P. regilla silhouette
Dr. Michael Benard




Lab Personnel


Prospective Students

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Ecology & Evolution Journal Club


Undergraduate researchers in my laboratory have the opportunity to work on research projects investigating ecology, evolution, and conservation biology. During the regular academic year (i.e., Fall and Spring semesters), these projects include analyzing long-term data sets, measuring specimens for comparative studies, and working with live vertebrates and invertebrates. I also mentor students through summer fellowships offered through the Support of Undergraduate Research & Creative Endeavors(SOURCE) office, including SOURCE SURES , and P-SURG. Students working in my lab during the summer have more opportunities to be involved in active outdoor field research.

If you are interested in working in my laboratory, send me an email to inquire if there are openings. Be sure to specify why you are interested in working with me.

Graduate Students:

I am currently seeking an additional PhD student to join my lab. If you are interested in joining my lab, please send me an email (mfb38 -at- case.edu) that includes a copy of your CV and a brief statement of research interests.

Research Atmosphere: One of the great strengths of the Department of Biology at Case Western Reserve University is the diversity of research taking place within the department. Thus, graduates from CWRU will not only have strength in their specific research focus, but will also have a broad view of major questions and research approaches in biology. Additionally, students will interact with other CWRU faculty interested in ecology, evolutionary biology, and conservation: Karen Abbott, Jean Burns, Sarah Diamond, Ryan Martin and Robin Snyder. Graduate students can also benefit from interactions with biologists at nearby institutions like the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, and the Holden Arboretum. Many of these researchers, such as David Burke, Juliana Medeiros, and Gavin Svenson have adjunct faculty positions in the CWRU Biology Department and serve on graduate student dissertation committees.

Field Sites and research infrastructure: Most of our research takes place in Ohio and Michign, with the bulk of our experimental field research taking place at the CWRU University Farm. At the farm we conduct research at a large mesocosm array, experimental terrestrial pens, and several natural wetlands. The natural wetlands support diverse communities of invertebrates and amphibians. We conduct research on many of the amphibians at the farm, including American Toads, Wood Frogs, Bullfrogs and Green Frogs.

Applying: If you are interested in applying to work with me for graduate school, you should do two things. First, read over the information on graduate school in the Department of Biology. Second, send me an email to introduce yourself. Attach a copy of your CV, and be sure to let me know why you are interested in working with me, and what type of research you are interested in doing.

Life in Cleveland: Cleveland is a vibrant and fun city. There are several mainstream professional sports teams (e.g., Cleveland Cavaliers,Cleveland Indians Cleveland Browns), as well as several less well known sports with leagues that you can participate in (e.g., Roller Derby, Ultimate Frisbee). Those interested in visual art can check out the Cleveland Museum of Art or the Museum of Contemporary Art. There is a wide range of music in Cleveland, including the Cleveland Orchestra, which is one of the most respected Orchestras in the US. The University Circle area has a concentration of these sites; CWRU, the Cleveland Orchestra, The Cleveland Museum of Natural History, the Cleveland Museum of Art and The Cleveland Botanical Garden are all within a 15-minute walk of one another. There are also several fun and vibrant neighborhoods surrounding the University Circle area; these are great places to live near or to go to for dining and entertainment (e.g., Coventry, Little Italy, Cedar and Fairmount, Cedar and Lee). For more information on dining, nightlife, and other entertainment, take a look at the Cleveland Scene.