The McCoy lab will open at at U Chicago and the Marine Biological Lab (MBL) in Fall 2024!! I’m hiring at all levels, and I’d love to hear from you! I will spend most of the year in Chicago, IL and a few months each year in Woods Hole, MA at the MBL. My lab members are welcome to live in either place, and I’ll fund trips between the two.

Contact Me to Convey Your Interest

If you are interested in joining my lab, please contact me! Email your resume to mccoy6[at] and tell me a little bit about your interests. We will set up a zoom or phone call to discuss further.

Open Positions

Starting now (Aug 2023), I am still looking to recruit one or more candidates at these levels:

  • lab manager
  • postdoctoral scholar
  • PhD student
  • MD / PhD student to complete the research portion of their training
  • undergraduate research assistant

Projects and Research Focus

I have many research ideas– too many!– and hope that one or more will interest you, but I am 100% happy to support students and postdocs who wish to chart the course of their own research. Here are some ideas to get you started.

My primary focus is photosymbiosis in reef-dwelling animals: corals, bivalves, acoels, and more. Potential projects include:

  • the photonics of how these animals channel sunlight to their symbionts (experiments, fieldwork, computation)
  • light environments on coral reefs (fieldwork)
  • host-symbiont conflict (lab experiments)
  • biology of reproduction (computation, potentially field work and lab work)

I would also be delighted to support students who wish to work on the biology of pregnancy in mammals and evolutionary conflicts over reproduction. Interesting clades include marsupials, elephants, bears, and more. My previous work has focused on zoo data records and evolutionary theory.

Finally, if you wish to work on color science or city tree ecology, I’d love to hear from you and discuss potential projects.

Mentorship Philosophy

My post-doc mentor Jen Dionne once described herself as a cheerleader and a coach. I approach mentorship the same way. My number one goal is to support my lab members, help them feel happy, and set them up to achieve their goals. In general, this includes weekly one-on-one meetings, weekly lab meetings, support to attend conferences and complete fieldwork, and support to pursue extracurricular professional development (e.g., science communication, computer science, data science, and more). I will be available and reachable by email or text: my lab members are my top priority! I prefer an “always available but never hovering” mentorship style.