Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) students share their research at summer’s end

The Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program supports active research participation by undergraduate students in any of the areas of research funded by the National Science Foundation.

Many REU programs hold symposia at the end of the summer at which students can present their research. The Biological Sciences Directorate was excited to see the outcomes of some REU projects shared via social media, thanks to faculty/researchers and students. Below are some examples of what was shared with the @NSF_BIO Twitter account.

#LCREU student symposium Wed Aug 5, 1 pm @uvmvermont Waterman Bldg 338. Posters, REU Zine, reception. @NSF_BIO

#LCREU students give final poster presentations on their summer research. @dvm_uvm @NSF_BIO

Fantastic job #LCREU cohort! Expect big things in future. @NSF_BIO Link to posters and zine http://www.uvm.edu/~ecolab/?Page=REU2015symposium.html&SM=REUsubmenu.html

Today is the 27th #BioREU symposium at @RGGSatAMNH. These students were so impressive (as always)! Thanks to @NSF_BIO for support.

Symposium talk 2: CT scanning of hyoid in #sharks by Rachel Hutchin. #REU @AMNH @NSF_BIO

Devin Hoffman shows in his #BioREU talk how much influence one taxon can have on tree topology. @RGGSatAMNH @NSF_BIO   Ashley Paynter from @binghamtonu on contagious clam cancer. #BioREU @theleechguy @RGGSatAMNH @NSF_BIO   More than 40% of our past @NSF_BIO #REU interns now in tenure track positions. Like @Annalida500 @LSU_FISH @okiewhaler @CookeSiobhan #BioREU     Hey...@NSF_BIO...our REU program will broadcast student talks. Come see what you funded. Session 1 (4-6pm PST)

#FHLREU student @noahb225 gives shout out to @Nautichthys on sculpin fins - implications for terrestrial locomotion

Katherine Corn calculated the effects of flatfish size on burial parameters. #FHLREU

Our @LouisCalderCtr summer #REU symposium kicks off at 9:30 with @theleechguy as keynote speaker, and then 12 undergrad talks! @NSF_BIO

First up. Rachelle Carino from St Francis college: catnip oil as a tick repellent #REU @NSF_BIO @LouisCalderCtr

Jenniffer Riley explores the natural history of bats in NYC #CSUR2015 @fordhamnotes @NSF_BIO #batgirl

Giselle Herrera explores the molecular ecology of coyotes in NY #CSUR2015 @fordhamnotes @NSF_BIO

Be sure to follow #REU on Twitter for more updates (you don’t need a Twitter account to follow along, just click here)!

Biology ab initio: Understanding the rules of life

Dr. Jim Olds, Assistant Director of BIO, speaking engagements:

July 20, 2015: Marine Biological Laboratory
August 31, 2015: LTER All Scientists Meeting, 2015 Keynote Address
September 28, 2015: Meeting of the Advisory Committee for Biological Sciences
February 11, 2016: Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute (VTCRI) Distinguished Public Lecture (Live stream: http://research.vtc.vt.edu/live-webcast/)

Biology ab initio: Understanding the rules of life

Abstract: The mission of the National Science Foundation’s Directorate for Biological Sciences is to enable discoveries for understanding life. Our theoretical understanding of life is based on first principles; for example, that life comes in dynamic packages (e.g., cells and organisms) and these packages reproduce with variable heredity, expanding in population size until constrained. Among life’s first principles—the constraints, drivers, and feedbacks of evolution—there must be discoverable sets of rules that, once identified, would contribute to new or refined conceptual understandings of life, new approaches to studying life, and new, fundamentally different, questions about life and its origins. There have already been advances in our understanding of some rules, for example, in our knowledge of how protein dynamics contribute to their function and of developmental signaling, but many rule sets remain to be discovered. And such discoveries will be the engine for innovation in other disciplines that make use of biology. Understanding the rules of life is the business of biology in the 21st Century.