Interested in joining the lab?

I am always interested in chatting if you have ideas about research related to work that we do in the lab. So feel free to contact me anytime to talk about opportunities. I am always looking for students that are curious, creative, passionate about research and the world around us, and have grit! 

Ph.D. position in the behavior of tropical birds


I am looking for a highly motivated, hard-working, and enthusiastic Ph.D. student to work on army-ant-following birds and to ask questions related to behavior and the ecological consequences of behavior on individuals, populations, and/or communities. Some bird species follow army ant swarms, eating the insects that the ants flush off the ground. Birds vary in their competitive interactions at these swarms and in the amount of food they acquire. I am seeking a Ph.D. student that is interested in studying the costs and benefits for birds of attending these swarms, behavioral interactions of birds at swarms, and the subsequent consequences.

Successful applicants will be expected to be part of a larger team collecting data in Panama on ant-following birds. In addition to the student having flexibility to develop particular foci for their dissertation, they will have the opportunity to be part of collaborations with the larger team.

Successful applicants will be expected to participate in a team environment, present results at professional conferences, publish results in a timely manner in peer-reviewed scientific outlets, and assist with preparation of grant proposals.

Students will be funded off of a Research Assistantship (as part of a NSF grant that was obtained for the research) for at least their first 2.5 years. For the remaining time of their Ph.D.’s, they will be funded off of a combination of Teaching Assistantships and Research Assistantships. Assistantships include a living wage, tuition, and benefits.


Qualifications: Candidates must possess a B.S. or M.S. degree in biology, wildlife ecology, natural resource management, or a related field. Ideal candidates would have 1+ years of field experience, including experience in the mist-netting of birds, and some experience in writing manuscripts. Preference will be given to applicants with proficiency in Spanish and experience in tropical avian ecology. I strongly encourage underrepresented students in STEM and international students to apply.


Contact:  Dr. Corey E. Tarwater ( Please provide a single document that includes a cover letter outlining experience and specific interests related to tropical avian ecology and behavior, curriculum vitae, transcripts, and contact information for 3 references familiar with your experience and qualifications. If an international student, please include your TOEFL scores. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until filled. Successful applicants would ideally start in January 2023.