Saturday, April 28, 2012

A Ph.D. in Biology, here I come!

I am really excited to announce that I got into graduate school for the fall!

I have been accepted into the Doctoral Program in Biology for the Fall 2012 semester at City University of New York, which is coincidentally my first choice for grad school.

Accepted! #winning
I really couldn't be happier and more excited. For more, check out my statement regarding being accepted that has since been immortalized on the YouTubes:

What I don't talk about in the video is why I wanted to do CUNY's bio Ph.D. program so badly.

Well, for starters, I found this really awesome lab, and they have room for me. The professor leading the lab has a Masters in environmental engineering, a Masters of science in journalism, a Ph.D. in biological oceanography, and did his post-doc in molecular biology. That's a really awesome, well-rounded background.

The lab he runs is interested in coral reef ecology (with an empasis on the mesophotic coral reefes and fluorescent proteins), marine microbial ecology in relation to biogeochemical cycling, and identifying and developing novel compounds from marine and reef organisms. I don't know which sounds the coolest. I could go on and on about this lab, but I'll spare you.

Secondly, the classes I'd have to take are classes I'd want to take. Students are required to take one course from each of the following four areas
  • Behavior
    BIOL 72407 Animal Behavior II
    BIOL 72406 Behavior and Evolution

  • Ecology
    BIOL 76005 Population Ecology
    BIOL 76001 Ecology
    BIOL 76003 Community Ecology

  • Evolution
    BIOL 70901 Population Genetics
    BIOL 70503 Evolution
    BIOL 70803 Molecular Evolution

  • Systematics
    BIOL 70603 Principles of Systematics
In addition, students are required to take:
  • One graduate statistics course consisting of both lecture and lab. This can be fulfilled with either Biostatistics I (BIOL 78201 - lecture and lab) or Mathematical Biology I and II (BIOL 78001 lecture and BIOL 78002 lab). 
  • One 3-credit graduate seminar course (For example: Seminar in Evolution BIOL U79001, Seminar in Ecology BIOL 79006, Seminar in Biomathematics BIOL 79008, Seminar in Systematics BIOL 79011, Seminar in Zoogeography BIOL 79012, Seminar in Animal Behavior BIOL 79022). 
The above list is a balance of I-can't-decide-what-I-want-to-take and courses I know I need to take in order to make myself a better rounded student. While I expect my path to change my study focus, I hope to pursue an molecular ecology approach to coral reef ecology with an emphasis on microbial ecology and identifying novel compounds from reef organisms.




  1. I am so happy for you! Any advice for someone looking to get into a Ph.D program?

    1. Hey thanks! That's actually something I should write about (and something you and I could talk about directly). The most important thing is making direct contact with the professor you want to work with the most. A conversation over e-mail, even only if it's the exchange of a few e-mails, can make a huge difference.