To Prospective Graduate Students:
††††††††††† Thank you for your interest in graduate studies in my lab. If youíre still interested in working with me after reading the following letter and looking around the rest of my web page, please email or write me and tell me about your research interests, background in biology (including especially any research you have been involved in), and something about why you want to go to graduate school and how its fits your career goals. I am also happy to answer questions that this letter and the web page donít answer for you.
††††††††††† Iíd like to have students working in my lab who are interactive and also excited by the prospect of independent research. Students in my lab may choose to work on aspects of projects that are related to my current research (especially MS students), but I encourage and expect PhD students to be creative and eventually develop independent research projects (with help and feedback along the way of course).
My interests in ecology and evolution are broad, but Iím especially interested in studying species interactions, population dynamics, coexistence, patterns of selection, and community assembly as we try to scale up from individuals to local and regional processes. †Iím willing to advise students who want to work on any kind of species, but my own expertise is with insects and plants. I believe quantitative skills are an important aspect of biology, so I will encourage (and help) all students in my lab to develop strong statistical skills and at least a basic understanding of the mathematical tools that theoretical biologists can use.
Graduate students at FSU are funded primarily through departmental teaching assistantships.† Sometimes I have research assistantships from grants that can support students too.† In addition, I encourage all students to identify and apply for independent fellowships and small grants to support their own work. Students in my lab may choose to do their research locally, or wherever their projects take them. If you wish to work far from FSU we may have to work a bit harder to apply for travel grants, but it certainly is possible.
The Ecology and Evolution group here at FSU is a great place to be a graduate student. Students at FSU are part of a friendly, interactive and exciting group of biologists, and have easy access to an extremely diverse collection of nearby natural communities for research and recreation.