Photo of Biology Graduate Students 2023

Graduate Program

The UC Department of Biological Sciences offers a stimulating and rigorous research-based environment that challenges our students to reach their full potential. Both MS and PhD degrees are offered in our graduate program, including a 4+1 MS option. Graduate students work directly with faculty mentors to conduct cutting-edge research with the goal of contributing substantially to their professional disciplines.

Applicants must apply by January 1st for full consideration. The GRE is optional but not required.

Graduate students specialize in one or more of the research strengths of our department:  Sensory Biology & Behavior (SBB); Ecology, Evolution & Conservation (EEC); and Molecular Biology, Genetics, & Physiology (MBGP).  

Our Community

We are a supportive community whose aim is to see our graduate students succeed in their chosen careers. We foster an inclusive environment that welcomes diverse expertise and perspectives. To promote innovative thinking, we encourage collaboration within and among labs as well as across research groups, as appropriate. Our graduates have gone on to successfully obtain positions in academia, industry, government, and in education.

What we have to offer:

  • Cutting-edge research spanning multiple fields
  • Preparation for diverse careers
  • Financial support for research track PhD and MS students
  • Facilities supporting research and teaching, such as the UC Center for Field Studies and the UC Herbarium
  • Supportive, collaborative and diverse graduate environment
  • Vibrant, urban community

Prospective Students

Current Students

Research Labs Accepting Graduate Student Applications

Biological Sciences Faculty accepting Graduate Students
Faculty Member Research Interests
Joshua Benoit Insect stress tolerance, hormonal regulation of metabolism, reproductive physiology
Daniel Buchholz Role of hormones in development and evolution, frog metamorphosis, comparative endocrinology
Elke Buschbeck  Neuroethology: function and evolution of insect visual systems
Theresa Culley  Population genetics of plants, invasive species; habitat fragmentation
Katie Grogan
Anthropological genetics, epigenomic response, environmental change
Joshua Gross  Molecular and genetic bases for cave adaptation; evolution and development
Patrick Guerra  Sensory ecology; orientation and navigation mechanisms; animal architecture
Elizabeth Hobson  Ecology and evolution of social complexity; cognitive ecology; social structure
Bruce Jayne  Neural control of movement and behavior of ectothermic vertebrates
Noelia Lander  Molecular Parasitology, trypanosomes, cell signaling, host-parasite interaction, genome editing, CRISPR/Cas9
John Layne  Neuroethology; mechanisms of animal navigation
David Lentz  Historical ecology, paleoethnobotany
Stephen Matter  Landscape ecology, dispersal, chemonavigation, in arthropods
Nathan Morehouse  Visual and behavioral ecology, coevolutionary dynamics of reproductive traits
Kenneth Petren  Landscape genetics, rapid evolution, ancient DNA, vertebrates
Michal Polak  Evolution of insect reproductive traits; sexual selection
Stephanie Rollmann  Genetics and neurobiology of behavior, olfaction; chemical ecology
Annette Rowe Applied and Environmental Microbiology, Electromicrobiology, Electrosynthesis, Anaerobic Microbiology, Microbial Ecology
Eric Tepe Plant systematics, including taxonomy, phylogenetics, biogeography
Dieter Vanderelst Models of bat echolocation and flight control, robotic and computational models