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Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB) Departmental Information
The Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology embraces education and research on virtually all aspects of biodiversity, including the origins and history of species ranging from bacteria to humans, the processes by which this diversity has evolved, and the ecological context in which this evolution takes place. These basic sciences underlie some of the most important applied sciences in the world today, such as global climate change, sustainable agriculture, the emergence and spread of infectious diseases, invasive and exotic species, conservation biology, natural resource management, and evolution of pesticide and antibiotic resistance.
Ecologists and evolutionary biologists seek to understand the origin and complex interactions of the earth's biodiversity and ecosystems. Our collective focus spans numerous levels of biological organization over multiple timescales; including genes, individuals, kin groups, populations, species, communities, and ecosystems. Studies in ecology and evolution strive to synthesize how these levels of organization are related to one another and what processes govern their interactions. Although the methods, background knowledge, and social context for such investigations have changed radically in recent decades, the fundamental questions about life remain, and their relevance to humans has increased. How did we get here? How does nature work? How will our role in nature change in the future?
Introductory Biology Credit Limitation
The maximum amount of credit that can be earned in introductory biology courses is 17 credits. Students interested in concentrating in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology must complete BIOLOGY 171, 172/174, and 173, OR BIOLOGY 195 and 173, or equivalent.
Modern teaching and research laboratories house electron microscopes, controlled environment rooms, analytical and preparative centrifuges, spectrophotometers, and other tools essential for modern research in all areas of the biological sciences. In addition, the Herbarium, the Museum of Paleontology, the Museum of Anthropology Ethnobotanical Laboratory, the Museum of Zoology, and the Matthaei Botanical Gardens supplement the instructional and research programs. University-owned research facilities in the vicinity of Ann Arbor include Saginaw Forest, Edwin S. George Reserve, Stinchfield Woods, and Mud Lake Bog. The Biological Station provides additional facilities for instruction and research. The University of Michigan is also a member of the Organization for Tropical Studies.
It is recommended that students with a concentration in the Department give serious consideration to spending a summer at a field station, especially the University of Michigan Biological Station, or a marine laboratory. The training and experience provided by such facilities are particularly valuable for students interested in ecology, systematics, animal behavior, and evolutionary biology and are especially relevant to the new EEB concentration.
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