Chair's Welcome

John Wakeley John Wakeley
Professor of Organismic & Evolutionary Biology
Department Chair of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology

Welcome to the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology (OEB)! OEB is a diverse, vibrant and growing department. We pride ourselves in the scholarly pursuit of a broad range of research and teaching interests. These span field and laboratory studies that are key to understanding the evolution of organisms, how biodiversity is generated and maintained, how organisms work, and how organisms interact with their environment. These also span from the evolution and control of gene expression patterns within individuals and populations to the dynamics of ecosystems. The beauty of biology is revealed through the evolution of its complexity and the interactions of organisms in their environment. OEB has enjoyed a rich history in evolutionary and organismic biology. We seek to build on this strength and tradition to guide our initiatives as a faculty-student and staff community to meet our key missions in education (university and public) and research scholarship. OEB has a long-standing and close working association with its allied institutions: the Museum of Comparative Zoology (MCZ) and the Harvard University Herbaria (HUH), as well as the Arnold Arboretum and the Harvard Forest. These institutions and their collections offer an unparalleled, rich set of resources for OEB students, faculty, visitors and staff. OEB has important intellectual linkages with the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Biological Anthropology, Systems Biology, the Center for Brain Sciences and the Department of Psychology within the Life Sciences, as well as the Broad Institute. It also has key ties to the physical sciences through the Departments of Earth and Planetary Sciences and Physics, as well as the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

We invite you to explore the exciting research that our faculty and students are carrying out, the courses that our faculty offer within the OEB Concentration and in other areas of the College and Graduate School, and the opportunities to engage with our faculty and staff to do cutting-edge research as an undergraduate, graduate student, or post-doctoral fellow. I expect that you'll see why we enjoy the work, excitement and life of being a member of our OEB community.