Ecological interactions at the intersection of spatial ecology, global change, and behavioral ecology.

Joining the Lab

In the Orrock Lab, we value diversity, integrity, hard work, communication, creativity, and collaboration. We recruit and train students from all backgrounds. We work together to create an inclusive group where all members are free to share and discuss their ideas in an open, supportive environment where trust and respect are paramount. Our goal is to catalyze new scientific discoveries by cultivating an environment where people with diverse perspectives feel welcome, valued, and free to share their passion for ecology. Please feel free to check out our Philosophy and Statement on Diversity for more information.  If you are passionate about ecology, join us!

Undergraduate Students

Highly motivated undergraduates can gain research experience in the Orrock Lab via several routes: as a research volunteer, by doing research for course credit (e.g. as a senior thesis), or as a paid research technician.  Before contacting me, please visit my research and publications pages to learn more about the projects underway in the lab.

Prospective Graduate Students

I am accepting graduate students to pursue Ph.D.-level research; I typically accept students via the Integrative Biology Graduate Program. Prospective graduate students should first examine the current research in the lab and read some representative publications. When you email, please include your CV and a brief description (1-2 pages) of 2-4 hypotheses/projects you’d be interested in pursuing in the lab. This helps me see how you see your research interests fitting within the broader research themes of the lab. Current foci in my lab include the ecology of plant-animal interactions, the ecological consequences of anti-predator behavior, and the role of spatial dynamics in affecting conservation. Current study areas include the California Channel Islands, forests of Wisconsin, and pine forests of the southeastern U.S. My graduate students are expected to work hard to develop their own ideas, to think freely, and to engage other students and faculty (see below; thanks to Marty Martin at USF).

Graduate students can expect me to:

1. Provide financial support for you (not guaranteed)
2. Provide advice on ideas, literature, experimental design, and analyses
3. Help with the development and execution of research projects
4. Critique grant proposals and manuscripts
5. Schedule meetings to discuss your progress
6. Hold formal lab meetings to discuss current literature and ideas
7. Provide training in plant-consumer interactions, behavioral ecology, and spatial ecology
8. Provide insight and advice to help you navigate and advance your research and career
9. Maintain academic and professional integrity
10. Be honest and transparent

I expect graduate students to:

1. Be present in the lab (or be otherwise accessible) to facilitate discussions and interactions with me and other lab members
2. Be an independent thinker: become versed in the literature and generate your own questions
3. Be a hard worker. Success is likely to require many, many hours of work under suboptimal conditions
4. Give presentations at national meetings
5. Write manuscripts for peer-reviewed journals (and start early)
6. Write grant proposals to fund your research (see comment for #5)
7. Be responsible for your own paperwork, deadlines, and for ensuring that your research is on track
8. Be a team player: help fellow lab mates and know that they’ll help you
9. Maintain academic and professional integrity
10. Be honest with yourself and with me