Biology on Nantucket

Biology Department

New and Exciting in UMass Boston Biology

Congratulations to Kamal Bawa for being elected to the Royal Society of London, the oldest scientific academy in the world. Professor Bawa’s work in conservation biology, protecting biodiversity and sustainability, has raised the awareness and understanding of these critical environmental issues and helped to lessened the impact of anthropogenic changes across the planet. He will be inducted to the Society at a ceremony in London on July 10, 2015. The recognition is well-deserved.  

***New Fall 2015 Courses***

Biology 354 

Disease Ecology and Evolution

Professor Doug Woodhams

Students will be given an overview of the variety and ubiquity of disease systems, and introduced to conceptual and theoretical underpinnings of disease causation, transmission, emergence, management, and host-parasite coevolution. Click here to see course syllabus.

Biology 381 Section 1                    

Special Topics Lecture: Human Physiology

Professor David Sigmon

This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of the function and regulation of the human body from the cellular to organ system level. Click here to see course syllabus. 

Biology 382 Section 1

Special topics Lab: Human Physiology

Professor David Sigmon

Study the fundamental concepts of human physiology with an interactive laboratory experience using hands-on experiments, computerized data acquisition systems and computer simulations. 

Biology 381 Section 3

Special Topics Lecture: Marine Biology & Ecology

Professor Jarrett Byrnes

In Marine Biology and Ecology, we will explore the fundamental principles of how life works in our oceans. We'll explore these concepts using local examples, with an outdoor lab in nearby salt marshes and other coastal ecosystems. Click here to see course syllabus.

Biology 382 Section 3

Special Topics Lab: Marine Biology & Ecology

Professor Jarrett Byrnes

This lab will introduce students to the basic concepts of sampling and conducting experiments in marine habitats to understand their biology and ecology. Click here to see course syllabus.


Jill Macoska, director of the Center for Personalized Cancer Therapy and the Alton J. Brann Distinguished Professor in Science and Mathematics, has been named one of the 2015 Women to Watch in Science and Technology by the Boston Business Journal. Macoska, one of 20 recipients, will be honored at a 12th annual Women to Watch awards breakfast on May 7th at the Westin Waterfront Hotel.

Watch the 2015 Earth Day Symposium: DIMENSIONS OF SUSTAINABILITY with featured speakers Steve Franks of Fordham University, Anna Savage of University of Central Florida and Mark Urban of University of Cape Town by clicking here.

Congratulations to PhD student Stefanie Gazda, whose paper "The importance of delineating networks by activity type in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Cedar Key, Florida" will be published in the journal Royal Society Open Science. The paper will be available on March 11, 2015 and can be accessed here.

Watch the Winter 2014 Sustainability Symposium: BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION FOR THE ANTHROPOCENE with featured speakers Patrick Gonzalez of the U.S. National Park Service, Pam Templer of Boston University and Holly Jones Keltner of Northern Illinois University by clicking here.  

Congratulations to Kamal Bawa, who is the recipient of the 2014 MIDORI International Prize in Biodiversity. The prize honors individuals who have made outstanding contributions to biodiversity conservation and sustainable use of resources at local and global levels, and raised awareness about biodiversity. The prize recognizes Professor Bawa's contributions to research in ecology of tropical forests, sustainable use of tropical forests, climate change in the Himalaya; for promoting engagement of civil society in conservation efforts; and for his leadership role in setting up ATREE (Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment) in Bangalore, India. Dr. Bawa received the prize at the Conference of the Parties (COP 12), Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), in South Korea, and at ceremonies at the AEON Foundation in Japan. More details here.

PBS NewsHour interviewed Brian White about his use of MOOC (Massive, Open, Online Courses) in his Introductory Biology class. Click here to hear Professor White share his views about MOOC. The story was aired on PBS on August 27, 2014. More details here.

The Biology Department recently received a $1 million anonymous gift, establishing the new Biology Graduate Student Research Endowment! This endowment will support stipends for graduate students, travel to conferences, and graduate research projects for years to come. Click here to read the Boston Globe's article about this gift.

Picture of student in the marsh at the Nantucket Field Station

Biology on Nantucket

Sign up for the Biology Department's summer courses on Nantucket: field research intro course BIO 100: Coastal Ecology and adaptation research course BIO 306: Marine and Coastal Ecological Research. Read More 

Dr. Kamal Bawa hosted the Honorable Minister of Environment, Forests and Climate Change from the Govt. of India, Mr. Prakash Javadekar in April, 2015

Dr. Bawa and Mr. Javadekar

Dr. Kamal Bawa and Kanchan Banerjee (from the Forum for Global Leadership of India) hosted a reception in honor of Mr. Prakash Javadekar, the Honorable Minister of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change from the Government of India on Thursday, April 16th 2015 in the Integrated Sciences Complex. Theresa Mortimer, Assistant Chancellor and Andrew Grosovsky, Dean of CSM gave welcome addresses. The Honorable Minister shared his remarks at the gathering. Dean Grosovsky offered closing remarks for the reception. Read More 

The Dalai Lama reading Professor Kamal Bawa's recent book, "Himalaya: Mountains of Life"

Dalai Lama reading HImalaya

Pictured here is the Dalai Lama reading leading conservation biologist Kamal Bawa and conservation photographer Sandesh Kadur's recent book, "Himalaya: Mountains of Life." The book focuses on the Eastern Himalaya, and weaves together perspectives on the region’s land, water, biodiversity and peoples into an extraordinarily rich and diverse tapestry of words and images. The book portrays the Eastern Himalayas as a melting pot of ancient cultures, languages, and religions. The research, writing, and publication of Himalaya: Mountains of Life was funded by ATREE with Felis Creations, Gorgas Science Foundation, and the University of Massachusetts Boston.

Gray Seal Pupping Cam

Picture of gray seals from gray seal pupping cam

Seal cam is the first live streaming video camera to observe seals at a pupping and breeding colony on the east coast. Read what former PhD student and current instructor Stephanie Wood is doing with the seal cam.

Giving to UMass Boston

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