Global Change Biology

Faculty, post-docs, and graduate students in this concentration work on diverse aspects of global change biology, including conservation, habitat loss and fragmentation, range expansion and contraction, invasion ecology, extinction risk, stress physiology, adaptation, resilience, ocean acidification, and climate change. Our research focuses on both plant and animal systems and emphasizes the integration of field and lab work to identify, understand, and resolve current environmental challenges. Our goal is to apply scientific rigor to applied problems.
california lake in winter

Faculty Mentors

*Associated faculty mentors not currently accepting graduate students.

Faculty Advisor for this Concentration

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 a course is the best way to pick up those skills!), as well as courses that deepen your knowledge in your specific research area. [OK, if a course looks really interesting, and if 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 Global Change Biology. Rather, they 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) – they are generally done with faculty in the Biology Department, but mentors outside the department can also be enlisted.
    • Year 1 (or first year that you are a teaching assistant): All students that are Teaching assistants are required to take Pedagogy (Bio260)
    Year 1 or 2

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

    Optional Courses:

    Biology Department Courses Courses in Other Departments
    Endocrinology (Bio 110) Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
    (GIS 101/UEP 232)
    Animal Behavior (Bio 130) Advanced GIS (GIS 102)
    Biostatistics (Bio 132) Introduction to Remote Sensing (CEE 194A)
    Ecological Models and Data (Bio 133) Environmental Toxicology (CEE 167)
    Ecology of Animal Movement (Bio 135) Advanced Statistics I (Psych 107)
    Population and Community Ecology (Bio 142) Advanced Statistics II (Psych 108)
    Evolutionary Biology w/Lab (Bio 143) Global Environmental Datasets (CEE 194)
    Principles of Conservation Biology (Bio 144) Environmental Statistics (CEE 202)
    Marine Biology (Bio 164) Environmental Ethics (UEP 286)
    Seminar in Marine Biology (Bio 179) Ecology-based Policy Making (UEP 294)
    Seminar in Conservation Biology (Bio 180)  
    Tropical Ecology and Conservation (Bio 181)  
    Food for All: Ecology, Biotechnology and Sustainability (Bio 185)  
    Special topics courses (Bio 195/196)  
    Seminar in Field Endocrinology (Bio # to be determined)  
    Seminar in Evolutionary Ecology (Bio 244)  
    Science Communication (Bio 262)  
    Special Topics (Bio 293/294)  

Associated Labs

endangered species monarch butterfly

The Crone Lab

Principal Investigator: Elizabeth Crone
Location: Robinson Hall, Room 353

European corn borer

The Dopman Lab

Principal Investigator: Erik Dopman
Location: 200 Boston Ave., Suite 4739

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.

Coffee plantation in Costa Rica

The Orians Lab

Principal Investigator: Colin Orians
Location: Barnum Hall, Room 100

hermit crab

The Pechenik Lab

Principal Investigator: Jan A. Pechenik
Location: 165 Packard Avenue, Dana 224

Hawaiian Moorhen

The Reed Lab

Principal Investigator: Michael Reed
Location: 163 Packard Avenue, Dana 218A

Galapagos Marine Iguana

The Romero Lab

Principal Investigator: Michael Romero
Location: 165 Packard Ave., Dana Hall

honeybee on wildflower

The Starks Lab

Principal Investigator: Philip Starks
Location: Robinson Hall, 200 College Ave.