Summer REU – Monarch butterfly modeling project

We seek a summer undergraduate student for a 12-week REU position in the Zipkin Quantitative Ecology Lab at Michigan State University, based in East Lansing, MI.

The student will join a collaborative team that is using statistical models to investigate the factors causing the decline of North American monarch butterflies. With guidance from the team, the REU student will develop a modeling project examining mortality during the fall migration and at the wintering grounds in Mexico. In addition to conducting their own project, the REU student will have the opportunity to participate in other, ongoing research within the lab on a variety of topics.

The REU students will receive a stipend ($6000) and additional funding to offset living and travel expenses ($1000). Research expenses will be covered for the summer. Individuals from all universities and at any stage of their undergraduate career are encouraged to apply, but REU students must be enrolled as undergraduates through at least August 2018 (i.e., can’t graduate in May 2018). The ideal student for this position will have interest in ecology, math, and statistics. No programming skills are required but prior experience will be viewed favorable.

Interested individuals should contact Elise Zipkin ( by March 15 with a brief (1 page max) statement of why they are interested in the position, their CV or resume, and the names and email addresses for two references.