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I am seeking applicants for a Ph.D. position at UMBC in the Department of Geography & Environmental Systems. Starting date is Fall 2020.

In general, we focus on community ecology and the factors that promote species coexistence in space and time, both in aquatic and urban ecosystems. I am interested in a student to join our efforts to understand the role of native plant biodiversity in enhancing ecosystem services on urban vacant land.  Experiments on campus and in Baltimore City are underway whereby plant functional diversity has been manipulated in light of different regional species dispersal pressures to understand urban community assembly. The successful applicant will work closely with members of the lab on these projects, and develop research questions independently, yet aligned with the overall goals of the work.  The focus can include or combine any number of the project’s elements: fieldwork, experimentation, and/or meta-analysis/synthesis. Ideally, the student will have earned a Master’s degree before starting here at UMBC.

The student will have the opportunity to interact with researchers associated with the Baltimore Ecosystem Study Urban Long Term Ecological Research Site.  Quarterly and Annual meetings will serve as main venues to dissemnitate their findings as well as network within and outside the academic community. The student may also have the chance to be involved in group synthesis efforts I am involved with here in the US and abroad.

Ultimately applicants will need to apply to the graduate program at UMBC.

However, I will only consider applications who contact me directly via email (, indicating your intention to apply. In your inquiry please include: 1) a brief introduction; 2) an academic CV;  3) GRE scores if available; and 4) a description of your career goals and how you feel working on this project will further those ambitions.

UMBC is a culturally diverse campus situated near Baltimore, and within close proximity to Washington DC.  Access to transportation is quite convenient, making visiting the mid-Atlantic and Northeast region easy. In terms of natural surroundings, Maryland is often considered “America in miniature” given the large range in ecosystem types ranging from wetlands, swamps and bogs, tidal flats and beaches, to upland forests.

My lab takes seriously this excerpt from the UMBC vision statement: “Our UMBC community redefines excellence in higher education through an inclusive culture that connects innovative teaching and learning, research across disciplines, and civic engagement. We will advance knowledge, economic prosperity, and social justice by welcoming and inspiring inquisitive minds from all backgrounds.”