On Becoming a Graduate Student in My Lab

I am always happy to hear about shared interests and inquiries about joining the lab. I will consider taking new students in the future, based on a combination of good grades, GREs, recommendations, and a clear ability to communicate both verbally and orally.

Some of the projects I am interested in pursuing now or in the future are wetland and terrestrial restoration and suitability for herps, head starting and repatriation of herps, urban river ecology, and habitat modeling. I do mostly herps, but am open to anything.

Acceptance at Purdue Fort Wayne is not too hard. The rub is financial support, and the competition for Graduate Assistantships is substantial. I won’t likely accept new students into my lab unless some sort of assistantship is identified. If I get a grant that has money for a Research Assistant and the person is interested in that project, then great. RAs are otherwise rare. Mostly support comes in the form of Teaching Assistantships in the department. These are awarded based on grades, scores and such, plus a dash of luck (turnover).

Working in the K-Team Lab is another thing to discuss. I am a nice guy, and want to do a good job as a supervisor, and I think I do all right. But I do have a lot going on, and also qualify as an absent-minded professor. Basically what I am getting at is that a person has to be prepared for that and be proactive about getting help and bugging me as necessary. The lab group must also help each other as well. I want folks who are independent, but not loners.

These things said, I think being in my lab at our institution is a great opportunity. Students leaving here after finishing have been very competitive for jobs and PhD programs. And we do neat things. Thanks again for your interest – stay in touch, and consider visiting!