Ecology and Evolution

The Ecology and Evolution Concentration focuses on the fundamental patterns and processes of evolution and on the origins and maintenance of biological diversity, including its distribution, dynamics, and the consequences of biological diversity and species interactions for ecosystem functioning and services. 

Our faculty members pursue research at all levels of biological organization, from organisms and populations to communities and ecosystems throughout life’s four billion year history.  Research is conducted on extant and extinct life with a focus on plants, microbes, invertebrates, fish, dinosaurs, and mammals, among others; and in terrestrial, freshwater, and marine environments.  Students may pursue a master's or doctoral degree conducting research in any of those areas of study.

Required Coursework

  • AEC502, Introduction to Biology Research (Fall)
  • PHI816, Research Ethics (or equivalent)

Concentration Chair

Dr. Alonso Ramirez

Quantitative Requirement

Choose one of the following:

  • ST511 or ST512 — Experimental Statistics in Biological Sciences I & II (Fall&Spring; Staff)
  • AEC510 — Machine Learning Approaches in Biology (Fall odd years; Reading)
  • ST505 — Applied Nonparametric Statistics (Spring; Lu)
  • BMA567 — Modeling Biological Systems (Alternate years; Gross)

Ecology Required Coursework:

Choose one of the following:

  • AEC503 — Foundations of Ecology (Spring; Irwin)
  • AEC519 — Freshwater Ecology (Spring even years; Taylor)
  • AEC/ENT509 — Ecology and Conservation of Freshwater Invertebrates (Spring odd years, Taylor)
  • AEC761 — Conservation & Climate Science (Fall, even years; Terando)
  • BIO/BMA560 — Population Ecology (Spring odd years; Gross)
  • MEA750 — Marine Benthic Ecology (Fall and Spring; Eggleston)
  • TBD — Paleoecology (Term Fall; Gates)

Evolution Required Coursework:

Choose one of the following:

  • BIO570 — Evolutionary Ecology (Fall odd years; Langerhans)
  • ENT591 — Principles of Biosystematics (Term TBA; Wiegmann)
  • GN550 — Conservation Genetics (Spring even years; Burford Reiskind)
  • GN703 — Population and Quantitiatve Genetics (Spring; Staff)
  • GN713 — Quantitative Genetics and Breeding (Spring; Staff)
  • GN740 — Evolutionary Genetics (Fall; Staff)
  • GN757 — Quantitative Genetics Theory and Methods (Fall; Staff)
  • PB503 — Systematic Botany (Spring; Staff)
  • PB545 — Paleobotany (Spring; Staff)
  • TBD — Human Paleontology (Term TBA; Ross)
  • TBD — Evolutionary Transitions (Term TBA; Schweitzer)
  • TBD — Molecular Paleontology (Term TBA; Schweitzer)
  • TBD — Taphonomy (Term TBA; Schweitzer)

Advising Faculty:

Name Email Website
Areas of Expertise
Borski, Russell
Fish endocrinology and physiological, molecular, and cellular developmental biology
Buckel, Jeffrey
Marine and estuarine fisheries science
Burford Reiskind, Martha
Population and conservation genomics, Rapid evoloution in changing environments, Conservation
Collazo, Jaime
Population dynamics, Conservation biology
Cope, Gregory
Ecotoxicology, Contaminants and water quality; Conservation of native freshwater fish and mollusks; Invasive species
Dunn, Robert
Hominins, Fermented food, Evolution, the Future
Eaton, Mitchell
Species distribution modeling, Decision sciences, Quantitative ecology, Climate adaptation
Eggleston, David
Marine ecology and conservation
Gates, Terry
Dinosaur evolution and ecology, Sexual selection, Evolutionary theory, Fossil sharks
Gross, Kevin
Mathematical biology, Population ecology, Science of science
Guerrero, Rafael
Hartsone-Rose, Adam
Functional morphology, Comparative anatomy, Informal STEM engagement
Heil, Caiti
Evolutionary genetics, Hybridization, Recombination
Heise, Ryan N/A Fish ecology
Hightower, Joseph
Fisheries science, Population modeling
Hopkins, Skylar
Irwin, Rebecca
Community & Evolutionary ecology, Pollination biology
Kwak, Thomas
Fish and river ecology and management, Conservation ecology, Production biology
Langerhans, Brian
Evolutionary ecology, Speciation, Adaptation, Predictability of evolution, Trait change in the Anthropocene, Conservation
McKenney, Erin
Microbial ecology of guts and fermented foods
McKerrow, Alexa Spatial ecology
Pacifici, Krishna
Quantitative ecology
Ramirez, Alonso
Tropical stream ecology 2) Urban ecology 3) Community ecology
Reading, Benjamin
Aquaculture, physiology, machine learning, genomics, fishes
Schweitzer, Mary Paleobiology
Sheth, Seema
Evolutionary ecology, Biogeography
Shroeter, Elena
Smith, Adrian
Animal behavior, Communication
Tarpy, David
Behavioral ecology, Social biology, Apiculture
Taylor, Bradley
Freshwater ecosystems, Community and ecosystem ecology
Terando, Adam
Human-caused global change impacts on climate and ecosystems
Walker, Christopher
Anatomy, Biological anthropology
Youngsteadt, Elsa
Urban ecology, Community ecology, Wild pollinators
Zakas, Christina
EvoDevo, Genetics & Genomics, Life-History
Zanno, Lindsay and
Paleontology, Evolutionary Biology