Marine Mammal Ecology Lab

Graduate Studies Info

I plan to take a graduate student starting academic year 2022-2023.

Please read below:

Dr. Dietmar Schwarz and I are looking for a student interested in examining relatedness of harbor seals in the Salish Sea. As such, we are looking for someone with experience in molecular techniques; a strong quantitative background and familiarity with marine mammals are an advantage as well. I plan to be on professional leave during 2022-2023, so your first year at Western would be interacting in person with Dr. Schwarz and remotely with me. Also notice that the position is contingent upon the authorization of teaching assistantships by the university. It is likely that we will be able to offer a TAship to the succesful applicant; however, the final decision will not be made until February or so. In the meantime, I am looking forward to your application.

Thank you very much for your interest in the Marine Mammal Ecology Lab at Western Washington University. The lab receives several inquiries from students interested in conducting graduate work. To provide the best experience for everybody involved, I attempt to take 1-2 students every year to begin in the fall quarter.

Once I have decided if I will take a student and if you are interested in being part of the lab, please email me at the following information before December 17th of 2021:

  • Unofficial copy of undergraduate transcript (a scanned copy is fine).
  • Copy of either a curriculum vitae or a resume summarizing your work and academic experience.
  • A 1-2 page statement of purpose outlining a) your short- and long-term career goals, b) why you want to be part of this lab, and c) how your experience and qualifications make you a good fit to work with me.
  • Names, addresses, telephone, and email of three references, whom I will contact if needed.

During the winter break, I will contact serious applicants (those who email all the information required) to let them know that I am unable to take them as students or that I would like to get to know more about them by meeting them in early January. I have learned that it is extremely important to meet promising students in person, whenever possible. This contact not only provides me with an opportunity to get to know you better, but also allows you to see what the laboratory and WWU are like. I also encourage you to meet with my current graduate students and with other graduate students to see what the Western graduate experience is like. Finally, you should explore in detail the website of the Department of Biology at Western to learn more about the Department, the University, and the application procedures.

After I meet with applicants I let them know of my decision toweards the end of January, before the deadline to officially apply to WWU.

Do keep in mind that this is my unofficial way of getting to know you, and that you will have to go through the formal process of applying through the University, regardless of my response to you. The Department of Biology gives priority consideration to students that apply by February 1st. Make sure you apply through the Marine and Estuarine Science Program of the Department of Biology.

Thanks for your interest in the laboratory! I am looking forward to hearing from you.