Graduate studies in ecology and evolution at East Carolina University

Fw by Andy Wilson


The graduate program in the Department of Biology at East Carolina University invites applications from prospective PhD and MS students for fall 2016. East Carolina University is the third largest campus in the University of NC system and has an active and well-supported group of faculty working in the areas of ecology and evolution. Currently, we have >70 MS students and >20 doctoral students enrolled in our graduate programs. Students accepted into the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in Biological Sciences will receive at least five years of support at a very competitive level. TA-ships are readily available in our two MS programs and Biology faculty members also supervise students in ECU’s Coastal Resource Management PhD program. Our faculty members (see below) conduct research across the globe and excellent opportunities exist to work in terrestrial, freshwater, wetland and marine systems.

Our students enjoy living in the affordable community of Greenville, NC and having access to several natural areas, universities and research centers located in central and eastern NC. The Biodiversity Initiative at East Carolina University also provides graduate students with opportunities to participate in journal clubs, workshops, and outreach events and access to high performance desktop computers. In addition to resources within faculty labs, students also have access to a Central Environmental lab, a core genomics facility, and a high performance computing core.

Application deadlines vary with particular programs but students applying early will have a greater chance of receiving financial support. Please visit stellwage), for more information. We are happy to arrange visits for competitive prospective students and additional scholarship support may be available for the strongest applicants.

Departmental faculty with expertise in ecology and evolution include:

Marcelo Ardon: Aquatic ecosystem ecology and biogeochemistry.

Chris Balakrishnan: Avian evolutionary and behavioral genomics.

Seth Barribeau: Evolutionary ecology of hosts, parasites, and symbionts in pollinator and pest insects.

April Blakeslee: Conservation biology, marine ecology, parasite ecology, biological invasions ecology and evolution.

Michael Brewer: Evolutionary genomics, systematics, and bioinformatics.

David Chalcraft: Population and community ecology; ecological aspects of


Robert Christian: Coastal ecosystem ecology and network ecology.

Erin Field: Marine microbial processes, geomicrobiology, microbial genomics.

Carol Goodwillie: Plant mating system evolution, plant population ecology and


Pat Harris: Fish ecology and life history, fisheries management.

Jinling Huang: Evolutionary genomics and bioinformatics.

Fadi Issa: Neurobiology & Behavior, neurodegeneration.

Claudia Jolls: Plant evolutionary ecology and conservation.

Dave Kimmel: Plankton ecology.

Trip Lamb: Systematics and phylogeography.

Joe Luczkovich: Food web ecology and fish bioacoustics.

Krista McCoy: Ecological development and physiology.

Mike McCoy: Quantitative population and community ecology.

Jeff McKinnon: Sexual selection, speciation, mainly in fish.

Sue McRae: Behavioral ecology and social evolution in birds.

Ariane Peralta: Microbial ecology, wetland ecology, agroecology.

Enrique Reyes: Landscape ecology, ecological modeling, coastal management.

Roger Rulifson: Fish ecology and fisheries.

Ed Stellwag: Vertebrate evo-devo and cis-regulatory network evolution.

John Stiller: Molecular evolution and comparative genomics.

Kyle Summers: Evolution of color, behavior in poison frogs; evolutionary


Heather Vance-Chalcraft: Community ecology.

Terry West: Human impacts on coastal ecosystems.

Baohong Zhang: MicroRNA evolution, comparative genomics, and molecular genetics.

Yong Zhu: Comparative evolution and molecular functions of hormones and


David R. Chalcraft

Assoc. Professor of Biology

Director, East Carolina Biodiversity Initiative

East Carolina University

Greenville, NC




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