Research Experience for Undergraduates Program in Estuarine & Coastal Marine Sciences


The National Science Foundation funded REU program will take place at the Duke Marine Lab located on Pivers Island in coastal Carteret County of North Carolina.  Pivers Island is part of the Newport River estuary and is about 2 km from the ocean via the Beaufort Inlet.  Coastal and estuarine species and a variety of habitats (marshes, mudflats, sand flats, beaches, creeks, channels and coastal ocean) are readily available for research.

Program Dates 
June 3 – August 9, 2019

February 10, 2019

Nine students will participate in a 10 week semi-independent research program with faculty mentors in the following general areas:

  • Coastal and estuarine physical processes
  • Molecular biology and genetics
  • Sensory physiology, ecology, and behavior

Each student will work with a faculty mentor, develop a research project, present progress and final oral reports and prepare a final written paper.

Additional Resources

**All correspondence with prospective REU students will take place over email**

Stipend, Travel and Housing Information

Students will receive housing and meals at the Duke Marine Lab in addition to a stipend and travel allowance.

Students must be US citizens or permanent residents in the US or its territories, and be a rising sophomore, junior or senior enrolled in a baccalaureate degree program. Applications are encouraged from U.S. citizens belonging to groups currently underrepresented in the marine sciences (i.e., Native Americans, Alaskan Natives, Asians, African Americans, Latino/Hispanics and Pacific Islanders).

To apply

Application Materials

Please submit a single pdf or word document with the following information:  application, statement of interest, unofficial transcript and resume to Duke Marine Lab REU Application Box.

**Please name your document with your last name followed by your first name and date you are submitting. Example: Womble.Gwendy.11.13.2018. Only your attachments will be reviewed, any content in the body of your email will not be transmitted.**

Application form. Form is available as a PDF or Word Doc.

  • Statement of interest should include (i) your area(s) of interest from the list above, (ii) advisor(s) of interest from the list below, (iii)academic/research preparation for this research area, (iv) career plans, (v) usefulness of the REU program for your career objective)
  • Current resume
  • Unofficial Transcript (please note that we prefer to receive one complete application package per student)

Additional Application Materials (required)

  • Two pdf letters of recommendation (send to: REU Letters)

REU Coordinator
Duke University Marine Lab
135 Duke Marine Lab Rd.
Beaufort, NC 28516

For all application questions please email Gwendy Womble at

All students who are offered a position at this REU Site have until March 15th or later to accept or reject the offer.

Faculty Mentors

Coastal and Estuarine Physical Processes

Dr. Jim Hench (physical oceanography)

Molecular Biology and Genetics

Dr. Tom Schultz (marine conservation genetics)

Sensory Physiology, Ecology, and Behavior:

Dr. Richard Forward (invertebrate physiological ecology)

Dr. Matthew Godfrey (sea turtle biology & conservation)

Dr. Dana Hunt (marine microbial ecology)

Dr. Zackary Johnson (marine microbe abundance & diversity)

Dr. Douglas Nowacek (marine mammal behavioral ecology and bioacoustics)

Dr. Kathy Reinsel & Dr. Jim Welch (invertebrate ecology)

Dr. Andy Read (ecology and conservation of marine mammals)


Please see the REU Projects page for detailed examples of available research projects and advisers. 

For additional information:
Dr. Richard Forward

Funding for this REU site is provided by the National Science Foundation’s Division of Ocean Sciences located in Arlington, VA. The NSF contact for this program is Lisa Rom, or 703-292-7709. NSF does not handle REU applications; please contact each REU site directly for application information.