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The EEB major is designed to provide students with core disciplinary training while giving them the flexibility of interdisciplinary electives to meet their academic goals. Experiential learning through field trips is a hallmark of our program, allowing students to study the major terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems of an ecoregion.

Learning Outcomes

All students will demonstrate

  • A mastery of the required coursework
  • An understanding of the central issues and current research in the discipline
  • Breadth and depth of knowledge in the discipline
  • An ability to publish research results in peer-reviewed journals
  • An awareness of the societal and ethical issues surrounding the discipline

Curriculum Requirements

Master of Science (MS)

Degree requirements: 30 credits | Time-to-degree: 3 years or less

  • Conceptual Foundations in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB 511) - 4 credits
  • 'Ecology' or 'evolutionary biology' course - 3 credits
  • Seminar (EEB 698) - 1 credit
  • Statistics/quantitative methods course - 3-4 credits
  • Thesis research - 10 credits
  • Elective courses/additional research - 8-9 credits (credits as needed to reach 30 required)

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree requirements: 72 credits | Time-to-degree: 5 years or less

  • Conceptual Foundations in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB 511) - 4 credits
  • 'Ecology' and 'evolutionary biology' courses - 6 credits
  • Seminar (EEB 698) - 2 credits
  • Statistics/quantitative methods course - 3-4 credits
  • Dissertation research - variable credits*
  • Elective courses/additional research (credits as needed to reach 72 required)

*No established minimum; at discretion of POS Committee and student.

Approved 'Ecology' and 'Evolutionary Biology' Courses


  • Advanced Community Ecology (EEOB 585)
  • Advanced Ecosystem Ecology (EEOB 584)
  • Behavioral Ecology (A ECL 551)
  • Analysis of Populations (A ECL 611)
  • Conservation Biology (EEOB 531)
  • Evolutionary and Ecological Genomics (EEOB 561)
  • Functional Ecology (EEOB 576)
  • Insect Ecology (ENT 571)
  • Microbial Ecology (EEOB 587)
  • Population Ecology (EEOB 589)
  • Restoration Ecology (EEOB 535)
  • Wetland Ecology (EEOB 564)

Evolutionary Biology

  • Advanced Animal Behavior (EEOB 507)
  • Advanced Systematics (EEOB 568)
  • Agrostology (EEOB 553)
  • Biogeography (EEOB 569)
  • Empirical Population Genetics (EEOB 567)
  • Evolutionary and Ecological Genomics (EEOB 561)
  • Evolutionary Genetics (EEOB 562)
  • Life History and Reproductive Strategies (EEOB 514)
  • Molecular Evolution (EEOB 566)
  • Molecular Phylogenetics (EEOB 563)
  • Macroevolution (EEOB 565X)
  • Plant Evolution and Phylogeny (EEOB 551)

MS students may also use the following courses to meet the 'ecology' or 'evolutionary biology' requirement:

  • Foundations of Theoretical Ecology and Evolution (EEOB 578)
  • Systematic Entomology (ENT 576)


Spring 2024

EEB 698, Section 1 Tea Time Talks: Conversation around the EEOB/EEB Seminar Series
Tuesdays from 3:10 - 4:00 pm in 255 Bessey Hall -- 1 Credit

Description of the Course

This course is a discussion-based class with attendance at the weekly EEOB/EEB seminar series. The week before each seminar, we will have the class read a peer-reviewed paper related to the seminar topic. Then two days before the seminar, we will have a student-led discussion of the paper and related topics at our afternoon tea time. For some weeks, we will invite a guest faculty member whose research is closely related to the topics to provide their perspective to our discussion. Reading and discussion of the material will help students feel more engaged in the seminar and understand how the topic connects to a broader ecological and/or evolutionary context. As a result, students should feel more comfortable to ask questions during the weekly seminar, creating a more energetic discussion around the topic. We also encourage the students in the course to participate in the graduate student lunches organized for in-person visitors.

Course goals and learning objectives

  1. To become familiar with a diversity of topics in ecology and evolution through the attendance of weekly seminars, reading primary literature, and discussion and presentation of this primary literature
  2. To identify the questions and hypotheses underlying each reading that will put the seminar speaker’s research in a broader ecological or evolutionary context
  3. To increase student engagement in the weekly EEOB/EEB seminar series.



Dr. Jeanne Serb
Office: 313 Bessey Hall or 1210 Molecular Biology Bld.,
Phone: 294-7479
Office hours: Immediately after each class, or by appointment.

Dr. Dennis Lavrov
Office: 251 Bessey Hall, Phone: 294-9091
Office hours: Immediately after each class, or by appointment.


EEB 698, Section 2 Global Change Biology
Mondays from 12:05 - 12:55 pm in 334 Bessey Hall -- 1 Credit

Description of the Course

Seminar on foundational and emerging topics in the field of global change biology. Students will lead and participate in class discussions on selected readings from the scientific literature. Readings will incorporate both ecological and evolutionary perspectives to broaden student understanding of how humans are reshaping natural processes.

Dr. Charlie Loewen
Phone: 515-294-5617