Integrated Biological Sciences - Summer Research Program: Bioenergy Group

Integrated Biological Sciences - Summer Research Program: Bioenergy Group

gary oates students and grasses

This program is a part of the Integrated Biological Sciences - Summer Research Program (IBS-SRP), which provides students with an opportunity to conduct research as well as interact with peers in an interdisciplinary learning community. Participating undergraduate students will spend ten weeks conducting full-time research. Example study areas include microbial conversion of biomass into fuels, genomics, enzymology, protein structure, molecular biology, plant breeding, and agoecological analysis. 

Students can test their interests in a scientific or engineering career by becoming engaged in an active research program in a recognized laboratory. Participating students conduct their own research project under the direction of a faculty member, usually in conjunction with a post-doctoral fellow or graduate student, and work as part of a research team investigating fundamental scientific or engineering problems.IBS-SRP Student Presentation

The program provides a stipend of $6,000, full support for travel, housing, health insurance (if needed), and a partial food allowance. Students have access to all campus libraries and facilities. There are no fees or tuition costs. 

Undergraduate students majoring in the sciences or engineering, preferably going into their junior and senior years, who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents enrolled in an accredited college or university, are eligible to apply. The applicant should have a strong interest in a research career. Disabled students, minority students, students who are first in family to college, and students from smaller liberal arts institutions (where comparable research facilities are unavailable) are particularly encouraged to submit an application.

IBS SRP group 2013Selection Process

Criteria for selection are based on qualifications as determined by academic record, prior course work, two letters of recommendation from college science or engineering teachers or advisors, and a statement from applicants regarding their career interests and reasons for applying to this program. Letters of recommendation should address the applicant’s potential for a research career and the opportunities for a meaningful research experience at the student’s home institution. Preference will be given to rising juniors and seniors whose primary interests are in the sciences or engineering.

Click here for application information. Please direct any questions to John Greenler at


For a virtual program tour, view Six Student Scientists: 2013 Bioenergy Research Experience for Undergraduates.


  • IBS-SRP Research Projects from 2015
    • Determining the most synergistic ration of an enzyme cocktail for the hydrolysis of Cu(AHP) popular used in bioethanol synthesis, Savannah Mills, Lake Erie College, Mentors: Brian Fox & Lai Bergeman, Biochemistry 
    • Comparison of bacterial and fungal xylose isomerase for the production of biofuels by Saccharomyces cerevisiaeZully Contreras-Correa, University of Puerto Rico- Mayaguez, Mentor: Trey K. Sato, Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC)
    • Oligomerization of 1-butene over zeolite catalysts, Jose Pagan-Munoz, University of Puerto Rico- Mayaguez, Mentors: Zhuoran Xu & George Huber, Chemical and Biological Engineering 
    • Metabolites of biofilm formation, Patricia Walker, Southern Illinois University- Carbondale, Mentors: Daniel Amador- Noguez & Dr. David Stevenson, Bacteriology 
    • Analysis of COefflux and sugar yields in maize lines, Evan Harris, St. Mary's College of Maryland, Mentors: Randall Jackson & Anna Cates, Agronomy 


  • IBS-SRP Research Projects from 2014
    • Growth and analysis of Streptomyces SirexAA-E in an aerobic bioreactor, Ali Bichler, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Mentor: Brian Fox, Biochemistry
    • The influence of bacteria in leaf-cutter ants fungus gardens, Jose Liquet Gonzalez, University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez, Mentors: Cameron Currie, & Lily Khadempour, Bacteriology
    • Construction of a synthetic galactose network, , Michael Price, Western Montana College of University of Montana, Mentors: Chris Hittinger & Christina Kuang, Genetics
    • Dairy Manure Protein Analysis Using UV-vis, Jorge Santini Gonzalez, University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez, Mentor: Troy Runge, Biological Systems Engineering


  • IBS-SRP Research Projects from 2013
    • Determination of Optimal Conditions for Cyanobacteria Growth and Nutrient Removal, Karla M. Dumeng, University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez, Mentors: Brian Pfleger & Travis Korosh, Chemical & Biological Engineering
    • Bouncing Back: Plant-associated soil microbes respond rapidly to prairie restoration, Anna Herzberger, Eastern Illinois University, Mentors: Randall D. Jackson, David S. Duncan & David A. Williams, Agronomy
    • Engineering Consolidated Bioprocessing (CBP) Organisms with Cell-Surface Enzyme Display and Free Enzyme System, Scott L. A. Johnson, University of Maryland-Baltimore County, Mentors: Brian G. Fox & Johnnie A. Walker, Biochemistry
    • Analysis of Switchgrass and Corn Stover Hydrolysate Fermentations for Feedstock Comparison, Grace E. Klinger, Wright State University, Mentors: Yaoping Zhang, Alex La Reau & Haibo Li, Wisconsin Energy Institute
    • Testing for a Possible Retrograde Signaling Effect on Gravitropism in Arabidopsis thaliana, Alexander Rhyner, LeTourneau University, Mentors: Patrick Masson & Allison Strohm, Genetics
    • The Valorization of DDG Through Hemicellulose Film Production, Jamison Watson, St. Olaf College, Mentors: Troy Runge & Zhouyang Xiang, Biological Systems Engineering


  • IBS-SRP Research Projects from 2012
    • Examining the Plasticity of Maize Root Hair Length and Density in High and Low Phosphorous and Nitrogen, Sooji Choi, Amherst College, Mentors: Scott Stelpflug & Shawn Kaeppler, Agronomy
    • Secondary Cell Wall to Biofuels, Sally Chu, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Mentors: Sathya Jali & Patrick Masson, Genetics
    • Effects of Fibroacter succinogenes Slime Proteins on Escherichia coli Cellulose Degredation Ability, Megan Earnest, Northern Illinois University, Mentors: Mike Cruse  & Christ Kucharik, Agronomy
    • Analysis of α-Olefins Composition under Varying Physical Conditions in Synechococcus sp. Strain PCC 7002, Joe Villanueva, University of New Mexico, Mentors: Daniel Mendez-Perez, Andrew Markley, & Brian Pfleger, Chemical & Biomedical Engineering
    • Identification of Cellulolyric Bacteria from Lower Termite Reticulitermes flavipes, Adrian Lopez, University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez, Mentors: Melissa Christopherson & Garret Suen, Bacteriology