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EEB a Large Presence at STEM Symposium

March 23, 2017

The 3rd Annual Women in STEM Research Symposium was held Tuesday, March 21, 2017 in Hodges Library from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m..  Hosted by Pipeline–Vols for Women in STEM, the symposium featured over 90 presentations from UT graduate students doing research in STEM-related fields, from Animal Science, Kinesiology, and Nursing, to Chemistry, Physics, and ...

Gavrilets Article Getting Attention

March 21, 2017

EEB Professor Sergey Gavrilets has a new paper out in Scientific Reports called “The evolution of extreme cooperation via shared dysphoric experiences.”  It’s only been a week, but people all over the world are excited about the research; check out the press links, below!






EEB Students Win NSF GRFP Fellowships

March 20, 2017

EEB students have done very well again in the 2017 round of NSF GRFP (Graduate Research Fellowship Program) fellowships!  Our congratulations go to finishing undergraduate Patrick McKenzie (Armsworth Lab), incoming graduate student Rachel Swenie (Matheny Lab), and current PhD student Morgan Roche (Kalisz Lab).
In addition, two EEB alumni won GRFP awards: Robert Connell (BS 2015, ...

NSF-DDIG Grants for Grant and Borstein

March 20, 2017

Alannie-Grace Grant (Kalisz Lab) and Sam Borstein (O’Meara Lab) have been awarded Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grants from the National Science Foundation.  Congratulations to you both!
Grant’s dissertation research is entitled, “Selection, niche breadth and plant mating system evolution: Are wider niche breadths of selfing species shaped by water limitation?”
Borstein’s dissertation research is called, “Morphological consequences of ...

Summer Undergraduate Research Internships for EEB

March 20, 2017

Four undergraduate students affiliated with EEB received 2017 Summer Undergraduate Research Internships. The Office of Research awards these each year for undergraduates to work in a faculty mentor’s lab for pay. The award is worth $2500:

Chandler Brown (mentor, Williams);
Aaron Free (mentor, Burghardt);
Terrell Carter (mentor, Schweitzer);
Han Noh (mentor, Schweitzer).

Congratulations to you all!

Evolution Grant for Benoit

March 10, 2017

Amanda Benoit, a grad student in Susan Kalisz’s lab, has received a Rosemary Grant Award for Graduate Student Research from the Society for the Study of Evolution (SSE-RGA). The goal of these grants is to identify and support innovative and potentially high impact research by beginning graduate students. Congratulations, Amanda!!!

New Book from Matheny

March 9, 2017

EEB’s Brandon Matheny, together with Neale Bougher from the Western Australian Herbarium, has authored a new book coming out in June called Fungi of Australia: Inocybaceae.  This major revision describes a total of 137 recognized species, of which 101 are new to science!  Read the full description from the publisher, below.
From Csiro Publishing
The family Inocybaceae ...

Grant Wins Prize for Poster

March 9, 2017

Alannie-Grace Grant (Kalisz Lab) won second place in the 3rd Annual Cynthia B. Peterson Poster Competition on March 3, 2017. This is a competition for Genome Science and Technology (GST), Biochemistry and Cellular and Molecular Biology (BCMB), Microbiology, and Program for Excellence & Equity in Research (PEER) graduate students.   Congratulations, Alanni-Grace!

Burghardt and Fefferman on NPR

March 7, 2017

EEB’s Gordon Burghardt and Nina Fefferman were featured on WUOT’s Dialogue program (NPR 91.9 FM) on Wednesday March 1.  You can listen to the podcast, entitled “Donald Trump And The Future Of Science” at
NPR’s summarizes the show here:
“Donald Trump’s public comments about science and his choices to run the Department of Energy and the ...

Cover Images for Matheny Lab

February 13, 2017

Marisol Sanchez-Garcia (PhD 2016), former Matheny Lab member and now a postdoc at Clark University, landed a paper on ectomycorrhizal diversification on the cover of Evolution for January 2017.
Also, Biz Sheedy, a visiting grad student to the Matheny Lab from Melbourne, has a paper on the diversification of truffle-forming fungi in Australia on the cover ...

Iversen (PhD 2008) Receives ESA Fellowship

February 9, 2017

EEB adjunct professor and alumna Colleen M. Iversen (PhD 2008) has been named as an Ecological Society of America Early Career Fellow for 2017.  Fellowships are awarded to young scientists who advance the science of ecology and show promise for continuing contributions.
Iversen is a Senior Staff Scientist at the Climate Change Science Institute and Environmental ...

