Dr. Mike Vanni's Lab, Ecology of Lakes and Watersheds logo
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Opportunities for Students and Postdocs

My lab typically contains graduate students, undergraduate students, technicians and postdocs. Collaborative projects are common and much of our research is conducted in teams. Within this general framework, students of all levels (undergraduate through PhD) are encouraged to develop their own research ideas and projects.

Opportunities for Graduate Students

My graduate students generally conduct research within the general areas of 1) watershed-lake interactions, with an emphasis on how watersheds and food webs interactively regulate nutrient cycling and productivity; 2) nutrient cycling by animals in various ecosystems; and 3) carbon cycling in watershed-lake complexes. For more information on my lab's research in these areas, see the Research page.

I accept both Masters and PhD students. My students earn degrees through the Department of Zoology, which offers both MS and PhD degrees. Most of my students are also in the interdepartmental Ecology Program, which offers a Certificate to complement the MS or PhD degree. Generally, all students admitted into the MS and PhD programs in Zoology/Ecology are guaranteed teaching and/or research assistantships for the duration of their graduate studies, although I also encourage my students to apply for fellowships from government agencies and foundations.

Opportunities for Undergraduate Students

Undergraduate students are an important part of my lab, and participate in both field and lab work. Over the past several years, students from a variety of majors have worked in my lab, including those majoring in Zoology, Geography, Microbiology, Botany and Chemistry; many students are also co-majors in Environmental Science. Some students start working in my lab as early as first year, while others join my lab junior year (starting as a senior is discouraged).

Undergraduates can gain a variety of experiences in my lab, depending on interests and availability. Some students work as paid hourly employees, assisting my students and I with various aspects of research - these students generally work part-time during the school year and can work full-time in summer. Many students also pursue semi-independent research projects, many of which lead to publications on which the student is an author. Students interested in pursuing their own research projects should ideally start working in the lab sophomore year at the latest. Excellent students can also obtain summer internships to conduct research in my lab, for example through Miami's Undergraduate Summer Scholars (USS) Program and Miami's Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program on the Ecology of Human-Dominated Landscapes.

Opportunities for Postdocs and Technicians

Opportunities for postdocs depend somewhat on funding. In addition, the Department of Zoology has a postdoctoral scholars program, through which I can sometimes take postdocs. Individuals interested in doing a postdoc in my lab should contact me by email (vannimj@muohio.edu).

Opportunities for technicians (Research Associates) are dependent on grant funding. Usually these positions are posted on Miami's Employment webpage and other places.

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