Postdoctoral associates:

Most recent members of the lab have been postdoctoral associates working on projects associated with grants from NSF or other agencies, or on projects for which they themselves have received funding from granting agencies within the U.S. or abroad. Recent postdocs with their own funding have chosen either to work on one of the lab’s current projects or to extend other work they have been doing to a broader geographic and coevolutionary perspective through collaboration with our lab. These projects have included field studies, laboratory/greenhouse studies, or mathematical modeling studies.

Sabbatical visitors:

We welcome faculty colleagues from other universities who would like to spend a sabbatical in our lab, working on some of the lab’s current projects or collaborating on analyses of their own data from a coevolutionary perspective.

Graduate students:

I will not be accepting any new graduate students for fall 2020.

I am interested in prospective graduate students who want to pursue research on the process of coevolution, and the ways in which evolving interactions organize biodiversity over broad geographic areas. Potential current projects include evaluation of how interactions between species may be evolving rapidly amid environmental change, how natural selection on networks of interacting species varies among contrasting environments, or how coevolution may be reshaped at the geographic boundaries of an interaction. Most students over the years have used some combination of field studies, laboratory or greenhouse experiments, and molecular techniques. Some have used a combination of empirical and mathematical approaches. If you are interested in questions about the coevolutionary process, please take a look at the recent publications from our lab to see if some of the questions and approaches match your research interests. If they do, then send me an email telling me about your background and overall research interests. 

How to be a successful graduate student and enjoy the process:

 I have developed a set of guidelines for what I think it takes to be a highly successful graduate student, based on my experience in training graduate students and postdoctoral associates during the past several decades. These guidelines are just that: guidelines to help you think about how to structure your time and interactions with colleagues in ways that may help you move your research forward productively and enjoyably.

To view a PDF of the document, click here: Thompson On being a successful graduate student version 9

I  revise this document from time to time as graduate student life and the process of conducting science in academia continue to change. over decades,I have handed out this little treatise to all beginning graduate students in my lab, and also to others entering the lab, so that we can use it as a basis for working together. The document is intended only as an an aid to help new graduate students learn how to focus on what is important and unimportant as they formulate a dissertation, organize their time, interact with colleagues, and prepare for a professional career. It is how to go about the process of balancing the major demands of graduate life, once you have figured what major research questions you want to answer.