Ecological Genomics and Genetics

Ecological Genomics and Genetics

Ecological Genomics and Genetics


Ecological genomics may be defined as “a scientific discipline that studies the structure and functioning of a genome with the aim of understanding the relationship between the organism and its biotic and abiotic environments”.  In addition to providing more research tools, the advent of genomics has allowed new scientific questions to emerge and existing questions to be answered in ways not previously considered.  Ecological Genomics and Genetics encompasses ecology, genetics, genomics, and evolutionary biology, and utilizes genetic and genomic approaches to address consequential ecological questions.  The field is becoming increasingly important as rapid advances in genomics and genomic technology provide new tools with which to evaluate, monitor, and predict the impacts of environmental changes on natural systems of organisms.  Because of the interdisciplinary and integrative nature of this AOE, students are expected to have or acquire a broad background in ecology, genetics, population biology, evolution, and systematics.

Curriculum for Masters and Ph.D. Programs

All GGE AOE students must fulfill the course requirements of the GGE.  The intent of the GGE AOE curriculum is to provide students interested in ecological genomics and genetics guidance and additional structure in their coursework.  The GGE AOE recognizes that individual students may have highly diverse interests and needs.  Modifications in the requirements of a student's course program may be made subject to the approval of the GGE AOE Adviser and Chair.

AOE Required Courses 

ECL 243 Ecological Genomics (the core course) or equivalent (taken within the last three years).

The course requirements are meant to correspond to potential qualifying examination topics.  All GGE students must have five such topics.  Two of the five topics are required by the GGE for all GGE students.  These are: 1) Principles of Ecology and 2) Research Methodology and Quantitative Skills.  A third examination topic for all GGE students in this AOE is Ecological Genomics and Genetics.


Andrew Whitehead, Chair/Advisor; Environmental Toxicology