REU: Applications of High Throughput Plant Phenotyping Technology

For information contact

Yufeng Ge

Associate Professor, Advanced Sensing Systems Engineer
Director of Plant Phenomics

See Projects

Dr. Schnable's summer crew.
Dr. Schnable's summer crew.

Who should apply

Related fields

  • Agronomy and Horticulture
  • Agriculture
  • Plant Pathology
  • Biological Systems Engineering

This program encourages applications from...


Participation in the Nebraska Summer Research Program is limited to students who meet the following criteria:
  • U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident
  • Current undergraduate with at least one semester of coursework remaining before obtaining a bachelor's degree

See Eligibility for more information.

How to apply

Follow the application steps to submit the following materials.

About the Program

The participants in this program will experience various types of research and technology used to collect data for plant phenotyping in a field setting. The program will include traveling to field sites in Nebraska, working with researchers on projects to collect and analyze data, and regular interactions with the UNL team to discuss research projects and experiences.

The research mentor will work closely with each student to develop a plan to accomplish a specific research task for the project, such as sensor design, UAS image analysis, GIS analysis, and field data collection and analysis. Involvement in this program will help participants gain new experiences and strengthen their confidence in research. Our hope is that the students will obtain meaningful training and research experiences beyond repetitive field data collection or data entry to foster an interest in pursuing a career in agricultural research, extension, or production.

Dr. Shi's team collecting data in the field.
Dr. Shi's team collecting data in the field.


  • Competitive stipend: $6,000
  • Suite-style room and meal plan
  • Travel expenses to and from Lincoln
  • Campus parking and/or bus pass
  • Full access to the Campus Recreation Center and campus library system
  • Wireless internet access

Learn more about academic and financial benefits.


  • Department seminars and presentations
  • Professional development workshops (e.g., applying to graduate school, taking the GRE)
  • Welcome picnic
  • Day trip to Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium
  • Outdoor adventures
  • Research symposium

Mentors and Projects

Dr. Katherine Frels Agronomy and Horticulture

Predicting grain and forage yield in small grain crops

The student will be involved in collecting manual and high-throughput phenotyping data in wheat and triticale yield trials. This will include collecting tiller counts, plant height, LAI and image/ hyperspectral sensor data to estimate grain yield, biomass quality, and forage yield in multiple locations in Nebraska. The student will work with graduate students, postdocs, faculty to analyze the data and develop models to predict forage and grain yield. These models will benefit the small grains breeding project by developing in-season tools for estimating important traits for variety release. 

Dr. Yufeng Ge Biological Systems Engineering

Spidercam Phenotyping and Data Processing

The student will work under one of the most advanced field phenotyping facilities in the country – NU-Spidercam. The student will have the opportunity to collect and work on a diversified set of high-throughput plant phenotyping data including images, spectroscopic reflectance, 3D point-clouds, and hyperspectral data cubes from corn and soybean. 

Dr. James Schnable Agronomy and Horticulture

Predicting grain yield across environments

Over the summer, a student will be involved in scoring one or more traits from both 1) a maize inbred diversity panel and 2) a replicated set of maize hybrid yield plots. Depending on the student's background and interests this may include manual measurements in the field and/or processing image and/or hyperspectral sensor data to estimate plant phenotypes. 

Dr. Yeyin Shi Biological Systems Engineering

Drone-based Plant Phenotypes and Stress Sensing and Modeling

Over the summer, the student will work with an interdisciplinary team and be involved in generating, processing, and analyzing field-based plant phenotypic data for plant breeding and crop management purposes. Depending on the student’s background and interests, a project plan will be designed together by the student and the investigator and implemented by the student. This may include weekly drone-based flights to generate natural color, multispectral, and/or thermal imagery over the fields and ground-based plant trait measurements.