Prospective Students


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Some information about my lab, my expectations for graduate students, and the application process at Cornell.

Graduate work in my lab:

Our interests are pretty varied, and graduate student projects in my lab can potentially span a whole range of topics. For the most part, I expect students will work on some question about the evolution, mating system, or conservation of reptiles and amphibians. This could include anything from molecular systematics to a population-based demographic study.


It is unlikely that grad students in my lab will work entirely on my research projects for their doctoral thesis. Although I collaborate often with students on projects of mutual interest, I believe that finding your own niche and carving out your own research program is a critical part of your grad school experience (almost as critical as the thesis itself!). My job is to help you achieve that by providing the context for your learning. Your job is to bring with you the motivation and the independence to get it done.

Related to this is the issue of funding for graduate work. Students in our department are guaranteed funding (in the form of salary support) for 5 years of doctoral research and the 4 intervening summers. Although College and Department Fellowships do exist, they are few and far between, so what this departmental support often amounts to is 4-5 years of TAships in classes taught by faculty in our department. This is good support, but teaching every semester can cut into research time and make field-based projects difficult, so I encourage every student to seek and apply for fellowships for salary support (e.g. NSF pre-doctoral fellowships, EPA STAR Fellowships, or the Ford Pre-doctoral Fellowships), as well as funds for research support.

What to do if you want to apply:

First: Check out the E&EB website to learn more about our department and graduate life here (E&EB site). If you have interests in comparative population genetics/genomics, I am also a member of the Cornell Center for Comparative Population genomics (3CPG), a consortium of faculty with similar interests on the Cornell campus. Finally, our lab is also a member of EVOTRAC, a multi-institution research project funded through the NSF Dimensions of Biodiversity Program.

Second: drop me a note (kelly.zamudio(at)cornell(dot)edu) - tell me what you are interested in, what you've done in the past, and how you fit in to my lab.

Third: check out the forms and deadlines for Cornell Graduate School applications ( The deadline for the field of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology is relatively early- so don't miss it. If you need assistance with anything to do with your application, please contact Patty Jordan (pj17(at)cornell(dot)edu), the graduate field assistant for E&EB. Patty knows the answers to most questions about the application process.

Kelly R. Zamudio | Cornell University | Ecology and Evolutionary Biology |

E209 Corson Hall | Ithaca  NY 14853 | phone 607.254.4212 | fax 607.255.8088 |

kelly.zamudio (at) |