Graduate students in my lab study a range of different topics (see their descriptions and those of past students), but all are united by a broad interest in plant ecology and evolution and a desire to make the world a better place. Each person has a unique way of making that contribution. My students are all terrifically bright, fun people who make the lab a warm and exciting place to be. One thing I can tell you is that I have very high expectations of my students, both in terms of scientific standards and in terms of our personal interactions. I care about my students more than anything else about my job. I also expect them to be good lab citizens and good departmental citizens.
We have a great group in plant ecology, evolution, and conservation biology here at UCSC, and I encourage you to contact other potential advisors in EEB as well as in Environmental Studies. I do frequently co-advise students.
Students in my lab are funded from a combination of fellowships, research assistantships, and teaching assistantships. I strongly advise you to apply for the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (http://www.nsfgrfp.org/). In addition, our department has provided summer funding and research and travel support. I help direct two training grants that provide graduate support: 1) a GAANN grant from the Department of Education to increase diversity in environmental biology, and 2) SCWIBLES, a GK-12 training grant that partners our graduate students with local high school teachers to bring inquiry-based learning into public schools. If you feel you are particularly suited to one of these programs, please let me know.
I look forward to hearing from you.