Undergraduate Great Lakes Research Experience

Open to student applicants from across the U.S.A., the Central Michigan University Great Lakes Research Experiences for Undergraduates program, funded by the National Science Foundation and the College of Science and Engineering, supports the training of 8 students for 10 weeks during the summers of 2019-2022 (tentative 2022 dates are May 23 - July 29).

Great Lakes REU Research

Research will be conducted at CMU’s Biological Station, Beaver Island, MI. The interdisciplinary research theme will document how unprecedented changes currently underway (e.g. invasive and non-native species and anthropogenic stress) in the Laurentian Great Lakes are affecting the structure, function, and ecosystem services of the nearshore environment. The Great Lakes represent one of the world’s most important and threatened freshwater ecosystems.

Students will develop research projects ranging from limnology, fisheries biology, conservation and spatial ecology, molecular ecology, and microbial ecology in collaboration with CMU faculty to gain hands-on experience in all parts of the scientific process, from experimental design through data dissemination and translation. Students will engage with multiple stakeholders (e.g. government, private, and cultural) who have interests in Great Lakes resources and will learn to communicate their science to these groups.

Research Team

2021 Students and Projects

  • Kourtney N. Craft: Round Goby Curiosity: The Role of Boldness, Hunger, and Bait
  • Camryn A. Hollis: alkB and mcrA were not found to be primary degradation pathways involved in the breakdown of crude in freshwater systems.
  • Rebekah Garza: Vegetated Beach Zones Act as Hotspots of Microplastic Accumulation along Lake Michigan Coastal Gradients
  • Richard Hernandez: eDNA concentration does not vary between close-to-surface depths within aquatic sediments
  • Cody R. Korth: Rapid Analysis of Bacterial Growth and Death in Sarracenia purpurea by Flow Cytometry
  • Yaseen Ginnab: Lake Michigan’s Microbial Communities Quickly Adapt to The Presence of Crude Oil to Degrade Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)
  • Alexis R. Ortiz Núñez: Round Goby as a Predator on Larval Fish and Invertebrate Prey
  • Sarah White: Daily sampling of a Laurentian Great Lakes nearshore community reveals high variability of zooplankton densities.

2021 Research Mentors


A background in biology, chemistry, or environmental science​ with a strong interest in the chemical, physical and biological aspects of aquatic ecosystems. Applicants must provide their transcripts and 2-3 letters of recommendation.


During Summer 2022​, each student will receive a stipend of $5,750, lodging provided at CMU and at the CMU Biological Station, and meals provided in the cafeteria. Funding of up to $500 is available to reimburse each student for travel costs to the REU site.


Students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents, with a grade point average of 2.5 or higher, and who will be returning to their undergraduate program in Fall 2022 are eligible to apply. Women and minorities are particularly encouraged to apply.​


Please download, complete and submit the application as directed. Please download and forward the recommendation form to each person providing a recommendation for you.

(Please use Acrobat Reader to complete your form, not the Apple Preview available on Mac computers.)

All application materials (application, transcripts and letters of recommendation) should be submitted by Friday, January 28, 2022. Email is preferable for all materials. Paper copies are acceptable but must be postmarked by the application deadline. 2-3 letters of recommendation must be sent by those writing the recommendation, not by the applicant. For questions and to email materials, please contact the program coordinator at iglr@cmich.edu

CMU Great Lakes REU
c/o Jessica Lapp
Brooks Hall 217
Central Michigan University
Mount Pleasant, MI 48859

We expect to extend offers of awards by early March 2022. Please be patient during this process and feel free to contact the iglr@cmich.edu mailbox with questions.