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

Laura Hancock Awarded UMass Graduate School Pre-dissertation Research Grant

Laura Hancock Field Work Photo

Laura Hancock was recently awarded a $995 UMass Graduate School Pre-dissertation Research Grant to help cover travel costs and lodging for her preliminary field work this summer. Laura is planning on working with Leptonycteris yerbabuenae (lesser long-nosed bats) and other bat species in the desert southwest to better understand their foraging behavior and how possible species interactions might alter pollination of native  plants. Laura is a PhD student in the Stinson and Podos labs.

Laura Hancock: Recent Publication and Conference Presentations

Laura Hancock Field Work Photo

Laura Hancock, along with her adviser, Kristina Stinson, and other collaborators, recently published work looking at how different ecotypes of the allergenic plant common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia) respond to elevated levels of CO2. The paper was published in  June 2016 in Oecologia and is titled "Northern ragweed ecotypes flower earlier and longer in response to elevated CO2: what are you sneezing at?"

Laura recently presented preliminary data from her master's thesis at two conferences, the Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting and Botany 2016. Her presentations were about long-term metapopulation dynamics of the invasive plant garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) across a forest microhabitat gradient.


William Rodriguez-Reillo Awarded DOE Fellowship

Wiilliam Rodriguez awarded DOE fellowship image

William Rodriguez-Reillo has been awarded a DOE fellowship in the Science Graduate Student Research Program.  He will be conducting his fellowship at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratories in Washington, for his project "Integration of high resolution soil chemical data and metatranscriptomics to determine the molecular mechanisms underlying ecosystem responses to long-term soil warming."

Michael Griego receives NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

Congratulations to OEB student Michael Griego, who has been awarded a Graduate Research Fellowship by the National Science Foundation.  The title of Michael’s project is “Body composition and comparative refueling performance during avian migration.”

OEB Science Café awarded funds through the NSF GRFP Learning Community Outreach Grant Program

photo of oeb science cafe group

OEB Science Café is going strong!  The group was recently awarded funds through the NSF GRFP Learning Community Outreach Grant Program.  Science Café was started by a group of OEB graduate students in 2011 with the goal of promoting direct interactions and conversations between the public and scientists. Our events are aimed at an adult audience of nonscientists from the broader community.  Since its inception, the group has brought over 45 programs to the local community, serving an estimated 1,500 audience members. The funds from NSF through the Graduate School will  help jump-start new initiatives including opportunities to share programming more broadly through collaboration with the That’s Life Science graduate student blog and through more focused efforts on broadcasting Cafés and video shorts.  To learn more, check out the websites for Science Cafe and That’s Life [Science]