Coweeta REU at Virginia Tech

Subject: Coweeta REU at Virginia Tech

We are looking for an NSF-REU student to work on a soil microbial ecology project at Virginia Tech for 10 weeks (June – August 2018, exact dates negotiable). A stipend will be provided for travel, field expenses and living expenses (approximately $600 per week). The project will be focused on land use change in the southern Appalachian region and its effects on ecosystem functions of soil microbial communities.

Project details: the student will work directly with a PhD student in the Barrett lab in the Biological Sciences Department on a project based at the Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory in the southern Appalachian mountains of North Carolina. At Coweeta, we are investigating soil microbial responses Rhododendron understory removal, with a focus on responses of microbial extracellular enzymes involved in carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus cycling in soil. The REU student will complete a complementary project in which they will measure soil extracellular enzyme activities in forests with no history of a Rhododendron understory as well as forests that have been subjected to a variety of past land uses, such as commercial logging.

In addition to measuring extracellular enzyme activities, the student will gain experience in field soil sampling and processing as well as lab measurement of soil physical and chemical properties. The student will also be involved in data entry, processing, and analysis.

The ideal candidate will have an interest in ecosystem ecology, soil ecology, and microbial ecology. The candidate must be enrolled in an undergraduate program and must have a graduation date after August 2018.
Applicants should send a CV (resume), unofficial transcript, contact information for one academic reference, and a one page personal statement to Ernie Osburn ( Please include “REU position” in the subject line. Applications will be accepted through May 4th, 2018.