The Graduate Program in


Goodwin awarded NSF DDIG

Sarah Goodwin, a doctoral candidate in the Podos lab, has been awarded a NSF Dissertation Doctoral Improvement Grant for her dissertation research "Assessment of Signals in Communication Networks." NSF’s DDIG program is designed to improve the quality of dissertation research by providing funds for items not normally available to doctoral students through their university.

Four OEB defenses scheduled in August

OEB grad students Kim Ogden Vitale, Rachel Bolus, Dana Moseley and Sasha Tulchinsky are all defending during the month of August. Details for each defense are listed below.
The seminar portion of the defense is open to the public
Refreshments will be served before each defense
Copies of each student's thesis or dissertation will be on display in the OEB office one week before the defense date

Kim Vitale MS Thesis Defense

10:00 AM
Thursday, August 8, 2013
319 Morrill 2 (OEB Seminar Room)
Thesis Title: Habitat use and seasonal movement patterns of four-toed salamanders (Hemidactylium scutatum) in Massachusetts
Advisor: Paul Sievert

Goodwin awarded Dissertation Research Grant and Fellowship

In the span of one week, OEB doctoral candidate Sarah Goodwin learned that she had received both a Graduate School Dissertation Research Grant and a Graduate School Fellowship. The Graduate School Dissertation grants are new, competitive awards given to UMass doctoral students to help cover expenses associated with the student's doctoral dissertation research. Goodwin's Graduate School Fellowship was one of only 13 awarded this year to continuing graduate students at UMass. Congratulations Sarah!

Long awarded two grants

OEB doctoral candidate Skye Long was recently awarded grants from Sigma Xi and the Arachnological Society. Congratulations.

OEB Science Café featured in Daily Hampshire Gazette

Goodwin and Rosario at Science Café

This spring's final Science Café was featured in a May 15 Daily Hampshire Gazette article, along with a similar series hosted through Mount Holyoke College. The series of monthly events was started by Sarah Goodwin two years ago and has become the primary outreach focus of OEB grad students. “We desperately want to make science more approachable,” said Goodwin . . . “We want the community to walk away with a better idea of what the science is about and who the scientists are.”

The OEB Cafe ( is on break for the summer, with its next café scheduled for September.

Justin Henningsen Dissertation Defense

10:00 AM
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
319 Morrill 2 (OEB Seminar Room)
Thesis Title: Performance and signaling in the green anole lizard
Advisor: Duncan Irschick

May Science Café: Brace for impact!

May Science Café Poster

Join us at Esselon on Monday, May 6th at 6:00 PM for Brace for Impact! with Gary Gillis of Mt. Holyoke College. Gary will explore the acrobatics of jumping frogs and how they, like gymnasts, coordinate their muscles to effectively prepare for landings. Gary uses biomechanics and neuromuscular analysis to understand how animals are able to control their movements during rapid deceleration.

All Science Café events are free and designed for a public audience. Light snacks will be provided and drinks will be available for purchase. For more information, visit

April Science Café: Speed

Speed Science Cafe poster

Join us at Esselon on Monday, April 15th at 6:00 PM for Speed: Life in the Fast Lane with Sheila Patek of the University of Massachusetts. Dr. Patek will explore some of the world’s fastest animals – but maybe not the ones you’re thinking of! We hope to see you then!

All Science Café events are free and designed for a public audience. Light snacks will be provided and drinks will be available for purchase. For more information, visit

Sinauer Associates Lecture: Eric J Nestler

Neural circuitry of depression

8th Annual Sinauer Associates Lecture
Eric J. Nestler
Department of Neuroscience
Mt. Sinai School of Medicine

"New Insight Into the Neurobiology of Depression"

4 PM Weds, April 3, 2013
222 Morrill Science Center (South)