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REU students


Students participate in an eight-week summer program sponsored by the University of Central Oklahoma and funded by the National Science Foundation. The first week considers aspects of the scientific process and experimental design before spending up to seven weeks on the island of Lesvos (Greece). We study aspects of the foraging ecology of solitary bees and honey bees in their native regions of the world. Many of these species (including the honey bee) are invasive in the U.S. but also have positive impacts on U.S. agriculture.

Understanding the link between organisms and their history in other regions of the world is a major goal of this program. In addition, undergraduates are shown the importance of international scientific collaboration as they participate in research objectives (described below) with a multinational team of scientists from several universities. Finally, students are given a sense of the cultural and historical context of the regions they visit and study.

  • Travel, housing and meals will be covered for participants.
  • $4,400 Stipend will be provided to participants. 
  • Course credit is optional.

Nature of the Research

Three broad areas of investigation are included in the project. These include collaborative, hypothesis-driven research that will be used to produce presentations and publications on the following broad topics: 

  1. Bee-Plant Interactions in Variable Habitats;
  2. Behavioral Ecology and Comparative Psychology of Honey Bees; and,
  3. Behavioral and Physiological Responses by Bees to Stress.

The results will inform global-scale, scientific problems relating to Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) and pollinator decline. Student participants are exposed to the intersection of ancient history and modern scientific research in the process. Their findings will contribute to research on a cornerstone pollinator species that sustains tens of billions of dollars worth of agricultural systems throughout the world. This experience will further the understanding of research as an international phenomenon, especially given that real world problems are often global in scale.

The PI and senior personnel links below, allow you to see the nature of the investigators' work in these and other areas. (Please direct general inquiries about the program to

Current NSF Abstract

Articles about Research Activities:
May 28, 2017 - Bee Species Named for Provost at UCO in Edmond (The Oklahoman)
June 27, 2016 - UCO Scientist Studies Bees in Greece, Turkey (The Oklahoman) 

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