Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology News

UT, NIMBioS Study Finds Bullies Squelched When Bystanders Intervene


A new national anti-bullying ad campaign urges parents to teach their kids to speak up if they witness bullying. One UT researcher has found that in humans’ evolutionary past, at least, helping the victim of a bully hastened our species’ movement toward a more egalitarian society.

Study Finds Female Choice Key to Evolutionary Shift to Modern Family

It is a question that has puzzled evolutionary biologists for years: Why did we stop being promiscuous and decide to settle down to start families? Sergey Gavrilets, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, may have found the answer, and it lies in the power of female choice.

TIME: The Ancient Sexual Revolution That May Have Spurred Human Monogamy

A mathematical model by Sergey Gavrilets, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, is getting a lot of media attention. It has found that monogamous, romantic love — or, more prosaically, pair-bonding — may have evolved in a sexual revolution that could have laid down the roots of the modern family.

UT Scientist Elected to National Academy of Sciences

Daniel Simberloff

Professor Daniel Simberloff has received one of the highest honors to be bestowed upon an American Scientist. Simberloff, distinguished professor and the Gore-Hunger Professor of Environmental Science in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences in recognition of his distinguished and continuing achievements in research.

UT Students Honor Charles Darwin with Darwin Day

Charles Darwin, the biologist who changed the way scientists study life on Earth, was born 202 years ago but he maintains a steady presence in biology. Just ahead of his birthday, his life and breakthrough discoveries in evolution will be celebrated February 7–9, on the UT Knoxville campus.

Science: Could Climate Change Alter Lizard Learning?

Researchers have found that lizards incubated in warmer environments may learn faster than others. The results are preliminary, but they suggest that a hotter climate could give some lizards a cognitive edge, potentially helping them escape predators. Professor Gordon Burghardt agrees that the study is important for linking learning with climate.