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

Ana Caicedo and Jacob Barnett's Tomato Research Featured in: Vegetable Growers News

Dr. Ana Caicedo

Professor Ana Caicedo and OEB PhD student Jacob Barnett are studying the evolution of wild tomatoes in an effort to create plants that are disease and pest resistant and also have good flavor and appearance. Their research is being featured in a story published in the "Vegetable Growers News."  Read more

Announcing the Inauguration of the On-Ramp Summer Pre-graduate Program

IDGP On Ramp Students 2019

The Interdepartmental Graduate Programs in the Life Sciences (IDGPs) launched a brand-new On-Ramp program for entering students on August 1st, with 18 soon-to-be PhD students participating. The month-long On-Ramp program is designed to facilitate the transition to graduate school by providing mentoring and professional development opportunities prior to the start of fall classes. Participants have the opportunity to work closely with a faculty member and current graduate students in a laboratory or in the field on research. In addition to hands-on training experience, On-Ramp students participate in lab meetings, journal clubs, and professional development workshops. On-Ramp students are paired with a graduate student peer mentor and join current students for social and programmatic events. There has been enthusiastic support for On-Ramp from all four IDGP graduate programs (MCB, NSB, OEB, and PB). We hope the On-Ramp Summer Research Program becomes a permanent part of the IDGP graduate experience at UMass.
Molecular and Cellular Biology Program
Neuroscience and Behavior Program
Organismic and Evolutionary Biology Program
Plant Biology Program

Three OEB Students Awarded NSF Graduate Research Fellowships

Congratulations to Eve Beaury, Alison Fowler, and Rachel Bell, who were among nine UMass students to win the 2019 competition for NSF Graduate Research Fellowships. Barbara Krauthamer, dean of the Graduate School, says these are some of the most prestigious and competitive awards available to students. (Read more...)

Marine Protected Reserves Do More Than Restore Fish
News on the need to protect and restore biodiversity in our oceans

Scalloped hammerhead shark (Sphyrna lewin) aggregation near Darwin Island in the Galapagos Marine Reserve. Photo courtesy of UMass Amherst/Brian Cheng.

Analyzing field experiments from across the globe, Brian Cheng and collaborators at the Smithsonian Institution and the University of Florida say their findings reveal that marine reserves increase predation rates by protecting predators that were once heavily fished by humans, allowing their numbers to thrive. Their study appears online in the current issue of Ecology, the flagship journal of the Ecological Society of America. Read More

Mariamar Gutierrez Ramirez wins Ford Foundation Fellowship
4 OEB students awarded grants from the Natural History Collections

Congratulations to Mariamar Gutierrez Ramirez on being awarded the highly competitive and prestigious Ford Foundation Fellowship. Woohoo! Way to go, Mariamar! In addition, 4 students were awarded grants this year from the Natural History Collections: Rachel Bell, Kadambari Devarajan, Chaise Gilbert, and Carolina Muñoz-Agudelo. We are excited to celebrate all these successes - be sure to share yours with us!