Prospective Students



Sparks lab as the Adams Family, Halloween 2016

Students working with me can anticipate having field, laboratory and greenhouse components of their research, and can work in a diversity of study systems.

I encourage students interested in working with me to contact me by email or letter as early as possible. I am very interested in learning about your experiences and/or interests in the field or laboratory and would also appreciate receiving a copy of your CV or resume. My goal is to admit students who will interact in a diverse, mutually supportive, and intellectually exciting lab group.

Personal contact with potential advisors is an important aspect of applying to any Ph.D. program and I will be happy to discuss your plans for graduate work at Cornell or elsewhere. Students admitted to the Ph.D. program in E&EB are guaranteed five years of 12-month support. In addition, students are expected to pursue outside fellowships and research grants. Prospective students applying to work with me should also apply for national graduate fellowships such as those offered by NSF and the EPA.

For more details on applying for admission to the Ph.D. program in the Field of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, see If you have technical questions about any part of the application process, please email them to the graduate field assistant for E&EB, Patty Jordan (

Additional information on the faculty and resources of the Department of E&EB is at

Fiona Soper and her undergraduate assistant installing soil gas flux collars at her field site in Texas.