Graduate Education at KU Herpetology involves masters and PhD students enrolled through the KU Department and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology's Graduate Program.

Graduate Highlights

KU is a premier international destination for students with interests in ecology, evolution, and systematics of amphibians and reptiles.

Our graduate students belong to the graduate program administered by the KU Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

We are typically home to six or more Master's and PhD students.

Since 1960, KU has graduated 31 Master's students and 58 Ph.D. students.In addition to graduate students from across the United States, including Puerto Rico, international students include representatives of Argentina, Brazil, Burma, Chile, China, Colombia, Ecuador, Germany, India, Mexico, Peru, Venezuela, the Philippines, Zambia, and Malaysia.

Our alumni have gone on to many positions at universities or museums (David Hillis, Darrel FrostDavid C. Cannatella, Raul DiazJohn D. Lynch, Linda S. Ford, Cameron Siler, Charles W. Myers, Julian C. Lee, Eli Greenbaum, Arthur "Sandy" Echternacht), zoos (Joe Mendelson, Jennifer Pramuk), or in government (Anne Maglia).

Numerous undergraduates or even high school students who undertook research in herpetology went elsewhere for their graduate work and become renowned professional herpetologists; these include Harry Greene, Neil B. Ford, John J. Wiens, and the late Pere Alberch and Joseph Slowinsky.

Student Accomplishments

Numerous students earned competitive grants to support for their research in the Spring of 2016, including: Undergraduate Research Awards from the KU Center for Undergraduate Research to Claire Tracy and Matt Buhler, Tinker Field Research Grants from the Center for Latin American and Caribbbean Studies to first year PhD students Kevin Chovanec and Pietro de Mello and KU Biodiversity Institute Panorama Grants to PhD students Katie Allen, Chan Kin Onn, Scott Travers, and Robin Abraham.

In May of 2016, PhD student Carl Hutter passed his qualifying exam and is now officially a candidate in the PhD program.

Jesse Grismer was awarded a postdoctoral position with Brad Shaffer at UCLA and Jaime Oaks at Auburn University. Three young KU Herpetology researchers are also moving on to the next stages of their careers following admission to other outstanding graduate programs. In the Fall of 2016, current KU Herpetology masters students Kerry Cobb and Taylor Broadhead will be joining the PhD programs at Auburn University and Purdue University, respectively. Kerry will continue his herpetogical research under the supervision of KU Herpetology alum Jamie Oaks while Taylor is shifting her focus to bioacoustic work on mammals. KU Herpetology undergraduate Matt Buehler, meanwhile, will continue to pursue his interest in herpetology by joining the masters program at Villanova University under the direction of Aaron Bauer.


Join Our Graduate Program

Karen Olsen

If you are interested in joining herpetology and the KU EEB graduate program, the first step is to learn a bit more about us through our research, publications, and collections. If your interests seem to match the type of work that we’re doing, the next step is to obtain information on our graduate program, its requirements and expectations. Once familiar with our work and our program, contact one or more KU researchers with basic academic information about yourself, your interests, and your educational objectives. Acceptance into the KU EEB graduate program is highly competitive and most successful applicants have a strong track record of academic success, including excellent grades, a year or more of independent research experience, and research-focused field experience.

Tashitso Anamza working in the molecular lab.