I am seeking undergraduate, MSc, and PhD students interested in research on wildlife ecology, conservation, management, or restoration. I am very interested in the spatial ecology of tri-trophic food webs comprised of large carnivores, ungulates, and plants. Small mammals always have a soft spot in my heart, so feel free to follow up there. More broadly, I am interested in questions about connectivity, human-wildlife conflict, road ecology, and the non-consumptive effects of predation.
About Projects: You will have the most success when you pursue what is interesting to you and identify the drivers of your creativity. As ecologists, we have the privilege to learn about nature - and what could be more interesting! With that privilege comes a responsibility to share our learning with the world and help strengthen the voice of the people and landscapes that could use some help. There really isn't enough time on this Earth for any of us, or enough life remaining on Earth for all of us, to take on a project that is not interesting to you, or helpful to others. Your project needs to be a least one of these things.
My expectations of you: I expect students to work with me to identify their motivation to do research and how the research project fits into their broader life/career goals. I expect that you will know when you need assistance. I expect that you will keep in regular contact with me and your research partners about the progress of your work. You can expect to experience highs and lows in your research project - I expect that you will learn how to ride these out as best you can. I expect that you will have work-life balance and know how to achieve it or seek help to do so. I expect that you will meet milestones and deadlines to ensure that you have success. I expect that you will identify gaps in your knowledge and skill set, and work towards filling those gaps by seeking assistance and focusing your training. I also expect that the skills you develop will become part of the research lab's collective knowledge through your own engagement with lab members. I expect that you will communicate your research findings through the following channels: (1) peer-reviewed publication; (2) academic meetings; (3) directly to stakeholders and partners; (4) the media. I expect you to confront knowledge - not the conveyors of knowledge. I expect that at all times you will treat yourself and your colleagues, institution, partners, and mentors with respect. I expect that you will tell me if I have some spinach on my teeth before, not after, a meeting.
What you can expect of me: My role is to advocate for your success, but not drag you through the mud to do something you are unwilling to do. I will identify strategies and provide advice to help you achieve your career goals. Communication is the responsibility of both parties (sender and receiver of information), and you can expect me to try my best to say what I mean, listen to what you mean, and ask questions when I do not understand your meaning. Unless it is before coffee, in which case, all bets are off.
Not my expectations: You are not expected to have/be from any particularly race, nationality, gender identity or preference, religion, age, political leaning, hobby, or physical ability. I don't expect that graduate school will be easy for you, nor the most fulfilling thing you have or will ever do, nor the most dreadful. I do not expect to teach you every method/technical skill that you need to pull off your work. I don't expect you to be an academic forever or that you will alter the course of science or that you will create the ecological equivalent of painting the Mona Lisa. I don't expect you to laugh at all my jokes but, sigh, I wouldn't mind it either.