Graduate students

I am interested in creative and motivated individuals to pursue Ph.D. and Master’s graduate work at MSU.  The Brudvig Lab seeks to build linkages between basic ecology and its application (e.g., restoration ecology, conservation biology) and I will encourage my students to conduct strong, theory-driven science with clear application to pressing environmental problems.  My primary objective is to help you develop as an independent scientist.  I do not have a one-size-fits-all approach to this, but, rather, seek to provide the necessary advice, encouragement, and collaborative environment for each of my students to develop their own research questions and lay the foundation for their own careers in ecology.

Interested individuals should contact me with a description of their research interests and experience, a copy of their CV, GRE scores, and undergraduate GPA.  First, however, please take a look at some of my publications and research projects.  A strong match in research interests is very important to me, though I do not require students to work within my systems (but they certainly can).  I expect Ph.D. students to develop their own research questions – I won’t give you a project, but will help you along the way to finding one.  Please note – Plant Biology’s application deadline is December 15th (see for application details); I strongly encourage interested prospective students to contact me in advance of this deadline to discuss graduate school.

Finally, I strongly encourage prospective (and current) students to pursue fellowships to fund their graduate research.  In addition to being prestigious (and helpful) forms of support, fellowships are fantastic opportunities to think deeply about and organize your research ideas.

NSF GRFP, EPA STAR Fellowship, WWF Kathryn Fuller Graduate Fellowship, NSF DDIG, Garden Club of America

Some useful resources:

Spencer Hall’s compilation of graduate student and postdoc resources:

Hank Howe’s advice to graduate students (or those contemplating graduate school):

Marissa Baskett’s set up useful links for folks at all career stages in ecology


Individuals interested in postdoctoral work in the Brudvig Lab should either apply to advertised positions (posted here and on ECOLOG) or contact me via email with a copy of their CV, reprints, and a brief research proposal IF THEY ARE INTERSTED IN PURSUING THEIR OWN FUNDING (e.g., Smith Fellows Program, NSF Minority Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, NSF PRFB, WWF Kathryn Fuller Postdoctoral Fellowship) or would like to discus the possibility of writing a grant proposal to fund postdoctoral work.

Undergraduate students

Hard working MSU undergraduates interested in gaining experience in ecology should contact me via email to discuss opportunities.  There are two general ways to become involved: 1) By conducting undergraduate research or 2) by becoming a research technician in the Brudvig Lab.  During the academic year, technician opportunities might include various laboratory and data processing tasks, whereas during summer months, work will likely be in assisting with field data collection at research sites in Michigan, South Carolina, or Iowa.  Please see descriptions of my research projects for more details.