Advising graduate students is the most important component of my research program. My job is to help students discover research interests and mature into an independent scientist ready for the job market. I strive to have collaborative relationships with my graduate students where I am not the sole proprietor of knowledge, but where we learn from each other, generating new research ideas together and writing proposals/papers together. This approach is meant to facilitate a relationship of mutual respect and trust that fosters professional confidence and encourages critical-thinking, skepticism, and creativity. Ultimately, it is with this approach that I aim to produce outstanding scientists and leaders with excellent quantitative, oral, and written skills.
I will commit a significant amount of time and energy in helping students to develop their research project, from initial ideas and planning through to field work, statistical analyses, manuscript writing, conference presentations, and outreach. I strive to provide lab members with the time, space, resources, and opportunities for them to succeed. Members of my group are fortunate to work in an environment here at URI that recognizes and rewards interdisciplinary research that address real-world problems.
I have high expectations for my graduate students. Thus, I am highly selective about the students I accept. I expect students to be self-directed, blaze their own trail, and devise a plan that keeps them on it. This requires students to be fully committed to their research, curious, motivated, and hard-working. I also expect students to push through the tough times when they come, and to take ownership of their thesis or dissertation. I ask that students be good lab citizens, helping me to develop a productive, supportive, diverse, and collaborative research group. I expect students to contribute to academic life in the College of the Environment and Life Sciences, the Graduate School of Oceanography (where I am jointly appointed), and the broader community here at URI. I also encourage lab members to contribute to public understanding of coastal science and conservation through outreach activities. To learn more about my expectations from students, and what you can expect from me, read my advising plan.
I am currently accepting one new graduate student for Fall 2019 - see details here. Outside of this specific opportunity, I encourage prospective students with excellent qualifications to email me with a brief introduction, including details of your prior academic and research experience, as well as your research interests and goals for your graduate degree, and how you see these aligning with my research program. Please also include a copy of your CV, transcript, and GRE scores (if available). Please note that due to time constraints, I cannot respond to inquiries that do not include this information. For advice on how to write this introductory email, take a look at this article. I especially encourage individuals from traditionally underrepresented groups in STEM fields to contact me.
Last, students should familiarize themselves with the process for applying to graduate school through URI's Biological and Environmental Sciences program in the College of the Environment and Life Sciences and/or URI's Graduate School of Oceanography - I hold a joint appointment between these colleges and accept applications through either. Applications to URI are accepted year-round, but are due by January 15th each year in order to be eligible for internal graduate research and teaching fellowships. I expect students joining my lab to be extremely competitive for these internal fellowships, as well as for scholarships from NSF and other external funding sources (e.g., EPA, Sigma XI, NOAA). Applications for NSF Graduate Research Fellowships are due in the early Fall, for start dates the following September (i.e. often a year in advance of your intended start date).
We may have positions for a few undergraduate students each year depending on projects and personnel. These positions may range from work study positions and research assistantships, to directed studies. I suggest that motivated and interested undergraduates at URI look into the Coastal Fellows Program as a potential avenue for working in the lab, or EPA's GRO program, NOAA's Hollings Scholarship, and Sigma XI's Grants-in-Aid program. I also encourage interested students to start by volunteering with us for a semester before they wish to begin formal positions in the lab. If you are interested in one of these positions, please email me.
I welcome inquiries from PhD students and recent graduates interesting in pursuing postdoctoral research in the lab. I encourage prospective postdocs to begin looking into funding sources at least a year before graduation. Interested individuals may email me to discuss possible projects and funding sources, and expect to apply for one of the many external funding mechanisms such as NSF, Ford Foundation, and SESYNC.