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I Will Make Tennessee Proud

March 15, 2018

Pre-eminent entomologist Carl Huffaker (’38, ’39) never forgot the kindness of a UT president.
By Brooks Clark (’16)
Among the pleasures of working in UT alumni relations are the occasions when long, lost alums or their families come back to campus and we get to revisit the old sights and introduce them to the new show. Last ...

New Plant Species and Habitat Near Knoxville

February 27, 2018

A paper describing the discovery of a new plant species, the Leatherleaf Tassel Rue (Trautvetteria fonticalcarea), was just published by recent UT graduate Aaron Floden (PhD 2017) in the Nordic Journal of Botany. Floden, writing with his PhD advisor Prof. Ed Schilling, also provided the first published description of the unique habitat in which this ...

Three Minute Thesis Competition

February 22, 2018

Two EEB grad students are competing in the 3-minute thesis competition next week: Jordan Bush (Simberloff Lab) and Sara Lipshutz (Derryberry Lab). This is a University-wide competition, so we are doing well to have two EEB-ers representing us! See pdf for details.
Jordan and Sara are speaking on February 26, 2018 at 3:30 p.m. in room ...

Tewksbury Seminar 2/16

February 13, 2018

Josh Tewksbury, of Future Earth, is the EEB seminar speaker this Friday (Feb. 16), at 3:30 PM in 307 SERF.  This seminar is affiliated with the Haines Morris Endowment-funded seminar series, “Why Natural History Matters in the 21st Century.”
The talk is entitled “Natural History’s place in Science and Society” (poster).

Darwin Day 2018

February 6, 2018

Darwin Day at UT is hosting 2 events coming up this weekend and early next week!
We have Darwin’s Birthday Party at the McClung Museum on Saturday, Feb. 10th from 1-4pm with cake, scavenger hunts, crafts, and Darwin himself.
Monday, Feb. 12 at 7pm we have Dr. Nizar Ibrahim (discoverer of Spinosaurus, an aquatic dinosaur) coming to campus to give a lecture.
For more information, ...

Simberloff Amongst Most Cited

February 1, 2018

Professor Daniel Simberloff is one of two UT faculty members who have earned the distinction of being among the most cited researchers in the world, according to Clarivate Analytics, formerly Thompson Reuters.
It’s the second such recognition in a row for Simberloff.
Those measurements came in relation to specific findings and papers rather than a cross-examination of ...

Center for the Dynamics of Social Complexity

January 29, 2018

UT is home to a new Center for the Dynamics of Social Complexity (DySoC), led by  Director Sergey Gavrilets.  Other EEB faculty involved in the center include Nina Fefferman and Lou Gross.
“The goal of the Center is to promote connections and collaborations between different researchers focusing on various aspects and levels of human social behavior. ...

No Fortuitous Short-Cuts When Deciding Conservation Priorities

January 20, 2018

The Armsworth Lab has a new open-access publication out in Nature Communications: “Factoring economic costs into conservation planning may not improve agreement over priorities for protection.”  It is a collaboration between an interdisciplinary team of UT researchers with scientists at The Nature Conservancy and focuses on how best to identify candidate areas for establishing nature ...

Energy and Environment Forums, Spring 2018

January 20, 2018

The list of seminar speakers for the Spring 2018 Baker Center Energy and Environment Forums has been released!  Download the pdf here.

Thursday, February 1—Laura Ogden, Energy and Environment Forum, 1–2:30 p.m., Toyota Auditorium. Ogden will present “Trace Impressions of Being: Loss, Change, and Wonder in the Fuegian Archipelago ” Dr. Ogden is an associate professor ...

Stachowiak Fellowship Finalist

January 9, 2018

Graduate Student Chad Stachowiak (Armsworth Lab), is a finalist for a 2018 Presidential Management Fellowship.
“The PMF Program is a flagship leadership development program at the entry level for advanced degree candidates. It was created more than three decades ago by Executive Order and has gone through many changes over the years. The Program attracts and ...

Pierson Photography on Display

January 9, 2018

Graduate Student Todd Pierson (Fitzpatrick Lab) has some of his beautiful photography on display (and for sale) at Trailhead Beer Market in South Knoxville.  EEB uses some of his photos on the website.  Check it out!