Sheldon Featured in Entomology Today

February 9, 2017

Kimberly Sheldon was recently featured in Entomology Today for her work on climate and thermal limits in beetles. This is a cool example of outreach to a broader population (many entomologists are not focusing on evolution and ecology).
The feature was based a study Sheldon published in 2014:
Sheldon KS, Tewksbury JJ, 2014.  The impact of seasonality ...

Darwin Day Events 2017

February 3, 2017

This year marks the 20th year of Darwin Day celebrations at UT! Mark your calendars for the following events, and view the flier!

2/5/2017 Darwin’s Birthday Party
2 – 4 pm McClung Museum
Free Party with cake for children!
2/13/2017 Evolution and Science Parade
12pm The Hill & Pedestrian Walkway
Come see Darwin, Wallace (Puppets!), and their friends in support of ...

UT in Top 25 for Ecology

January 23, 2017

A recent article in Ecosphere on “Academic productivity in the field of ecology” lists UT at #21 out of over 250 institutions.

Bush Authors Scientific American Blog Post

January 11, 2017

Graduate student Jordan Bush (Simberloff lab) wrote a guest blog post for “Not Bad Science” on the Scientific American blog network.  It features some of Gordon Burghardt’s studies on play behavior and some of Todd Pierson’s photography.
Read the post, titled “Looking Past the Scales: The Truth about Reptilian Behavior,” here.

Matheny Receives Stuntz Foundation Award

December 14, 2016

Associate Professor Brandon Matheny received an award from the Daniel E. Stuntz Memorial Foundation to revise the taxonomy of species of Inocybe (a genus of mushroom-forming fungi in the order Agaricales) published by Dan Stuntz between 1947 and 1984. A revision of these species will facilitate a new floristic and monographic treatment of Inocybe in ...

Hughes Named as AAAS Fellow

December 4, 2016

Prof. Karen Hughes has been named as a 2016 fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
Hughes was recognized for her contributions to research on biodiversity, biogeography, and the impact of climate on certain organisms. Her best-known focus is on the global distribution of fungi through DNA-based research. Hughes is also a ...

UT Herbarium on Social Media

November 9, 2016

The UT Herbarium (TENN) is now on social media! Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to hear about more happenings at your herbarium!
This semester we are posting about plant identifications, helping Bio 115 students with their herbarium collections, and curating bryophyte specimens from the 1800s.

Herbarium Awards and Fellowships Available

November 2, 2016

The EEB Collections Committee is pleased to announce calls for applications for the following three awards from the Hesler Fund to support and enhance herbarium-based research at UT. We hope that you and your colleagues will consider applying for these awards to support your research.

Student Research Awards – Available to undergraduate and graduate students working with ...

Burghardt in Observer Cover Story

November 2, 2016

Prof. Gordon Burghardt’s research is highlighted in the cover story of the November 2016 issue of the Association for Psychological Science’s journal, Observer.  The title of his subsection is “Can Turtles Play?”  Read the article here.

Simberloff Receives John Pritzlaff Award

November 2, 2016

Daniel Simberloff, the Gore Hunger Professor of Environmental Science, received the Honorable John C. Pritzlaff Conservation Award at the 2016 California Islands Symposium.  The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden presents the award annually to a “global trailblazer in conservation.”  For details about Simberloff’s dedication to conservation, read the full press release at Island Conservation.  Congratulations, Dan!

EEB’s Amazing Grad Students: Publications

November 1, 2016

EEB graduate students know how to communicate their science!  In Academic Year 2015-16, our 56 grad students published over 80 peer-reviewed journal articles, several book chapters, and one book!  Below is a list of just some of the journals in which our students publish:
American Biology Teacher
American Naturalist
Animal Behavior
Applied Ecology
Biological Conservation
Biological Invasions
Conservation Letters
Current Zoology
Diversity and Distributions
Evolutionary ...

Keeping Up with Bats

November 1, 2016

A new paper by Gary McCracken and colleagues will be published online in the Royal Society journal Open Science  on November 9, 2016:

RSOS-160398. Airplane tracking documents the fastest flight speeds recorded for bats. McCracken, G.F., K. Safi, T.H. Kunz, D.K.N. Dechmann, S.M. Swartz, M. Wikelski
This study reports new research demonstrating that Brazilian free-tailed bats achieve ...

