News & Announcements

Long featured in LiveScience story on scared spiders

OEB doctoral candidate Skye Long is featured in a LiveScience story titled Jeepers, Peepers: Why Spiders Have So Many Eyes!. A new study on jumping spiders, conducted in the lab of Beth Jakob, finds that while the center, or principal, pair of eyes is good at picking out details, one of the side pairs is crucial for warning spiders when something is coming their way. A paper detailing the research, Secondary eyes mediate the response to looming objects in jumping spiders (Phidippus audax, Salticidae) by undergrad Lauren Spano, Skye Long and Elizabeth Jakob, is published in in the latest Royal Society Biology Letters.

October Science Café

October Science Café Flyer

Join us at Esselon Cafe on Monday, October 8th at 5:30 for “Forbidden Love: Crickets in the Hybrid Zone.” Guest speaker Dr. Charles Ross will wow the audience with a tale of ecology, reproductive isolation, and speciation starring crickets. The event begins at 5:30pm, with light snacks provided and drinks available for purchase. All Science Café events are free and designed for a general audience. For more information, please see

Evolution Core Course website

Check the OEB Evolution Core Course website's Weekly Preparation Pages for information on readings and assignments.

Brown awarded NSF DDIG

OEB doctoral candidate Lexi Brown, who works with Ethan Clotfelter at Amherst College, was awarded a NSF DDIG for her project "The food matrix mediates carotenoid tradeoffs in a reverse-dimorphic cichlid." Congratulations Lexi!

September Science Café

Science Cafe flyer

The OEB Science Café kicks off their Fall series on Monday, September 10th at Esselon Café in Hadley, MA with “How to Build an Organism: a DIY Guide.” Dr. Craig Albertson from UMass will discuss some of his work exploring the design and diversification of the animal body form, proceeding from the genetic blueprint to principles of animal development. The event begins at 5:30pm, with light snacks provided and drinks available for purchase. All Science Café events are free and designed for a public audience. Please help us to spread the word and pass along this information to anyone you think would be interested. For more information, please see

The Science Café series is organized by graduate students in the Organismic and Evolutionary Biology (OEB) program at UMass. It is supported by the Society for the Study of Evolution, the Massachusetts Academy of Sciences, OEB, and the UMass Natural History Collections. We strive to bring engaging conversations about science to broad audiences by hosting Science Café events throughout the year.

OEB alum Susannah Lerman awarded NSF SEES Fellowship

2011 OEB alum Susannah Lerman was awarded a 3-year NSF Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability Fellowship for her project: Sustainability begins at home - Understanding linkages between stewardship, urban yards and biodiversity. She will be working with Keith Nislow and Erika Svendsen from the US Forest Service Northern Research Station (Amherst and New York City research stations) and Craig Nicolson from the Department of Environmental Conservation at UMass. Congratulations Susannah!

Ted Stankowich seminar: July 26

Spikes, Spines, Sprays, Shields and their Signals:
The Evolutionary Ecology of Antipredator Defenses in Mammals

12 noon
Thursday, July 26
222 Morrill II

Ted Stankowich, Darwin Fellow Emeritus, will present a seminar prior to his move to California to begin his new position as Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences, California State University, Long Beach. Pizza will be served before the seminar

Kudos to OEB students

• Congratulations to Chi-Yun Kuo, who received one of only 9 University Fellowships for Continuing Students awarded for 2012/13
• And also to Patrick Green, who was awarded the 2011/2012 OEB TA Award for his outstanding work in the Honors Introductory Biology course (Biology 197).

Recent grad Charney publishes in Evolution

Noah Charney has a paper in the May 2012 issue of Evolution, Relating hybrid advantage and genome replacement in unisexual salamanders. Noah, who received his PhD in 2011, was a student of Paige Warren's. Congratulations Noah!

Del Toro awarded Fulbright for research in Australia

OEB Doctoral Candidate Israel Del Toro will spend the upcoming year in Australia as a Fulbright Fellow working at the CSIRO Tropical Ecosystems Research Centere with Dr. Allan Andersen. During his Fellowship, Del Toro will investigate how ant communities change across environmental gradients in the tropics and savannahs of the Northern Territory and Queensland. Congratulations!