Etnier Ichthyology Endowment Established to Support Research, Improve Aquatic Biodiversity in Tennessee

December 15, 2017

Representatives from the Tennessee Valley Authority and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency announced the establishment of the Etnier Ichthyology Endowment at a reception on the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, campus Thursday, December 14.
“TVA is proud to be partners with the University of Tennessee, and David Etnier has been a big part of that partnership for ...

Course Offerings Spring 2018 (updated 1/9/18)

December 4, 2017

In addition to the regular course offerings this spring, the following new courses may be of interest!

Course Number
Course Title

FWF 590, s.1; CRN 29418
Tu Th
Rare Species Biology, Conservation and Management
Charles Kwit

EEB 461, CRN:31987

Tu Th
Behavioral Ecology


EEB 461, CRN:31595
Mixed Severity Wildfires
Karen Hughes

EEB 461, CRN:26971
EEB 504, CRN:26273
Tu Th
Invasion Biology
Dan Simberloff
Christy Leppanen
poster 1
poster 2

EEB 461
EEB 602

Landscape Ecology, an online course


EEB ...

50th Anniversary of Island Biogeography Studies

November 9, 2017

In honor of the 50th anniversary of the seminal Simberloff and Wilson island biogeography studies, the Bulletin for the Ecological Society of America published a special extended edition of their “Paper Trail” series in October. In this series, young researchers tell stories of how a particular paper influenced them, and the original authors of the ...

Kwit Featured in Podcast

November 8, 2017

Assistant Professor Charles Kwit was featured in the November 4 podcast of Tennessee Farm Table, entitled “The Wild Persimmon of Appalachia.”  He starts talking around 2 min 25 sec into the podcast.  He talks about the biology of the native persimmon, Diospyros virginiana.

Fall 2017 EEB Newsletter Now Available!

November 6, 2017

The Fall 2017 issue of Explorations, the EEB Newsletter, is now available!  You can view the newsletter on the web or as a printable pdf.

UT’s Etnier Fish Collection Featured in Research

October 18, 2017

Adjunct Assistant Professor Ben Keck just published two articles, each describing a new species of fish that relied on specimens from the David A. Etnier Ichthyological Collection at UT.  Congratulations, Ben!

Herbarium Awards and Fellowships Available, 2017

October 18, 2017

The EEB Collections Committee is pleased to announce the following three awards from the Hesler Fund to support and enhance herbarium-based research at UTK. Please share these award announcements with any students, colleagues, and collaborators who might be interested in applying.
Student Research Awards –
Awards are available for research in the areas of systematics, ecology, biogeography, conservation, and ...

Teaching Resource Development Award for Poppenwimmer

October 16, 2017

Tyler Poppenwimer (Gross & Bailey Labs) won an award to develop online teaching resources to enhance the teaching of Math 152 in spring 2018.
The award, offered by UT’s Office of Information Technology, is open to Graduate Teaching Associates (GTA). The grant is awarded for the enhancement of a course by utilizing OIT-supported technologies and innovative ...

Press for Burghardt: Snakes that recognize whether they are venomous

October 11, 2017

Professor Gordon Burghardt has a new article out in Journal of Comparative Psychology with Akira Mori called, “Do tiger keelback snakes (Rhabdophis tigrinus) recognize how toxic they are?” (DOI: 10.1037/com0000075)
The findings of the article have been picked up by places like New Scientist. Tiger keelback snakes do not make their own venom; they store and ...

Milt (PhD 2015) Recognized by Conservation Biology

October 1, 2017

Austin Milt (PhD 2015, now a postdoc at the University of Wisconsin) won third place in Conservation Biology’s ‘Rising Star’ award for his manuscript, “The Costs of Avoiding Environmental Impacts from Shale-Gas Surface Infrastructure.” The Rising Star award considers all student led papers published in Conservation Biology in 2016. This award is judged by a ...

Press Takes Interest in New Blum Article

September 17, 2017

Associate Professor Mike Blum has a new paper out in the journal Ecosphere this month, called “Socioecological disparities in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina.”  Some science news outlets have picked up on the article:

Science News Online
Science Daily

The paper’s findings are particularly topical as communities in Texas and Florida begin to rebuild after recent hurricanes Harvey ...

Magic Mushroom Effects on Insects

August 25, 2017

There is an August 23, 2017 article in New Scientist about hallucinogenic mushrooms and their insect-repellent properties.  The article mentions work done at Ohio State, and the Matheny Lab helped with the research, particularly former grad student Hailee Korotkin (MS 2017).
There’s a similar article in The Atlantic.

