2024 REUs

On June 3, Boyce Thompson Institute welcomed 46 undergraduate students from colleges across the country to experience the life of a researcher for 10 weeks.

Now in its 24th year, BTI’s National Science Foundation (NSF) funded Plant Genome Research Program (PGRP) and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) funded Innovations in Digital Agriculture, Research Experience for Undergrads (REU) focuses on training and inspiring the next generation of scientists to advance our understanding of plants and use that knowledge for the greater good.

Throughout the summer, student researchers will develop valuable research skills in the BTI and Cornell University labs. They will participate in seminars and workshops led by experts in plant science, biological engineering, bioinformatics, and science communication. Recognizing the importance of collaboration in modern science, each REU student will be paired with a mentor in their research lab. These mentors will guide the students in designing an independent project that leverages their curiosity and drive while contributing to the lab’s research objectives. This project will be the primary focus for the students, culminating in their end-of-summer presentation at the annual George and Helen Kohut Symposium.

Eight of the REU students will be in labs that are part of the NSF funded Center for Research on Programmable Plant Systems (CROPPS), which aims to integrate plant sciences, engineering and computer science to improve crops and the sustainability of agricultural management practices. 

For many of the students, this is their first immersive research experience outside their university. Learning the fundamentals of lab life from their mentors and developing their professional networks will be a crucial experience to begin their research careers.

When research REU students aren’t working on their projects, they will attend weekly seminars by BTI and Cornell faculty, participate in a five-week Bioinformatics course, and engage with faculty, graduate students, and communications and scientific professionals. Throughout the summer, they will have a chance to engage with the local public during their science communication program and explore the beautiful Ithaca region on the weekends.

The summer research experience programs culminate with a special Centennial Symposium on Thursday, August 8 and 9, from 9am-4:30pm at BTI. The symposium will be livestreamed for the public.

Stay tuned to our website and social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) for more updates throughout the summer!

BTI is proud to welcome the following undergraduate  researchers:

Name Institution Faculty/Lab Mentor
Aaron Alexander Virginia Commonwealth University Zhangjun Fei Shan Wu
Henry Becuti Ortiz Johns Hopkins University Laura Gunn Bryce Askey and Maddie Ceminsky
Matilda Bergsten KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden Georg Jander Georg Jander
Tamara Bouchard University of New Hampshire Main Campus Klaas Van Wijk Klaas Van Wijk
Alexandra Carabetta University of Connecticut Olena Vatamaniuk Ju-Chen Chia
Katie Carson Grinnell College Magda Julkowska Magda Julkowska
Ana Sofia Castellanos Mosquera Universidad de los Andes Lukas Mueller Adrian Powell
Alex Chavez Northwestern University Jennifer Thaler Swayamjit Ray
Aminah Coleman Howard University Michelle Heck Michael West Ortiz and Douglas Stuehler
Ruth Conlin Drake University April Gu Mathew Baldwin
Liz Cortes CUNY Brooklyn College Andrew Nelson Caylyn Railey
Charlie Cuttino The College of Wooster Frank Schroeder Arnaud Tauffenberger
Connor Donahue Michigan Technological University Wojtek Pawlowski Quinn Johnson
Gillian Doty Kenyon College Joyce Van Eck Savanah Dale
Clare Edminster Colgate University Mike Gore Harel Bacher and Erin Farmer
Spencer Ervin Fort Lewis College Chris Alabi Adithya Rangamani and Nathan Pilligan
Alexander Fenlon Arizona State University Tempe Fay-Wei Li Peter Schafran
Ying Gan Cornell University Adam Bogonove Adam Bogonove
Kiara Gomez Cruz University of Puerto Rico Bayamon Jean-Luc Jannink Seren St. Clair Villwock
Sora Haagensen Brandeis University Wojtek Pawlowski Juli Jing
Jordan Hunter Purdue University Main Campus Joyce Van Eck Ritesh Kumar
Lara Jacobowitz Brown University Margaret Frank and Bruce Lewenstein Sohinee Bera and Elise Boisvert
Venus Kajangu University of North Carolina at Charlotte Gaurav Moghe Xinyu Yuan
Amitha Karuppiah University of Florida Maria Harrison Trevor Tivey
Ellie Kreider The College of New Jersey Jim Giovannoni John Ramsey
Connor Lafo Washington and Lee University Laura Gunn Laura Gunn, Dan Hong Loh
Darren Leopold The College of New Jersey Georg Jander Guillermo Jimenez Aleman
Matthew Lettow University of Oklahoma Andrew Nelson Kyle Palos
Stella Macfarlane Lawrence University Robert Raguso Robert Raguso
Anh Mai St Olaf College Ginny Moore Raksha Kiran Thapa
Nora Mcswain Boston College Taryn Bauerle Gillian Gomer and Andrea Sanchez Pinochet
Nat Michaels Reed College Margaret Frank Michelle Heeney
Vivian Molloy University of Hawaii at Manoa Mike Gore Harel Bacher and Erin Farmer
Vital Nyabashi Iowa State University Wojtek Pawlowski Wojtek Pawlowski
Makayla Ritko Northern Illinois University Jian Hua Yang Liu and Peiqiao Xie
Hannah Rockwell University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign David Stern David Stern and Riley Henderson
Bryan Rosado-Maldonado  Inter American University of Puerto Rico Metro Clare Casteel Chad Nihranz
Leland Russell Reed College Kelly Robbins Dinesh Ghirmire
Karen Salazar Cypress College Scott McArt Dani Dryer
Nathan Schuessler East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania Katja Poveda Alexander Chauta
Sanya Sitlani University of California Berkeley Mike Gore Sam Herr
Carrington Thompson Tuskegee University Adrienne Roeder Byron Rusnak
Nicolas Velasco Sanchez Universidad de los Andes Adrienne Roeder Maura Zimmermann
Annie Voss Pitzer College Magda Julkowska Magda Julkowska
Rachel Yee Washington State University Mike Scanlon Lukas Evans