Over the decade or so, it's become increasingly obvious
that the aspect of my career that I find most rewarding and enjoyable
is interacting with and training graduate students. As such,
I'm always interested in prospective students.
Check out the projects page for
examples of the types of research my students conduct. If you're
certain of your chosen career path, it's probably best to enter
the Ph.D. program directly. However, if you're unsure as to what
aspect of evolutionary biology truly ignites your intellectual
curiosity, a Master's Degree might be appropriate. I'm happy
to accept both M.S. and Ph.D. candidates, although the latter receive
higher priority for funding.
I can advise students in either the Department of Biological
Program, of which I am chair, or in our Bioinformatics
and Computational Biology degree program, which is a function
of the Initiative for Bioinformatics and Evolutionary Studies
Pullman, Washington, home to Washington State University,
is only 8 miles away and we enjoy tremendous interactions with
biologists at WSU. We have joint journal clubs, an informal
we collaborate on research projects and team teach graduate courses.
Between the two universities, there is a tremendous group of
evolutionary biologists, rivalling any in the country, especially
considering recent hires.
Life in Moscow is
unique. It's a small university community (approximately 20,000
residents), with the attactive aspects typical of a college town.
If you like small towns, this is a cool one. In addition, although
we're right on the edge of a large agricultural area (mostly
wheat, peas, and lentils), we are relatively close to spectacular
recreational opportunities, such as camping (car- and wilderness),
hiking, skiing (downhill & cross country), boating (both
flat water and incredible white water), climbing, fishing, hunting,
mountian biking, etc. (it's amazing that I got tenure).
Here are a few examples of potential research projects for
Experimental phylogenetics, in collaboration with Holly
Wichman and Eva
Top. We are interested in constructing known viral and plasmid
phylogenies to complement simulations studies of the performance
of various phylogenetic estimation procedures. I have five years
of funding for this project through the Center for Research on
Phylogeoraphy of white-headed woodpeckers (Picoides
albolarvatus), in collaboration with Mike
Webster (WSU) and Rita Dixon (IF&G).
This is a cavity nester that requires mature stands of ponderosa
pine. This is a habitat in decline and there are therefore important
conservation issues (species-specific and ecosystem wide).
Dispersal genetics and phylogeography of northern Rockies endemics (e.g., Ascaphus truei & A. montanus, Plethodon idahoensis, Dicamptodon aterrimus, etc.), in collaboraton with
Dr. Lisette Waits and the Center for Research on Invasive Species and Small Poplations (CRISSP). We're still interested
in using genetic data to assess overland versus riparian dispersal and investigate other range-wide and landscape level features that structure genetic variation.
Phylogenetics and speciation of western American chipmunks, Tamias, in collaboration with Dr. John Demboski, Denver Museum of Nature and Sciences.
If you're interested in these or any other projects that use
phylogenies to address questions in evolutionary biology, give
me a call at (208) 885-9049 or send me an e-mail.