Prospective students

For admission for Fall 2025, I encourage interested students to reach out via email sometime in July-September 2024 . One of my professional aims is to mentor MS and PhD students in conducting applied research that has implications for management and conservation, while also developing their skills for designing, implementing, and interpreting the data from these types of studies after graduation. Though my work has generally been focused on bats*, I am open to mentoring students exploring research questions involving other types of wildlife, especially if the study will lead to better conservation outcomes for these taxa.

There are a few options for funding for work in my lab. Students are funded through research assistantships associated with grants that I have procured, through teaching assistantships, or via fellowships. Prospective graduate students can apply to the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Studies (NRES). This department is ideal for those interested in comparatively applied questions. Student can also apply through the graduate Program in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology (PEEC), which is ideal for those interested in relatively “basic” questions in ecology and evolutionary ecology, though applied work can still fit in here. PEEC is a standalone graduate program and is not part of any one department or college.

I currently have students in both PEEC and NRES and we can determine which unit is the most appropriate for you. Applications for PEEC should be due on 1 December 2024 and for NRES on 15 December 2024 (if this is out of date, check the program pages for updates). PEEC and NRES currently do not require GRE scores; instead, applications are evaluated through consideration of research experience, past academic success, public engagement/service, and potential for future success. Please also check out the Graduate College at UIUC, which has fellowships relevant to students applying to my lab. These are excellent means for student stipend funding when grant funds or teaching assistantships are unavailable: Illinois Distinguished Fellows, Doctoral Merit Fellowships, and Master’s Merit Fellowships. I will nominate eligible and competitive applicants for one or more of these fellowships.


Lab members (Katie Fitzgerald, Joy O’Keefe, Lizz Beilke, Reed Crawford, and Andrew Bennett) and collaborator (Nicole Castaneda) at a conference in Fall 2023.

* If you are particularly interested in working with bats, I recommend you check out these organizations. The regional bat working groups each maintain an email list with regular but manageable numbers of postings. These lists are excellent ways to learn about jobs and graduate positions, training courses, resources, and details on each organization’s annual or semi-annual meetings.  

Midwest Bat Working Group

Northeast Bat Working Group

Southeastern Bat Diversity Network

Western Bat Working Group

North American Society for Bat Research