My approach to science involves several main goals:
- Rigorous field manipulations to test for the importance of conceptually or theoretically important species interactions.
- Combining comparative phylogenetic approaches with experimental biology.
- Search for novel interactions which may be pervasive in nature but have escaped our attention.
- A keen interest in teaching and mentoring students at all levels of education.
I am interested in advising graduate students on any topic relating to the ecology and evolution of plant-animal interactions. Funding for graduate students in the Departments of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Entomology is excellent. There are a diversity of questions and study systems employed in the lab. I encourage students to conduct independent projects outside of my own research program, but also welcome collaborations where our interests overlap. The independence that I encourage in my students means that when students graduate, they are ready to run their own research program and are competitive on the job market. This also means that I strongly encourage students to write grant applications and obtain their own funding.
Students in my lab are generally broadly trained, including natural history and taxonomic knowledge of plants and animals, classic theory in our field, as well as experimental design and statistics. I encourage all lab members to attend several seminars (one of the great benefits of our program is that we have several excellent seminar speakers each week) and to attend discussion groups, irrespective of the specific topic.
Ithaca is an amazing place to live, with bike-able field sites and a wonderful small town community, rich in culture and biological diversity. Feel free to contact me for further information. For another perspective contact people in my lab. And, for something to look forward to, see popping the cork 😉
There are many opportunities for undergraduates to obtain research experience in our lab. We frequently have work-study students helping in the lab and field, and students conducting independent research, senior theses, etc. If you are interested, please contact me as soon as possible…space fills up fast.