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Research opportunities and independent research courses

Faculty accepting undergraduate researchers

Please feel free to reach out to these faculty members directly via email. It's the best way to start the process.

  1. Catherine Badgley - sort through sediments to find and curate tiny vertebrate fossils in rocks that range in age from 18 to 6 million years old from terrestrial ecosystems in the Indian subcontinent. If interested, a student can analyze diversity patterns through time for these fossils.
  2. Aimée Classen - ecosystem ecology, global change, microbial ecology, soil-plant interactions.
  3. Liliana Cortés Ortiz - use of molecular and morphological analyses to address questions related to primate diversity and evolution.
  4. Vincent Denef - molecular analysis of bacterial communities to determine impacts of species invasions on community composition, physiology, functional traits, and evolutionary processes.
  5. Thomas Duda - molecular and/or morphological studies of molluscs to address questions concerning their ecology and evolutionary history.
  6. Melissa Duhaime - microbial and viral ecology and genomics in ocean and Great Lakes systems: viruses of harmful algal blooms, the role of nutrient limitation in viral infections, microbes living on plastic debris; the study of plastic debris in aquatic habitats.
  7. André Green - environmental, genetic and molecular basis of monarch butterfly migration.
  8. L. Lacey Knowles - projects that use genetic tools to test how current and past landscape features, as well as climatic changes, impact species divergence and biodiversity patterns.
  9. Hernán López-Fernández - tropical freshwater fishes, systematics, macroevolution, evolutionary ecology, conservation.
  10. Annette Ostling - mechanisms and dynamics of competitive coexistence, especially theoretical and mathematical modeling approaches.
  11. Yin-Long Qiu - undergraduate students will have an opportunity to work closely with a professor on exciting and important problems in plant evolutionary biology.
  12. Nate Sanders - community ecology, macroecology, global change ecology.
  13. Tom Schmidt - ecology, evolution and engineering of the human gut microbiome.
  14. Stephen Smith - biogeography of plants, bioinformatics related to phylogenetics, and genomics and phylogenetics.
  15. Cody Thompson - evolutionary patterns and processes of mammalian diversity.
  16. Elizabeth Tibbetts - multiple aspects of animal behavior, including mate choice, cognition, parental care, and communication.
  17. Erika Tucker - projects revolve around wild bee and wasp biodiversity. Learn about taxonomy, systematics, survey techniques, specimen processing, bee ecology and plant-pollinator networks.
  18. María Natalia Umaña - investigate above and belowground plant strategies at the U-M Big Woods forest plot. Students have the opportunity to 1) collect leaf and root trait for different plant species. 2) collect soil samples to determine nutrient and soil water content and 3) manage and analyze the collected data.

Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP)

UROP creates research partnerships between first and second year students and University of Michigan faculty. All schools and colleges of the University of Michigan are active participants in UROP, thereby providing a wealth of research topics from which a student can choose. Begun in 1989 with 14 student/faculty partnerships the program continues to grow, offering more first and second year students the opportunity to be part of an exciting research community. Today, approximately 1300 students and over 800 faculty researchers are engaged in research partnerships.

NEW! Green Life Sciences at U-M

Green life forms – plants, algae, and microbes – are integral components of the earth biosystem, and are essential to human existence. From the dawn of civilization, they have been subjects of human intellectual inquiry for practical, artistic and spiritual needs. With the rapid development of interdisciplinarity in sciences over the last half century, botany, the science that studies green life forms, has metamorphosized into green life science, with several specialized sub-disciplines.The U-M Green Life Science Initiative aims to integrate green life sciences on campus, which investigate forms, functions, genetics, ecology and evolution of green life forms.

Conference travel award for undergraduate researchers in EEB (PDF)

Undergraduates conducting research in the laboratories of EEB faculty members may apply for a one-time grant of up to $250 for travel to a conference at which the student presents a paper or a poster.