Join Us

Thank you for your interest in joining the Restoration Ecology Lab at Virginia Tech. I welcome inquiries from students and postdocs interested in developing research on all facets of ecological restoration.

Graduate students

I do not plan to take new PhD or Masters students in Fall 2021.

To inquire about opportunities in my lab, please send me an email at and tell me about your research interests (the more specific, the better), what you would like to get out of graduate school, and why you would like to join my lab specifically. Please also include a CV and contact information for three references.

The application deadline for our department is in mid-December, but I encourage you to contact me well before then. Our college offers some graduate research fellowships and TAships, however I encourage you to apply for other pre-doctoral fellowships, such as the NSF GRFP, which typically have earlier deadlines. Application procedures can be found on the college website.

PhD students who join my lab can expect to have broad latitude to pursue a wide range of problems in restoration ecology, including projects with diverse taxa, methods, and interdisciplinary approaches. MS students can expect greater project definition, with the balance tipping towards independence as students hone their critical thinking, communication, and time management skills. I expect graduate students to be curious about ecology, tenacious in pursuing and communicating their research, and supportive of their lab mates and colleagues. I also value strong organizational skills, compelling writing, and a good sense of humor.

Graduate students in my lab can expect to receive support from me to develop rigorous study designs, competitive proposals and manuscripts, statistical analyses, and professional habits and networks. My lab has instrumentation to measure the structure and composition of vegetation communities, perform basic soil sampling, and conduct GIS landscape analyses. The lab is large and conditioned with three wet benches, gas and compressed air hook-ups, a fume hood, and autoclave, and plenty of natural light.


To inquire about opportunities for doing research in my lab, please send me an email at and tell me about your research interests (the more specific, the better), what you would like to get out of an undergraduate research experience (that is, how it fits into your goals beyond Virginia Tech), and why you would like to work in my lab specifically. Please also include a resume and contact information for one reference.

At a minimum, I require undergraduates working with me to have at least a 3.0 GPA.

Doing independent research is one of the best opportunities at Virginia Tech for students who are considering careers in science. Undergraduate researchers in my lab can expect me to spend ample time helping them develop and implement a project, critically read scientific papers, analyze data, and communicate their results in various media. In return, I expect undergraduate researchers to participate in lab meetings, work independently, come to meetings prepared, and complete tasks by the times we agree upon.

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