UC Davis is home to one of the world's leading graduate programs in ecology, a program that offers graduate degrees at both the MS and PhD level. Unlike many other universities, graduate programs at UC Davis are run separately from academic departments. As a result, students have access to committee members from many different departments with diverse backgrounds, access to teaching assistantships and other sources of funding from across the campus, and access to a wide array of courses taught in many different departments. Applicants interested in joining my lab as a graduate student will need to apply to the Graduate Group in Ecology. I am affiliated with the Conservation Ecology area of emphasis within the Ecology group. Deadlines for applications are typically December 15th for admission in Fall quarter of the following year.
Before students apply to the graduate group to work with me, I encourage them to do two important things: first, students should browse my site and examine the research, publications, and interests of our lab to ensure that their interests will mesh well with my interests and research program. Second, students should contact me to discuss the possibility of joining our lab and should include information about previous research experience, your GPA and GRE scores, possible research ideas or interests, and your motivation for joining the lab.
When students have decided they want to apply to work with me, they should apply directly to the UC Davis Graduate Group in Ecology via the online system. Students will need to list me as a potential advisor, although they can (and maybe should) list other potential advisors who match their interests. Admissions decisions are made by the Graduate Group in Ecology Admissions Committee. Students are reviewed by 5-10 faculty on the committee and assessed based on their GPA, GRE, reference letters of support, past experience, personal and research statements, and prior accomplishments. Students with the very highest rankings are typically offered fellowship support from the graduate group. Another larger group will still be eligible for admission pending funding (determined through interactions with potential advisors). Unfortunately, due to the considerable cost of non-resident student fees and tuition for the first year of enrollment, it can be very difficult to accept non-resident students into the program if they do not already have fellowship support or are not offered support during the admissions review.
I will accept students at either the MS or PhD level depending on the interests of the student, her or his background and qualifications, funding availability, and the status of various projects. I rarely accept PhD students who have not yet completed an MS degree. Exceptions typically occur only if those students have demonstrated previous research excellence or obtained external funding to support their research and graduate studies. Please contact me if you have questions about your particular situation.
Funding to support graduate students in my lab and/or their research may come from a variety of sources, including research grants, departmental teaching assistantships, and national or university fellowships. The Graduate Group in Ecology at UC Davis awards competitive intramural block grants to incoming and current graduate students in the group. They also list several departments on campus that offer teaching assistantships to graduate students. Teaching assistanthips and block grants usually include tuition and fee waivers. Seveal sources of funding for graduate assistantships or research funding are listed below. Please pay particular attention to application deadlines and other requirements for each program or funding type.
- EPA STAR Graduate Fellowships
- NSF Graduate Research Fellowships
- UC Davis Graduate Group in Ecology Internal Fellowships
- Cornell University's Fellowship Listing Database