EEB’s Amazing Grad Students: Funding

October 17, 2016

Did you know that 25% of our graduate students are self-funded?  In Academic Year 2015-16, 14 of our 56 grad students brought in a combined total of over $300k in funding from the following sources:

4 current NSF GRFP (plus 1 honorable mention AY2015)
2 PEER Fellows
2 NIMBIOs Fellows
1 Yates fellowship
1 Brazilian CNPq fellowship
1 EAPSI ...

Milt (PhD 2015) Research Featured in New Book

October 17, 2016

Austin Milt’s PhD (2015, Armsworth Lab) work is featured in a nice, one-page color spread in a new book by Craig Groves and Eddie Game: Conservation Planning: Informed Decisions for a Healthier Planet.
The book “will be very well-read within its field – likely the industry leading text for the next 5-6 years if recent history is ...

Roche, Botanist in Action

October 9, 2016

Graduate student Morgan Roche (Kalisz Lab) is one of Phipps Conservatory’s six current Botany in Action fellows.   The fellows recently visited Phipps, in Pittsburgh, PA, for the Botany in Action program’s annual Science Engagement Week, which featured a series of diverse workshops to enhance the fellows’ scientific communication skills. The fellows explored different ways to ...

NSF S-STEM Grant for Schussler

September 26, 2016

Beth Schussler is co-PI on a $2,887,974 collaborative NSF S-STEM grant, which will provide scholarships and research opportunities for four cohorts of STEM-focused students from rural Appalachia to attend UT, Knoxville, or UT, Chattanooga. Beth will be working with PI Erin Hardin (Psychology), and co-PIs Melinda Gibbons, Marisa Moazen, and Denise Gardner, to provide students ...

Nelson in Knoxville Mercury

September 26, 2016

FWF alum Stephen Nelson appeared in an article in the Knoxville Mercury on September 21, 2016.
Nelson did research in the Fitzpatrick Lab as an undergraduate; he is now a herpetology keeper at Knoxville Zoo.  The article focuses on what might be a new species of mudpuppy in the Hiwassee River.

Budke Speaks at UT Science Forum

September 19, 2016

Asst. Prof. Jessica Budke will be sharing her vision for the UT Herbarium with the wider Knoxville community at the UT Science Forum:
Biodiversity Collections: A Record of the Past; A Resource for the Future
The talk will be 12-1pm on Friday, September 30, 2016, in the Thompson-Boling Arena Café.

Simberloff in Wired and Slate

September 12, 2016

Prof. Dan Simberloff appeared in articles in both Wired and Slate in August.
Wired featured Simberloff in a story about human control over species population size.  Tennessee Today also posted a synopsis of Simberloff’s contributions to the article.
Slate featured Simberloff in a debate about whether biocontrol is a better alternative to pesticides. Tennessee Today summarized Simberloff’s ...

EEB is Hiring

September 7, 2016

EEB will be hiring a tenure track faculty member at the Assistant Professor level in the field of Ecosystem Ecology.  Application review will begin October 10, 2016, with a position start date of August 2017.  View the full job advertisement here.

No EEB Seminar Sep. 2

August 29, 2016

There will be no EEB Seminar this Friday (Sep. 2). The scheduled speaker (David Frank, from our own EEB & Philosophy departments) will present instead on Friday, Sep. 23. It may take a few days for the central campus events calendar to reflect the change.

Fall 2016 Seminar Series

August 17, 2016

The first speaker in EEB’s Fall 2016 Seminar Series will be Sara Branco from the Université de Paris-Sud, on Friday, August 26 at 3:30 p.m. in 307 SERF.  The full schedule has been posted on the EEB website.  The site will be updated with titles and abstracts as they are received.
It may take a week ...

Scientific American Blog Highlights UT Research

August 15, 2016

The popular Scientific American Blog has posted an article about bat research done by grad student Jessica Welch (McCracken and Simberloff labs) and NIMBioS postdoc Jeremy Beaulieu.
The article, “Are Bats Facing a Hidden Extinction Crisis? A new way of calculating bat extinction risk reveals previously hidden conservation priorities,” can be viewed here.
Tennessee Today also did ...

Eppley Foundation Grant Awarded for Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Research

August 10, 2016

Professor Daniel Simberloff and postdoc Christy Leppanen have been awarded a $16,500 grant from The Eppley Foundation for Research for their proposal:  Effects of Evolutionary Ecology and Ecosystem Variability in Native and Introduced Predator-Prey Systems.
Simberloff and Leppanen study interactions involving introduced predators and their prey, the hemlock woolly adelgid, Adelges tsugae, or HWA.  A sap-feeding ...

