Prospective Students

We are delighted to have PhD, Master’s, and Undergraduate members of our lab working on a variety of projects. If you are interested in joining our team, we encourage you to read the website, particularly the publications and projects pages to get a sense of what we do. Read through some of Dr. Gill’s publications and contact current students in the positions you are interested in prior to contacting Dr. Gill.

Please review our Ocean Synthesis Lab Expectations if you are interested in joining our lab.


The Ph.D. program involves the completion of a dissertation containing the results of original and substantive research. Students interested in joining our lab can apply through the Marine Science & Conservation (MSC)  program at the Nicholas School of the Environment. All Ph.D. students are supported by Research Assistantships funded by their mentor’s research funding, Teaching Assistantships, or students’ own research grants or fellowships or internal fellowships. 

Unfortunately, we are not currently accepting additional Ph.D. students. Any updates on Ph.D. applications and funding will be posted here on our website.


The Coastal and Marine Systems (CaMS) Master’s program is designed to train professionals for a career in management and conservation, it is not a traditional MS. Students complete one year at Duke University’s main campus in Durham, followed by a second year at the Duke Marine Lab in Beaufort, where we are based. We typically have opportunities for Coastal Environmental Management students in their first and second year to join the lab through assistantships and master’s projects. We also welcome Master of Environmental Management students from other concentrations that are interested in our work to apply.

Students do not need to contact faculty prior to applying, however, those interested in our lab are encouraged to reach out as soon as possible.


There are a variety of ways for undergrads to study at the Marine Lab. We typically have several undergraduate students doing research related to their thesis in our lab.

Please direct your questions to

Thank you for your interest!