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Graduate Master's and PhD positions are available in Dr. Derek Johnson’s research group. Students interested in ecological drivers of population dynamics and invasion in a changing world, particularly with a focus on forest insects, are encouraged to apply. The Johnson Lab asks research questions at multiple spatial scales, from local to landscape to geographic scales, and at temporal scales up to several centuries. We take a multi-tool approach to addressing ecological questions, including field research, analyzing existing large datasets, and population modeling. Applicants with strong quantitative skills and experience using R are preferred.


The Master's program in VCU Biology provided 2-years of competitive TA support. Applications for Fall 2017 admission to the MS program are due on January 15, 2017. For more information of VCU Biology click the below link.







The VCU Integrative Life Sciences PhD program provides up to 5 years of support in the form of research assistantships and teaching assistantships with full tuition covered. Stipend amounts are competitive on a national level. Additional support is available in the form of summer funds for PhD students in years 3 and up, travel funds to present at a national/international conference/workshop, and Dissertation Writing Fellowships for a full academic year where deserving students are paid to write and defend their dissertations. Applications for Fall 2017 admission to the PhD program are due on January 10, 2017.







Candidates interested in applying for either MS or PhD positions are encouraged to email Dr. Johnson ( well before the deadline with the following information: 1) an unofficial transcript (undergraduate and/or MS, as appropriate), 2) curriculum vitae, and 3) a brief personal statement describing research and career goals, and how this degree would help the student achieve these goals.

Information for Prospective Graduate Students

Virginia Commonwealth University is the state's largest public university, with approximately 31,000 students including over 6,000 postgraduates. The campus is located in Richmond, Virginia, is walking distance to the James River, and in easy access for research in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Piedmont, Virginia Coastal Plain, and Chesapeake Bay. For more information about VCU, please click the link below.

Photo by Derek Johnson

Photo by Derek Johnson

Richmond is the capital of Virginia with a population of approximately 215,000 and a metropolitan area of 1.2 million. The city was ranked in the top 100 cities in which to live in 2013 by, and as one of the top world destinations in 2014 by Frommers. The cost of living is modest. The city is located at the fall line of the James River, thus offers beautiful scenery and great kayaking adjacent to the downtown. The historical sites and museums that the Richmond area has to offer are extraordinary for North America. The city is conveniently located approximately 2 hours from the ocean, mountains, and Washington D.C., and has easy access by car or train to the northeastern U.S. For more information on Richmond, VA, please click the button below.

Photo by Morgan Riley

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