One of the primary goals of biological research is to understand the planet's extraordinary biological diversity. At a time when many ecosystems are under threat from human activities, from the tropical rain forests to coastal marine systems, there is an urgency to these studies. The Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology addresses the problem of understanding the origin and maintenance of the world's biological richness with a broad approach, incorporating several disciplines, including behavior, physiology, ecology, genetics, evolution, and conservation biology.
Majors in the department receive a broad and conceptually strong training in biology at the level of individuals, populations, and communities. Laboratory and fieldwork are complementary; faculty and students work together both in labs and in natural settings ranging from our backyards and coastal barrier islands to the tropical forests of Malaysia, Borneo, and Madagascar, as well as Central and South America; the arid lands of Israel and the Galapagos Islands; the grasslands of Kenya and Tanzania; and the heaths of Scotland. Our graduates go on to medical school, veterinary school, and graduate school; become teachers and research workers; or take positions with conservation organizations and government agencies.