Joining the Lab


Thanks for your interest in the lab! We are looking for motivated students and postdocs to join the lab. The lab is engaged in a wide variety of research projects related to primate behavior, ecology, and evolution. We use numerous quantitative approaches to answer questions in comparative primate biology. Some of these approaches include phylogenetic comparative methods, molecular data collection and analysis, and GIS and spatial analysis. Please read through the Research and Publications pages to learn more about our current and prior projects.


Here is some information about joining the lab, depending on your academic level:


Undergraduate students

There are many opportunities for undergraduate students to work in the lab on a variety of projects. Most of the time will be spent working on original research projects, including building databases, analyzing data, and/or writing text. Students interested in developing their quantitative skills and applying this knowledge to questions in primatology are especially welcome. Students can work in the lab for university credit. Work-study students are also welcome. In addition, students in the College of Social and Behaviorial Sciences have several opportunities for scholarships.


Graduate students

I accept doctoral students through the graduate program in UMass’s Department of Anthropology. The department includes four additional biological anthropologists, Lynnette Leidy Sievert (human biology), Brigitte Holt (human evolution and osteology), Todd Disotell (primate genetics), and Achsah Dorsey (human biology and health). There are additional faculty at UMass that have complementary research interests, including: Courtney Babbitt in Biology (genomics and primate brain evolution), David Sela in Food Science (microbiomes), Toni Lyn Morelli  in Environmental Conservation (behavior and ecology), Agnès Lacreuse (behavior and hormones) and Tara Mandalaywala (developmental behavior) in Psychology. Information about the Anthropology Department’s graduate program and the application process can be found here. In addition, I have an appointment and can accept students through UMass’s Graduate Program in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology (OEB). OEB is a highly competitive doctoral program with a great community of faculty and students.

Graduate students in the Anthropology Department are primarily funded through teaching assistantships. In addition, I strongly suggest potential graduate students to apply for external funding. One of the most prestigious and well-funded programs is the 
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program. This provides a $32000/year stipend for three years of graduate school. Your first application to the program can occur during your senior year of college. The Environmental Protection Agency offers the STAR Graduate Fellowship that includes a $27000/year stipend for two years in a masters program or three years in a doctoral program. Students can focus on environmental research as well as other fields including social anthropology and decision sciences. Other programs focus primarily on members of under-represented populations in the sciences, including the Gilliam Fellowships for Advanced StudyFord FellowshipsMicrosoft’s Graduate Women's Scholarship ProgramAmerican Association of University Women Dissertation Fellowshipand the P.E.O. Scholar Awards. Also, fellowships are available for international students that are not US citizens but would like to enroll in a US graduate program, e.g. American Association of University Women International Fellowships.  


Also, check out this useful advice: "So you want to go to grad school?



Potential postdoctoral researchers with external funding are welcome to contact me. Current graduate students that are searching for postdoctoral positions may apply for funding through the National Science Foundation. These programs are highly competitive and include those housed in the Social and Behavioral Sciences and Biological Sciences Directorates, as well as the Division of Earth Sciences. Also, UMass’s Graduate Program in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology program sometimes has a postdoctoral position available. The details of this highly competitive Darwin Fellowship can be found here. For members of under-represented populations, the Ford Foundation offers a one-year postdoctoral fellowship. A good resource for postdoc funding opportunities can be found here.


The Lab adheres to the University of Massachusetts Amherst Sexual Harassment Policy. Details can be found here.



© 2020 by Jason Kamilar