Applying to work in my lab:
Within the Auburn Biological Science department, admission is primarily based on whether students are accepted into a lab group. If you think that you may be interested in my lab – let's talk!
Prospective graduate students should contact me by email before applying to work in my lab. In your email, please tell me about your research experience and why you are interested in working in my lab and include a copy of your current CV (resume) and an unofficial transcript that will describe your training. Click here to find out more about Auburn's graduate program in Biological Sciences and specific entry requirements.
Students in my lab may work on a funded research project or a project that they independently fund and design. I expect that all of my students become experts on the topic they are studying and make their thesis project their own, whether that means refining and/or enhancing a funded or ongoing study or starting a project from square one.
The relationship between a graduate student and his/her mentor should be mutualistic. I will provide you with advice on experimental design, sample collection, laboratory analyses, and writing up your thesis and results for publication to the best of my ability. However, I also expect you to teach me and bring new ideas and new techniques to the laboratory.
I am best suited to train students who wish to pursue a career in academics, and thus, I insist that students participate in practices that will give them the experience necessary to succeed. Therefore, I believe that all students should gain some teaching experience, and all students should learn to write and submit grant proposals (regardless of the funding status of their project). Participation in lab meetings is expected, and attending and/or presenting at scientific conferences is also strongly encouraged.
I have been fortunate to mentor a diverse group of undergraduates, graduate students, and post-docs, and I am particularly appreciative of those students from underrepresented groups who have trusted me to be their graduate advisor during this formative, and often challenging, period in their training.
I firmly believe that diversity strengthens our science. I strive to build a lab group with diverse training in the biological sciences and is diverse in gender, race and ethnicity, sexual orientation, and nationality. Further, I expect that everyone in my lab will respect one another, and any form of sexism, racism, or intolerance will not be accepted.
I believe that our department, like most biology departments across the US, can do more to support inclusion and diversity, and I'm currently chair of a committee that is striving to do just that. As a mentor, I promise to listen and do what I can to make my lab and Auburn's Biological Science department welcoming to everyone and a place where you can grow both as a scientist and a person.