Functional Ecology Podcast for Bailey

August 6, 2016

Joe Bailey recorded a podcast with Functional Ecology Senior Editor Alan Knapp about the July issue of Functional Ecology.  This special feature issue, on Ecosystems, Evolution and Plant–Soil Feedbacks, was guest-edited by Joe Bailey and Jen Schweizer. Joe talks about where the idea for the Special Feature came from and why a Special Feature focusing on ...

New Paper for Welch

July 18, 2016

Jessica Welch (Simberloff and McCracken Labs) has a new paper out in Biological Conservation.  The paper is based on the field work she conducted in the Northern Mariana Islands, testing the indirect effect of invasive species on an endangered bat.  Congratulations, Jessica!
Jessica Nicole Welch, James A. Fordyce, Daniel S. Simberloff.  2016.  Indirect impacts of invaders: ...

Functional Ecology Cover Article for Grads

July 18, 2016

Current graduate students Michael Van Nuland, Rachel Wooliver, Ian Ware, Alix Pfennigwerth, Liam Mueller (all in the Schweitzer and/ or Bailey Labs), and recent graduate Quentin Read (PhD 2016) have an article on the cover of a recent Functional Ecology Special Feature on Plant Soil Feedback. This is a study that emerged from a class at ...

Editor’s Choice for Read

July 11, 2016

Quentin Read’s (PhD 2016) recent paper in Oikos has been highlighted as an “Editor’s Choice” article.
The study challenges how we currently conduct biodiversity studies by demonstrating that a high percentage of studies over estimate the effects of diversity and may actually conclude species level effects when those effects are actually driven by hidden nested variation.
“Accounting ...

Window into the Past

June 18, 2016

Thirty years ago, Lou Gross composed a history of the Graduate Program in Ecology.  He has now compiled a website of the data he collected.
Some say UT’s Graduate Program in Ecology was the first PhD-granting program in ecology in the US. The program admitted its first students in 1969 with the first MS graduate in ...

Soil Science Society of America Scholarship for Wooliver

June 6, 2016

Rachel Wooliver (Schweitzer Lab) won the 2016 SSSA Francis and Evelyn Clark Soil Biology Scholarship from the Soil Science Society of America (one of two awarded every year). The fellowship will support the work titled: Understanding plant responses to nitrogen deposition through coevolved interactions with soil fungi.  Congratulations, Rachel!

Lewis and Clark Grant for Ware

June 2, 2016

Ian Ware (Bailey Lab) has been awarded a $5000 grant from the Lewis and Clark Fund for Exploration and Field Research.  Congratulations, Ian!

GREBE in News-Herald

May 11, 2016

EEB’s GREBE (Graduate Researchers in Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution) was featured in the Knoxville News-Herald newspaper for their recent outreach work teaching students at Greenback School. Sixth-grade students participated in hands-on tasks, including extracting DNA from bananas, watching termites follow different ink colors, and building miniature ecosystems.
Miranda Chen (Schussler Lab) and Dominique Hatton (Riechert Lab) ...

Fulbright for Rewcastle (BS 2015)

May 9, 2016

Kenna Rewcastle, a 2015 graduate in the College Scholars program, has been awarded a Fulbright US Student Program Grant for 2016–17. She will be going to Sweden to complete research on the impact of climate change on the food source for reindeer herds managed by the Sami indigenous people. Rewcastle, of Apison, Tennessee, who was ...

EEB Award Recipients

May 5, 2016

EEB held its annual Awards Ceremony on May 2.  Please click on each recipient’s name to read about each deserving awardee.
Graduate Student Awards:

Outstanding Publication by a Graduate Student ($500) – Zach Marion (Fitzpatrick Lab)
Sandy Echternacht Outstanding Teaching by a Graduate Student ($500) – Ian Ware (Bailey Lab)
Outstanding Outreach & Community Service ($500) – Rachel Fovargue ...

Pipeline: Vols for Women

May 3, 2016

Many EEB grad students are part of the new student organization, Pipeline: Vols for Women in STEM.  EEB Department Head Susan Kalisz is their faculty mentor.
The UT Division of Student Life chose Pipeline for two awards:

New Organization of the Year 2016
Innovative Program of the Year 2016  (for their Annual Women in STEM Research Symposium)

Congratulations, and ...

