Prospective Students

Thanks for your interest in the Leaf Lab. I am interested in recruiting strong Masters and Ph.D. candidates with an interest and enthusiasm for using quantitative methods. Current students in the lab are engaged in a range of fisheries and ecological research. I generally accept students only when I have funding available, and advertise these available positions on the AFS job opportunities website. The Division of Coastal Sciences does offerCOA Graduate Fellowship Opportunities for exceptional students.

If you are interested in learning more about the work done in my lab your first step is to spend some time on this website and the Division of Coastal Sciences and USM Graduate School’s website to learn more about graduate study at USM.

If you are interested in applying for a position in my lab, contact me by email ( and send:

  1. Cover letter (one page that details relevant and specific information about your experiences and abilities beyond those itemized in your CV).
  2. CV –include your GRE scores (unofficial are fine but percentile scores must be included for each) and contact info
  3. Legible copies of transcripts (Unofficial or Official).

Include these in a single PDF file labeled with your last and first name; example: “Leaf_Robert_application_packet.PDF”. Sending a file titled “CV.doc” or “research statement.PDF” is a guarantee that it will be lost or overwritten.

The application process:

  1. Your first step will be for you to decide if the program is right for you by looking at this website and the website of the Division of Coastal Sciences at USM. You may want to contact some current graduate students to discuss with them their experience in the laboratory (highly recommended).
  2. If you are interested please submit the requested single PDF file containing your cover letter, CV, and transcripts. Give me an opportunity to look at your packet.
  3. I will contact you by email and we can arrange a visit to USM.
  4. We should work together to determine if the program is right for you and to identify whether it is appropriate for you to apply to the graduate school at USM.
  5. Faculty at USM’s Div. of Coastal Sciences will generally not admit students to the program without arranging sponsorship by an advisor – applying to the Div. of Coastal Sciences without talking with an advisor and also understanding the availability of funding is a waste of your valuable time and energy.