Ecology, Behavior and Evolution

Faculty, post-docs, and graduate students in this concentration work on diverse aspects of ecology, behavior and evolution, including adaptation, animal movement and habitat selection, sexual selection, social behavior, community assembly, stress, insect-plant interactions, speciation, life history evolution, metamorphosis, and wildlife management. Work in this area integrates fieldwork with laboratory studies to identify key ecological patterns and investigate the mechanisms generating those patterns. These studies include work on plant, microbial, and animal systems in both marine and terrestrial environments.

blue throat songbird

Faculty Mentors

(* Asterisk denotes faculty mentors currently not accepting graduate students.)

Suggested Program of Study and Appropriate Courses

  • Masters students work with their mentor and/or their entrance committee to select courses that best meet the academic goals.

  • Our general philosophy regarding coursework is that you take only classes that you need to pick up skills that are important to your research (if taking a course is indeed the best way to pick up those skills!), as well as courses that deepen your knowledge in your specific research area. It's OK with us if you want to take an unrelated course just because it looks really interesting, as long as it does not distract you too much from your research… Consequently, the list below is NOT a list of courses that you ought to take if you are interested in Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution. Rather, these are courses that you might wish to consider taking to complement a particular research expertise that you are developing. Ultimately, the decision about what classes to take will be up to you and your committee.


    Year 1

    • Two research Rotations (PhD students only, 1 rotation per semester); research rotations are registered as courses (Bio 253, Bio 254) – they are generally done with faculty in the Biology Department, but mentors outside the department can also be enlisted.
    • (or first year that you are a teaching assistant): All students that are Teaching Assistants are required to take Pedagogy (Bio 260)

    Year 1 or 2

    Seminar in Evolutionary Ecology (Bio 244) (offered in alternate years)

    Optional Courses

    Biology Department Courses

    • Bioinformatics (Bio 40)
    • Endocrinology (Bio 110)
    • Physiology of Movement (Bio 117)
    • Animal Behavior (Bio 130)
    • Biostatistics (Bio132)
    • Ecological Stats & Data w/lab (Bio 133)
    • Ecology of Animal Movement (Bio 135)
    • Population and Community Ecology (Bio 142)
    • Evolutionary Biology w/lab (Bio 143)
    • Principles of Conservation Biology (Bio 144)
    • Seminar in Marine Biology (Bio 179)
    • Seminar in Conservation Biology (Bio 180)
    • Tropical Ecology and Conservation (Bio 181)
    • Chimpanzee Behavioural Ecology (Bio 182)
    • Darwinian Medicine Seminar (Bio 183)
    • Food for All: Ecology, Biotechnology and Sustainability (Bio 185)
    • Seminar in Field Endocrinology (Bio 186)
    • *Seminar in Evolutionary Ecology (Bio 244)
    • Science Communication (Bio 262)
    • Special Topics (Bio 293/294)

    Courses in Other Departments

    • Environmental Toxicology (CEE 157)
    • Introduction to Remote Sensing (CEE 189)
    • Environmental Statistics (CEE 202)
    • Environmental Data, Analysis, and Visualization (ENV 170)
    • Advanced GIS (GIS 102)
    • Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS 101/UEP 232)
    • Environmental Ethics (UEP 286)

Associated Labs

Crone Lab: Fieldwork

The Crone Lab

Principal Investigator: Elizabeth Crone
Location: Science & Engineering Complex, 3rd floor

Butterfly flying with DNA images in background

The Dopman Lab

Principal Investigator: Erik Dopman
Location: 200 Boston Ave., Suite 4700

Tufts University Professor of Biology George Ellmore leads undergraduate students on a nature walk uphill on the Medford Campus

Ellmore Lab

Principal Investigator: George S. Ellmore

The lab focuses on plant development and growth strategies in novel environments.

Water and plants

The Orians Lab

Principal Investigator: Colin Orians
Location: Science & Engineering Complex, 3rd floor

Hawaiian Moorhen

The Reed Lab

Principal Investigator: Michael Reed
Location: Robinson Hall, Room 359

Bees in a nest

The Starks Lab

Principal Investigator: Philip Starks
Location: Science & Engineering Complex, 3rd floor

bluegill fish

The Tytell Lab

Principal Investigator: Eric Tytell
Location: 200 Boston Ave., Suite 4800

Lake in California

The Uricchio Lab

Principal Investigator: Lawrence Uricchio
Location: Science & Engineering Complex, 2nd floor

vegetables in jars

The Wolfe Lab

Principal Investigator: Benjamin Wolfe
Location: 200 Boston Ave.