Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Department Head

Professor Carl Schlichting

Associate Department Head

Professor Pamela Diggle


Adams, Caira, Chazdon, Diggle, Goffinet, Henry, Holsinger, Jockusch, Jones, Les, L. Lewis, P. Lewis, Schlichting, Schultz, Schwenk, Simon, Thorson, Trumbo, Turchin, Wagner, Wells, Willig, and Yarish

Associate Professors

Bush, Coe, Crespi, Elphick, Rubega and Urban

Assistant Professors

Bagchi, Tingley, Wegrzyn, and Yuan

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB) emphasizes the diversity and evolution of animals and plants, as well as their interactions with the environment. Research in the department covers a wide range of fields, including conservation biology, behavioral ecology of vertebrates and invertebrates, paleontology, systematics and evolution of plants and animals, population and community ecology, coevolution, functional morphology and development, genomics, and global change biology. Faculty members and graduate students work on diverse organisms, including algae, mosses and lichens, aquatic plants, desert plants, tropical and temperate forest trees, the parasites of sharks and rays, insects, spiders, brachiopods, fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. Current research projects span the globe, with investigators working throughout North America, Eurasia, Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua, Brazil, Borneo, Madagascar, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and many other countries..

Biodiversity and Conservation Biology

Biodiversity refers to the variation in life’s forms, from genes to ecosystems. Conservation biology is the science of understanding and protecting the Earth’s biodiversity. Practitioners in this field require a solid grounding in ecology and evolutionary biology, combined with an understanding of the societal factors that influence ecological systems.

Joint B.S./M.S. in Biodiversity and Conservation Biology

The Master of Science (M.S.) degree in Biodiversity and Conservation Biology is administered by the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. The Biodiversity and Conservation Biology M.S. is a Plan B degree, based primarily on coursework. Students are required to participate in a vocational internship and a research project as part of their plan of study, but no research thesis is required. The M.S. is designed to be earned jointly with the EEB B.S. degree, with M.S. level classes integrated into a student’s plan of study during their final two years. Students who have already completed an equivalent B.S. degree may confine their study to the M.S. portion of the degree program. The curriculum emphasizes education in ecology, evolution, systematics, and natural history, and includes courses in public policy, economics, and ethics.  Students are prepared for employment with non-governmental organizations, state and federal agencies, and environmental industries, and may pursue careers  in areas such as conservation planning, ecological consulting, endangered species management, environmental education, environmental law, and museum curation,.

More detailed information about the program is available at the EEB department’s web site

Plant Biology

Course work and research opportunities in plant biology are offered in three separate departments. Plant systematics and evolution, plant ecology, plant physiological ecology, plant morphology, and plant molecular systematics and evolution are offered in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Plant cellular and molecular biology are offered in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology. Plant physiology and additional course offerings in plant biology are available in the Department of Plant Science.

Marine Sciences

Research and teaching facilities for marine sciences are located at the Avery Point campus of the University of Connecticut, and on the main campus in Storrs. Major areas of research include the ecology, physiology, behavior, and systematics of marine organisms; physical and chemical oceanography; sedimentology; and climatology. Recirculating sea water systems are available for maintaining marine organisms over extended periods for research. Direct inquiries to: Department Head, Marine Sciences, University of Connecticut at Avery Point, Groton, Connecticut 06340-6043.

Organization for Tropical Studies

The University of Connecticut is a member of the Organization for Tropical Studies, which offers graduate courses on tropical ecology in Costa Rica. Qualified graduate students in biology and related areas are eligible to participate in the February-March and July-August sessions. For information, write to Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Unit 3043, Storrs, Connecticut 06269-3043.

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