Our REU application portal will be open from November 28, 2023 through Monday, January 30, 2024. Link to application portal on NSF ETAP site

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 20, 2024 - July 26, 2024.

The Research Theme of the REU Site is the ecology of coastal ecosystems across gradients of human impact.  Specifically, our research looks at coastal ecosystem ecology, water quality, 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.

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 research experience for undergraduates includes a stipend of $6000 plus a $1200 food allowance for successful completion of the full 10-week program, as well as roundtrip travel to Miami and campus housing. For summer 2024, research opportunities will be based on the Modesto A Maidique Campus in west Miami.


The program is comprehensively studying the ecology of coastal ecosystems. These efforts examine the changes across gradients of human impact among the Everglades, wetlands, coastal mangrove forests, seagrass beds and shallow water coral reef systems. The summer program includes the following elements:

  • Research: Provide research expertise for undergraduate working on individual or group projects with the guidance from both a faculty researcher and a near-peer mentor.
  • Education: Students and mentors establish regular meetings and lab schedules to share successes and challenges, and leverage programmatic resources.
  • Community: Build a sense of community among participants and mentors all dedicated to advancing scientific research.
  • Professional Development: Enhance student skills needed for successful future careers. Topics include scientific writing, Everglades restoration, data management and statistical analysis, developing impactful presentations, fellowship applications, building resumes, and career pathways. 

 Link to application portal on NSF ETAP site


Important Dates

Application: Application portal closes January 30, 2024

Application Reviewed: Month of February

Mid-March: Candidates will be notified of acceptances/rejections

Program Dates: May 20th – July 26th (10 weeks)

Orientation: Monday May 20th

Poster Session: Wednesday, July 24th

Symposium: Thursday, July 25th



Mentor (MMC)Research area(s)Website

Bogosian, Biayna

Architectural technologist. Research bridges urban environmental data and design with spatial computing, immersive learning, data visualization and robotics.





Research is focused on the development of new generation instrumentation and methodologies. In particular, the characterization of the chemical environment at the single cell and sub-cellular level of model cell systems and tissue sections using a "molecular microscope".


Fourqurean, James

Investigates biogeochemical cycling, ecological competition, and food web structure in shallow water coastal marine ecosystems, with an emphasis on seagrass meadows and mangrove forests around the world and the cycling and sequestration of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus. (Diving certification may be required).


Gaiser, Evelyn

Research focuses on the role of algae in the Everglades and other coastal wetlands subject to sea level rise, land use change, and large-scale restoration. Coastal wetlands are rapidly changing in response to accelerating sea-level rise, increasing severity of storms and hurricanes, and changing patterns of land and water use related to human activities. Benthic algae are abundant in coastal wetlands and play a keystone role by regulating gas and nutrient concentrations, providing food and habitat for aquatic consumers, and accreting soils.


Gann, Daniel

Our spatial ecology lab links traditional disciplines of plant community, vegetation, landscape, and ecosystems ecology as we address the effects of scale and scaling on our understanding of ecological processes. We focus on ecotones to better understand ecosystem shifts in the Everglades landscape mosaic that are driven by changing environmental conditions including interactions of sea-level rise, management practices of freshwater restoration, fire regimes, and passing tropical storm events.


Kominoski, John

Our research explores various scales of organic matter processing along gradients of environmental drivers within and among ecosystems, testing two main questions: o How do disturbances drive changes in autotrophic, heterotrophic, and net ecosystem productivity and carbon storage? O How do disturbances interact with long-term environmental changes to affect ecosystem functions, specifically the loss, storage, and movement of carbon (energy) and nutrients within and among ecosystems?


Ogurcak, Danielle

Research focuses on change to coastal wetlands and forests resulting from the interaction of climate change, resource management, and hydrologic alteration. Current projects that could involve an REU include investigating the capacity for mangrove ecosystems to serve as filters for nutrients delivered from canals prior to reaching Biscayne Bay.


Rehage, Jenn

Our research takes a holistic approach to studying fish, integrating from the behavior of individuals to populations and entire fish communities and their effects and responses to ecosystem processes, their interactions, and responses to both natural and human disturbances, and extending to the human dimensions of fish- involving anglers in science and understanding their knowledge and perceptions.


Reis, Greg

Research focuses on marine robotics, environmental monitoring, Artificial Intelligence, data science, and STEM education. In particular, the localization and navigation of aquatic robots in GPS-denied environments, analysis of the spatiotemporal dynamics of the ocean, and the development of new technologies for environmental monitoring.


Ross, Mike

We take a field-oriented, multi-disciplinary approach to the study of the terrestrial ecosystems of southern Florida, from the Lower Keys to Biscayne Bay, and from flooded herbaceous wetlands to forested uplands in Everglades National Park and Big Cypress National Preserve.


Sukop, Mike

Focused on computational fluid dynamics in cavernous, fractured and porous media. Solute transport in these complex media and its simulation, including inverse modeling, are key interests. This research is done at pore to aquifer scales using both traditional groundwater models and lattice Boltzmann models.


Troxler, Tiffany

Research focus is on wetland ecosystems ecology and informs management and restoration of coastal / freshwater wetland ecosystems. Current efforts examine the effects of salinity inundation associated with sea level rise on soil carbon balance in the Everglades coastal wetlands, and it contribution to a collaborative project led by the USGS to scale coastal carbon stocks and fluxes using remote sensing products.


Vassigh, Shahin

Research is focused on data visualization techniques for educational purposes. Utilizing advanced media and computer applications, she has produced several software applications to help students to better understand the complex challenges of developing sustainable built environments.



Our REU application portal closes this January 30th @ 11:59pm (ET).

We encourage applications from students who are enthusiastic about participating in a collaborative and hands-on learning environment, experiencing the iconic coastal ecosystems of South Florida, attaining professional skills to prepare for multiple career pathways, and developing a network of researchers and peers from across the country. Significant past experience in ecological research is NOT required.


  • Potential REU's must be U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, or permanent residents of the United States
  • Applicants must plan to attend the entire 10-week program (May 20, 2024 through July 26, 2024).No exceptions. All in-person attendance. 
  • Applicants must plan to be full-time students enrolled in a college/university for at least one semester after the summer program (e.g., Fall 2024).
  • Applicants should be undergraduate students in the discipline/major related to the Mentors project list that is chosen.
  • Applicants should have completed at least two semesters of coursework in environment-related topics.
  • Applicants cannot be enrolled in summer coursework while enrolled in the NSF Site REU program or work a part-time job.
  • Applicants must attend and participate in the professional development workshops that occur 1x a week.
  • Applicants must fulfill program objectives completely, to receive the full stipend (awarded in three (3) installments: beginning, middle, end).

How to Apply

The application window is Nov. 28 2023 - Jan. 30, 2024Late/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 CoastalREU@fiu.edu. 

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.