Joining the lab?

Joining the lab?

I am open to discuss proposals for hosting students and post-doctoral research fellows at ZFMK. If you are interested in joining the lab you should write a very brief outline of your research interests and future goals. I prefer students who develop their own projects and help with targeted fund raising, though I sometimes offer internships on specific topics of interest. When inquiring about opportunities make sure your project falls clearly within the scope of my research, so a good idea to start is checking our most recent papers. Plan your research stay well in advance, as any project requires preparation (funds, permits, etc.).

In the past, my group was very successful in getting scholarships from German organizations e.g.:

Scholarships for PhD and PostDoc students were also provided by foreign organizations such as:

Students who want to join my group at UESC in Brazil should contact me and follow the official inscription procedure for master and PhD students. Please note that positions are limited to 1-2 students per year.

Some advises to be a successful student in my lab

  • We work with non-model species. There is commonly no template for your specific taxon. Each taxa is interesting on its own rights, it may surprise you and you may make real discoveries. If you disagree with this statement Zoology may not be the best profession for you.
  • Students are grown-up individuals making their own decisions. Have a clear idea in which direction you want to develop, and which future goals you want to archive. The quality of your degree is, first and foremost, your responsibility. You select your direction. The supervisor’s job is to help you to archive the best results given your efforts and abilities, but no one despite you will do the job for you.
  • Plan any step well in advance and well beyond your next degree. It will take time to apply for funds, permits, the right field season… Commonly, applications/manuscripts take 6-12 months till they are (hopefully!) accepted. Have always a backup plan B, C….
  • Science requires data. Data requires efforts. Before running into data collection think about the potential benefits. Does the expected outcome justify the efforts? If so, go ahead! Otherwise, think again.
  • Get the best data you can get, if there are possibilities to improve your data set, do so! Crap in – crap out is an important concept and do not waste time with elaborated analyses on data that does not justify the effort.
  • Doing a thesis is doing real science. Do not waste your or your supervisor’s time by playing with exercises for the sake of doing exercises. Treat your data and analyses seriously and with the goal to publish your results.
  • Only a published project is a finished project. An unpublished study is a non-existing study. Write papers!
  • Any statement requires either a citation or data to be justified!
  • Science requires statistics. If you can test a hypothesis, do so even it get complicated!
  • Even if data collection is fun and makes you feel comfortable, spend time reading, analyzing, and writing right from the beginning. There is no way to write up a successful thesis in just a couple of weeks!

A very helpful book providing advice for upcoming PhD students was written by Prof. Dr. John Measey:

Measey, J. (2023): How to write a PhD in Biological Sciences: a guide for the uninitiated. CRC Press, Bota Raton, USA.

The fulltext is available at



Museum Koenig

Leibniz Institute for the Analysis of Biodiversity Change (LIB)

Adenauerallee 127

53113 Bonn


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