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Prospective Students

I welcome students working in any of the general fields described below and elsewhere on this site.

Because my research is fundamentally question generated and not taxon based, students need not work on the same groups of animals that form the core of my current research. I view anybody’s research as having three components; concepts, methods, and organisms.

In my core research for example;

  • Concepts - that I study include (but are not limited to) macroevolution, biogeography, and comparative quantitative genetics.
  • Methods - include DNA-sequence based phylogenetics, morphometrics, specimen-based museum work, and multivariate statistics.
  • Organisms - that I principally study (that I am somewhat expert in) are the rodents, especially the focal groups described on the Research page.

I have found that if students overlap in two or all three of these components with me that I might be well suited as an advisor for them, although in some special cases only one component of overlap might suffice.

I love having a diversity of viewpoints and interests in the lab, so I am always open to discussing the interests of prospective students.

More Information

Applying for Graduate Studies in Biological Science.

Information about the graduate school at FSU.


Florida State University
Department of Biological Science
King Life Science, Room 4066
Tallahassee, FL 32306-4295


Office: (850) 644-6536
Lab: (850) 644-6045
Fax: (850) 645-8447
Email: steppan @