There are typically many opportunities for undergrads to gain experience with molecular techniques (PCR, gel electrophoresis, microsatellite genotyping), hormone assays, and various immune assays.  I typically only accept Freshman and Sophomores into the lab, and primarily those students planning to major or concentrate in E3B. Students must show a willingness to commit multiple semesters/years towards research, and a minimum of 10 hrs per week in the lab.


MA Students

Masters students are typically accepted into the E3B program and then find an advisor during their first year at Columbia. However, if you are interested in working with me, feel free to get in touch.


PhD Students

Is my lab right for you? My policy with PhD students is one of guided independence. I encourage you to think big! What are the most interesting problems in evolutionary biology and evolutionary ecology right now and how are you going to solve them? Your goal as a graduate student should be to not only master your topic of study and become an expert in your discipline and study system, but also to push the field and further develop a body of evolutionary or ecological theory. My job is to help you succeed in doing this. I will work with you to develop questions and formulate hypotheses. I will help you become a better writer, both for scientific publications and for grant proposals. Although I will help you become a better field biologist, I will also require that you learn a variety of laboratory techniques so that you become trained as an integrative biologist that can think and work across disciplines. I firmly believe that integrative research is the future of behavioral ecology, and mastering this approach now will make you more marketable for postdocs and jobs.

Are your right for my lab? You must have (1) a strong passion for science and (2) done significant independent research. This typically means an undergraduate senior thesis, an MA thesis, or an equivalent independent project that you helped design from start to finish.

If Columbia’s E3B Department looks like the place for you, and if my lab and advising philosophy interest you, please contact me via email. Remember that first impressions are important. In your email, briefly explain what types of questions and topics interest you, what you might want to do in graduate school, and what you have done in the past. Please include a copy of your CV.



Because my interests are broad and varied, I am open to people working on a variety of systems. If you might be interested in working in my lab, please email me and we can discuss opportunities. I currently do not have funding to support postdocs, but I am happy to work together with you to write grants to fund research at Columbia. There are also a few postdoctoral fellowship opportunities available through Columbia, though they are heavily focused on conservation or teaching:

    The Columbia Science Fellows Program           

    The Earth Institute Fellows Program

Rubenstein Lab

behavior • ecology • evolution

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