Finding a Faculty Sponsor

  1. The more you know about a prospective faculty sponsor, the better off you are going to be in convincing them of your interest in working with them. To learn more about individual faculty, view their profiles on their departmental websites. When you contact a faculty member about sponsoring you, be sure to include your resume and a brief description of why you would like to join their lab. OEB faculty who have expressed an interest in taking on a new student are listed at the bottom of this page.

Note that faculty are extremely busy and sometimes get behind in responding to emails. It is your responsibility to follow-up either by phone or another email.

Acceptance into OEB is dependent upon meeting academic standards, having faculty support and securing funding. OEB does not accept students unless we can offer a financial package. Competition is stiff; even the most exceptionally qualified students are not necessarily guaranteed acceptance. Stellar students who secure grants or fellowships are particularly appealing to advisors, as they already have a proven track record and bring their own funding. Students with research experience, excellent letters of reference and publications are also at an advantage.

More about Funding

Each year we receive applications from 50-75 students, most of whom are academically well-qualified. Of those, we are able to fund only 5-8 students. Our program does not accept students for whom it cannot provide financial support, thus many admission decisions come down to funding.

OEB has limited means to provide financial support. The faculty member who sponsors your application must agree to provide a substantial portion of your financial package through their research grants. It is therefore important to convince prospective advisors that you are a good investment.

Most OEB grad students are supported by a combination of Teaching Assistantships (TA, provided through OEB) and Research Assistantships (RA, provided by advisors). Typically we offer 2 years of support to MS students and 4 years of support to PhD students. Whether a student is supported by a TA or an RA, tuition and most fees are waived.

A number of OEB students have their own support. A few have NSF Graduate Research Fellowships or Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grants, or other extramural funding. Each year a few are funded by one-year University Fellowships. We strongly encourage both incoming and continuing students to apply for extramural funding.

OEB Faculty who are seeking students for Fall 2020

Below are two lists: 1) OEB faculty who are actively seeking a new student for the next academic year and 2) OEB faculty who would like to take a student pending availability of funding.

OEB faculty actively seeking a new student for the next academic year

Bethany Bradley
DEPARTMENT: Environmental Conservation
RESEARCH INTERESTS: Biogeography and spatial ecology of terrestrial plant invasion

Kristen DeAngelis
DEPARTMENT: Microbiology
RESEARCH INTERESTS: Community ecology and physiology of soil microbes, climate change, plant-soil interactions    

Alex Gerson
DEPARTMENT: Biology
RESEARCH INTERESTS: Eco-physiology of migratory birds        

Laura A. Katz
DEPARTMENT: Biological Sciences, Smith College
RESEARCH INTERESTS:  Genome evolution and biodiversity studies of microbial eukaryote

Benjamin Normark
DEPARTMENT: Biology
RESEARCH INTERESTS: Evolution of alternative genetic systems; evolution of host range;  scale insect systematics          

Faculty who would like to take a student pending availability of funding

Brian Cheng
DEPARTMENT: Environmental Conservation
RESEARCH INTERESTS: Marine global change ecology and the dynamics of predator-prey interactions  

Elizabeth Jakob
DEPARTMENT: Biology
RESEARCH INTERESTS:  Spider perception and behavior

Lisa Komoroske
DEPARTMENT: Environmental Conservation
RESEARCH INTERESTS:  Conservation genomics and ecophysiology in marine and freshwater ecosystems 

Toni Lyn Morelli
DEPARTMENT: Northeast Climate Adaptation Science Center; Environmental Conservation
RESEARCH INTERESTS: Climate change ecology, montane and boreal wildlife, and decision analysis and translational ecology for climate adaptation

Jeff Podos
DEPARTMENT: Biology
RESEARCH INTERESTS: Mechanisms and evolution of vertebrate behavior, bioacoustics