Undergraduate projects funded by the REU Site: Mechanisms of Evolution will focus on biological processes, such as mutation, genetic drift, migration, non-random mating and natural selection that drive heritable change. The inspiration for this proposal is the celebrated essay, Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light ofEvolution by Theodosius Dobzhansky. Professor Dobzhanky provided the following unambiguous explanation of the process, the environment presents challenges to living species, to which the latter may respond by adaptive genetic change and the potential outcomes allowed a species to occupy a formerly empty ecological niche or to resist the environmental change if it is unfavorable. The Light of Evolution essay did not address specific evolutionary mechanisms, but Dobzhansky recognized their significance by stating, the mechanisms that bring evolution about certainly need study and clarification. The goals of this proposal are to provide undergraduates with hypothesis-based projects that investigate one or more mechanisms of evolution, promote careers in science, reinforce the connection between genetics and evolution and highlight the accomplishments of evolutionary scholars. At the conclusion of the program, students will present their research results at a scientific colloquium. Students will receive a $5,250 stipend, housing and a travel subsidy.
Students from underrepresented groups and from academic institutions with limited research opportunities, including two-year colleges are strongly encouraged to apply.
The application deadline for the Summer 2015 REU program is Friday March 4, 2016. Download the application
Contact the REU ProgramAssistant for additional information.