Prospective Students


We usually engage a handful of UW undergraduates doing research for credit or, as paid research assistants. Students start out by helping a graduate student, but motivated and able students typically progressing to conduct independent research. To apply please email David Baum with your background (year, major, lab experience, computer programming ability), availability (during the semester and/or summer), and future plans. Also, please indicate which projects you would most like to work on.

Graduate students

The philosophy of the laboratory is that graduate students are emerging independent scientists who gain advice from David and the entire lab, but take full ownership of their own research. In most cases, therefore, students generate their own projects, which they often continue to work on after graduating. Given the current research direction of the lab, we can offer a rich training environment in (A) plant statistical phylogenetics or phylogenomics focusing on problems close to the “species” level and/or on pollination and floral evolution, and (B) the origins and early evolution of life. We also have some expertise in plant evolutionary developmental genetics (evo-devo). However, we pride ourselves on being able to accommodate diverse students with interests in big evolutionary questions.

Self-motivated, inquisitive students are encouraged to apply. Please email David to discuss the lab environment and possible lines of research. In addition to being able to take students through the Botany and Genetics programs I have experience guiding students in developing their own personalized interdisciplinary degree program (e.g., “Astrobiology” or “Origins of Life”) through UW’s special committee mechanism.

This document provides guidelines and expectation for the mentorship of graduate students: Guidelines for Graduate Study in the Baum lab


I have no open, funded position, however prospective postdocs (especially from groups traditionally underrepresented in science) who have an opportunity to apply for fellowships are encouraged to contact David to discuss options. This documents provides guidelines and expectation for the mentorship of postdoctoral scholars: Guidelines for Research in the Baum lab