I accept inquiries on a rolling basis, and encourage prospective students to reach out to well in advance so we can discuss projects and solicit funding. However, joining a lab is a commitment, and it is important to first decide whether research itself, this lab specifically, and the University of Maine are right for you. I encourage you to explore UMaine resources before contacting me.
I welcome undergraduates with any amount of laboratory or research experience, including zero. In fact, work experience in food service, hospitality, customer service, technical jobs, or caregiving are all valuable for developing the organizational, task management, time management, and cooperation skills you need to be successful in research. Don’t be afraid to put these experiences on your resume.
For those students that have no experience and just want to find out if they are interested in research, you are welcome to shadow a lab member or try out a few basic things in the lab (with supervision) for a week or so to try it out. If you are interested in staying on, all laboratory training will be provided.
Depending on your interest in research careers, participation in Capstone or other undergraduate research courses, and available time to commit, students may perform lab maintenance and standard protocols in support of other lab members, or may lead an independent student research (literature, experiment, or data analysis) study. I encourage students who want to do their own project to reach out in their sophomore or junior year, to provide sufficient time to conduct and analyze the project.
UMaine programs to support undergrads in research
- UMaine Honors College
- Maine Top Scholar
- Capstone, including AVS 401 and 402
- Center for Undergraduate Research (CUGR)
Information on undergraduate research at UMaine, including funding opportunities, can be found here.
I am interested in mentoring students with a wide range of research interests, and career interests (beyond academia). Please contact me about potential projects based on your career goals.
Be advised that joining my lab is contingent on applying and being accepted to a graduate program for which I am authorized to take on students. This includes some programs within the School of Food and Agriculture, Graduate School of Biomedical Science and Engineering, Ecology and Environmental Studies, and Microbiology in BMB. For Microbiology, available graduate funding within this program might not apply if I am your mentor as I am only a cooperating faculty there.
Masters of Science (thesis based)
Masters of Animal Science program in SFA is thesis-based, and requires research study. Applications are accepted year-round.
Masters of Food Science and Human Nutrition program in SFA is thesis-based, and requires research study. Applications are accepted year-round.
Masters of Ecology and Environmental Sciences in EES is thesis-based and requires research participation. Students need to identify a research mentor and two other committee members to guide their research, curricula, and career development. Applications are rolling but encouraged by Jan 15.
Masters of Microbiology in Molecular and Biomedical Sciences is thesis-based and requires research participation. Students need to identify a research mentor and two other committee members to guide their research, curricula, and career development. Applications are due Jan 15 or Sep 15.
Master’s of Professional Studies (non-thesis)
The Master’s of Professional Studies degree is academic-based, and graduates are considered students only and are not eligible for Graduate Research Assistant funding. MPS students may obtain salary as teaching assistants, or through employment external to UMaine. MPS students participate in at least 6 credits of mentored research, but they do not need to design their own project or defend a thesis. Students need to identify a research mentor and two other committee members to guide their curricula and career development. Applications are due Jan 15 or Sep 15. An MPS can be created in any academic program at UMaine.
Master’s of Professional Studies in Animal Science
Masters of Professional Studies in Ecology and Environmental Sciences
Masters of Professional Studies in Molecular and Biomedical Sciences
The Animal and Veterinary Science program does not confer PhD.s at this time. However, my faculty appointments in other departments allow me to be the primary adviser of PhD students who meld animal/veterinary science and other sciences, such as biology, ecology, microbiology, etc.
Doctorate of Ecology and Environmental Sciences in EES is thesis-based and requires research participation. Students need to identify a research mentor and two other committee members to guide their research, curricula, and career development. Applications are rolling but encouraged by Jan 15.
Doctorate of Biomedical Science in the Graduate School of Biomedical Science and Engineering. Applications are accepted year-round for direct-to-lab admits, and Jan 15 to be considered for lab rotations and fellowships.
Doctorate of Microbiology in Molecular and Biomedical Sciences is not thesis-based and requires research participation. Students need to identify a research mentor and two other committee members to guide their curricula and career development. Applications are due Jan 15 or Sep 15.
Doctorate of Food Science and Human Nutrition program in SFA is thesis-based, and requires research study. Applications are due Jan 31.
Funding your graduate degree
Pleased be advised, that the University Shared Teaching Assistantship contracts are not set by me. The TAships include salary for the academic year only (9 months and not including the summer), which is paid in 12 installments; a full tuition waiver for up to 9 graduate credits per semester and up to 6 cr. in the summer, if applicable; and 50% of the cost of the UMaine health insurance policy for graduate assistants (GAs). You will be a teaching assistant for laboratory sections of general science courses (ex. chemistry, biology, physics), and your advisor much recommend you to the departments 6 – 9 months in advance.
Responsibilities include lab instruction, holding office hours, and grading of lab reports and examinations, as follows:
• Teach three laboratory sections per week in the fall semester. Teach two laboratory sections per week in spring semester and one laboratory section in the summer session. Depending on projected summer needs, some TAs teach three sections in the spring and do not teach in the summer. Each laboratory section typically has 16-22 students.
• Participate in a general TA “boot camp” (7-10 hours of training). The boot camp may occur in the week before the semester begins or in the first week of the semester.
• Complete the safety training program in addition to the University of Maine safety training.
• Attend a 1.5 hr weekly TA meeting at which safety and lab techniques and issues related to specific labs will be discussed.
• Prepare for upcoming lab experiments and have laboratory and breakout room prepared in advance for students’ arrival.
• Provide pre- and post-lab lectures and work sessions.
• Be responsible for teaching safe practices, maintaining a safe laboratory and be able to respond appropriately to a laboratory accident.
• Be knowledgeable with and able to demonstrate all lab techniques and instrument and software use.
• Grade pre-lab work, laboratory reports and other assignments. Grading involves use of an online website to download student work, upload graded work, and post grades.
• Proctor and help grade general exams (midterms and final) for lecture instructors.
• Maintain weekly office hours and be willing to make alternative arrangements to meet with students who have schedule conflicts with the posted office hours.
Postdoctoral Research Associates
I am interested in mentoring postdocs with a wide range of research interests, and career interests (beyond academia), however this is contingent on available funding. Please contact me about potential projects based on your career goals, as well as potential sources of funding.
Commitment to inclusion
Supporting diversity is an active process that involves both invitation, and support to ensure that the scientific community is and remains an equitable and inclusive place. My lab and its members welcome students from any background, and are particularly interested in supporting students from historically minoritized communities. We are committed to improving equity and inclusion in science, and we do this by agreeing to treat others with respect, participating in training and educational sessions on campus (such as equity and inclusion, implicit bias, sexual harassment, racism/sexism/colonialism in STEM, etc.), setting goals for change, reflecting on our actions and outreach materials/communications, and acknowledging that we can learn to be better scientists by first learning to be better people.
The University of Maine is an EEO/AA employer, and does not discriminate on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, transgender status, gender expression, national origin, citizenship status, age, disability, genetic information or veteran’s status in employment, education, and all other programs and activities.