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REU Internship in Plant Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

by Maya J. Sze on January 24, 2022

Overview: We seek 1-2 motivated and enthusiastic undergraduate students for a summer Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) internship in Dr. Erika Hersch-Green’s Plant Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Lab at Michigan Technological University. This is a 10-week, full-time, paid internship. Dates are flexible but will run from approximately the beginning of June through mid-August 2022. The selected student will receive a $5000 stipend (~$500/week for the 10-week duration), up to $1000 to defray travel costs to Houghton MI, and will be provided with research funds to support their project.

The selected student(s) will be mentored by Dr. Hersch-Green to contribute to an ongoing NSF-funded research project that focusses on the interacting roles that nutrients, disturbance, plant genome size, and plant morphological/chemical/physiological traits have on community dynamics and species interactions (herbivores, pollinators, etc.). Data from this project is collected at experimental sites that are part of the NutNet and DRAGnet (for design and background see research consortiums in which plots are exposed to different nutrient and disturbance treatments.

Selected student(s) will develop and conduct an independent research project that contributes to the overall goals of the larger research project. Students will have opportunities to conduct laboratory, field, and/or greenhouse work and field work will be done locally at our experimental field site and/or by accompanying graduate students to other sites in the NutNet/DRAGNet research consortium.

Eligibility:  Applicants must currently be a (1) U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or permanent resident and (2) an undergraduate freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior graduating no earlier than September 2022 or a high school senior that will start their undergraduate education the following fall semester after the REU program.  We are especially encouraging applications from students from traditionally under-represented groups in biology/STEM fields (i.e., African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, other Pacific Islanders, students with disabilities, first generation college students, veterans, women, LGBTQ students) as well as students from institutions with limited research opportunities (e.g., community colleges) and/or students in financial need. Applicants should be flexible to adapt to the ever-changing constraints and opportunities associated with field research.

To Apply: Applications should be submitted to Dr. Hersch-Green by email ( no later than March 1st, and should include the following documents: (1) letter of interest that describes your educational background, career goals, and how this internship will contribute towards those goals, (2) current curriculum vitae/resume, and (3) unofficial transcripts. Additionally, please arrange to have two letters of recommendation emailed directly to Dr. Hersch-Green by the application deadline.

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