What We Do

Graduate Research
Laboratories at the University of Massachusetts integrate state of the art research with programs that train the next generation of scientists. We train graduate students through the Organismal and Evolutionary Biology Graduate Program and Molecular and Cellular Biology Graduate Program.

Undergraduate Research
Learn through doing As a University of Massachusetts undergraduate student you have an opportunity to gain practical training in some outstanding research laboratories. Our research group has trained students from the Microbiology, Chemistry, Biology and Computer Science Departments. They have gone onto positions at the Harvard Medical School, Qteros, Rutgers University and Baystate Hospital, accepted into medical school at St. Louis University, New York University and University of Massachusetts Medical School and joined PhD programs at the University of Michigan, University of Pittsburgh, North Carolina State University, Dartmouth University, New York University, University of Tennessee, UConn Health Sciences and Johns Hopkins.

Great Expectations We have limited space in our research laboratory, but we invite students serious about learning molecular and evolution biology, microbiology, genomic and bioinformatics methods to stop by the laboratory or send us email. We expect students to have professional work ethics and by the spring semester of their junior year to write research proposals that define and possibly fund their senior research projects.

Funding Opportunities for Undergraduate Scientists Undergraduates in our research group have been supported by grants from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Life Science Junior Fellows Program, Institute for Cellular Engineering. UMass Commonwealth College and the Harvard Forest Summer Research Program. There are also many other programs on campus and in the area that support Undergraduates working on research projects.

Presenting and publishing research

Scientific Communication - Posters, Presentations, Papers and more
Scientific Publishing Dos and Don’ts for Authors and Reviewers

Be a scholar in your area of research
* Actively read the emerging literature and be aware of presentations at conferences (even if you don't go)
* Set aside a time once a week to browse journals and search PubMed or Web of Knowledge
* Create an email alert using search terms at PubMed or WoK

Make high quality publishable figures and tables as you generate the data
* It is hard to go back through the data and rediscovery what you knew a year ago
* Figures are a big part of telling the story
* These figures are good to have ready for communicating with me
* Practice telling the story for lab meeting
* Do learn R and use R when appropriate to make figures - it will also look good on your CV
* Check out this guide to creating publication-quality figures (using free software!)
by Benjamin Nanes and the PLoS One guide for making figures

I do expect all graduate students to lead the publication of their manuscripts
* Do send me a draft of the manuscript in the form required by our target journal
* Not all reviewers will be experts in your area (e.g. a microcompartment paper is likely to be reviewed by at least one reviewer with no knowledge of microcompartments and a Cphy paper is likely to be reviewed by someone unfamiliar with Cphy)
* Please use Zotero (www.zotero.com) for your references so that we can share reference databases.
* Please OpenDocument format files for publication. They are default in OpenOffice, LibreOffice and NeoOffice
* The use of OpenDocument files will alleviate formating problems that result from translating Microsoft formats (there seem to be less problems translating the other direction) and facilitate editing references


Here is a list of meetings that people in the lab have attended in the past few years. Graduate students are recommended to attend at least one conference a year. Undergraduate students should participate in the annual UMass conference and juniors and seniors should consider attending a national conference such as ASM, ISMB or ESA and/or the local NEMPET. Funding is available from many sources including: conference organizers, our graduate programs, training grants (e.g. ICE) and research grants.

* American Society for Microbiology (ASM) June 20-26, 2016 in Boston
* Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology (ISMB)
* Evolution
* Ecological Society of America (ESA)
* ARPAE Energy Innovation Summit
* Argonne Soil Metagenomics
* DOE Joint JGI User Meeting
* DOE Terrestrial Ecosystems Science Meeting
* Harvard Forest Annual Symposium
* Boston Bacterial Meeting
* Plant and Animal Genome
* Keystone Conference on the Gut Microbiome
* Discover Conference on Rumen Microbiology
* Northeast Microbiologists; Physiology, Ecology and Taxonomy (NEMPET)
* UMass Undergraduate Research Conference
* Molecular Biology and Evolution (biennual 2015)
* GRC on Cellulase & Cellulosomes (biennual 2015)
* GRC on Applied & Environmental Microbiology (biennual 2015)
* GRC on Microbial Population Biology (biennual 2015)
* Congress on Gastrointestinal Function (biennual 2015)
* Clostridia (biennual Aug 29-31, 2016 at Dartmouth)
* International Society for Microbial Ecology (biennual Aug 22-26, 2016 in Montreal)