Current openings

We currently have two paid undergraduate internships available in the lab for summer 2016. 

1) Using UAV’s to monitor bison movement and vegetation dynamics at the Dunn Ranch Prairie

2) How does prescribed fire affect tick behavior in riparian and upland forests?

While I encourage interested students to email me with questions about the projects, note that to be considered for the positions students must submit all application materials electronically with the online application form (listing one of these two projects as their preferred option) by the Jan 18th deadline at www.ngrrec.org/internship

We are based at NGRREC's Jerry F. Costello Confluence Field Station - on the banks of the Mississippi River.

We are always looking for people who are inquisitive, creative, hard-working, friendly, and who enjoy the challenges of making new discoveries. If this sounds like you then read on....


I am always interested in adding excellent people to my group who have demonstrated high levels of productivity and novelty in their PhD research, and who wish to continue in science. In general, I will give postdocs liberty to develop and pursue their own research programs, within the context of the labs general interests. In exchange, I expect them to be productive colleagues who will bring creative ideas into the lab, challenge us to think in new directions, and help mentor and develop less senior members of the lab.

Periodically, I will have funding from my own grants to hire postdoctoral researchers. For anyone hired by these means, I expect them to help run the proposed project(s) while, at the same time, develop and actively pursue their own interests that compliment the broader research goals of the lab. Of course, I am also very excited when postdocs acquire their own funding and am happy to work with strong candidates to apply for fellowships and grants.

If you are interested in becoming a postdoc in our lab then email me with a short statement of your research interests and experiences, relevant publications, a brief CV.



Currently I cannot advise graduate students directly through NGRREC, as we are not a university. Stay tuned, as I soon hope to be able to advise graduate students through an adjunct position at Washington University in St Louis. Email me for updates on this process.

Once this is complete, I expect funding for graduate students to arise from time to time, associated with particular grants. I also encourage students to apply for fellowships and grants to help support their own projects, and will work with suitable students to help obtain such funds. There is also potential for hosting international students with overseas scholarships.

Key criteria for all potential students are: (1) proven academic track record (research, data analysis & write-up); (2) ability to work well with others and alone; and (3) enthusiasm for their work. Your research background could be in any suitable area of ecology, and interested students are encouraged to look over our lab publications to familiarize themselves with the research we conduct.

Our lab offers a strong collaborative and interdisciplinary working environment. While there are certainly existing projects to which students can attach, I also encourage students to develop their own research ideas that may or may not overlap with current projects. While one’s own research needs to be highly focused, I always want students to keep the ‘bigger-picture’ in mind. To facilitate this, I support a graduate education that spans a wide variety of organisms and ecosystems, that considers a broad array of questions, and that incorporates numerous theoretical, experimental, and observational approaches. I appreciate that not all graduate students are interested in pursuing academic careers - which is fine - however, I do want students who are focused on tangible outcomes from their studies, and in particular peer-reviewed scientific papers. 

If you are interested in pursuing graduate studies in the lab, and you think you might be a good fit, please email me with (1) a statement of your research interests, (2) a brief CV, (3) any publications you might have, and (4) a brief statement about why you're interested in working in our lab.

Volunteers / Undergraduates / Interns

Each year we have space for a handful of volunteers / undergraduates / interns to assist with various projects. Potential activities include assisting with experiments (both in the lab and field), data entry, video tracking, processing and identification of samples, etc. We are especially interested in folk with good technical and / or quantitative skills, to assist with modeling projects, statistical analysis, and automated tracking.

Undergraduates and interns who have more time will have the opportunity to work on their own projects.  Please email me if interested in gaining some valuable experience volunteering in a research laboratory. 

Dell Ecology Lab @ NGRREC  • One Confluence Way East Alton, IL 62024  •  Copyright 2015