The International Research Experience for Students (IRES) is a NSF-funded grant designed to provide high quality international experience to undergraduate and graduate students through a combination of research, education, and cultural experience. This IRES experience focuses on the behavioral ecology of red-backed fairywrens in Australia. The 2012-2014 IRES program took place near Darwin, Australia. 2016-2018 will take place near Brisbane, Australia. U.S. students from Tulane University, the College of William & Mary, and Cornell University interact with students and professors at Griffith University in Australia by participating in an eight-week program involving behavioral ecology field research on birds; site visits to leading Australian scientific research institutions; field trips to notable biotic regions in the area; and cultural enrichment programs concerning contemporary socio-environmental issues in northern Australia. On returning to the U.S., IRES fellows will receive additional training in laboratory methods and data analysis, culminating in honors theses. They will make formal research presentations suitable for local and national scientific conferences, and will work with PIs and Australian collaborators to publish results in peer-reviewed scientific journals. They will share their experiences with student groups at the home institutions and at local high schools as a way of stimulating other students to pursue international biological research.
This research is supported through the NSF Office of International Science and Engineering’s International Research Experience for Students program.