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Congratulations to Harrisburg University of Science and Technology undergraduate Michael Lazar.  He was accepted to the summer Chihuahuan Desert Biodiversity Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) at University of Texas at El Paso.

A junior who is pursuing a degree in Biotechnology, Lazar will work with principal investigator Dr. Elizabeth J. Walsh and conduct research in the Chihuahuan Desert and surrounding areas in Southwestern Texas and New Mexico.

Dr. Walsh’s project focuses on Next Generation DNA sequencing and experiments to explore genetic variation and speciation of freshwater invertebrates living in desert lakes.  These lakes typically evaporate and get very high mineral concentrations, so the animals living in these extreme environments must be able to genetically adapt, says Lazar.

Among the people Lazar credits for his success in the process is Kristin DiMatteo, Employer Relations & Career Development Director, who helped perfect his resume and cover letter, which helped his application gain acceptance.

He is the third Harrisburg University undergraduate to earn a REU this summer.

The goal of this NSF-funded REU program is to provide undergraduate students with experience in hypothesis-driven collaborative research utilizing field based and/or laboratory methods every summer and fully engage them in projects associated with the ecology and evolution influencing Chihuahuan Desert biodiversity. In their application, students will have the opportunity to select from more than 10 faculty driven projects/topics, each focusing on a biological discipline related to Chihuahuan Desert biodiversity.

Harrisburg University offers undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs in Biotechnology.  For more information on the programs, contact Dr. Pattarkine at