I have a strong commitment to effective mentoring of graduate students because it is one of the most important and rewarding aspects of being in academia. Some of my key roles as a mentor are to serve as a guide through the scientific method, sustain the necessary financial and logistical resources to conduct a successful research project, and provide emotional support in difficult times. In return, as a mentor I am always energized by the new ideas and dedication that students bring to a research project, and the process of students truly experiencing the scientific method.
I strive to maintain a lab group of hard-working, passionate, and productive young scientists. I am willing to advise students on projects that span a broad range of ecological questions and study systems, as long as the work is framed within the broadest context possible, tests and refines theory whenever possible, and produces answers that can be applied to sustainable management of marine and coastal ecosystems.
My lab group typically consists of 4-6 graduate students, including both MS and PhD levels, and relatively new to more senior level students. I have a full-time research technician and post-doc that provides extremely valuable support for graduate students. I typically accept 1-2 graduate students per year. The best candidates will have research experience within their sub-discipline of interest, and should be able to clearly state what questions/concepts they want to examine as part of my lab.
Please contact me by email if you are interested in joining the lab. In the first correspondence, please include the following:
- A succinct 3-4 sentence summary of what type of research collaboration you would like to have with me if you were to join the lab.
- Identify the 2 most important experiences/accomplishments you have had that would make you a valuable addition to the lab group and/or that have prepared you to be a research collaborator with my students and me.
- CV (including GRE scores).
I will respond in a relatively short time period and let you know whether I suggest you pursue an application to the Department of Marine, Earth & Atmospheric Sciences, NC State University. I will be very hesitant to accept a student who I have not met in person. I think that even a short person-to-person meeting is invaluable for both student and advisor.
Here are two documents that may be of interest if you are considering graduate school. It is a set of suggestions on “How to Succeed as a Graduate Student”, and “How to Be An Effective Mentor.”