|Professor Kentwood Wells, Head of Department
The Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology is one of three departments in the biological sciences at the University of Connecticut. There are currently 30 (including 4 at regional campuses) faculty members plus four emeritus faculty members and more than six adjunct professors in the department representing most areas of organismal biology, ecology, evolution and systematics. About 50 graduate students are currently studying for the M.S. or Ph.D. degrees. Together with biologists in the sister departments and within the School of Agriculture and Natural Resources, there are well over 100 faculty working in the field of biological sciences (excluding health-related fields). This constitutes one of the largest concentrations of organismic biologists in the Northeast.
Our strong research program has given national recognition to Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Connecticut. For example, federal grant support for research in systematic biology over the past decade places the University of Connecticut among the top 10 in the country. Many of our faculty members serve or have served as officers of major scientific societies, including several presidents of national/international scientific societies, as National Science Foundation panel directors or members, and as editors of over two dozen science journals. Recent graduate students have won prizes for best papers at national meetings in fields such as botany, ecology, entomology, evolution, herpetology, ichthyology, marine biology, parasitology and plant systematics.
The Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology is housed in three buildings: the Torrey Life Science, Pharmacy/Biology (illustrated), and Biology/Physics buildings. A wide range of equipment and special facilities for research in organismic biology are available. Internationally important systematic reference collections with over 2,000,000 specimens are housed in a state-of-the-art collections facility in the Biology/Physics building. The University Library system contains over 2.4 million volumes and is particularly strong in the biological sciences. The physiology laboratories provide a wide range of instrumentation for research in plant and animal physiological ecology. There also are specialized laboratory facilities for research in behavioral biology, molecular evolution and systematics, and excellent scanning and transmission electron microscope facilities. Controlled environment growth chambers and rooms together with over 10,000 square feet of greenhouse space are available for research projects. In addition, the greenhouse contains one of the largest and most diverse collections of living plants in the Northeast. Extensive facilities, instrumentation and field sites are available for research in population, community and ecosystem ecology, and limnology. The Marine Sciences Institute provides well-equipped research laboratories and vessels on Long Island Sound, an easy commute from the main campus. The department maintains affiliations with the federal Sea Grant Program and the Institute for Water Resources, which provide funding for research in marine, estuarine and aquatic sciences. The University is a member of the Organization for Tropical Studies , which provides graduate students with training and research experience in tropical biology.
The University is located in rural northeastern Connecticut, a half-hour drive from Hartford, one and a half hours from Boston and two and a half hours from New York City. The campus is situated in an attractive landscape of forested hills interspersed with pastoral farms and small colonial New England villages. The University lands encompass some 3,000 acres offering ready access to a diversity of habitats well-suited for field studies.