At Hopkins Marine Station, we encourage Stanford undergraduates to get a taste of our world-class research—early and often. You can collaborate with grad students, post docs, and faculty on a wide range of research activities during the academic year and over the summer.
While studying at Hopkins, you can also work on a research project under the supervision of one of the Hopkins faculty—and get additional academic credit in BIOHOPK 199 Guided Research. Our faculty is available to help you identify appropriate research opportunities—before you arrive or after you get here.
To see what we are working on, explore our Faculty Research Page
Take a peek at our Spring 2022 Courses and apply now!
There are two research options for undergraduates: REEFS or Major Grants. Students typically spend 10 weeks living and learning at the Hopkins Marine Station in Pacific Grove on the Monterey Peninsula, two hours from main campus.
REEFS Grants - Summer 2022 Projects
Research Experiences Especially for Freshmen and Sophomores (REEFS) grants allow you to start conducting research at Hopkins in the summer after your freshman year. These are paid summer research internships where students work directly with Hopkins faculty, postdoctoral scholars, graduate students, and research staff on ongoing faculty research projects. Internships are only open to current Stanford undergraduates.
Funding: $7500 stipend
Applications are due March 1, 2022. APPLY NOW
Need housing in Monterey? Apply here for the station's university undergraduate housing
White Shark Fin Matching in Monterey Bay
This project is aimed at using the unique markings on white shark fins to census individuals and match them to a large data base we maintain. Our laboratory has a unique capacity to keep track of white sharks by photographing the fins of sharks, and matching the individual white sharks our data base from the trailing edge distinctive marks. We use these fin matches to help identify individuals and create profiles of the white sharks that are matched with electronic tracks and DNA data. The intern will be working with the field team and have some opportunity to get out on Monterey Bay. This project will help census the white sharks of Monterey Bay using multiple data types and has a public outreach component. Faculty Sponsor: Barbara Block
Kelp Forest Resilience and Recovery on the Monterey Peninsula
Kelp forests on the Monterey Peninsula have declined over the past two decades, but remnants of forested habitat remain. This project seeks to understand the mechanisms underpinning forest resilience and recovery. The position involves computer work (video analysis of kelp forest habitats), lab work (kelp recruitment assays), and field work (boat-based field assistance). The student(s) will also interact with Robin Elahi's kelp forest ecology students who will be collecting the underwater videos and recruitment samples. Faculty Sponsor: Fio Micheli
Marine Spatial Planning for Climate Adaptation
To effectively adapt to climate change, novel approached to ocean governance are needed. Marine Spatial Planning – a public process aimed to allocate human uses at sea while maintaining multiple ecosystem services – as currently implemented is too static to adequately incorporate climate refugia and responses of marine life to climate change. The goal of this project is to provide more robust models for climate smart planning in the California Current region. The Intern will contribute to the research activities under the supervision of Dr. Gissi and Prof. Micheli, with specific tasks, such as analyzing patterns of ecosystem services under climate change scenarios. The intern will also be involved in addressing specific research questions emerging from the project results, such as studying the role of biological sex and life stages in climate response and effective management strategies. Faculty Sponsor: Fio Micheli
Laboratory Analysis of the Impact of Climate Change on Sea Urchin’s Feeding Rates at Hopkins Marine Station: Implications for Mapping Local Refugia in California (USA) and Baja California (MX)
Mechanisms of Bleaching Resistance in Reef Building Corals: Monterey, Hawaii, Palau
Corals live in warm tropical waters but are remarkably sensitive to increases of water temperatures of just a few degrees. Our work in Palau has tested over 200 mapped and labeled corals for their heat resistance and has placed them in common garden nurseries to test bleaching mechanisms. The project will begin at the Hopkins Marine Station using aquacultured corals to test heat resistance. If travel is possible, we will proceed to Palau to conduct parallel tests on our mapped corals there. A fallback travel option will be to the Kewalo Marine Lab in Honolulu. In all cases, we will use careful lab-based assays of symbiont abundance, coral reaction, and changes caused by administration of targeted metabolic drugs. Faculty Sponsor: Steve Palumbi
Development and Aging in the Colonial Tunicate Botryllus
The colonial tunicate Botryllus schlosseri is a urochordate, a group that lies at the base of the vertebrates. All the members of the colony undergo a weekly cycle of regression and renewal during which adult individuals, termed zooids, are removed by phagocytosis and completely replaced by maturing stem cells though a process that occurs synchronously in all members of the colony each week. During the summer we will concentrate on development and degeneration of the nervous system using electrophysiology, video imaging, and molecular methods. Faculty Sponsors: Stuart Thompson (Biology) and Ayelet Voskoboynik (Inst. for Stem Cell Biology & Regenerative Medicine, Stanford Med.)
For students who want to design their own research projects, grants are available through Stanford's undergraduate Research and Independent Study program; priority is given to juniors. Unlike VPUE grants, where a student joins a pre-existing effort, these grants require students to draw up a research proposal in collaboration with a member of the Hopkins faculty.