News & Announcements

Sinauer Associates Lecture:  Scott Gilbert

Gilbert and turtle shell

Dr. Scott Gilbert will give this fall’s Sinauer Associates Lecture on October 18 at 3:00 in 222 Morrill 2. His talk Extending Lynn's view: A new symbiotic biology combines his interest in developmental biology, evolution and the history of science. Dr. Gilbert is a professor of Biology at Swarthmore College and the University of Helsinki. He has written several textbooks, and is currently investigating a remarkable evolutionary novelty: how the turtle got its shell. Following the lecture, there will be a reception at the University Club.

The Sinauer Lecture series is sponsored by Sinauer Associates, Inc., publisher of college texts in biology, psychology and neuroscience.

Three OEB alums land positions at Arcadia University

Kara Belinksy (PhD, 2008), Chad Hoefler (PhD, 2005) and, most recently, Tobias Landberg (MS, 2003) have joined the Biology faculty at Arcadia University. The 4,000-student university is located outside of Philadelphia. Four of the school's 13 biology faculty are OEB-trained. Small world!

Science Café announces fall series

Science Cafe Logo

The Science Café series, organized by OEB grad students, is designed to facilitate an engaging science discussion outside university walls in an informative but relaxed atmosphere. Each event is focused on a single topic, with a guest speaker, quiz bowl, and questions and answer.

Science Cafés are held at Esselon Café in Hadley on Monday nights. All events start at 6:00 p.m. and are free.

For more info, see

Monday, September 9th
Some Like it Hot, with Dr. Bethany Bradley Climate change, invasions, and marauding honeysuckle.

Monday, October 7th
How to Scare a Spider, with Skye Long A spider’s view of the world.

Monday, November 4th
Live Wires: Bacterial Batteries, with Dr. Derek Lovley How to turn microorganisms into living fuel cells. Really.

Monday, December 9th
To the Sea (and back again), with Dr. Steve McCormick
Fresh water, salt water, lather, rinse, repeat. Migratory fish tackle major environmental challenges.

Moseley wins Allee Award at 2013 ABS meeting

Dana Moseley is the winner of the 2013 Warder Clyde Allee Competition for Best Student Paper at the Animal Behavior Society's Annual Conference in Boulder, CO. Dana, who is defending later in August, is a doctoral candidate in the Podos lab. The award is given to the best presentation of an ethological work of research by a student in a juried competition held at their annual meeting. Congratulations Dana!

Goodwin awarded NSF DDIG

Sarah Goodwin, a doctoral candidate in the Podos lab, has been awarded a NSF Dissertation Doctoral Improvement Grant for her dissertation research "Assessment of Signals in Communication Networks." NSF’s DDIG program is designed to improve the quality of dissertation research by providing funds for items not normally available to doctoral students through their university.

Four OEB defenses scheduled in August

OEB grad students Kim Ogden Vitale, Rachel Bolus, Dana Moseley and Sasha Tulchinsky are all defending during the month of August.  Details for each defense are listed below.

The seminar portion of the defense is open to the public

Refreshments will be served before each defense

Copies of each student's thesis or dissertation will be on display in the OEB office one week before the defense date

Goodwin awarded Dissertation Research Grant and Fellowship

In the span of one week, OEB doctoral candidate Sarah Goodwin learned that she had received both a Graduate School Dissertation Research Grant and a Graduate School Fellowship. The Graduate School Dissertation grants are new, competitive awards given to UMass doctoral students to help cover expenses associated with the student's doctoral dissertation research. Goodwin's Graduate School Fellowship was one of only 13 awarded this year to continuing graduate students at UMass. Congratulations Sarah!

OEB Science Café featured in Daily Hampshire Gazette

Goodwin and Rosario at Science Café

This spring's final Science Café was featured in a May 15 Daily Hampshire Gazette article, along with a similar series hosted through Mount Holyoke College. The series of monthly events was started by Sarah Goodwin two years ago and has become the primary outreach focus of OEB grad students. “We desperately want to make science more approachable,” said Goodwin . . . “We want the community to walk away with a better idea of what the science is about and who the scientists are.”

The OEB Cafe ( is on break for the summer, with its next café scheduled for September.

Long awarded two grants

OEB doctoral candidate Skye Long was recently awarded grants from Sigma Xi and the Arachnological Society. Congratulations.

May Science Café: Brace for impact!

May Science Café Poster

Join us at Esselon on Monday, May 6th at 6:00 PM for Brace for Impact! with Gary Gillis of Mt. Holyoke College. Gary will explore the acrobatics of jumping frogs and how they, like gymnasts, coordinate their muscles to effectively prepare for landings. Gary uses biomechanics and neuromuscular analysis to understand how animals are able to control their movements during rapid deceleration.

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