Prospective Students



Leah Jacobs (MS student) and J. Robertson in the field (La Selva Biological Research Station)



The Robertson Lab is currently accepting graduate students for Fall 201 6. Students in the Robertson lab conduct  research related to premating (behavioral) reproductive isolation, postzygotic reproductive isolation, captive breeding technology, and population genomics.

The Robertson Lab collaborates broadly with other research labs at CSUN, including the labs of Dr. Espinoza (kinship analyses, population genetics, phylogeography of two species of lizard), Dr. Hertel (evolution of behavior of storm-petrels), Dr. Allen (population genetics and phylogeography of fishes and sharks), Dr. Dudgeon (statistical analyses, population genetics of algae) and Dr. Karels ( species identification of bobcats using molecular markers). The Population Genetics Core facility in the Department of Biology has recently expanded to include an Illumina MiSeq to support and facilitate the research of MS students at CSUN.

Contact me

Please email me directly ( with a statement of your research experience and interests and a CV. Please contact me during the Fall so that we can start talking about your interests and determine whether the lab is a good fit for you.

My philosophy as an academic adviser:

The relationship with your adviser is an important and integral part of your MS training. The greatest success comes when we commit to working together.

My responsibility is to train you in all aspects of academic research and to prepare you for the next step in your career (whether it is a Ph.D. degree, teaching at a community college, government job, private industry). You will be trained to write grant proposals, analyze data, prepare and submit manuscripts for publication, prepare a research proposal, and conduct field and/or laboratory research. You will learn to prepare an oral presentation and  present findings of your research at scientific conferences. You will gain experience (and a stipend) via teaching as a teaching assistant and/or graduate assistant.

Your responsibilities. The work as a MS degree student is a full time position. I expect that students will be present on campus (most of the time), attend classes and lab meetings, submit grant proposals,  and participate and attend weekly reading groups and department seminars. Students in the lab have been successful with obtaining grants to support their research – you will be too!

Program Logistics

The Department of Biology at CSUN offers an MS Degree program where students conduct independent research and gain teaching experience. Applications are due in mid February 2016. The program is typically 2-3 years, depending on the research project and the experience of the student. The  CSUN Biology website contains information on the criteria for admission and application process.


Interested in gaining undergraduate research experience? Please use this form as an initial contact and I will be in touch shortly.