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How to Apply

Please see some broadly relevant recruiting information below. Specific information about the mechanics of application are available at this page from the Department of Biological Sciences:

The Setting

The lab is in the heart of one of the great American cities, the Miami of Canada, "Stormy, husky, brawling / City of the Big Shoulders". Students and postdocs can live in any number of urban neighborhoods connected directly to the University by public transportation. For example, there is a Blue Line train stop (CTA) a couple of minutes' walk from our building. As a generally happening place, which transformed away from its reputation for crime (the Prohibition and Crack Wars, for example), Chicago managed to avoid the path of complete and mostly irreversible decline followed by many other American cities. Some of the sweetest neighborhoods in the city, like Pilsen, Ukrainian Village, Wicker Park, and Logan Square, are still gritty around the edges and all are a short CTA ride away. The city is a complex and beautiful place, which you can enjoy and sometimes escape to do field work.

You should know that Boris is a rather big basketball fan, and though everyone associates Chicago with the Jordan-era Bulls, most people are unaware that this is also the home of Chuck Taylor All Stars, and the Harlem Globetrotters. No one else in the lab knows anything about basketball.

Otherwise hard-working lab members will be able to enjoy world-class concerts, theaters, opera, symphony, ground-breaking architecture, neighborhood bars, and public art. Chicago is home to the Second City comedy club, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Art, a vibrant gallery scene, the DIY craft nerds at Renegade Handmade & Renegade Fair, Jay Ryan, the Chicago Symphony, Lyric Opera, WBEZ, The President of the United States, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Nelson Algren, Carl Sandburg, Studs Terkel, Mike Royko, Jane Addams, Curtis Mayfield, Wilco, Andrew Bird, Pitchfork, Lollapalooza Music Festival, Kanye West, Common, Da Teams, Steppenwolf Theater Company, John Malkovich, the Chicago Pizza and Hot Dog (a.k.a. "the Depression sandwich"). OMG, you can go to Hot Doug's.

Even our cemeteries are amazing! For example, take your bike down to the Oak Woods Cemetery, the resting place to Jesse Owens, Harold Washington, Enrico Fermi, and Robert Johnson. There are also several schools in the immediate area (e.g. UIC, Northwestern, DePaul, University of Chicago, Loyola, Columbia College, The School of the Art Institute, and many city colleges), and a great many other terrific people and institutions.

Straight from Norman Mailer's typewriter (from Miami and the Siege of Chicago):

New York is one of the capitals of the world and Los Angeles is a constellation of plastic, San Francisco is a lady, Boston has become Urban Renewal, Philadelphia and Baltimore and Washington wink like dull diamonds in the smog of Eastern Megalopolis, and New Orleans is unremarkable past the French Quarter. Detroit is a one-trade town, Pittsburgh has lost its golden triangle, St. Louis has become the golden arch of the corporation, and nights in Kansas City close early. The oil depletion allowance makes Houston and Dallas naught but checkerboards for this sort of game. But Chicago is a great American city. Perhaps it is the last of the great American cities.

The Chicago Public Library hosts frequent literary events, which recently included the Salman Rushdie (on the day The Booker of Bookers was announced), Michael Chabon, Naomi Wolf, Jonathan Safran Foer, Michael Pollan, and Sarah Vowell. And Granta, a terrific literary magazine, dedicated its Fall issue to Chicago writers. A part of the week-long series of events took place at Rainbo Club, and included Boris' compatriot and writer, Aleksandar Hemon. [past events]

Now That You Are Interested in Moving Here...

Graduate student and postdoc applicants interested in any number of areas in evolutionary biology and ecology should email Boris after browsing around these webpages. We are interested in cultivating a lab that features interesting people with diverse ethnic and scholarly backgrounds, but all applicants should have a strong background in evolutionary biology or otherwise be outstandingly quantitatively gifted.

The lab (see photos) is equipped for field, greenhouse, computational, and molecular research (e.g. common garden/reciprocal transplant experiments, PCR-based methods, marker discovery, cloning, transformations, phylogenetics).

There are a number of questions/ideas floating around for those who wish to join the lab, but those wishing to take on independent projects are equally welcomed. These projects should have something (however peripheral) to do with our areas of interest. In addition, you may wish to contact other faculty with similar interests at UIC, the Chicago Botanic Gardens, and especially the Field Museum of Natural History (Rick Ree and Michael Dillon, for example).

Graduate Students

If you are eligible to apply and reading this page, you clearly should! If you are admitted into the program, I will personally refund your application fee. You can find out more information about applying by visiting our graduate admissions webpages.


As a recent postdoc, I have some fresh experience with the miserable process of finding the right lab, given the financial, lifestyle, and intellectual constraints that it often presents. If you are independently supported, you are obviously strongly encouraged to send me an email and see if this lab is right for you. Postdoc availability will depend on reception of NSF funds from active submissions (don't hold your breath).

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