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Join Our Team

The latest opportunities to join the W.A.D.E. Lab,

and advice for prospective students.


Research Opportunities

We do not currently have open opportunities at the WADE lab. Opportunities will be listed here when they are available. Check back often!

Advice for Prospective Students

So you want to pursue a graduate degree, and you've landed here. Welcome! I'm so glad you're considering my lab and the University of Washington.

I accept students through the School of Aquatic and Fisheries Sciences. I am interested in working with students with a demonstrated interest in marine mammal evolution, ecology, and conservation, as well as genomic research techniques. This page is always up-to-date with all current funding opportunities available in my lab. If you are interested in one of the opportunities listed on this page, please send me an email that includes (1) your CV; (2) a statement of your research experience and interests, your skills related to the position you are interested in, and your career goals; and (3) your unofficial transcript.


If no positions are listed on this page then I do not currently have funding to support students. If I do not have funding - or you are not interested in the specific projects I have listed - but you would still like to pursue a graduate degree in my lab, you will be responsible for finding funding (through grants or fellowships) to support your graduate research. If this is your goal, you can send me an email that includes (1) your CV; (2) a detailed description of your proposed graduate research project and plans to fund that project; (3) a statement of your research experience and career goals; and (4) your unofficial transcript.

I am deeply committed to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in our field, so students who contribute to our variety of backgrounds, opinions, and approaches are especially welcome. In particular, I encourage you to contact me if you are a first-generation college student or a student from a low-income background, if you are a member of a racial or ethnic minority, if you identify as a woman or as LGBTQIA2+, or if you have a disability. UW is a great place for people who are historically underrepresented in the sciences, with many support resources across campus.

As much as I would like to meet with all of the prospective students who contact me, I get many more such requests than I can accommodate. I try to remain as equitable as possible by refraining from meeting with prospective students until after the UW admissions process is completed. I will, however, read each email I receive carefully. If your background and experience fit well into the research goals and culture of my lab, I will respond to encourage you to apply.

Before you get started, I offer a bit of advice. Graduate school is a big commitment, a sacrifice of both time and money, and does not come with a guarantee of a better job upon completion. You will be asked to dedicate many years of your life to a niche research topic with singular focus. You will spend the majority of your time studying, in a lab, or in front of a computer. You will be expected to independently learn many complex aspects of research - and you will spend hours struggling along the way to gaining that new knowledge. Before committing to this, be very sure that this type of dedicated research is how you want to spend your time. Choose this path knowing that it is a labor of love.


The best way to gain more insight into your long-term career goals, and how a MSc or PhD might advance those goals, is to take time off after undergraduate school to figure things out (see my story). Try working in a lab, or gaining some field experience through seasonal field research opportunities. Read the literature broadly, both scientific and non-scientific. I highly recommend Robert Peters’ Getting What You Came For: The Smart Student’s Guide to Earning an MA or a PhD for folks considering grad school and for those who are already there. Steven Campana’s 2018 article, “Twelve easy steps to embrace or avoid scientific petrification“, contains lots of good advice for aspiring scientists. Seek out advice and guidance from those who have pursued graduate research. Along the way, take note of what excites you

Don't be afraid to invest in your future happiness - it inevitably leads to future productivity, as well. When you have a clear idea of (1) your research goals during graduate school, and (2) your long-term goals after completing a degree, graduate school will still be there waiting for you. 

General advice for prospective students

I receive a high volume of requests for research opportunities and guidance on how to apply for graduate school. I wish that I could respond thoughtfully to all of these requests, but there is not enough time in the day. If you are a student who is considering graduate school and looking for general advice on the application process or the graduate school experience, these resources may be helpful to you:

  1. How to become a marine mammal scientist - from the Society for Marine Mammalogy Education Committee

  2. Marine Mammal Commission Career Resources page

  3. American Society of Mammalogists' Career Resources page

You may also be interested in joining these networks:

  1. Society for Marine Mammalogy Student Chapters

  2. MARMAM listserv - a professional network of over 15,000 marine mammal researchers worldwide. Research opportunities are often posted here.

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