Prospective Lab Members

I am not currently recruiting new lab members, but I am always open to conversations with exceptional graduate or post-doctoral candidates, particularly if they have already been independently awarded a fellowship (e.g. NSF, NERC, NSERC, etc.)

Students working with me can receive an MS degree in Biology or a PhD in Integrative and Systems Biology. Field-based graduate programs typically require 5-6 years to earn a PhD and 2-3 years for a MS. Minimum admissions standards into both programs include an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher and scores at or above the 50th percentile in all sections of the GRE. Students in my lab generally exceed these standards, and have worked with me to determine the viability of a program of study before applying. More information about our graduate programs can be found here.

Graduate school is fundamentally different from the typical undergraduate education experience. Formal coursework plays a marginal role. Graduate students learn by direct experience to independently develop and mange long-term projects that extend our understanding of the world by creating new ideas. As such, most time is spent developing and applying background knowledge to articulate questions for which there is no “correct” answer, but for which there are several answers. This can be unsettling, and for many students, the biggest challenge of graduate education is to manage their research and writing with marginal oversight and sporadic feedback.

Successful graduate students are bright, creative, open to criticism, and very self-motivated. Although I expect new students to arrive with a general sense for the kinds of research questions or topics that will shape the program of study, I don’t expect concrete dissertation or thesis proposals at time of admission. Feel free to read our publications for a sense of what we do, but don’t feel compelled to stick to those topics. So long as I see a place for me to contribute to the academic development of your research interests, I am willing to talk about a range of potential projects.

As an advisor, my job is to provide academic and financial guidance for students in the development of ideas and design of research projects. In exchange, I expect that students will take the opportunity to present their research progress at international meetings, and to publish their work in professional peer reviewed journals; I expect students to actively contribute to the scientific storyline.  I am most suited to mentor students who want to become wildlife biologists working in the private, non-profit, or government sectors, or who want to become teachers or professors at the K-12 through R1 University levels.

If you’re interested to talk with me about joining our research group, please email the following:

  1. Written personal statement detailing why you want to attend graduate school and why, specifically, you are interested in our research group
  2. CV or resume that describes your previous work and research experience, as well as any publications, presentations, and other communication or outreach experience
  3. All college/university transcripts (unofficial is fine) and GRE scores (including percentile scores)
  4. Sample of your scientific writing – a publication or an unpublished report
  5. Names and institutions of references from whom you will solicit letters (letters themselves are not necessary)