We actively work together to create a supportive, creative, and inclusive community. We celebrate members irrespective of race, religion, gender identification, sexual orientation, age, or disability status, and we actively encourage diverse perspectives. We are committed to supporting Black, Latinx, Indigenous, LGBTQ+ and other underrepresented students in STEM. Our society’s history has resulted in deep inequities that makes many opportunities inaccessible to members of certain groups despite exceptional talent, motivation, or hard-work. These systemic barriers, implicit biases, and subtle racism have created a substantial under-representation of many groups in academia, including in ecology and evolution.
We typically accept a couple undergraduate students each semester and over the summer to work with us on research projects or to develop independent projects related to research in the lab. We help students gain a deeper understanding of the research process, and past students have been first authors on peer-reviewed papers and presented at international conferences. In particular, we often accept Rutgers students through the Educational Opportunity Fund, the McNair program, the Aresty Summer Science or Research Assistant (academic year) programs, for-credit research experience courses (11:216:440 or 11:216:484), and G. H. Cook Honors theses. We also work with students from other universities through the RISE at Rutgers program and the Research Internships in Ocean Sciences (an NSF REU program).
My goal in mentoring students is to help cultivate the future scientific leaders of our society. While much of the research in the lab has relevance for conservation, graduate education in particular is focused on fundamental biological questions that can be generalized across systems (which may fall in Pasteur’s Quadrant). If you join our lab, you can expect me and others in the lab to invest substantial time and energy mentoring and coaching you to succeed in your research and your career development. All students are welcome here regardless of race, religion, gender identification, sexual orientation, age, or disability status. By the same token, you will be expected to bring passion, humor, independence, strong self-motivation, creativity, and dedication both to your research and to your participation in our community. You will become the world expert in your area of specialization and responsible for your own progress. If that sounds good to you and our scientific interests overlap, please be in touch.
I aim to accept about one student each fall. Starting Fall 2023, I will be accepting students through Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at UC Santa Cruz. I also strongly encourage students to apply for graduate fellowships, and relevant ones can include NSF GRFP, NDSEG, HHMI Gilliam, EPA STAR, NOAA Nancy Foster, and NOAA/SG Population Dynamics. The Pathways to Science database is also useful.
If you are interested, please contact me the summer before you apply so that we can discuss your application. In your email, please include a description of your interests and how they fit into our lab along with a CV and unofficial transcripts.
I am actively looking for postdocs, so please contact me if our interests align. Useful resources include David Smith fellowships, NSF Biology or Oceanography fellowships, Life Sciences Research Foundation fellowships, The Branco Weiss Fellowship – Society in Science, Marissa Basket’s list of fellowships and other opportunities listed by Pathways to Science, in the community list here, or by Dieter Lukas.