Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Graduate Programs

The department comprises a large number of biologists with a variety of research interests. 3 broad overlapping themes capture the interests and activities in EEB — biodiversity and macroevolution, ecology and global change biology, and evolutionary mechanisms. The department offers graduate study leading to Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in ecology and evolutionary biology. General information about the department and its faculty, current graduate students, admission, and financial support may be found on the EEB website. Students who are interested in enrolling in EEB graduate-level coursework without admission to a graduate program are encouraged to apply for graduate non-degree seeking student status. See the EEB admission page for further details.

Neotropical biodiversity is a special area of concentration among EEB faculty. Many faculty members have courtesy appointments in the Latin American Area Studies Program, which fosters multidisciplinary research in Latin America across the campus. KU is a member of the Organization for Tropical Studies, and many faculty members and students participate in advanced, field-oriented OTS courses. Graduate students can receive fellowships for courses, e.g. BIOL 786 Fundamentals of Tropical Biology, or research projects in Costa Rica. Other EEB faculty have research concentrations in Asia, Africa, Antarctica, and elsewhere, creating a genuinely global reach for EEB research activities.

(B.A. and B.S. degree programs in biology are listed under Biology Undergraduate Programs.)


Departmental physical facilities include laboratories, natural history collections, and field-study sites near the university. Most laboratory facilities are in Dyche Hall, Higuchi Hall, McGregor Herbarium, Haworth Hall, and the Public Safety Building. Special facilities in Haworth include controlled-environment rooms, greenhouses, and various instrument rooms, including an excellent microscopy and analytical imaging facility.

The natural history collections are housed by the Biodiversity Institute and include approximately 8 million specimens, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fishes, arthropods and other invertebrates, parasites, and plants, as well as fossils of vertebrates, arthropods, other invertebrates, and plants. Collections support diverse research in evolutionary biology, paleobiology, and ecology including systematics, phylogenetics, biogeography, morphology, behavior, biodiversity informatics, and biotic surveys and inventories. The BI also has leading facilities for diverse analyses of biodiversity information, including well-equipped spatial analysis laboratories, and extensive facilities for molecular systematics.

The Kansas Biological Survey is a KU research and service unit and a non-regulatory state agency, whose mission it is to gather information on the kinds, distribution, and abundance of plants and animals in Kansas, and to compile, analyze, interpret, and distribute this information broadly. KBS is a nationally recognized leader in several fields of environmental research and maintains a strong tradition of natural history studies. Scientists at KBS study terrestrial ecosystem ecology, aquatic ecology, water quality, evolution, biodiversity, ecology and population biology of animals and plants, and conservation and restoration of natural communities. KBS researchers routinely use technologies such as satellite and airborne remote sensing, aerial photography, and Geographic Information Systems.

KBS administers the University of Kansas Field Station, 3,700 acres of field-sites dedicated to environmental research and education, and is part of the prestigious National Ecological Observatory Network. KUFS sites are in the transition zone between the Eastern Deciduous Forest and Tallgrass Prairie biomes and include woodland, prairie, old fields, and wetlands. The Fitch Natural History Reservation and Baldwin Woods are used primarily to study unmanipulated ecological processes in undisturbed habitats. The John H. Nelson Environmental Study Area is used for experimental ecological studies and has experimental ponds, a dedicated lake and watershed, a common garden, small-mammal enclosures, and a succession facility.