Student working in field

Ecology

Investigate patterns in the interactions among organisms and their environments—from the molecule to the biosphere.

Program Overview

Students in Penn State’s Intercollege Graduate Degree Program in Ecology: 

  • Gain a thorough understanding of ecological theory and hypothesis testing
  • Conduct research that tests basic ecological theories or applies ecological principles to meet critical societal needs 
  • Engage with faculty members from across Penn State in their coursework and research
  • Develop their communication and leadership skills 
  • Earn M.S. and Ph.D. degrees

News

Snapshot USA: First-ever nationwide mammal survey now published

The results of the first national mammal survey, now publicly available online, provide the framework to answer a variety of questions about wild animal populations and conservation strategies for threatened species. The survey, which involved researchers from across the country including a biologist at Penn State, is made up of data from 1,509 motion-activated camera traps from 110 sites located across all 50 states.

PlantVillage team lauded for projects to protect food supply amid COVID, locusts

Penn State researchers responsible for PlantVillage, a mobile app that helps farmers diagnose crop diseases and monitor pests, have been lauded for their work to help African farmers overcome challenges related to desert locusts and COVID-19.

Penn State biologist and colleagues receive $4M to identify heat-tolerant corals

An international team that includes Penn State biologist Iliana Baums has been awarded a $4 million grant from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation to identify corals that are naturally resilient to climate change. This is one of four newly funded projects supported by the foundation that are focused on the conservation and restoration of coral reefs in the context of the climate crisis.

Reef-building corals and microscopic algae within their cells evolve together

The microscopic algae that live inside and provide nutrients to their reef-building coral hosts may be evolving in tandem with the corals they inhabit, so each partner is fine-tuned to meet one another’s needs. A new study by Penn State biologists reveals that genetic differences within a species of these microalgal symbionts correspond to the coral species they inhabit, a discovery that could have implications for the conservation of these endangered corals.