Graduate Education

entomology students sitting around a table

Interested in joining our research?

Most of the 50-60 students in residence conduct collection-based research toward their master's or doctoral degrees and are typically enrolled in one of the following KU academic units: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Geology, Geography, Anthropology, or Museum Studies. Interested students are encouraged to contact faculty members with complementary research interests. 

Students studying and conducting graduate research at the Biodiversity Institute are usually enrolled in the KU Department of Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyGeology, Geography, Anthropology, or the Museum Studies Program. Areas of study at the BI include patterns and processes in phylogenetics, systematics, ecology and evolution. Taxonomic areas of study include birds, reptiles, amphibians, fishes, mammals, plants, sea anemones, parasites, insects and fossil plants and animals. 

Most graduate students receive a funding package that includes a combination of graduate teaching (GTA), research (GRA), and curatorial assistantships (CA). These appointments nearly always include tuition sponsorship and sometimes include fee sponsorship as well. In addition, graduate students compete for federal funds through the National Science Foundation and other organizations, and for local small grant competitions funded by private donors.

Our facilities include laboratories, student research areas and workspaces, and institute collections. The collections of approximately 10 million plants and animals and 1.5 million archaeological artifacts are housed in seven buildings across the KU Lawrence campus. Additional facilities include the classrooms and laboratories affiliated with the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and the KU Field Station and Ecological Reserves. The Kansas Biological Survey and Center for Ecological Research, a state research agency located at the university, operates laboratories that support research in aquatic ecotoxicology and water chemistry, floral and faunal inventories, remote sensing and geographic information systems technologies.