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Undergraduate Researchers

Welcome to the How to get SMAL Research Project! This is a National Science Foundation funded project to study the evolution of the molecular networks underlying life history traits, using the repeated evolution of dwarfism in reptiles on the Channel Islands.

We are looking for dedicated Auburn undergraduates to join our research team to learn how to do science and to assist in our research.



Schwartz Lab

at Auburn University

Auburn, Alabama

  • Molecular Lab Work

  • Processing Samples

  • Bioinformatics-Genomics

  • Reptile Fieldwork

What You'll Do

As a undergraduate researcher on this project you will train and work with graduate students, post-doc, and/or Dr. Schwartz and become involved in various aspects of research. 

Depending on your interests, you may learn and conduct some of the following techniques: 

  • DNA isolations

  • PCR and gel electrophoresis to determine the sex of animals from the field.

  • Bioinformatics on reptile genes and genomes.

  • Working with reptiles in the field and taking blood samples.

It is also expected that students on this project will attend SMAL Project Meetings and Schwartz Lab Meetings to learn more about conducting research. Opportunities are available for students to develop their own research questions and projects if interested.

Work Culture

In addition to helping us with research, you will also be responsible for maintaining a positive and inclusive lab culture. Our research groups are family-friendly and value diversity to create an inclusive and equitable environment, along with the efforts by the College of Sciences and Mathematics.


We strive for our research team members to be passionate about science and working with us to create a diverse, equitable, and supportive research environment. The Department of Biological Sciences at Auburn University is a highly collaborative and friendly place to work. In combination with efforts in the College of Sciences and Mathematics, we have strong support and mentoring for our graduate students and are committed to improving diversity and inclusivity within our Department and College. Our research group is family-friendly and value diversity to create an inclusive and equitable environment.


This will be a paid research position.

Starting wage is $10/hour for up to 10 hours per week during the semester.

How to Apply

Email Dr. Tonia Schwartz ( directly to discuss your interests.

In your email please send the following: 

1.  A CV or resume detailing your past work and any  research experiences.

2.  A letter of interest (2-3 paragraphs) explaining:  

  • why you are interested in doing research, and why you think your interest fit with my resarch team and this project

  • the type of skills you would like to obtain: bioinformatics, molecular lab bench skills (working with DNA/RNA), organismal (working with, reptiles), writing & synthesizing literature, etc.)

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