Dr. Jennifer Balch, at Penn State University is interested in taking Ph.D. students who propose to work at the intersection of disturbance dynamics, ecosystem thresholds, and coupled human-natural systems.
Dr. Balch’s research group examines how global environmental change – including shifting fire cycles – alters plant communities and ecosystem function. Her research balances cutting-edge fieldwork with analysis of global ecological data to examine how human changes to fire patterns are encouraging forest-savanna transitions, degrading ecosystems, and increasing greenhouse gas emissions. Together with an international community of collaborators, we work across disciplines and scales – from individual organisms to entire ecosystems.
To Apply: If you are interested in working with Dr. Balch, please email her at email@example.com with the following:
1. A paragraph or two telling her a bit more about what type of science makes you most excited and what types of research questions you are interested in (please take a look at her published papers and research themes to see what aspect of my her interests you specifically),
2. your c.v.,
3. an “unofficial” transcript,
4. a writing sample,
5. and a brief description of your career goals or what you hope to get out of graduate school.
There are possible opportunities for highly competitive students to get support via teaching and/or research assistantships. But I also strongly encourage my future students to explore opportunities for outside funding. Please see external funding opportunities listed by the Penn State Graduate School.