New Book from Matheny

August 23, 2017

EEB’s Brandon Matheny, together with Neale Bougher from the Western Australian Herbarium, authored a book that came out in June 2017 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 ...

New Faculty’s Research Featured on The Atlantic’s CityLab

August 11, 2017

Associate Professor Michael Blum joined EEB on August 1.  He has been researching rats in New Orleans, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.  His research is featured in an August 9 article on The Atlantic’s CityLab website called, “Will Cities Ever Outsmart Rats?“.

Fall 2017 Seminar Calendar

August 11, 2017

The Fall 2017 EEB Seminar Calendar can now be viewed at  It may take a week for the seminars to appear on the “Upcoming Events” feed at the bottom of the EEB homepage.

Buried in their Work!

August 11, 2017

EEB Volunteers get Dirty Digging Roots to Help with Invasive Species Research
In July, a group of EEB faculty, staff, graduate and undergraduate students, family, and friends helped dig roots as part of a study of belowground communities associated with hemlock trees.  Prof. Daniel Simberloff and Christy Leppanen (EEB lecturer and postdoc), are collaborating with ...

Gross Named Fellow of Society for Mathematical Biology

July 26, 2017

A distinguished professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and mathematics at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UT), Gross is also the founding and current director of the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS) and director of UT’s Institute for Environmental Modeling. His research focuses on computational and mathematical ecology, with applications to plant ...

Burghardt in the News

June 25, 2017

Professor Gordon Burghardt appears in the June 23 Knoxville News-Sentinel, in an article by Philip Kronk called, “Fear of snakes may date to evolution in Africa.”
Burghardt also appears on The Evolution Institute website, in a conversation with Kevin Laland, author of “Darwin’s Unfinished Symphony: How Culture Made the Human Mind.”  They discuss adaptive trends and ...

Penley Fellowship for Bayliss

June 14, 2017

Shannon Bayliss (Bailey Lab) has received a Penley Fellowship from the Graduate School at UT.  This award is quite new and was first bestowed in 2016.  Awardees are selected on the strength of the applicant’s ability to make a persuasive case for the importance of their project and evidence that the fellowship is necessary to ...

Freeberg Featured in Natural History

May 27, 2017

The June 2017 issue of Natural History has a ½ page article featuring Adjunct Professor Todd Freeberg.  The article reports on a behavioral ecology study he conducted with colleagues on naturally-occurring flocks of over-wintering Carolina chickadees, tufted titmice, and white-breasted nuthatches to find out why some birds regularly travel in mixed-species flocks.
Author:  Wilson, Niki
Source:  Natural ...

BSA Research Award for Benoit

May 26, 2017

Amanda Benoit (Kalisz Lab) has won a Botanical Society of America’s 2017 Graduate Student Research Award for her proposal, “Sit-and-wait predators as drivers of plant mating system evolution.”  She will be recognized at the Botany conference in Fort Worth, TX, in June.  Congratulations!

Gavrilets and the Role of Social Norms

May 24, 2017

Sergey Gavrilets has coauthored a recent paper in PNAS called “Collective action and the evolution of social norm internalization.” Following social norms can sometimes be costly for individuals if norms require sacrifice for the good of the group. The study sheds light on the power of norms and the origins of cooperation. Read the NIMBioS ...

DoD Fellowship for Scott

May 22, 2017

Shelby Scott (Gross Lab) has been awarded a three-year 2017 National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship!  The NDSEG Fellowship is sponsored and funded by the Department of Defense (DoD). NDSEG selections are made by the Air Force Research Laboratory, the Office of Naval Research, and the Army Research Office. The American Society for ...

Sigma Xi Award for Rivarola

May 17, 2017

Maria Daniela Rivarola (Simberloff Lab) won the Sigma Xi Student Superior Presentation in November 2016, at the Sigma Xi Annual Meeting & Student Research Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina.  Congratulations!

EEB Departmental Awards 2017

May 10, 2017

Congratulations to all the graduate students, undergraduate students, and staff who received awards at the EEB Awards Ceremony on May 1.   To view more photos, please visit the EEB Facebook page.  For more information about any of the awards below, please visit the Departmental Awards and Scholarships page.
2017 EEB Outstanding Master’s Thesis
Alix Pfennigwerth (Schweitzer ...

