KBS and that they will present their work at the August 2023 ESA Annual Meeting.

While field work will occur at KBS, any lab work for this project will be conducted at Western Michigan University, which is ~25 minutes away in Kalamazoo, MI. Therefore, it is necessary that the SEEDS SPUR fellow have a vehicle to travel to the lab. Opportunities for interactions with graduate and undergraduate researchers, seminars and career development activities will be available for this Fellow from both WMU and KBS.

Location: Hickory Corner, MI

Start and End dates: 5/19/2022 – 8/3/2022

Fellowship positions available: 1

Are the dates flexible? Yes

Eligibility and Requirements: Must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher. 

Summer Stipend: $575.00/week for 11 weeks = $6,325.00

Other services provided: Housing is provided, airfare/ mileage is provided, ground transportation on site is provided if needed, research materials or equipment are provided, there are other weekly educational opportunities on-site for students e.g. seminars, we have career development / awareness activities in place. Cafeteria available at KBS.