Padian Lab
Prospective Students

Click here to find out more about the Padian Lab's research in the field and available research facilities.

Graduate Students

We truly are a department of "integrative biology," the first and still the most highly rated in the world. This is because we take very seriously the commitment to educate our students broadly. We are looking to produce young professionals with a vision for their field and a mission to explore and solve some of the major questions in evolutionary biology, using a variety of consilient techniques, approaches, and lines of evidence. Our job is to educate and train you. We're looking for students who are a good fit with these goals.

We have the largest collections of any paleontological museum of any university in the world, and we have over a dozen professional paleobiologists, in addition to our grad students and undergrads and postdocs and visiting scholars, who form a community of people interested in understanding how the life of the past contributes to our understanding of evolutionary patterns and processes. This community meets weekly in a variety of seminars and venues that promote our collective education and development. We work with students individually to develop career goals and the means to get there.

We place a great emphasis on public service, education and outreach, particularly for students who want to make a difference in public life. To us, these callings are every bit as important as research and teaching in traditional academic settings, and we encourage our students to take their degrees and bring their expertise to new arenas. Our museum is deeply committed to these goals: visit and explore our websites on Understanding Evolution, Understanding Science, and soon, Understanding Climate Change.

Our students are encouraged to develop independent research projects within the general rubric of the questions we ask in our lab, which have to do with how major new adaptations originate, and how large-scale revolutions in the diversity of vertebrate life have taken place. Our students have worked on problems such as the origin of the turtle shell, the evolution of theropod stance and gait, the diversity dynamics of the beginning of the Age of Dinosaurs, the evolution and development of horns in African antelope, the evolution and quantification of growth rates in archosauromorphs, the origin and evolution of sea turtles, the evolution of the sauropod and saurischian respiratory system, and the structural and ecological transition of vertebrates from water to land. Please peruse the publications by people from our lab to get an idea of the scope of our research.

We encourage collaboration with any and all laboratories, facilities, researchers, educators, collections, and agencies on and beyond campus, in the pursuit of developing our students' careers. We have substantial resources to support your research, we do everything we can to find what you need, and we encourage and train you to develop your approaches to external funding.

If you are a non-U.S. student, please be advised that our department cannot support your basic tuition for more than your first year. You will be responsible for tuition for the remaining 4+ years, and the current rate of tuition is around $15,000 per year. If you have no personal resources for these fees, please do not apply to Berkeley because we are not able to support you. Note that these tuition and fees are NOT the same as your living support. If you are accepted to the IB department we guarantee you living support for at least five years, assuming acceptable progress in your studies. This living support includes fellowships you may get (internal and external), and employment through teaching classes, being a research assistant, and working in the museum. Please do not think that you can save tuition out of this living support! We regret this situation, but the state and University give us no alternative. If you have questions, please let me know.

Undergraduate Students

Undergrads have the opportunity to work with us in a variety of projects. As with any lab, you're most competitive if you show genuine interest, take the time to understand and explore what we do (e.g., read our publications and explore our website), get involved in the classes that we teach, and participate in UCMP seminars (e.g., IB 283 and 286). Come and talk to us if you have questions.

Our past undergraduate researchers have produced numerous Honors Theses in IB; they have gone on to the best graduate schools in the country; and they have become professors in universities across the nation. They have also gone on to completely different professions and made us all proud. So: Tell us what skills and interests you have, and let's see what kind of a match you might make for us. Whether your specialty is in illustration, graphics, data analysis, programming, or any aspect of natural history from bird-watching to dino-freak, we can talk.

Department of Integrative Biology
University of California, Berkeley
3060 Valley Life Sciences Building
Berkeley, CA 94720-3140

UC Museum of Paleontology
University of California, Berkeley
1101 Valley Life Sciences Building
Berkeley, CA 94720-4780

Lab Phone: 510-642-7434
Fax: 510-642-1822
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