> The Global Change Biology and Stable Isotope Biogeochemistry lab at the
> University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) is seeking an undergraduate
> student for an innovative NSF-funded REU project integrating ecosystem
> ecology, biogeochemistry, and environmental microbiology. The project will
> contribute to a larger effort to improve understanding of when, where, and
> why the microbially mediated process, dissimilatory nitrate reduction to
> ammonium (DNRA), is an important soil nitrogen transformation process in
> terrestrial ecosystems. DNRA retains nitrogen in ecosystems to support plant
> productivity and reduce water pollution resulting from nitrate runoff; it
> also competes with other microbially mediated nitrogen transformations to
> decrease soil emissions of nitrous oxide, a potent greenhouse gas that
> contributes to climate change. Despite its potential importance, DNRA has
> generally been disregarded in non-flooded terrestrial ecosystems because of
> the misconception that it is restricted to conditions found in flooded
> environments, such as wetlands and rice paddies.
> During the 10-week program, the REU student will gain hands-on training and
> valuable experience in both field and laboratory research conducted on the
> UIUC campus, including the option to learn about stable isotope pool dilution
> and tracer methods, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, or Illumina
> sequencing of soil microbial genes. The student will be guided in the
> development of an independent project that culminates in an oral presentation
> of the project results to the lab group. The selected student will be
> primarily mentored by Dr. Wendy Yang, an ecosystem ecologist and
> biogeochemist; Dr. Robert Sanford, an environmental microbiologist; or Dr.
> Joanne Chee-Sanford, a microbiologist; placement will be determined based on
> the student’s expressed interest.
> Program details:
> - The program runs for 10 weeks, from May 29, 2018 to August 3, 2018.
> - Travel expenses to/from Champaign-Urbana, Illinois and lodging
> will be provided.
> - The student will receive a weekly stipend.
> - U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, or permanent residents of the
> United States
> - Must be enrolled in a baccalaureate or associate degree program
> (part-time or full-time); transfer students and high school students accepted
> into and starting a degree program in Fall 2018 are eligible
> - Prior research experience NOT required
> - Has a strong interest in ecosystem ecology, biogeochemistry,
> environmental microbiology, or related fields
> - Shows academic promise
> Applications are due by March 23, 2018 and should include the following:
> - 1-2 page cover letter, including responses to the following three
> 1. Which faculty mentor are you interested in working primarily with,
> and how does that investigator’s field of research relate to your interests?
> 2. What do you hope to gain from this research experience?
> 3. What do you envision yourself doing career-wise 10 years from now?
> - CV/resume
> - Transcript (unofficial is ok)
> - Contact information for 3 references
> Applications and questions should be sent to Dr. Wendy Yang at
> For more information about the Global Change Biology and Stable Isotope
> Biogeochemistry lab and the parent project for the REU project, please visit