Join the lab!

Join the lab!

Interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in the Carey Lab?

The Carey Lab is recruiting enthusiastic and highly self-motivated students interested in joining the lab at the Ph.D. level to study freshwater lakes and reservoirs. We seek conscientious and energetic students who can work independently while participating in a fun and highly collaborative lab environment, and I encourage you to read through the lab’s Mission Statement and other resources posted on this website to learn more about our group.

Available research opportunities include studying the biogeochemistry and plankton ecology of Virginia drinking water reservoirs and developing freshwater ecological forecasts for managers.

The Carey Lab is part of the Virginia Tech Stream Team, an internationally-recognized group of faculty and students focused on understanding the community and ecosystem ecology of aquatic habitats.  This vibrant research group provides an ideal environment for conducting graduate work within an interactive and supportive community of freshwater and ecosystem scientists. For more information on the Stream Team Research Group, please see:

Interested students should send an email letter of inquiry to Cayelan (cayelan @ containing an overview of your research interests, why you are interested in joining the lab, your C.V., an unofficial transcript, information on your past research experiences, and contact info for three references. Please feel free to contact me with questions about the application process, graduate school at Virginia Tech, or potential research opportunities. I encourage students interested in applying for an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship ( to contact me before submitting so that I can assist with your application.

The Carey Lab is committed to improving diversity in STEM. We are dedicated to recruiting, retaining, and mentoring individuals to promote diversity and equity in our research group, and all lab members are expected to uphold and support Virginia Tech’s Principles of Community.

Timeline: I generally interview prospective students who are well-aligned with the lab group and available funding via video teleconferences throughout the late summer and fall semester, and then will invite competitive applicants to submit their materials for December admission deadlines. Virginia Tech’s Department of Biological Sciences application requirements, deadlines, and guidelines can be found at: We no longer require GRE scores as part of our application process.


Interested in postdoctoral opportunities?

At this time, I do not have any available postdoctoral funding but will advertise broadly when I do so. In the meantime, if you are interested in our lab as a potential postdoctoral home, I encourage you to contact me to discuss working together on applications for NSF EARS fellowships, NSF Postdoctoral Fellowships in Biology, Smith Fellowships, or NEON Fellowships.

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