Animal Behavior Laboratory

Prospective students should consult the following Graduate Groups at UC Davis:
Animal Behavior
Anthropology
Animal Biology
Ecology

Prospective Students and Interns

The McCowan Animal Behavior Laboratory is always looking to meet interested graduate, post doc, and undergraduate students and interns. Prospective students are evaluated based on their academic performance, their achievements, and their professional potential.

We see student support as a critical aspect to advancing the fields of animal behavior and conservation, as developing experts with requisite skills in multidisciplinary research approaches is paramount in understanding the interactions between health, behavioral, and social processes at multiple levels. UC Davis is unique worldwide in setting students up for success in multidisciplinary education, which is continuously reinforced by the Graduate Group structure which encourages networking across disciplines and highly emphasizes educational and advisement sharing of graduate students. For example, the majority of our current graduate students list the combination of behavior, health, computational modeling, or epistemology as their interests and work collaboratively with several advisors to achieve their educational goals. Many aspects of the multidimensional human-animal network approach have been investigated, yet these approaches can be further capitalized.  Utilizing the unique resources which spans the broad commodity base of nonhuman species (including wildlife, captive exotics, biomedical animals, livestock production systems, and companion animals) further develops the capacity of investigative and computational skill sets of future UC Davis  graduate students in transdisciplinary research frameworks.

Graduate Students

It is encouraged that prospective graduate students have a clear understanding of their scientific and academic interests as they relate to the McCowan Lab's Research Areas in managed or free-ranging species. Though it is not a requirement that prospective students have identified specific projects they are interested on focusing on during their studies, a defined academic interest will beneficial in idenifying placement. Many of the McCowan Lab's graduate students are involved in planning collaborative research projects and gain the necessary experience to work in future collaboration on multiple organizational and governmental levels, both within and outside the US. Because of this, the McCowan Lab favors those who are self-motivated and posses sound knowledge of scientific methodologies, critical thinking skills, and high regard for cultural diversity.

Prospective graduate students are encouraged to meet with Dr. McCowan and current McCowan Lab members to discuss their scientific interests. Additionally, prospective graduate students should consult their interests and aptitude for one of the following Graduate Groups:

Post Doctoral Scholars

The McCowan lab is always interested in discussing potential collaborations with advanced graduate students. It is recommended that doctoral candidates interested in a Post Doc position with the McCowan Lab align with our Research Areas and seek multidisciplinary collaborations with members of the International Institute for Human-Animal Networks. 

Undergraduates and Interns

Undergraduate internships are available within the McCowan Lab on multiple projects. Due to the sensitivity of many research projects and the high amount of investment in training interns, it is requested that those interested can commit to multiple quarters, if not years of study. Interns will work closely with a graduate student, post doc, or staff mentor and will receive 199 credit under Dr. McCowan. 

Undergraduates showing particular motivation, knowledge, and skill are welcome to request independent study under Dr. McCowan. It should be noted that those with lengthy service to the McCowan Lab are better position to work collaboratively in the analysis of data for senior projects for publication, so please contact us early in your undergraduate career!

Non-credit volunteer internships may also available to those interested in developing professional skill sets.