Join Us!

Socially distanced lab gathering: (left to right): Cam, Chelsea, Casey, Lily, Gloria, Leslie, Jennica, and Roksana

The EcoEvo Lab is searching for Master’s students to start in Fall 2024 in the Biology Department at California State University, Northridge. Research in our lab generally focuses on community ecology and the factors that allow species to coexist. In particular, we’re interested in how genetic variation and/or rapid evolution on contemporary time scales alter the outcome of species interactions and affect coexistence and genetic diversity in communities. Although students are free to work in the system of their choice, most work in the lab has focused on (a) differences between invasive and native populations of a broadly distributed plant species (Medicago polymorpha) or (b) interactions between protozoa and bacteria that live inside the leaves of carnivorous pitcher plants. We try to use experimental approaches that bridge the gap between evolutionary biology and community ecology. For more information about our research, visit our webpage.

We work hard to maintain an equitable environment and an inclusive lab group. Our lab meetings focus as much on issues facing marginalized groups in ecology and evolution as they do on science. Our Lab Handbook will give you an idea of who we are and the lab environment, and prospective students should make sure they are comfortable with this atmosphere before they apply. We provide opportunities for students from historically marginalized groups to succeed and strongly encourage such students to apply.

Interested students should contact Casey terHorst ( before applying to determine whether we would be a good match for each other. This preliminary step is very important for any graduate program in ecology and evolution that you might be interested in. Send an initial email inquiry with a description of your previous research experience and current research interests, along with a CV or resume. You do NOT need to have a specific project in mind when you apply.  

Northridge is located in the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles and provides access to many different natural habitats. The location is within a short commute of Venice, Santa Monica, Hollywood, or most locations in the Valley. The Biology program at CSUN has a reputation of turning out excellent Master’s students who often continue on to top-tier Ph.D. programs or successful careers in government and non-profit groups. More information about the Biology program is available at