Undergraduate studentsWe are continually looking for motivated and engaged students that have a specific interest in ecology, microbiology, or environmental research to join the Martiny lab. There are two ways that UCI undergraduates can participate. First, they can receive research credit (Bio 199). With this path, the student is usually paired up with a senior person in the lab and focuses on an ongoing project in the lab. For two or three quarters, the student will learn generally about this project and be exposed to a variety of research methods. After this time, the student can then choose to proceed on a more independent research project, where they help to develop a particular research question and take charge of data collection and analysis for their project. While a student is signed up for research credit, they are expected to devote at least 12 hours per week to research (at least 3 units), participate in lab meetings, and meet weekly with Dr. Martiny.
Another path for undergraduate students is to join the lab for hourly pay, including work study. The availability of these positions vary, depending on lab needs and availability of funds. These positions involve either general lab maintenance (media-making, dishwashing and sterilizing glassware, ordering supplies) or assisting with a particular research project. This path can be a good start for students that are interested in getting a taste for a lab, but need a job and are not sure they want to try independent research. Hourly students often receive less advising, however, many students that have started in this role go on to do research for credit.
Students that are interested in joining the lab should read over the projects on this website and then fill out and email an application to Dr. Martiny (jmartiny at uci.edu).
Graduate studentsUCI is a particularly exciting place to study microbial ecology and evolution. In addition to this lab, there are a number of other faculty in the Dept. of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology that have interests in microbial ecology and evolution (including Steven Allison, Adam Martiny, Alejandra Rodriguez Verdugo, Kathleen Treseder, and Brandon Gaut). We also collaborate with Katrine Whiteson on human microbiome studies in the Dept of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry. The UCI Microbiome Initiative brings together more than 30 labs across campus that are performing microbiome research. EEB also has excellent groups in evolutionary ecology and molecular evolution, offering a broad background for graduate students for courses and committees. Finally, there are strong ties with faculty that study global change in the Dept. of Earth System Science in the School of Physical Sciences.
We often have openings for PhD students in the lab. Successful applicants need to have some research experience (not necessarily in ecology or microbiology) and some quantitative skills, whether in math, statistics, or computer programming. We try to recruit students with a variety of backgrounds and interests, from community ecology to biogeochemistry to molecular microbiology to evolutionary genomics. Graduate students in the lab lead their own research projects, but are encouraged (but not required) to initially choose a system in which the lab has some experience. Students are usually supported by a mix of fellowships, grants, and teaching assistantships. If you are interested in joining the lab, please send some information about your research interests and a CV to Dr. Martiny.