Note to Prospective Students

Graduate Students

*New: The Ward Lab is now accepting applications for potential graduate students for admission in 2014

Graduate education is a critical component of a successful scientific lab, and investment in graduate education is necessary for a research university to thrive. Therefore, I spend much time and effort mentoring graduate students, and I greatly enjoy this aspect of my work. A graduate education involves a period of major intellectual growth in one’s life, and this can be a very rewarding time indeed.

 I am most open to students that are passionate about science and that are dedicated to working hard in developing independent research projects. I also provide much guidance and mentoring through this process. Previous research experience and strong writing skills are major strengths that I look for in student applications, although I am willing to take students that may have lacked opportunities for research experiences, but are excited to learn. While my lab's research program includes a number of different fields and approaches, I generally consider students that are interested in global climate change effects on plants.

Interested students should contact me before applying, especially since you will need to name potential advisor(s) in your application. The deadline for applications (through the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department) is in early December for admission the following Fall. Funding for accepted Ph.D. students is guaranteed for 5 years.

You can learn more about the application process at the EEB website:

Undergraduate Research Assistants

We actively seek undergraduate students to work in the Ward Lab throughout the year. We consider undergraduate students to be an important part of our team. In addition, one does not need previous lab experience to be included in our group. We will help train each student on issues pertaining to biological research after accepting a position with us.

It is critical for undergraduate students to receive opportunities to conduct independent research in a laboratory or field setting. This is critical for admission to graduate school, and can also be an important component of getting accepted to medical school. In the Ward lab, we have an extensive network of undergraduate students who work with us on conducting research projects. These opportunities come in the form of volunteer positions, independent study, honors research, and paid hourly positions. These positions can involve students from the natural sciences, as well as students in other majors on campus who are interested in having an experience in working with a lab group.

Please contact me if you are interested in a position ( Also, we occasionally have undergraduate job listings on the KU website for paid hourly positions.

The University of Kansas is committed to providing equal opportunity for all qualified individuals to be considered for employment, benefits and conditions of employment, educational programs and activities, regardless of race, religion, color, sex, disability, national origin, ancestry, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, or gender expression.