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.
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. This program is only open to U.S. citizens and permanent residents. Graduating seniors and recent graduates may not apply.
The 2016-2018 REU program was funded through an REU-Site grant of the National Science Foundation, DBI 15-59779 (PIs Drs. Corrie Moreau and Thorsten Lumbsch). 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).