With a strong and diverse faculty in ecology, behavior and marine sciences, Florida International University offers fantastic opportunities for graduate studies. Most of the students working in my lab are interested in the factors influencing habitat use decisions, with a focus on trade-offs involving predation risk, and how these decisions influence community dynamics. Other themes in the lab include integrating risk effects of predators into our general understanding of community dynamics and investigations of the ecological importance of top marine predators including sharks and marine mammals. Recently, we have also begun studies investigating the ecological importance of specialization by marine predators and the potential importance of predators in nutrient flow across ecosystem boundaries. While most of the lab’s work is field-based, I encourage students to develop theory and conduct laboratory studies.
Current graduate student projects are based at long-term field sites in Shark Bay, Western Australia and the coastal Everglades of Florida. However, I am interested in advising graduate students, especially those pursuing a PhD, who would like to work in other locations or are interested in pursuing laboratory-based projects or developing theory.
Admissions to FIU are extremely competitive. Prospective students should look at the Department of Biological Sciences guidelines for graduate students. Successful applicants usually have GRE scores over 1200, a GPA over 3.5, and a good idea of the research they would like to pursue. Students wishing to pursue a field-based PhD in my lab should have completed a Master's or have substantial research experience.
If you are interested in joining the lab, please send me a two or three page research proposal. This proposal does not necessarily have to be the project you will work on at FIU, but gives me an idea of the types of questions and taxa you are interested in working with. Also include a CV (with GPA and GRE scores).