Check out abstracts from prior REU research symposia here:

REU Symposium 2016
REU Symposium 2015
REU Symposium 2014
REU Symposium 2013



An NSF-funded program was awarded to the Chicago Botanic Garden to provide research training for ten students over ten-week periods for the summers 2015-2017. The theme of this REU site is plant biology and conservation, spanning genetic to ecosystem levels of inquiry.  


Scientific Training

Faculty mentors include more than 20 scientists drawn from the Garden, partner organization Northwestern University, and other area institutions. Mentors' diverse areas of expertise provide opportunities for student research in plant evolution and systematics, pollination biology, rare plant conservation, invasion biology, soil and microbial ecology, restoration ecology, biogeochemistry, climate science, and related disciplines. Projects typically involve both field and laboratory work. REU participants will have access to excellent laboratories equipped for research in ecology, soil science, genetics, reproductive biology, GIS, microscopy, population biology, geochemistry, isotopic analysis, and other areas of investigation.


Additional Training and Experiences

Students also participate in professional-development activities including a group collaborative research experience, workshops on scientific ethics and graduate school, field trips to the Field Museum and Morton Arboretum, training in scientific communication, and presentation of results at a public symposium. The REU program is integrated within a training continuum that includes precollegiate students, other undergraduate researchers, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers, providing opportunities for REU students to serve as co-mentors to younger students and learn firsthand about graduate school.


Chicago Botanic Garden

The Chicago Botanic Garden, with its world-renowned plant collections and displays, is one of the country's most visited public gardens and a preeminent center for learning and scientific research. The 385-acre Garden features 26 display gardens and four natural areas, uniquely situated on nine islands surrounded by lakes. 


Graduate Program in Plant Biology and Conservation (PBC)

This program is a collaboration between Northwestern University and the Chicago Botanic Garden. PBC fosters an academic and research environment that allows students to gain experience, skills, and knowledge to become scholars, leaders, and practitioners in plant biology and conservation. The curriculum provides a foundation in plant ecology, evolution, and biology as well as applied plant conservation theory and methods.



REU Site: Plant Biology & Conservation Research Experiences for Undergraduates - From Genes to Ecosystems. (Supported by NSF awards DBI-0353752, DBI-0648972, DBI-1062675 and DBI-1461007)