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


OEB: 20 years of big ideas

OEB:  20 years of big ideas

OEB is celebrating it's 20th anniversary on Friday, April 25 with a keynote lecture by renowned evolutionary biologist Brian K. Hall and an evening reception.

Our first five students enrolled in September 1993 and our first PhD was awarded in 1999. Since then, OEB has graduated over 60 PhD and 35 MS degree students. Our Darwin Fellow program has been exceptionally successful with 17 Darwin Fellows passing through our doors. Through it all our students and faculty remain a close-knit group and continue to benefit from the interdisciplinary access that OEB promotes and provides.

On Friday, April 25 at 4:00 p.m. in Isenberg SOM 137, biologist Brain Hall, from Dalhousie University, will give a public lecture on “Fish that climb waterfalls and others wonders of developmental, organismal and evolutionary biology.” The talk will be aimed at a broad audience and will illustrate Dr. Hall’s central role in launching the field of Evolutionary Developmental Biology (Evo-Devo).

At 6:00 p.m., an evening reception on the 10th floor of the Campus Center will bring OEB friends and colleagues together to celebrate our accomplishments. I am particularly pleased to announce that music will be provided by OEB alum Mark Erelli (MS ’99).

Betsy Dumont
OEB Director

Lord's work featured in upcoming NOVA episode

The dissertation research of Kathryn Lord (OEB PhD '10) will be featured in an upcoming NOVA special Animal Minds: Dogs which will be broadcast on April 16 at 9:00 p.m.. Lord is currently a visiting professor at Gettysburg College, PA.

Congratulations to Straley, Broadley and Pold!

Two first year OEB students and an incoming student have good news from NSF! Kit Straley, a student in the Warren lab, has awarded a 3-year NSF Graduate Research Fellowship for her project “Changes in the Neighborhood: Suburban Food Availability and Behavioral Plasticity of Foraging Behaviors in Nesting Songbirds." Hannah Broadley, a student in the Elkinton lab, received Honorable Mention for her project ” Pupal Predation and Population Dynamics of an Invasive Defoliating Moth (Operophtera brumata).” Incoming OEB student Grace Pold, who will work with Kristen DeAngelis, also received Honorable Mention for her project "From the lab to the computer to the field – determining the extent to which lab-based ecology studies can be used to build models which accurately describe ecosystem carbon cycling.”

Yi-Fen Lin awarded NSF DDIG

Congratulations to Yi-Fen Lin, a doctoral candidate in the Dumont lab, who has just learned that she been awarded a NSF DDIG to fund her dissertation research on Burrowing Behavior of Eastern Moles.

April Science Cafe: Oddball Science

Brennan with duck

April's Science Café is on Monday, April 7th at 6:00PM Esselon Cafe. Dr. Patty Brennan will discuss Oddball Science – Why do We Study Weird Things?.

Brennan studies the evolutionary consequences of interactions between behavior, morphology and the environment. Recently, some of her work on sexual conflict in duck genitalia made headlines (in mostly conservative media, but see her response here) on whether this research constituted wasteful spending. Come out and hear why basic science, such as Patty’s, is worth funding