Inquiries about current opportunities in my group are always welcome!
There are a variety of opportunities for undergraduate students to get involved in our research group. Previously, I have enjoyed mentoring undergraduate assistants on field projects in the Great Lakes, Tanzania, Hawaii, and Venezuela, as well as in the laboratory. I expect a lot of my students, but in return I do my best to facilitate their professional development and life experience. If you are interested in gaining research experience, please don't hesitate to contact me. I particularly encourage students to join the group early in their undergrad years, allowing them to work their way up the ladder of independence and scientific sophistication. Ideally, after a few years of gaining new skills and hearing about various projects, I would be delighted to sponsor senior thesis projects. In any case, I am always happy to advise my undergraduate students on pursuing graduate school or the career path of their choice.
Please contact me about current opportunities. In evaluating prospective graduate students, I particularly appreciate independent thinkers whose record demonstrates strong quantitative skills, interests in both organisms and ecosystems, field experience, and a commitment to conservation as well as fundamental research. Support for graduate students in the CFL comes from a mixture of Research Assistantships (RAs, where you receive a stipend and tuition for contributing to a research project) and Teaching Assistantships (TAs, where you receive a stipend and tuition for aiding a faculty member if teaching an undergraduate course). In both cases, we do our best to match the research or teaching opportunities to your interests. In addition, I encourage all my prospective and current students to seek their own funding. Stipend support for 3 years is provided to the lucky recipients of graduate research fellowships from the National Science Foundation (NSF, supports fundamental research that transforms understanding of the natural world) or Environmental Protection Agency (EPA, supports applied research to inform environmental management and policy). These application processes are highly competitive, but successful applicants are able to be more independent in their research pursuits than would otherwise be possible. PhD students in my group are also strongly encouraged to apply for a Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant (DDIG) to support the completion of their project. These medium-sized grants from the National Science Foundation are a prestigious accomplishment in one's professional development. They indicate that you are almost ready to fledge into leading your own major projects. I consider applying for a DDIG to be an important right-of-passage for PhD students.
I always welcome inquiries from potential post-docs. In addition to opportunities supported by my grants, two other potential funding mechanisms can be explored. First, prestigious fellowship programs addressing conservation science (Smith Fellows and Fuller Fellows) offer 2 years of stipend plus research funds. These programs provide an ideal opportunity for you to pursue a research project of your own design in collaboration with me and practitioner mentors at NGOs and/or agencies. NSF also has several post-doctoral fellowship programs, particularly in international research and bioinformatics. All of these programs offer you the opportunity to be quite independent during your post-doc years. A second option is to work with me on a major grant proposal that would include post-doc funding for you. If appropriate, you would have the opportunity to serve as a co-PI on the proposal. This option is risky in the sense that funding rates are always low, however the pay-off can be great because it offers a unique opportunity to co-lead a large project that you co-designed. I benefitted greatly from this approach in my own professional development, courtesy of my former post-doc mentors Yvonne Vadeboncouer and Dave Allan.