Division of Biology 2016 Grad Student Awards

April 26, 2016

The Division of Biology has announced the winners of the 2016 Graduate Student Awards!  Congratulations, all!
Alexander Hollaender Graduate Fellowship:

The Alexander Hollaender Graduate Fellowship is made possible through an endowment fund contributed by Dr. and Mrs. Alexander Hollaender. In 1944, Dr. Hollaender established the Division of Biology at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and was its director ...

Teaching Award for Schussler

April 21, 2016

Associate Professor Beth Schussler received an Alumni Outstanding Teacher Award at the Chancellor’s Honors Banquet this week. There were only 4 recipients of the award across the entire campus.  Congratulations!

Yates Fellowship for Fovargue

April 20, 2016

Rachel Fovargue (Armsworth Lab) has received a 2016-2017 Yates Dissertation Fellowship! The fellowships provide recognition and financial support to outstanding doctoral students in all fields of study at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville during the dissertation process.  Congratulations, Rachel!

NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship for Heberling

April 20, 2016

Postdoc J. Mason Heberling (Kalisz Lab) has been awarded a two-year National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellowship.  The proposal, entitled “Leveraging ventures of herbarium data to track plant invasion processes: trait shifts, local adaptation, and rapid evolution,” was funded by NSF’s Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biology, Interdisciplinary Research Using Biological Collections program.
The host institutions for this ...

McKenzie Receives Honorable Mention for Prestigious Scholarship

April 18, 2016

Undergraduate Patrick McKenzie received an honorable mention in the highly prestigious Goldwater Scholarship program.  Students cannot apply directly for the scholarship; they must be nominated by their institution.  To be selected among all his peers at UT and then to receive an honorable mention at the national level is a testament to his promising research ...

Center for Tree Science Fellowship for Ware

April 14, 2016

Ian Ware (Bailey Lab) has received the Center for Tree Science Graduate Research Fellowship with the Morton Arboretum.  The fellowship provides $9500 for students to attend the US Forest Service workshop: Gene Conservation of Tree Species, field research funding, and sequencing funding.

Curt Richardson (PhD 1972): Alumni Update

April 14, 2016

Curt Richardson (PhD 1972) is the second person ever to graduate from UT with a PhD in Ecology, and his career after graduating has been impressive!  This is what he had to say:
No question UT put me on the path to a remarkable career, first at the University of Michigan and then at Duke University ...

John Reynolds (PhD 1973): Alumni Update

April 14, 2016

John Reynolds (PhD 1973) was the third person to receive a PhD from the Ecology program at UT.  It is thanks to his input that the department has an alumni blog!  This is what he had to say:
The attached article captures my scientific research up to 2012.  In April, I published a major paper on ...

Teaching Award for Hendy

April 13, 2016

Justin Hendy (Small Lab) received an award for Outstanding Graduate Teaching during the 2016 Graduate and Professional Student Appreciation Week at UT.  He received the award for his work as the BioLit 150 head teaching assistant. To quote the program from the award ceremony:
“Justin has taught Biology 150 discussion sections and has served as the ...

Lash Receives Mountain Lake Biological Station Fellowship

April 11, 2016

Chloe Lash (Kwit Lab) has been awarded a fellowship to conduct research on ant seed dispersal this summer at Mountain Lake Biological Station (MLBS) through the University of Virginia’s Horton H. Hobbs, Jr. Endowment Fund. The fellowship provides up to $3,500 towards room, board, and user fees at the station. There, Chloe will also be ...

New Herbarium Director

April 7, 2016

Jessica Budke has accepted our offer to become an Assistant Professor in EEB and the Director of TENN!  She will arrive on campus June 1, 2016.

UPDATE: NSF GRFP Award for Daws; Honorable Mentions for Lash, Ramsey, Dunkirk

April 7, 2016

One of our alumna has been awarded an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship this year: Sarah Caroline Daws (BS 2015)!
In addition, three EEB students/ alumni have been awarded NSF GRFP Honorable Mentions:

Chloe Lash (Current graduate student, Kwit Lab);

Adam Ramsey (BS 2013; now PhD student in Biological Sciences at University of Memphis);
Nora Dunkirk (BS 2014) [apologies for ...

Marathon Finish for Fitzpatrick

April 6, 2016

Associate Professor Ben Fitzpatrick placed sixth in the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon on Sunday!  His time was 2:58:12.  Congratulations, Ben!

Tenure-Track Position for Shah (PhD 2011)

April 6, 2016

Premal Shah, a PhD student who graduated from EEB in 2011, is now an Assistant Professor of Genetics at Rutgers University, as of January 2016.  Congratulations!

