Research opportunities in the Ecosystem Ecology and Biogeochemistry Lab
The Roberts Lab of Ecosystem Ecology and Biogeochemistry takes a team-oriented approach to addressing scientific questions of interest to our group. Our team consists of a mix of postdoctoral research associates, research associates and assistants, graduate students, and undergraduate researchers. Our group tends to increase in numbers during the summer field season with the addition of field and/or lab technicians, research experiences for undergraduate (REU) interns as well current and recent undergraduate and recent high school graduate assistants.
Current openings for research in the lab are posted in the right column on this page and ads are posted on the Ecolog listserv (a great source for ecology jobs) as well as different scientific society websites.
Independent Research Opportunities
One of the most beneficial ways to evaluate graduate school or a career in scientific research is the correct path for you is by having the opportunity to carry out an independent research experience as an undergraduate. The Roberts Lab is very supportive of providing these opportunities to undergraduate students that share interests with our group having supported at least one summer research intern each summer since 2009. Dr. Roberts has also served as director of the LUMCON REU site program since 2011. Links to examples of previous REU intern projects in the Roberts Lab can be found at the bottom of our Teaching page. Interested students should look for future posting for internships positions here and on Ecolog and/or send an email to Brian with a detailed description of the kinds of research experience you to gain and explaining why the Roberts lab is the right place for you to achieve your goals.
Summer Field and Lab Technicians
The Ecosystem Ecology and Biogeochemistry Lab at LUMCON often hires summer technicians to help with field and/or lab work. Summer technician positions can be a great way to gain experience to help while contributing to on-going research projects. These positions are typically available to recent graduates, current undergraduates, and/or recent high school graduates. Look for ads posted here and on Ecolog for future opportunities with our group.
Graduate Student Research Opportunities
The Roberts Lab is always interested in hearing from prospective students that share similar interests in biogeochemistry and ecosystem ecology with our group. You can learn about many of our current and recent research projects and see our recent publications on our Research and Publications pages, but our lab is also interested in pursuing compelling questions even if it takes us into new areas.
Committing to a graduate school program represents a significant departure from the experiences gained as an undergraduate student. The education focus shifts from being centered around classes to being centered around developing yourself into an independent scientist through reading scientific publications, discussing ideas with others and designing field/laboratory/modeling studies and experiments. As a graduate student, you will have the opportunity to continually challenge your mind and work with smart and interesting people. However, you will also be asked to work a lot of hours and certainly won't get rich during the process, so it is important you are sure that graduate school is the right path for you.
As you evaluate potential graduate programs and mentors, it is extremely important that you find a good mentor match, not only in terms of research interests but also mentoring philosophy and approach. As an advisor, my goal is to help students grow into creative, collaborative, and productive independent scientists. I strive to help my students discover and refine their research passions, develop skills to productively pursue those passions, and make progress towards ultimately fulfilling their goals whether those lead them to a career in academia, at a research institution, governmental agency, non-profit sector or some other pursuit. I enjoy interacting with my colleagues and therefore expect my students to want to interact with me and others in our lab group as well as at LUMCON and their home institution. My research group takes a team-oriented approach to our research projects resulting in everyone pushing (and helping) each other to do the best possible research we can. Students (as well as others in the group) are encouraged not to be afraid of constructive criticism since the ability to both give and receive criticism leads to more successful science.
LUMCON does not grant degrees, so my students are enrolled at (and receive their degrees from) one of the universities and departments that I hold an adjunct faculty position. These currently include the Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge (Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences), Nicholls State University (Department of Biology), or Tulane University (Departments of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Earth and Environmental Sciences). I suggest you check out the different programs and see which might be good fits for you.
If your research interests are similar to mine and think my mentoring style is a good fit for you, please feel free to contact me. To help me assess how well you might fit within our lab, please send me an email with the following information:
1) a statement of why you want to attend graduate school and why my lab seems to be a good fit for you;
2) a description of your previous research (and other) experiences that have excited you about pursuing graduate school in ecosystem ecology and biogeochemistry;
3) the names and contact information of the people that will provide your letters of recommendation (letters are not necessary at this time; and
4) Your GPA and GRE scores (including percentile scores)
Thanks for your interest in the Ecosystem Ecology and Biogeochemistry Lab!
Clink on the position title to link to the full ad
REU Internships for summer 2017
-supported by Coastal Waters Consortium-II
-will join our group for a 10 week internship that includes the design and completion of an independent research project