News & Announcements

March Science Café: Beyond the Chatter

March Science Café poster

March's Science Café features Sarah Partan, Hampshire College, who will present Beyond the Chatter: Adventures in Animal Communication on Monday, March 4 at 6 p.m. at Esselon Café.

Learn about the fascinating world of animal communication and the answers to such questions as: Why did the robot squirrel wave its tail? What do female pigeons really want, his song or his dance? Do urban birds find it harder to get a date over all that noise?

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

Today's OEB seminar is cancelled due to snowstorm

With the University closing at noon today, Kristina Stinson's seminar has been cancelled.

Classic Readings in Evolution and Ecology

Classic Readings will meet on Tuesdays from 12 noon - 1 pm in the OEB Seminar Room (319 MOR 2). The schedule and pdfs of papers can be found here. All OEB grad students are invited. Contact discussion leader Scott Schneider with questions.

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.

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.