Skip navigation

Important Update:

The university has started its phased reopening. Most campus buildings will remain closed to the public until July 1. Many services remain available virtually or by appointment only. To learn more about current operating procedures for campus offices and services, view the university's reopening plan.
For more information about the university's continuing response to the COVID-19 pandemic, visit our COVID-19 website.

REU students


Due to continuing concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made the difficult decision to postpone this year’s program to the summer of 2021 in the interest of keeping our participants and faculty mentors safe and healthy. We encourage you to reapply next spring if you remain eligible to do so.



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.
  • 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.

Please direct general inquiries about the program to  

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) 

NSF logo