College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology


Welcome to the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology (EEOB) at Iowa State University.

EEOB has many active research programs and opportunities for student interest in conservation biology, ecological and evolutionary genomics, population, community, and ecosystem ecology, quantitative genetics, and other traditional organismal disciplines such as taxonomy. 

Faculty in EEOB are linked through students and research programs to many other departments within the life sciences, as well as to supporting disciplines in the physical and computational sciences.  The diverse knowledge of the EEOB faculty provides unique opportunities for undergraduate students majoring in Biology, Genetics, and Environmental Science, to whom we offer a rich and cutting-edge curriculum.

If you have any questions about programs or opportunities in EEOB, please contact us at 515-294-0133.  We look forward to serving you.


Iowa State University researchers discover surprisingly wide variation across species in genetic systems that influence aging



A new Iowa State University study focusing on insulin signaling uncovered surprising genetic diversity across reptiles, birds and mammals. The research sets the stage for an improved understanding of metabolism, growth and aging and may have implications for medicine and human health, said Anne Bronikowski, an associate professor of ecology, evolution and organismal biology and a lead author of the study.

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Graduate Student Spotlight

Research of Ph.D. candidate, Antonio Cordero, highligted in recent Biology Letters



Over the last 210 million years, turtles successfully colonized and adapted to freshwater, marine, and terrestrial environments worldwide. This ecological diversification is reflected in the remarkable shell variation of living turtles, suggesting that processes governing the formation of the turtle body plan have evolved. In the most species-comprehensive examination of turtle development, PhD student G. Antonio Cordero showed that the evolution of complex shell forms is underpinned by correlated changes in development of the shoulder blade and shell.  Findings of this study, reported in Biology Letters, suggest that the seemingly static body plan of turtles has great potential to diversify, though by means that we have only begun to discover. 

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Recent Graduate Student Spotlights









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News & Updates

Janzen discusses impact of temperature on Australia's bearded dragons

The New York Times turned to Dr. Fredric Janzen in its recent article on the effects of hotter temperatures on teh sex determination of bearded dragons.

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Valenzuela talks sex assignment in lizards

A recent article appearing in The Scientist, discusses sex-determination in bearded dragons. Valenzuela discusses the possibility of the species transitioning to thermal sex determination.

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Wendel elected as Distinguished Fellow of the Botanical Society of America

The "Distinguised Fellow of the Botanical Society of America" is the highest honor the Society can bestow. Awardees are chosen based on their outstanding contributions to the mission of the Society.

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Bronikowski discusses ever-expanding field of genomic on IPR

On the latest edition of River to River, Dr. Anne Bronikowski discusses cutting edge genetic research.

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Microscopic soil samples could lead to big discoveries

Monitoring soil carbon increases and nutrient retention in agricultural grounds is a challenging task. The processes occur over long periods of time, and nature rarely follows a set order – varying spatial scales create diversity among communities of organisms, as well as events such as energy inputs, disturbances, and interactions between species on those grounds. The research process can take decades.

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EEOB graduate student receives TRIARCH award

M.S. candidate, Jennifer Dixon, was awarded first place in the TRIARCH "Botanical Images" Student Travel Award. This awards provides travel support to BSA meetings for outstanding work in the area of creating botanical digital images.

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EEOB graduate receive NSF Career Development grant

Dr. Chris Chandler, graduate of EEOB, recently received the NSF Faculty Early Career grant for his work with isopods commonly known as pillbugs or potato bugs.

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Haley honored with American Association of University Women Career Development Grant

Hilary Haley spends part of every week as a graduate student at ISU and also as an employee of The Nature Conservancy working at the Dunn Ranch in Missouri.  Her M.S. research focuses on how bee communities respond to grassland restoration.

Attigala awarded for research and teaching efforts

Ph.D. candidate, Lakshmi Attigala was awareded the GPSS Research and Teaching awards April 2, 2015.


Seminar Series:

September 10, 2015
Kathy Kron, Wake Forest Universtiy
Evolution and Diversification of Blueberries: Tropical and Temperate Connections