Prospective Students

Thank you for your interest in my laboratory at the Odum School of Ecology. My goal is to recruit graduate students with a passion for ecology, a strong work ethic, and a commitment to making significant scientific contributions. My laboratory group is a collegial and interactive team of students who generate the type of creative learning environment that is essential to an effective research program. I welcome inquiries from prospective students interested in aquatic ecosystem ecology (species-community-ecosystem linkages) and conservation ecology. Research areas include ecosystem ecology, hydrologic connectivity, climate change, eco-evo dynamics, and landscape ecology. Graduate training is a major focus of my lab, where 32 students have completed advanced degrees. Prospective graduate students are encouraged to look at (1) the research projects of current and past students; and (2) the types of positions that lab alumni have gone on to fill after receiving graduate degrees –- ranging from academic tenure-track appointments to positions with state, federal and international agencies as well as NGOs ( Lab Alumni ). Please contact me if you think that your research interests might be a good fit in my lab, and include your curriculum vitae and any papers you have written (or samples of other written work).


Advice for Graduate Students

  1. Take responsibility.
  2. Get organized and plan ahead. Think strategically. Make goals and deadlines for yourself in the short term and long term.
  3. Flexibility. Have the flexibility to change goals and deadlines as your research project evolves. Make sure to share your revised goals with your advisor.
  4. Do not get distracted by small problems.
  5. Establish the following goals and deadlines. Determine the dates by which you will:
    1. form a masters or dissertation committee
    2. submit your masters or dissertation proposal to your committee
    3. have practice comps
    4. complete written and oral exams
    5. submit grants
    6. complete drafts of publications and thesis chapters
    7. submit papers for publications
    8. defend your thesis or dissertation
  6. Have realistic expectations. Remind yourself that a dissertation or masters thesis is just one step in your career. You are going to have to focus. Your masters or dissertation project needs to be:
    1. an intellectual contribution to your field
    2. completed in no more than three (MS) or five (PhD) years
  7. Be motivated by pursuing work that you enjoy. Think of graduate school as a step forward in your career.
  8. Move beyond trying to please your advisor or your committee.
  9. Create higher standards for yourself than your committee demands.
  10. Have an agenda for each meeting with your advisor and your graduate committee.
  11. Do not be hesitant to seek help from specialists.
You are capable of more than you know. Choose a goal that seems right for you and strive to be the best, however hard the path. Aim high. Behave honorably. Prepare to be alone at times, and to endure failure. Persist! The world needs all you can give.
–E.O. Wilson
The mighty oak is just another nut that held its ground.
The world is run by those who show up.
–Robert Johnson