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Welcome to the Graduate Program in Ecology and Evolution

About the Program

Ecology and Evolution at Rutgers has a long and distinguished history. The E&E graduate program includes approximately 80 faculty and 60 graduate students. The program faculty is comprised of roughly 25 professors who are members the undergraduate Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources, the remaining members of the graduate program hail from other departments and campuses. The graduate program is interdisciplinary in nature and offers graduate education and training in microbial, plant, animal, and human ecology under the direction of outstanding faculty located at three campuses (New Brunswick, Newark, and Camden); two marine stations (in Tuckerton and Bivalve); the Pinelands Field Station in New Lisbon; and the Cary Institute for Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, New York.

Members of the faculty actively pursue research in conservation biology, ecosystem ecology, evolutionary biology, marine biology, microbial ecology, population and community ecology, population genetics, and restoration ecology.

Students may study toward either M.S. or Ph.D. degrees. An M.S. is not required to enter the Ph.D. program.

The application deadline for fall 2016 has passed. Note that fall 2017 deadline for application submission to be considered for an internal fellowship is December 15, 2016. Learn more about the application process.


  1. Congratulations to Natalie Howe and Jennifer Blake-Mahmud on receipt of GSNB Awards

  2. Natalie Howe received the Excellence in Teaching by a Graduate Student Award. Natalie, a John Dighton student, completed her PhD this May. Natalie has taught three main courses over the five years she has been a PhD student at Rutgers. The first, and perhaps the more challenging, is General Biology. This course serves a vast number of undergraduates at Rutgers, many of whom will not major in the biological sciences. Natalie has also TAed for Plant Systematics and Plant Ecology and she has lectured a full course on Fungi in Ecosystems involving designing and leading both lecture and laboratory sections.
    Beyond her teaching at Rutgers, Natalie has also gone above and beyond in her dedication to excellence in all forms of teaching by taking a leadership role in the development and teaching of lessons in Woody Plants and Environmental Studies with the Prison Teaching Initiative, broadening the diversity of educational opportunities for incarcerated students at the state prison.

  3. She has designed course materials for lectures and labs, written and produced beautiful educational bulletins for broader educational outreach, and even coauthored multiple papers focused explicitly on science education.

  4. Jennifer Blake-Mahmud, a 4th year PhD student in the Lena Struwe lab, received the Dissertation Teaching Award. This award is given to a student to create and offer an upper division undergraduate course in the major in the area of the student's dissertation research. Jennifer's dissertation research focuses on the impact of environmental conditions to sex expression and the evolution of sex ratio/allocation in application to plant communities. She has created a course to be offered this fall titled Sex in the Tree of Life: The Evolution and Persistence of Sexual Reproduction. The course description reads "What is sex and how did it originate? Who has sex and who doesn't? Why does it stick around? Does sex even matter? We'll explore the diversity of ways in which organisms throughout the tree of life mate and reproduce, and the benefits and drawbacks to different types of reproduction. We'll also discuss alternative mating strategies, gender in the natural world, and the individual conflicts that arise due to reproduction."


  1. Congratulations to E&E Alumnus Chris Martine on the receipt of a Dennis M. Fenton Distinguished Graduate Alumni Award

    Chris, who received his BS from Cook in 1996, his MS in Ecology and Evolution in 2001 and his PhD from the University of Connecticut, is the David Burpee Chair in Plant Genetics and Director of the Manning Herbarium at Bucknell University. As the write up in the award notice states: "in addition to his research on the evolution of sexuality in plants, he is committed to educating the public as to what plants are and what plant scientists do.  His outreach efforts include a YouTube series, Plants are Cool, Too, two segments of which focused on Rutgers research, featuring Rutgers professors and students.  Chris is a great model of how to engage young and old minds anywhere in the world."