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Graduate Program in Ecology and Evolution

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Mission Statement

The Ecology and Evolution Graduate Program at Rutgers University aims to foster a diverse environment rich in critical thinking and open communication.  We are committed to mentoring the next generation of scientists to solve 21st century problems and be stewards to our planet.

About the Program

Ecology and Evolution at Rutgers has a long and distinguished history. The E&E graduate program includes approximately 80 faculty and 50 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 graduate program falls under the auspices the School of Graduate Studies from which the final degrees are conferred.

The application deadline for fall 2022 has passed. The program does not have a spring admissions. Note that fall 2023 deadline for application submission to be considered for an internal fellowship is December 15, 2022. Learn more about the application process.

News and Announcements

Botany 2023

Boise, Idaho
July 22 - 26

ESA 2023

Portland Oregon
August 6 - 11

Entomological 2023

National Harbor, MD
November 5 - 8

Trapping live red foxes at the Jersey Shore!

Chris Crosby, a Ph.D. student in the Maslo lab, along with Kathleen Kerwin, the Maslo lab Project Manager, and Ryan Schilling, an undergraduate within the DEENR major are currently live trapping red foxes along the New Jersey Shore. Dr. Maslo and Chris Crosby were featured in the Atlantic City Press. Read the article here: Rutgers Trapping Foxes Along Shore

E&E alumni and faculty research highlighted in JSTOR.

"Scientists Nicholas B. Pollock, Natalie Howe, Ivelisse Irizarry, Nicholas Lorusso, Ariel Kruger, Kurtis Himmler, and Lena Struwe suggest that longer-term “personal BioBlitzes” can be beneficial in combating “species blindness” and the lack of awareness of biodiversity, even in heavily urban areas."

In JSTOR Daily -

Congratulatory Highlights

Congratulations to Christian Crosby, Daniel Fisher, Morgan Mark, Erin McHale, and Leon Tkacenko for winning Travel Awards from SGS! 

Andrew Aldercotte has been as busy as a bee on his Fulbright-Funded Indonesian Pollinator Research. Check out his story HERE!

A huge shout-out to José Ramírez-Garofalo who has a forthcoming book, The Birds of Freshkills Park. It's a wonderful introduction to the ecology of an ecosystem nearby.

Check out this fun article about Erin Mchale, Morgan Mark and Evan Drake's outreach efforts about bats.

A new paper by Danielle Brown on humpback whales in the NY Bight Apex.

Andrew Aldercotte - had his first paper accepted to the Insect Conversation and Diversity Journal.

Natalie Lemanski - had a paper accepted to the Nature Ecology and Evolution Journal. A link to the paper is not yet available.

Julia Van Etten - Check out Julia Van Etten's work with Science and Art Blossoms into Origins of Life Research (Newsroom Article and Youtube).

Megan King
- Congratulations on being the 2022 recipient of the Vicki A. Funk Graduate Research Grant from the American Society of Plant Taxonomists.

Judith Weis - Congratulations on your new book: (

Congrats to Julia Van Etten on being awarded a Louis Bevier Fellowship.

Kyra Fitz - Congrats on securing an NDSEG Fellowship!

Congrats to Andrew Aldercotte on being awarded a Fulbright to study pollinators in the tree canopies of Borneo.

José Ramirez Garofalo, congrats on being quoted in a New York Times artilce about vagrant birds:

Congrats to Kyra Fitz on being awarded a 2-year NOAA Margaret Davidson Fellowship to work with JCNERR on shifting fish distributions, and a 3-year NDSEG (National Defense Science and Engineering Gradaute) Fellowship to support her gradaute studies.

Joseph "Joe" Paulin
Read Joe's article on "White-tailed Deer and the Hidden Costs to Farmers' Livelihoods" that was published today (03.24.2022) as an NJAES/RCE report.

Tyler Christensen and Robert "Bobby" Kwait and Dr. Maslo
Check out their paper HERE!

Dylan Simpson, Lucia Weinman, alumni's M. A Genung and M. Macleoud and Dr. Winfree
Check out their paper on plant-pollinator networks when it comes out in the press: Simpson, D T, L R Weinman, M A Genung, M E Roswell, M MacLeod, and R Winfree. In press 2022. Many bee species, including rare species, are important for function of entire plant-pollinator networks. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B.