New Greenhouse Manager

April 2, 2016

Jeff Martin will join the Department on 11 April 2015 as the new greenhouse manager.
Jeff received his B.S. From Clemson University in horticulture and has a masters degree in Plant Science from UTK, with a minor in entomology. He has experience with growing a variety of wild, horticultural, and crop plants under greenhouse, garden, and ...

Riechert Receives 2016 SEC Faculty Achievement Award

March 31, 2016

Professor Susan Riechert has received the 2016 SEC Faculty Achievement Award!  The SEC award recognizes professors from the fourteen Southeastern Conference schools with outstanding records in teaching and scholarship. Honorees from each university receive a $5,000 honorarium and become their university’s nominee for the SEC Professor of the Year award. To view the full press ...

Lampley Receives Graduate Research Assistantship

March 29, 2016

Jayne Lampley (Schilling Lab) is one of just 26 graduate students across UT who have received a 2016 Summer Graduate Research Assistantship from The Office of Research and Engagement.  The GRAs are funded by the Scholarly and Research Incentive Funds. Selected faculty projects receive $3,600 in support of student stipends for work completed during the ...

Williams, Edwards, and Ramsey in the American Journal of Botany

March 28, 2016

Prof. Joe Williams is the organizer of a special issue of the American Journal of Botany and lead author on the cover paper.
The issue also features a paper from Joe that has two undergraduate alumni co-authors (Jacob A. Edwards and Adam J. Ramsey), both now in graduate schools elsewhere.  The work was completed while they ...

Simberloff Special Lecture March 2

March 2, 2016

“Zebra Mussels, Zika, Kudzu, and More:  Winning the War Against the Aliens Among Us”
McClung Museum Auditorium, 1327 Circle Park Drive, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN
Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016 @7 pm (Reception and Snacks @ 6 pm)
As part of National Invasive Species Awareness Week (, pioneering invasion biologist Daniel Simberloff will discuss current regional invasive species issues.  ...

The Value of EEB

March 2, 2016

A March 1 article in the UT Daily Beacon fights the granola-crunching stereotype of the EEB major and explains why studying Ecology and Evolutionary Biology is so important, whether you want to be a doctor, a conservationist, or an informed citizen.
“Ecology majors battle hippie stereotypes for science” by Heiler Meek, Staff Writer

Kuebbing (PhD 2014) Receives Award from SCB

February 28, 2016

Alumna Sara Kuebbing (PhD 2014) has been awarded a Smith Fellowship from the Society of Conservation Biology.  The prestigious David H. Smith Conservation Research Fellowship Program seeks to develop future world leaders and entrepreneurs who are successful at linking conservation science and application.  Congratulations, Sara!
From the press release:
The Smith Fellowship, the nation’s premier postdoctoral program ...

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Press Release

February 22, 2016

(View the related Tennessee Today press release.)
Newly discovered much earlier reproduction of this forest pest may explain why it is invasive, reveal why control has failed, and impede future control.
A sap-feeding insect native to Asia, the hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges ...

Ravenel Specimens found in TENN

February 19, 2016

A number of lichen specimens collected by Ravenel in the late 1880s have been found in the UT herbarium (TENN).  The specimens were found during databasing of the lichen collection as part of an NSF-funded effort to database the lichens and bryophytes of North America.
Henry William Ravenel (1814-1887) was one of the foremost botanists of ...

Undergraduate Research Symposium April 22

February 19, 2016

EEB will host its First Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium on Friday, April 22 at 3:30pm in Dabney 488.  Please come out to support our undergraduate researchers!

Wildflower Pilgrimage April 19-23

February 18, 2016

The 66th Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage will take place April 19-23 2016.  For more information, please select one of the following links:

Online registration information;
Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage website;
Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage Facebook page.

Thanks to Ken McFarland for organizing this spectacular event!
Photo credit: Trillium undulatum 0996, The Botanical Photography of Alan S. Heilman, copyright Alan S. Heilman, copyright The ...

NSF DDIG for Van Nuland

February 17, 2016

Michael Van Nuland (Schweitzer Lab) has been awarded a Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant from the National Science Foundation.
The goal of his project is to understand the mechanistic basis of plant genetic-by-soil microbial phylogenetic-by-abiotic environment interactions that will determine plant and soil function across important gradients of global change (e.g., temperature, H2O, and soil nitrogen ). ...

