Thank you for your interest in the Bahr Marine Ecology Lab. The Bahr Lab welcomes Masters and Ph.D. students with strong quantitative, statistical, experimental, writing and communication skills. Currently, I am only accepting students who have their own research funding secured via grants or scholarships (see below for resources). This page will provide you with all the important information regarding our program as well as the philosophy of our laboratory. Please read the following before contacting me.

Research Interests

The Bahr Lab is focused on providing scientific knowledge and understanding to help better conserve, manage, and protect our fragile marine ecosystems. Therefore, our research interests may be broad but have a common theme of investigating biotic response to environmental change across organizational levels (i.e., individual, community, ecosystem) to better improve management and understanding. I encourage students to come up with their own research questions and ideas that align with research interests of the lab.


Expectations

Before contacting me, it's also important to ask yourself whether you will likely be a good fit for the lab. 

Some key characteristics that I look for in graduate students are: 

  • Strong written and oral communication skills
    Evidence of scientific writing course, scientific manuscripts, public presentations

  • Strong quantitative skills and statistical background

  • A strong sense of self-sufficiency, innate motivation and willingness to work hard to excel

  • An ability to think outside the box, e.g., to come up with novel questions, tackle problems in novel ways, etc.

  • Integrity, passion, kindness and team-oriented - we can’t do it alone :)

Once in the lab, I expect that students will read broadly in the current literature; attend, engage, and present at lab meetings, departmental seminars & scientific meetings; and devote themselves to learning the scientific techniques and analyses that are required to conduct and publish a high-quality scientific study. I also expect my students to be good colleagues to others in the lab by helping to maintain lab morale, lab organization & cleanliness, and to contribute to the projects of lab mates in the same way that they will help others.


Graduate Programs Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi (TAMUCC):

Biology: MS only
Designed for graduate students who wish to become knowledgeable leaders and professionals with an in-depth education and specialized skills in the field of biology. This program promotes competency in the application of scientific methods of investigation to studies in biology with an emphasis on urban and coastal issues. Students develop a sense of creative independence that will allow them to practice in and contribute to a variety of professions and fields of scholarship.

Marine Biology: MS or Ph.D
The Marine Biology degree is unique because it is an interdisciplinary degree program (IDP) combining the strengths of three universities within the Texas A&M University System; Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Texas A&M University-Galveston, and Texas A&M University. Students can choose courses from any campus and form committees with any of the participating IDP faculty. The principal strengths of the program lie in the international recognition, scholarly productivity, and extramural funding of its diverse faculty, as well as the strategic location of two campuses on the Gulf of Mexico.

Program


Funding

Students in the Bahr Lab may be funded in a variety of ways, including from their own grants/fellowships (see examples below), university fellowships, teaching assistantships, and research grants.

Students are expected to apply for nationally competitive graduate fellowships such as the NSF GRFP, NDSEG, NOAA Nancy Foster, NASA FINESST, EPA STAR, Gates Millennium Scholars Program, Margaret A. Davidson Graduate Fellowship, NDSEG, and the NOAA Nancy Foster that would enable them to be self-supported during at least part of graduate school. Grant applications offer students the opportunity to hone potential research ideas, ensure applications to the TAMUCC graduate program are clear and concise, and demonstrate a true interest in joining the lab.

TAMUCC also offers an extensive list of internal and external funding opportunities.

Because these fellowships rarely cover the duration of a student’s graduate career, students will generally work some semesters part-time as a teaching assistant (TA) or research assistant (RA). Both RA and TA may or may not be related to your area of research. These two options require 20 hours weekly workload.


Next Steps

If you believe you are 1. a great fit for the Bahr Lab and 2. a strong candidate for acceptance into a TAMUCC Graduate Program, please complete the following inquiry and then email me to introduce yourself and include the following information:

  1. A written statement (~1 page) that details a) your research interests/ideas, b) your past research experience, c) your idealized goal after completing a graduate degree, and d) why you want to work in my lab

  2. A CV (including GPA and unofficial GRE scores)

Currently, I am only able to accept graduate students that come with their own funding (e.g., such as one of the graduate fellowships listed above).
For candidates whose interests, skills, and background are a very good fit with the lab, I may be able to work with you to help you prepare one or more of these fellowship applications. In general, I suggest getting in touch in early Fall for entry into graduate school the following year.

My main commitment as an educator and researcher is to promote and support diversity, equity, and inclusion in the sciences. So please consider applying for a position in my lab if you are a first-generation college student, a student from a low-income background, a member of a racial or ethnic minority group, if you identify as a woman or as LGBTQ+, and/or if you have a disability.
Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi is a wonderful university and would be stronger with you in it.