News & Announcements

Long and Kuo awarded Dissertation Research Grants

OEB doctoral candidates Skye Long and Chi-Yun Kuo have been selected to receive Graduate School Dissertation Research Grants. These new, competitive grants are awarded to UMass doctoral students to help cover expenses connected to the student's doctoral dissertation research. Congratulations to both!

Sinauer Associates Lecture

Cornelia I. Bargmann
Torsten N. Wiesel Professor
Lulu and Anthony Wang Laboratory of Neural Circuits and Behavior

The Rockefeller University
Using fixed circuits to build flexible behaviors
4:00 p.m.
Wednesday, November 28
Engineering II Auditorium (Rm 119)

Dr. Bargmann's research focuses on how the environment, experience and the biology of the brain interact to shape an animal's behavior. Her lab aims to investigate how neural circuits develop in the nematode C. elegans. She is particularly interested in how genes influence neural pathways and behavior. She also has a longstanding interest in human genetics and developmental disorders.

New book by OEB alums

Eastern Alpine Guide Cover

OEB alums Mike Jones and Liz Wiley, founders of the non-profit Beyond Ktaadn, have just published the Eastern Alpine Guide. Beyond Ktaadn is an interdisciplinary effort to promote the conservation and understanding of alpine environments in eastern North America. Their book documents the biodiversity of these mountain landscapes.

2nd Annual Life Sciences Graduate Research Symposium

The 2nd Annual Life Sciences Graduate Research Symposium will takes place on Friday, November 16th, 2012 in the Campus Center. The symposium celebrates the diversity of research conducted by graduate students in the life sciences at UMass Amherst. Talks are scheduled in Campus Center 163 from 9:00 - 4:00 a.m. The schedule for talks and abstracts are posted. A poster session with an hors d’oeuvres reception immediately follows on 10th Floor of the Campus Center 10th Floor from 4:00 - 6:00 pm.

OEB Admissions Deadline:  December 1

Applicants must contact faculty with whom they propose to study prior to filing an application. Information on finding a faculty sponsor, a list of faculty actively seeking students and detailed information on our admissions process can be found on our Admissions page.

November Science Café:  Microbes

Join us at Esselon Cafe (Route 9 in Hadley, MA) on Monday, November 12th at 5:30 for “Microbes: Shaking the Tree of Life.” Our guest speaker Dr. Laura Katz will weave a tale of how some of the smallest organisms have played a big role in shaping diversity. Light snacks are provided and drinks are available for purchase.

The Science Café series, organized by grad students in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at UMass, is supported by the Society for the Study of Evolution, Mass. Academy of Sciences, OEB, and UMass Natural History Collections. All Science Cafés are free and designed for a general audience. Our goal is to bring engaging conversations about science to broad audiences. To learn more, go to

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!