Fox Lab:Note to prospective grad students

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I am accepting students interested in a variety of problems related to population biology, ecology, conservation biology, and evolution, especially
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<font size=4>To prospective graduate students
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I am accepting students interested in a variety of problems related to population biology, ecology, conservation biology, and evolution, especially of plants.
My students work on their own projects, i.e., their projects are not simply a small subset of my own work. Generally these projects are, of course, related, but the point of graduate school is to help train you to do science -- which means that I aim to help you develop your own work, rather than cutting off a piece of my own and giving it to you. Sometimes this is a bit more difficult, but it is, after all, the point of graduate school! Some people who work with me are very strong in natural history, others in quantitative methods and computing. Obviously it's great if you are strong in every possible area -- but your best preparation is curiosity, and strong motivation.
My students work on their own projects, i.e., their projects are not simply a small subset of my own work. Generally these projects are, of course, related, but the point of graduate school is to help train you to do science -- which means that I aim to help you develop your own work, rather than cutting off a piece of my own and giving it to you. Sometimes this is a bit more difficult, but it is, after all, the point of graduate school! Some people who work with me are very strong in natural history, others in quantitative methods and computing. Obviously it's great if you are strong in every possible area -- but your best preparation is curiosity, and strong motivation.

Revision as of 21:14, 28 February 2009


To prospective graduate students

I am accepting students interested in a variety of problems related to population biology, ecology, conservation biology, and evolution, especially of plants.

My students work on their own projects, i.e., their projects are not simply a small subset of my own work. Generally these projects are, of course, related, but the point of graduate school is to help train you to do science -- which means that I aim to help you develop your own work, rather than cutting off a piece of my own and giving it to you. Sometimes this is a bit more difficult, but it is, after all, the point of graduate school! Some people who work with me are very strong in natural history, others in quantitative methods and computing. Obviously it's great if you are strong in every possible area -- but your best preparation is curiosity, and strong motivation.

If you think you may be interested, or want more information, the best thing to do is to contact me. Also, take a look at this web site to see what kinds of research activities our lab currently has, and what kinds are feasible. Admission to our graduate program is competitive. If you're interested in applying, I will immediately need to know something about your GRE scores, your grades, and what your preparation is (courses, research experience, etc.) so that I can tell you whether your application is likely to be successful. The department lists its minimum requirements on its web site; most of my students surpass these requirements by quite a bit.

I recognize that your grades may well not reflect your capabilities. If you feel that's the case, you should realize that we need information that supports such a statement: for example, solid achievements in research or in other academic programs can outweigh poor undergraduate grades. But you will need something of the kind to support an application; statements that "I know I can do well if you give me a chance" don't lead our admissions committee to positive decisions when there are so many other applicants with visibly strong records.

Two final points. First, if you're interested in working in this lab, you should plan to visit the lab. Second, just so there are no misunderstandings, please read this list of general expectations for everyone working in the lab.

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