Dear Prospective Student:
Thank you for your interest in the Kominoski Ecosystem Ecology Lab and the Biology Graduate Program at the Florida International University.
Our lab is a diverse, team-based learning environment composed of postdoctoral researchers, graduate students, and undergraduate students engaged in field, laboratory, and modeling and synthetic research. We also conduct research with local high school students and teachers to enhance research opportunities and science learning outcomes in Miami-Dade County Public Schools. We learn from each other in our lab, but there are common threads among ongoing projects. I look forward to discussing how your research interests interface with ongoing and future research in our lab.
For you to be accepted into the Biology Graduate Program at FIU, you need to secure a faculty sponsor, which is a faculty member who agrees to be your major adviser. This is an important decision for a prospective graduate student, and I recommend prospective students to begin reaching out to potential major advisers in summer or fall of the year prior to the expected year of fall enrollment. During this time, prospective students should (i) identify an adviser and lab with research interests that align with their own, and (ii) develop potential support streams their time in graduate school. Sources of support are research assistantships on funded grants, fellowships from the National Science Foundation or the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, fellowships from Florida International University, or teaching assistantships. Incoming doctoral students have the opportunity to submit fellowship proposals to NSF and/or U.S. EPA, and I encourage you to apply for these opportunities. For masters students, EPA star fellowships are an opportunity for support.
Please consider visiting our lab and our program during the annual recruitment weekend that is typically in late January or early February each year. The weekend allows you to attend the annual Biology Student Symposium, which highlights the research of current graduate and undergraduate students in the department. Check the FIU Department of Biological Sciences web site for next year’s dates. You may also visit at any other time that is more convenient for you.
Feel free to contact me directly for further information.