NSF-funded REU position

We invite applications for an NSF funded Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) position to work on the FEN project investigating the effects of forest fragmentation on species interactions in a plant-caterpillar-bird network in deciduous forests in Connecticut. The successful candidate will be trained in a variety of ecological field techniques, plant and insect identification and community ecology. The student will also develop and complete an individual project under the direction of the senior investigators.

Application Due Date: April 1, 2019, or until the positions are filled.

Position details: The student will participate in field surveys and experiments involving caterpillars and plants in forests of Eastern Connecticut, data entry, management and analysis and project planning. The student will attend lab and project meetings and will be expected to present their results to the group. Applicants should be prepared to work long days in the field, including through hot and wet weather.

A written project proposal (~2 pages) is due at the start of the position, which will be expanded to an interim report (3-4 pages, due in week 6 of the position) and a final report (10 – 12 pages, due at the end of the position). The student will be encouraged and funded to present their individual project at a local conference.

Minimum Qualifications: GPA of 3.5 or greater; Completion of BIOL 1107 or 1108 by start of position.

Preferred Qualifications: Evidence of active interest in biology and the natural environment through formal coursework, previous work experience or extra-curricular activities.

Appointment Terms: This is a 10-week appointment (May 20th –  July 26th, 2019) with a stipend of $500 per week.

How to Apply: Interested students should email Dr. Robert Bagchi (robert.bagchi@uconn.edu) with answers to the following questions:

  1. What topics in Ecology do you find most interesting?
  2. What skills and experiences of yours do you think will help you with this job?
  3. What do you want to do after you graduate and how might this job help with that?
  4. What questions would you like to ask for the individual project component of the job? Please describe (about 1/2 a page) how you might set up a study to answer those questions.

Please also attach an up-to-date list of previous qualifications and job experiences (a CV or resume is fine), list of completed courses and grades (e.g., an unofficial transcript).

We welcome applications from students with diverse backgrounds or without prior research experience.

Example topics for individual projects: Quantification of deer abundance and its impact on lepidopteran community structure; predation experiments using clay caterpillars; evaluating edge effects on caterpillar communities; measurement of parasitoid attack rates on caterpillars; sampling caterpillar and parasitoid communities on invasive plants; quantifying gypsy moth abundance and disease prevalence in forest fragments, using molecular methods (CO1 barcoding) to identify caterpillars.