Skip directly to: Navigation for this section | Main page content

CLIMB research

Research in CLIMB is organized within research clusters that consist of problems within similar subdisciplines. Students in CLIMB are exposed to a broad range of these biological problems and quantitative methods, then use what they learned to develop their summer collaborative research project.

Research clusters

evolution, ecology, and behavior

anenomes on the attack

Anemones reach over others in their colony to attack an adjacent colony

  • behavioral evolution and social dynamics : communication between sea anemones, snails, and other organisms
  • plant-insect interactions: interactions between plants, insect pollinators, and herbivorous grazers
  • population genetics: spread of a gene through a population
  • resources in the sea: how marine reserves help to protect fish and fisheries
  • phylogenetics : how scientists use computation to reconstruct the tree of life

cell biology, physiology, and neuroscience

C. elegans

Green-fluorescent protein illuminates the entire nervous system of C. elegans

  • microtubules and motility: how cells and subcellular structures get around
  • vertebrate sensory systems: the relationship between what the vertebrate eye sees and what the brain interprets
  • bioinformatics and gene regulation: how computation can help find genes or analyze how genes turn on and off

biofluid dynamics


Scientists use computers and high-speed video to model how a bass captures food items

  • life in moving fluids: how fish capture prey
  • rhizosphere interactions : the interface between plant roots and soil

Summer collaborative research

The capstone of the CLIMB program is an independent research project that students design in the spring and implement in the summer. Throughout the year, the students gain experience and skill in working as a team so that by the spring, they are entirely comfortable with one another, know each others’ intellectual strengths, and are able to carry out a student-driven collaborative project. The projects described below include both these summer projects and winter mini-projects.