News & Announcements

We are pleased to announce the following OEB MS thesis defense

Justin Roch
August 28, 2023 at 1pm
Dissertation Title: Molecular phylogenetics and geometric morphometrics reveal possible cryptic species within the solitary bees Melissodes agilis and M. trinodis (Hymenoptera: Apidae)

OEB PhD candidate Jacob Barnett leading teaching workshop

Jake was selected to share his expertise on active learning as part of OPD's Teaching Academy — a series of teaching workshops for UMass grad students and postdocs. Check out details here. Congratulations, Jake!

OEB PhD candidate Katrina Zarrella Smith awarded a NMFS-Sea Grant Fellowship

Katrina was selected to be the recipient of a 2023 National Marine Fisheries Service-Sea Grant Joint Fellowship. Her project is titled "Building a next-generation, climate-ready stock assessment informed by spatially explicit population processes". Since 1999, when the fellowship began, just over 120 individuals have been awarded this competitive fellowship. Amazing news, Katrina! More here.

We are pleased to announce the following OEB PhD dissertation defense

PhD candidate Luis Aguirre

Luis Aguirre
Tuesday, August 1, 2023
10:30 AM
Morrill 3 Room 222
Dissertation title: Contextual effects on pollination: assessing the effects of herbivory and diversity on plant-pollinator interactions

OEB PhD candidate Alex Winsor wins first prize in student paper competition

Alex Winsor won first prize in the student paper competition at the annual meeting of the American Arachnological Society at the Cornell University. His paper was called "Visual object categorization in the jumping spider brain". Congrats, Alex!

Calling all CNS Grad Students!

Happy end of the semester and start of summer! To celebrate, join your fellow grad students for an evening of food, fun, and trivia presented by CNS and Life Science Café and sponsored by your Graduate Student Organizations! Show off your science, UMass, and Sci-Fi knowledge on the 29th of June at 6pm at the Hangar Bar and Grill (10 University Dr., Amherst, MA)

We’ll buy the food and you buy the drinks! We hope to see you there!

Pre-register your trivia team and win an extra trivia point! Make a team ahead of time or join one day-of! Maximum of 8 people per group please. If there are more, feel free to break into two groups!

There will be questions across 5 different topics so get ready to be challenged!

Any questions? Please email:

We are pleased to announce the following OEB PhD dissertation defense

Jessica Norstog

Jessica Norstog
May 11, 2023
Dissertation Title: Osmoregulation and appetite regulation in a basal vertebrate, the sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus)

We are pleased to announce the following OEB PhD dissertation defense

Patrick Roberts
April 4, 2023
Dissertation Title: Landscape ecology and conservation of freshwater turtles in the eastern United States

We are pleased to announce the following OEB PhD dissertation defense

Meghna Marjadi
March 31, 2023
Dissertation Title: Timing is everything: climate change implications for phenological events and reproductive success in river herring

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.