In our master's or doctoral program, you can conduct the research you love.

In addition to our long-standing doctoral program, we now also offer an EECB master's degree!

Learn more about our program

Celebrating students' awards, scholarships and fellowships

We proudly celebrate our hard-working and resourceful graduate students who have earned the following awards, scholarships and fellowships over the past year.

  • Abigail Miller: Diana Hadley-Lynch Scholarship
  • Anna Tatarko: USDA predoctoral NIFA fellowship for her proposal titled, “The impacts of multiple agricultural chemicals on the microbial ecology of pollination and implications for wild bumblebee health”
  • Anson Call: EECB Research, Travel, and Material Grant; Biology Outstanding TA award; and Kevin D. Freeman Scholarship
  • Aramee Diethelm: Brussard Award, Diana Hadley-Lynch Scholarship, and the EECB Outstanding Graduate Student Scholarship
  • Benjamin Sonnenberg: EECB Outstanding Graduate Student Scholarship
  • Chanchanok Sudta: Ben & Beatrice Edwards Biology Scholarship and an EECB Research, Travel, and Materials Grant
  • Chris Halsh: COS Outstanding Graduate Assistant Award AND a USDA NIFA fellowship for his proposal titled, “Understanding and forecasting insect population responses to the multifaceted Anthropocene in the California Central Valley”
  • Ciara Sheets: Jerry & Betty Wilson Scholarship
  • Claire Williams: Diana Hadley-Lynch Scholarship
  • Cloe Collier: 2022 Pacific Pharmaceutical Services Graduate Research Scholarship
  • Danielle Salcido: Biology Outstanding TA Award
  • Devon Picklum: EECB Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award
  • Ellen Wilson: Biology Outstanding Graduate Student Service Award
  • Gabriella Mizell: Hitchcock Chemical Ecology Fellowship
  • Guillermo Garcia Costoya: Ben & Beatrice Edwards Biology Scholarship
  • Jennifer Heppner: Milton Glick Memorial Scholarship; Three-Minute Thesis 1st place AND Peoples’ Choice Award; EECB Milton Glick Memorial Scholarship; and the Jerry & Betty Wilson Scholarship
  • Kelli McKeegan: Diana Hadley-Lynch Scholarship
  • Kelly Robinson: Diana Hadley-Lynch Scholarship
  • Laura Shriver: Carried out research from multiple competitive awards from the Nevada and Oregon native plant societies; The Nature Conservancy; and the Diana Hadley-Lynch Scholarship
  • Lauren Jones: Diana Hadley-Lynch Scholarship
  • Leah Prescott: Nevada Native Plant Society's research award
  • Madison Harris: Biology Research, Travel, and Material Grant
  • Masoud Rostami: Hitchcock Chemical Ecology Fellowship, the Ben & Beatrice Edwards Biology Scholarship, and EECB Outstanding International Graduate Student Award
  • Otis Clyne: NSF GRFP fellowship
  • Rosemary Frederick: carried out research from multiple competitive awards, from the Society for Ecological Restoration and Northern California Botanists. 
  • Stephanie Coronado: EECB Outstanding Graduate Student Service Award, GSA Outstanding Graduate Student Service Award and Nevada DRIVE scholarship
  • Taylor Bradford: New EECB Master's student this semester and he already received a $1,000 research award from the Eriogonum Society
  • Trevor Faske: EECB Outstanding Graduate Student Scholarship and Jerry & Betty Wilson Scholarship
  • Valentina Alaasam: EECB Outstanding Graduate Student Scholarship and Jerry & Betty Wilson Scholarship

Congratulations to our Spring 2022 graduates on their successful defenses!

Meredith Brehob, M.S. defense
Jordan Gass, M.S. defense
Mia Goldman, M.S. defense

Alison Agneray, Ph.D. defense
Lacey Hankin, Ph.D. defense
Joshua Hallas, Ph.D. defense
Haley Moniz, Ph.D. defense
Nadya Muchoney, Ph.D. defense
Lanie Galland Ph.D. defense
Maya Zawlodzki, Ph.D. defense

The Interdisciplinary Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology Ph.D. program

The Interdisciplinary Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology Ph.D. program provides the opportunity to tailor your graduate education to your interests. You will have a team of mentors to guide you through your scientific endeavors and provide you with a solid foundation in research methods and experimental design. Learn more about the Ph.D. program, the admissions process and resources for student support.

A tortoise sticks his head out of his shell with his front feet dangling as he is held up by a researcher.

About us

Learn more about our research interests and interdisciplinary departments and partners that create our unique academic program. 

A person sits in the student union working on a laptop.

Ph.D in EECB

Admission requirements, deadlines, program timelines, funding information and more outlining the doctoral program.

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Student resources

Program handbook, career information, and a list of student organizations and campus resources. 

