Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Scope and Objectives

Organismic biology touches every aspect of modern life, and understanding how living organisms are adapted to their environments is the major challenge of the discipline. To meet this challenge, the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology offers undergraduate and graduate instruction at all levels of biology — from regulatory and physiological processes within organisms through the natural ecology and behavior of living organisms and to the population and community dynamics of multiple species. All of these subject areas address practical problems facing the world today, and all influence human decisions on matters ranging from conservation of the environment to advancement of medical science.

The Bachelor of Science degrees combine essential background studies in mathematics, chemistry, and physics with a general introduction to all of the biological subjects, as well as advanced in-depth exposure to some of them. The Master of Science and PhD degrees provide opportunities for advanced, concentrated study. The Master of Science degree requires, in addition to specified coursework, completion of either a comprehensive examination or the performance of original research culminating in a thesis. The PhD degree requires independent and innovative research that ultimately results in a dissertation.