the study of how organisms interact with each other and their environment
the study of biological history and the mechanisms that influence biological change and diversification
Ecology and evolution are tightly integrated disciplines - evolutionary mechanisms act in an ecological context, and the way organisms interact with their biotic and abiotic environments is strongly influenced by their evolutionary history. Ecologists play an increasingly important role in modern society through their work in basic research, their role in management of natural resources, and/or their influence on public policy. Many current public concerns, for example the causes and consequences of global climate change and the extinction of species, are at their heart ecological phenomena. In addition to providing an understanding of our biological heritage and our place within it, evolutionary biology is playing an increasingly important role in our understanding of the origins and evolution of infectious disease and past consequences of environmental change as models for outcomes of human-induced environmental change.
Students in the Ecology and Evolution (ECEV) specialization of the Biological Sciences major are well positioned for careers in conservation biology, research, environmental policy, and education.
In addition to the research opportunities and perspectives provided by UMD ecology and evolution faculty, we have close ties with the Smithsonian Natural History Museum, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, the National Zoo, and many other organizations that provide opportunities for students to apply their knowledge of ecology and evolution in a research setting.
Information on the ECEV specialization:
To learn more about the Biological Sciences (BSCI) major and its specializations, see the CMNS Biological Sciences (BSCI) major page.