Diversity in EECB

Time for an overdue review and renewal.

Learn more about our commitment

Discover areas of expertise and meet the faculty within each area to find a research direction you love. 

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Research areas

With 12 emphases and six research centers, you'll be able to tailor your research to fit your interests. Learn more about our exciting fields.

A Ph.D. student stands before display cases of insects.

People of Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology

From faculty to doctoral students and alumni, learn more about the people at the forefront of our impactful research.

Achievements and announcements

EECB doctoral student working with BLM to restore and manage our wildlands

Congratulations to Alison Agneray who was recently promoted to Great Basin Ecoregional Coordinator within the Bureau of Land Management (BLM)). In this role, Alison makes important decisions about restoration and land management across western states. From her time spent researching restoration ecology, population ecology, and native and invasive Great Basin plants at the University with Beth Leger, we can confidently say that our wildlands will be in good hands. We're proud of you, Alison!

EECB doctoral student joins leadership of international ecological organization, wins award

We are proud to announce that Leah Prescott has been elected treasurer of the International Network for Seed Based Restoration. Leah also recently received the Nevada Native Plant Society's Research Award. Keep up the great work, Leah!

The Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) student committee has a new website

Check it out! You’ll find resources for students, faculty, and anyone interested in making STEM more inclusive. You can follow along with their monthly and seasonal resource updates, or follow their news page as they make progress toward implementing a list of concrete actions to make our program more equitable (started in 2020).

EECB Faculty Beth Leger receives Foundation Professor Award!

We want to take a moment to feature Dr. Beth Leger and celebrate her 2021 Foundation Professor Award! This prestigious, campus-wide award recognizes Dr. Leger's outstanding research and substantial contributions to the EECB graduate program. In the words of current program administrator Dr. Lee Dyer, "her research goes well beyond her basic research in ecology or botany, and she is considered a leader in invasion ecology, restoration ecology, and conservation of native plants."  Dr. Leger has also served as associate director and acting director for EECB, working to improve the comprehensive exam process and guide the program through a time of rapid growth. She was one of the co-founders of the University's Natural History Museum and has played a large role in encouraging faculty and students to engage in political outreach. Her dedication to students and the program is incredible and we are lucky to have her as part of the EECB faculty. 

Congratulations to NRES grad student Kelly Loria, 2021 recipient of the NSF GRFP!

The GRFP is a competitive national award that provides three years of support to outstanding STEM graduate students. Kelly is advised by Dr. Joanna Blaszczak and is broadly interested in how headwater catchments will be impacted by climate change in areas that are experiencing rapid signals of winter warming like the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Kelly is currently investigating patterns of mountain stream metabolism and nutrient uptake by algal communities and the sensitivity of these trends to expected winter disturbances in Lake Tahoe Basin. Congrats again Kelly!

Congrats to Danielle Salcido, 2021 recipient of the College of Science's Outstanding Graduate Student Award!

Danielle is currently examining patterns of plant-caterpillar-parasitoids interactions across tropical and temperate sites. She has published a breadth of papers on how plant-insect networks change across time and space and in response to global change, including a 2021 paper in PNAS.  Danielle’s advisor, Lee Dyer, says that “as a graduate student, she has been a passionate and driven leader of community science teams, and one of her dissertation manuscripts focuses on the effectiveness of programs for outreach and diversity and inclusion of communities of K-12, corporate, and public volunteers. She has helped bring a hands-on view of science and the world of nature to hundreds of volunteers.”

EECB Student Stephanie Coronado receives Fulbright Scholarship!

Steph has proposed to study how gradients of water and nutrient availability affect the strength of a defensive tree-ant mutualism and the associated diversity of tree-eating caterpillar communities. As part of the Fulbright, Steph will collaborate with Dr. Andrea Vincent of the Universidad de Costa Rica, an ecosystem ecologist, to analyze the integrative effects of water and soil nutrients on tree carbon budgets and defensive investment strategies.

Anjana Parandhaman receives 2021 GSA Outstanding Graduate Student Scholarship.

Anjana (she/her) focuses her research on current and future habitat suitability and connectivity for the Mojave Desert Tortoise, a species considered "threatened" under the US Endangered Species Act. Anjana's work involves extensive surveys at the edges of the species' range in an effort to understand how the tortoise may be impacted under future climate change and land-use change scenarios. In addition to her outstanding research, Anjana was one of the students who spearheaded the formation of a student Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion committee in 2020, helped the faculty compose EECB's first-ever diversity statement, and co-taught the first EECB "Diversity in STEM" course.

Congratulations 2021 recipients of GSA's Outstanding International Graduate Student Scholarship!

Chanchanok (Saw) Sudta studies insect ecology and species interaction, using lepidopteran larvae (caterpillars) to explore how diet specialization relates to abundance, how interaction diversity of plant arthropod communities varies across anthropogenic and environmental gradients, and how common caterpillars found on one host plant species are microhabitat specialists.

