Graduate Opportunites

Beginning Autumn 2014

Thank you for your interest in studying with me at CBL. CBL offers a very strong graduate program in fisheries ecology and management through the MEES program. I plan to recruit two students for Autumnn 2011. In addition to the projects listed below, there are also funds available competitively through CBL that offer the chance for highly qualified student to work on a wider variety of projects.

1. The Structure, Function and Dynamics of Marine Fishery Ecosystems (PhD Student)

I have recently received funding through the NSF/NOAA CAMEO program to study the structure, fuction and dynamics of marine ecosystems. The project will involve analysis of existing data on patterns of abundance and trophic interactions among fish species and their prey in the northwest Atlantic. We have proposed a hierarchical approach to describe and quantify the influence of connectivity among regional ecosystems on overall patterns of sustainability. This project is a collaborative effort with Drs. Jason Link (NOAA-NMFS Northeast Fisheries Science Center), Mike Wilberg (CBL), Rob Latour (VIMS), Mike Frisk (Stony Brook), Howard Townsend (NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office) and Alida Bundy (DFO-Canada). The student working on this project will be expected to develop a dissertation project around the funded work. The student will have access to the extensive monitoring data that has been accumulated by NMFS. The position tenable now.

2. Recruitment processes in Atlantic menhaden (MS/ PhD Student)

This NSF-funded project seeks to develop a population model of Atlantic menhaden that integrates coupled physical-biological process in early life history stages and a regionally-specific age-based model for later stages. The model will uses a ROMS transport model to transport larvae from presumed spawning areas to possible nursery habitats, the survivors from which recruit back to the population. The model will be informed by data on the contribution of different nursery areas to the adult population derived from otolith microchemistry and from birthdate frequencies of juveniles to quantify spawing effort. The project is a collaborative effort between Drs Cynthia Jones (ODU) and John Wilkins (Rutgers). The student working on this project will develop a dissertation project around the funded field work.

My overall philosophy regarding graduate education is that I view and treat students as potential colleagues. As a student I would expect you to attend and present at national meetings, publish in the primary literature and collaborate fully throughout CBL. In return, my role is to facilitate your success and provide professional connections when we can't solve your problems between ourselves. In short, my role as an advisor is to give you the tools you need to be successful scientifically and in the job market.

As you are aware, CBL is a part of the University of Maryland System. The lab is located about 1 hr drive south of Washington, D.C. in Solomons, MD. You would live and work in the Solomons area, taking what courses you need at CBL or over an interactive video network. Solomons is a small town on the western shore of Chesapeake Bay. Historically it was an "oyster" town, but currently it is more responsive to the tourist industry. CBL has a total of 23 faculty at the lab with interests ranging from ecology to marine geochemistry. Within the fisheries area there are five faculty members. Consequently, we offer an excellent program in both basic and applied issues. Together with faculty at other University of Maryland campuses we offer a "Fisheries Area of Specialization" within the Marine, Estuarine, and Environmental Studies (MEES) Program administered through College Park. Acceptance into the Fisheries AOS is a two-step process. First you must apply to the MEES program at College Park. Members of the Fisheries AOS will then review your file and determine your general acceptance into our program based upon GPA, GREs, letters of recommendation, etc. You may obtain an application packet for the MEES program by contacting the MEES office at 301-405-6938. Most of the 40+ students at CBL are supported directly off of research grants. However, there are also three competitive fellowships awarded each year. Each fellowship is tenable for up to three years and covers tuition and salary. These awards are highly sought after, and you would need good GRE and GPA scores to be competitive. You can find out more about CBL by visiting our web site at

If you remain interested in my research program, please contact me again to discuss how you might fit into my research program. Do not hesitate to email or phone me to discuss my research and life at CBL in general.


Tom Miller

Professor and Director

Last revised: 7/17/2013