This May at graduation, we say goodbye and congratulations to many of our students.
You’re all off to bright futures. We hope we have prepared you for what is next.
For 12 of our biology students, the future includes PhD programs.
“Admission to PhD programs in biology is extremely competitive. It requires a stellar academic record and a substantial research record that indicates outstanding technical skills and a strong work ethic,” said Dr. Alicia Mathis, biology department head. “PhD study is in many ways similar to an apprenticeship. Students not only have to be accepted by the university, but also by the adviser who will supervise their doctoral research.”
Learn more about our PhD bound students:
- Casey Adkins is a current MS student in Dr. Sean Maher’s lab. She starts at University of Nevada, Reno, in the department of natural resources and environmental sciences in fall 2019. She will investigate survivability and fecundity of hybridizing wood rats while quantifying parasite loads between the two species and their hybrids in PhD adviser Dr. Marjorie Matocq’s lab.
- Gaurab Bhattarai is a current MS student in Dr. Laszlo Kovacs’ lab. She starts at University of Georgia in fall 2019. She will be in the PhD program in plant genetics and breeding.
- Nathan Dorff is a current MS student in Dr. Deb Finn’s lab. He starts at Colorado State University in the Ecology Graduate Degree Program in fall 2019. He will study stream ecology under PhD adviser Dr. LeRoy Poff.
- Katy Gardner is a current MS student in Mathis’ lab. She starts at Utah State University in the watershed sciences department May 2019. She will investigate the salinity tolerances of multiple stream macroinvertebrates in lab to compare to modeled field tolerances in PhD adviser Dr. Charles Hawkins lab.
- Jordan Heiman is a current MSU undergraduate. Her adviser is Dr. La Toya Kissoon-Charles. She starts at University of Mississippi biology department in fall 2019. She will study microbiology and symbiosis in corals under PhD adviser Dr. Tamar Goulet.
- Ethan Hollender is a current MS student in Dr. Day Ligon’s lab. He starts at University of Arkansas (pending research grant funding) in fall 2019. He will study reptile conservation under PhD adviser Dr. J. D. Wilson.
- Femila Manoj is a current BS student in Dr. Babur Mirza’s lab. She starts at University of California – Riverside department of microbiology and plant pathology. She starts this summer. She will research how bacteria help plants survive various biotic and abiotic stresses under PhD adviser Dr. Gachomo.
- Chelsea Martin is a current MS student in Dr. Brian Greene’s lab. She starts at Loma Linda University in the biology department in September 2019. She will study snake behavior under PhD adviser Dr. William Hayes.
- Jenny Probst is a current MSU undergraduate. She will start University of Missouri and join their division of biological sciences. She starts in fall 2019.
- Stephanie Sickler is a MS student that graduated in summer 2018 from Maher’s lab. She will be at University of Alabama, in the biology department. She starts this May as a research assistant and as a McNair fellow in August. She will study changes in stream conditions and fish and macroinvertebrate communities before and after beaver dam removal under PhD adviser Dr. Jennifer Howeth.
- Natalie Smith is a current MS student in Kovacs’ lab. She starts at Penn State University in the interdisciplinary plant biology program in fall 2019. The program is rotation based, but Smith hopes to study molecular epigenetics.
- Jared Smothers is a current MS student in Dr. Kyoungtae Kim’s lab. He starts summer rotation at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. He will study biophysics, biochemistry and structural biology to study synaptic function. He will most likely be working under PhD adviser Dr. Jose Rizo-Rey.
“The biology department is very proud of their many achievements,” Mathis said.