Prospective Students

DivingSoMAS is one of the strongest places in the country to pursue a degree in marine science. We have a wide diversity of faculty in biological, physical and geological oceanography. In addition, we have faculty working on issues in population, community and ecosystem ecology. Long Island provides exceptional field sites in habitats ranging from saltmarshs, rocky intertidal, mudflats and seagrass beds. I am interested in accepting motivated students with excellent research experience.

Over the course of their dissertation, students will work with me to develop an independent research project. I work as closely as needed with students to ensure that their PhD is creative, novel and meets their professional goals. I suppor t students generously with both my time and grant support, but the latter is not intended as a substitute for one’s own proposals. For example, several of my current students and I have submitted proposals to support their own projects.

Interested students should read the material on our research group’s web page, read several of the papers that have come out of our lab and determine if our interests are a good match. I am comfortable accepting students interested in any area of benthic community ecology, involving either empirical or theoretical approaches. Applicants interested in working at the interface of experiments and models are particularly encouraged to apply. At the time of application, I do not expect students to know their dissertation topic, but I do expect students to have an idea of the types of questions that interest them. All eligible students should also apply for an NSF graduate research fellowship. These fellowships and those administered by the university are awarded in large part on GRE and GPA considerations. Thus, while I am not too concerned with GRE scores (my greatest consideration is research background), the fellowship selection committees are, so it is in your best interests to study for the GRE and take the exam seriously. If after reading this and the other lab information, you are interested in applying to my lab, contact me via email at


Recent Posts

Welcome New Graduate Students!

We are excited to welcome Leah Reidenbach and Dylan Cottrell to the lab in fall 2017!

Leah completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Central Florida in 2013 where she worked with policy makers and educators to produce high school level education materials on the topic of sea level rise. This was followed by a marine lab internship at the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation where she researched the effects of eutrophication on seagrass and macroalgae, as well as macroalgal physiology. Next, she completed her Master’s degree at California State University, Northridge in 2017.  Her thesis was on the effects of ocean acidification and eutrophication on the green bloom-forming macroalga Ulva spp.

Dylan completed his undergraduate studies in 2013, whereupon he served in the Peace Corps for two years in Malawi. Since his return, he has been working on a program to commercially farm seaweed.

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