Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU)

2014 REU Symposium Group Photo

The Field Museum houses one of the world’s foremost scientific collections of biological diversity (>25 million specimens), and supports active biodiversity research around the globe. Despite the urgency of the current biodiversity crisis, few educational opportunities exist for students in the biological sciences to interact with scientists and institutions dedicated to the study of organic diversity.


2014 REU Symposium Speaker
The Field Museum REU program will train a cohort of at least eight students in biodiversity-related research in a 10-week summer program. Each participant will undertake an independent research project supervised by a museum scientist in a discipline such as taxonomy and systematics, phylo/ biogeography, paleontology, molecular phylogenetics, or conservation. Students will experience biological diversity through the use of the museum’s collections in their research, and will be trained in project-relevant techniques and equipment such as the scanning electron microscope, various light microscopy set-ups, and equipment in the Pritzker DNA lab. A six-week course in phylogenetic systematics run concurrently with intern projects will provide a common theoretical framework for their research. At the conclusion of the summer students will present their research results to their peers and museum scientists at the Undergraduate Research Symposium. Providing equal opportunity in biodiversity-related research is an important goal of the program.


2013 REU Symposium Poster Presenter
CURRENT STATUS: The 2014 FMNH REU internship period is over. Thank you so much to all of you who applied to the program. We received over 400 applications this year and the quality of all of the applicants was extraordinary. Thank you, particularly, to the eight 2014 REU interns who made this year so spectacular!


The current REU program funding is pending. The 2012-2014 REU program was funded through an REU-Site grant of the National Science Foundation, DBI 11-56594 (PIs Drs. Petra Sierwald and Kenneth Angielczyk). The 2009- 2011 REU program was funded through an REU-Site grant of the National Science Foundation DBI: 08-49958 (PIs Drs. Petra Sierwald and Peter Makovicky).

Relevant dates for 2015:

  • Projects posted on website: PENDING
  • Applications open: PENDING
  • Application deadline: PENDING
  • Letters of reference deadline: PENDING
  • Awards announced (by email): PENDING
  • Awardee accept / decline deadline: PENDING
  • REU internship period: PENDING
  • Phylogenetic workshop series (weekly) and introductory lectures: PENDING  (evening class, participation mandatory)
  • Research Symposium: PENDING (participation mandatory)

Please refer to the tutorial at the bottom of the page to help you through the online application system. If you have a problem that is not addressed in the tutorial, please email Stephanie Ware.  You will need an e-mail account to register for the on-line application. After you register, an authentication e-mail will be sent to your e-mail acoount. If you do not receive this authentication message, check the SPAM filter of your e-mail account.


2014 REU Projects and Interns

What's in a name? That's what we call a species - addressing species delimitation in lichenized fungi: REU intern Luis Allende mentored by Dr. Thorsten Lumbsch (Curator, Botany and Associate Director, Integrative Research Center)

Hairy legs in the Nursery: REU intern Anne Gibbons mentored by Dr. Petra Sierwald (Curator, Arachnida and Myriapoda) and Dr. Estevam da Silva (Postdoctoral Researcher, Arachnida and Myriapoda)


2014 REU Group Field Trip to CBG
One leg at a time: The morphology of millipedes: REU intern Wilson Guillory mentored by Dr. Petra Sierwald (Curator, Arachnida and Myriapoda)

Speciation and Diversification of Mammals on Islands: REU intern Chris Kyriazis mentored by Dr. John Bates (Curator, Birds) and Dr. Lawrence Heaney (Curator, Mammals)

Morphological Integration in the Mandibles of Living Reptiles and Fossil Synapsids: REU intern Armita Manafzadeh mentored by Dr. Kenneth D. Angielczyk (Curator, Geology)

ATM meets MET - Assembling a Taxonomic Monograph using Modern Electronic Tools: REU intern Ian Medeiros mentored by Dr. Robert Lücking (Adjunct Curator and Collections Manager, Botany) and Dr. Thorsten Lumbsch (Curator, Botany and Associate Director, Integrative Research Center)

Morphological evolution of carnivoran milk teeth: REU intern Dana Reuter mentored by Dr. Kenneth Angielczyk (Curator, Geology) and Dr. Susumu Tomiya (Postdoctoral Researcher, Geology)

What can we learn from 30+ years of bird migration data?: REU intern Max Witynski mentored by Dr. David Willard (Adjunct Curator, Birds), Dr. Ben Marks (Collection Manager, Birds) and Dr. Douglas Stotz (Research Ecologist, Action Center)

Explore past Field Museum REU programs!

We have also uploaded material from REU programs from 2009 to 2014, which you may download by clicking the document links below.