The Department of Biological Sciences offers an interactive environment for training graduate students in Ecology and Evolution. In addition to our dynamic group of faculty, our graduate program offers a number of less tangible features that can strongly influence the training of scientists:
- We have a highly interactive group of faculty and students. Opportunities for informal discussions and socialization between graduate students and faculty abound at weekly meetings of the E & E Journal Club and our Ecology and Evolution Seminar, as well as other informal journal clubs. By limiting the graduate program to a select group of students, our program offers a low graduate student to faculty ratio which ensures students one-on-one interaction with all members of their dissertation committees, as well as with scientists in the Ecology and Evolution community at large.
- Facilities useful for members of the Ecology and Evolution group include a modern greenhouse complex, growth chambers for conducting controlled environment experiments, a molecular ecology laboratory, GIS equipment, a microscopy and imaging facility, and an animal care facility.
- Our campus facilities are greatly enhanced by the laboratories, field sites and research facilities at our department’s field station, The Pymatuning Laboratory of Ecology. In the summer months, the vibrant community of Ecologists and Evolutionary biologists from our university is joined by faulty and students from many other institutions. Scientists conducting research and/or teaching at PLE come from both regional and national universities and colleges. Finally, PLE’s Summer Seminar Series and Summer Courses attract high caliber scientists and students from other institutions, thus providing a large network of intellectual resources for our graduate students.
- We are imbedded in a matrix of like-minded Institutions within the Pittsburgh community including, The Carnegie Museum of Natural History, The Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, The National Aviary, The West Penn Conservancy, The Pittsburgh Zoo, and others. Thus, graduate students in the Ecology and Evolution Program may draw on the wealth of expertise in ecology, conservation and biodiversity afforded by this rich local community.
- The size and interactive nature of our graduate program fosters close working relationships between our students and their mentors; this interaction is best served when the students and their mentors begin their association before the student has been admitted to the program. This process ensures that the student has found the best possible mentor for her/his graduate career. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you establish a dialog with a potential graduate advisor in Ecology or Evolution during the application process.