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A student in a lab coat and gloves points at an eel in an aquarium tank.

Biology - Ecology & Evolution

How to know if Ecology & Evolution is the right major for you: You spend a lot of time thinking about how ecosystems work together. Your favorite museum exhibit is about long-extinct animals and Earth's history. You're driven to investigate the science behind nature.

Degree Types
Major , Specialization
Complementary Programs
Distinctive Requirements
Special Opportunities

Why study Ecology & Evolution at McDaniel College? 

In the Ecology & Evolution program at McDaniel College, you'll get hands-on with Biology research in and out of the classroom. Eels, geckos, zebrafish embryos, wildflowers, and native bees are just a few of the natural subjects that McDaniel student researchers study.

With a degree specialization in Ecology & Evolution, you'll spend time discovering how organisms — like the ones listed above — interact with their environments, while also considering the role of evolution in forming those organisms and ecosystems. Your studies will focus on the most recent research contributions in ecology and evolution, to prepare for entering graduate school or a career in biology after graduation.

Distinctive Courses in Ecology & Evolution

BIO 2207 - Evolution

The evidence, the mode, and the implications of organic evolution treated in such a manner as to emphasize the function of evolution as the greatest general unifying principle in biology.  Special attention is paid to the many recent contributions of research to this field.

BIO 3317 - Ecology

A study of the interactions between organisms and their environment and among organisms of the same and other species. Emphasis is on organismal, population, community, and ecosystems ecology. Course includes laboratory.

BIO 2202 - Comparative Anatomy of Vertebrates

A study of vertebrate structure in relation to phylogeny, ontogeny, and function, emphasizing morphological adaptation for function. The laboratory investigation compares the detailed anatomy of a fish (shark), an amphibian (Necturus), and a mammal (cat).

Biology - Ecology & Evolution Program Requirements

McDaniel Commitment in Action

The McDaniel Commitment—a series of opportunities guaranteed to all students—provides enhanced mentoring and coaching, and ensures every undergraduate student completes at least two meaningful experiential learning opportunities.

Riley Palmer '18, in a pink shirt, helps raise the main sail on board the SEA Semester ocean research vessel, Robert C. Seamans.

Alumna discovers a mission in the planet’s most remote coral reefs Going Places After Graduation

Just days after her graduation this May, Riley Palmer sailed from Tahiti to Hawaii on board SEA Semester’s ocean research vessel, the 134-foot brigantine SSV Robert C. Seamans. Along the 2,600 nautical mile route, the Biology major from Pikesville, Md., studied the effects of environmental change on remote and pristine Pacific coral reefs.

Allison Kerwin Biology

Biology professor receives research grant from the National Science Foundation

Allison Kerwin, assistant professor of Biology, has received a three-year grant of $437,393 to study the effects of insecticides on jellyfish development and survival from the National Science Foundation (NSF) as part of the Building Research Capacity of New Faculty in Biology (BRC-BIO) program.