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 Wadsworth, incoming Director of the Interdepartmental Graduate Programs (IDGP), Awarded the 2018 CNS Outstanding Service/Engagement Award

Patricia (Pat) Wadsworth, Professor and Associate Chair of Biology, who will become the Director of IDGP in June 2018, has been awarded the 2018 CNS Outstanding Service/Engagement Award. CNS Outstanding Achievement Awards recognize excellence and honor faculty and staff members and students who have made important contributions to their discipline, department, college, and university. Recipients are presented with their awards at a special ceremony in the spring. Read More

Upcoming OPD Workshop: Strategies and Tools to Secure External Funding 

Goodell Building

Wednesday, May 16th - 2:30-3:30pm
LSL N610

Searching for Funding: Interdisciplinary Graduate Programsd in Life Sciences (IDGP)

Would you like to have external funding to support your research, and bolster your CV? Get started by learning about basic tools available to UMass graduate students and postdocs to help find grants and fellowships. Dr. Heidi Bauer Clapp, Assistant Director for Grants & Fellowships in the Graduate School Office of Professional Development, will present an external funding workshop to IDGP Students, Post-Docs, and Faculty We’ll discuss common funding sources for students in the life sciences, how to search for funding as an international student, and strategize how to align funding applications with your graduate career. 

UPCOMING OFFICE OF PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT WORKSHOPS

Outreach and Public Engagement Summit: Wednesday, April 11

Are you interested in finding a larger audience for your research or pursuing a career in outreach and public engagement? If so,then please attend the April 11th Outreach and Public Engagement Summit, which will help you make the connections and provide you with information necessary to achieve your goals.  Pre-registration is requested: https://tinyurl.com/OPESummit.

Luis Aguirre Awarded NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

photo of luis agirre

Congratulations to Luis Aguirre (Lynn Adler lab), who was awarded an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship! The title of his research proposal is: "Herbivory-Induced Effects on Pollinator Foraging Behavior and Network Structure: Consequences for Plant Reproduction." This semester he was also awarded a pre-dissertation research grant ($1,000) from the Graduate School and the Natural History Collections Scholarship ($2,400). Both of these grants will be used to do preliminary work (preliminary data collection, professional training, etc.) to carry out the research outlined in the NSF GRFP proposal.

Amy Strauss Awarded Developmental Science Initiative Dissertation Fellowhip

photo of amy strauss

Amy Strauss was awarded a Developmental Science Initiative Dissertation Fellowship in the amount of $10,000 from UMass Amherst's Center for Research on Families, an interdisciplinary research center based in the College of Natural Sciences and the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. The award funds PhD students who exhibit the potential to make an outstanding contribution to the field of developmental science. 

Amy's research explores vocal learning in male songbirds, a process in which young birds learn to sing by reproducing the songs they hear during a 'sensitive period' early in life. This award will support Amy's work investigating the social and acoustic factors that influence how juvenile songbird brains store and represent auditory memories of tutor songs heard during early development. This process of sensory input storage occurs before vocal production even begins, laying a neural foundation that enables young birds to eventually produce adult song. The developmental process of song learning in birds parallels that of speech learning in humans, so this work will not only provide insight into birdsong developmental pathways, but may have applications in the field of human speech and language pathology. Amy is an OEB PhD candidate in the Podos Lab, and this research is part of a collaboration with the Remage-Healey Lab.