A major goal of biology is to acquire an understanding
of the mechanisms responsible for the origin of biodiversity.
A major impediment to resolving these issues is the historically
fractionated nature of the life sciences - - the lack of an integrated
understanding of the ways in which organisms obtain their form
during development and the ways in which morphological diversification
originates via population-genetic mechanisms.
To overcome these intellectual barriers, we have initiated,
with a training grant from the NSF, an interdisciplinary training
program focused on the evolution of development, to our knowledge
the first institution-wide graduate training program of its kind.
Students admitted to the program will receive full financial support,
including stipend, fees, tuition, research expenses, and funds
for travel to scientific meetings.
Novel aspects of our training activities include: 1) a program
linking developmental and evolutionary biology, with a strong
emphasis on genomics, involving collaborative research; 2) a
formal graduate course in the evolution of development; 3) a
unique dual-mentoring system involving a distinguished set of
faculty in developmental and evolutionary biology; 4) an annual
program of events focused on specialized areas in evolutionary
developmental biology; and 5) a funding program that facilitates
the incorporation of under-represented groups and off-campus