Applications to the 2013 CORE program are now open! Deadline for consideration is Tuesday Oct. 16th.

  • Listen to Dr. Sandland (Biology) on National Public Radio from October 10, 2011 (select Media on the menu bar).
  • Watch the students introduce the host-parasite model and their projects on the UBM-CORE youtube channel

Upcoming Events

  • CORE Night 2012 - Stay tuned for details.

Past Events

Students attended the Ecological Society of America conference in Portland Oregon August 5-9, 2012.

Presentations at the MAA-AMS Joint Mathematics Meeting in Boston, MA, January 5-8th, 2012.

  • Predicting the ecological outcomes of species invasions and parasite transmission in the upper Mississippi River. J. Peirce and G. Sandland
  • Investigating the role of host competition in the transmission of waterfowl disease in the upper Mississippi River M. Jansen, M. Rittenhouse.
  • Using energy budget to model host-parasite interaction along upper Mississippi River K. Soltau, K. Van Calster
  • UBM-Group: Collaborations on Riverine Ecology (CORE): Investigations into species invasion and disease transmission at the interface between mathematics and biology. B. Bennie, R. Haro, J. Peirce, G. Sandland
CORE Faculty present posters at Ecological Society of America conference in Austin Texas, August 8-12, 2011
  • Using field and experimental approaches to investigate the mechanisms underlying species invasion and disease outbreaks in the upper Mississippi River, G. Sandland, R. Haro, J. Peirce, A. Wood.
  • Predicting the ecological outcomes of species invasions and parasite transmission in
    the upper Mississippi River,
    J. Peirce, G. Sandland, C. Sutter, R. Haro.

CORE Program 2011 present poster at the North American Regional Meeting of the International Environmetrics Society conference on June 18, 2011.

  • Investigations into species invasion and disease transmission at the interface between mathematics and biology, M. Jansen, M. Rittenhouse, K. Soltau, K. Van Calster, B. Bennie, R. Haro, J. Peirce, G. Sandland

CORE Night 2010! If you missed it, follow the link for more information about the CORE program.

Welcome to the CORE website!

It is becoming universally recognized that understanding the complexities of natural systems requires multifactorial approaches and interdisciplinary collaborations. One of the key interactions is between biology and mathematics, where empirical parameters from controlled experiments can be integrated into a mathematical framework to provide a more comprehensive understanding of how natural systems function. The next generation of scientists will be led by individuals who exhibit proficiency across disciplines and who have the ability to communicate with scientists of varying backgrounds. To better prepare undergraduate students for this challenge, the UBM-Collaboration on Riverine Ecology (CORE) program is designed to integrate mathematics and biology through research and learning experiences.

As participants in the UBM-CORE program, students will be immersed in meaningful undergraduate research projects. The program will focus on the ecology of species invasions and disease outbreaks on the Upper Mississippi River System. Research topics will span a range of issues and students will develop more refinedIn lab questions under a number of scientific themes, including: non-parametric statistical methods applied to evolutionary river ecology, mathematical epidemiological dynamics, data-driven statistical models, and individual, energetic models.

The project will provide a rigorous research experience in mathematical biology for 4 students a year working in interdisciplinary pairs. Each pair of students will be supervised by a corresponding pair of faculty mentors – one from mathematics and one from biology. Students will receive training in each step of the research process, from project planning through to the dissemination of their results to peers and the general public.

This opportunity is being funded by the National Science Foundation Interdisciplinary Training for Undergraduates in Biological and Mathematical Sciences (UBM) Grant No. DUE-1029041 and UW-La Crosse.

Main features of the program:

  • collaboration of mathematics and biology on cutting-edge research topics that are focused on the local ecology
  • research results that can have an immediate impact on the Mississippi River environment
  • small, hands-on, collaborative seminars that develop students into mathematical biologists
  • courses that provide the foundational knowledge to succeed in summer research projects
  • travel to a national conference
  • financial support for your participation


CORE timeline:

  • Fall Semester (sophomore or junior year)
    • Applications are solicited and reviewed, with application deadline in October. Applicants are interviewed by November, and accepted students meet with their Math or Biology advisors to select appropriate courses for Spring.
  • Spring Semester (sophomore or junior year)
    • CORE participants enroll in MTH 265 (Mathematical Modeling in Biology), attend the weekly group meeting MTH 498 or BIO 499, and learn about potential summer research projects by directed discussions with participating faculty and visiting scientists. Student participants devise their research project and pair up (math major with biology major) into groups. Each student receives a stipend of $280.
  • Summer
    • Each group spends 10 weeks in an intensive full-time research environment. Pairs of students will be teamed with one faculty member from Biology and one from Mathematics. Weekly group meetings will be held. Students cannot register for summer classes in order that they focus solely on research. Each student receives a stipend of $5,000 plus room and board ($2,730) on campus for 10 weeks.
    • Each group will attend the national Ecological Society of America conference in Portland, OR on
      August 5-10, 2012.
  • Fall Semester (junior or senior year)
    • Student register for 2 credits of MTH 498 or BIO 489 to finalize their team projects. Weekly group meetings continue. In December students submit their final research project. Each student receives a stipend of $280.
  • Spring (junior or senior year)
    • Students present their results at the UW-L Celebration of Research and Creativity Day.

See the expectations for more details.

Eligibility requirements.

  • Sophomore or junior with interest in biology and mathematics. A year of calculus and/or statistics and a year of biology is strongly recommended. You'll need at least one (math or bio), and both would be better.
  • U.S. Citizen

Application. Applications are due Tuesday, October 18th. Fellowships will be announced by November 1st.

Apply online today!

Partial support for this work was provided by the National Science Foundation's UBM program under Award No. 1029041. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.