Student Handbook


Welcome to the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology University of Kansas

Handbook Disclaimer

This handbook has been prepared to inform new and current graduate students in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB) about the services and other resources of the department, the University of Kansas (KU), and the city of Lawrence.  Contact the EEB Graduate Program Coordinator with questions or concerns regarding the content of this handbook.


Academic Calendar Information

Academic Calendar information can be found on the Registrar Office Academic Calendar pages.


EEB Faculty Research Specializations

The EEB department comprises a large number of biologists with a wide variety of research interests.  Three broad overlapping themes capture the interests and activities in EEB – biodiversity and macroevolution, ecology and global change biology, and evolutionary mechanisms.

Neotropical biodiversity is a special area of concentration among EEB faculty.  Faculty members have courtesy appointments in the Latin American Studies Program, which fosters multidisciplinary research in Latin America across the campus.  KU is a member of the Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS), and many faculty members and students participate in advanced, field-oriented OTS courses.  Graduate students can receive fellowships for courses, e.g. Tropical Ecology (BIOL 786), or research projects in Costa Rica.  Other EEB faculty have research concentrations in Asia, Africa, Antarctica, and elsewhere, creating a genuinely global reach of EEB research activities.


EEB and KU Facilities

Department physical facilities include laboratories, natural history collections, and field-study sites near the university.  Most laboratory facilities are in Dyche Hall, Higuchi Hall, McGregor Herbarium, Haworth Hall, and the Public Safety Building.  Special facilities in Haworth include controlled-environment rooms, greenhouses, and various instrument rooms, including access to the microscopy and analytical imaging laboratory.

KU has modern computer facilities, with wireless internet access available in virtually all campus locations.  Libraries, especially the Spencer Research Library and Anschutz Library, are great resources, as is the Linda Hall Science Library in Kansas City, which has a large collection of scientific journals.


The Biodiversity Institute

The natural history collections are housed by the Biodiversity Institute (BI) and include approximately 9 million specimens, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fishes, arthropods and other invertebrates, parasites, and plants, as well as fossils of vertebrates, arthropods, other invertebrates, and plants.  Collections support diverse research in evolutionary biology, paleobiology, and ecology including systematics, phylogenetics, biogeography, morphology, behavior, biodiversity informatics, and biotic surveys and inventories.  The BI also has cutting edge facilities for diverse analyses of biodiversity information, including well-equipped spatial analysis laboratories, and extensive facilities for molecular systematics. For more information, visit the BI website


The Kansas Biological Survey

The Kansas Biological Survey (KBS) is a KU research and service unit and a non-regulatory state agency, whose mission is to gather information on the kinds, distribution, and abundance of plants and animals in Kansas, and to compile, analyze, interpret, and distribute this information broadly.  KBS is a nationally recognized leader in several fields of environmental research and maintains a strong tradition of natural history studies.  Scientists at KBS study terrestrial ecosystem ecology, aquatic ecology, water quality, biodiversity, ecology and population biology of animals and plants, and conservation and restoration of natural communities.  KBS researchers routinely use technologies such as satellite and airborne remote sensing, aerial photography, and Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

KBS administers the University of Kansas Field Station (KUFS). The Field Station consists of 3,700 acres of field-sites dedicated to environmental research and is part of the prestigious National Ecological Observatory Network. KUFS sites are located within the transition zone between the Eastern Deciduous Forest and Tallgrass Prairie biomes, and include woodland, prairie, old fields, and wetlands.  The Fitch Natural History Reservation and Baldwin Woods are used primarily to study natural ecological processes in undisturbed habitats.  The John H. Nelson Environmental Study Area is used for experimental ecological studies and has experimental ponds, a dedicated lake and watershed, a common garden, small-mammal enclosures, and a succession facility. 


KU Campus and Lawrence

The main campus of the University of Kansas is located on Mount Oread and is known as one of the most beautiful campuses in the nation.  KU has nearly 30,000 students as well as over 5,000 faculty and staff.  There are approximately 2,200 international students from over 100 countries, making KU a truly international university.  For more information on the University of Kansas, visit the main KU website.

Lawrence, a city with an estimated population of approximately 90,000, is located in north-eastern Kansas between Kansas City, an approximate 45-minute drive to the east, and Topeka, an approximate 30-minute drive to the west.  For a small city, Lawrence offers an abundance of culture, music, recreation, nightlife, shopping, and great dining.   For more about Lawrence events, attractions and activities, visit Lawrence's website.