The Graduate Program in


TLDG Schedule and Readings

The schedule and readings for this spring's Thursday Lunch Discussion Group are posted here. TLDG meets every Thursday from 12 noon - 1 p.m. in the OEB seminar room (319 MOR 2) and, as always, lunch is provided.

February Science Café: Smell

Smell Science Cafe poster

February's Science Café topic is Smell: the Secret Sense and features the work of OEB doctoral candidate Tom Eiting. Learn how the sense of smell works in mammals, from the anatomy of nasal passages to how smell is perceived.

The event begins at 6:00 pm on Monday, February 4 at Esselon Café on Route 9 in Hadley, MA. Light snacks are provided and drinks available for purchase. All Science Café events are free and designed for a public audience. You can find more information on the Science Café series here.

Lord's study on why wolves are forever wild attracting attention

OEB alum Kathryn Lord's (PhD, 2010) recent paper in Ethology, A Comparison of the Sensory Development of Wolves (Canis lupus lupus) and Dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) is attracting attention. Lord's research may explain why wolves are forever wild, but dogs can be tamed. Her work suggests the different behaviors are related to the animals' earliest sensory experiences and the critical period of socialization.

Artemis Roehrig and Joshua Pezet Thesis Defenses

Joshua Pezet, MS Thesis Defense
1:00 PM, Friday, January 18, 2013
319 Morrill II
Advisor: Joe Elkinton

Artemis Roehrig, MS Thesis Defense
10 AM, Thursday, January 17, 2013
319 Morrill II
Advisor: Joe Elkinton

Long and Kuo awarded Dissertation Research Grants

OEB doctoral candidates Skye Long and Chi-Yun Kuo have been selected to receive Graduate School Dissertation Research Grants. These new, competitive grants are awarded to UMass doctoral students to help cover expenses connected to the student's doctoral dissertation research. Congratulations to both!

Sinauer Associates Lecture

Cornelia I. Bargmann
Torsten N. Wiesel Professor
Lulu and Anthony Wang Laboratory of Neural Circuits and Behavior
The Rockefeller University

Using fixed circuits to build flexible behaviors
4:00 p.m.
Wednesday, November 28
Engineering II Auditorium (Rm 119)

Dr. Bargmann's research focuses on how the environment, experience and the biology of the brain interact to shape an animal's behavior. Her lab aims to investigate how neural circuits develop in the nematode C. elegans. She is particularly interested in how genes influence neural pathways and behavior. She also has a longstanding interest in human genetics and developmental disorders.

New book by OEB alums

Eastern Alpine Guide Cover

OEB alums Mike Jones and Liz Wiley, founders of the non-profit Beyond Ktaadn, have just published the Eastern Alpine Guide. Beyond Ktaadn is an interdisciplinary effort to promote the conservation and understanding of alpine environments in eastern North America. Their book documents the biodiversity of these mountain landscapes.

2nd Annual Life Sciences Graduate Research Symposium

The 2nd Annual Life Sciences Graduate Research Symposium will takes place on Friday, November 16th, 2012 in the Campus Center. The symposium celebrates the diversity of research conducted by graduate students in the life sciences at UMass Amherst. Talks are scheduled in Campus Center 163 from 9:00 - 4:00 a.m. The schedule for talks and abstracts are posted. A poster session with an hors d’oeuvres reception immediately follows on 10th Floor of the Campus Center 10th Floor from 4:00 - 6:00 pm.

OEB Admissions Deadline: December 1

Applicants must contact faculty with whom they propose to study prior to filing an application. Information on finding a faculty sponsor, a list of faculty actively seeking students and detailed information on our admissions process can be found on our Admissions page.

November Science Café: Microbes

Join us at Esselon Cafe (Route 9 in Hadley, MA) on Monday, November 12th at 5:30 for “Microbes: Shaking the Tree of Life.” Our guest speaker Dr. Laura Katz will weave a tale of how some of the smallest organisms have played a big role in shaping diversity. Light snacks are provided and drinks are available for purchase.

The Science Café series, organized by grad students in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at UMass, is supported by the Society for the Study of Evolution, Mass. Academy of Sciences, OEB, and UMass Natural History Collections. All Science Cafés are free and designed for a general audience. Our goal is to bring engaging conversations about science to broad audiences. To learn more, go to