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Research Opportunities for Undergraduates

Calder Summer Undergraduate Research (CSUR) Program

A Program Overview

Our CSUR program is designed to provide up to 7 undergraduates an opportunity to conduct an independent research project under the guidance of a Fordham University faculty mentor. Select undergraduates receive a $5,000 stipend and free on-site housing to do summer research in a variety of biological fields. This program typically runs for 10 weeks, early-June through mid-August.

Not Your Typical Summer Internship

Work closely with ecologists at the Calder Center, Fordham’s biological field station near the village of Armonk, NY, in a hilly, wooded region of northern Westchester County. The 113-acre site includes forest, streams, and a 10- acre lake. Learn more about the Louis Calder Center.

Design and Conduct Research in Ecology and Conservation

In the 10-week intensive program, you will complete a research project designed with the guidance of a faculty or graduate student mentor, attend short courses on conducting ecological field studies and data analysis, and make a presentation of their findings to researchers in the area and members of the station. Applicants do not need prior research experience to apply.

Examples of recent undergraduate student projects include:

  • The thermal defenses of the Eastern small-footed bat (Myotis leibii) against White-nose Syndrome (WNS)
  • The efficacy of various botanicals as repellents and acaricides on Asian Longhorned Ticks
  • The light : nutrient hypothesis in the Colorado River
  • Urban evolution in lichen
  • Evolution of self-fertilization in Brassica rapa: a pollination trial
  • Annual and sex differences in Gray Catbird territory size
  • Cumulative effects of the soil microbial community on seedling growth and mortality under contrasting host tree species

See more undergraduate student projects.

The research areas of our faculty mentors include:

  • Avian Ecology, Behavioral Ecology, and Conservation Biology – J. Alan Clark, Associate Professor
  • Vector ecology, Lyme disease – Thomas J. Daniels, Calder Center Director, Associate Research Scientist
  • Medical entomology, West Nile Virus ecology – Richard C. Falco, Associate Research Scientist
  • Behavioral, Physiological and Biochemical Adaptations of Mammals – Craig Frank, Associate Professor
  • Plant Ecology and Evolution – Steven Franks, Professor
  • Plant and Microbial Community and Ecosystem Ecology – J.D. Lewis, Professor
  • Animal Behavior, Population Genetics, Urban Ecology – Jason Munshi-South, Professor
  • Aquatic Ecology, Ecology and Physiology of Algae – John D. Wehr, Professor