Division of Biology Awards 2017

May 10, 2017

EEB congratulates our graduate students who won awards from UT’s Division of Biology!   These awards can be given to any graduate students in Biochemistry & Cellular and Molecular Biology (BCMB), Microbiology, or Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.
2017 Cokkinias Award – Rachel Wooliver (Schweitzer Lab), for outstanding scholarly achievements.
2017 Teaching Award – Cassie Dresser (Fitzpatrick Lab), for outstanding ...

Discover Magazine Interviews Burghardt, Pruitt- UPDATE

May 8, 2017

The June 2017 issue of Discover Magazine has an article on play behavior in non-mammalian animals.  Called “The Play’s the Thing,” it features interviews with Professor Gordon Burghardt and alumnus Jonathan Pruit (PhD 2010, Riechert Lab, now on the faculty at UC-Santa Barbara). The article references a paper published in 2012 that was written by ...

Science Writing Award for Bush

May 2, 2017

Graduate student Jordan Bush (Simberloff Lab) will receive the J. Paul Blakely Award of Excellence in the category of Science Writing, Graduate Division at an awards ceremony on May 4, 2017. This award from the East Tennessee Chapter of the Society for Technical Communication (STC-ETC) recognizes students with an interest in technical/professional communication or science writing, from ...

Nature Ecology & Evolution paper for Van Nuland

April 29, 2017

Finishing graduate student Michael Van Nuland (Schweitzer Lab) has a new paper out in Nature Ecology & Evolution with Joe Bailey and Jen Schweitzer:
Divergent plant–soil feedbacks could alter future elevation ranges and ecosystem dynamics
Congratulations!  A pdf of the article can be viewed here.  Or, read a press release at Tennessee Today.

EEB Awards & Graduation Ceremonies May 1, 2017

April 23, 2017

EEB will host the annual EEB Awards Ceremony at 3pm on Monday, May 1, in SERF 307.  Food and drink will be provided.
EEB will host the first EEB Graduation Ceremony in the same location, immediately following the Awards Ceremony, at 4pm.  The ceremony will last approximately one hour, and Department Head Susan Kalisz will recognize ...

2017 Chancellor’s Honors Awards for EEB

April 23, 2017

Two members of EEB received awards at the Chancellor’s Honors Award Banquet on April 19, 2017: PhD candidate Cassie Dresser (Fitzpatrick Lab) & Associate Professor Beth Schussler
2017 Graduate Student Teaching Award
Cassie Dresser
Unlike many PhD candidates who focus solely on research, Cassie Dresser has wanted to teach since arriving in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary ...

Shipley-Swann Fellowship for Pierson

April 17, 2017

Todd Pierson (Fitzpatrick Lab) has been awarded a Shipley-Swann Graduate School Fellowship for 2017-18.
The fellowship recognizes graduate students across campus who demonstrate academic excellence; it provides students with a stipend of $5,000 for the year.
Congratulations, Todd!

Graduate Student Senate Awards 2017

April 17, 2017

Congratulations to the EEB grad students who won Graduate Student Senate awards this year. There are a few different categories:
Research: This award is presented to graduate students who have received national and/or international recognition in their fields and show professional promise in their areas of research and creative achievement.

Sam Borstein (O’Meara Lab)
Angela Chuang (Riechert Lab)
Aaron ...

Gavrilets Elected to American Academy

April 13, 2017

Distinguished Professor Sergey Gavrilets has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Founded in 1780, the American Academy is of the nation’s oldest learned societies and independent policy research centers.  The academy has served the nation as a champion of scholarship, civil dialogue, and useful knowledge.  Its membership encompasses over 4,600 Fellows ...

Beyond Academia 2017

April 11, 2017

EEB’s GREBE (Graduate Researchers in Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution) collaborated with FOSEP (Forum on Science Ethics & Policy) to host the Beyond Academia: Environmental Edition forum on April 8.
The event consisted of Q&A sessions with panelists and networking sessions. There were a variety of panelists from government agencies, NGOs, the CDC, ORNL, science policy organizations, ...

Hughes, Matheny, and Petersen in News-Sentinel

April 5, 2017

The Knoxville News-Sentinel has an article on the research that Karen Hughes, Brandon Matheny and Ron Petersen are doing on the post-fire growth of fungi in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Check it out at

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!!!

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.

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 ...

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