[Coral-List] Perspective Graduate Student seeking advise

Ben Richards Ben.Richards at noaa.gov
Mon Mar 8 13:47:32 EST 2004

Dear coral list members -

	For some years I have enjoyed reading, and in some cases responding, 
to many of the interesting threads that have come through this list.  I 
am writing to you to seek your personal perspectives on several 
graduate (PhD) programs to which I have applied.  The two schools in 
question are:

1) University of Hawaii, Manoa - Zoology Department - Hawaii Institute 
of Marine Biology
2) University of Miami, Rosensteil School of Marine and Atmospheric 

	I have applied to a PhD program at both of these schools with the 
intention to pursue one or both of the following questions:

1) What is the relationship between the physical reef structure and its 
associated fish community.
- How do the physical aspects of the reef (rugosity, bathymetry, % 
coral cover, mean size of refuge areas) affect the overlying fish 
community (diversity, richness, biomass, fecundity)?
- What are the ecological implications of these relationships and how 
might these relationship be used in placement and management of marine 
protected areas and/or artificial reef habitats?

2) What relationships exist between shallow (0-30m) and deep (30-150m) 
reef fish communities.
- Are rules concerning habitat utilization the same for shallow and 
deep reef species?
- How much crossover is there between shallow and deep reef fish 
- Are the trophic cascade patterns the same for shallow and deep water 
communities?  What are the similarities and differences?

My main questions concern the:

1) Overall strength of the programs,
2) Reputation of each University and Program in the scientific 
3) Reputation and strengths of research faculty,
4) Strength and diversity of classes,
5) Ability of institution and faculty to secure funding,
6) Any other pertinent information.

I understand that most responses to these questions will be personal 
opinion.  Having done much of the background research already, and 
having talked with faculty and graduate students at both institutions, 
I have formed many of my own opinions.  I am now interested in the 
thoughts of the wider scientific community.  Thank you very much for 
your time.

Benjamin L. Richards
Program Specialist for Research and Information Technology
Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
P.O. Box 500368
Marathon, FL  33050

ben.richards at noaa.gov

phone: (305) 743-2437 x28
fax: (305) 743-2357
NEXTEL: (305) 360-1488


More information about the Coral-List mailing list