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

IDGP Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Statement

The Interdepartmental Graduate Programs in Life Sciences (IDGPs) believe that a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment is critical to all that we do.  We recognize that systemic racism exists in our society and we pledge to educate ourselves so that we can change our ingrained habits and beliefs. We are committed to make our programs accessible to all and to increase the success of all our members. We dedicate our time, effort and financial resources to these activities. We work with Institutional leaders, faculty, staff and students to achieve these goals. We are providing this pdf link so that you are able to view a working document of our activities. 

We are proud of our amazing students and post docs who have worked tirelessly for the betterment of our community. Our students have fostered a tight-knit, progressive community and their recent efforts have resulted in this petition for systematic change.  We stand with them in recognizing that change is required in order to make progress toward a more equitable, just, diverse and inclusive environment. 

The University has established an Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and their website provides links to many resources. We encourage you to make use of these tools, including links to videos, books and podcasts as well as programing, as we embark together on our journey to improve our community for all our members.  

We are pleased to announce the following OEB PhD dissertation defense

Kadambari Devarajan

Kadambari Devarajan
Tuesday, July 13, 2021
9:30 AM
Dissertation Title: Monitoring Mammals at Multiple Scales: Case Studies from Carnivore Communities

We are pleased to announce the following OEB MS thesis defense

Gates Dupont

Gates Dupont
Friday, June 11, 2021
10:00 AM
Thesis Title: Statistical improvements for ecological learning about spatial processes

Kadambari Devarajan, Joe Drake, and Toni Lyn Morelli Published in PLOS Computational Biology

OEB's Kadambari Devarajan, Joe Drake, and Toni Lyn Morelli are part of a team that published a paper in PLOS Computational Biology, which set out guiding principles to help scientists structure their lab meetings to be more inclusive and productive, ultimately leading to better science. Congratulations! Read more

ASN Announces Dr. Kiers Winner of the 2021 E. O. Wilson Naturalist Award

Dr. Toby Kiers

Former OEB Darwin Fellow, Toby Kiers, has won the EO Wilson Naturalist Award from the American Society of Naturalists. During her time at UMass, Dr. Kiers worked with Dr. Lynn Adler to ask how plant hormones mediate characteristics of above and belowground mutualisms. She is currently University Research Chair and Professor of Evolutionary Biology at Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. Read more