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Research Experiences for Undergraduates

“Ecology at the Urban-Rural Interface”

Department of Biology, The University of Akron


The UA REU ran from 2009-2011.  The Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program was funded by the National Science Foundation and The University of Akron.

     • Based at The UA Field Station, located on the edge of the beautiful Cuyahoga Valley

     • Near the metropolitan areas of Akron and Cleveland in NE Ohio





This REU site focuses on collaborative research investigating species, interactions, and ecosystems within human dominated landscapes.  Students will be immersed in their own research projects that are part of a larger, interactive team of students and faculty. Each student will receive:

     • $4500 stipend

     • Housing provided

     • Food allowance



Program highlights include:

     • Research opportunities in the field and/or lab

     • Experience gathering and analyzing data, writing-up results, and creating  presentations

     • Field trips: Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Magee Marsh Wildlife Area, Lake Erie

     • Annual Research Symposium and Banquet




Potential mentors include:

     • Dr. Todd Blackledge -- behavioral ecology; evolution and biomechanics of spider silk
     • Dr. Bruce Cushing -- behavioral neuroscience

     • Dr. Peter Lavrentyev -- aquatic ecology; microbial food webs
     • Dr. Rich Londraville -- fat metabolism in fishes; calcium cycling; field capture of carp to support a project on that species

     • Dr. Chris Miller -- reservoir drinking water source monitoring and modeling; environmental science
     • Dr. Randy Mitchell -- plant-pollinator interactions; foraging behavior of pollinators; effects of climate change on wetland plants
     • Dr. Paco Moore -- evolutionary genetics; vertebrate zoology

     • Dr. Peter Niewiarowski -- biologically-inspired design; physiological ecology; population biology of reptiles and amphibians

     • Dr. Don Ott -- molecular phylogeny of Vaucheria; cell biology and microscopy
     • Dr. Dan Petit -- conservation biology of neotropical migrant songbirds
     • Dr. Matt Shawkey -- structural coloration in bird plumage; evolution of animal signaling
     • Dr. Greg Smith -- wildlife ecology and conservation; biogeography; landscape ecology; urban ecology

     • Dr. Steve Weeks -- evolution of mating systems in clam shrimp




Results from Previous Summers:

     • Summer 2009 Program Poster

     • Summer 2009 Project Abstracts

     • Summer 2010 Program Poster

     • Summer 2010 Project Abstracts





(Art by REU 2009 student Ryan Folk.)















(Art by REU 2010 student Alysha Cypher.)




Undergraduates with interests in ecology and evolutionary biology from any institution are eligible. 

Successful applicants will exhibit intellectual and scholarly excellence as demonstrated by academic achievement, possess a minimum grade point average of 2.75/4.0, have high potential for conducting independent research, and have strong letters of reference.  Students should be committed for the duration of the summer program, including some weekends for research or field trips.  

Women and minorities are strongly encouraged to apply.



The application period has closed.



For more information:

• Contact the Program Director, Dr. Randy Mitchell (330-972-5122 or

• Write to Biology REU Program, Department of Biology, The University of Akron, Akron, OH 44325-3908








Provide comments to Greg Smith at


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Page Updated:  February 2, 2012