The University of Central Oklahoma REU Site Grant will provide an international and integrative biological research experience for at least six undergraduates during eight weeks each summer of 2013-2015. This REU program, centered at Uludag University, near Istanbul and the Sea of Marmara, is designated as a Global Venture Fund Award and supported by the NSF's Offices of International Science and Engineering (OISE) and the Directorates for Biological Sciences (BIO). The research program involves collaboration with scientists at institutions in the United States, Greece, and the Republic of Turkey. Hypotheses are posed in a biogeographic and phylogenetic context, using the honey bee as a model system for understanding the ecological, behavioral, comparative psychological, and molecular biological aspects of invasive species. Prior to and during the program, students will be immersed in mini-courses and discussions that teach ethics and responsible conduct in research and the nature of scientific research. Students are asked to continue their participation beyond the eight-week period of the program, reconvening to present results at a national conference, as well as being offered opportunities to publish research findings. The program will support a generation of scientists who understand the relationship between human diversity and intellectual innovation. Indeed, students participate in enrichment activities that include visiting some of the most significant locations in the history of human civilization: Istanbul, the Ancient City of Troy, the Aegean islands, and the Ancient City of Pergamum. Because many large-scale ecological problems in the United States (including invasive species, parasites, and disease) originate from outside its borders, the diverse and interdisciplinary collaborations in the program help to develop students who can conduct scientific research in an increasingly globalized setting. Student applications are assessed based upon academic performance, letters of recommendation, research aptitude, and the quality of a brief written essay. Students are tracked after the program to understand the impact the experience has on their career paths; assessment is also made during the program with surveys and the REU Common Assessment Tool. The program is supported by funds from the National Science Foundation?s Directorate of Biological Sciences. Additional information can be found at, or by contacting the Principal Investigator (Dr. John F. Barthell at

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Biological Infrastructure (DBI)
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Amanda Simcox
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University of Central Oklahoma
United States
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