Masoud Rostami is a data scientist interested in the intersection of environmental science, energy, water quality, climate change, and ecology. Masoud's current project aims to use machine learning to understand the role of environmental variables on the distribution of meiofauna in the Gulf of Mexico during Deepwater Horizon Impact.

Congrats to the EECB recipients of the 2021 GSA Research, Travel, and Materials Grant!

Jennifer Heppner (top) will focus her research on phenotypic differences in birds along an urban gradient and the adaptive mechanisms of urban birds. Devon Picklum (bottom left) focuses her work on rubber rabbit brush and associated gall-forming insect communities near Pyramid Lake.  Haley Moniz (bottom center) will be using this grant to process stable isotope samples collected this season with the intent to understand garter snake diet, particularly the importance of toxic newts to snake populations with high and low toxin resistance. Kelly Robinson (bottom right) will be using these funds to explore TTX sequestration in garter snakes.

Doctoral candidate Angela Pitera wins Fall 2020 Outstanding Graduate Award!

Angela Pitera

Congratulations to Angela Pitera, PhD candidate and one of the UNR Graduate Student Association Fall 2020 Outstanding Graduates. Angela always goes above and beyond as the TA for mammalogy, and teaching during a pandemic was no exception." Angela managed all the challenges of masking, social distancing within lab, and reduced time for in-lab activities, and still provided an excellent learning experience for her student." - Jack Hayes, Professor and Dept. of Biology Chair

Congratulations to the EECB student recipients of the 2020 Graduate Student Association Outstanding Graduate Student Scholarships!

Outstanding Graduates 2020

Ericka Kay (top left) studies how interactions among organisms are mediated by biological compounds, specifically using industrial hemp.

Anna Tatarko (top right) studies the impacts of pesticides on different aspects of insect physiology, including the gut health of an understudied native bee.

Christopher Halsch (bottom right) is currently interested in the impacts of climate change on insect populations in montane landscapes. Well that and chasing butterflies.

Haley Moniz (bottom left) is transitioning from studying the evolutionary costs of adaptive toxin resistance in garter snakes to investigating the origin of selective pressures in the garter snake and newt coevolution. Essentially, getting at the ever-present question: how often do snakes actually eat toxic newts?

Congratulations to the EECB students who received the 2020 Graduate Student Association Research, Travel and Materials Grant!

Grant award winners

Rosemary Frederick (top left), who studies competitive abilities of common native restoration grasses, will use her funds to pay for greenhouse space to test adaptive traits in response to maternal growing environment.

Anson Call (top right) will use his grant to study mutualisms and nitrogen flows in alfalfa fields.

Benjamin Sonnenberg (bottom right) will put his funds towards research projects, including using RFID technology to record parental nesting behavior in Mountain Chickadees.

Casey Adkins (bottom left) will use her funds to investigate the allelic diversity of the histocompatibility complex (MHC) between two woodrat species (Neotoma fuscipes and N. macrotis) and their hybrid offspring.

Doctoral student Danielle Salcido receives Outstanding Student Paper award!

An adult parasitoid reared from a host.Congratulations to EECB doctoral student Danielle Salcido for receiving the Outstanding Student Paper award from the Organization for Tropical Studies

Read more about her research (please note: links to an external site that may not be fully accessible.)

Congratulations to the NSF GRFP 2020 recipients!

A collage of four students photos that congratulates Lauren Benedict, Tara Christensen, Madeline Lohman and Keely Rodriguez

We are proud to celebrate EECB students Madeleine Lohman (mentor Perry Williams), Tara Christensen (mentors Lee Dyer, Angela Marie Smilanich), Keely Rodriguez (mentor Jamie Voyles), and Lauren Benedict (mentor Vladimir Pravosudov).

Celebrating Black Mammalogists

Celebrating Black Mammalogists Week, please consider donating to the BIPOC scholarship award administered by the American Society of Mammalogists. Please share with all organismal biologists you know! And, encourage your professional societies to create diversity-enhancing fellowships!

Our impact

Nevada Today news stories from EECB and the departments that contribute to the program.

A butterfly with blue wings sits on a blue flower with a blurred background.

EntoGEM identifies the gaps in insect decline data

Postdoc Eliza Grames works to aggregate data for insect decline synthesis

Jonathan Taasan smiles, wearing glasses and a black coat and standing in front of the Mackay School of Mines building.

Making their MARC: Jonathan Taasan

First MARC Nevada cohort includes biomedical engineering major Jonathan Taasan

Outdoor arial view of the 4-H Camp & Learning Center main building.

New agreement provides for 4-H Camp & Learning Center in southern Nevada

University of Nevada, Reno Extension collaborates with Lincoln and Clark counties to provide youth programs at facility in Alamo