The Graduate Program in

About OEB

The Graduate Program in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology provides interdepartmental training for MS and PhD students in ecology, organismal and evolutionary biology. Graduate students, post-docs, and faculty study biological processes ranging from the molecular to the ecosystem level, often bridging the gap between basic and applied research. Our faculty and students conduct research in four broad areas:

Animal Behavior: Behavioral ecology, communication, learning
Ecology: Community ecology, population ecology, landscape ecology, conservation biology
Evolutionary Biology: Evolution, phylogenetics, population genetics, molecular evolution
Organismal Biology: Physiology, morphology, paleontology

News

Alcott's research featured in local papers

Herring & snapping turtle

Derrick Alcott, first year OEB doctoral student, is already garnering press for his work on Cape Cod river herring. Alcott studies alewives (Alosa pseudoharengus) and blueback herring (Alosa aestivalis) and is particularly interested in how the various impediments in the Herring River valley affect the herring’s ability to migrate. His work was recently featured in several Cape publications, including Wicked Local Wellfleet.

Stengle's work featured on Jeff Corwin's 'Ocean Mysteries'

Timber rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus)

OEB PhD candidate Anne Stengle's timber rattlesnake research was recently featured on Jeff Corwin's 'Ocean Mysteries'. Stengle studies habitat selection, connectivity, and viability of the endangered timber rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus) metapopulation in southwestern Massachusetts. Watch as Stengle and Corwin visit one of Stengle's field sites.

Life Sciences Graduate Research Symposium

The 4th annual UMass Life Sciences Graduate Research Symposium will be held on Friday, November 21. The event brings together graduate students from all areas of life sciences research at UMass to present their work in both talks (9:30 am-4:00 pm, Campus Center 163) and a poster session/reception (4:30-6:00 pm, Campus Center 11th floor). This event is open to everyone who wants to learn about the fantastic life sciences work going on at UMass! The schedule for presentations is available on the LSGRC website. Four OEB students will be giving talks (Emily Fusco, Caroline Curtis, Dina Navon and Yong Zhang) and three will be presenting posters (Derrick Alcott, Kit Straley, and Hannah Broadley).

OEB faculty awarded UMass Industry-Academic Grant to support OEB students

A UMass Industry-Academic Grant with New England Biolabs, submitted by a trio of OEB faculty (Jeff Blanchard, Kristen DeAngelis and David Sela), has been funded by the UMass Grad School. The grant will provide significant research and mentoring experiences in the private sector for a trio of OEB students (Grace Pold, William Rodriguez and Lauren Alteio) as they conduct their global warming projects at Harvard Forest.

Fall schedule for OEB Science Cafés announced

Monday, September 8
In search of the genes that make us human, with Dr. Courtney Babbitt
Adults drinking milk, complex thought, paying taxes, and other uniquely human activities.

Monday, October 6
Builders, farmers, and relationship cultivators: how ants are more like us than you think, with Scott Schneider
They were farming long before we even began drawing in caves.

Monday, November 3
A bat’s guide to strange sex, with Dr. Teri Orr
Sperm storage, penis spines, and other oddities of mammalian reproduction.

Monday, December 8
Bird brain: the science of learning songs, with Dr. Luke Remage-Healey
Neural circuits on steroids!

Science Cafés, organized by OEB grad students, are held at Esselon Café on Route 9 in Hadley on Monday nights. All events start at 6:00pm. For more info, check the Science Café website or click on the mug below.