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Department of Biological Science

at Florida State University

The Ecology, Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Science Track

The fields of ecology, evolution, and environmental science use principles and quantitative skills from a wide array of disciplines and involving research with a variety of species and habitats. Ecology and environmental science study the relationship between organisms (including humans) and their biotic and abiotic environments. Evolution is the study of how the genetic structure of populations changes over time, with resulting effects on species behavior, morphology, and physiology. Studies in these areas help us to understand the diversity and functioning of organisms in nature and are key to solving pressing current problems, such as how we produce food, manage disease, protect natural resources, and create livable cities. Students in EEES can focus on particular types of organisms or habitats of interest (e.g., plants, marine fishes, long-leaf pine forests), on underlying concepts (e.g. diversity, population growth, complexity, behavior, evolution), or on applied issues (e.g. education, agriculture, wildlife management, fisheries management, disease transmission, conservation).

Students following this academic track are preparing for a wide variety of careers including resource management, environmental consulting, conservation biology, government agencies, teaching and science communication, agriculture, curation of museum collections, epidemiology, wildlife or fisheries biology and basic research. Many of our students go on to graduate study in ecology, evolution, behavior, and environmental science.


Elective Courses
  • General Ecology (PCB 3043)
  • Marine Biology (BSC 3312)
  • Ecology Lab (PCB 3043L)
  • Animal Behavior (ZOO 4513)
  • Conservation Biology (BSC 3052)
  • Ecology of Infectious Disease (BSC 4933)
  • Plants and Society (BSC 4933)
  • Biomathematics (BSC 4933)
  • Field Botany (BOT 3143C)
  • Biogeography (BSC 4821C)
  • Ornithology (ZOO 4353C)
  • Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy (ZOO 3713C)
  • Herpetology (ZOO 4343C)
  • Environmental Physiology (TBA)
  • Advanced Invertebrate Zoology/lab (ZOO 3205/L)
  • Biology Of Aging (BSC 4933)
  • Scientific Diving (BSC 4473C)

Recommended Electives outside the department (these do not count towards the Biological Science degree)

Many courses outside of Biology are relevant to the EEES track, including courses in EOAS, Statistics, Math, Geography, Chemistry, Political Science, Philosophy, Sociology, and History. Students are encouraged to talk with the Biology advisers and faculty in their area of interest in order to determine the most appropriate courses for their personal goals.


Opportunities for Research & Hands-on Experience

Students in the EEES track are very strongly encouraged to get experience with organisms and habitats outside the classroom. The faculty and graduate students in the FSU Ecology and Evolution Group have active research programs in the lab, greenhouse and field. You can become involved in research in these labs and at local research facilities in three ways:

  • Directed Individual Study (BSC 4900) Research or other individual study for credit:
    Available to students with a GPA of 3.0 in courses that apply to the major. Search faculty pages here for appropriate mentors
  • Honors in the Major. (BSC 4970):
    A two-semester independent research experience for qualified students. Available to students with a GPA of 3.2
  • Volunteering or internships:
    Volunteering is a great way to find out if a topic interests you and gain experience even if you can't make a semester-long commitment (though some students do volunteer long-term). Internships provide experience outside of academic labs. For a list of volunteer and internship opportunities read the Department of Biological Sciences Undergraduate Research Opportunities page (which isn't only for research) and the FSU Sustainable Campus site and newsletter. Local farms, protected areas such as the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, and institutions such as the FSU Coastal and Marine Laboratory and Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium, the Tallahassee Museum and Gulf Specimens Marine Lab all host volunteers and interns

Facilities

FSU has excellent facilities for research in Ecology, Evolution and the Environment. The department maintains greenhouses and field research areas at the Mission Road Research Facility near campus, Students also have access to scientific equipment through the Biological Science Core Facility, as well as through the Florida State University Coastal and Marine Laboratory at Turkey Point. Importantly the areas near FSU have world-class natural areas in a major biodiversity hotspot allowing field study in a wide variety of habitat types.


Registration

Contact: For details, see the Advising Office or find an appropriate faculty member.
Register here to be added to a voluntary list of track members to receive news and updates of interest to the track via email.