Senior projects

Third-year students are welcome to apply to do senior projects or senior theses in the lab. These projects can be in any area that can be addressed by theoretical, statistical, mathematical or computational methods. I am primarily interested in the evolution and spread of infectious diseases of humans, but have been enticed to collaborate on projects about mangroves and water pollution; breast cancer; crop pollination by wild bees; and many other areas.

Projects do not have to have a strong technical component to be approved. Many successful projects simply lay out a clear question and describe what is known, what is unknown, and what must be learned. For a project from our lab to qualify as a ‘‘thesis’’, it should make some sort of theoretical or computational contribution. In some cases, the decision on whether a project qualifies as a thesis may need to be made after research has begun.

3-unit projects: it is my belief that the technical nature of our work makes 3-unit projects unlikely to be worthwhile. If you are positive you want to do a 3-unit project, and it has to be with me, it is on you to make a clear case about what you want to do and why you think you can be productive in limited time.

Research projects

Undergraduates in 2nd, 3rd or 4th year can request my collaboration on applications for research funding. Typically, this means NSERC USRA funding, but other options are available.

You should be aware that the primary criterion for USRA funding at the departmental and higher levels (although not necessarily for me) is GPA. Unless your GPA is quite strong, your chances are not good. The biology undergraduate secretary can provide further information.

To apply

  • Send me an email message with a 300-word description of your research interests. These can be very specific, or more broad. They can refer to biological areas of interest, or to technical approaches (ie., mathematical modeling of populations, phylogenetic analysis), or both. The description is the most important part of your application, and will also help me make additional suggestions for research directions. It should be as clear and concise as possible.
  • Send a copy of your transcript
  • You many optionally include a CV or a short personal statement with your email message.
  • Applications received by 15 December will be given first consideration

Please attach PDFs, not Word documents.