Biology Students Ready for Research

Biology REU whole 2

The UCF Biology Department  is proud to have multiple students participating in competitive research experiences this summer across the nation. These Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) support active research participation of  students in any of the areas of research funded by the National Science Foundation.


Michelle Gaynor - Bio REUMichelle Gaynor – Junior, Biology

Michelle was awarded one of two REU positions in the Smith Lab at the University of Colorado-Boulder, under the guidance of Julliene Ng, Ph.D., and Robert Laport, Ph.D. “I will be identifying the factors influencing ecological and historical processes underlying plant community across the United States using a phylogenetic frameworks.”

The program begins May 22 and ends on July 31. Directly after the REU program ends Michelle will be presenting her summer research with the Smith Lab at the Botany 2016 conference in Savannah, Georgia.


Emily G -RESIZEDEmily Gipson – Junior, Biology/minor: Chemistry

Emily will be working in Eric Johnson’s, Ph.D., lab at the University of North Florida as part of their coastal biology flagship REU program.

“I’ll be choosing between 2 research topics: Reproductive ecology of lionfish or population dynamics of blue crab.”

The program runs from May 23 to July 29.



melindapaduani_headshot RESIZED

Melinda Paduani – Junior, Biology

Melinda was accepted to the Harvard Forest summer internship in ecology at Harvard University’s “outdoor research classroom” at Harvard Forest, in Massachusetts. She will be working with mentors, David Orwig, Ph.D., and Neil Pederson, Ph.D.

“I will be conducting dendroecological field work that includes overstory and understory tree coring, cross-dating, and some research on the invasive Woody Hemlock Adelgid beetle in the Hemlock forests of Massachusetts and the nearby New England area.”

The program runs from May 23 until August 5.


Heidi W

Heidi Waite – Junior, Biology

Heidi will be conducting research at Duke University Marine Lab in Beaufort, North Carolina. She will be working under the mentorship of Richard Forward, Ph.D.

“I will be investigating the cirdcadiam rhythm in the larval release of a subtital crab. I will test whether the rhythm can be entrained by temperature cycles and what range of temperatures is necessary.”

The REU takes place from June 6 to Aug. 12.




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