The Graduate Program in


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

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.

Alexa McKenzie Thesis Defense

1:30 p.m.
Tuesday, June 3, 2014
319 Morrill 2 (OEB Seminar Room)
Thesis Title: Volatile profiles and resistance to herbivory in Eastern Hemlock
Advisor: Joe Elkinton

Israel Del Toro Dissertation Defense

10:00 a.m.
Friday, June 13, 2014
222 Morrill 2 - this is a change from the original location
Dissertation Title: Turning up the heat on the little things that run the world: Evaluating the impacts of climate change on ant biodiversity in the temperate forest communities of the Northeastern United States
Advisor: Aaron Ellison

Winners of 'OEB in Action' photo contest

Mr. Mole

Winners of the 'OEB in Action' photo contest were announced at our 20th Anniversary reception on Friday, April 25. The winning photos will be framed and displayed in the OEB seminar room.
• 1st prize went to Yi-Fen Lin (OEB PhD Candidate) for her photo "Mr. Mole" (pictured right)
• 2nd prize prize was awarded to Dana Moseley (OEB PhD 2013) and David Lahti (Darwin Fellow 2003-2005) for "Lahti submerses himself in the literature"
• Two photos tied for 3rd place: Dana Moseley's "Smile! Moseley and Swamp Sparrow pose for the camera" and Andrew Hendry's (Darwin Fellow 1999-2002) "Hendry and friend after a long day of field work"
• A special "Spirit of OEB" award was given to Lin's photo "Science cafe members rock 'n' roll"
Congratulations to all!

May Science Cafe: Sex and Drugs and Plants and Bugs

Bumble bee

Monday, May 5th at 6:00PM Esselon Cafe

Dr. Lynn Adler’s research integrates plant-animal interactions across mutualisms (e.g. pollination) and antagonisms (e.g. herbivory) to arrive at a more complete understanding of how multiple species select on resistance and attractive traits. Come on out and hear all about this fascinating research!

Also, this will be the last Cafe for the Spring series. Check back over the summer for our fall line-up.

OEB: 20 years of big ideas

OEB:  20 years of big ideas

Photos from OEB's birthday celebration can be found here

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.