Pages Navigation Menu

Laboratory of Holly Ernest

Opportunities for working with us

Opportunities for working with us



See PhD/MS openings for Fall 2018 here (application deadline for fall 2018 is passed and was Nov 2017)

We welcome students with a high level of scientific curiosity, strong academic background, and desire to conduct creative ecological genomics and wildlife disease ecology research and study.  Keys to success includes demonstration of strong academic background (excellent GPAs, GREs, etc), background in laboratory genetics, disease biology, and field experience with wild bird/mammal banding/capture, along with ability to work well with others, and interests in research directions of our lab group:

  • Developing and answering important questions in wildlife health, management, and conservation ecology
  • Wildlife genetics, genomics, population health, and disease ecology
  • Applications of genomics combined with disease diagnostic tests, field ecology, natural history, habitat modeling using Geographic Information Systems (GIS), avian population monitoring methods, statistics, and/or wildlife epidemiology methods..
  • Free-ranging Western North America/Wyoming/Rocky Mountain birds; Western North America/Wyoming mammals (see our Projects and Publication pages).

To secure graduate fellowships, students should have excellent academic credentials (high GPA and GRE scores: ~80%-ile or higher), as well as writing, quantitative, and verbal skills. Students should be ready and willing to TA for at least part of their graduate student tenure and write grant proposals (Dr. Ernest will mentor on grant writing and research).  TA means work as teaching assistant for University of Wyoming undergraduate and/or graduate courses.

Please contact us if you are awarded multi-year full graduate scholarships (such as NSF).  When positions become available in the lab, Dr. Ernest usually posts them to Texas A & M job board, ECOLOG-L listserv, and other sites.

Learn more about the PhD Program in Ecology at UW. Contact us at


Currently we are not seeking new postdocs; however please contact us if you are awarded full salary fellowships (such as NSF, Morris Animal Foundation, or other).  When positions become available in the lab, Dr. Ernest usually posts them to Texas A & M job board and ECOLOG-L listserv. When positions open, our lab looks for PhD’s with very strong population genomic and DNA laboratory skills (PCR, SNPs, Next Gen Sequencing, whole genome analysis, mitochondrial DNA sequencing, etc). Post-doctoral candidates might work on one or more of our current genetic/genomic projects.  Post-doctoral candidates must have excellent academic credentials (high GPAs and high GREs), a record of journal publication, evidence of good grant-writing success and skills, and letters of recommendation. Contact us at


Veterinary students – check out the Department of Veterinary Sciences/Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory wildlife externships (we may have projects for externs to be involved with part of the time during their extern ship):


We enjoy working with undergraduate students in the wildlife DNA and disease ecology lab and often maintain 1-3 positions to provide valuable laboratory experiences. We seek undergraduates willing to commit to working with us for at least 2 years, who have keen interests in genetics for wildlife conservation, and have prior bench genetics research lab experience and strong pipetting skills and good grades in science and math. Contact us at

Citizen Science

Are you interested in helping us with research and conservation? Often in Spring, we might be looking for help with our hummingbird research. Visit our hummingbird page to learn more.