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Join the lab!

We are always looking for highly-motivated students to join our lab.

Graduate Students

Southern Illinois University is a public institution that was founded in 1869 in Carbondale, Illinois (for more info on C-dale follow this link). The Carbondale campus has a total undergraduate enrollment of ca. 13,400, it's setting is rural, and the campus size is 1,136 acres. The school was ranked #153 by U.S. News for 2016 in their National University ranking category.  The Zoology Department offers M.S. and Ph.D. degree programs that emphasize original research and advanced training in ecology & ecosystem studies, genetics, evolution & population biology, fisheries & aquaculture, and wildlife ecology & management. 

Graduate students interested in joining the lab should contact me directly to discuss their interests, as well as submit an application to Southern Illinois University’s graduate program through the Zoology Department.  I encourage my students to collaborate with me on existing projects and study systems, as well as develop their own research interests. I am willing to advise students working in other areas so long as their questions are close enough to my own areas of expertise.  I strongly believe in creating a mentoring environment that encourages students to follow their passions, while developing creative solutions to outstanding ecology and evolutionary problems. In this role, a mentor must first develop a relationship with students, promoting a strong scientific background while guiding their research programs in interesting and feasible manners to provide an environment that best develops independent and critical thinking. It is with this balance of freedom and guidance that graduate students will succeed. Students who take an independent path to a graduate project will generally need to pick up skills that cannot be provided by any single lab, and it is the role of the mentor to help steer them towards appropriate expertise and to instill in them the confidence to learn new approaches that may seem daunting at first glance.

More info on graduate programs and courses:


Enrollment at SIU is a ‘rolling admission’ and happens year around.  The whole process takes a couple months to complete.

Financial Support
The Zoology Department at SIU provides support for Ph. D. and Masters's students primarily through teaching assistantships. Some form of financial support is typically available for  three to five years (respective to degree pursued).  Research assistantships and fellowships may be available during the program as funding permits.  All TAs/RAs currently receive a monthly stipend of $1,558.00 (both M.S. and Ph.D. tracks), in addition to receiving a tuition waiver.  Negotiations are underway for an increase of 2-4%.  Doctoral students receive a $100 month increase after being admitted to Candidacy after passing their preliminary exams. Typically TAs/RAs are paid for 9 months of the year, though a few summer TAs/RAs are available.  Southern Illinois University offers the following fellowships:

I also will do my best to secure RAs from SIU and support from grants.

Morris Fellowship

Dissertation Research Assitantship

Graduate Dean's Fellowship (Underserved individuals)

Master's Fellowship

Doctorate Fellowship

Native American Scholarship (Minorities)

Students are also encouraged to apply for outside funding, see links below:

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship
DOE fellowship
EPA STAR Fellowships
Ford Foundation Fellowships
American Association of University Women Dissertation Fellowship
McKnight Doctoral Fellowship (Minorities)
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Smithsonian Institution


Highly motivated undergraduates are encouraged to contact me about opportunities to get hands-on research experience in ecology and evolutionary biology.


Prospective postdocs should contact me to discuss research interests and potential funding opportunities. I also encourage you to take a look at the fellowship opportunities below:

University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program
Ford Foundation Pre-doctoral Fellowships
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Smithsonian Institution
NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in Biology
NSF International Research Fellowship Program
Michigan Society of Fellows
University of British Columbia Biodiversity Research Center
UC Davis

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