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program overview

Thank you for your interest in the REU Site: Warm-water aquatic ecology at Auburn University.  Our program completed its third and final summer in 2013.  We encourage you to consider other REU programs.  Click here to search for another REU Site.  And, please follow us on Facebook to track our students' progress.


Program Description

Having access to safe and abundant potable water is quickly becoming one of the most important global environmental issues.  Some models predict that 40% of the world's population will suffer water shortages by 2025 due to several mechanisms, such as climate change, species invasions, and eutrophication.  These issues have been especially challenging in the southeastern U.S. given the on-going explosive population growth and prolonged drought throughout the region.  Unfortunately, less emphasis has been placed on the study of warm-water ecology (in contrast to ecological research in cooler, more temperate regions), thus creating a significant need for broadly-trained scientists capable of exploring complex, context-dependent natural and anthropogenic processes threatening water resources in warm regions of the world. 

This REU Site is a novel, collaborative effort involving Auburn University faculty mentors specializing in diverse but complementary disciplines, including community ecology, fisheries management, aquaculture, evolution, limnology, molecular biology,  microbiology, invasive species, fish behavior, outreach, physiology, parasitology, and conservation.  Together these disciplines provide the education basis for undergraduate students to learn about techniques and tools to study aquatic communities, specifically warm-water systems such as reservoirs, farm ponds, streams, and brackish estuaries.  The primary objectives of this project include exposing participants to different scientific hypotheses, research techniques, and ecological habitats and conditions in an engaging, interdisciplinary atmosphere that fosters a strong interest in aquatic sciences by the next generation of water experts. 

All REU students are fully supported during their experiences at Auburn University, including a $5,000 stipend, travel support to and from Auburn University, research funds ($500), and food and lodging at The Cambridge for the entire 10 week program (5/26/13-8/4/13).


2013 REU students

Laura Alexander - Univ of Georgia

Crystal Bishop - Young Harris College

Sarah Black - Valparaiso Univ

Mallary Clay - Catawba College

Laurel Low - Whitman College

Brooke Merrill - Michigan State Univ

Jenae Olson - Minnesota State Univ - Moorhead

Leslie Pope - North Georgia College and State Univ

Miriam Schmid - Illinois Institute of Technology

Anthony Scott - Livingstone College

Deionta Sutton - North Carolina A&T Univ

Shanell Thomas - Tuskegee University

2013 REU group


2012 REU students

Evelyn Boardman - Univ of Vermont

Enrique Doster - Auburn Univ

Kaitlin Driscoll - Eastern Washington Univ

Kellie Fredette - Stetson Univ

Brittany Holt - Tuskegee Univ

Ryan Jiorle - William and Mary

Kevin Koenders - Univ of Rochester

Shirley Liao - Duke Univ

Alex Neal - Univ of Dayton

Trevor Starks - Kansas State Univ

Rachel Zitomer - Humboldt State Univ


2011 REU students

Vernon Anderson - Auburn University

Katie LeMay - Univ of West Alabama

Aiden Simpson - Clarion Univ

Michael Moore - Univ of Missouri - Columbia

Michael Andrews - Univ of South Carolina

Courtney Ellison - Univ of Georgia

Harlan Gough - Western Washington Univ

Kristen Carlisle - Jacksonville State Univ

Kate Kohlenberg - Univ of Alabama - Birmingham

Anthony Burger - Denison Univ

Andrew Stump - Eastern Kentucky Univ


mentor spotlight

Dr. Brian Helms