Paul Bendiks (Class of 2020) and others
See the announcement on twitter HERE! Read the paper HERE!
Congratulations to paul for winning the American Naturalist journal's student paper award this year!

Max Piana (Class of 2019), Dr. Aronson (and others)
Check out their paper HERE!

Robert "Bobby" Kwait
Bobby's first paper in the Conservation Science Practice, A journal of the Society for Conservation Biology was published on February 11, 2022.
"Whole-room ultraviolet sanitization as a method for the site-level treatment of Pseudogymnoascus destructans"
Co-authors: Kathleen Kerwin, Carl Herzog, Joan Bennett, Sally Padhi, Isabelle Zoccolo and Dr. Brooke Maslo
Read it HERE!

Erin Chille
Erin's first lead-author paper, the results from the first chapter of her master's thesis at URI, was published yesterday in BMC Genomics. You can check it out HERE.

Max McCarthy (and his advisor Dr. Rachael Winfree)
Max was recently featured in the New York Times for his research on a rare bee called Andrean Parnassiae. The article titled, "To learn Bees' Secrets, Count Them One by One," was published on October 16, 2021. Please visit HERE to check out the article. Congratulations Max and Dr. Winfree!

Steward Pickett
Steward is a member of our graduate program and senior scientist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, and was recently elected to the National Academy of Sciences for his contributions to urban ecology and plant succession. Steward Pickett is also the recipient of the Ecological Society of America's 2021 Eminent Ecologist Award, in recognition of his pioneering work on forest succession, urban ecology, and efforts to improve urban stewardship and sustainability. Details on Steward's Eminent Ecologist Award can be found here!

Jaelyn Bos
Was awarded 2021 National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship Award, Which is three years of funding for her PhD.

Elizabeth Bouchard
Was recognized for having the best poster at this year's virtual Partnership for the Delaware Estuary (PDE) event. Her presentation was titled: Assessing the distribution of horseshoe crab eggs in relation to interitdal oyster aquaculture in Delaware Bay and red knot foraging distribution.

Katrina Catalano
Was featured in the SEBS/NJAES newsroom in January as a lead author for her work on clownfish. You can read more here: SEBSNJAESNewsroom

Zoë Kitchel, Jeewantha Bandara, Jaelyn Bos and René Clark
Published a book review of Ocean Recovery: A Sustainable Future for Global Fisheries?, by Ray and Ulrike Hilborn.

Dylan Simpson
Dylan recently received the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Fund, a wildlife and conservation research grant.

Julia Van Etten
Published an article on horizontal gene transfer. Julia used her Couch Microscopy project to create the cover! View the article here: Red Algal Extremophiles: Novel Genes and Paradigms

Received a NASA Future Investigators in NASA Earth and Space Science and Technology (FINESST) grant. This 3-year grant will support Julia and her research on generating a mechanistic understanding of horizontal gene transfer as a driver of cell adaptation on the early earth.

Lucia Weinman
Was awarded an American Society of Naturalists Student Resesarch Award for her disseration research on pollen collection versus polen transport by native bee species.


E&E Graduate Program Seminars
E&E Graduate Program Seminars every Thursday during the fall and spring semesters at 4:00pm. This seminar series presents speakers invited from inside and outside Rutgers University to speak on the most current research being conducted in the fields of ecology and evolution. Check out the Program Seminars page for more info.

Graduate Student Seminars

Graduate student seminars are presented every Friday durng the fall and spring semesters at 4:00pm. These seminars are informal gatherings where graduate students present their current research and other topics of interest to their peers. Information on the 2022-23 seminars will be provided at the end of the summer.

Fall 2022 - Entering Class

Shannon Dickey
Kendall Eldredge
Daniel Fisher
Lydia Heilferty
Heidi Herb
Jillian Jamieson
Morgan Mark
Sophia Piper
Ryan Schmidt
Nicole Vaccaro
Leah Scott
Isabelle Zoccolo