O’Meara Receives NSF Career Award UPDATE

February 16, 2016

Brian O’Meara has received an NSF Career Award!   “Reducing barriers for comparative methods” has been funded for $738,000 over 5 years.  Congratulations Brian – great job!
UPDATE:  For more information, please read the Tennessee Today article about the award!

Welch Receives ESA’s Graduate Student Policy Award

February 8, 2016

The Ecological Society of America announced the six 2016 recipients of its annual Graduate Student Policy Award, and the list includes our own Jessica Welch (McCracken and Simberloff Labs)!  The award winners will travel to Washington, DC, to participate in policy training sessions and meetings with their US Representative and Senators.  On Capitol Hill, they ...

Darwin Day 2016

February 5, 2016

Darwin “Day” is all next week at UTK: we have events Tuesday (croc evolution), Wednesday (invasion of land, with NIMBioS postdoc Sandy Kawano, and a talk on the Gray Fossil Site), and Thursday (Andy Kramer on anti-evolutionism and human paleontology). Our keynote is Thursday, Feb 11 at 7 pm: Neil Shubin, of Tiktaalik fame (also ...

Article with Cover Photo for Looney

January 28, 2016

Brian Looney (Matheny Lab) has one of his Russula mushroom photos from Thailand on the cover of the January 2016 issue of Molecular Ecology.  This accompanies his article, “Into and out of the tropics: global diversification patterns in a hyperdiverse clade of ectomycorrhizal fungi” (pages 630–647).

EEB Seminars

January 23, 2016

The best place to keep track of EEB Seminars this term is  We have great scientists coming in from all over the country!

Science Article for Borstein

December 4, 2015

Sam Borstein (O’Meara Lab) is a coauthor on a new article in Science called “A pharyngeal jaw evolutionary innovation facilitated extinction in Lake Victoria cichlids.”
This paper looks at how the pharyngeal jaw apparatus in cichlids, widely considered an evolutionary innovation allowing them to feed on a variety of prey items, doomed piscivorous cichlids when the ...

Blanket of Spiderwebs

November 24, 2015

Susan Riechert was quoted in a Washington Post article this week, to reassure residents about the harmless aggregation of thousands of small spiders and the resulting half-mile-long spider web that appeared in North Memphis, TN.

Award for Pfennigwerth

November 5, 2015

Not only did Alix Pfennigwerth (Schweitzer Lab) win a scholarship to support her travel, lodging and registration to attend the Natural Areas Conference, she received an award while she was there!
Pfennigwerth won “best student oral presentation” at the conference in Little Rock, AR, which was held November 3-5.  She presented results from her Master’s work ...

Bog Turtle Research Featured on PBS

November 3, 2015

Tennessee’s Wild Side filmed a short documentary featuring some of the research Cassie Dresser (Fitzpatrick Lab) and her collaborators are doing on the endangered Bog Turtle in Shady Valley, Tennessee.  The show aired on October 31 at 10 AM on PBS.  Return to Shady Valley (Wild Side)

Kim Bush (BS 1973), Distinguished Alumnus

October 26, 2015

Kim Bush (BS 1973, Zoology) was honored as a Distinguished Alumnus at the Alumni Board Awards dinner on Friday, October 2.  Bush has devoted his life and career to the advancement of global health. After completing a highly successful thirty- three-year career at Baxter International Healthcare Corporation, he was recruited in 2011 to the Bill ...

Scholarship for Pfennigwerth

October 4, 2015

Alix Pfennigwerth (Schweitzer Lab) was awarded a Natural Areas Association Student Scholarship to fund her travel, lodging and registration to attend the Natural Areas Conference in Little Rock Arkansas, Nov 3-5, 2015.  She will present results from her EEB Master’s work there. Her talk, called “Inferring response to climate change from natural laboratories: is there ...

USFWS Grant for EEB & FWF

September 30, 2015

Emma Willcox (PI, Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries), Gary McCracken (co-PI, EEB), and Riley Bernard (co-PI, Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries) have recently been awarded almost $250,000 by the US Fish and Wildlife Service to try to identify the differences in susceptibility of different species of bats to the fungus that causes White Nose Syndrome. This work ...

Gilchrist Chair of Dean’s Advisory Council

September 30, 2015

Mike Gilchrist is the new chair of the Dean’s Faculty Advisory Council.  Congratulations, Mike!

