Graduate students

We’re looking for graduate students for the 2017 – 2018 application period!

Prospective applicants should contact the IB Department for information about the application process and email PI Ellen Simms (esimms at for information. I like to know why you want to go to graduate school and what are your interests, experiences and qualifications.

Graduate students in the lab develop their own research projects based on their interests and the strengths of the lab group. I promote independence by encouraging students to pursue their own research interests, learn to identify questions worth pursuing and make outside contacts to bring in techniques not currently available in the lab. Increased independence drives increased responsibility to pursue funding. The IB Department guarantees 5 years of funding, but I encourage and help my students find outside sources for stipends and research. Independent students are more competitive in the job market.

Integrative biologists pursue research that makes connections: across scales, among fields, and using a broad array of tools. We prize deep understanding of the ecology and natural history of the organisms we study. Experimentation is an important part of research in our lab and requires that students develop expertise in statistics and experimental design. Identifying important questions requires a strong grasp of theory and the history of one’s field. Finally, communicating scientific outcomes is an important part of the scientific process; students learn to communicate their results in papers, posters, seminars, and for the general public.