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Future Graduate Students


Student Lauren Sullivan in the field

As a future student in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology, you will have the opportunity to work beside more than 20 faculty members and more than 35 fellow graduate students.  Your research and education will benefit from the interdisciplinary environment housed within the hallways of Bessey Hall.

Thesis and dissertation research of current EEOB students include:

  • Herbivore effects on plant diversity and methods to improve biologStudent trapping muskratical pedagogy
  • Abundance and diversity of native bees found on prairie remnants and reconstruction plantings in the Grand River Grasslands
  • Temperature-dependent sex determination evolution: Looking at the molecular evolution of sex determining genes and the DNA protein interactions underlying TSD
  • ​Biodiversity in the Iowa biology classroom:  teacher approaches, attitudes, and knowledge
  • A scaling approach to microbial carbon cycling
  • Population genetics of Sri Lankan temperate wood bamboos and phylogenetic relationships among temperate woody bamboo clades
  • Sociogenomics of social organization: Mechanistic and evolutionary underpinnings of caste development and facial recognition in paper wasps
  • Ant (Formicidae) communities in Iowa tallgrass prairie remnants and restorations
  • Success of seeding efforts to enhance emergent community composition in restored agricultural wetlands

Student releasing bobcat

Each EEOB faculty member is affiliated with one or more interdepartmental majors, and EEOB students major in one of these programs.  These interdepartmental programs include:

The department offers graduate work leading to both Master of Science (M.S.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees. 

Financial Support

Student teaching a biology courseGraduate students in EEOB receive financial support from a combination of fellowships, research assistantships, and teaching assistantships through the undergraduate Biology program.

New applicants may compete for special Graduate College fellowships and research assistantships, which often include additional stipends, scholarship support for tuition, and research funds. All graduate students on assistantships for at least 3 months during each semester are given resident tuition status. For the academic year Ph.D. students receive 100% of tuition assistance. For M.S. students, the benefit is 50% of tuition. 

Other sources of support

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

The College of Agriculture

PSI Fellowship - the Plant Science Institute Award is awarded to outstanding students with strong interests in plant life or utilization of plant life.

Biotechnology Fellowships - awarded to graduate students with excellent GRE scores and GPA's.

Graduate Minority Assistantships - awarded to under-represented minority graduate students by the Graduate College.

All graduate students are encouraged to seek graduate fellowships from federal agencies such as National Science Foundation, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Research support is available from most professional societies and sources such as the Sigma Xi, American Museum of Natural History and the American Philosophical Society.


So you want to join EEOB...

If you are interested in joining EEOB for your post-graduate education, take these next steps

1) Choose an interdepartmental program major

EEOB faculty are affiliated with a number of interdepartmental programs.  When making the decision to attend ISU, and join EEOB, it is important to first determine what interdepartmental program best meets your research and academic interests.  Please see above for all the interdepartmental majors available to EEOB students or visit the Graduate College's list of Available Academic Graduate Programs.

2) Find faculty whose research is of interest to you

Once you have decided on an academic program, visit our People page to find faculty affiliated with that program.  Select two to three faculty to research further by investigating their areas of expertise and their lab websites.  When evaluating faculty, consider if their research interests are compatible with the questions you wish to answer.

3) Contact faculty

If you have located a faculty member in EEOB with whom you wish to work, contact them via email to express your interest in joining their lab as a graduate student.  Be sure to include your desired degree, major, and how your research interests aligns with their current work.

There are a number of our affiliated interdepartmental programs, including EEB, which require nomination by faculty during the admission process.  In these cases, it is essential to develop a positive and supportive relationship with EEOB faculty prior to submitting your application.

4) Apply for admission

Admission to EEOB is a two or three step process that begins with your Application for Admission.  Once your application is received, it will be evaluated by your interdepartmental program.  In some cases, like EEB, your application must then be evaluated by EEOB.  In order to be admitted, your application must be approved by ISU, your program of choice, and in some instances, EEOB.