Information for prospective students

If you are interested in joining my lab as a graduate student, you should study this entire page carefully. Before you go to the trouble of applying, assure yourself that this would be a good place for you by studying the entire Chesson lab website. Pay particular attention to the research thrusts of the lab, and study the posted reprints.

Why apply for graduate study at the University of Arizona?

The University of Arizona is one of the best places in the world for the study of ecology and evolution.  The university has an extraordinary location in the Sonoran Desert nestled between mountain ranges, wilderness areas and national parks, offering a diverse range of natural environments from desert basins to tall pine forests, and even provides opportunities for aquatic and marine research. Located near Mexico, it provides convenient access to diverse subtropical and tropical environments, and provides numerous transition zones between different biotas. As the first place in the world to establish a department of ecology and evolutionary biology, the University of Arizona has a tradition of top class research in these disciplines, and is home to some of the most original and creative thinkers in the field today.  In their rotation experience, graduate students sample research in a variety of different labs, leaving them with an intimate understanding of diverse ideas and techniques, placing them well to decide their own research direction, and plan their own studies.  The University of Arizona has an intellectual vibrancy rarely encountered and hard to create that fosters interactions between scientists of widely different backgrounds and experiences.  It is nothing less than an exciting place to be.

Important advice to applicants

Who should apply

All students and postdocs in the lab have interests in theory even if they do not do any theory or modeling themselves. Students interested in collecting data relevant to theoretical issues, especially in community ecology, or who wish to develop theory, are the ones most suited to the lab. The physical facilities of the lab are designed for the study of terrestrial plants and the development of theory, but the lab has also been home to aquatic and marine students.

Where to apply

In the fall of 2005, the Chesson Lab relocated to the University of Arizona, in Tucson. Here it is ideally placed for the study of communities in variable environments. Students interested in PhD studies are advised to apply to the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, at the University of Arizona. Students interested in theory might consider applying to the Program in Applied Mathematics at the University of Arizona.  Those interested in statistical ecology might consider applying to the Graduate Interdisciplinary Program in Statistics.

How to have your application noticed

Students are advised that many more applicants contact me than I can possibly check into. If you would like me to take note of your application, please send me electronic copies of your application materials as soon as you have them ( Send me your GRE percentile ranks (not raw GRE scores) and GPA by email when they are available. Email and electronic copies are preferred to hard copies for all materials. Please avoid sending paper copies of application materials.