FIU’s Coastal Ecosystems REU site will be postponed until the Summer of 2023.  Check back in the Fall of 2022 to get more information about the 2023 application timeline and deadlines.


The Coastal Ecosystems Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Site program is a 10-week paid research fellowship located on the campuses of Florida International University in Miami, FL. This year's program runs from May 24, 2021 until July 30, 2021.

National Science Foundation and FIU Institute of Environment logos

The Research Theme of the REU Site is the ecology of coastal ecosystems across gradients of human impact.  Specifically, our research looks at coastal ecosystems ecology, environmental aquatic chemistry, and the connections among the Everglades wetlands, coastal mangrove forests, seagrass beds and shallow water coral reefs. Our goal is to detect the sources, transport and transformation of environmental stressors and the ecosystem responses under rapid changing climate and land-use. The hydrologic connectivity between the natural, agricultural, and urban landscapes results in a highly complex network of contaminant and pollutant sources that are transported throughout a heavily managed water landscape.

In the context of these connected, coastal ecosystems and their importance to human health and wellbeing, it is critical to understand the ecological, hydrological and biogeochemical processes that govern the fate of environmental stressors and their impacts on the coastal ecosystems.

The summer fellowship will include a stipend of $6500 for successful completion of the full 10-week program. The fellowship also includes full room and board and travel to/from the FIU campuses: the Modesto A. Maidique Campus in west Miami-Dade County, and the Biscayne Bay Campus in north Miami-Dade.


This hands-on and immersive research opportunity will support students in developing and conducting an independent research project in collaboration with a research team made up of their faculty and graduate students mentors. Each fall, research mentors from FIU's Institute of Environment provide summer research topics for incoming REU students to work on in the upcoming summer.

The REU program consists of 3 main elements:

  1. Research: Conduct an individual research project under the guidance of a faculty and graduate student mentor. Spend a day snorkeling to collect seagrass data or a day in the Everglades collecting fish population information.
  2. Field Experiences: Participate in field trips to a range of iconic coastal ecosystems in the South Florida region to get real-world, hands-on experiences with important coastal ecosystems. Spend a day in Loxahatchee to learn about native and invasive species or go out on one of our boats to learn about the importance of Biscayne Bay.
  3. Professional Development: Engage in professional development activities, including communicating science workshops, career panel discussions and seminars by regional experts. Participate in seminar discussions with experts or join scientists for in-depth research seminars.


We encourage applications from students who are enthusiastic about participating in a collaborative, hands-on learning environment. Significant past experience in ecological research is not required, although some projects may have specific requirements (email for inquiries).


  • Potential Coastal Ecosystems REU Fellows must be U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, or permanent residents of the United States
  • Applicants must plan to be an enrolled undergraduate student for at least one semester after the summer program (e.g., Fall 2021).
  • Applicants can be undergraduate students in any discipline/major related to the Institute of Environment’s research areas.
  • Applicants should have completed at least two semesters of relevant coursework.

How to Apply

The application window for 2021 closed on January 15, 2021. Late/incomplete applications will not be accepted. Applications will be reviewed in early February. All applicants will be officially notified of their status (acceptance/rejection) by email in mid-March.

Applicants will be expected to submit the following items:

If you have any questions, please email 

Student Success

Our REU students go on to publish their work in renowned journals and present their research at conferences worldwide. Below is a list of the publications, presentations and posters led by our current REU students and alumni.

  • Rodríguez-Casariego Javier A., Mercado-Molina Alex E., Garcia-Souto Daniel, Ortiz-Rivera Ivanna M., Lopes Christian, Baums Iliana B., Sabat Alberto M., Eirin-Lopez Jose M. Genome-Wide DNA Methylation Analysis Reveals a Conserved Epigenetic Response to Seasonal Environmental Variation in the Staghorn Coral Acropora cervicornis. Frontiers in Marine Science, 2020, 7, 822. DOI: 10.3389/fmars.2020.560424 
  • Chapman, J.G. The Impacts of Copper Contamination on Aquatic Predator-Prey Interactions: Hohonu Academic Journal, 2020, 18, 94-101.