Red Eyed Tree FrogProspective Students and Research Opportunities:

The Woodhams Lab mission is to describe and predict the impact of microbiota on disease ecology, and microbial-immune interactions in particular, in two model systems: 1) Amphibians are model vertebrate organisms with fascinating behavioral, immunological and symbiotic defenses, and in great need of global conservation and disease management; and 2) Mosquito vector biology is studied to understand disease risk associated with aquatic disturbances and restoration.

Lab members maintain a standard of excellence and professionalism, respecting cultural differences to maintain an atmosphere of teamwork within our lab as well as a collaborative spirit to achieve more than one could alone.

We share our results through publications, presentations, and day-to-day conversations, contributing to the global appreciation of conservation and health issues.


I enjoy facilitating my students’ research and collaborating with them on the design and progress of their work. Most of my students are passionate about conservation and health, and this motivates hard-work, creative problem-solving, and a team atmosphere. I mentor them through training in fieldwork, experiments, data analysis, and presentation and publication of their results.”

– Dr. Doug Woodhams

We are looking for creative, self-motivated, and committed students, including undergraduates, Master’s, and Ph.D. students. If your research interests complement those of the lab, we encourage you to contact Dr. Woodhams

Graduate Students

Please send an email with a short letter stating your background experience and specific research interests as well as a current CV or resume with names and contact information (email addresses) for two references. Ph.D. students should already have demonstrated independent research experience (publication). In addition to creativity and self-motivation, we highly value good communication and skills in writing and computation.

The Biology Department at UMass Boston maintains support for graduate students primarily through Teaching Assistantships (TAs), and these are supplemented with summer research-focused support.  With future grant support, we look forward to opportunities for Research Assistantships (RAs) to work on specific projects. All students are encouraged to apply for external fellowships such as the National Science Foundation’s Pre-doctoral Fellowship (http://www.nsfgrfp.org/) and the Environmental Protection Agency’s STAR fellowship (http://epa.gov/ncer/fellow/).  The application deadlines for these fellowships are usually in mid to late fall – please check the current websites.

See application instructions (http://www.umb.edu/academics/csm/biology/grad) for January 2 and October 15 admission deadlines.

Undergraduate Students

Volunteers are welcomed as needed in the lab. We encourage all new students to have a research project in mind. Independent study credits are available for focused projects or projects making a significant contribution to an ongoing study. Students must have a minimum 3.0 GPA and at least 10 hours per week availability. Please fill out and submit via email (douglas.woodhams@umb.edu) this Application to join the Woodhams Lab to Dr. Woodhams, stating your interests and availability. Students are encouraged to apply for support from the Sanofi Genzyme or Oracle Undergraduate Research Fellowship.

Research mentoring program

IMSD – Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (http://www.umb.edu/academics/csm/biology/beyond_the_classroom/initiative_for_maximizing_student_development)

Summer research opportunities

Volunteer and Independent study opportunities may be available during summer months.

REU – Research Experiences for Undergraduates, applications due in January.

→ UMass Boston (http://www.umb.edu/academics/csm/biology/beyond_the_classroom/research_experiences_for_undergraduates)

→ STRI – Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (http://www.stri.si.edu/reu/english/)


Douglas C. Woodhams, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
UMass Boston | Department of Biology
100 Morrissey Blvd.
Boston, Massachusetts 02125
Phone: 617-287-6679