About OEB

OEB provides interdepartmental training for MS and PhD students in ecology, animal behavior, organismal biology 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 & Announcements

Patricia Brennan's research is featured in Science Magazine videos:

Episode webpage: http://www.sciencemag.org/projects/xxfiles/9

Youtube links:

XX Files : Animalia genitalia : Patty Brennan : https://youtu.be/lNJ5tibNKyg

XX Files : Animalia genitalia : Duck surprise [CLIP] : https://youtu.be/YtYnpvIp1QM

XX Files : Animalia genitalia : My science is basic science [CLIP]  https://youtu.be/VoqmhI24wiQ

XX Files : Animalia genitalia : Diversity in science [CLIP] : https://youtu.be/5zIRqDeYU_0

Andrew Smith Dissertation Defense

1:00 PM
Friday, January 20, 2017
209 French Hall
Dissertation Title: The role of phenotypic integration in mammalian tooth function and jaw morphological diversity
PI: Betsy Dumont

Search For Darwin Fellow Is Underway

The Graduate Program in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at University of Massachusetts Amherst announces a two-year postdoctoral FELLOWSHIP/lectureship. OEB draws together more than 90 faculty from the Five Colleges (University of Massachusetts Amherst and Smith, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke and Amherst Colleges), offering unique training and research opportunities in the fields of ecology, organismic and evolutionary biology. Our research/lecture position provides recent PhD's an opportunity for independent research with an OEB faculty sponsor, as well as experience mentoring graduate students and teaching a one-semester undergraduate biology course. To be qualified, a candidate must have a recent PhD in a field relevant to ecology, organismic or evolutionary biology and proven teaching skills. Position subject to availability of funds. Read more...

Amy Strauss Awarded Graduate School Dissertation Research Grant

Amy Strauss was awarded a Graduate School Dissertation Research Grant to support her work on song learning in birds. Amy's research explores how certain social and acoustic factors affect the song development process in juvenile male songbirds. During the summer of 2016, she hand-reared wild-caught males in the lab and controlled their acoustic environment throughout the sensitive song learning phase. She presented audio & video stimuli to simulate different acoustic and interactive contexts the birds may encounter in the wild.To understand how these different contexts influence song development, she will use this grant funding to obtain high-quality recordings of the lab males once their songs are crystallized, and perform acoustic analysis to determine song learning outcomes. This research will provide insight into the developmental mechanisms underlying individual variation in bird song learning. Amy is an OEB PhD candidate in the Podos Lab.

Broadley awarded Graduate School Dissertation Fieldwork Grant 

Hannah Broadley photo

Hannah Broadley was awarded a Graduate School Fieldwork Grant to help cover the travel costs for her spring and summer fieldwork.  Hannah is studying the interactions of predators, parasitoids, and pathogens of the invasive forest pest, winter moth, and its native congener Bruce spanworm.  With this support, Hannah will complete her collection of winter moth and Bruce spanworm parasitoids.  This award follows her recent publication “The phylogenetic relationship and cross-infection of nucleopolyhedrovires between the invasive winter moth (Operophtera brumata) and its native congener, Bruce spanworm (O. bruceata)” in the Journal of Invertebrate Pathology. She found that the two species do not appear to share pathogens, but she hypothesizes that they do share parasitoids. Her upcoming fieldwork will help answer this. Broadley is an OEB Phd candidate in the Elkinton lab.