Joining the Lab
Prospective Graduate Students
Students interested in working in the Altizer Lab can focus on a variety of projects and study systems, but we especially seek students for the following projects, to be co-advised by other faculty in the IDEAS graduate program. Each of these projects will involve a combination of theoretical, field and experimental approaches:
Animal movement and host-pathogen dynamics, including the consequences of anthropogenic change for migratory species and their parasites
Climate change effects on host-parasite distributions and dynamics
The community ecology of host-parasite interactions, applied to monarch butterflies and their pathogens, parasitoids and resource competitors.
Students will join the world-class Ecology graduate program at the Odum School of Ecology (ecology.uga.edu), and may also be eligible for admittance to the NSF-funded Graduate Research Training program in Interdisciplinary Disease Ecology Across Scales (ideas.ecology.uga.edu) or the Integrative Conservation Program (icon.uga.edu) at UGA.
We seek motivated graduate students with demonstrated research experience, strong academic records, critical thinking skills and clear interests in theoretical ecology, species interactions, and/or the consequences of anthropogenic change for wildlife ecology and conservation. Interested applicants should send a cover letter indicating their research and training interests, and a copy of their CV to firstname.lastname@example.org. (The more relevant and detailed information you provide, the greater the likelihood of a timely response.) Prospective students are are also encouraged to contact other graduate students or postdocs in the lab to ask them about the lab dynamics and life in Athens. Other faculty at UGA who have similar research interests (and who you may wish to contact) include: Dr. Richard Hall, Dr. Nicole Gottdenker, Dr. Sonia Hernandez, Dr. Jeb Byers, Dr. John Drake, Dr. Andrew Park, Dr. Courtney Murdock, Dr. Pej Rohani, and Dr. John Gittleman. Students are encouraged to visit the University of Georgia's Odum School of Ecology webpage for more information on graduate programs, deadlines and the application process.
Prospective Postdoctoral Researchers
We do not currently have grant funding for new postdoctoral research associates. However, prospective postdocs are encouraged to apply for extramural funding and fellowship awards to undertake work in the lab. Potential funding sources include: NSF Postdoctoral Fellowships in Biology, NIH Kirschtein Postdoctoral Fellowships, Ford Foundation, and Smith Fellowships in Conservation Biology. Please contact Dr. Altize in advance of deadlines to discuss potential applications and project ideas.
Prospective Undergraduate Students
We work with several undergraduate students each semester or summer who are interested in research projects related to insect ecology and evolution, or the ecology and evolution of infectious diseases in natural populations. If you are interested in research opportunities, please write to Dr. Altizer to inquire about future openings. Students in the lab can receive research credits or hourly pay, depending on funding availability. Student who are interested in developing honors thesis projects, applying to the CURO Research Assistantship Program (any UGA undergraduate), or the CURO Summer Fellowship program (Honors students only) are especially encouraged to apply.
Note that UGA also has an actively funded Research Experiences for Undergraduates program that provides summer stipend to students interested in working on the Ecology of Infectious Diseases: https://daphnia.ecology.uga.edu/reu/
One factor to consider is that you must budget enough time to complete your project. For research projects for semester-long credit, hours and data collection depend on the project and number of research credits. For a 4-credit research project, we expect that you will work 10 hours per week during the regular academic semester. Students working for hourly pay are expected to commit 8-10 hours per week during the academic term.