Undergraduate Research Assistants
Prospective Graduate Students
The RISK lab is accepting graduate students for Fall 2020 admission. I encourage students to reach out well in advance to evaluate whether the lab is potentially a good fit. In general, our lab addresses questions related to the evolutionary ecology and human health using the concept of One Health. We mix methods from social sciences and biological sciences, including interviews, behavioral observations, and laboratory analysis of pathogens and health biomarkers. Students with experience in these or related methodologies will be most competitive. Depending on your interests and experiences, graduate students may choose to design their research around one of our current projects or develop an independent project related to the anthropology of human health. Incoming graduate students may choose to come in through the Department of Anthropology or Intercollege Graduate Degree Program in Ecology at Penn State and have the opportunity to join the vibrant Centre for Infectious Disease Dynamics (CIDD). Students interested in Human Ecology can learn more about our excellent and integrative program here.
I am happy to discuss specific opportunities with prospective students. Through inquiry emails, I would enjoy hearing about your research interests, the research questions you hope to address during graduate school, and a little about the methods you are interested in using. I understand (and expect) that these interests will evolve or even change completely, but it is important to articulate your early interests as well as the experiences that have shaped them. We look forward to hearing from you!
Undergraduate research assistants
We enjoy working with talented and self-motivated undergraduate research assistants. Undergraduate students typically work on field collected interview data or biological samples, depending on the current project needs. Research, whether it be staring down a microscope for nine hours or coding interviews, can be tedious. Through dedicated mentoring, we work to provide experiences that will not only help students develop technical skills, but also engage in the scientific process - from inquiry to generating new knowledge. This process can be extremely rewarding, but requires a significant investment from mentors and students. We therefore ask all undergraduates to begin on a trial basis, allowing for mutual evaluation and project development. Students interested in turning their research experience into an independent project, in which they "own" a portion of the project, may opt for course credit.
Our lab is highly integrative and our members come from diverse backgrounds with varied long-term goals.
Previous undergraduates have come from different disciplinary backgrounds and have gone on to graduate school, veterinary school, and medical school. For current opportunities check HERE or contact us. Inquiry emails should include your major, GPA, availability (estimated hrs/ week) and a brief description of any relevant courses and/or experiences.