I study the genetics of adaptation, particularly whether mutations in gene-regulatory regions or protein-coding regions are the primary force driving adaptive phenotypic divergence.
The faculty in the Ecology and Evolution Group (EE) at Florida State University are strongly committed to the graduate program. We realize that the reciprocity between faculty and graduate students is very important: maintaining a dynamic and intellectually aggressive group of graduate students will improve the quality and enjoyment of our entire program. To this end, we help our graduate students to become creative, yet critical, scientists while maintaining a collegial and rewarding atmosphere. We are a very interactive group, with many reading and discussion groups that foster both formal and informal intellectual collaborations among students and between faculty and students. Our EE program has few strict admission criteria, but we expect applicants to have a strong background in biology or a related discipline, including some background in chemistry, calculus, and statistics. Deficiencies in these areas can be addressed by coursework at FSU. The program is primarily directed toward Ph.D. students, but we also provide guidance for students working towards master's degrees. Prospective students should contact individual faculty in the program directly to explore mutual interests in research training opportunities. Students who have not contacted individual faculty are unlikely to be offered admission. Interested students must complete the departmental and university application forms and have taken the Graduate Record Exam. Students are selected from a competitive applicant pool early each spring, for fall-semester admission. We expect all students to be full-time in our program; students are supported for the duration of their studies with stipends and tuition waivers. Teaching assistantships are a common source of salary support, along with research assistantships funded by grants to faculty. In addition, our graduate students have been highly successful at garnering fellowships from the National Science Foundation and other organizations. The EE group holds a yearly workshop on how to create successful fellowship applications and grant proposals.