Undergraduate & REU Program

What Is REU?

The Whitney Laboratory Research Experience for Undergraduate program (REU), funded by the National Science Foundation (Site Award 0648969), offers an exceptional opportunity for the motivated undergraduate to participate in scientific research. If you are serious about science but have never  had the opportunity to perform work as a scientist, then this program is for you.

2014 REU Interns

In cooperation with a faculty supervisor, students choose a project that  fits both their interests and ongoing investigations of the Lab and that can be completed within the eleven-week training period during the summer.

The 2015 summer session is now open! The application deadline is February 15, 2015.

Undergraduates who qualify for the REU Program receive a competitive stipend, assistance with travel expenses, and housing. Students must be a U.S. citizen or have permanent residency to qualify for NSF funding. Students from groups under-represented in the sciences (African Americans,  Native Americans, Hispanics, and Pacific Islanders), first generation college students, women and non-traditional students are encouraged to apply.

REU flyer2014sm

To receive credit for their work at the Whitney Lab, students should make arrangements with their home institutions.

REU research-related activities include:

  • A research project mentored by experienced investigators
  • A weekly seminar by Whitney Lab faculty and post docs
  • Training in scientific communication (written and spoken)  and scientific ethics
  • A seminar and interview with a former Whitney REU student
  • The REU Symposium – summer interns describe the results of their summer research in oral and poster presentations. The student with the best poster presentation is awarded an all expense paid trip to a national scientific meeting.

2014 REU Poster Presentation Winner

Allison winning poster LR

Allison Zwarycz and her winning research poster

award photo with Allison low res

Dr. Elaine Seaver, REU Principal Investigator, Allison Zwarycz, 2014 REU Symposium Winner, Dr. Mark Martindale, Director, and Dr. Joseph Ryan, Allison’s REU Mentor

Our 2014 REU Symposium poster presentation winner was Allison Zwarycz, a Biology and Chemistry major at Viterbo University. She trained with Dr. Joseph Ryan, and Dr. Elaine Seaver over the 11 week internship.  In her project titled, “The Timing of Major Genomic Expansions in annelids: Evidence from the Earthworm Genome” Allison analyzed the earthworm genome using several bioinformatics tools to assemble the genome. She also focused on identifying homeobox genes, which have important functions in specifying differences between the head and tail in many animals. Allison would like to pursue a PhD in genetics or bioinformatics after graduation in 2015. Allison will receive an all expense paid trip to present her research findings in the earthworm at the annual meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB) which will be held January in West Palm Beach, FL.

REU activities outside the lab include:

  • Field trips to Florida’s diverse aquatic ecosystems, including local beaches and estuaries, a fresh water spring and the Gulf of Mexico coast at Cedar Key
  • A visit to several graduate departments on the main UF campus in Gainesville

SUMMER 2014 Photo Gallery

For further details, first check out the FAQs and if you still have questions,  email Education Coordinator Brenda Cannaliato

When and how to apply:

Fill out the online application form below and email the following items to Brenda Cannaliato before February 15, 2014:

  1. resume including a list of courses taken and the grades obtained (this does NOT have to be an official transcript
  2. letters of reference from two people able to evaluate your academic performance and potential.

For more information see FAQs.

The following  projects are available to the REU program

Fill out my online form.


If you have difficulty submitting your form online, you may mail or fax your form to:
Brenda Cannaliato
Undergraduate Coordinator
The Whitney Laboratory
9505 Ocean Shore Blvd.
St. Augustine, FL 32080
(904) 461-4014, FAX (904) 461-4016