Research Oppurtunities in our Lab
We are interested in undergraduate students who are willing to commit themselves to working in the laboratory for at least one year (generally Sophomores or Juniors). You are expected to work for 10-12 hours a week during this time and so become a reliable and productive member of our team. A long term commitment from you is necessary to accomplish our joint goal of creating a rewarding research experience for you. In return for your hard work, you will receive training in cutting-edge research methods and reporting skills that will significantly increase your marketability after you have completed your undergraduate degree. You may receive research credits and in some cases financial support over the summer.
Interested parties should submit a CV and an unofficial transcript to Dr. Baums.
Field Courses taught by Dr. Baums
BIOL 482 Coastal Biology with field trip to Curacao (Spring Semesters)
Students are eligible to apply for:
- Pennsylvania Commonwealth Scholarship ($1,000) from the Penn State Office of Global Programs
- Science Travel Grant (variable) from the Office of Science Engagement.
- Schreyer Travel Grant (variable) for students in the Schreyer Honors College.
Prospective Graduate Students
In my laboratory we study ecological and evolutionary hypotheses in marine systems. We focus on research projects that can contribute to both our basic understanding of ecosystems and have applications in conservation biology. Our approach is often multidisciplinary recognizing the fact that any one method or way of thinking can only bring light to a small aspect of such complex systems as coral reefs. This implies that lab members are free to pursue new avenues of research and explore techniques that we have not used before. Collaborations with other scientists are strongly encouraged. Some students are recruited to work on already funded projects. Other students come in with some initial fellowship support and we work together to obtain funding for their research projects. Most PSU programs require graduate students to be teaching assistants for one or two semesters as part of their degree. Please see the lab website for a list of current projects and publications.
We collect our samples using SCUBA in remote locations. Sampling expeditions to tropical coral reefs are exciting and rewarding but also only provide the most basic comforts. Students who join my lab are excited about this prospect and do not mind the basic conditions. If you have questions about any aspect of student life, contact my current PhD students directly. They'll be happy to answer your questions.
I am looking for academically excellent students with a broad background and wide-ranging interests. You should be open minded, team oriented and self-motivated. We work hard and enjoy what we do. The rewards, to me, are endless. While others dread going to work, I have not once been bored with what I do despite long hours and quite a bit of frustration when experiments fail. The excitement of scientific discovery combined with the beauty of coral reefs and the marine environment in general keep me going. If this sounds like something you would like to devote the next few years of your life to, we should talk.
My students generally either enroll in the Biology or the Ecology program at PSU. The two programs differ in the number and type of classes you have to take so you should put some thought into what classes you are most interested in before deciding which one to apply to. It is a good idea to fill out a pre-application form for either program. You should submit your application sometime in November to ensure full consideration for fellowships.
Prospective Post Docs
We currently do not have any open Post Doc positions.