Generally, we seek curious, energetic individuals, who are interested in exploring the thermal ecology and evolution of charismatic microflora (a.k.a., phytoplankton!) by integrating theoretical and empirical approaches. We study the links between the physiology of individuals, the dynamics and evolution of populations, the structure and diversity of communities, and the function of marine and freshwater ecosystems. This involves combining mathematical, statistical, and experimental approaches to develop a mechanistic, predictive understanding of ecology. We are especially concerned with the ecological effects of natural and anthropogenic environmental change (including climate change), given the ability of organisms to adapt to change. As a mentor, I am committed to building a diverse, interactive research group, where empiricists can gain quantitative skills and mathematicians can find inspiration in nature, so that together we can ask and answer deep questions about ecology.

Graduate students (PhD or MS):

I accept graduate students through the University of Connecticut‘s Ecology & Evolutionary Biology Department. Applications are closed for the 2023-24 academic year, and will reopen in the fall. Students interested in theoretical or experimental aspects of ecology are both welcome. I seek to develop independent, well-rounded students, prepared for careers both in and out of academia. Selecting a lab and graduate advisor that suits your interests and needs is critical to being successful, so interested students are encouraged to contact me to discuss opportunities!

Potential research areas include:

  1. Interactions between ecological and evolutionary responses to climate change,
  2. The influence of multiple environmental drivers (e.g. temperature and nutrients) on species’ distributions,
  3. The ecological consequences of phenotypic plasticity, and/or
  4. Microbial mutualisms and co-evolution.

Students will have opportunities to develop new theory, explore extensive ecological data, and conduct laboratory experiments. Enthusiasm, excellent written and oral communication abilities, and strong quantitative skills are necessary. Backgrounds in aquatic or microbial ecology, modeling, and statistics are desired.

Prospective students should send an email describing their motivation and research interests as they relate to our lab, along with a CV and summary of relevant coursework (e.g., unofficial undergraduate transcript) to Strong applicants will be contacted for scheduling an informal online interview. Applications to UConn are due before December 15th each year. Financial support for Ph.D. students is available from research and teaching assistantships and university fellowships, but applications to outside funding sources are strongly encouraged. Inquiries from individuals from diverse and/or underrepresented backgrounds are specifically welcomed.

Postdoctoral scholars:

Prospective postdoctoral scholars with overlapping interests in quantitative ecology and evolution are welcome to contact about potential opportunities. While I do not currently have funding for additional postdocs, I can support/advise individuals interested in competing for postdoctoral fellowships (such as NSF PRFB’s) or who already have their own funding.

Postdocs will be expected to both work independently (and potentially remotely) as well as to contribute to a supportive lab community, and may have the opportunity to develop collaborative grant proposals. Inquiries from individuals from diverse and/or underrepresented backgrounds are specifically welcomed.

Key words

marine & freshwater ecology, eco-evolutionary theory, quantitative ecology, theoretical ecology, temperature, climate change, phytoplankton, microbial ecology, trait-based ecology, phenotypic plasticity, species distributions, biogeography, metabolic theory