NSF Grant for Schussler

September 17, 2015

Beth Schussler has been awarded an NSF grant worth almost $500,000:
RCN-UBE: Biology Teaching Assistant Project (BioTAP 2.0): Advancing Research, Synthesizing Evidence
This is a national research coordination network designed to support GTA professional development for teaching by enhancing assessment and evaluation of training programs, and supporting faculty and staff in their delivery and assessment of these ...

Gavrilets on NPR

September 15, 2015

Sergey Gavrilets is co-organizing a workshop on warfare this week at NIMBioS, called “Evolutionary approaches to the understanding of decentralized warfare.“He was recently interviewed on NPR because of the workshop.  Gavrilets’s  research on warfare has attracted other media attention in the past, including Huffington Post, Popular Mechanics, and Nature.
His interview was featured in Tennessee Today.

Welcome Susan Kalisz!

August 24, 2015

Susan Kalisz joined EEB as professor and head of department on August 1. She comes to UT from the University of Pittsburgh where she was professor of biological sciences for nineteen years and served as director of graduate studies and chair of the graduate program oversight committee.  For more background information, please read this article ...

EEB: A Great Place for a PhD

August 11, 2015

We keep track of where our PhD students go after they graduate, and we’re proud of what we see!  After five years post-graduation, 57% are tenure-track faculty, and 17% are in government jobs (EPA, etc.).  Others are in non-tenure-track teaching positions, private industry (Wolfram, SAS, etc.), and more.  See the poster for more information.

AmNat paper for Marion

August 11, 2015

Graduate student Zach Marion (Fitzpatrick lab) has a new paper out in American Naturalist with Jim Fordyce and Ben Fitzpatrick called “Extending the concept of diversity partitioning to characterize phenotypic complexity.”   Congratulations!

DOE Award for Looney

August 11, 2015

Brian Looney (Matheny Lab) has been awarded a US Department of Energy Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) Award for his project “From saprotrophy to symbiosis: comparative genomics and functional diversity of a diverse ectomycorrhizal lineage in the Populus mycorrhizome (Russulaceae, Basidiomycota).”  The SCGSR program provides supplemental funds for graduate awardees to conduct part of ...

Outstanding Academic Support- Update

August 5, 2015

The College of Arts & Sciences presented staff awards this year, and Marva Anderson received an award for Outstanding Academic Support at the Staff Appreciation party on May 19.  Congratulations! It is a well-deserved honor; EEB could not run without Marva!
You can read more about the awards ceremony here.

Armsworth Awarded Cox Professorship

July 9, 2015

Paul Armsworth has been selected as a James R. Cox Professor.  The three-year award provides Armsworth with a stipend of $25,500 to support his research.  Recipients are chosen by a committee for their excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service.

Two Awards for Chuang

July 9, 2015

Angela Chuang (Riechert Lab) has recently received awards from both the American Philosophical Society AND the National Geographic Society Young Explorer program to fund her field work in South Africa and Cuba.  Congratulations Angela!

Simberloff Advises Korean Government

July 9, 2015

Dan Simberloff was featured in the Korea Times. He advised the Korean government this week to set up regulations to counter the trade of “invasive species” there and protect Korea’s biodiversity.

O’Meara Receives NSF Career Award

June 17, 2015

Brian O’Meara has received an NSF Career Award!   “Reducing barriers for comparative methods” has been funded for $738,000 over 5 years.  Congratulations Brian – great job!

Bernard on TV

June 5, 2015

Riley Bernard (McCracken Lab) was on Local8 News on June 4, talking about her work with bats in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Nice job Riley!

Burghardt in the News

June 5, 2015

Congratulations to Gordon Burghardt – his new paper is getting press on Science Newsline and!  The senior author of the paper, Paul Weldon, received his PhD in Zoology at UTK.  Gordon was his dissertation adviser.  You can read the UT press release, here..
The paper is called, “Evolving détente: the origin of warning signals via ...

Societal Impact Award for Ward

April 27, 2015

Congratulations to Shelby Ward (Armsworth Lab) who was selected to receive the Margaret “Tina” Riedinger Societal Impact Award for the First Annual Women in STEM Research Symposium for your significant contribution to the research finding or technological innovation that has resulted in, or has great potential to have, a positive impact on society in the presentation entitled: “Exploring how ...

NSF Grant for O’Meara

April 15, 2015

Brian O’Meara is co-PI on a newly funded, nearly $1 million NSF grant entitled “Collaborative Research: ABI Development: An open infrastructure to disseminate phylogenetic knowledge.” Brian’s part is to make trees with time information more available, and includes funds for a postdoc (~$140K for UT). Congratulations, Brian!

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