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Interested in joining us?

Prospective Undergraduate Students

We are always looking for motivated, energetic, and dependable undergraduate students who are interested in gaining research experience. During Fall and Spring semester, we have projects that can be completed at the NEU Marine Science Center. We also have several competitive summer paid positions available each year. Ideal candidates will have some background or interest in ecology and/or marine biology. Students should be willing to be flexible with their time and work hard, sometimes long hours under less than ideal conditions in the field. If you are interested or would like more information, please send an email with the words UNDERGRAD ASSISTANT in the subject line to rhughes[at] Please include a brief (3-5 sentence) description of your background and research interests.

Prospective Graduate Students

I welcome hard-working, creative, and motivated students who are excited about pursuing graduate studies in marine ecology and conservation.  I am happy for students to work on ongoing research projects in my lab or pursue separate topics of mutual interest.  Either way, my goal is for my students to develop independent research projects of broad scientific interest that can inform conservation and management strategies. 

I strive to provide my students with both the intellectual and financial resources that they need to succeed.  For that reason, I maintain a relatively small lab of 2-3 (mostly PhD) graduate students, 1 postdoc, and 1-2 undergraduates.  I expect my students to seek independent funding for their research for 2 reasons: 1) External funding allows greater flexibility and time for pursuing research; and 2) The ability to garner research funding is a critical component of success as a scientist, whether your goal is academia, government, NGO, or private sector employment.

Because of our small numbers, and because there are times when we will need to all collaborate on the same project, lab dynamics and cohesion are important to me.  I am most interested in students who not only have a strong work ethic and desire to conduct research but also an ability to communicate effectively and work with others. Prior to a decision by you or me, it will be important for you to visit my lab to make sure we are a good fit.

If you are interested in talking with me about graduate opportunities in my lab, please:

  1. Contact me via email with the following information - GPA and GRE scores, along with relevant coursework, research experience, research interests
  2. Go to the Northeastern University Graduate Studies website for application information for the Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology program.  Deadline: December 15.
  3. Begin thinking about potential independent funding sources for your research.  Some potential ones include: National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship, Fastweb Scholarship Search, Ford Foundation Diversity Fellowships