For prospective Ph.D. students
We are always looking for new students.
We love coral reefs, but let's be honest: we are basically data scientists. Most of our time is spent coding and analyzing large data sets using linux, python and R. That said, every lab member spends 4-6 weeks out of the year in the field somewhere - Australia, FL Keys, or sometimes Micronesia - collecting samples, performing genetic crosses and other field experiments with corals. This is excellent fun but I have to warn you: you will not be happy in the lab if you don't also enjoy working with data, coding, and continuously learning new statistical methods to investigate population genetics and adaptation. Of course, incoming students rarely have any of these skills - after all, learning all this is the whole point of Ph.D. education - but if you don't see yourself in the future as a person who loves data, our lab might not work for you. Conversely, if you are excited about the possibility to combine cutting-edge data science with some of the best fieldwork you can possibly get in biology, please drop Misha an email!
Every PhD student in our lab works on an independent project they choose over the first 1-1.5 years, so by the end of the program (which is typically 5 years) they have 2-3 publications as first authors. Our EEB program guarantees salary and tuition for 5 years although you would need to TA 6-7 long semesters. Most incoming students are offered a fellowship to free them from TA in the first year or (at the discretion of the student) to make sure their summers are covered, too, irrespective of the funding situation of the PI. There is about $10,000 in internal grants that a student can apply for with a good chance of winning ($2,000 startup pre-candidacy and $8000 dissertation improvement grant post-candidacy) to fund their own research expenses, plus some travel money for conference participation in the last year.
Our students typically graduate with quite a few publications - here is a list of papers published by Matz lab students while still in grad school.
Last but not least: Austin is very different from the rest of Texas, it is a very liberal and fun city, similar in spirit to Portland, OR (but with much more sunshine). Portland even borrowed Austin's slogan, "Keep [insert city name] weird".
Please contact Misha if you are interested in joining the lab: matz[at]utexas.edu
We welcome volunteer help! Our undergrads get an opportunity to work on their own sub-projects, are included as co-authors on peer-reviewed papers, and win research awards (see Rachel Wright's website). If you want experience in a coral genomics lab and can contribute 10 or more hours per week for at least one long semester, please contact Misha (matz[at]utexas.edu).