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.  

Distinguished Faculty Lecture Series Presented by Dr. Kristen M. DeAngelis 

Dr. Kristen DeAngelis

Dr. DeAngelis has been selected to present the Distinguished Faculty Lecture "Healthy Soils: Our Hope for a Warming World" on December 8, 2021 at 4:00 PM

Established in 1974, the annual Distinguished Faculty Lecture is dedicated to acknowledging the work of our most esteemed and accomplished faculty members. The lecture series not only honors individual faculty members and their achievements, but also celebrates the values of academic excellence that we share as a community. Each honoree is presented with the Chancellor’s Medal, the highest recognition bestowed upon faculty by the campus. Read more

We are pleased to announce the following OEB PhD dissertation defense

Lian Guo

Lian Guo
Thursday, December 2, 2021
10:30 AM
French Hall, Room 209
Dissertation Title: Thermal Ecophysiology of Juvenile Anadromous River Herring

Graduate Students Organize the UMass Amherst SACNAS Fall 2021 Kick-off Event

UMass Amherst SACNAS Fall 2021 Kick-off Event

The SACNAS (Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science) chapter at UMASS Amherst held their first kick-off event of the fall! Chapter officers were excited to share the group's goals and meet with interested students of all years, staff, and faculty. The event was organized by Miriam Hernandez-Romero (PB), Estefany Argueta (OEB), Natasha de la Rosa-Rivera (NSB), Leah Travis-Taylor (GeoSci), and Nadia Fernandez (ECO). 

If you want to be in the loop about how to support BIPOC students on campus and get info on future events, connect with us here:

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We are pleased to announce the following OEB PhD dissertation defense

Joseph Drake

Joseph Drake
Thursday, August 5, 2021
10:00 AM
Dissertation Title: On Spatiotemporal connectivity dynamics: Perspectives from a naturally fragmented metapopulation

Aaron Grade's PhD work is featured on UMass News!

Aaron Grade, Credit: Lucy Zhang

AMHERST, Mass. – A team of researchers headquartered at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has recently discovered that fear plays an important, unrecognized role in the underdevelopment, and increased vulnerability, of backyard songbirds. Read more

Michelle Gilbert's art featured alongside other Talented Women in Art and Marine Science

Photo by Michelle Gilbert

OEB's Michelle Gilbert is one of many exceedingly talented artists featured on Talented Women in Art and Marine Science, hosted by Women in Fisheries. Stop by the site for some breathtaking marine-inspired images!

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

Meghna Marjadi Awarded a 2021 Switer Fellowship

Meghna Marjadi

Meghna Marjadi is one of 20 graduate students who has been awarded a 2021 Switzer Fellowship.  

The Switzer Fellowship offers one-year fellowships to highly talented graduate students from diverse academic and personal backgrounds in New England and California whose studies and career goals are directed toward environmental improvement and who clearly demonstrate leadership in their field. The fellowship includes a $15,000 cash award, leadership training, access to a vibrant network of nearly 700 Switzer Fellowship alums, and opportunities for professional development and grants beyond the fellowship year.

Switzer Fellows are on the leading edge of environmental and social change through efforts in environmental science, policy, justice, public health, economics, journalism, urban planning, business, law and more.  Switzer Fellows come from diverse social, academic and economic backgrounds. They are committed to interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral work, applied results, and collaborative leadership. Further, they are committed to their own professional development and to continually improving their leadership skills throughout their careers.

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