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EEB

The department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior conducts a broad range of research spanning molecules to ecosystems from chimpanzee behavior to bacterial evolution, predator interactions on the Serengeti Plains to the impact of nutrients on grasslands. You are now viewing a collection of news, features and opportunities for and about EEB.

Getting an EDGE on new way to engineer function into microbes


Imagine if you were editing an email and every time you tried to change a word, three other words would randomly change as well. That probably sounds like a frustrating and time-consuming way to compose anything useful. And it’s equally frustrating and time-consuming for biologists trying to study adaptation or edit the genes of organisms. Conventional approaches to mutation offer little opportunity to target individual genes without altering others as well.

Making Sense of the Situation

Professor Susan Jones shares her thoughts on pandemics, past and present as part of student-led discussion series. 


With a background studying disease ecology and the history of science, Susan Jones holds a unique perspective in our challenging and ever-changing times. From the flu to the plague or the current spread of COVID-19,  Jones' research and worked has looked at the broader historical context and impact of pandemics and disease spread.

Research Brief: Glimpse Into Ancient Hunting Strategies of Dragonflies and Damselflies

Damselfly

Dragonflies and damselflies are animals that may appear gentle, but are — in fact — ancient hunters. The closely related insects shared an ancestor over 250 million years ago — long before dinosaurs — and provide a glimpse into how an ancient neural system controlled precise and swift aerial assaults.

Research Brief: 3D Movies Reveal How Cuttlefish Determine Distance When Striking at Prey

Cuttlefish

While cuttlefish wearing glasses is an unexpected sight, a University of Minnesota-led research team built an underwater theater and equipped the cephalopods with specialized 3D glasses to investigate how cuttlefish determine the best distance to strike moving prey. Their research revealed cuttlefish use stereopsis to perceive depth when hunting a moving target.

Shedding new light on cavefish

Two new NSF grants allow Suzanne McGaugh and colleagues to gain more insight into how cavefish can alter behavior given changing conditions.

cave fish

Antisocial blind cavefish are drastically different from their social surface-dwelling counterparts. Despite distinct appearances and lifestyles, the fish are members of the same species. 

Insect superpowers unlocked

A new “flight arena” allows Paloma Gonzalez-Bellido to analyze dragonflies’ hunting movements, then ask how they do it.Paloma Gonzalez-Bellido looks into dragonfly flight arena

Fruit flies float into the humid air in a custom room dubbed the arena,  and the main event draws near.

Ecology, Evolution and Behavior Seeking Department Head Candidates

The University of Minnesota Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior (EEB) seeks a bold and collaborative leader for the role of Head. The selected individual will lead a dynamic department internationally recognized for its interdisciplinary research, scholarship, teaching, and service. The department, highly ranked for ecology and environmental sciences, houses an active and diverse graduate program and 41 core faculty, four of whom are members of the National Academy of Sciences.