University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
College of Biological Sciences

Graduate research opportunities

EEB Graduate Student Opportunities in Research Labs - Fall, 2015

Please refer to the EEB graduate faculty website to learn more about the research of EEB graduate faculty.  Many of our faculty are looking for new students every year. Below is a list of faculty who are looking for students in specific areas with their personal statements. Funding is often available on their research projects.

In addition to the list below, please check the EEB graduate faculty directory for graduate advisors.

Mark Bee

My lab investigates the mechanisms and evolution of animal communication. A major goal of our research is to understand how auditory systems solve the difficult problem of extracting evolutionarily important information from vocalizations in noisy social environments. Frogs are excellent animal models for such questions. For Fall 2015, I will be recruiting a new PhD student interested in working on the perceptual and neural mechanisms of auditory perception in frogs as they relate to vocal communication.

Ran Blekhman

My lab studies the interaction between the human host and the trillions of microbes that colonize each of us. We generate genomics data, and develop computational and population genetics approaches, to understand how we interact with our microbial communities, and how the symbiosis between us and our microbiome evolved throughout human history. I will be recruiting one graduate student to start in Fall 2015. More information on our research can be found in our lab website,

Emma Goldberg

Research in my lab uses theory to address a wide range of questions in macroevolution and evolutionary ecology, especially regarding biogeography and plant mating systems.  I am particularly interested in advising students who strive to think clearly about related topics by developing mathematical models, though complementary empirical work is also possible. I hope to recruit one student to join the lab in 2015. http://www.umn/edu/~eeg

George Heimpel

I am recruiting a student to work on the ecology of an invasive parasitic fly in the Galapagos Islands that is attacking Darwin’s finches.  Aspects of the project include invasion genetics, community ecology and conservation. The project includes field work in the Galapagos and/or in mainland Ecuador; Spanish proficiency is preferred.  Other projects - involving host-parasitoid interactions and biological control -  may be available as well.

Suzanne McGaugh

My lab will have openings for one-two graduate students starting in Fall 2015. Major projects in the lab focus on understanding how gene-flow, recombination, selection, and drift have shaped the evolution of Mexican cavefish from surface fish. Other projects include investigating the drivers of recombination rate variation in a variety of taxa and comparative genomics in reptile populations. Most projects in the lab will have a computational component, though a significant amount of freedom will be allowed for pursuing individual projects and interests.

Craig Packer

I will be looking for a mathematically minded gradute student to explore the basis of lion sociality and predator-prey dynamics.

Allison Shaw

My research uses mathematical theory to study questions in evolutionary and behavioral ecology. I am currently recruiting graduate students who are interested in developing primarily theory projects, or theory-empirical projects jointly with a co-advisor. Possible topics include interactions between movement, climate change, parasites and infectious diseases, and/or sociality, or other topics of mutual interest.

David Stephens

My lab works at the interface between behavioral ecology and animal psychology.  We are interested in how evolutionary and ecological processes have shaped animal information processing abilities.  We are interested in all forms of behavior plasticity, but we have focused recently on the experimental evolution of learning (in Drosophila) and the economics of signaling (in blue jays). Our work is experimental and conceptually driven.  We maintain a colony of captive blue jays and starlings. We are hoping to recruit a new student this year, and encourage email enquiries and applications. The ideal student in our group has some background in both evolutionary biology and psychology.  Quantitative skills, such as mathematical modeling and computer programing are also desirable.