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Syracuse University 

Title: REU in Plant Invasions and Global Change


Description: The Becklin and Fridley labs at Syracuse University are sponsoring a SPUR fellow from May to August 2021 on a project that involves laboratory, growth chamber, and field research opportunities in plant ecology. The student will live on or near campus and work on an independent project that addresses physiological mechanisms of forest invasions. Activities may include plant growth trials in a controlled environment facility; laboratory measurements of leaf and root function, chemistry, and morphology; and field-based measurements of plant and soil microbial communities. The student will join a vibrant lab group of about 15 students, staff, and faculty working on global change issues. Mentors (Katie Becklin and Jason Fridley) will join the SPUR fellow at the ESA conference in August.

Research Focus: Although the specific project depends on applicant interests, Becklin and Fridley labs are particularly interested in questions at the nexus of invasions and environmental change (e.g., elevated CO2). For example, to what extent do today’s dominant plant invaders respond to human-induced atmospheric changes (e.g., warming, elevated CO2)? Possible student projects include performance contrasts of native and invasive species at historical, ambient and future CO2 levels; experiments that examine the interaction of CO2 and light in driving invader advantage; and contributions of soil microbes to carbon budgets in native and invasive plants across environmental gradients.

Location: Department of Biology, 107 College Place, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY 13244

Start and End dates: 5/17/2021 – 8/6/2021

Fellowship positions available: 1

Are the dates flexible? Yes

Eligibility and Requirements: Applicant must be in good academic standing. 

Summer Stipend: $400.00/week

Other services provided: Housing 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. Summer campus housing for 2021 is in flux. If campus housing is unavailable we will pay for private accommodation within walking or biking distance of the lab.