National Science Foundation renews UMES REU Site | University of Maryland Eastern Shore Marketing Retarget Pixel

National Science Foundation renews UMES REU Site

  • REU-AssateagueUndergraduates primarily from schools with limited research opportunities or those who are from under-represented groups will continue to be involved in marine and estuarine sciences research at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore thanks to a three-year renewal of a $323,985 National Science Foundation award.

    UMES’ Research Experience for Undergraduates in Marine and Estuarine Science is slated to train eight students, especially rising sophomores and juniors, for 10 weeks during the summers of 2021-23,” said Dr. Paulinus Chigbu, associate dean for research, development and graduate education; director of the NOAA Living Marine Resources Cooperative Science Center; and principal investigator for the program at UMES.  “They will learn how research is conducted and many will have the opportunity to present the results of their work at scientific conferences.”

    The REU program operated through the university’s NOAA LMRCSC and the NSF Center for the Integrated Study of Coastal Ecosystem Processes and Dynamics has helped prepare 123 students interested in a career in the field over the past 12 years.  They represent more than 60 institutions in the marine and estuarine sciences, Chigbu said.

    With the assistance of Program Coordinator Dr. Margaret Sexton, faculty mentors, program staff and graduate students, interns conduct research projects, take field trips and attend seminars and workshops related to science careers. Research topics have included the eutrophication effects on benthic macroinvertebrates, mechanisms of biofilm formation and antifouling effects of extracts from natural sources, climate variability and food web dynamics, antibiotic resistance of Vibrio species isolated from oysters, and biology and ecology of gelatinous zooplankton, Chigbu said. Students present a final research report along with oral and poster presentations at a symposium at the end of the program.  The internship program provides housing, meals, travel costs and a stipend to participants. REU-seining

    The 2021 REU will be conducted from May 31 to August 6.  This year, 177 students submitted complete applications from which nine will be selected to participate in the program.   

    “Due to the pandemic, the dates and program information are tentative and subject to change based on University policy,” Chigbu said.  “Our top priority is keeping our interns and campus safe and healthy.  We will make changes and add details about safety protocols for summer 2021 as they become available in this ever changing situation.”

    For more information, visit  The program is funded by the National Science Foundation Grant No. 0453251.

    Gail Stephens, agricultural communications, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, School of Agricultural and Natural Sciences,, 410-621-3850.