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

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.

David Hof Dissertation Defense

10:00 a.m.
Friday, August 22, 2014
319 Morrill 2
Dissertation Title: Aggressive signaling in New World warblers
Advisor: Jeff Podos

Gilman chosen to participate in Science Communication Workshop

Gilman presents at ComSciCon 2014

Casey Gilman (OEB doctoral candidate) was one of 50 graduate students from across the country chosen to attend the Communicating Science 2014 workshop for graduate students (ComSciCon) June 12-14. ComSciCon, held at the Microsoft NERD Center, was organized by graduate students at Harvard and MIT, and sponsored by Harvard, MIT, and Microsoft. The workshop, first held in 2013, was designed to train STEM students as scientific ambassadors to the public by increasing their science communication skills. The June 2014 workshop included panel discussions with expert science communicators including journalists, authors, public policy advocates, educators, producers, and artists. As part of the workshop, attendees gave a one-minute oral, popular-science presentation of their research, and had peer and expert reviews of popular science pieces they had written. In 2014, a total of 878 students applied to attend the workshop. For more information about ComSciCon, visit http://comscicon.com/

Goodwin and Moseley win grad student paper awards

Sarah Goodwin (OEB Doctoral Candidate) and Dana Moseley (OEB PhD 2014) recently presented papers at the joint meeting of the Association for Field Ornithologists and Wilson Ornithological Society. Goodwin presented her chipping sparrow work, "Team of Rivals: alliance formation in a territorial songbird is predicted by vocal signal structure," and was awarded the AFO's best graduate student talk. Moseley's paper, "Evidence of innate predispositions and learning of female preferences in swamp sparrows", garnered the Wilson Society's best graduate student talk. Both are members of Jeff Podos's lab, making this a Podos lab sweep!

Hu and Albertson study shows a mechanism of how biodiversity arises

In a new study of how biodiversity arises, OEB PhD candidate Yinan Hu and his advisor, Craig Albertson show how a mutation in a single gene during development can lead to different consequences not only in how an animal’s skull and jaw are shaped, but how this leads to different feeding strategies to exploit different ecological niches. The paper is in the current online issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. You can read about their work in a UMass News article.