Join Us!

Left to right: Jamie, Melissa, Shannon, Nickie, Zoë, Casey

The EcoEvo Lab is always in search for students to recruit to the Master’s program at California State University, Northridge. Research in the lab generally focuses on community ecology and the factors that allow species to coexist. In particular, I am interested in how rapid evolution on contemporary time scales alters the outcome of species interactions and affects coexistence and genetic diversity in communities. My research combines theoretical and experimental approaches that bridge the gap between evolutionary biology and community ecology.

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 West LA, 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. More information about the Biology program is available at http://www.csun.edu/biology

Interested candidates should send email inquiries to casey.terhorst@csun.edu describing their career goals and previous research experience. Include a CV/resume, if appropriate. You should also give a sense of your research interests, but these need not be specific plans, as students will be encouraged to develop their own independent projects during their first year. Underrepresented groups in ecology are especially encouraged to apply.

In general my philosophy is to allow students to develop their own independent research projects. Students with more ownership of their research are likely to be more invested in it. Also, I think it’s important to be able to take an idea from inception to completion. If you’re expecting to be handed a project when you walk in the door, then this is the wrong lab for you. However, just because I expect you to be independent does not mean I expect you to be completely on your own. My door is always open for graduate students and I’m happy to provide advice whenever it is needed. I also try to meet with my students on a weekly basis to stay in touch with what’s going on. I expect my students to work hard, because it’s essential to success in graduate school…but I also expect them to have a life. Grad school should be the best time of your life.

Here’s an article by John Thompson with advice for graduate students. You should read it. I agree with most of what John has to say here.